Essential Oils: The New Skin Care Essential

By: Gigi Grimes

Photos by: Sophie Roberts

We all love finding beauty product gems in unexpected places, but I recently discovered a staple in the form I least expected: oil. As someone with oily skin, adding oil to my daily routine seemed like the worst possible thing I could do. However, after using oils in my skincare routine for the past six months, I’ve seen a dramatic difference in the brightness and evenness of my skin tone (and even decreased oiliness!). Now I’m not rubbing Crisco all over my face, I’m using essential oils. Get ready to ditch all of the expensive serums and creams for these natural moisturizers that will make your skin glow!

What the Heck is an Essential Oil?

Essential oils are oils that are distilled from a variety of plants and herbs. They have been used for thousands of years for aromatherapy and healing. Extremely potent and versatile, essential oils have the ability to heal an array of physical troubles. The oils that I will recommend help to remedy virtually all skin imperfections: acne, blemishes, dark spots, redness, and the list goes on. Keep reading for some of my personal skin saviors.

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Lavender is by far my favorite essential oil. The scent relaxes me before I go to sleep and decreases stress. The oil works all day to regenerate skin cells, reducing the appearance of sunspots and scarring. Plus it is perfect for all skin types.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil has gained a lot of popularity over the past couple of years, and for good reason – it’s a natural antibacterial that helps to regulate oil production and ward off acne causing bacteria.


Though rose oil is most often found in perfumes, it also has incredible skincare applications. The oil contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Rose oil works on a deep level to not only refine skin complexion and texture, but also retain moisture.

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Grapefruit Seed

Though grapefruit seed oil may not be as famous, it’s a great way to incorporate Vitamin C into your skincare routine. The oil works to brighten skin and protect against sun damage, leaving your skin smooth and glowing.

Carrot Seed

Carrot seed oil is a great way to begin incorporating anti-aging products into your routine. This high antioxidant oil assists in cell regeneration, which helps to smooth skin and fade scars.


This oil is great for dry skin by locking in moisture and reducing the appearance of pores. The anti-inflammatory benefits of frankincense are perfect for naturally healing acne and promoting even skin tone.


Geranium is an all-around winner when it comes to assuaging acne, aging, scars, oiliness, and dryness. This oil works to improve skin elasticity and promote blood circulation. It can also be used to help heal burns, cuts, eczema, and bruises!

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How to Use:

When applying essential oils to your skin, it is extremely important to use a carrier oil. Carrier oils are not essential oils; they are usually derived from a vegetable or a nut. These act as diluters for essential oils so that your skin isn’t harmed by their potency. Just as you can customize your essential oils, you should select a carrier oil for your skin type. Below are my tried-and-true favorites.

Almond oil

Almond oil is very rich in vitamin E and extremely moisturizing. This oil has a slightly thicker consistency, which is great for dry skin and absorbs quickly. This oil should not be used if you have a nut allergy.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an amazing investment because you can pretty much use it for anything including hair, skin, and cooking. It has a lovely aroma, and though dry at room temperature it melts in your hands when combined with essential oils. While this is a thinner oil, it leaves a more oily-feeling layer on your skin.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a great source of omega fatty acids, which penetrate your skin for long lasting moisture. Olive oil is very thick and leaves an oily feeling on the skin, which makes it ideal for very dry skin or a mask just once per week.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is another great, all-around oil for your skin and hair. It has a consistency similar to coconut oil and absorbs into the skin quickly.

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To make your Oil:

Since essential oils are so strong, you want about a 2% dilution with your carrier oil. This translates to adding about 12 drops of essential oil for every 1 fluid ounce of carrier oil. You can either use a separate jar to combine your desired oils with your carrier oil, or just take one drop of each oil and about a tablespoon of coconut oil and combine them in your hands for each use. Be sure to apply both morning and evening, and you’ll begin to see results within the first few weeks. With essential oils it’s important to incorporate them into your routine long-term to see the best possible benefits.

Where to find Essential Oils:

You can buy essential oils online on Amazon, in specialty health food stores, or in a grocery store like Whole Foods. I personally like to buy mine online so that I can look at reviews and do some quick research while shopping. However, shopping in store gives you the added benefit of testing out scents if you’re looking for a specific aroma.

So say “sayonara” cover up! Essential oils improve your skin on a foundational level by helping you achieve a naturally even complexion. After incorporating these oils into your routine for about a month, you’ll begin to see the amazing results. Here’s your ticket to smoother, brighter, and more moisturized skin just in time for summer!

GIGI GRIMES is a junior in the MSB, majoring in Finance and OPIM. Outside of class, Gigi enjoys sunsets, long walks on the beach, and memes.

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