The internet is full of how the most beautiful women of history had such incredible skin because they used the best essential oils. Cleopatra and her rose oil, Nefertiti and her frankincense and myrrh...Utter nonsense, I suspect ladies since there is no evidence of distillation techniques until a millennium later. Nevertheless, our beauteous ancestors have much to tell us about preserving and caring for the skin using plant medicine. What secrets have been passed through the DNA of our plants and how can we use that wisdom to discern the best anti aging essential oils?
- Rose essential oil
- Frankincense essential oil
- Geranium essential oil
- Helichrysum essential oil
- Carrot seed essential oil
- Vetiver essential oil
- Melissa essential oil
- Patchouli essential oil
- Ylang ylang essential oil
- Sandalwood essential oil
The Importance Of Using The Best Anti Aging Essential Oils In Exfoliators
Can you imagine smoothing that luscious beauty onto your skin? Of course, if you were diligent, you could make your own. If you are not quite as motivated as these amazing oil producers, we’ll look at how to make anti aging cream with essential oils at the end of this article.
We can spend as much as we like on rose oil (and any aromatherapist would suggest that you do, because nothing else comes close to caring for the skin) but if we do not exfoliate, it’s simply not worth the bother.
A weekly facial massage treatment couples as exfoliation and a DIY essential oil face serum for anti-aging. That’s the long and short of it. The magic comes from ensuring you are continually stimulating new growth.
We recommend exfoliating just once a week. Always have rose in your treatments so you perpetually feed the newly formed cells.
Any carrier oils work well for exfoliation, but hazelnut is the best. Don’t panic if you can’t find it, any carrier oil will do. To create a more granular treatment consider adding some powdered wheat germ or a teaspoon of brown sugar to the mix.
Rose is one of the best anti aging essential oils because it nurtures the skin gently. It is anti-inflammatory, soothing, and kind enough for even the most sensitive and reactive skins.
We would advise using rose from teenage years right up to post-menopause, for normal, dry, and sensitive skin.
Unfortunately, rose is not a suitable essential oil to use in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Top 8 Essential Oils For Anti Aging & Vitality
1. Rose Essential Oil
It should be said, right from the off, that a big part of preserving the skin, has more to do with the carriers we use than the essential oils. Actually, that brings us right back to the Egyptians and other early civilizations who would soak plant matter in fats warmed by the sun as a means of coaxing the perfume and the active constituents across into the carrier.
In India, this is still done to make the most beautiful of the rose essential oils, called the enfleurage. It is also done to make jasmine oil, (another of the best anti aging essential oils, even though it didn’t quite make it to the list) whose blossoms are too tiny and delicate to withstand distillation. It is extremely labor-intensive, so is extremely rare now, but nevertheless deserves description.
Thousands of rose petals are picked at dawn. (This is still the same for distillation today since the volatiles evaporate away under the heat of the sun). Trays are filled with vegetable fat, then the blossoms are laid into it and left to diffuse in the fierce Indian heat. At night, the flowers are removed and the oil is filled with yet more blossoms, and then in the evening, the oil is changed again. The entire process takes three days.
Active constituents in rose oil are proven to penetrate down into the granular layers of the skin to feed the newly forming cells called keratinocytes. There, rose plumps and feeds them, making them richer and more robust for when they reach the surface.
So, Frankincense is probably best known for its place as the gift brought by the Magi for the baby Jesus, along with gold and myrrh. However, we learn this when we are so young that the details are lost to us. Of the three gifts, gold was the least valuable. Both frankincense and myrrh had much higher price tags, being used as religious tools as well as medicines. These were the oils of royalty.
Their high price tags were driven up by the ancient Egyptians who adored incense for their rituals but had no native incense trees. Theirs would be imported from the Land of Punt, a mysterious land that has never yet been identified, but potentially was somewhere near Yemen where Frankincense grows so well.
Their resins were smoked to make fumigations and then also steeped in oil to soak bandages to embalm their dead.
Remember that for the ancient Egyptians, this life was simply the precursor to the real deal, the Afterlife. Their bodies had to be preserved as they would need them for what came later. To do that, they used antibiotics and preservative oils. This was the massive value of frankincense and myrrh.
So we could say mummies remain intact two thousand years later because of frankincense, but that would not be true. In fact, it was the arid conditions and the drying winds coming off the Sahara that desiccated the bodies, This doesn’t take anything away from the preservative properties of frankincense and myrrh.
Frankincense is not safe to use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Why Is Frankincense And Not Myrrh On The List Of The Best Anti Aging Essential Oils?
The only reason why frankincense makes the list and myrrh does not, is it has an additional skill. It not only preserves tissue but also restores elasticity to it too. If your skin is deeply dehydrated or has become saggy (perhaps that is wrinkles, but it could also apply to having lost a lot of weight) frankincense essential oils blended with Centella Asiatica carrier oil is spectacular. It is one of the best essential oils for skin tightening. Both frankincense and myrrh are wonderful though.
We always do it. There is no getting away from making it seem like geranium is the poor man’s version of rose oil for the skin, but it really isn’t the case. We use them for exactly the same kinds of skin, normal, dry, combination, or sensitive, but somehow they work a bit differently.
A great way to leverage both is to add them to different products. Putting rose and geranium together in a moisturizer might be wasteful. They share so many components, and geranium’s strong fragrance would potentially hide the lovely scent of rose. We love geranium and carrot seed as a great blend of anti-aging essential oils for cleansers.
It could be that geranium’s best skill is upon stress. After all, nothing ages you like stress and trauma does it? Geranium is powerfully relaxing and supportive of the nervous system. It is particularly useful as hormonal support too.
Geranium should be avoided in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy
Helichrysum is a beautiful oil rich in a constituent called neryl acetate. This molecule is superb for the skin, protecting and healing it even after severe burns and abrasions. The helichrysum genus is enormous, with around 600 different species. One of the reasons there are so many is that the chemistry alters so much depending on where it is grown. Indeed, oddly now, sometimes botanists use the essential oil as a means of identifying exactly what species they are working with.
Wrinkles form through collagenase activity. These can be stimulated by a variety of factors including UV light. Elastase exists in the tissues and degrades elasticity. In 2017, researchers from the University of Pisa, published their findings that helichrysum extracts inhibited both of these processes, improving elasticity in skin tissues.
It would not be suitable to use helichrysum in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. It also has a blood-thinning effect, which makes it ill-advised for anyone with a blood clotting disorder, who is taking anticoagulant medications or has major surgery planned in the next 48 hours.
Carrot seed has an unusual quality in that it gives high-level sun protection. It should be stressed that you will still need to wear sunscreen. While it does not give protection against UV rays, it was reported in an Indian study to have an SPF of between 38-40.
Carrot is a deeply cleansing oil. We love it for smoker’s skins and for those who get grubby skins from living in the city.
So, whilst carrot seed is one of the best anti aging essential oils to use in cleansers and masques, it is also fabulous for moisturizers and day creams as well as for facial steams. Carrot seed is safe and easy to use as long as you avoid those delicate first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
We talk about Ancient Egyptian medicine, but Ayurveda is just as old. Some of the medicinal texts are as many as 5000 years old. In even the oldest ones, there are writings about Vetiver being used for many different things. It was suggested to be placed into wells to clean stagnant water and was used to make cooling woven blinds that diffused the buildings with its beautiful tranquil fragrance when refreshing rains blew through.
Vetiver, like frankincense, grows in the desert. Actually, the very finest vetiver, Khus, grows in such heat, that it changes the oil in the strangest way.
Essential oils have many gauges to inspect their quality including the refractive index, which is how light shines through it. The heat of the desert affects the shapes of the molecules so much that light shines through and bends right when it bends left through ordinary vetiver.
Vetiver, like frankincense, understands age, patience, and stress. Both are majestic healers from all three kinds of rigors.
It is a magical oil though because, unlike rose and frankincense which are the best anti aging essential oils for dry skin, Vetiver is good for dry and greasy skins. It’s impossible to explain why. In both cases, vetiver is nourishing, soothing, and refreshing.
Like all essential oils, do not use vetiver essential oil in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
An exciting study was recently done in Japan. Researchers wanted to know if lemon balm could back up traditional medicine’s claim that it was one of the best anti aging agents. Lemon Balm is Melissa officinalis, which is why we call it Melissa oil. Take note that this trial was of people drinking lemon balm tea, rather than the essential oil but it is still interesting.
They monitored something called glycation which is best understood through something called the Maillard Reaction. Maillard was a nineteenth-century scientist who proved that when things come into contact with sugar, they change the structure. For example, when you fry meat, it releases sugars which then caramelize. The outside of the meat browns, and becomes sweeter and crunchier too. This is the Maillard reaction.
In the 1950s, scientists then proved the Maillard Reaction also happens when our blood comes into contact with blood sugar. This process affects aging.
The Japanese scientists reported their study participants who had drunk the lemon balm tea had better skin elasticity in their cheeks (as opposed to those who drank barley tea). They proved that it was because the melissa had protected their skin cells against glycation.
Now, there is no scientific evidence that melissa is one of the best anti aging essential oils even though it has been added to face treatments for years. It’s definitely a great one to add to day creams, especially if you have very reactive skin because it is also a mild anti-allergenic.
Melisa, like any essential oil, should be avoided in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. It also has the capacity to be very sharp, so it is recommended that dilutions be kept below 1.8% (That’s roughly 2 drops in a teaspoon and a bit of carrier oil).
Patchouli is another one of the best anti-aging essential oils that has had very little supporting scientific evidence. However, it’s very easy to get bogged down in looking for proof from a test tube. Often better proof comes from the people who use it. Patchouli is another Ayurvedic medicine, which has always been used to soothe hot, dry, and irritated skin and alleviate wrinkles.
In 2020, it was reported that scientists had identified the healing action of patchouli that seems to be exerted through the CB2 receptor. This receptor modulates immunity, inflammation, and pain. (You can find out more about the CB2 receptor in our Copaiba product description).
This followed a 2014 Chinese study that proved that patchouli can help repair skin damaged by UV radiation.
A couple of provisos: The 2020 study was using patchouli extract, not an essential oil. The 2014 study was on mice, not humans, however, this might give us some insight into why patchouli is such an excellent skin care agent. Again, patchouli is a super oil to add to an essential oil anti aging serum, into a moisturizer or a night cream.
It should be avoided during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Whether ylang ylang should be on the list of the best anti aging essential oils is debatable. Really, it has secondary actions that make it useful, rather than it being a key player. First, it balances out combinations in the skin. If you have a greasy T Zone with dry cheeks, then ylang ylang has a normalizing action.
It also offers superb hormonal support, so if the skin is looking all sallow and drawn because of the menopausal changes. This can definitely help too.
Ylang ylang tends to be best used in combination with rose or vetiver essential oils.
Since ylang ylang has such a powerful action on the hormones, we do not recommend using it in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy.
We feel a bit bad for saying this is an oil for men and shoving it at the end of the list. In fact, sandalwood is gorgeously nourishing and is an excellent skin food. Like helichrysum, sandalwood is shown to inhibit elastase, to protect the rigid structure of the skin
Sandalwood essential oil is safe and easy to use, provided you avoid using it during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
DIY Anti Aging Essential Oil Blend Recipes
Essential Oil Face Serum For Anti Aging
- 10ml Jojoba Carrier Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
- 5 drops Rosehip Carrier Oil (Rosa canina)
- 5 drops Hazelnut Carrier Oil (Corylus Avellana)
- 2 drops Rose Otto Essential Oil (Rosa damascena)
- 1 drop Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemon cablin)
- 1 drop Vetiver Essential Oil (Vetveria zizanoides)
Anti Aging Cream With Essential Oils
- 40ml Aqueous Cream
- 3 drops Rose Otto Essential Oil (Rosa damascena)
- 1 drop Helichrysum Essential Oil (Helichrysum splendida)
- 1 drop Melissa Essential Oil (Melissa officinalis)
Safety: Not suitable for use during the first 37 weeks of pregnancy, or if you have any blood clotting issues.
However good the best anti aging essential oils are, they will always be improved by adding fantastic carrier oils into your skincare regime. Check out some of our product descriptions to see which ones would suit your skin best.
- Carrot seed SPF: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29737890/
- Patchouli: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33413786/