Ah, the dreaded signs of aging – wrinkles, sagging skin, fine lines. Unfortunately, the skin is the organ of the body that is visibly affected by age and environmental factors. Collagen production decreases, which leads to dryness and dullness; and the breakdown of elastin can lead to a loss of firmness and elasticity (14). And if you’re like most, you want to do something about it.The good news is, you don’t have to accept your fate and resign yourself to looking older than you are – there are natural solutions out there that can help reduce the appearance of those pesky wrinkles and lines. Essential oils can help you reverse some of the signs of aging and make your skin look firmer and younger. From powerful antioxidants to nourishing vitamins and minerals, essential oils have a multitude of benefits when it comes to restoring skin’s natural elasticity and keeping it looking youthful for years to come.
Which Essential Oil Is Best For Skin Tightening?
Essential oils are derived from plants and herbs, which means that they’re filled with natural compounds that can soothe, nourish, and rejuvenate the skin. Below we’ve rounded up some of the best essential oils for skin tightening.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is known for its calming and soothing properties, which make it the go-to aromatherapy option (10). When applied topically, this oil improves skin elasticity, making it more toned and youthful looking. There are several explanations as to why this works.
First, the antioxidants present in lavender essential oil are thought to help tighten and tone the skin by protecting it from environmental damage caused by free radicals. This benefit is realized if the oil is included in a regular skincare routine over a period of time.
The second way lavender essential oil can help to tighten skin is through its anti-inflammatory properties (7). When applied topically, it can reduce inflammation and puffiness in the skin, resulting in a more toned and youthful appearance.
Finally, this oil can also help to boost the skin barrier, i.e. the natural protective layer of the skin. This barrier helps to protect our skin from environmental aggressors, like UV rays, pollutants, and bacteria. When our skin barrier is strong and healthy, our skin looks tighter, firmer, and more toned.
Bear in mind that it’s calming and soothing properties can help relieve stress and promote good sleep. Destressing and sleeping well are two factors that can highly contribute to how healthy and glowing your skin looks.
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2. Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil is derived from the seeds of wild roses, and it’s jam-packed with antioxidants and fatty acids that are beneficial for the skin (13). It contains:
- Vitamin A helps reverse the signs of aging and reduce wrinkles.This vitamin (commonly referred to in skin care as retinol) is also known to help brighten the skin and even out discoloration by stimulating cell turnover.
- Vitamin C, which is known to stimulate collagen production, improve skin tone, and reduce the appearance of age spots
- Vitamin E, which can help to protect the skin from environmental damage and keep it looking youthful
- Essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acid) that help nourish, moisturize and heal the skin
- Antioxidants (lycopene and beta-carotene) that help combat the damage caused by free radicals and have skin lightening properties
- When applied topically, rosehip seed oil helps to protect the skin from environmental damage, improve skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is derived from the flowers of a rose-like plant (Pelargonium graveolens). It has a rich floral scent that makes it an ideal choice for mood-boosting aromatherapy.
If you need an essential oil treatment for tightening skin that actually contains collagen, then geranium essential oil is a great choice (12). This oil contains geraniol and citronellol, which both have anti-aging properties that help to firm and tone the skin.
The natural collagen present in this oil can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, giving you a more youthful look.Other components of geranium essential oil that can benefit the skin include antioxidants, which help to protect it from environmental damage, and anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe and calm skin irritation.
4. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is derived from the resin of a tree (Boswellia carterii) native to Somalia and Ethiopia. It has a woody and earthy scent with some citrus notes, which makes it a calming addition to aromatherapy (8).
It’s also an effective essential oil for tightening skin as it contains:
- Astringent compounds (such as alpha-pinene and limonene) that help to reduce inflammation and puffiness in the skin, giving it a firmer appearance
- Collagen boosting components (such as actinidin and bornyl acetate) that help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Antioxidants (such as alpha and beta pinene) that help to protect the skin from environmental damage and reduce the signs of aging
This oil is especially useful because it has small molecules that can penetrate deep into the skin, giving it an extra boost of rejuvenation (3). When applied topically, it also helps to keep your skin oxygenated (which is important for youthful and healthy skin).
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5. Jasmine Essential Oil
Jasmine essential oil is derived from the flowers of a genus of shrubs native to tropical regions (Jasminum sambac). It has a sweet and exotic scent that is often used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety (11).
Its main benefit for aging skin is promoting blood circulation. Jasmine essential oil contains compounds (such as benzyl acetate, cis-3-hexenol, and linalool) that help to increase circulation in the skin, which encourages more vitamins and nutrients to be absorbed (2). This can increase the turnover of skin cells and give you a brighter, more youthful complexion.
Jasmine essential oil is also an effective anti-aging treatment because it contains:
- Antioxidants that help to prevent and repair DNA damage from environmental stressors like UV radiation, pollution, and smoke.
- Skin cell-regenerating properties that help to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- Anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce the appearance of redness, puffiness, and other skin irritations.
6. Myrrh Essential Oil
Myrrh essential oil is derived from the resin of a tree native to North Africa and the Middle East (Commiphora myrrha). It has a rich and earthy scent with notes of spice, and aromatherapy with it can be used to reduce stress and anxiety.
Myrrh essential oil is an effective tightening agent for the skin because it contains a combination of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and collagen boosting compounds (4). These components help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.
Additionally, myrrh essential oil is an excellent moisturizer because it contains natural emollients that help to lock in moisture and keep skin looking hydrated. It can also promote circulation, which helps to give you a brighter complexion.
7. Grapeseed Essential Oil
Grapeseed essential oil is derived from the seeds of grapes and is a light, non-greasy moisturizer. It also has a slight nutty scent, which adds to its therapeutic properties (9).
It’s quick-absorbing, light texture makes it an ideal choice for oily skin, as it won’t leave behind any greasy residue. For skin tightening, this oil is an excellent choice because it contains:
- Vitamins A and E, which help to regenerate skin cells and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Polyphenols, which help to protect the skin from environmental damage.
- Linoleic acid, which helps to boost collagen production and keep skin looking supple.
- Grapeseed essential oil is also a great choice for acne-prone skin as it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to keep breakouts at bay.
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8. Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli essential oil is derived from the flowers of a bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium). One compound makes it worthy of mention here; it’s called citral.
Citral is a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce the signs of aging caused by pollution, smoke, and UV radiation (6). More importantly, citral plays a role in skin cell regeneration (which helps to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging).
Neroli essential oil also contains a high concentration of monoterpenes, which are known to help reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals. This makes it a very effective treatment for skin that is prone to acne and other forms of inflammation (5).
9. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum essential oil is derived from a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region. It’s known for its amazing regenerative and revitalizing properties, making it a great choice for skin that needs some extra TLC (1).
A closer look at the oil reveals that its skin-friendly properties come from a combination of powerful compounds, such as antioxidants, carotenoids and phytosterols. More specifically:
- Antioxidants, such as neryl acetate, help protect the skin from environmental damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Carotenoids, such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, help to keep the skin looking smooth and youthful.
- Phytosterols, such as stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol, help to moisturize the skin, reduce inflammation and protect collagen from damage.
When used topically, helichrysum essential oil must be used with a carrier oil, as it can be quite potent. When applied regularly, this essential oil might be the answer to achieving younger-looking skin.
How To Use The Best Essential Oils For Skin Tightening
Follow these steps to use essential oils for skin tightening:
Step 1 – Dilute The Essential Oil
Essential oils are very concentrated and should be used in small amounts. The best way to do this is to blend the oils with a carrier oil, and we recommend the following:
- Aloe vera gel – (not an oil), aloe vera gel is a great base for essential oil blends, as it helps to soothe and hydrate the skin while also providing an additional layer of protection.
- Coconut oil – is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that nourish the skin. May be a bit too greasy for some skin types, so use sparingly.
- Jojoba oil – moisturizes the skin and helps to balance oil production (has non-comedogenic properties)
- Almond oil – is rich in vitamin E and helps to reduce inflammation while nourishing the skin.
- Avocado oil – contains oleic acid, a fatty acid, that helps to nourish and hydrate the skin.
- Argan oil – is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which help to replenish the skin’s moisture levels.
- Apricot kernel oil – is a light oil that quickly absorbs into the skin and helps to reduce inflammation.
- Black seed oil – is a great choice for those with oily skin, as it helps to control oil production and has antibacterial properties.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to blending essential oils with carrier oils. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends a dilution rate of 2.5% for adults. For a simple blend, try adding 15 drops of essential oil per oz of carrier oil. Of course, the ratio can be adjusted as needed to suit your skin type.
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Step 2 – Patch Test
Regardless of which essential oils you’re using, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before applying the blend all over. There are three reasons why patch testing is a good idea;
- It ensures that the essential oil blend is suitable and beneficial for your skin type.
- It helps to uncover any potential sensitivities or allergies to the oils.
- It gives you an opportunity to check and adjust the strength of the blend before using it on your entire face or body.
To patch test, apply a small amount of the blend to your inner arm. Leave it for at least 24 hours and check for any signs of irritation. If you experience any redness or itching, discontinue use and try another blend.
Step 3 – Massage The Blend Onto Your Skin
Once you have confirmed that the essential oil blend is suitable for your skin type, it’s time to start massaging it into your skin. Using gentle circular motions, massage the blend onto your face or body. Make sure to cover all areas and be generous with your application. Your skin must be clean and exfoliated in order for the blend to be effective.
After massaging it into your skin, leave the blend on for at least 10 minutes. This will help to penetrate deeper layers of the skin and allow its nourishing properties to take effect.After 10-15 minutes, you may rinse the blend off with lukewarm water. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel, and you may also apply a moisturizer to soothe the skin.
You may also leave it on the skin overnight and allow the nourishing ingredients to continue working while you rest.
It’s advisable to use essential oil for skin tightening at night, due to potential phototoxicity. Phototoxicity is when the skin becomes more sensitive to UV rays due to a reaction with essential oils. Therefore, it’s best to avoid prolonged sun exposure after using essential oils.
The Bottom Line
When used correctly and safely, essential oils can be a great addition to your skincare routine. They help to nourish and hydrate the skin, as well as reduce inflammation. It’s important to always do a patch test before using any essential oil blend on your face or body, and to take note of any phototoxicity risks.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of essential oil from Helichrysum microphyllum Cambess. subsp. tyrrhenicum Bacch., Brullo & Giusso collected in South-West Sardinia (2019, nih.gov)
- Antibacterial Potential Assessment of Jasmine Essential Oil Against E. Coli (2008, nih.gov)
- Biological activities of frankincense essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts (2017, nih.gov)
- Commiphora myrrh: a phytochemical and pharmacological update (2023, nih.gov)
- Chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Citrus aurantium l. flowers essential oil (Neroli oil) (2012, nih.gov)
- Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of the Essential Oils of Citral-Rich Chemotype Cinnamomum camphora and Cinnamomum bodinieri (2022, nih.gov)
- Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response (2018, nih.gov)
- Frankincense-therapeutic properties (2016, nih.gov)
- Grape Seed Oil Compounds: Biological and Chemical Actions for Health (2016, nih.gov)
- Lavender aromatherapy: A systematic review from essential oil quality and administration methods to cognitive enhancing effects (2022, nih.gov)
- Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil (2010, nih.gov)
- Topical Delivery of Geranium/Calendula Essential Oil-Entrapped Ethanolic Lipid Vesicular Cream to Combat Skin Aging (2021, nih.gov)
- The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity (2015, nih.gov)
- Understanding the Dynamics of the Aging Process (2020, nih.gov)