Aromatherapy for Dry Skin

Dry Complexion Scrub

  • 6 drops lavender oil
  • 2 drops peppermint oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried elder flowers, lavender, or chamomile (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal

Grind dry ingredients in a blender or electric coffee grinder. (Drugstores sell colloidal oatmeal, which needs no grinding.) Add the essential oils, and stir to distribute. Store in a closed container. For clean skin, moisten 1 teaspoon with enough water to make a paste, dampen your face with a little water, then gently apply scrub. Rinse with warm water. Use this daily instead of soap for cleansing your face.

A dry skin condition can mean rough, cracked hands and a flaky complexion that could eventually lead to excessive wrinkling. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema often go hand in hand with dry skin.

For any dry skin product, choose essential oils that balance the production of oil on the skin and also are anti-inflammatory so that they'll reduce irritation and its characteristic puffiness. If your dry skin is also mature skin, the historic "anti-aging" essential oils -- lavender, geranium, neroli, rosemary, and rose -- are particularly suitable. These essential oils are also thought to rejuvenate skin by encouraging new cell growth. Other excellent oils to use on dry skin are frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood. Perhaps their skin rejuvenating characteristics are the reason they have been so highly valued over the last two thousand years!

In small amounts, peppermint increases the production of oil in the skin. Chamomile, carrot seed, and helichrysum reduce inflammation that can accompany dry skin conditions. The latter two even help get rid of precancerous skin conditions that usually appear as raised discolorations on areas most exposed to the sun, such as the hands and face.

The best way to treat dry skin is with essential oils added to a cream or lotion. Both of these contain water, not just oil as in salves and ointments. The water is absorbed by the skin to help resolve the dryness. Meanwhile, the oil in these products acts as a protective barrier to keep moisture from evaporating out of the skin.

Try to purchase as pure a cream as possible. Your most likely bet is at a natural food store that sells cosmetics. You may even be able to find a cream that already contains essential oils that are good for your dry complexion. If not, purchase an unscented cream, and stir the oils into it yourself. One more thing you can do for dry skin is to avoid soap, except when your face is honestly dirty. Instead, a gentle oatmeal scrub (see the recipe in the sidebar below) combined with essential oils should be sufficient.

Essential oils to prevent aging: geranium, lavender, neroli, rose, rosemary

Essential oils for dry skin: all the oils that prevent aging, as well as frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood

Essential oil to moisturize skin: peppermint

Essential oils for reducing inflammation and puffiness: chamomile, lavender

To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:
  • Aromatherapy: Here you will learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
  • Essential Oils Profiles: We have collected profiles of dozens of plants that are used to produce essential oils. On these pages, you will learn the properties and preparations for the most popular essential oils.
  • How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
  • Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
  • Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathi Keville is director of the American Herb Association and editor of the American Herb Association Quarterly newsletter. A writer, photographer, consultant, and teacher specializing in aromatherapy and herbs for over 25 years, she has written several books, including Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and Pocket Guide to Aromatherapy, and has written over 150 articles for such magazines as New Age Journal, The Herb Companion, and New Herbal Remedies.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.