Essential Oils are a bit like CBD in that they have an array of healing benefits, except for that there are more of them, they each have a specific use, and they smell great (not that CBD smells bad, but it can’t rival rose oil for example).
Some oils can be used on their own, but generally it is best to blend them with a carrier oil.
My favourite carrier oils are;
- Sweet almond
A word of caution:
For making a roughly 2% essential oil dilution, mix 12 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil. Before you apply this solution to the skin, carry out a skin patch test. Despite the fact that everyone should take this step, it is particularly important for those with eczema or sensitive skin.
They each have their own healing properties, and are all beneficial for eczema.
Sweet Almond oil is hypoallergenic and can be safely used on baby skin. It is naturally rich in Vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant. It has a calming and moisturising effect on irritated skin.
Calendula oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties, and is able to calm irritated, dry and cracked skin.
Rosehip oil is known for its anti-ageing properties, and is able to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. It is a great moisturiser and skin toner.
Argan oil is also a great moisturising and toning oil, that can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
Sunflower oil is extremely rich in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and therefore protects the skin from oxidative stress and thus ageing. It has healing properties, and is also very affordable.
When it comes to using EOs there are three ways to do it;
- Applying topically
Not all oils can serve all three purposes. In some cases it can be dangerous if you do not use them the right way. Some oils are very potent, and unlike CBD, may not be suitable for everyone; if you are pregnant or breastfeeding it may be best to ensure you tolerate them.
Below is a list of my favourite essential oils, some I use daily, others only when I am in need. Each of them has a unique effect on me.
Lavender EO has very calming properties, and is known to reduce stress, improve sleep, and alleviate anxiety and depression, all of which can have detrimental effects on eczema.
It is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and aids skin regeneration and can help prevent skin ageing.
It is easily tolerated, and can even be applied directly to the skin, it is however recommended that you blend it with a carrier oil.
Its antimicrobial properties are enhanced when blended with other essential oils like tea tree.
Geranium EO has powerful healing properties, and is able to speed up the process of wound and cut healing, as it increases blood circulation right below the surface of the skin.
It also speeds up the fading of scars and other blemishes, as well as minimising the appearance of wrinkles. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can fight off skin infections.
This is extremely important when dealing with eczema, as constant scratching damages the skin and can leave it vulnerable to infections and long and arduous healing if left untreated.
Geranium is also able to relieve stress, and reduce pain, especially menstruation pain thanks to its hormone balancing properties.
Rose EO has many qualities that make it beneficial to the skin. Rose is one of the strongest bactericidal oils, and is especially good at dealing with the bacterial responsible for acne.
It is also a very soothing oil, both for the skin and the mind. Whenever I use it I feel calm and satisfied; there is some kind of magic around it.
When I use it on my skin, it calms any itch immediately, and reduces the appearance of redness and irritation overnight. This is especially true when I blend it with other oils.
Rose oil increases the permeability of your skin and helps it absorb more of the chemicals and nutrients, so make sure you are using it with good quality oils and products.
Rose EO is very expensive, so when you buy it you are likely to find it blended with a carrier oil already.
Tea Tree EO
Tea Tree EO is the most well known oil for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and it even has anti-cancer properties.
However, it can also relieve any types of skin inflammation, and is used in treating eczema and psoriasis, and is more effective when mixed with lavender oil.
It is also a potent disinfectant, and is great for preventing skin infections and aiding wound healing. I also find that it effectively calms down localised itching urges, when I am experiencing a rash.
Peppermint EO smells great and makes me breathe easy. It is possibly the oil with the most uses, many of which are beneficial to the skin. It is great for reducing itching when your skin is inflamed and irritated, be it from eczema, psoriasis, or an insect bite.
It is also used for sunburn relief, and can hydrate burnt skin, relieve pain, and promote skin renewal. If you have a headache, apply it to the temples and it will relax muscle tension and improve circulation. It will also help digestion.
Personally, I use peppermint oil to prevent myself from itching, and if I am experiencing a flare-up, it is my go to itch calming oil. You can further enhance its anti-itch properties by mixing it with lavender EO.
However, be careful not to apply it close to the eyes, the menthol will make you tear up. Also, it may sting a little, but do not fret as it will be refreshing more than anything else.
Frankincense EO is an ancient oil, and has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic and healing benefits.
Among its many benefits it is able to reduce stress reactions and negative emotions which is important when we are dealing with psychosomatic eczema.
Frankincense is also an immune booster, which means it enhances the body’s ability to destroy dangerous bacteria, viruses and even cancers.
Its astringent and antiseptic qualities not only prevent infection and kill germs, but also help protect skin cells, can reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores and prevent wrinkles.
It is also used as a stretch mark remedy and helps with scar healing. It is therefore not surprising that it is effective in treating eczema and healing damaged skin.
Frankincense also reduces inflammation and is therefore able to help with inflamed and raw skin. My EO hack is to blend Frankincense with Myrrh, as they are synergetic, and enhance one another.
Myrrh EO is another ancient oil that has been used for centuries, and was historically used for embalming and as an antiseptic. It should therefore come to now surprise that this oil has potent anti-aging and skin rejuvenating properties.
Whenever I use my homemade “toning” oil blend, I always notice how smooth my skin is the next day.
It is also amazing for treating skin that has been damaged by scratching, as it is antibacterial and antifungal, and aids wound healing. It also smells wonderful and is relaxing.
One thing to keep in mind is that Myrrh is a potent oil and it might be a good idea to test it on a small part of your skin prior to using it on a big area.
Ravensara oil is extracted from steam distillation of leaves from a tree known as Ravensara aromatica. For thousands of years, local people used this essential oil as a medicinal pick-me-up to deal with infection.
Ravensara essential oil is regarded as a cure-all for valid reasons, it has the following properties;
It works well in a 50-50 ratio with Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil. The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil work nicely on the skin and can manage breakouts.
You can also mix this essential oil with Helichrysumitalicum, lavender or any other carrier oil. Just use it on the affected areas and observe how cuts and wounds heal.
Oil of oregano is extracted from the Mediterranean wild oregano plant Origanum vulgare. It was been used by the Greeks for dealing with all sorts of diseases, such as colds, fever, skin and digestive problems.
Many laboratory tests and studies have proven the antimicrobial properties of oregano oil. It can efficiently stop the development of all types of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.
Numerous scientists have discovered that it can get rid of candida, a fungus that is shown to intensify the condition of eczema. This essential oil also has considerable amounts of minerals, vitamins and trace elements that can help fortify the body’s immune response to many kinds of disease.
The germ killing ability of this oil lies in its effective chemical substances. Oregano oil has flavonoids, phytochemicals and phenols that can destroy all kinds of hazardous microbes. Carvacrol and thymol are the two major active agents. This oil has been identified to destroy the most drug resistant bacteria, MRSA. It is also helpful to control the development of cancer cells, parasites and other harmful microbes.
Bottom line is…
When applying essential oils for eczema, it is crucial to use 100% pure essential oils free from additives and adulterants, whilst blending them with high quality carrier oils to prevent hypersensitivity responses and risking further irritating the skin.