Is it safe to use Essential Oils for skin problems?

Essential oils contain the powerful properties of the medicinal and aromatic plants from which they are extracted. They are widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry, but on the skin they are used with caution.

The forms of topical or external application of essential oils, in many cases, depend on the extraction method and chemical composition or chemotype, so that each product you purchase will be accompanied by a specification of the aptitude for certain uses.

Not all essential oils can be used on the skin and most of those that can be used in dermal treatments are used diluted in specific proportions to avoid adverse effects such as dermatitis, irritation, redness, photosensitivity and spots on the skin, among other effects. not wanted.

Read also Aloe vera or Aloe Vera for the skin

Conductors and dosage of essential oils

Essential oils are diluted in what are called conductive substances, such as clays , alcohol, water, vinegar or fruits , depending on the use that is going to be given, but the best and most used in natural cosmetics and home remedies are vegetable oils or base oils .

In general, the recommended safe dosage is:

  • For healthy skin : up to 2% essential oils (you can use one or more) in 98% of the conductive substance.
  • For sensitive skin or older adults : a proportion of 0.5 to 1% of essential oils is usually used.

Among the best vegetable or base oils to mix with essential oils in home cosmetics are:

  • Avocado oil , rich in fatty acids and ideal for hydrating the skin.
  • Almond oil , leaves the skin oily and is ideal for dry skin (cannot be used by people allergic to almonds)
  • Argan oil , rich in vitamin E, is ideal for aging skin and has properties to regenerate the skin.

The best essential oils for skin treatments

Lavender Essential Oil ( Lavandula angustifolia ssp. Angustifolia )

It is one of the most studied and used in aromatherapy as a complementary treatment to reduce anxiety and stress, but it also has excellent properties and is very tolerable on the skin. It is considered the only one that can, in general, be used directly (pure, undiluted) on the skin for the treatment of burns (contact or sun), abrasions, insect bites, allergies and eczema .

In addition to applying it directly to the skin to be treated, a few drops of lavender essential oil can be used as an insect repellent in cabinets and it is recommended to use it on the stove or put a few drops on the pillow to enjoy a restful sleep.

Chamomile Essential Oil ( Chamaemelum nobile)

Another, along with lavender, which has good tolerance on the skin used pure (undiluted) and, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, is used to relieve irritations, acne, rashes and dry skin .

Due to its relaxing properties, it is also an excellent ally to aromatize and create a good atmosphere in our home, helping us to relax and sleep better.

Bergamot Essential Oil ( Citrus bergamia)

This exquisite citrus-scented essential oil, although less well known than lemon essential oil, has similar properties that are very useful for oily skin, as well as for relieving conditions such as psoriasis .

It is used only diluted (it cannot be applied pure on the skin) and has a dermocaustic effect, so it is recommended to use it only in non-permanent treatments and at night (at least 12 hours without sun exposure), limiting its use to autumn- winter to avoid irritations or the appearance of spots by exposure to the sun.

Diluted in vegetable oil of almonds, a firming body oil is obtained , for a smoother and softer skin . If you add it to a neutral natural cream (proportion 1 to 2% of essential oil) you get an ideal healing cream to relieve cases of dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis .

Rosemary Essential Oil ( Rosmarinus officinalis )

Of this essential oil, three chemotypes of Rosmarinus Officinalis are marketed : cineoliferum , caphoriferum and verbenoniferum , each with different properties and different uses. The only one that can be used on the skin is QT3 Verberone and it has antioxidant properties , which is why it is often used for anti-aging treatments, as a stimulant and astringent .

It is recommended as part of a periodic specific treatment, but not for daily use, as this essential oil (in all quiotypes) can be dermocaustic, causing irritation.

A homemade anti-aging mask is prepared with:

  • ½ avocado, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon of milk or cold vegetable drink
  • 8 to 10 drops (depending on the size of the avocado) of rosemary essential oil.

The cream is applied spreading it evenly on the clean and dry skin of the face and neck. Leave for 30 minutes and remove with warm water.

I also recommend that you make at home this rosemary and clove liniment for muscular and rheumatic pain and the famous rosemary and horse chestnut alcohol for circulation .

Homemade natural cream recipe

A simple natural cream to which you can add the essential oils you want. It is prepared with only beeswax and olive oil:

  1. Melt 6 grams of beeswax (pure and natural) in a water bath.
  2. Once melted (over low heat, patience because the wax loses properties if it gets too hot), 60 grams of olive oil (extra virgin) are added.
  3. When the mixture is well dissolved, let it cool and the natural cream is ready!
  4. To that base you can add the essential oils you want in the indicated proportions (from 0.5 to 2% in total, if you add more than one oil, calculate the number of drops of each one so as not to exceed that total proportion).

A more or less thick cream can be achieved by adding more or less olive oil. If when it cools you see that it is too thick, you reheat the water bath (slowly) and add more olive oil.

It can be stored for a long time (up to 2 years) as they are all oils; Although this also depends on the quality and purity of the ingredients you use for this homemade cream.

In the Home Remedies Blog section you have many articles in which I teach you a multitude of very useful natural remedies for day to day.

Precautions for use and contraindications of Essential Oils

  • As a general precaution, even when it comes to lavender or chamomile essential oils that are quite mild, it is advisable to test them on the skin of the forearm for 24 to 48 hours to review their effects, both on the skin where it was applied and other symptoms (remember that essential oils are quickly absorbed and pass into the lymph, so they have effects beyond the specific area where they are applied).
  • Essential oils should not be used in babies, children or pregnant women, except under strict treatment controlled by a professional.
  • Although most cosmetic products that are purchased in pharmacies have essential oils in their composition and preparing them ourselves is a good alternative, it is important to note that no studies have been found that prove the results and benefits of their use.
  • It is recommended, from now on, to always use Quimitipados essential oils (QT or CT, if it is in English) 100% pure, with ecological certification and, whenever possible, have the guidance of a professional regarding the maximum doses, means dissolution and durability of the preparations.
  • Some essential oils, especially those of citrus, have a photosensitizing effect and can cause spots on the skin with exposure to the sun, so you can only use them at night and limit their use to the months with less solar intensity (autumn-winter ).



  • com (AEQT catalog)
  • Therapeutic Helthcare – Vida Natural, Xénia Olivas Baraldés, Biologist specialized in sports nutrition, trained in scientific aromatherapy and magisterial formulation.
  • Swiss Just. Aromatherapy Booklet. Manual 4.
  • Essential oils in cosmetics. María Aguirre Espejo, Belén Alonso Aguilar, Sara Blanco Poole. Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, Spain.
  • The Cosmethics.

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