I’ve worked with a few essential oil lines: Moor Spa, Darphin and now Decleor. One thing that is difficult to convince people of is the idea that oily skin types can benefit from essential oil use on the skin.

Oily skin types tend to really like a drying feeling. Lathering, foaming cleansers. Granular, rough scrubs that they use frequently. Little to no moisturizer, usually ones that really don’t do much. And the spot treatments, which in desperation are sometimes used over the whole face.

Having done many a facial, I’ve heard it all when it comes to how people try and control their oil production. Often these aggressive tactics don’t ever really make any headway in changing the skin, but people get attached to a routine. Let’s try something a bit gentler shall we?

According to the Essential Oils Desk Reference (which, by the way is fantastic. They back up all their info with published studies that support their claims. Very hard to find with most aromatherapy information.) essential oils are beneficial to oily skin due to their ability to dissolve sebum, kill bacteria and preserve the acid mantle.

What is the acid mantle you ask?

Esthetics 101! Skin produces both oil and sweat. This very delicate mixture ideally brings the pH of the skin to 4.5-5.5, which is slightly acidic. This helps to protect the skin from bacteria and viruses while keeping skin at ideal hydration levels. When it’s thrown off balance (too much or too little oil production, harsh alkaline soaps that raise the pH etc.) skin starts to suffer from blemishes, can become dry and flaky and can start over producing oil to compensate. When ingredients are pH balanced, they help the skin to re-balance and and preform at its best.

Certain essential oils are know to have the ideal pH, and are anti-bacterial. Exactly what oily skin needs. They can also be drying, so it’s not advised to always apply them neat (or straight) onto the skin. You don’t want to cause irritation or dryness.

They are also very concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

If you’re wanting to use essential oils at oils to re-balance the skin, make sure to research the oil completely and learn the contraindications and proper usage.

Here are some pointers to start out!

1) Use approximately 50 drops of essential oil mixture to 100ml of carrier oil.

2) Best carrier oils for oily skin? Jojoba or grapeseed. The general consensus is that both of these absorb easily into the skin without clogging it. So you get hydration without a greasy feel, as well as anti-oxidant benefits.

3) A little goes a long way! I cannot stress this enough. Use only 1-3 drops of your mixture for the whole face. Spread it out and let it absorb in.

4) Look for lines that have herbal distillates and toners with essential oils in them as well. You get astringent qualities, low pH, hydration and purifying aspects.

People with oily skin are usually very familiar and comfortable with using tea tree oil on their skin. But you can expand! It’s not the only effective oil.

Others include but are not limited to: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Geranium, Vetivert, Patchouli, Orange, Lemon, Clove and Chamomile.

Used individually or in blends they can achieve different results. Use the best quality you can find. Scented by-products that are packaged the same way will not give you results. You need therapeutic grade essential oils. Golden Moor has a nice, but small collection available.

If mixing your own seems intimidating, take heart. There are ready made products available to you. Decleor carries a beautiful line of Aromessence Oils designed for each skin type. These little bottles last forever being that you only ever use two drops at a time.

So if your looking for a more natural way to control oily skin, give essential oils a chance. It may feel counter-intuitive to be putting oils onto an oily skin, but you use so little and the benefits are so huge. The same with balms. Once they absorb in, the oils then go to work at re-balancing. Which is ultimately what oily skin needs.

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