What to know about essential oils for skin conditions
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The newest superheroes in the world of skincare are essential oils. They have been a traditional part of the daily beauty regimen of women around the world. Aromatherapy and naturopathy hugely rely on various essential oils for their treatments. Scientists have recently accorded the benefits of these plant compounds and research is still continuing on their definitive use in the Western Medical System. Meanwhile, the beauty industry has welcomed them with open arms. They are being extensively used in cosmetic products. So this begs the question - what are essential oils? How do they help in keeping the skin healthy? Do they work on skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc.? How to use them? Are they safe? Many such questions will be answered in this article. Stay tuned till the end.
Essential oils are plant compounds extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, or roots of the plants through the method of steam distillation or mechanical processes like cold pressing. They are highly potent due to their purity. Since they are devoid of any chemical mixes, essential oils are free from side effects usually brought on by chemical-based personal care products. However, their usage needs extreme care since these oils are highly concentrated. At the worst, skin can even get burnt when in direct contact with a highly volatile essential oil.
The right essential oil or blend can treat any number of specified skin conditions. It is also considered as an elixir for retaining one’s youthful glow. So, let us dive in straight to the benefits of essential oil in various skin conditions:
Eczema: Eczema is a skin condition that results in dry, itchy, red rashes. The affected area may experience inflammation. Cracks and sores may appear that can cause pain. At times, it may get infected and cause further problems. Eczema is more common in children. Almost 15-30% of children and 2-10% of adults have at some point been affected by eczema. Some of the studies conducted suggest that essential oils are indeed beneficial in the treatment of eczema while some other studies disagree. Although more research is needed on this, the following essential oils are generally considered useful in eczema:
Chamomile – Chamomile has been traditionally used in the treatment of skin diseases. It is an anti-inflammatory potion that soothes the skin. Hence, its use in this skin condition may help slow down eczema attacks. Research shows that when chamomile oil is diluted and applied to the skin, it provides more than fifty percent of the positive impact as provided by 0.25% hydrocortisone cream.
Geranium – Although much research is needed on this essential oil, its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties are what make it an ideal choice for the treatment of skin conditions. Geranium contains over 12 active compounds that can act against a range of bacteria.
Clove – Clove oil contains eugenol which has anesthetic properties. A study conducted on participants with chronic pruritus found that it can provide a significant improvement in the itchiness experienced by them.
Tea tree – An oil abundant in antioxidants, tea tree has a range of antimicrobial effects on the skin including treatment of acne. Using tea tree oil may help dodge any kind of infection in the already damaged skin. As far as scientific evidence is concerned, more research shall be needed to certify its benefits for eczema.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that leads to scaly, itchy, dry patches. It is an auto-immune disorder. The patches can most commonly be seen on knees, elbows, scalp and trunk. There is currently no cure for the disease. Topical application helps to ease the discomfort and minimize symptoms. There are at least 100 million reported cases of psoriasis worldwide. If you are suffering from this skin condition, you may consider using the following essential oils along with your regular medication:
Lavender Oil – Lavender oil is beneficial in reducing the new or old scars caused due to psoriasis. It boosts blood circulation and supply of oxygen to the skin. The compounds of lavender oil calm and hydrate the skin, thereby helping to ease the condition. It is also known to promote healing with the help of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Rose Oil – If you have sensitive skin, rose oil can help to reduce the redness and provide relief from pain. Rose oil locks the surface moisture which is highly essential for skin tissues prone to psoriasis.
Tea Tree Oil – Just as the case of eczema, the anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree essential oil are extremely useful in calming psoriasis also. It lessens scaliness as well.
However much one tries, it is difficult to escape from pigmentation. Be it sun-induced or due to acne or simply because of age, each one of us has them. There are thousands of products in the market claiming to provide an even tone of skin. But have you thought about how the sulfates and parabens in them react with your skin? Chuck the chemical bundles and go all natural with these essential oils for a pigmentation free skin:
Carrot Seed – This oil can decrease scars caused due to acne and can also prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles in mature skin.
Pomegranate – The anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate essential oil ensure soft and smooth skin. It evens out the texture of the skin removing even the slightest signs of pigmentation.
Tangerine – This oil is also rich in antioxidants. They fight with free radicals to even the skin tone. Regular application leaves you with soft and supple skin.
Ylang Ylang – We all know the usefulness of ylang ylang in promoting good hair. But what if I tell you it is equally good in reducing pigmentation? It strikes at the root cause of pigmentation and prevents build up dust or melanin in the skin tissues.
There are other oils as well which can be used to reduce or eliminate pigmentation, namely, frankincense, geranium, and lemon essential oil.
Who does not like the flawless skin of the twenties? Everyone does and wants to retain youth. Essential oils can help you achieve that look - today and every day. Mix a drop or two of the following oils in your regular moisturizer and you should be good to go:
Myrrh Oil – Traditionally used by Egyptian women, this is ‘the oil’ when it comes to preventing wrinkles and fine lines on your face. For ages, it has been used in anti-aging skin care routines. The antioxidants present in myrrh essential oil promote blood circulation and help to maintain finer, brighter looking skin.
Jojoba Oil – The fatty acid content in jojoba oil is said to repair the top layer of the skin. Being lightweight, it is especially a good choice for oily skin.
Rose Oil – One of the benefits of using rose oil is that it tends to slow down the process of ageing. With abundant Vitamin A and C quantity, it increases the skin cell production rate to retain the younger looking skin. Say goodbye to fine lines with this essential oil.
Acne troubles teenagers and adults alike. It not only ruins the look of facial skin but also leaves marks behind. Essential oils can help in getting rid of acne and its marks naturally.
Bergamot Oil – The anti-bacterial properties of bergamot essential oil kills the bacteria residing in the skin and helps to clear the spots. It has an adorable citrusy aroma which immediately uplifts the mood as well.
Cinnamon Oil – Cinnamon is armed with a compound known as cinnamaldehyde which makes it a super oil against bacterial infections. It can treat a variety of skin conditions including acne.
Tea tree oil – It is one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy. It helps in the spot treatment of acne and pimples.
Whatever your skin condition is, there is always an essential oil for it. However, before including any essential oil in your skin regime, check with your doctor to confirm if they can suit your skin type. Also, source the most authentic and pure oils as the healing process is completely dependent on the purity of the essential oil. Go natural and get glowing, smooth skin!