4 Best Essential Oils for Skin and Face, Backed by Research

You’re here because you’ve been meaning to try the best essential oils for your skin, but you’re still on the fence about it because:

  • There are just too many essential oils out there. Do they really work? Which oil is best for your skin type?
  • Someone told you that essential oils are not safe. 
  • Like perfumes, you’re wary about fake essential oils, and you don’t know how to distinguish between authentic essential oils and knockoffs.

You’ve come to the right place. This guide to the best essential oils for skin will answer all your questions. We made sure that every piece of information is backed up by research and expert insights.

Keep reading to discover the best essential oils to help keep your skin healthy, youthful, and supple.

Most of all, you’ll learn how to find and buy genuine, high-quality essential oils. After all, true friends don’t let their friends pick fake (and possibly harmful) essential oils, especially when it comes to skincare. 

An Important Note Before You Add Essential Oils to Your Skincare Routine

Person applies rollerball oil to wrist

Essential oils have a long history as an all-around natural health and wellness ally — from soothing headaches to easing neck pain. Ancient Egyptians even used essential oils for cosmetic reasons as far back as 4500 BC

As potent plant extracts, there’s more to essential oils than giving your room an invigorating aroma every time you’re feeling meh.

In aromatherapy, essential oils are also beneficial for skin woes like dry skin, oily skin, acne, and dull skin tone. 

But not all essential oils for skincare are created equal. 

When misused, especially when not properly diluted, essential oils can do more harm than good for your skin. 

Before you take down notes on the best essential oils that you can use for topical application, one important note: Do not use and apply undiluted essential oils on the skin unless the label on the bottle says that you can. 

Here’s why — one tiny drop is highly concentrated and very potent. For example, true rose essential oil takes about 10,000 pounds of flowers to produce 1 pound of oil

It’s also worth noting that unwanted skin reactions to essential oils have nothing to do with impurities (as some brands are claiming). These undesirable skin reactions, ranging from rashes common in sensitive skin to severe allergic reactions, are often a result of the high concentration of ingredients in just one drop.

For this reason, take the following steps before using pure essential oils for your skin:

  • Dilute essential oils with carrier oils like sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. For example, you can add 3 drops of tea tree essential oil to every 10 milliliters of your sweet almond oil. 
  • Do a patch test and apply 1-2 drops of the diluted mixture to your elbow or inner arm. If there’s no redness or any skin reaction in 48 hours, the oil should be good to go for your skin. 

However, a negative patch test does not guarantee that you won’t have an allergic reaction. Instead of patch testing, the Tisserand Institute recommends dose escalation.

With dose escalation, you start with a low dilution (e.g., 1%) and gradually increase it (perhaps add 0.5% more) until you get the desired effects. 

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil 

Best essential oils for skin: Tea tree bottle

Meghan Markle can’t live without her tea tree essential oil; she even calls it her “little cure-all.”

We’re with the Duchess of Sussex on this one, because tea tree oil has tons of skin-saving properties that we love.

For a start, tea tree essential oil shows a lot of promise in banishing the appearance of acne, nail fungus, and mite infections around the eyelids

Next, a Swedish study concluded that tea tree oil is more effective in reducing the appearance of eczema than conventional eczema treatments such as zinc oxide creams. 

Finally, a review of the scientific literature reveals that tea tree essential oil can be used as a supportive dermatologic treatment for acne breakouts, dandruff, and similar skin conditions. 

Way of Will Pro Tip

Absorb excess oil in acne-prone skin and purify your skin with 100% Natural Pure-Grade Tea Tree Essential Oil

After cleansing and drying your face, apply a dab of diluted tea tree essential oil blend to your skin and follow up with your usual skincare routine. Avocado oil, almond oil, and sunflower oil are a good complement to tea tree essential oil for dilution. For 1% dilution (recommended for facial applications), add 3 drops of tea tree oil for every 10 milliliters of your carrier oil. 

Finally, nourish a dry, itchy scalp with tea tree oil. Dilute it with your favorite shampoo or a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply it to your hair, then rinse it out. 

2. Lavender Essential Oil 

Best essential oils for skin: Lavender

Lavender essential oil is popular as a sleep aid because of its calming and anxiety-busting properties. But this essential oil with a distinctly sweet, floral scent packs a punch with the following health benefits for the skin: 

  • Soothes irritated skin. A 2018 research study in Brazil revealed that lavender essential oil can relieve inflammation.
  • Unclogs pores and can improve the appearance of acne. In a 2020 study with 100 participants, researchers used a plant-extract gel made of tea tree, lavender, and other essential oils to treat facial acne. Participants who used the plant-extract gel showed reduced acne appearance. 
  • Speeds up wound healing. A 2020 review of literature concluded that lavender oil shows promising results in its therapeutic benefits for wound healing. 

Way of Will Pro Tip

At Way of Will, we highly recommend using 100% Natural Pure-Grade Lavender Essential Oil to moisturize dry skin. Mix it in with your regular moisturizer for a nightly boost of much-needed hydration.

If you prefer to add lavender oil to your toners, add 2 drops of lavender essential oil to a teaspoon of your favorite toner. 

Our Face Serum for Oily Skin also contains lavender essential oil, perfect for clearing your pores even when you sweat a lot. Add 2-4 drops of the serum in your palm, rub it between your hands, and massage it onto your face in the morning and before bedtime.

3. Frankincense Essential Oil

Best essential oils for skin: Frankincense oil sitting on gold spoons

Frankincense essential oil isn’t called the king of essential oils for nothing.

This essential oil’s earthy, spiced aroma has been revered for centuries because of its collagen-boosting properties. It has also been shown to prevent or reduce the appearance of sunspots and improve skin tone through its ability to help generate new skin cells. 

Way of Will Pro Tip

After washing your face and applying toner at night, end your skincare routine with our Natural Face Moisturizer made with frankincense, bergamot, lavender, and ylang-ylang essential oils.

4. Chamomile Essential Oil

Woman uses dropper oil

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians were known to crush chamomile flowers and apply them directly to their skin for redness, dryness, and skin irritations. 

Centuries later, research shows that chamomile can help improve symptoms of diaper rash, eczema, and other types of bacterial infections involving the skin and mucous membranes. 

Chamomile oil also contains azulene, known for increasing moisture for a well-hydrated, younger-looking skin.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the German Commission E recommends chamomile oil for skin concerns involving inflammation. As a scientific advisory board of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, the German Commission E is Germany’s government body responsible for reviewing the science behind herbal treatments.

Way of Will Pro Tip

Lock in your skin’s natural moisture and improve skin elasticity by adding one to two drops of chamomile essential oil to your body lotion or moisturizer.

Bonus: Other Oils for Your Face and Body

Other noteworthy essential oils for skin include:

  • Peppermint oil for its soothing, menthol effect
  • Clary sage oil for healthy skin and scalp
  • Helichrysum essential oil for skin inflammation and allergies
  • Rose oil for dry, flaky skin

How to Dilute Essential Oils for Skin 

According to Robert Tisserand of the essential oil research-based Tisserand Institute, the skin can absorb more essential oil when it’s diluted. 

Furthermore, they recommend that 0.2-1.5% essential oil dilution is generally considered a safe guideline for facial cosmetics and 1-4% for bath and body use. 

Here’s what a 2% dilution rate looks like: two drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. 

Check out our Guide to Using Essential Oils Safely on Skin for more information.

At Will of Way, we recommend the following DIY ways to dilute and use essential oils for skin:

  1. Add essential oils to your favorite lotion or moisturizer.
  2. Mix essential oils with aloe vera gel.
  3. Dilute them by adding a drop to a palmful of carrier oil like avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, argan oil, or coconut oil. These carrier oils are also known for their skin-nourishing properties.

It also helps to speak with your dermatologist before using essential oils for your skin.

How to Get the Best Essential Oils for Skin 

Woman holds tincture while sitting by window

When looking for the best natural oils for your face and body, anything less than 100% is a waste of money because you don’t get the promised benefit.

Look for reputable companies whose oils are 100% pure-grade essential oil, as is each oil from Way of Will

It also helps to find socially responsible brands like Way of Will — from natural, synthetic-free essential oil formulations to ethically sourced ingredients.

Ready to nourish and protect your skin with nature’s goodness?

Shop our skincare collection for plant-based skincare products designed with everyone in mind.

Your Guide to Essential Oils for Headaches and Migraines
Need a Mental Boost? Try These 7 Essential Oils for Focus
Close My Cart
Close Wishlist
Recently Viewed Close