Clean beauty is all the rage these days—and for good reason. Our skin is constantly exposed to countless chemicals and pollutants, so it only makes sense to opt for gentler ingredients. I’ve been diving deep into the world of clean beauty for years (and have racked up enough loyalty points at my favorite clean retailers to prove it). I’m an expert in the clean sunscreens that leave a white cast, am well-versed in the natural exfoliators that give my skin a fresh-faced glow, and of course, I know a thing or two about the best anti-aging essential oils.
The worst thing you can do to your skin is overwork it, and when it comes to anti-aging skincare, the old less-is-more adage often rings true. Putting too much strain on your skin, whether through your lifestyle or with too many topical products, can tire it out and even compromise your skin barrier. For gentler solutions, consider turning to products with natural ingredients, like the best anti-aging essential oils. Many essential oils are full of antioxidants and might even help boost collagen for radiant, glowy skin.
To discover the best anti-aging essential oils and learn how to make them a part of any skin-supporting routine, I consulted Dr. Michelle Henry, a New York City-based dermatologist. Read on for all things essential oils—plus why keeping them in your medicine cabinet might be the best thing you can do for your skin.
Feature image by Michelle Nash.
Can essential oils reverse wrinkles?
Essential oils are commonly used as a natural alternative to chemical, commercial products to combat signs of aging. Research has shown that essential oils can promote collagen growth by reducing free radicals, which compromise the skin barrier. Dr. Henry notes that “essential oils can help with anti-aging if they are also functioning as an antioxidant. Studies show that lavender oil and clove oil may have some antioxidant capacity. And in addition to these two essential oils to skincare products may help to reduce the free radical oxygen species, which can lead to accelerated aging and damage of the collagen.”
With their antioxidant properties, the benefits of using essential oils as a part of an anti-aging skincare routine include:
- Prevent free radical damage caused by environmental stress
- Protect collagen
- Reduce signs of pigmentation and fine lines
- Harness detoxing properties to reduce inflammation
- Improve overall skin health
What are the best anti-aging essential oils?
When it comes to the best anti-aging essential oils, different oils target and treat different concerns. Below are my faves and Dr. Henry’s go-to recommendations.
- Lemon Can reduce sun damage and oxidation, preventing wrinkles and pigmentation with its high vitamin C content.
- Rosemary Helps keep free radicals from breaking down the elastin, keeping your skin tight and taught.
- Rose Widely known for its beauty benefits. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties to reduce redness and promote skin renewal.
- Clary Sage Can help protect vital skin proteins from free radical damage.
- Clove Essential Oil One of Dr. Henry’s favorites. Clove oil removes dead skin cells and promotes blood circulation for brighter, more youthful skin.
- Lavender Dr. Henry loves this essential oil because it helps protect against the oxidative stress that can damage your skin barrier and the breakdown of your collagen reserves.
- Pomegranate Prevents new damage to the skin while helping to fade sun spots and calm inflammation.
- Frankincense Can help reduce scarring, stretch marks, and fine lines by toning the complexion and promoting new cell growth.
So, how do you use essential oils for anti-aging?
While many clean beauty skincare products contain essential oils to boost their anti-aging properties, you can also get creative and have a little fun DIY-ing your skincare. It’s important to note that you should always use essential oils in a carrier oil. A carrier oil is a fatty base oil that dilutes the strength of the essential oil to help “carry” it to your skin.
A few things to remember when using essential oils:
- Use at night (or use plenty of SPF!) Some essential oils make your skin more sensitive to the sun. It’s best to either apply before bed or follow up with ample sunscreen.
- Seek out personalized advice. When incorporating potent ingredients into your routine, remember that various skin types will respond differently. Dr. Henry recommends consulting your physician or dermatologist when using essential oils and to follow their guidance to a Tee.