best essential oils for dry skin

Today’s blog post looks at the different ways to work out the best essential oils for dry skin. It’s a fairly straightforward topic bursting with some of the most delicious elixirs that nature can provide. Once you know how to work out which ones apply to you, you’ll have compliments coming at you from everywhere, because people really notice when your skin looks great.

There is a difference between the best essential oils for dry skin if your skin is older, than if it is younger. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and starts to sag and become drier because our hormones change. For that reason, we have broken the sections down in two parts.

  • Best Essential Oils for Dry Skin in the under 50s - at the top. 
  • Best essential oils for dry skin (mature) - further down.
  • What Are The Best Essential Oils For Dry Skin?

    Our top ten best essential oils for dry skin are:

    1. Rose Essential Oil
    2. Geranium Essential Oil
    3. Patchouli Essential Oil
    4. Vetiver Essential Oil
    5. Cardamom Essential Oil
    6. Frankincense Essential Oil
    7. Galbanum Essential Oil
    8. Helichrysum Essential Oil
    9. Jasmine Essential Oil
    10. Sandalwood Essential Oil

    Each has its own special way of interacting with the skin. Understanding what is actually going on with your own complexion can help you make good decisions on what oils might be the best choices for you.

    Best Essential Oils for Dry Skin (Under 50s)

    1. Rose Essential Oil 

    In the top position for the best essential oil for dry skin is everyone’s favorite: Rose. In fact, we even say “English rose skin” about a beautiful smooth complexion, don’t we? There are two different types of rose oils: Rose Otto essential oil which is obtained by distillation and rose absolute which has been obtained by solvent extraction. Both rose oils are wonderful for dry skin, however rose absolute is richer and feels more luxurious, somehow.

    Scientific research shows that rose oils feed the keratinocytes, the new cells forming at the very base layer of the skin.

    Rose plumps new skin cells giving a younger, fresher and more youthful complexion.

    Rose is best used if your skin is normal to dry. If it is very dry, we would suggest using vetiver or frankincense essential oils which are explained in their own sections.

    It’s a beautiful hormonal balancer, so if your skin reacts badly when you are premenstrual or if you are going through the menopause, rose essential oil is a great help. Also combine it with hormonal balancing actions of your ylang ylang essential oil.

    Rose would not be an appropriate choice if you are pregnant. It is a uterine tonic so should not be used in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy. No essential oil should be used in the first 16 weeks, however other essential oils might be appropriate after that including Geranium, Vetiver or patchouli essential oils.

    2. Geranium Essential Oil

    Geranium essential oil and rose geranium are wonderful substitutes if your pocket can’t quite stretch to the huge price tag of rose. For many generations geranium has been considered the poor man’s rose essential oil, however that sells it short. Geranium is incredibly soothing, rehydrating dehydrated and parched skin. It’s also a better choice for dry skin if you suffer with something like eczema or dermatitis. Geranium smooths flakiness, calming redness and itching.

    In the same way as Rose essential oil is hormonally balancing, so is geranium. If you have  a greasy T-zone consider using geranium with ylang ylang which is fabulous for balancing out combinations.

    Geranium is also a better choice if you are suffering from long-term stress  that is playing out on your skin or if you are pregnant. Geranium essential oil is safe in the fur after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

    3. Patchouli Essential Oil

    Aromatherapy skin care is easy for women, because nature invested so much time in making flowers attractive, and that translates into the essential oils. Most of the best essential oils for dry skin and for cosmetic use generally come from really romantic smelling flowers. After all, the plants do create the fragrances mainly for sex. 

    But Patchouli has a more masculine vibe. Even though it comes from a mint, it actually smells woody and earthy, but still retains that mint coolness. Patchouli is a great choice for men and women alike and blends really well with most of the flowers too, reducing the sickly sweetness and making it feel much more soothing to the skin. 

    Patchouli and sandalwood are the best oils to choose for dry skin on the scalp and for dandruff. They quickly soothe itchiness and reduce your mad scratching.

    4. Vetiver Essential Oil

    Vetiver has been used to treat dry skin in Ayurvedic medicine for over 5,000 years. Its richness is luxurious and heady, and not only reduces brittle flakiness but also nourishes and cools the skin. 

    Vetiver is made from the roots of a grass that is native to India. Its roots plunge down as much as 8m deep into the coolness of the ground. It is used in farming to draw extra water up to the crops in the surface. Somehow, it seems to be able to do the same for the skin.

    Like Patchouli, Vetiver is one of the best essential oils for dry skin for men. 

    5.  Cardamom Essential Oil

    Cardamom essential oil is not addressed in many books and yet, like patchouli it has a lovely cooling action that seems to take the sting out of hot skins.

    Again, it has a less floral fragrance than rose or jasmine for example, and is wonderful for lotions for sunburn to stop it flaking, for example. 

    Cardamom is one of the best essential oils for dry skin butters and lotions. It nourishes and protects the skin, making it smoother, but also has a way of making you feel just that more content with your life and the way you look. 

    Best Essential Oils for Dry Skin (Mature) 

    Essential Oils for Wrinkles and Dry Skin

    So, now we get to the heavy hitters.

    If there are some fine lines, then, we’d stick to rose essential oil or patchouli, and then focus on carrier oils to improve the surface of the skin. Frankincense and Galbanum are for much more mature skins and ones that have become deeply dehydrated.

    6. Frankincense Essential Oil

    As we go through the menopause, our levels of estrogen drop which have been nourishing our skins. It’s as if nature thinks you don’t need good skin now you can’t reproduce.

    Frankincense is the best reply to such a cruel dig, especially if your wrinkles are starting to look like they need filling with wall filler!

    Frankincense essential oil restores elasticity to the skin, making it tighter and in better condition. Along with cypress, it is one of the best essential oils for skin tightening.

    7. Galbanum Essential Oil

    We all have ties where our skins look worse for wear. Often it can be because of harsh weather or the fact that we have just been too busy to tend to it. Galbanum is a rich oil that comes to the rescue. It’s not a very luxurious oil, and it's probably not one you would want to use every day when there are such prettier ones to choose from, but if you skin looks bad, then galbanum is one of the best essential oils for dry skin emergencies. 

    Likewise, add it to slaves for elbows, knees, hands and feet to tackle the more severe winter problems. Ok, So What Essential Oil for Dry, Cracked Skin?

    8. Helichrysum Essential Oil

    Helichrysum is a superb oil for healing broken skin. Aromatherapists use it for wounds, and particularly for wounds that will not heal.

    Helichrysum is rich in neryl acetate, a constituent that is particularly healing for skin.

    As mentioned above, if the skin breaks or cracks, galbanum essential oil is a wonderful emergency measure. To that perhaps also consider Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) or Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), which is wonderful for healing cuts, cracks and abrasions. 

    Helichrysum essential oil should be avoided in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

    Best Essential Oils For Dry Itchy Skin

    Let’s start by telling you what it’s not. It’s not lavender. Rookie mistake, and often amateur essential oil enthusiasts find their way to a page like this because they realise their skin has suddenly gone dry. Often it's because they are using too much lavender. lavender in the bath, in diffusers, in soothing body lotions.

    Lavender essential oil reduces sebum production. 

    Sebum is an oily substance that nourishes and protects the skin. It makes it elastic and also acts as a barrier against infection. The only time we ever think of it is when we get greasy and oily skin, because there is too much of it, but actually, the skin needs it. 

    The skin has sensors that decide how much sebum to make. Lavender essential oil triggers the sensors that communicate with the sebaceous glands, telling them to make less. 

    Less sebum = dry skin. 

    9. Jasmine Absolute Oil

    Jasmine is wonderful for hot dry and reactive skin. It is one of the best essential oils for dry skin that is fierce. Sometimes it can also be acne, spotty and yet still dry. Jasmine and German Chamomile are the best essential oils for dry skin that is hot and sore. 

    Again, this would mainly apply to older women, especially who are going through the menopause when, frankly your body goes into full scale assault on you. Again, jasmine would be the best essential oil for rosacea too.

    Jasmine absolute also tends to do very well on darker, European, Asian and Black skins too. It’s so rich, very heady, and makes a great base for men’s dry skin creams as well as women's.

    Be aware that since Jasmine essential oil is a uterine tonic, it is not suitable for use during pregnancy. 

    10. Sandalwood Essential Oil 

    Again, an excellent essential oil for men and women alike, sandalwood is nourishing and nurturing.

    Combine The Best Essential Oils for Dry Skin with Great Carrier Oils

    best essential oils for dry skin


    Essential oils do a great job, but being savvy with the carrier oils you choose will make their richness and healing capabilities so much more.

    There are detailed notes on the product descriptions, so see the links to Rosehip, Jojoba and Avocado oils.

    Be clear though, in the same way that dry skin does not respond very well to lavender essential oil, it does not like huge amounts of oil. If the skin sensors detect too much oil on the skin, again, the skin thinks there is too much sebum and will reduce how much of its natural oils it makes.

    So, whilst we do want to nourish the skin with carriers, a small amount in a serum is wonderful, but what your complexion will thank you for most is water

    Drink more water to hydrate the skin from the inside, and use water based creams and moisturizers.

    One last thing: all surface skin cells are dead. Over time, they can build up making the skin look dull and lifeless. Exfoliate weekly with our Essential OIl Serum for Dry Skin to remove old cells and reveal a more youthful, dewy complexion.

    DIY Recipes to Use Essential Oils for Dry Skin

    Essential Oil Serum For Dry Skin

    We do not currently stock hazelnut carrier oil, but it is readily available in most supermarkets. It cleans and exfoliates the skin like no other, giving a smooth base for the other oils to penetrate and feed the complexion. If you cannot find hazelnut oil (or if you are allergic to nuts) just dip your fingers in a little brown sugar to make the blend abrasive.

    Method of Use: Use weekly to slough off old skin and reveal new fresh cells 

    Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy. Omit Hazelnut oil if you have a nut allergy. 

    Essential oil Moisturizer For Dry Skin with Combination T Zone 

    • 100g Aqueous Cream (Available from pharmacies)
    • 100ml Filtered water
    • 1 ml liquid preservative (See link in the resources at the bottom)
    • 5 drops Rose Absolute( Rosa damascena) 
    • 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Canaga odorata)

    Method of Use: Use morning and evening, after cleansing and toning your skin.

    Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy.

    Essential oil Moisturizer for Dry Skin and Wrinkles

    Method of Use: Use morning and evening, after cleansing and toning your skin.

    Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy.


    Ensure you do the due diligence by drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. Stock up on lots of fruit and vegetables to further improve your skin. Choose the best essential oils for dry skin and combine with carrier oils for your complexion to be transformed. 

    Info for preservatives:


    1. 50 Easy Essential Oil Recipes for Skin Care Products for Dry Skin - Make Your Own Anti-Aging Moisturizers, Night Creams,: How To Get Rid of Dry Skin on ... (The Secret Healer's Beauty Tips Book 1) Kindle Edition
    2. The Complete Guide To Clinical Aromatherapy and Essential Oils of The Physical Body: Essential Oils for Beginners (The Secret Healer Book 1) Kindle Edition
    3. Rose - Goddess Medicine: The Timeless Elixir of Ancient Egypt, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Essential Oils and Modern Medicine (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 4) Kindle Edition
    4. Clary Sage- Salvia sclarea; Natural Estrogen?: Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause, Premenstrual Syndrome and Period Pains. Reduce Muscle Cramps And Restless De (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 6) Kindle Edition
    5. Helichrysum For The Wound That Will Not Heal: The Lost History of Immortelle, The Everlasting Flower, Its Chemistry and Helichrysum Italicum Essential ... (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 8) Kindle Edition
    6. Vetiver: An Ayurvedic Medicine: How To Meditate And Heal The Physical Body Using Medicinal Plants and Essential Oils For The Mind Body Spirit (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 1) Kindle Edition

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