Essential Oils in Skincare: Fad or Fab?

So, I’ve been noticing more and more facial serums with essential oils in them, with anti-aging, tightening, brightening, as well as anti-taché properties. Just a few months ago I was so curious about the cult favourite, Vintner’s Daughter’s (as it is probably one of the most prestigious facial serums in the market- at $185 for 30ml), that I started to study their ingredients list. I found out that the product is packed with essential oils- which is being coined as “active ingredients”.

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So how does it make them different from any other essential oils that you would find in the market? For one the brand is 100% organic or wildcrafted, this in itself would make the ingredients a lot more expensive vs. commercial grade (non-organic). However, to my knowledge the brand isn’t organically certified. However, this does happen sometimes as the organic certification process can be a long and dreary as well as expensive one (where companies are being charged thousands per year based upon their sales bracket). I also love the fact that the grape seed oil comes from their very own vinery. There’s a sense of true artisanal spirit to it. Would I purchase the product? I might try their sample vials but at $185 for their full size bottle- I still think it’s a bit steep. What I worry most is that if I do try their vials and that I fall in love with the product, and there’s no turning back. I’ve read that this have happened before. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about!

Also, another cult favourite that you’ve probably stumbled upon on Instagram lately is Votary. Votary an up and coming UK-based brand which is created by a British makeup artist that specialises in facial oils. I’ve also noticed that they have quite a number of essential oils in which they add into their facial oils. I like the fact that the have a very minimal ingredients list. This is extremely important for those who suffer from sensitive skin because in this way, we are able to (in a way) narrow down which ingredients you may be developing sensitivity from. Furthermore, compounding too many ingredients in a product may cause irritation, and it makes hard to identify which ingredient causes such irritations. So I’m all for minimalist ingredients.

Their packaging exudes nothing but optimal luxury, so I was a little surprised to find that their facial oils are actually much more affordable that Vintner’s Daughter or even Neal’s Yard (I’ll get to that in bit). Their facial oils ranges from £45 to £135. Their Toning Serum costs £75 for 50 ml. It’s still a little pricey to what I’m used to but I’m actually keen on trying one of their products. Prolly would pop on over to Liberty to try them out!


Another brand that famously uses essential oils in their products is Neal’s Yard. Especially for those who are from the UK, Neal’s Yard has been around since 1980s and have 59 stores just within the UK in itself. They have a new range of products that uses Frankincense as their hero ingredient. I walked into their store a few weeks ago and was keen to find a serum that would help lighten my scars and pigmentations. The lady hurried over with their Frankincense Intensive Lift Serum and explained how it’s a miracle worker.

I tried the product on the back of my hand and found it very hydrating. I then looked into the ingredients list and noticed that frankincense (Boswellia Sacra Gum/Resin Extract) is towards the middle of the ingredients list. Meaning that the serum does not actually contain a high concentration of frankincense. It has a milky consistency, which reminds me of Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum at £45 (30ml) but of course both products target different skin issues. The fact that it doesn’t contain a high percentage frankincense and water (aqua) being their main ingredient, I honestly feel that it is a little overpriced at a whopping £75 a pop (30ml). Don’t get me wrong I do love me some premium skincare it’s just sometimes I feel there are things worth paying for and sometimes not. I’m always in search for a better/ more affordable alternative for both my followers and myself.

I went back and started researching about essential oils in skincare. I stumbled upon a few more blogs and vlogs on essential oils being incorporated into skincare. So I went on a search for quality yet affordable essential oils. I realised that organic essential oils are a little hard to find and are in fact pricier (as of anything organic on average costs 47% more than non-organic products). As I dug deeper, to my surprise I found that according to aromatherapist, Robert Tisserand, there may be no difference between organic and non-organic essential oils due to the insignificant amount of pesticides typically found in non-organic essential oils.

So I went on to researching on which essential oils are beneficial to different types of skin needs. I discovered that frankincense is a potent anti-oxidant (great for wrinkles), while rose geranium is great for combination skin as it helps to de-clog pores. Convinced with my findings and the current beauty trend, I went ahead to purchase a few essential oils to be incorporated into my skincare regime. I bought a bottle of 100% pure Frankincense, Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Lavender, Helichrysum and Calendula oil. Ok, the last one isn’t exactly an essential oil as it is a carrier oil.

About a week later when I received my products, I excitedly ripped open the package and when ahead to try it out. An important tip is to always dilute your essential oils in carrier oils that is suitable for your skin type/ needs.

Here are some of my combos:

  1. Frankincense + Sea Buckthorn Oil: Helps healing the skin (anti-inflammatory) & anti-aging properties (helps tighten, firm & aids cell turnover)
  2. Helichrysum + Calendula Oil: Great for scars & Hyper-pigmentation- I’ve used this on my cauterised scarring on my face and I can confidently say that the scar has lightened after a couple of months of use. However, I’ve also been using Caudalie’s Vinoperfect serum at the same time.
  3. Rose Geranium + Rose Hip Oil: Helps with blackheads/ whiteheads (noticed a decrease) and cell turnover since Rose Hip oil is a natural Retinol (Vitamin A). I noticed that my nose area is less congested than usual.
  4. Lavender + Jojoba Oil: Great for sunspots, healing, stressed skin- You can use this on your face but I add this in my body lotion and it makes me feel more relaxed.
  5. Rosemary + Shampoo/Sweet Almond Oil: Helps with hair growth. Use this as a scalp massage either while washing your hair or a pre-wash scalp massage and leave it on for an hour prior to washing. There was a study done on this which compares Rosemary with Minoxidil 2% and after a few weeks of usage, both groups have very similar results. The only difference is that the group that used Rosemary did not experience any side effects (i.e.: itchy scalp, dandruff, initial shedding etc.).

Make sure you always use a moisturiser after you apply oils, just to seal it all in and act as a protective barrier. Also, be sure to always use a minimum of SPF30 sunscreen during daytime as some oils may make your skin photo-sensitive.

I must say after about a couple of months of incorporating essential oils into my beauty routine, I feel like this has become my holy grail! I think I’m probably addicted to the smell essential oils at this point. They are really miracle workers! I feel that not only my complexion has improved but my state of mind have gotten progressively calmer. I am also to sleep better when I use lavender oil with my body lotion. Please be sure to use at most a 1:5 ratio to carrier oil/ lotion when using essential oil. A drop or two is more than sufficient. My skin hasn’t felt as smooth as it has felt since my early 20s! It is really quite astonishing! However, please be extra cautious and do a patch test if you have sensitive skin as essential oils may sensitise your skin, especially when we are not being careful.

But for now, my entire experience with essential oils have been a positive one. Just be sure to buy quality brands that are safe for external use (i.e.: on skin application) as not all essential oils are created equally (or possess the same quality). The ones that you can get at a cheap thrift store is a big no-no to be applied onto your skin. You know they are synthetic just from the smell of it. Be sure to check the manufacturers, brand credibility and reviews online. It’s clear, I think essential oils are a fab! Plus, it’s definitely here to stay!

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