How to Use Essential Oils for Skin Care {and create a personal face serum}

Essential oils are a great addition to your skin care regimen. Learn how to create your own personalized skin serum recipe and discover how easy it is to use essential oils for skin care - for all skin types!

Essential oils are a great addition to your skin care regimen. Learn how to create your own personalized skin serum recipe and discover how easy it is to use essential oils for skin care - for all skin types!

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or dermatologist so I can’t address specific medical concerns. I can share some advice about using essential oils as part of your skin care regimen - they are a well-established resource for supporting healthy skin.

Using Essential Oils for Skin Care

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Essential oils should definitely be at the top of your list when it comes to skin care. You'll find them (often used as perfuming agents) in many beauty products at your local stores. While that is just fine, they can be even more beneficial when you purchase high-quality oils that provide even more benefits to your skin. And you don't need to be intimidated or nervous about using essential oils for skin - just select the right essential oils for your skin, dilute with a carrier oil, and apply to your face and neck. 

One note: you’ll notice there is some crossover between lists. Essential oils have a wide range of beneficial properties that work for all skin types! Let's break it down and look at how you can use essential oils for skin care - depending on your skin type.

Essential Oils for Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common concern for many people - young and old. Personally, I've found my skin has started getting drier with age (and after growing up with oily skin it feels like quite a change!) and have to learn to adjust my skin care regimen accordingly. Not sure if your skin is dry? Here's what to look for:

  • Dull, rough skin

  • Redness

  • Visible lines

  • Flaking, cracking, or peeling

If you notice any of these symptoms you probably have dry skin -- and it's common to have more than one skin issue - so you could have patches of dry skin and oily spots too! Thankfully, essential oils can help address both issues.

Best essential oils for dry skin

These essential oils should be in your collection if you are dealing with dry skin. They are gentle and soothing - something that dry skin needs:

Essential Oil Skin Serum for Dry Skin

Once you have a few essential oils for dry skin in your hands, you can use them to create a personalized skin serum.

Here's how to make your own essential oil skin serum recipe:

Start with a bottle to hold your skin serum - I like to use a 2-ounce bottle like this one with a dropper cap. Add 18 drops (that's a dilution of 1% - which is good for daily use) to your 2-ounce bottle and fill the remainder with a carrier oil. The best carrier oils for dry skin include avocado oil and sweet almond oil.

Once your skin serum for dry skin is ready, use 1-3 drops every morning and evening - smoothing the oil over your face and neck. 

Another option for dry skin is a deeper moisturizer (instead of a lighter carrier oil). Combine your essential oils with something like coconut butter, coconut oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter (or my favorite lotion -- see below). One tip - if you also have blemish prone skin, skip these heavier oils and stick to the skin serum. 


Essential Oil Face Serum Recipes

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Essential Oils for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin has it's own concerns - making it harder to find products that don't cause redness or breakouts (yes, blemishes can be caused by sensitive skin). Thankfully, some essential oils are gentle and safe for sensitive skin and can actually be quite beneficial (just be sure to dilute!).

Best essential oils for sensitive skin

If sensitive skin is a concern, add these essential oils to your collection. They are gentle and safe and perfect for creating a skin serum for sensitive skin:

Essential Oil Skin Serum for Sensitive Skin

When you have some essential oils for sensitive skin, you're ready to make your personalized skin serum. Just like the skin serum for dry skin, start with a 2-ounce bottle. Add 18 drops of essential oil and fill the remainder with a carrier oil. (Try a blend of German Chamomile and Neroli for your serum.) Use 1-3 drops every morning and evening.

Another great option for sensitive skin is hydrosols (a hydrosol is the liquid that remains after distilling essential oils). They work just as well and can be a safer, gentler option for sensitive skin. 

How to use hydrosols for sensitive skin

If you find that even gentle essential oils like German Chamomile are still too strong, give hydrosols a try. They can be used directly from the bottle with no dilution - sort of like a facial toner. After washing your face, spritz the hydrosol directly on your face, letting it dry (no need to wash off) before applying any makeup, creams or serums. (This method is best used in the evening when you are preparing for bed.) 

Hydrosols for Sensitive Skin

Take a look at Plant Theraphy's Hydrosols. Any of these are great for sensitive skin:

  • Rose
  • Calendula
  • Tea Tree (for blemishes)
  • Melissa
  • Helichrysum
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Frankincense


Essential Oils for Aging Skin

Dealing with the problems of aging skin? Essential oils can help nourish skin and reduce the appearance of age spots - a big concern for many. Also, don't forget the benefits of a good moisturizer with SPF - sun protection is still important!

Best essential oils for aging skin

Add these essential oils to your collection if you're looking for ways to nourish your skin. 

The hydrosols listed in sensitive skin section are also a great option for aging skin. If you find that your skin needs something more gentle, hydrosols make great facial toners.

Essential Oil Skin Serum for Aging Skin

If you've settled on the essential oils you want to use, it's time to make your personal essential oil skin serum. Just like the previous sections, you'll start with a 2-ounce bottle with a dropper cap. Add 18 drops of essential oil before filling the bottle with a carrier oil (Frankincense & Neroli would make a great combination!). Try argan oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, or apricot kernel oil as your carrier oil. To use your skin serum - use 1-3 drops applied over your face and neck twice a day.



Essential Oils for Oily Skin

I had oily skin as a teen and into my twenties and thirties so I understand the struggle of oil and acne and finding products that wouldn't make my face a greasy mess. Essential oils are a great option for oil (and blemish prone) skin. They help nourish the skin (blemish-prone skin is actually sensitive skin!) and can even help regulate oil production.

Best essential oils for oily skin

Add a few of these essential oils to your skin care regimen if you're dealing with oily skin:

Best essential oils for acne and blemishes:

If blemishes and breakouts are a concern, add these oils to your skin serum.

Essential Oil Skin Serum for Oily Skin

Get a few of those essential oils and start making your own personal skin serum. Like the others, you'll start with a 2-ounce bottle and 18 drops of essential oil (Neroli & Geranium would be good choices) before filling the bottle with a carrier oil. Argan oil, grapeseed oil, or sweet almond oil are great choices for oily skin. Just avoid heavier oils like coconut butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter, which can clog pores. To use your skin serum recipe - apply 1-3 drops to your skin and neck each morning and evening.

If you prefer toners after washing your face, skip the serum and try a hydrosol. They are great for blemish prone and oily skin!

Customizing your own hand & body lotion

Skincare isn't just for your face! Your body needs some love too. My favorite option is adding some essential oils to my favorite unscented lotion - Nature's Moisture Hand & Body Cream in the Tohi line from Rocky Mountain Oils.

I squeeze enough lotion to almost fill a 2-ounce bottle and add 18 drops of my favorite essential oils (which is a 1% dilution that's fine for daily use). When my skin is feeling dry (especially my hands in the winter!) I slather on some lotion. 


Essential Oil Skin Serum Recipes

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Put your email address in the form below to join the community & learn how to create a healthy home with essential oils - and get these skin serum recipes and tips.


How do you use essential oils for skin care? Share your tips!

Are you using essential oils for skin care or creating skin care recipes with your essential oils? Share your tips below in a comment - and don't forget to grab the free download.

More resources for essential oils and skin care:

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.