Essential Oils for The Skin: Expert Insight on What You Need To Know

Expert insight on essential oils for the skin.

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” Coco Chanel

Using essential oils to enhance skin is not a new practice. Many people have been using essential oils for the skin for centuries. The benefits of essential oils for the skin are vast. However, there are many questions revolving around the use of essential oils for the skin. Do essential oils really deliver on the promise? Are they safe for all skin types?

To help clear the air, we spoke to two experts: a holistic cosmetic specialist and a dermatologist.

This licensed holistic Cosmetic Chemist shares their insight on what you need to know about essential oils for the skin. Here’s what she had to say:

Elina Fedotova

A photo of Elina Fedotova

Elina Fedotova is the Founder and Chief Formulator for Elina Organics, which since 1998, has offered sophisticated, organic formulations that naturally deliver clinical results. Elina is also an award-winning Cosmetic Chemist, Master and Celebrity Licensed Esthetician, and the President of the Association of Holistic Skin Care Practitioners, founded in 2007.

She hand-makes her professional skin care line in her laboratory, based in Michigan, in small batch production using holistic principles and organic ingredients from around the world. The Elina Organics product line is available online at, and in skincare salons and medical offices. She continues to offer her unique, holistic skincare treatments to clients who come to her spas in Florida and West Michigan.

Organic Aromas: Please take us through the meat of this topic. What should we know about essential oils for the skin?

Elina: Many people do not understand the difference between artificial fragrances and aromas from pure essential oils. Essential oils contain the highest concentration of botanical properties, and most of them have potent antiseptic healing and rejuvenating properties.

Artificial fragrances smell the same but do not deliver any therapeutic property effects on your body. They can also cause adverse reactions and are not bio-degradable when you wash them off. So please remember the difference, read the label, and choose the products with natural essential oil, not artificial fragrance.

Acne Prevention & Antibacterial Properties
Every single essential oil has antibacterial properties, more or less. From that perspective, they could all work as a prevention for pimples. All essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin because they can burn it. They must be diluted in another oil called carrier oil. Sometimes the carrier oil could be heavy, like olive oil or grapeseed oil, and clog the pores. That is why I prefer for pimple prevention to use a carrier oil that will not clog pores like neem or sweet almond oil.

Essential Oil Sensitivities
You should never apply any essential oils straight without diluting. People can be allergic to any substance and essential oils are not an exception. Different people could have different sensitivities. Sometimes people are sensitive to citrus oils, and other times people could be sensitive to cinnamon and sometimes bergamot. But you cannot say that you should not use those oils because they may benefit other people greatly. If you have never used essential oils, I suggest properly diluting it and then applying it to your forearm and waiting 48 hours. If you feel fine at 48 hours, you will most likely feel okay using it on your face.

Minimizing Discoloration
If someone extracted a pimple, you could sanitize the area using tea tree oil. To reduce extreme discolorations, you need to use essential oils that significantly improve microcirculation and bring more blood supply to the injured skin. Healthy skin cells will regenerate more efficiently, and the scar will go away faster. For that reason, the best oils are oils that have a warming effect, like ginger, cinnamon, and clove.

It would be best if you remembered you could apply it directly on the skin, but they must be diluted in a light base oil like almond, or you can add them to the serum or your favorite moisturizer. Do not exceed 2% (98 drops carrier oil and 2 drops pure essential oil.) Very often, essential oils could be sold already pre-diluted and mixed with the carrier oil, so you need to see the product’s composition.

a woman applying essential oils mixed with carrier oil onto her forearm

Elina’s Favorite Essential Oils for Beauty & Skincare
My favorite beauty essential oils are a combination of ylang ylang, sandalwood, and frankincense. These three are fantastic for dry and sensitive complexions and have excellent anti-aging properties. They have an incredible aromatic quality that lifts the mood and supports your skin, especially during a change of season and winter. 

Organic Boswellia carteri, known as “frankincense,” is excellent for cell rejuvenation and skin renewal, making it ideal for aging complexions. Frankincense supports your skin on many levels: it has astringent and anti-microbial properties and helps heal your skin. Egyptians have used frankincense since ancient times on their skin.

Organic Santalum album, also known as “sandalwood,” comes from India and is one of the oldest known aromas. Sandalwood works well with all skin types, making it valuable for combination skin, something most people have, including myself. It has many qualities that help to reduce skin imperfections. It promotes the formation of new skin cells. It also has antiseptic properties making it beneficial to calm dry, chapped, cracked, and inflamed skin. 

Organic Cananga odorata, commonly known as “ylang ylang,” is derived from a beautiful white star-shaped flower. It has exotic aromas which help to reduce stress and calm your mind. It is also known for its aphrodisiac qualities. I love adding a few drops of ylang ylang and sandalwood into a warm evening bath.

Ylang ylang also contains several nutrients like eugenol, which has strong antibacterial properties. Therefore, it will serve all skin types and help to regulate oil production. You can add ylang ylang to your hair oil and massage it into your scalp. It will improve circulation while nourishing the roots of your hair. This oil is soothing, calming, and healing for your skin.

Aromatherapy For Skin, Mind and Body
You can create aromatherapy oils for your face and body by diluting one to three percent (1-3%) of essential oils into a carrier oil. You can create many aromatic formulas for your face, body, bath, and others! Almond oil is one of my favorite carrier oils since it is light. I also like to use jojoba and grapeseed oil. You could also use jasmine in combination with ylang ylang and sandalwood to elevate your mood and relax. All three create a beautiful, romantic aroma that will uplift your spirit and bring you a sense of happiness.

Use 200 drops of your carrier oil for your face for every 2 drops of essential oil. For your body, use 3 percent essential oil (6 drops of essential oil for every 200 drops of carrier oil).

All essential oils have anti-microbial properties. You could diffuse essential oils in a diffuser or put 25 – 30 drops of essential oils into 4 oz. of purified water to create a mist. Shake well and spray around you. The spray helps to purify the air, which is vital for prevention during flu season. The presence of essential oils significantly reduces flu viruses.

It is important to note that there is a difference between aromatic oils and pure essential oils. Pure essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil base, like almond oil, grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil. You can also dilute oils in water. However, oil and water do not mix, so you must be mindful of shaking the bottle each time before spraying vigorously.

Dr. Rosmy Barrios

A Photo of Dr Rosmy Barrios

Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD, is a medical advisor for the Health Reporter and the head of the regenerative aesthetics and anti-aging department at IM Clinic, with ten years of experience in aesthetic medicine and cosmetology.

We asked Dr. Barrios the following questions:

Organic Aromas: Can essential oils be used effectively for skincare? If yes, please explain why and how they work.

Dr. Rosmy Barrios: My priority is the well-being of my patients. I believe that health and beauty should not be separated. After all, when we feel better, we look better, and vice versa. Most people don’t know how much they can do to treat and prevent their health and beauty these days. Modern medicine, especially regenerative medicine, can cure complex diseases, and its aesthetic potential is entirely revolutionary.

Although there are exceptions and rules, generally speaking, a person unfamiliar with essential oils should not use them on the skin due to the risk of damaging it. For example, tea tree essential oil can burn, irritate, or sensitize the skin, even if it is not used pure but in oil mixtures. Meanwhile, lavender oil stimulates the renewal of skin cells, effectively treats acne and disinfects. So not all essential oils should be applied directly to the skin, but there are exceptions

Organic Aromas: What are the best essential oils for skincare when it comes to issues like acne, dry skin, and aging?

Dr. Rosmy Barrios: A lemon essential oil can help fight acne or problematic skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, meaning it can reduce wrinkles, sebum production, signs of aging, and acne. Just add a drop of lemon essential oil to your favorite night cream, and your skin will look brighter when you wake up.

Organic Aromas: As a dermatologist, do you think that using natural or holistic options like essential oils for skincare versus conventional or synthetic products is better? Explain why.

Dr. Rosmy Barrios: It’s not that holistic methods don’t work at all, but you can get lost in their variety and even choose an option that is harmful to your health. Meanwhile, when choosing a regular beauty product, it would be hard to bark up the wrong tree if it’s dermatologist approved. For this reason, you should consult a specialist before using essential oils.

Organic Aromas: Share with our readers the top things to avoid when using essential oils for skincare. Also, what should people consider before buying a skincare product with essential oil?

Dr. Rosmy Barrios: Most importantly, do not apply essential oil directly to your face to avoid skin burns, irritations, or allergic reactions. It should be mixed with another product. If you experience any redness, stop using the essential oil and consult a dermatologist. Ideally, consult him before using the oil as well.

For more health and beauty resources from Dr. Rosmy Barrios, visit


essential oils for the skin expert opinions


Organic Aromas Survey on Essential Oils For The Skin

We conducted a survey featuring 200 adult Americans to find out whether people are using essential oils for skin. The results were interesting to say the least. More than 50% of people surveyed revealed that they used essential oils to treat dry skin. The most popular oils for skin being lavender, lemon, rosemary, frankincense, and oil blends. In our survey, more that 75% of people who used essential oil for skin were extremely satisfied, very satisfied and satisfied with the results. A whopping 90% would recommend the oils to their friends and family. Below is a graphical look at our survey findings:

essential oils for the skin



Skin is indeed the largest organ in your body. It represents 15% of your total body weight. Therefore, how you care for the skin matters greatly to your health and overall aesthetic appeal. Maintaining beautiful healthy skin is something that you do deliberately. Essential oils are a holistic option that will help you attain your goals. Remember, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” Coco Chanel

192 thoughts on “Essential Oils for The Skin: Expert Insight on What You Need To Know

  1. K Barr, Level 3 Clinical Aromatherapist says:

    Learn which oils are phototoxic, causing sensitization when used on skin that is then exposed to sunlight. This can be especially concerning with some citrus oils. If used, wait the recommended time before going out in the sun. Your skin will thank you.

  2. Chelsea B says:

    I never knew that lemon oil could help fight acne or problematic skin. That is great to know! I will definitely be trying that out.

  3. Marketa Chatten says:

    Essential oils helped with my skin and my mood. After years of trying everything and spending large amounts of money, I finally found what works for me.

  4. Dominique Cloutier says:

    I’ve been using essential oils since I was a kid. I used to have a lavender jar I kept near my bed to help me sleep.

  5. Liz Abbott says:

    I cannot live without essential oils. I use them in the bath, on my skin, in my hair, on my bed linen and towels….ok I basically live in bottles of essential oils and im not ashamed to admit it. Everyone should use these oils 🙂

  6. Luis Mathews says:

    It’s always great to read what experts like this have to say about aromatherapy and essential oils. It is important to take careful care of your skin!

  7. Jennifer Stapp says:

    Great info, Thank you so much! Never Skip the carrier. I used clove on a sore tooth, no carrier… It ate the gum tissue!! So grateful for your information.

  8. laurant lafleur says:

    at the moment i’m mainly focused on my crazy frizzy hair, don’t you by any chance have a good product you’d recommend ??

  9. sandra lebeau says:

    I use essential oils at home in my diffuser, never knew you could add it as part of your skin care. Good thing I read this otherwise I might have put it directly on my skin.

  10. Susan Marina Brown Lane says:

    I really like the tip about If you have never used essential oils. “Properly diluting it and then applying it to your forearm and waiting 48 hours. If you feel fine at 48 hours, you will most likely feel okay using it on your face.”

  11. Amanda Botterill says:

    I have been very lucky with my skin because I neglected it terribly when I was younger. I’m reluctant to use a load of chemicals on it now – so this article was very interesting

  12. Lamar Bowen says:

    Essential Oils have done wonders for my skin. Make sure to test a small amount just in case you might have an allergic reaction.

  13. donateeverything says:

    Yeah. They’re great humidifier and moisturizer. Make it a nightly habit for about 1 hour or so before going to bed.

  14. Joana says:

    I had always been hesitant about using essential oils for the skin but this article is so thorough and informative that it has made me eager to try them! Thank you for yur hard work!

  15. Nigel Soper says:

    I think essential oils are part of the gamut of old medicine that has fallen out of favour as chemistry has taken over, but at times they work and often work better than the chemistry.

  16. Diane says:

    I have always been concerned about my skin and tried to take care of it but now in my 50’s I am even more focused on caring for it. Thanks for the info

  17. Monica Mount says:

    I prefer what some would consider masculine scents. I have mature skin and it seems to do better with oils rather than creams.

  18. Scotty says:

    I love healthy, all-natural products. Unlike the conventional kinds, the side effects consist of healthy ones, rather than negative ones. Many health products that go onto your skin will also add in additional ingredients, such as EO’s, to help with dry skin, etc., etc.

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