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Herbs and Oils for Skin

Here is a breakdown of the oils, essential oils, and herbs that are good for specific types of skin or health problems.

Creating your own lotions, bath salts, soaps, and other skin care products can be fun and satisfying. However, most of the oils and herbs that you can use do much more than smell good. There are some very useful properties to most herbs and oils, and some are better for your specific skin type. Here is a breakdown of the oils, essential oils, and herbs that are good for specific types of skin or health problems.

As always, write down all your recipes and experiments, because you will never know what combination you will love or hate until you try it. In oils, herbs, and essential oils remember that a little goes a long way, so start off with very small amounts. It is much easier to add more, than to try to take some away or balance the recipe by adding more of other ingredients. Take precautions, never use essential oils without diluting them in a carrier oil or recipe.If you have never used a specific herb or oil before, do a small skin test to make sure you will suffer no allergic reactions or have a specific sensitivity to an ingredient.

For normal skin the best oils to use are coconut, olive, jojoba, or safflower oils. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most universally beneficial are sage, rose, lavender, chamomile, geranium, jasmine, nutmeg, rosewood, cedarwood, and sandalwood. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be violet, green tea, parsley, chamomile, alfalfa, dandelion, lemon peel, jasmine flowers, ginseng, and banana.

For sensitive skin, the best oils to use are coconut, sunflower, almond, olive, apricot, or hemp oil. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be geranium, sage. rose, jasmine, chamomile, orange, cedar or rosewood. Myrrh, cypress, or patchouli can be helpful as well. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be saint john’s wort, sage, burdock, orange power, marshmallow, green tea, red clover, banana, oats, milk thistle, elder, meadow-sweet, linden, cucumber, echinacea, or watercress.

For older skin that might be starting to loose it’s elasticity, the best oils to use are Shea butter, olive oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, rose-hip, carrot root, vitamin E,  or avocado oil. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be fennel, lemon, carrot seed, peppermint, lavender, rose, cypress, patchouli, frankincense, geranium, myrrh, or myrtle. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be cucumber, pineapple, avocado, cocoa powder, fennel, rose, rose-hips, milk thistle, hibiscus, green tea, nettle, elder, ginseng, honeysuckle, kelp, marshmallow, or echinacea.

For dry skin, the best oils to use are almond, avocado, sesame, walnut, pumpkin seed, olive, peanut or coconut oil. Shea butter and cocoa are also good choices. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be peppermint, rosemary, sage, myrrh, cardamom, lavender, carrot seed, rose, cedarwood, chamomile, frankincense, geranium, fennel, jasmine, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang ylang, or parsley. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be green tea, lavender, violet, rose, chamomile, elder flowers, linden flowers, marshmallow, fennel, watercress, rose-hips, pumpkin pulp, orange powder, oats, milk thistle, hops, ginseng, coconut milk, cocoa powder, avocado, banana, carrots, tomato, dandelion, parsley, plantain, peppermint, rosemary.

For oily skin, the best oils to use are coconut, almond, grape seed, apricot, jojoba, or safflower oil. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be basil, cedarwood, cypress, lemon, geranium, coriander, cypress, eucalyptus, sage, frankincense, juniper, lavender, myrtle, orange, sandalwood, tea tree, peppermint, grapefruit, rosemary, ylang ylang, parsley, rosewood, thyme, or yarrow. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be lemongrass, nettle, horsetail,  peppermint, rosemary, sage, yarrow, elder flowers, rose, green tea, burdock root, cucumber, oats, green papaya, parsley, violet, lemon, yarrow, strawberries, or thyme.

To deal with itchy skin, the best oil to use is neem oil. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be lavender, peppermint, basil, balsam, jasmine, chamomile, sandalwood, cedarwood, tea tree, saint john’s wort, oregano, or yarrow. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be green tea, nettle, basil, chamomile, elder, echinacea, saint john’s wort, chickweed, plantain, oregano, cocoa powder, oats, hops, or yarrow.

For those suffering from conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, the best oils to use are pumpkin seed or neem. Shea butter can also be helpful. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be chamomile, lavender, nutmeg, geranium, jasmine, lemon, lemongrass, rose, sandalwood, myrrh, thyme, parsley, tea tree, saint john’s wort, or pine. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be green tea, sage, chamomile, beer, carrots, avocado, chickweed, dandelion, white pine, birch, echinacea, plantain, saint john’s wort, red clover, pumpkin pulp, oats, marshmallow, horsetail, walnut, nutmeg, thyme, or watercress.

To promote healing and reduce the visibility of scars, the best oils to use are rose-hip, vitamin E, or wheat germ oil.  If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be nutmeg, yarrow,  tangerine, or mandarin. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be coconut milk, nutmeg, pineapple, rose-hip, orange powder, lemon juice, or green papaya.

For dealing with injuries including inflammation and small cuts , the best oils to use are hemp, neem, olive, pumpkin seed, or coconut oil.  If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be lavender, lemongrass, parsley, marshmallow, tea tree, hops, myrrh, chamomile, bay, saint john’s wort, myrtle, pine, fir needle, juniper, yarrow. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be beer, pumpkin pulp, plantain, parsley, green tea, echinacea, ginkgo, saint john’s wort, yucca, chickweed, willow, elder, yarrow, birch,  nettle, lemon balm, jasmine flowers, hops, blue mallow, dandelion, red clover, safflowers, or lemongrass.

For dealing with bruises the best oils to use are olive oil or Shea butter.  If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be lemongrass or hyssop. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. The best of these would be birch, pumpkin, lemon balm, blue mallow, or safflower.

For dealing with achy muscles the most beneficial essential oils would be thyme, marjoram, ginger, pine, or catnip. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. I suggest using thyme, ginger, or catnip.

For dealing with acne the best oils to use are coconut, jojoba, or grape seed oil. If you planning on using any essential oils, the most beneficial would be lavender, basil, parsley, tea tree, sage, cedarwood, lemongrass, lemon, grapefruit, pine, rose,  myrrh, geranium, or juniper. Fresh or dried herbs, fruit, or other household items can also be used. I suggest using beer, tomato, carrots, strawberries, oats, cucumber, basil, sage, parsley, pumpkin pulp, lemon peel, or watercress lavender, dandelion, red clover, green tea, echinacea,  or elder.

For dealing with varicose veins or other circulation related issues, the best oil to use would be nettle oil.  If you planning on using any essential oils the most beneficial would be rosemary, sage, bay, catnip, coriander, lemongrass, lime, lemon, ginger, myrrh, cypress, geranium, ylang ylang, spruce, saint john’s wort, or yarrow.

I cannot stress enough that all essential oils and herbs should be used with proper care. Essential oils should always be diluted in a recipe or carrier oil. When using a specific ingredient for the first time; regardless of if it is an herb, flower, or oil it is important to test for allergic reactions and start with the smallest amounts possible.

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  1. Very interesting. Lots of good information here and several things I did not know. I can really appreciate this article as I enjoy drying and making my own lotions and soaps from herbs I grow myself. Thanks for all the great information.

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