Are essential oils safe for skin?
Are essential oils safe for skin?
(and other essential oils FAQ’s)
Benefits can range from calming anxiety to cleaning your kitchen, so it makes sense you might be a liiiitle confused about what’s going on when it comes to essential oils. Some people love them, some people don’t, so what’s actually the deal here, and are essential oils safe for skin?
So, what are essential oils?
Essential oils are pure, highly concentrated oils derived from plant extracts.
Examples you might be familiar with are Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil, but there’s actually more than 300 commercially available essential oils out there- pretty hard to believe, right?
Not all plant-derived oils are necessarily essential oils, however. The ‘essential’ refers to the fragrance, or essence, extracted from a plant. Therefore, oils like Avocado Oil or Rosehip Oil are not classified as essential oils. It’s usually easy to tell the difference, if it doesn’t have a strong aromatherapy-like fragrance, it’s not an essential oil.
How are essential oils used?
Essential oils can be used in many ways and not just topically for skincare. One of the most popular uses is aromatherapy: inhaling essential oils can give some people real tangible benefits for things like anxiety or sleep problems. They’re also commonly used as natural alternatives to chemical cleaning products.
Cleaning products… that sounds a little scary
- are essential oils safe for skin?
In short, the answer should be yes- however, it depends on the essential oils themselves and how they’re formulated into a product you can put on your face.
Complex and powerful, essential oils that are formulated professionally and with care will give skin a vast array of benefits. The oils must be used in specific concentrations and blended correctly, they must be properly sourced and must not be past their shelf life. When these rules aren’t followed, that’s when the safety of essential oils for skin might be called into question.
It’s all about the levels of essential oils (we’re talking about dilution)
When we’re talking about correct levels of concentrations we’re also talking about dilution and this one of the most important factors when it comes to using essential oils safely in skincare. If you’re going to apply an essential oil topically to the skin, you should be diluting it in a carrier oil (e.g. something like Coconut or Argan Oil) because it’s the application of essential oil in its concentrated forms that can cause significant skin irritation. Concentration should be between 0.5% and 1%.
We know, we know- we don’t like to think about our actives being watered down, however the carrier oil, if selectively chosen (like the amazing Avocado Oil) will also be bursting with benefits, so it's a win-win when ensuring essential oils are safe for use.
Often issues occur when people are DIY blending essential oils at home or applying them directly to their skin. Make sure to choose skincare products from a reputable brand, who guarantee purity and high quality of their oils and who work with expert formulation chemists - essential oils in this form are safe for skin*. Not sure how to read an ingredients list on a label? Check out our how-to blog here.
*As with all ingredients some people are intolerant or allergic to certain essential oils. If you are worried about this, we recommend doing a patch test first and ceasing use if irritation occurs.
The benefits of essential oils for skin care
Okay, so we’ve done the safety talk, now for the fun bit… the benefits of essential oils and the best essential oils for your skin.
- Hydrating and brightening (Wild Carrot)
- Soothing (think Tea Tree and Clove essential oils)
- Anti-inflammatory (look for Lavender)
- Balancing (we like Fennel)
- Restoring (Frankincense and Basil)
- + a bonus benefit- wellbeing boosting. There’s an essential oil to suit your every mood. We love Frankincense, Lavender and Ylang Ylang to soothe and fresh Ginger and Cardamom to revive and invigorate.
How to use essential oils in your skincare routine?
Not only ultra-beneficial for your skin (glow enhancing, youth boosting) the essential oils in each of our Elixirs have been selectively chosen to for their well-being benefits too. Uplift your spirit in the mornings with the Dawn Elixir, think rejuvenating Ginger, Pink Pepper Seed and Fennel.) Then relax and calm before bed (the Dusk Elixir blended with soothing Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense.)
In the Morning: Dawn Elixir
Rejuvenated. Radiant. Energised. We’ll let you in on our (not so dirty) little secret, we wake up with the Dawn Elixir Active Oil Blend. Each oil has been specially selected to revitalise and energise skin while reviving and rebalancing the mind.
Sitting perfectly under makeup, the Dawn Elixir gives you a healthier radiance without leaving skin greasy or pores clogged, ensuring you get your daily dose of glow and hydration from dawn till dusk.
In the Evening: Dusk Elixir
Innovatively formulated with potent natural oils from around the globe (23 to be exact), our Dusk Elixir is brimming with the highest levels of essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory antioxidants to replenish exhausted skin and enhance repair and recovery while you snooze.
Forget counting sheep, take a pause, breathe in deep and let the aroma-therapeutic notes of Lavender, Frankincense and Ylang Ylang soothe you to (beauty) sleep.
So, in summary... yes, essential oils are safe for skin and have been use effectively for thousands of years, when used correctly. As long as you use quality products, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be-able to reap the many amazing benefits of essential oils for skin and mind.