The Best Essential Oils for Your Beauty Routine

Updated: Jul. 24, 2017

Give your beauty regimen an extra boost with these natural skin, hair, and body enhancers.

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Essential oils have been around for centuries. They have all sorts of uses, including health enhancement, spiritual practices, and improving general well-being. Their aromatic scents and natural healing and cleansing properties also make them a perfect supplement for your beauty routine. Here are some ideas about how to integrate them:

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No matter what type of skin you have, there’s an essential oil that can enhance and balance your complexion. Dr. Kac Young, PhD and author, suggested the following:

Dry Skin: Lavender, Olive, or Coconut

Oily Skin: Geranium, Aloe Vera, Ylang Ylang, or Roman Chamomile

Normal: Rose, Sandalwood, or Patchouli

Dr. Young emphasizes the importance of diluting any of these oils in a carrier oil before applying them. Never put pure oils directly on your skin. “Carrier oils that are wonderfully nourishing for the skin are macadamia nut, kukui nut, rose hip, sweet almond, and avocado (in winter),” she said. Some oils even help banish wrinkles. “Use myrr, clary sage, geranium, or lavender,” said Young.

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There are also countless ways to integrate essential oils into your body care routine. The simplest way to do this is to drop a bit of the oil into your favorite unscented or lightly scented body products.

Lotions and Creams: Aloe, lavender, and frankincense are the best oils to blend into moisturizers for extra soft skin, according to Aura Cacia Aromatherapist and National Educator Charlynn Avery. “For a skin-smooth combo, these essential oils can’t be beat.”

Exfoliant: Adding sweet orange and geranium essential oil to a mixture of 1/8 cup of baking soda and water creates a mild, gentle body exfoliant according to Avery. “Sweet orange is toning to the skin, while geranium is balancing and clarifying.”

Dr. Young warns that citrusy oils, like sweet orange, are phototoxic, which means that they can create irritation on the skin when exposed to the sun. “Avoid using them in any skin-care regimen if you plan to go out in the sun. Wait 8-12 hours before going outdoors if you use a citrus oil.”

Perfume: You can buy pre-diluted roll-on essential oils that can act as a natural perfume. The scent will last all day and provide a natural grounding effect for you throughout the day.

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Essential oils should be your go-to for natural hair growth, clarification, and moisture.

Thin Hair: Use cinnamon or peppermint essential oils with a carrier substance like olive oil or honey to create a treatment that will create new hair growth and encourage retention to prevent more hair from falling out.

Normal to Dry: Blend rosemary with coconut oil or avocado for a refreshing, hydrating hair mask. “Rosemary has a fresh, herbaceous scent and purifying properties,” said Avery.

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Yes, you can even use essential oils in your nail care routine. No, you can’t paint your nails with them. But you can make a nourishing cuticle treatment to keep your claws happy and healthy.

Onto each nail and surrounding cuticle, massage a drop or two of a skin care oil, such as sweet almond, and a calming essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or coriander,” said Avery.

You can also add lemon or another citrusy oil to the carrier to create a brightening and cleansing effect if you prefer strong, clean, natural nails.

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Essential oils can basically turn your daily shower routine into a spa treatment in just a few minutes. Avery suggests placing several drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil, or your other favorite scent, onto your shower floor before running the water.

“Let hot water hit the floor for several minutes, and then enter the shower. You’ve created a mini-sauna with invigorating oils.”

Both of our experts emphasize the importance of diluting any pure essential oil before using it directly on skin, but also understand the value of integrating the natural and plentiful benefits of essential oils into your everyday beauty routine.

Learning to love our bodies is an important part of mindfulness and self care. Put the power of nature back in your hands by using essential oils to create your own beauty recipes,” says Avery.