Can Essential Oil Be Used On Skin?

This is probably one of the most commonly asked question. Can essential oil be used on skin?

Before we go into more details and explore on whether can essential oils be used on skin, we have to be mindful that not all essential oils are made the same. So the first consideration we are going to make is on the quality.

Quality Of The Essential Oil

When using essential oils on the skin, it is imperative that pure unadulterated essential oils are used. If there are other fillers in the preparation, we run the risk of introducing unexpected reactions. We need to stay clear of questionable chemicals.

If something seems to be too cheap a deal, you should not be saying “WOW” but rather you should be asking “WHY”. The same goes for the carrier oil. You want to get a pure unadulterated carrier oil so as to not introduce any questionable chemicals.

can essential oil be used on skin?

Absorbability Of Essential Oils

The human skin functions as a physicochemical barrier. Molecules of a certain size are not able to penetrate the skin. Most researches place this at 500 Daltons or simply a molecular weight of 500. Any molecules that are of this size or larger will probably not make it far beyond the skin.

Here are some of the molecular weights for essential oil components:

  • Alpha-boswellic / beta-boswellic acids (frankincense) C30H48O3 : 456.7
  • Acetyl-alpha-boswellic and acetyl-beta-boswellic acids (frankincense) C32H50O4 : 498.73
  • Citronellol (citronella, geranium) C10H20O : 156.26
  • Lavandulyl acetate (lavender) C12H20O2 : 196.29
  • Linalool (many mints, spice and citrus fruits) C10H18O : 154.25

The information on hand suggests that most essential oil components may be absorbed beyond the skin.

Suitability Of Essential Oils

Essential oils exhibit a wide range of characteristics and intensities. For example, frankincense is well tolerated by most while oregano is probably too spicy for many. Citrus oils such as lemon may also increase photo sensitivity. When using essential oils, you have to keep all considerations in mind. The choice of essential oil must be based on the logic of it being suitable for you and known to support your desired outcome without adverse effects.


Always dilute the essential oil with a pure unadulterated carrier oil. Here are two reasons why you should:

  • Essential oils are very concentrated. For example a 15 ml lemon essential oil may need 80 lemons. Spreading it out with a carrier oil helps minimize sensitivity issues.
  • Essential oils are volatile and when applied on its own, much of it will probably be lost to evaporation. Having a carrier oil mixed it will allow it to remain around longer and likely enhance the absorption.

As of all products, doing a patch test is a must. Apply a diluted preparation on a small area of your skin and monitor for undesired reactions prior to actual use in your wholesome living regime.

Always follow the better be safe than sorry rule. Start slow, little and ease it in gradually. Stop and consult professional advice when in doubt.

The Bottom Line

Essential oils may be a great natural solution to support wholesome living when used in a proper and prudent manner. It is important that you use essential oils responsibly and seek medical attention when necessary.

Explore our essential oils reference guide for more information on usage. You can find many common essential oils there with more being added regularly.
A list of essential oils that support skin wellness are listed below.

Source: Wikipedia, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Essentials by Mor.
*Information is not intended to replace professional medical assistance or to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent any disease. Essential oils are concentrated and caution must be taken. Conduct an allergy check prior to use. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Use pure unadulterated essential oils only. Results may vary between individuals. Opinions and comments of individuals featured are of their own and not representative of the site. Always consult a physician when in doubt. You are solely responsible for your actions.

Essential oils that supports skin wellness:

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