Natural skin care is more popular than ever now that people are cutting back on chemicals in all aspects of their lives. Sound like you? Consider adding oils to your regimen.
“Skin oils have hydrating, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antimicrobial properties,” explains dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology. “Despite the fact that some essential oils have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, we’re just scraping the surfaces of all their uses.”
Not to mention, even if you’re not actually applying them to your skin, the aromatherapy benefits of certain essential oils can decrease stress levels, which can help with stress-triggered skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema, says dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D., an associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine.
Word to the wise: While essential oils can sometimes be used without dilution for an acute, short-term skin issue (like a bug bite or a burn), derms almost always recommend diluting essential oils for everyday skin care to protect against irritation and sensitivity. (It will also allow the essential oil to absorb over a larger surface of your skin!)
A good rule of thumb for the average adult is a 2 percent dilution. Simply add two drops of essential oil per teaspoon of a carrier oil, such as argan oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil (more on the benefits of these oils on their own below).