The Truth About Essential Oils In Skincare

Oct. 11, 2020
Whether or not essential oils are beneficial in skincare products is a highly debated topic. We either hear "This DIY essential oil cream saved my face!" or "Essential oils are a danger to your skin." There's not much in between.
But are they really as bad as people think? Let’s address some misconceptions and find out if they can safely be used topically.
What Are Essential Oils?
An essential oil is an extremely concentrated chemical compound from a plant. The “essence” of the plant is usually extracted through a distillation process. Distilling or cold pressing is what captures the pure characteristics of the plants, giving them their scent or flavor. Essential oils have many claims, ranging from improving mood to curing cancer. For skincare, different oils have been studied for their effects on certain skin ailments, but there isn’t any conclusive research. 
Tea tree, peppermint, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, geranium, eucalyptus, and bergamot are some examples of popular essential oils used in beauty products. You smell and see these listed in a LOT of natural beauty products. 
Plant extracts (like acai or blackberry extract) and non-fragrant oils (like jojoba or sunflower seed) shouldn't be confused with essential oils. Seeing "algae extract" in the ingredient list is GOOD. Seeing "tea tree essential oil" is BAD. Be advised, seeing non fragrant plant extracts in your product is usually a good thing, but too many plant extracts can cause irritation as well. How are you supposed to know if your skin will tolerate every plant extract??

Keep an eye on your ingredient lists.

Who Can Use Essential Oils?
Products that explicitly list essential oils in the ingredients are not suitable for most people, but especially those with sensitive skin. They are more likely to hurt your skin than help. The risk of irritation that essential oils bring can ruin an otherwise good product! 
A lot of us are already using essential oils indirectly. When a product lists “fragrance” in the ingredient list, that fragrance is usually a combination of essential oils and synthetic fragrances. While any fragrance can be irritating, this is much different than applying a pure essential oil straight to your skin or when a product lists an essential oil directly in the ingredients.
If you have sensitized skin, are breaking out for no reason, or your skin just won't seem to get better, check all of your products for essential oils. Cut those products out and see if your skin improves. If you're in fact reacting poorly to essential oils, your skin will feel better fairly quickly after removing them from your routine. If the typical vague "fragrance" is listed, it's still worth removing to observe how your skin reacts. You may be sensitive to even the smaller amounts of essential oils in the fragrance blend!
Potential Benefits
If you read my post on Skin Positivity, I mention how stress can negatively affect your skin’s progress. I use lavender or wild orange essential oils in a diffuser, because I do believe they can help with mood. Incorporating aromatherapy into your self-care routine could benefit your mind and your skin! You can read more on how to reduce stress and stay positive here:
As for skincare benefits, some people swear by essential oils, while others have banned them from their routine. Lack of science on the effects of essential oils for skincare makes it hard to determine if they are worth using or actually dangerous. Just because a product claims to be “natural” doesn’t inherently make it better. Don’t choose your facial skincare based on how it smells or how pretty the packaging is. Stick with science and proven active ingredients when deciding what sinks into the delicate skin on your face!
I’m pretty sure all of us have used tea tree oil as a spot treatment at some point. But HOW you apply essential oils (if you decide you want to) is almost more important than the oil you choose. Dabbing pure tea tree oil (or any essential oil) on a pimple will likely cause more issues to the area you're treating. If you choose to use essential oils on your skin, just be sure to dilute it by adding 1 drop of the essential oil per 1-2 tsp of carrier oil, like jojoba oil.
If you apply undiluted essential oil to your skin (this goes for your body as well), you could experience an allergic reaction, irritation, breakouts, dry/flaky skin, and even burns. Like I said, essential oils are STRONG. You also up your risk of sun damage considerably.
There are more effective ways to treat skin concerns, ways that are extensively studied, and proven. I would recommend sticking with the key players like BHA's, AHA's, retinol, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and pimple patches over essential oils if you want to see tangible results and lower the risk of a reaction. 
Final Thoughts
I don’t think fragrance is evil all the time, and I still use some scented skincare products myself. Is unscented better? Yes!! Do I recommend using straight essential oils or essential oil-heavy products on your face? NO!! But if you have a holy grail product that happens to be fragranced, you don’t have to stop using it. If it’s benefiting your skin and not causing any issues, then enjoy it! But it’s still a good idea to avoid fragrance when you can. It is important to note that you can develop a sensitivity to a product regardless of how long you've been using it. Keeping your routine "clean" from potentially irritating ingredients wouldn't hurt. And remember: "naturally-derived fragrance" is still fragrance and most likely essential oils!!
Netflix has an interesting docuseries called “[UN]WELL” with an eye-opening episode about essential oils and their impacts internally and on the skin.
Best Reviews
We’ll Miss You!
We’ll Miss You!
To our cherie fam who has inspired us deeply over the last year and a half: thank you. We are so grateful to have been a part of your beauty journeys and the community you created with us was nothing short of amazing. It's with sadness that we announce that cherie will be closing our doors on April 8, 2021, and your posts will no longer be available. While our platform will no longer be available, we encourage our community members to continue finding ways to create and allow their authentic voices to be heard.
I was so excited to try these out because I love moisturizers & I am always in search of a good one! These looked & sounded very promising! They’re from a woman owned company, completely natural, vegan, & cruelty free! However, I was quite disappointed. EARTH HARBOR - MERMAID MILK Nutrient Glow Moisturizer This moisturizer claims to give you a glow right away & it contains spirulina + matcha. I was excited about the matcha because it has so many amazing benefits for skin. It has a very whipped consistency which I like. However it always contains essential oils that were strong, although not toooo strong for my liking. But I’m really just not a fan of essential oils in my face creams. The moisturizer did make my skin appear a little brighter but the cream just sat on my face. All day long I could touch my face & still feel the cream sitting there! I hate that feeling! It also almost gave me a greasy appearance after a while? Not a fan. EARTH HARBOR - SIREN SILK Multi-Tasking Hydration Creme This one was absolutely awful. If I could give it 0 stars I would. It says to use it at night time & the apply it at least 5 minutes before bed so it can absorb on your face & not your pillow. It contains Sea Retinol + other Superherbs which normally make me love a product! But that just wasn’t enough here. First, when I put it on my face my eyes started to actually burn & I felt suffocated from the scent. It was THAT strong. Guys, I’m not being dramatic at all. The smell like attacked me it was crazy! I have never had something like that happen with a face cream! I couldn’t believe how strong the fragrance was. & to top it off, it wasn’t even a pretty smell. My husband described it as smelling like floor cleaner. But I powered through. The longer I had it on, the more “used” to the smell I got. So, I wore it overnight. But then I woke up even more upset with it! I had pilling all over my face. It almost looked like my face was peeling but it wasn’t, it was jus the cream. One thing I cannot stand about a moisturizer is pulling. That’s enough for me to throw it out! It also didn’t really even moisturize my face that well! All in all, I hated this experience. But if you want, you should try them out for yourself, don’t let my experience deter you from trying something new! I however, will be sticking with my Youth To The People Dream Mask & Superfood Whipped Moisturizer! Love those two!! YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream 💗💗💗 @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
At Home Exfoliating Facial ✨✨
At Home Exfoliating Facial ✨✨
So I recently received the Mimi Co Exfoliating Wand via IG PR. I couldn’t wait to do a full facial and I decided to do it tonight. Order: I purchased a steamer from Amazon for $23 and I’m obsessed with it (DM me for product info). I started with UpCircle - Cleansing Face Balm With Apricot Powder As my oil cleanse to get my sunscreen from today off and any other oils and dirts. INDIE LEE - Purifying Face Wash This cleanser is perfect for getting dirts and oils from skin as well. It’s not drying and it’s totally worth it! I paired it with a face cleansing scrub brush, I also purchased from Amazon. I love it and I paid around $20 for it as well! It doubles the vibration frequency put out by Foreo. CLARISMA - Namaste Glow Energizing Face Mask This was the mask I chose for the enzyme properties. This breaks down dirts and oils in pores and dead skin cells. I also steamed my face during this time. Follain - Toning Mist: Balance + Prime This was what I sprayed over my face for the prep for my exfoliating wand. I didn’t have a true medium and I am out of Aloe Vera plants so😭 I then exfoliated with my wand starting at my cheeks and working upward and then to my forehead. I went down and to the sides of my nose. Glow slow! innisfree - Jeju Lava Seawater Lotion I used the toner to cleanse my skin and get any dirts left over from me exfoliating. SUMMER FRIDAYS - Jet Lag Mask I use this as my hydrating mask. I took the back of my Mimi Co Wand on switched to the Moisturizing Setting. I gently slid upwards my entire face for the last 2 mins only and then wiped the mask off with a damp cloth. earthtoskin - Tea Time Anti Aging Eye Cream This is the most hydrating eye cream I own. I used this with the back of my cleansing brush on the heat setting! Yes it made my eye feel so hydrated and relaxed. fresh - Lotus Anti-Aging Night Moisturizer This was the final step as a good moisturizer seals in everything! To prevent acne I use the SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil as my last step. I didn’t use an astringent type toner, so I wanted to still treat my skin💚
Do It All Toner 🍃🍃
Do It All Toner 🍃🍃
I have been loving the brand Truly lately ✨ I recently purchased this: 🍃TRULY - CBD Jelly Toning Solution 🍃 And it’s by far one of my favorite toners. Ingredients: 💚100MG CBD 💚Glycolic Acid 💚Tea Tree Oil 💚Organic Aloe 💚Rose Petal Extract This brand is also: 💚Vegan 💚Cruelty Free 💚Clean I use this every other night and it as tremendously helped my skin barrier and acne. I was really concerned about the glycolic acid irritating or drying my skin but it didn’t at all 🤩 I highly recommend this to combo and oily , acne prone skin. This will be a toner I keep in my night routine. I got it from Ulta (of course) for $24 (I paid $15 after coupons) Do you use CBD products? 🍃
Okay guys as I have said before I am guilty of rarely ever wearing sunscreen. I just never liked the feel of it on my skin. I always felt like it made me greasy & clogged my pores. However, once I heard about this product I was very intrigued. NIOD - Survival 30 It actually isn’t sold in the United States for some reason so I had to purchase it on a UK website. (Beauty Bay) It is an antioxidant serum with SPF 30. At first, it appears to be tinted but it’s actually not. On NIOD’s website they state: “The slight tinted appearance is derived from the active technologies including Lutein, Fractionated Melanin and Pycnogenol.” It blends in with your skin so easily & does not leave a white cast like some other SPF products. However this serum literally makes my skin tone soo even & perfect! It also contains silicone so it completely smooths over my pores. AND besides all that great stuff, it’s a mineral sunscreen! So it protects against environmental & lifestyle issues. Like UV rays, blue light, etc. I have never loved a product as much as this one! I literally cannot believe how good my skin looks while using this stuff! For a 30ml bottle, I paid $33 on the Beauty Bay site. For me, that is completely worth it! It comes in this adorable packaging & pretty glass bottle. It also has a pump dispenser & squirts out the perfect amount for a single use! I really can’t recommend this stuff enough guys! It’s wonderful!! @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick