Whether you’ve got oily or dry skin, you’re lacking radiance or after a powerful anti-ager, there’s an essential oil for you. The right one can even help boost your mood and help you de-stress, making them an all-round beauty must-have. But it’s often hard (and confusing) to work out which oil goes best with which concern and how much to use – they’re extremely potent. With this in mind, Savoir Flair tapped Megan Larsen, founder of skincare brand Sodashi, for her top ten picks of essential oils.
“When I select essential oils to formulate Sodashi products, I’m always looking for the ultimate synergy. Whilst most essential oils have amazing aromas, my selection is based on the results I want to achieve in the product I am creating: reduce fine lines and visible signs of aging, balance out the oil that our skin produces, reduce pigmentation, create a glow, and even out tone. Essential oils are at least 70 times more potent than the plants they are derived from, so we need to use them wisely,” explains Larsen.
“They are not ‘fragrance oils’. They are very powerful botanical extracts, so always dilute them and never apply them direct to the skin,” she advises. “If using on the body, a safe dilution is one drop of essential oil for every 10ml of good quality plant oil. If adding to a bath, mix in a little milk to dissolve the oils before adding – and only add eight drops in total. I’ve selected the following essential oils because they all have very unique benefits. And I love them!”
This is steam distilled from the dried seed of the wild carrot. Unlike the common carrot, wild carrot has an inedible, tough, and whitish root. Although it’s rarely used in skincare, this is one of my favorite oils for its effectiveness to revitalize dull and lifeless skin. It works wonders on wrinkles and aging skin!
Palmarosa grows as wild grass in India, and the steam is distilled from growing fresh or dried grass. Highly antiseptic, it has a great ability to balance the skin, whether it’s producing too much oil or not enough. It’s also very hydrating and, on an emotional level, it can help reduce nervousness and anxiety whilst restoring a feeling of security.
This is a very aromatic herb with a pungent root, and the oil is made from the steam that’s distilled from the dried and crushed roots and rhizomes. It also happens to be one of the most costly and precious aromatics used in ancient times. I adore Spikenard – it is the ultimate essential oil to help us with our inner balance, connectedness, and inner calm. It is so healing and balancing for the heart chakra.
I’ve chosen this oil because I use the uncommon “steam distilled” variety, and it smells so sweet that you could be fooled into thinking you’re smelling lime cordial! Steam-distilled lime is not phototoxic, meaning it does not affect the pigment of your skin in sunlight, whereas cold-pressed lime does.
Not only does the fragrance make your mouth water, the benefits are also wonderful. It naturally counteracts the overproduction of sebum, a common problem for oily skin, and works as an astringent. It’s also refreshing and incredibly uplifting – my favorite oil when I’m feeling fatigued!
Lavender is such a powerfully regenerative oil for the skin to assist with all signs of aging. It’s also really useful to alleviate stress and ideal in an acute crisis situation. It is the one essential oil I recommend that can be applied directly to the skin – but just a drop or two! It’s also helpful for depression, insomnia, and headaches. It’s probably one of my favorites since I often visit the south of France when they are in harvest and distill this wonderful essential oil.
Frankincense oil is extracted from the gum or resin from Frankincense or Olibanum trees. This grounding oil is extremely rejuvenating for the skin, especially for aging and mature skins. Frankincense oil promotes the regeneration of healthy cells and keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy. It also has mood-elevating properties and is soothing, calming, and settling for the mind and emotions.
The reason Geranium is on my list of favorites is because it’s excellent for all skin conditions. It helps to balance the oil that our skin secretes, and it evens out dry complexions. It also assists in balancing hormonal skin breakouts. Another reason I like it so much is that it brings balance to the mind, body, and spirit along with having a balancing effect on the nervous system.
This delicate aroma comes from orange blossom flowers and, even though it is so delicate, it has amazing properties. For the skin, it helps to improve elasticity, which assists in making it firmer. For the mood and emotions, it is an effective relaxant, particularly useful for insomnia and when sleeplessness arises from anxiety.
Petitgrain is made from the leaves and twigs of the same tree as Neroli. It helps skins that are prone to oiliness or stress-related conditions, and is excellent for reducing inflammation from acne. From a mood standpoint, it is uplifting and refreshes the mind. It gives assurance if you are feeling low and helps soothe emotions.
This beautiful oil makes my list of favorites not only because it is such a wondrous essential oil, but also because I have had the delightful experience of spending time with our supplier of Damask rose oil and picking the rose blooms at harvest time! The aroma was amazing.
The oil cools and calms the skin, and is very effective in hydrating and restoring a youthful glow to the complexion. Rose essential oil also refreshes and brings joy to the heart. It’s particularly good for self-nurturing and self-esteem, and it gives comfort during heartbreak and emotional loss.