When to Use Essential Oils on the Skin: A Comprehensive Guide

Essential oils are a great way to tackle skin care issues naturally. They can help reduce scarring and stretch marks, reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, and even help combat sun damage. But before you start using essential oils on your skin, it's important to understand how they work and the precautions you should take. The easiest way to inhale essential oils is to open a bottle and take a few deep breaths.

However, it's important not to let undiluted oil touch your skin. When treating skin conditions, essential oils are more likely to work better when applied topically. This involves using small drops of an oil that has been diluted with a carrier oil, such as almond or olive oil. Simple scents like lavender, chamomile and rose water can help keep you calm.

You can inhale or rub diluted versions of these oils into the skin. Scientists believe they work by sending chemical messages to parts of the brain that affect mood and emotions. Although these scents alone won't take away all your stress, the scent can help you relax.Essential oils are also known for their antioxidant-rich properties, which can help promote circulation and create brighter, more refined skin. You can reap the benefits by applying essential oils to the skin, where the body absorbs them.

However, it's important to dilute the oils with a carrier oil before applying them directly to the skin.Ingestion of essential oils is only recommended under the supervision of a licensed health care provider. Essential oils with skin healing or regenerating properties can help accelerate cell growth and tissue repair. They can also help reduce wrinkles and repair sun damage.It takes a huge amount of plant material to produce essential oils, which can make some of them expensive. As a rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier substance (vegetable or nut oil, or water) to a concentration of not more than 3-5%.

For massage or for application to large areas of the body, a 1% solution (that is, one drop of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier) is generally a safe concentration.Organic and cold-pressed carrier oils are preferred, and examples include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil or avocado oil. Some popular elixirs include rose oil (which is derived from real rose petals), lavender oil and tea tree oil, but there are actually thousands of well-known essential oils with about 300 available on the market.These oils all have different health and lifestyle benefits. According to Adam Friedman, a dermatologist based in Washington D. C., even major cosmetic companies have long embraced the use of essential oils in all kinds of products, from premium perfumes to basic soaps.Although research is lacking on frankincense in skin care, advocates say it can help relieve oily and acne-prone skin, while providing lipids for aging skin.

Some essential oils for massage can reach the placenta, an organ of the uterus that grows together with the baby and helps nourish it.A few drops of essential oil can also be placed on a cotton ball or tissue and allowed to evaporate into the air. This is a good way to add the scent of an essential oil to a room - for example, adding lavender if you want to enhance relaxation in a yoga session or class.Before using essential oils on your skin, it's important to seek the opinion of your dermatologist - especially if you have any underlying conditions such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis.