best essential oils for face

Essential oils offer some of the best opportunities for beautifully smooth and youthful skin. Google any of the ingredients in some of the most luxurious and expensive brands on the market and they will always include natural botanicals. Let’s explore some of the best essential oils for face care.

Essentially, there are four main skin types, normal, dry, oily, and combination, and then each type will have its own issues with spots, etc. 

We’ll begin by thinking about which the best essential oils for face treatments would be and drill down on their specialist skills. 

Next, we’ll look at the skin types, and issues like open pores, spots, and broken capillaries, before having a think about how to use the best essential oils for face creams and go through a couple of recipes.

What Essential Oils are Good For Your Face?

  1. Rose essential oil or absolute
  2. Geranium essential oil
  3. Lavender essential oil
  4. German chamomile essential oil
  5. Jasmine essential oil
  6. Frankincense essential oil
  7. Helichrysum essential oil
  8. Myrrh essential oil
  9. Cypress essential oil
  10. Carrot seed essential oil

1. Rose Essential Oil

Top of the list of best essential oils for face treatments rose is undoubtedly the best way to get beautiful smooth, youthful looking skin. There are two types of rose oil. Rose essential oil, also known as Rose Otto, is obtained by distillation of the rose petals. Rose absolute is obtained by solvent extraction. Neither is better, they are just different. Rose essential oil is a clear-looking liquid, which is very lightly fragranced, whereas Rose absolute is rich, golden, and luxurious.

Research shows that citronellol, a constituent of rose essential oil, has the ability to absorb through the skin, down to the basal layer, where new skin cells are forming. There, it nourishes and feeds them making them plumper and healthier.

Rose is best suited to normal or slightly dry skins and is also wonderful if you are going through menopause and no longer make estrogen to nourish the skin. For very dry skins though, see frankincense.

2. Geranium Essential Oil

Perhaps geranium should hold the number one on the best essential oils for face treatments list because it is equally as good as rose at nourishing the skin but is a cheaper option. It is tremendous for skins that are reactive so is often a choice for complexions that struggle with eczema.

Geranium is a great choice for people whose skin looks ravaged by the winter or neglected through stress. It has a tonic effect on the adrenals, which can become depleted in times of long-term stress, so adding geranium essential oil to any treatment will strengthen the body helping it to recuperate after a long time of neglect.

3. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is wonderful for skins that are reactive and itchy and sore, however, it has a specific action on sebum production. Sebum is the oily substance that the skin makes to protect and nourish it. When you use lavender essential oil over an extended period of time, eventually the skin will slow down how much sebum it makes and will give you very dry skin.

Lavender is best suited to very greasy or oily skins, in particular for teenagers, because it signals to the sebaceous glands not to make any more sebum.

4. German Chamomile Essential Oil

Aromatherapists love German chamomile essential oil for skin that is incredibly itchy, sore, or reactive. Clearly, if you have hypersensitive skin or suffer from allergies this is a tremendous essential oil to add into your creams. If you do have this kind of skin it’s worth investing in another oil that is not on the list, Violet Leaf Absolute, it is superb for calming down skin reactions and is gentle enough to use on the youngest and most fragile skins. 

5. Jasmine Absolute Oil

Jasmine is one of the most seductive and luxurious essential oils being powerful at skin nourishment and it is particularly generous to skins that are hot, dry and reactive. Jasmine is one of the most popularly chosen essential oils for facial treatments in India and indeed, Jasmine is spectacular for darker complexions as well as those that are very pale and burn very easily. 

It is also one of the best essential oils for face scars, or indeed scarring anywhere on the body. Combine with Helichrysum essential oil to reduce scarring and dark marks.

6. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is one of the essential oils for face wrinkles. Opt for frankincense if you have more mature skin, it restores elasticity to the tissues and smooths out the complexion.

7. Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is a wonderful skin tonic and is a great choice for adding to a DIY essential oils face serum for anti-aging. Depending on where in the world your helichrysum essential oil grew, it will be rich in a constituent called neryl acetate, which is amazing for skin healing. It is particularly useful for wounds that will not heal. Theoretically, helichrysum and myrrh could make good essential oils for calcium deposits on the face, but there is no scientific evidence to support this. 

8. Myrrh Essential Oil

Again, myrrh is fabulous for wounds that will not heal, for cuts and abrasions, but myrrh and jasmine are also great essential oils for dark spots on the face. Lemon essential oil can be great for this too, however it can be a little drying, so myrrh is perhaps a better long-term choice. 

9. Cypress Essential Oil

Cypress essential oil doesn’t traditionally make its way onto the best essential oils for face treatments. However, it has become more common because of the tremendous effect it has on improving the complexion after someone has sat in front of a computer screen for a long time. When we work in front of screens or l work in offices where there are fluorescent lights, we absorb positive irons which can make the skin look dull and lifeless. Cypress essential oil neutralizes these positive irons and has an astringent effect, so is one of the best essential oils for skin tightening and refreshing to the complexion. Cypress essential oil is best added to cleansers and toners to improve the overall look of the skin.

10. Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Like Cypress, carrot seed is great for cleansing the skin. In particular, if you have thickened, dull-looking skin from smoking, or you live in a particularly polluted area, carrot seed essential oil is great for adding to cleansers and toners to improve the look of your skin.

Essential Oils for Different Skin Types

best essential oil for face

There can be a temptation as you go down the list to go “yes, I’ve got that, got that, got that..” so you end up with around 400 essential oils in one pot. 

[Wagging finger] Very bad practice!

Before you throw yourself into it, design yourself a skincare ritual. If you only have five minutes to spare in the morning, don’t add hundreds of products there. Maybe consider adding essential oils for wrinkles to a night cream or a face mask. There’s no need to add them all at once. 

When you invest time and energy into identifying your best essential oils for face treatments, consider that a little bit of care often will reap far greater effects than only using them once. 

In this article, we are only looking at essential oils, but to get that film star smoothness to your skin, it’s worth thinking about carrier oils too, that refine, fill and plump the complexion.

Finally, know that your best results are going to come from exfoliation and I’ll show you how to slough off the dead cells to reveal new youthful skin when we get to the recipes. 

Normal Skins 

Rose, geranium, any of chamomiles, or jasmine. For men’s grooming but also a bit less of a floral fragrance you could try some of the woods, sandalwood, or cedarwood for example. Patchouli is fabulous as is vetiver or cardamom. 

If you have combination skin, and maybe have a bit of a greasy T-Zone it can be great to add a drop of ylang-ylang oil to balance that out. 

Oily Skins

Lavender, cypress, clary sage, and again, ylang-ylang can balance that out. 

Oddly, vetiver nourishes dry skins and reduces oiliness too. They would seem to be in opposition and since science probably can’t explain that one, we’ll just put it down to magic! 

Dry Skin

Rose, Jasmine, Vetiver, helichrysum, Patchouli, Cardamom, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, if it’s really dry, then frankincense essential oil. 

Combination Skins

Ylang Ylang has a balancing action on most systems, is heady, languid, and absolutely fab at sorting out combination skins. 

Essential Oils for Face Problems

Blackheads and Whiteheads

Grapefruit essential oil, especially with cypress and carrot seed essential oils. Take care though. Grapefruit is deliciously uplifting and refreshing, but incredibly acidic. It is also phototoxic, which means if you use it, then go out into bright sunlight, or onto a sunbed, not only will you go very blotchy, but your skin becomes incredibly irritated. 

Do not be tempted to use this undiluted on your spots either. Grapefruit essential oil is one of the best essential oils for face creams to use at night.


If you have a very bad break out use lavender or tea tree essential oils at a 50% dilution and apply directly to the spots.


Combine lavender or tea tree with jasmine or helichrysum essential oils. Also cleansing and toning with cypress essential oil can be very effective for acne.

Open Pores

Myrtle essential oil. It works great when blended with helichrysum essential oil or geranium.

Broken Capillaries

Geranium is high up on the list of best essential oils for face care anyway, but it has a fabulous supporting action on the walls of the circulatory system. We also use it for hemorrhoids and varicose veins because it moves the pressure away from the blood vessel walls. Again, add a drop or two of the oil to further add to your other oils. 


Use german camomile essential oil to calm down the redness and irritation. If it is hot and dry, jasmine can also work. 

DIY RECIPES: How to Combine The Best Essential Oils for Face Creams

In all cases, we would suggest making the following products.

  • Cleanser 
  • Toner 
  • Moisturizer
  • Nourishing Night Cream

Use the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer daily, morning and night. Use the night cream as well as the moisturizer. 

Once a week, see if you can find twenty minutes to exfoliate and add a masque to improve and nourish the skins. 

The Golden Rules for Using Essential Oils For Skin Care

    1. Your best essential oils for face treatments are going to be ones you like the smell of and that you are going to use. They are right by your nose. It has to have the right fragrance.
    2. The best oils in the world won’t improve skin dryness without water. To moisturize, we use water-based creams, not oils. 
    3. Carrier oils are best used in tiny amounts in night creams and lavished onto the skin once a week in masques and serums. 
  • Do not use essential oils at all in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
  • The Best Essential Oils for Face Cleansers 

    Use a base store-bought cleanser and add your choice of essential oils at a 3% dilution for each oil (unless there is a different dilution listed in the safety on the product description page). 

    The best oils for cleansers are cypress, carrot, tea tree.

    How to use the Best Essential Oils for Face Toners

    Top of the class if you asked that question because oils and waters don’t mix do they? 

    Add your essential oils to a teaspoon of alcohol (either rubbing alcohol or vodka works just as well) then add them to the water. 

    4fl oz water 

    1 tsp alcohol

    2 drops each of your chosen essential oils

    How to Use the Your Best Essential Oils in Face Moisturizers?

    Add them into aqueous cream from the pharmacy. If you are clever and use a gentle hand, you can add equal parts of water to the moisturizer to make it thinner but more hydrating. Then add your essential oils. 

    How to Use Your Best Essential Oils for Face Creams to Use at Night?

    These more nourishing creams are best created using wax and oil than just water. Obviously, you can add your oils to a shop-bought nourishing cream or you can create with this recipe.

    Night Cream

    • 100g Emulsifying wax (E/W) You could try beeswax or lanette wax, for example.
    •  50ml Distilled and filtered water 
    • 20ml Avocado Carrier Oil (Persea gratissima)
    • 10ml Grapeseed Carrier Oil (Vitis vinifera)
    •  5ml Almond Carrier Oil (Prunus amygdala)
    •  1ml Glycerine
    • 1ml Liquid preservative (See humblebee link for guidance on this below)
    • Add 3 drops each of your chosen essential oils (please check safety advice on each essential oil product description)

    Place your E/W into a double boiler. Allow it to warm and melt in its own time over medium heat.

    Boil the kettle and measure out your boiling water into a jug.

    Pour the meted E/W and water into a food processor, add the carrier oils and mix.

    Watch your mixture. You want it well mixed, but not full of air otherwise it will sink when it cools. I find it easiest to pulse it.

    Add essential oils and give one more quick blitz to ensure they are blended.

    Use a jug to pour into sterilized jars/bottles.

    Do not put the tops on until they are completely cooled, otherwise, you will have a mould outbreak.

    Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and not suitable for people with nut allergies. 


    Taking time to think out a skincare regime can transform how you look. Combining carrier oils and the best essential oils for face treatments is an investment in time no one ever regrets making.

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