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Essential oils are more popular than ever. Word has spread about their beneficial properties, especially pertaining to skincare. But what are essential oils? These oils are made from various plant rinds, barks, leaves and herbs. Essential oil makers use various methods to transform the plant parts into oils. Essential oils have several uses, like for aromatherapy and bath gels. But skincare is perhaps the most popular use for essential oils.
Before reading further, please note that most essential oils require dilution with a carrier oil or distilled water. Some essential oils are too strong to apply directly to the skin. Diluting an essential oil with olive oil or coconut oil is usually sufficient. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils, found that diluting essential oils doesn’t reduce effectiveness. Keeping safety in mind, here’s a list of five of the most popular oils used for skin care.
1. Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil comes from the flower of the Rosa damascena plant. The aromatic compounds of the plant are found in its flower. For years, it’s been believed that rose aromatic compounds have healing properties. The oil is often applied to the skin for medicinal purposes.
Skincare products containing rose oil are said to nourish dry skin, treat acne, reduce the appearance of scars, and prevent signs of aging. Rose essential oil is sometimes used to treat more serious skin conditions, such as rosacea and eczema. This is possibly a good oil to use on aging skin.
2. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum is best known for its ability to fight acne. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. In addition to treating acne, helichrysum can also treat damaged skin and encourage the growth of new cells. This is one of the stronger essential oils, so dilution with a carrier oil is highly recommended.
3. Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass is an oil often used for treating excessive oily skin. Oily skin is the result of increased sebum production. Lemongrass is a natural astringent that controls sebum production. The oil can also reduce inflammation of the skin.
Lemongrass has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. It also cleanses the skin of debris and toxins. Dilute lemongrass with distilled water to create a sebum-controlling facial spray. When the oil is properly diluted, it can be applied several times a day.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is a preferred choice for soothing skin irritations. Itchiness, hives, eczema, ingrown hair, and sunburn are often relieved by lavender. The oil is a natural bacteria fighter, so it works well to disinfect and soothe affected areas of the skin. When the oil is diluted, it can also possibly stop damaged skin from bleeding. The potential to stop bleeding, and to act as an antiseptic, makes lavender a possible option for a pre-shave oil.
5. German Chamomile Essential Oil
As stated earlier, most essential oils are extremely potent. They are often too strong to apply without first diluting them. But even with dilution, some of these oils are still too strong for people with very delicate skin. Most notably, infants and the elderly might require oils to be heavily diluted. But German chamomile is among the few oils that can be heavily-diluted and used on infants and the elderly. When properly diluted, the oil can also treat delicate or dry skin for people of any age.
Safely Using Essential Oils
Some people assume essential oils are automatically safe because they come from plants. But it’s important to remember that natural substances can present risks. Essential oils are powerful, and potent when used alone. An undiluted essential oil can possibly irritate the skin and cause burns. As a rule of thumb, dilute an essential oil before using. Carrier oils and distilled water are options for diluting essential oils.