Are Essential Oils Safe for Your Skin?

July 8, 2021 by VitalSkin Dermatology

woman applying essential oils to her skin

The use of essential oils has become quite the fad in recent years. Many have used various essential oils for stress alleviation, to help boost their mood, or to ease the pain of an ever-growing headache or migraine. It is even thought that essential oils can help with the feeling of nausea or assist with sleeping better. But the real question that stands – are essential oils bad for your skin?

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils, known as fragrant oils, are extracted from different things such as bark, stem, leaves, roots, the fruits of most plants and even flowers. These oils create unique fragrances. Essential oils are easily evaporated in normal temperatures and dissolve in lipids, more commonly known as fats.

Certain essential oils are rich in antioxidants and contain antibacterial ingredients making them great for protection against some skin issues. However, these oils have also been known to cause irritation and damage the skin. Although not always seen immediately, the damage can grow under your skin.

What Oils Are Beneficial for the Skin?

There are several oils that are beneficial to be used on the skin. Things like tea tree oil, rosemary oil and lemongrass are thought to reduce inflammation and help those with blemish-prone skin. However, it has not been proven that the benefits outweigh the risks, as they are still volatile oils.

Experts recommend that you avoid using tea tree oil if you have an open wound and not apply this specific oil in an area that has recently been picked.

In addition to the above-mentioned, neroli, patchouli and ylang-ylang have been proven to be beneficial in softening dry skin as well as providing a balancing effect on both your skin and emotions.

Are All Essential Oils Deemed Safe?

In short, not for the skin. All essential oils are not deemed safe or even recommended, to be used on the skin – especially on the face. Your face is a sensitive area of your body that may be easily irritated by the wrong product.

Citrus oils such as grapefruit, tangerine, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon or lime have been proven to be quite problematic when applied directly to the skin. Not only have these been known to cause problems, but mint oils such as wintergreen, balm mint or peppermint also are not recommended to be used on the face either. These are potential irritants to your sensitive skin.

If you are going to use essential oils on your skin, especially your face, it is recommended by many to use natural oils with no fragrance such as rosehip, coconut and almond. Experts suggest it may be more beneficial to diffuse essential oils in the room you desire through an oil burner as this gives you the effects you are looking for, whether you are looking to enhance your mood, energy levels or help you sleep better at night without risking the delicacy of your skin.

If you’re looking to improve the condition and appearance of your skin, our VitalSkin Dermatology team can help. Schedule an appointment todaywith a professional dermatologist.

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