How to Use Essential Oils to Improve Your Skin


By Alexa Santory

 

Here at Belle Bar, we’re firm believers in adding essential oils to not only our products, but also to your daily routine in general. The healing effects of essential oils can lead to relief from pain, stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep. They’re also super effective as skincare. Today in Beauty School, we explore essential oils for skin and which ones work best with every skin type, issue, and ailment.

How can I figure out my skin type?

Oily skin is one of the easier skin types to identify. Does your t-zone shine bright like a diamond at any given moment? Do you have visible pores, especially around your nose? Is your skin prone to breakouts? Do you feel like putting on moisturizer is just too much sometimes? Does your makeup slide down your face halfway through the day? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you probably have oily skin and congrats!! You’re also probably gonna look young for a very, very long time! With oily skin, it’s super important to find balance. That means only using toner a few times a week to keep sebum production in check and avoiding products with alcohol or other harsh chemicals that’ll just strip the skin and make the sebaceous glands overcompensate, and always (I mean always!! Please just do it!!) moisturizing. And also, oddly enough, adding oil to your routine. Who knew??

Oils for oily skin

I know, it sounds crazy like why would you put more oil on skin that’s already oily??? Oily skin produces a lot of sebum, has visible pores, and is sometimes prone to breakouts and blemishes. The idea of using oil to help oily skin sounds a bit redundant, but because essential oils are naturally derived, they can actually help control sebum production on the face and make oily skin more balanced. Having oily skin isn’t all bad though! You basically age slower than most people because your skin is constantly nourishing itself with oil. But we get how it can be difficult to deal with, which is why we always got you with the best of the best for your face. Check out some of our favorite essential oils for oily skin!
  • Jojoba oil: it’s super light and thin, and in terms of science, it’s most closely related to the sebum our skin produces. It’s a carrier oil, meaning it can be mixed with aromatic essential oils, but we love it because it’s deeply moisturizing without any intense oily residue.
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  • Tea Tree Oil: this oil is the most amazing spot treatment. It’s perfect for people who have oily and acne prone skin because it unclogs the pores and soothes pimples. Always dilute it with some water before applying it to the skin because it’s super strong. For a great skin toner, mix ½ cup of water, 1 teaspoon of witch hazel (alcohol free of course), and 4 drops of tea tree oil. Spray it onto your skin after cleansing or apply it with a cotton pad!
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    • Lemon oil: another super strong one that not only makes your skin look brighter, it also works as a really great toner. Lemon has antibacterial and astringent properties that tighten the pores, reduce excess oil, and protect against breakouts. If you’re using this oil, make sure you use a good SPF with it since it makes your skin more photosensitive. If you experience hyperpigmentation, make a face mask using 2 or 3 drops of lemon oil, 2 teaspoons of raw honey, and 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. This mask will even out and brighten the complexion.

     

  • Neroli oil: not only does this stuff smell amazing, it also has a powerful effect on oily skin. It’s great for controlling sebum production, and it also reduces inflammation and redness due to acne and other skin issues like psoriasis and eczema. Aloe vera also has amazing skin soothing benefits! Mix 4 tablespoons of aloe vera oil and 10 drops of neroli oil and apply the mixture before bed to control oiliness.
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  • Rosehip oil: my absolute favorite oil. This stuff will moisturize, fade scars, clear breakouts, and give your skin a really pretty dewy glow. It has a ton of linoleic acid, a fatty acid that’s nice and light, so it absorbs beautifully without a greasy finish.
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    PRO TIP: since jojoba and rosehip are carrier oils, they can be mixed with any of the essential oils listed here to dilute them, or used on their own too!

    Oils for dry skin

    Dry skin is tough. It’s like no amount of moisture is ever enough. Like all skin types, dry skin is usually genetic. But environmental factors like extreme weather and lack of hydration (drink water!) could exacerbate the issue. So for all you dry skinned folk, adding essential oils to your skincare could be the solution you’ve been looking for. The biggest thing with fixing dry skin is giving it the right kinds of moisture and nourishment. Switching to natural alternatives like essential oils to give you the boost of moisture you need could result in a positive change in the overall texture of your skin!
  • Chamomile oil: this oil is super soothing and relaxes inflamed, flaky skin. It provides deep moisture to dry skin and it also slows down signs of aging, which are usually more obvious on dry skin. If you’re experiencing dry, inflamed skin, mix 2 drops of chamomile oil with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil and a few drops of grapeseed oil to dilute. Apply it before bed to soothe irritated, dry skin.
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  • Rose oil: different from rosehip oil in that it comes from the flower rather than the seed! Roses are very calming for the skin and balance everything really nicely. Rose oil is intensely moisturizing and nourishing. Blend these oils together for a deeply moisturizing mix for dry skin: 2 oz. avocado oil, 5 drops of rose oil, 5 drops of jasmine oil, 5 drops of geranium oil, 5 drops of frankincense oil. You can use it in lieu of a moisturizer!
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  • Argan oil: it’s a carrier oil, but still essential nonetheless. Argan oil penetrates dry skin and slows down signs of aging. It leaves dry skin looking smoother in texture and more supple. You can use this as a carrier oil for a stronger oil to help alleviate super dry skin.
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  • Rosehip oil: it’s not just for oily skin! Rosehip oil works for all skin types since it absorbs so beautifully. It sloughs off dead skin to reveal more hydrated, supple skin. And if you have dry skin and experience breakouts, this oil is truly magical for soothing pimples.
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  • Lavender oil: it smells lovely and it’s super relaxing for dry skin. It’s full of antioxidants, it’s anti-inflammatory, and calms irritated and dry skin almost instantly. I’d recommend mixing this one with your moisturizer at night to give it an extra boost. Try a facial steam! Boil 3 cups of distilled water and let it cool for 5 minutes, then add a mixture of 4 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of geranium oil. Sit and place a towel over your head, and breathe in the steam deeply. This blend will help ease inflamed skin and relax the mind as well.
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    Oils for combination skin

    Ohhh do I know the struggle of combination skin all too well. One day everything is nice and balanced, another day it’s so dry, the flakes make an appearance before I do, and another day it’s so oily that you can fry food on my face. Finding products that strike that perfect balance is hard, but they exist!! And they’re usually not going to be from the skin care aisle at the drugstore.
  • Patchouli oil: the scent of this oil isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it does a great job of balancing combination skin. It supports hydration in the dry areas while managing oil production in the shiny areas. It’s also a great redness reducer. This works amazingly as a balancing serum. Mix 2 oz of jojoba oil with 20 drops of patchouli. You can also add a few drops of ylang ylang or frankincense to enhance the scent if it's not for you. Apply it before bed, before moisturizer.
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  • Bergamot oil: this has antibacterial qualities that clear the skin of bad bacteria, while also being deeply moisturizing. Bergamot oil also helps calm down sebum production, making it a really great solution for combination skin. If you’re on the oilier side of combination skin, combine 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil, 10 drops of bergamot, 10 drops of neroli oil, and 10 drops of grapeseed oil. Apply it before bed, before moisturizer. This will keep oil in check.
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  • Geranium oil: since combination skin can also be prone to breakouts, this oil is great for soothing and preventing them. It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic, so it stops bad bacteria in its tracks before they can cause breakouts. It’s also a really effective spot treatment. Another excellent oil for toning. Mix ½ cup of witch hazel, ½ cup of water, and 15 drops of geranium oil. Apply after cleansing for more balanced skin.
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  • Ylang ylang oil: are you prone to hormonal acne?? This is the essential oil for you!! It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that give hormonal breakouts a run for their money. You can also mix it with chamomile tea and witch hazel for a soothing, anti-aging, acne fighting toner. If you’re fighting a tough hormonal breakout, try mixing 2 drops of ylang ylang with 1 teaspoon of witch hazel and apply it as a spot treatment.
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    When should I include oils in my skin routine?

    If you’re anything like me and you have a multi-step, multi-liquid, multi-everything skin routine, figuring out just where to include something like an oil can be confusing. Like, is it possible for me to add anything more to my face?! Yes, yes it is possible! Especially if it’s going to get my sebaceous glands to chill out during these hot, humid summer months. These steps apply to all skin types, oily and otherwise and should be followed in this order to get the best results!
    1. Cleanser: wash your face! Stick to a basic, non-exfoliating cleanser for everyday, but use a cleanser that exfoliates a few times a week to get rid of dead skin. (You can even try oil cleansing.) 
    2. Toner: witch hazel is my favorite and it’s all natural.
    3. Serum: highly concentrated active ingredients to help replenish all of your skin’s needs? Take my money!! We have a great one called Eden that works as a toner and makeup remover too!
    4. Eye cream: this isn’t entirely necessary, but moisturizing the eye area is helpful for those with dark circles or eye bags. It also helps under eye makeup go on easier and stay put through the day.
    5. Oil: right here in step 5 is where your essential oil or oils of choice come into play. Find the right one for you and make sure you dilute! 
    6. Moisturizer: seal everything in! You worked hard to get your skin clean, so use a good moisturizer as the last step in your routine. After this, you can apply spot treatments to problem pimples if you need to.

     

    Check Amber Ansah's oil cleansing method!

     

    Oily skinned folk, I hope you’re no longer afraid to delve into oils by putting them on your face. Oil on oil sounds crazy, we know, but nature gave us some pretty bomb solutions for keeping it all in check. And for you dry or combination skinned folk, I hope you’ve learned how powerful some of these natural oils can be for solving some of your biggest skin problems. Go forth and oil yourselves, you beautiful glazed donut, you.
    Friday we look at some cool ways essential oils help your hair! 

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    Friday we explore ways essential oils can benefit the hair, did you see what they do for the body?