Neal's Yard Remedies Little Book of Essential Oils

Essential Oils Cosmetic Properties: Aromatherapy in Cosmetics

Essential oils are absorbed quickly through the skin and they exert a triple action:

  • Psychologically through our sense of smell: essential oils affect us psychologically through our sense of smell and nervous system. They can relax or stimulate our psyche.
  • Improve our skin: where they are apply then can help us heal and regenerate the skin, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory.
  • On our organism in general: once absorbed into our skin, they’re rapidly distributed through the blood and lymphatic system. They can have influence our organs and increase or decrease their regular activity.

Essential oils are added to cosmetics at the cool down phase stage, when the formula is below 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) because they’re volatile and we need to make sure the formula is not too hot otherwise they will evaporate. I always wait til the formula feels cool.

For facial cosmetics we can use up to 1% essential oils (for eye contour we can skip this step or add essential oils that are extremely safe – try to keep the percentage really low).

For body cosmetics we can add up to 2.5% essential oils.

For hair and rinse-off we could add a little more.

We need to be careful with those who are pregnant, the elderly and children. Best not to use essential oils if you’re not sure about essential oil safety. Also take into account damaged skin.

Ways to Apply Essential Oils in Cosmetics

Essential oils are added to carrier oils so they can be applied to the body (i.e. a massage oil blend). I’m not going to list here amounts (percentage of essential oil to a carrier oil) because this post is about their cosmetic uses, but take into account that you can’t really use the essential oil neat on the skin. Some use lavender or tea tree oil neat (there are others, too) but if you’re not familiar with essential oil safety I would recommend that you always, always, always dilute your essential oils into your carrier oils.

Ways in which you can apply the essential oils are: sprays, lotions, ointments, creams and masks amongst others.

Cosmetic Properties of Essential Oils


Bergamot, cannabis, carrot, German chamomile, cedar, lemon, eucalyptus, wintergreen, geranium, helichrysum, lavender, oregano, rose, sandalwood, sage thyme, tea tree, ylang-ylang.


Bergamot, cannabis, eucalyptus, cedar, camphor, chamomile, palmarosa, geranium, lavender, lemon, orange, rosewood, rose, sage, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen, ylang-ylang.

For allergies:

Caraway, German chamomile, mint, jasmine, neroli, rose, lavender.


Orange, lavender, tea tree, basil, geranium, thyme, sandalwood, bergamot, palmarosa, rose, cardamom, Roman chamomile, neroli.


Geranium, fennel, incense, lavender, tangerine, myrrh, orange, rosewood, rose, sage, sandalwood, ylang.


Incense, cedar, cinnamon, lemon, palmarosa, cypress, evergreens, juniper, geranium, camphor, sage, sandalwood, thyme, wintergreen.

Greasy hair:

Lemon, camphor, cedar, petitgrain, sage, rosemary.

Dry hair:

Rosemary, rosewood, ylang-ylang.

Hair loss:

Rosewood, sclarea sage, juniper, rosemary, blue chamomile, camphor, ginger, cedar, ylang-ylang.


Cade, cinnamon, cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sage, ylang.


Cypress, cedar, lavender, tea tree, chamomile, geranium, rose, wintergreen, lemon, juniper, fennel, palmarosa, camphor, sage, orange.


German chamomile, Roman chamomile, incense, cedar, juniper, lemon, evergreens, hyssop, lavender, tea tree, geranium, rose, rosemary, rosewood, thyme.


Helichrysum, cannabis, petitgrain, lavender, lemon, rosemary, basil, cypress, camphor.


Sage, cannabis, camphor, blue chamomile, arnica, clove, geranium, fennel, hyssop, marjoram, lavender, thyme, wintergreen.


Lemon, helichrysum, cypress, rose, lavender, German chamomile, Roman chamomile.


Yarrow, blue chamomile, eucalyptus, fennel, hyssop, cayeput, mint, geranium, pine, rosemary, sage.


Rosewood, German chamomile, lavender, mint, niauli, incense, geranium, palmarosa, cypress, eucalyptus, thyme.


Bergamot, cypress, cilantro, lavender, eucalyptus, myrrh, rosewood, petitgrain, pine, sage, lemongras.


Cumin, palmarosa, mint, helichrysum, cypress, fennel, German chamomile, tangerine, lemon, lavender, rosemary, sage, wintergreen, birch.


Incense, fennel, juniper, lavender, cayeput, lavender, tea tree, mint, basil, marjoram, geranium, anise, pine, rosemary, sage, ginger, wintergreen.


German chamomile, bergamot, cedar, myrrh, eucalyptus, lavender, orange, carrot, evergreens, geranium, rose, juniper, pine.


Carrot, cedar, German chamomile, cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, orange, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, evergreens.


Bergamot, blue and roman chamomiles, eucalyptus, evergreens, lavender, lemon, sclarea sage, tea tree, thyme.

Cracks (Skin):

Sandalwood, vetiver, German chamomile, Roman chamomile, lavender, myrrh, geranium, rose, rosewood, palmarosa, neroli, lemon, ylang-ylang.


Immortelle, cannabis, camphor, geranium, clove, hyssop, ginger, Roman chamomile, lavender, mint, wintergreen.


Bergamot, cypress, juniper, geranium, hyssop, incense, jasmine, lavender, lime, lemon, tangerine, blue and Roman chamomile, myrrh, niauli, oregano, rosewood, rosemary, rose, sage, sandalwood, ylang.


Geranium, basil, eucalyptus, niauli, cayeput, bergamot, rose, tea tree, marjoram, lemon.

Excessive Sweating::

Cypress, pine, sage, petitgrain, lemongras.


Cedar, cinnamon, German chamomile, sage, bergamot, clove, geranium, tea tree, marjoram, thyme.


Geranium, cannabis, carrot, blue and roman chamomiles, tea tree.


Bergamot, cannabis, cypress, clove, juniper, eucalyptus, geranium, hyssop, incense, lavender, blue chamomile, myrrh, rosewood.


Parsley, benzoin.


Incense, neroli, petitgrain, bergamot, lemon, cypress, eucalyptus, hyssop, cayeput, tea tree, marjoram, geranium, pine, rosewood, palmarosa, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, savory, thyme.


Yarrow, incense, blue and roman chamomiles, petitgrain, orange, lemon, eucalyptus, fennel, hyssop, juniper, lavender, tea tree, cayeputi, cypress, carrot, evergreens, mint, basil, geranium, pine, rose, rosemary , thyme, wintergreen, sage, ylang.


Pine, cannabis, cypress, myrtle, sandalwood, cedar.


Cedar, cypress, geranium, sage, pine, hyssop, lemon, bergamot, rosemary.

Insect bites:

Basil, bergamot, cinnamon, cayeputi, cedar, mint, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, blue and roman chamomiles, niauli, thyme, ylang.


Immortelle, lavender, mint, German chamomile, Roman chamomile.

Aged skin:

Anise, carrot, sandalwood, fennel, lime, tangerine, orange, geranium, rose, sage, rosewood, palmarosa, cypress, fennel, lavender, neroli, ylang-ylang.

Congested skin:

Eucalyptus, cannabis, neroli, basil, juniper, fennel, lemon, pine, rosemary, mint, orange, geranium, palmarosa, rose, ylang ..

Oily skin:

German chamomile, cedar, bergamot, geranium, sage, lavender, ylang-ylang, lemon, rosemary, mint, cypress, camphor, juniper, palmarosa, rose.

Normal skin:

Bergamot, cannabis, cedar, geranium, lavender, neroli, Roman chamomile, rose, rosewood, ylang-ylang.

Pale skin:

Eucalyptus, cannabis, lemon, rosemary, pine.

Dry Skin:

Cedar, cannabis, sage, geranium, lavender, orange, Roman chamomile, rosewood, neroli, petitgrain, sandalwood, ginger, ylang-ylang.

Lifeless skin:

Sandalwood, cannabis, lavender, neroli, rose, rosemary, tea tree, evergreens, vetiver, lemon, geranium, ylang-ylang.

Sensitive skin:

German chamomile, Roman chamomile, rose, evergreens, neroli, rosewood, carrot.


Bergamot, carrot, German chamomile, oregano, geranium, pine, rose, sage, rosemary, ylang-ylang.

Black spots:

Thyme, juniper, mint, tea tree, lemon, cedar, lavender.


Sage, cannabis, blue chamomile, geranium, evergreens, lavender, niauli, tea tree, carrot.


Lima, cannabis, lemon, tea tree, blue and roman chamomiles, marjoram, wintergreen.


Lavender, cannabis, chamomile, blue and Roman chamomiles, yarrow, sandalwood, mint.


Bergamot, sage, rosemary, cedar, lemon.


Wintergreen, cannabis, birch, rosemary, ginger, evergreens, lemon, eucalyptus, thyme, camphor, pine.

Varicose veins:

Lemon, bergamot, cypress, cedar, juniper, evergreens, tea tree, niauli, sandalwood, geranium, sclarea sage.


Camphor, cypress, German chamomile, lavender, sage, lemon, hyssop.


Carrot, eucalyptus, marjoram, ylang-ylang, evergreens, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, camphor, pine.

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