Before getting to the cosmetic use of essential oils, it is interesting to understand how the oils actually work. Essential oils have an effect on the so-called limbic system in the human brain via the sense of smell, in which feelings, among other things, are processed. The molecules can penetrate the skin, be absorbed via the bloodstream, integrate themselves into cell membranes, influence enzymes and receptors in the cells and thus intervene in important body processes on different levels.
Their effect corresponds to the character of the plant: some have an antibacterial effect, others promote the granulation (formation of new cells) of the skin, calm it, or promote metabolic processes. It is important to be aware that they not only “smell good”, but also contain highly concentrated and extremely effective substances, which we should use in a targeted manner, but also with caution.
Applications of suitable essential oils
For the cosmetic use of essential oils, it is important to know which skin type you have and to know what you would like to achieve by using the oils in your skincare products. The following overview helps to determine the oils you might want to look at for your personal skin type:
Normal skin: rose, lavender, geranium
Combination skin / oily skin: rose, geranium, vetiver
Impure skin / Acne: chamomile, myrrh, yarrow, tea tree, vetiver
Dry skin / mature skin: ylang ylang, rose, geranium, vetiver, frankincense
Barrier-disturbed skin / Neurodermatitis: Helichrysum, Patchouli, Rose, geranium, Yarrow, Vetiver
Cellulite / connective tissue weakness: rosemary, sandalwood, juniper, cypress, wild orange
Dosage of essential oils in cosmetic use
As an orientation many authors equate 20-25 drops of an essential oil with 1 ml – this is a reference value, since the viscosity of essential oils is very different, as is the dosage of the drop inserts in the bottles. For facial applications a 0.5% dilution (1 drop per 10 ml emulsion) is generally well tolerated; for body products a 1% dosage (approx. 2 drops per 10 ml) can be used. In alcoholic or hydrolate-based deodorants 5 % essential oils are recommended (10 drops on 10 ml basis), in full baths 6-10 drops. Only add the essential oils to the cooled product at the very end, as they are very volatile.