How to Make Your Own Essential Oil Skin Care Blends

What Chamomile Looks Like

I’ve been making essential oil facial blends a long time – since I first became a certified Aromatherapist, in fact. I used to have a long list of clients for whom I would customize essential oil blends, and for each of them, I would sit down and do a lengthy consultation about their top skin concerns as well as do skin patch testing with specific essential oils. Since I can’t sit with you in person and do the skin patch testing, I am going to ask that you do a skin patch test on your own whenever you want to use essential oils you’ve never used before – it’s very important. The last thing you want is to make up an essential oil blend for yourself and have it be irritating! Red and inflamed are NOT adjectives we want used to describe our face (our lips, on the other hand, are another story, but more on that later).

1.First, de-prioritize smelling good. In general, essential oils smell wonderful, but I just want to make clear that when making a blend for skin care, the emphasis is primarily on effectiveness and only secondarily on how it smells. Some of the oils I like best for skin don’t necessarily win any Fragrance-of-the-Year awards. But don’t worry – you’re not going to stink out your husband or anything.

2. Figure out your skin concerns. Some examples of concerns are oily, acne-prone, sluggish, sensitive, broken capillaries, aging, etc.

3. Choose essential oils that address your skin concerns. If you have oily skin, you’ll want to choose astringent essential oils (astringent means toning and firming of the tissues to decrease discharge). Now, a precaution: many Citrus oils are astringent, but you don’t want them on your face because they can cause phototoxicity (i.e., BergamotCitrus bergamia – and LemonCitrus limon). Examples of astringent essential oils that work well in skin care are Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis), and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

If you have acne-prone skin, you’ll want to choose anti-bacterial or anti-microbial essential oils. Another precaution here: some essential oils that are highly anti-bacterial can also be skin irritants (examples are Cinnamon – Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Clove – Szyzygium aromaticum, and Thyme – Thymus vulgaris). I like Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia), Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and Niaouli (also called MQV, an abbreviation of its Latin name, Melaleuca quinquenervia) for acne blends.

If you have hormonal breakouts, then you’ll want hormone-balancing essential oils to help manage cyclically-related pimples. I like Rose (Rosa damascena) for this, but Rose oil is extremely expensive (up to $500/ounce), so you can use Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) instead if you want to be able to feed your kids.

If your skin needs rejuvenation or a boost, you’ll want a cell proliferant essential oil that promotes healing and cell turnover. Immortelle (Helichrysm angustifolia) (also called Everlasting) is amazing for this purpose – as evidence, it heals up bruises and scars very quickly. Lavender (Lavandula officinalis or angustifolia) is another good cell proliferant and astringent, so it can serve double-duty in a skin blend.

If you have sensitive skin or broken capillaries, you’ll want to choose anti-inflammatory or vasoconstrictor (constricts blood vessels) essential oils to help soothe and calm inflamed skin. The Chamomiles (both Roman – Anthemis nobilis – and German – Matricaria recutita) are probably the best anti-inflammatory essential oils around. You’ll notice (if you’re an ingredient junkie like me) that they are included in almost every bottle of organic/natural facial lotion or moisturizer. If you don’t believe me, check out the ingredients for Suki’s Intensive Nourishing Cream, Intelligent Nutrients’ Anti-Aging Serum, or Pomega 5’s Anti Rides Nourishing Cream.

The Chamomiles are also good for broken capillaries. Another good vasoconstricting oil we use a lot is Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which is in a lot of the varicose veins and cellulite body blends you’ll see on the market. (Oh gosh, there’s just so much information to share.)

For aging skin, I really like Carrot Seed (Daucus carrota) essential oil (if you noticed, Carrot Seed was also prominent in the ingredients of the links to the facial moisturizers I provided earlier). Carrot Seed has precursors to Vitamin A, and is highly recommended by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, in “Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy” for aging skin that is dull, pallid, and lifeless.

4. Pick your carrier oil. The base oil that you use is also very important. For oilier skins, I like to use a lighter base oil, such as Grapeseed (Vinis vinifera) oil. For drier skins, I like to use a heavier base oil, such as Avocado (Persea americana) oil. For normal skins, I like to use Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil, which is the closest to the sebum on the surface of the skin. Another good facial skin care base oil is Peach Nut (Prunus persica) oil, but I can never find this, so I use Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca) oil instead.

5. Formulate your blend. What I would do is pick 4 essential oils that address your concerns and then use them in an equal ratio. You want to do roughly 20 to 24 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of base oil, so you’ll be using 5-6 drops of each essential oil.

Let’s say you have both acne and hormonal breakouts, oily skin, with some sensitivity. A good blend for you would be:

  • 6 drops Geranium (for hormonal breakouts)
  • 6 drops Tea Tree (for breakouts in general)
  • 6 drops German Chamomile (for sensitivity)
  • 6 drops Clary Sage (as an astringent)
  • In 1 ounce of Grapeseed or Evening Primrose oil (the latter is good for hormonal imbalances)

Or, let’s say you are concerned about aging, broken capillaries, and dryness. Then a good blend for you would be:

  • 6 drops Carrot Seed (for aging)
  • 6 drops German Chamomile (for broken capillaries)
  • 6 drops Immortelle (for cell renewal)
  • 6 drops Lavender (to balance the blend)
  • In 1 ounce of Avocado oil (for dryness)

Get the picture? Of course, I haven’t gone into all the possible permutations and combinations of essential oils in this post, or even all of the essential oils you can use in caring for your skin (I’m already massively violating the 300-word blog post rule). But if you have any questions or want a virtual “consult,” please do go ahead and leave them in comments and I will respond as quickly as possible.

About Mare

is a Master Herbalist, Certified Aromatherapist, and enthusiastic natural mommy to a beautiful tot of 2, the Little Apple. She shares her parenting adventures (sometimes mis-adventures) via this blog.
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139 Responses to How to Make Your Own Essential Oil Skin Care Blends

  1. Cecilia Guevarra says:

    I am in the same boat with you Mare,
    Being a new mommy caused me to put my skin care on the back burner this past year. Breastfeeding didn’t help my skin either…lol. :)
    I am thinking about making my own magic bottle of skin care but I would love your help. Being pregnant again has given me a little bit of a glow here and there, but I am still in need of more umph. I have a bit of redness sometimes, it is kind of dull looking, needs some moisture. Right now I am using Marie Veronique Organic products (mist, oil, sunblock), but I am running out and I can’t afford to replace it all. So making my own blend sounds like a good idea.
    So this is what I am thinking of for me:
    1. cranberry seed oil, for moisture and smoothness.
    2. lavender oil, for acne fighting, clear skin and for scent.
    3. sea buckthorn oil, for relief of redness inflamation.
    4. borage oil, for glowing skin. or black raseberry seed oil.
    Does this blend sound too harsh? I am assuming I can find these oils at wholefoods.
    Are any of these oils not safe for pregnant women? I do not want to make something great for my skin but harmful to my baby. :)
    What do you think? Thanks for your help. Great Blog. :))))

    • Mare says:

      Hey dearie, I remember the days I used to make blends for you! Gosh, a wave of nostalgia just swept over me. Anyways, I just want to let you know that 3 out of the 4 oils that you chose are carrier oils, and only 1 of them (the Lavender), is an essential oil. That is fine, you can just blend the carrier oils and just add 24 drops of Lavender, if you want a single-essential-oil blend. I am pretty sure all of the carrier oils you picked are safe for pregnant women, and the Lavender is okay if you are in your 2nd trimester or beyond. What I might suggest is a carrier oil made from a mix of half-and-half Borage oil and Sea Buckthorn oil. Then for the essential oils, I like the Lavender you picked, and I might also add some other goodies like Petitgrain (good for acne/breakouts), Geranium, and German Chamomile (you’ll know it’s German if a) it’s blue in color and b) the Latin name is either Matricaria recutita or Matricaria recutica or the old name, Chamaemelum nobile.) All of these are okay in pregnancy (you’re putting them on topically) if you are in the 2nd trimester or beyond. Other than the German Chamomile, the other 3 are pretty inexpensive (I picked Petitgrain instead of Neroli for you for budgetary reasons – Petitgrain is distilled from the leaves and twigs of the Bitter Orange, while Neroli is distilled from the Bitter Orange flower petals. Neroli is much more refined in scent, but way way more expensive, like $350 – $400 per ounce). But they share some similar therapeutic properties. Anyway, that’s my recommendation for you for now…after you give birth, you are more free to choose other essential oils and really amp up that skin care routine!

  2. Jess says:

    I love how you broke it down like this. I’m thinking for my sensitive, combination skin with hormonal breakouts, in need of rejuvenation, I’ll go with chamomile, lavender, carrot seed, and ylang ylang, or maybe tea tree. Either way, I’m excited to try it out!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Jess, I can’t wait for you to try it out. I don’t know if I mentioned how to use your blend, LOL. You wash your face at night, dry it, then you take about a quarter-sized dollop of your blend and put it in your palm. You rub it around with both palms, then apply to your face (always in an upward direction for anti-gravity :-)). In the morning, your skin will look rejuvenated and radiant. Also, the Tea Tree can smell very medicinal…I think the Ylang ylang will go better in your blend, personally. It will also have the side effect of being very uplifting. Let me know how it goes for you.

  3. kay srai says:

    I have suffered from hormonal acne for over 25 years – i was thinking of blending geranium, ylang ylang, manuka oil, rose oil and another oil (which i can’t think of) with a carrier of rosehip oil – i have an uneven skintone which is also sensitive – what would you recommend. I am thinking of using a few drops of the blend in a roller bottle during the day and night under a moisturiser.

    I used to use the decleor ylang ylang oil – which did not help – in any way (this included ylang ylang, geranium, rosemary and st thomas bay with the carrier oil being hazelnut oil) – what do you think?

    • Mare says:

      Hi Kay! Thanks very much for commenting. I suffered from hormonal acne myself in my mid-to-late 20s, and I really wish I had known about herbs and aromatherapy back then. I might suggest a two-pronged plan to address your situation. The first prong is topical, which is what we’re discussing with the blends. The second prong is internal, which is something you might not yet have considered.

      I think getting a good blend together for topical use is a great idea, but it is probably only half the picture. If you’re sure the source of the acne is hormonal, then it may be worth taking a look at some herbs and herbal tea blends for internal use to help balance those hormones.

      Re: your blend, I like the essential oils you’ve chosen. Geranium, Ylang ylang, and Rose all go very well together and serve to help balance hormones. I might also suggest Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) and Marjoram (Origanum majorana), which are frequently used essential oils in PMS blends, and which also have properties that would be beneficial in the case of hormonal acne (they are both antiseptic and emmenagogue and Clary sage is also an astringent). I hesitate on the Manuka because I think it’ll throw the scent of your blend out of whack – although I usually don’t think the smell matters that much, a strange or bad-smelling blend will discourage you from using it…and that is the whole point, right? To use it. To me, the Manuka (assuming you are talking about Leptospernum scoparium, or Tea Tree New Zealand) smells a little medicinal and sawdusty, and it doesn’t go that well with the other florals you have chosen. The carrier oil you picked, Rosehip Seed, is wonderful for acneic or oily skin. Good choice there!

      Regarding the internal use of herbs, I would suggest you look into Vitex or Black Cohosh, both of which have been used by women in varying stages of life to balance seesawing hormones (Vitex is more used by younger women in their teen years, while Black Cohosh is used more by older women in their menopausal years). You can take them via capsules or tinctures…I think you can also make a tea blend with them too, if you prefer. Other herbs that go well in teas for skin care purposes include Burdock root, Yellow dock, and Red Clover (I use these in a personal tea blend whenever I feel my skin could use a boost or some “clarifying”). Have you tried seeing a local herbalist or Naturopathic Doctor to discuss using botanicals to balance the hormones?

      Let me know how it goes! Good luck.

  4. kay srai says:

    Hi Mare

    In the end i ended up ordering the following stuff

    Org Rosehip Oil (carrier oil)
    Organic Evening Primrose Oil (carrier oil)
    Geranium essential oil
    Carrotseed essential oil
    Manuka essential oil
    ylang ylang essential oil
    German chamomile

    How would you recommend blending the above in terms of drops and mls. I will order the Clary Sage and Marjoram this week. I am confused on how i would incorporate all the oils to create a good balance.

    My reason for going into essential oils was because of the fact that i was using Decleor ylang ylang which included the ingredients ‘Ylang Ylang’, ‘Geranium’, ‘Rosemary’, ‘St Thomas Bay’ with the carrier oil being hazelnut oil. The blend did not improve or worsen my skin – there was no dramatic impact so i decided to blend my own.

    I actually should have waited for your reply before placing an order – I was too excited to experiment in a hurry.

    Your input would be brilliant – as regards the herbs – i am not much of a herbal tea person – i honestly cannot tolerate the taste.

    As concerns a Naturapathic doctor – i wouldn’t even know where to start.

    Kind Regards


  5. kay srai says:

    Hi Mare

    In the end i ended up ordering the following stuff

    Org Rosehip Oil (carrier oil) – half an ounce
    Organic Evening Primrose Oil (carrier oil) – half an ounce
    Geranium essential oil – 6 drops
    Carrotseed essential oil – not sure if i should use for my mixture
    Manuka essential oil – not sure if i should use for my mixture or just blend separately with evening primrose oil and rosehip oil for day time
    ylang ylang essential oil – 6 drops
    German chamomile – 6 drops

    How would you recommend blending the above in terms of drops and mls. I will order the Clary Sage and Marjoram this week. and use 6 drops of each. I am confused on how i would incorporate all the oils to create a good balance – i have guessed that i add 6 drops of each to half an ounce of evening primrose oil and half an ounce of rosehip oil.

    My reason for going into essential oils was because of the fact that i was using Decleor ylang ylang which included the ingredients ‘Ylang Ylang’, ‘Geranium’, ‘Rosemary’, ‘St Thomas Bay’ with the carrier oil being hazelnut oil. The blend did not improve or worsen my skin – there was no dramatic impact so i decided to blend my own.

    I actually should have waited for your reply before placing an order – I was too excited to experiment in a hurry.

    Your input would be brilliant – as regards the herbs – i am not much of a herbal tea person – i honestly cannot tolerate the taste.

    As concerns a Naturapathic doctor – i wouldn’t even know where to start.

    Kind Regards


    • Mare says:

      Hi Kay, okay, here is what I would do. I would take a 1 ounce amber bottle (do you have one of these?), and put in 6 drops each of your Geranium, Ylang Ylang, German Chamomile, and Manuka (go ahead, why not? After all, it’s an experiment). So now you have 24 drops total. Then, I would fill it up halfway with Evening Primrose carrier oil, then all the way up to the top with Rosehip oil (yes, you can mix carrier oils too!). Then, I would shake the bottle about for a minute or so to get everything well-blended. And ta-da! There you have it. The right ratio is 20-24 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Hope this helps!

      Re: the herbal teas – I’m sorry you don’t like teas. Maybe you can try tinctures or taking capsules then. That way you don’t have to taste the tea.

      I just saw that you live in the UK. Well, that is awesome. Because in the UK they have medical herbalists, and you can turn to one of them – we don’t have them here in the US. Maybe you can find one of them?

    • Mare says:

      Oh! I forgot to tell you, Kay, that if you want to include Carrot Seed in the blend and have 5 essential oils total, just reduce the number of drops of each. I might do the following:

      5 drops Geranium
      5 drops Ylang Ylang
      5 drops Carrot Seed
      4 drops German Chamomile
      4 drops Manuka

      In 1 ounce of carrier oil. As an example.

  6. kay srai says:

    Hi Mare

    Can i just add to my last note – that my skin is very dull looking – it doesn’t look very bright – i have uneven skin tone and blemishes as whenever i get a spot – it never seems to heal – it just leaves a mark forever. What essential oil would help this amongst the above.

    Thanks again – i really appreciate your input.


    • Mare says:

      Hi Kay, I just saw this comment. Regarding dull-looking skin…do you exfoliate? I like using a rice bran-based polish for a weekly scrub. It helps my skin from getting too dull-looking. The other thing I like to do is get a facial…when I used to own a spa, there was this product line we used called Eminence that had a Paprika mask – it made your skin extremely red, and then we’d cool it down with cold. The end result was, you got blood to the face and revived sluggish skin. My opinion is that essential oils are not the best way to revive sluggish/dull skin. The reason is that essential oils are too highly concentrated, and cause too drastic of an impact on your face. For example, a drop of essential oil contains, like, a field of flowers or plants or herbs. One drop of Rose (Rosa damascena) oil is 60,000 roses, for example. So there are good rubefacients (meaning, brings blood flow to the surface of the skin) among essential oils, but they would all be too strong. The best way to increase circulation to the face is to alternate hot and cold compresses (this is also the cheapest). So when you’re taking off a moisturizer or masque, put a hot towel on your face, leave it on for a few seconds, then put a cold towel on your face, leave it on for a few seconds, put on a hot towel, etc. etc.

      As for skin that blemishes and doesn’t heal, I have that same problem!! That’s why my favorite essential oil is Helichrysum – it is highly cell proliferant and rejuvenating. I would say Lavender is my second favorite for this purpose. Of the essential oils that you have listed, however, I guess I would say that the German Chamomile is probably best for this purpose. It is highly anti-inflammatory and should calm down sensitivity. The Carrot Seed is protective and anti-aging. The Geranium is a great hormone balancer, as is the Ylang Ylang. The Manuka has an antiseptic and astringent capability.

      I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  7. kay srai says:

    Hi Mare

    I have bought some dark blue bottles which have a roller ball top and a lid – your input is the best. I will try the above mixture and see how i get on. I will keep you updated.

    I live in UK – born and brought up in Scotland.

    I will look for a naturopath or a medical herbalist – and see how I get on.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    Just one more question – if I buy lemon essential oil then I will maybe do a mixture with chamomile and rose plant oil – but am not sure what carrier oil I would use – which one would you suggest – (I’m not too keen on using a nut based oil as my daughter has a severe nut allergy – hence one of the reasons why i stopped using decelor ylang ylang which had a hazelnut base) – and maybe use this mixture alternatively during the morning (or would you suggest evening) – what else would you add to this.

    Also I am curious about coconut oil – alot of people in Scotland buy coconut oil from a pharmacy – what would you reckon they use so much coconut oil for? definitely not for the hair like they do in India.

    Thanks again for your input – you replied so quickly……. It’s 7:30pm here in the UK.


  8. Cindy Simone says:

    I’m new here and wan’t to try this.I’m 48 just started getting breakouts and some oily skin on forehead nose chin and behind my ears.The breakouts don’t seem to want to go away.I did have dry skin.I’m sure it’s hormonal.So this being said i would like something for sensitivity,aging,hormonal,broken capillaries.Can you please help mepick the right oils and give me the amount of drops for each and the carrier oils.Thank you so much.Hormones gone

    • Mare says:

      Hi Cindy, thank you for stopping by. Without knowing more about you and your skin, I’m just going to suggest some essential oils for you to research more deeply for yourself. At first glance, I like German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) (great for sensitivity, also anti-inflammatory), Immortelle (Helichrysm angustifolia) (cell proliferating and renewing), Carrot Seed (Daucus carrota) (for being very protective and anti-aging), Sandalwood (Santalum album) (which is a good in dry skin and also for breakouts, being astringent), and lastly, I would also suggest you look into Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum), which Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt recommends for broken capillaries/sensitive skin in his book, “Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy.” For the carrier oil, I like Evening Primrose oil for hormonal skin, or perhaps Avocado oil if you’re super-dry (but be forewarned, it may smell a little funny). In terms of a formula, I would probably do the following (assuming all 5 of these test well on your skin), 6 drops of German Chamomile, 6 drops of Blue Tansy, 4 drops Helichrysm, 4 drops Carrot Seed, and 4 drops Sandalwood in 1 ounce of the carrier oil.

      One last suggestion: given your age and your certainty that this is hormonal, I would also suggest that you look into the herb Black Cohosh. Many women take this to balance hormones during peri-menopause/menopause. The American Botanical Council ( is a great place to start looking. This way, you can do something internally AND externally to try to help the situation. Let me know how it goes!

  9. Claudia says:

    Great post Mare, thank you!
    I’ve just turned 21, and have always suffered from acne break-outs and oily skin (my dermatologist prescribed me Roaccutan for 4 months last year, which got my skin back on track, but obviously wasn’t the healthiest of options).
    I’ve only recently researched the benefits of oils and essential oils, and can not believe how much I’ve been missing out over these last few years.
    To think of all those awful chemicals I’ve absorbed through my delicate pores is horrible.

    So, I invested in Grapeseed, Apricot Kernal, Jojoba, Seaseme Seed base oils…then Castor oil as part of the ‘Oil Cleansing Method’.
    I also purchased Petitgrain, Lavender, Tea Tree and May Chang…as they all seem to have good properties for acne and healing.
    So far so good! And it feels so therapuetic to do the cleanse and steam.

    I was trying to research whether you can just blend a whole bunch of oils together, and if their properties remain. But it appears from here it’s okay to mix.

    I live in London, and I’m going to visit the Urban Physic’s Garden soon… ….it’s so interesting to find completely natural ways to heal the body.

    I stupidly suffered from some Sunburn this weekend (us Brits aren’t used to the slight bit of sunshine) so I’ve also bought an Aloe Vera plant to keep in my bathroom. Hopefully it will sooth the redness! Live and learn.

    Thanks again :)

    • Mare says:

      Hi Claudia, thanks so much for writing! I am jealous that you discovered essential oils at the tender age of 21. It took me until I was 31 to find them, so I missed out on them for many more years than you did! :-)

      Anyway, you have picked out some excellent oils for yourself! Wow! You hit the nail on the head. I have never studied May Chang (I think it’s the same as Litsea cubeba), but everything I’ve read indicates it is great for acne and breakouts. To answer your question, YES, the oils retain their properties when you blend them, and sometimes the very act of blending them can create synergistic effects that heighten their benefits, too. In other words, they are good separately, but even better when blended together.

      I would suggest you make up two blends, since you live in London. In the first one, use equal parts of each of the oils you chose (so 6 drops of each of the Petitgrain, Lavender, Tea Tree, and May Chang) in a base of 1 ounce of Grapeseed Oil and use this during the day (you say you are oily, so Grapeseed oil is the lightest of the base oils you listed). Then, make the same exact blend of the essential oils and put it in a base of 1 ounce of the Jojoba or Apricot Kernel oil and use it at night or in the wintertime for extra moisturization. That London weather can sometimes be unforgiving! It’s great you are starting off with oily skin, because trust me, by the time you are my age, you will WISH you had oily skin. It is what will help keep you looking youthful when you are older.

      Good luck – please let me know how it goes! All the best to you.

  10. Hayley says:

    Hello Mare. I love this post, it was really helpful.
    I have been suffering from moderate acne for over a year now, and it is hormonal. Im on meds right now and ive been trying so many different things. Im so happy i stumbled upon essential oils for acne a few days ago. Im so excited to go ahead and order them and get started, I just want ot make sure I am getting the right stuff. I know for sure that I want Clary sage, and Tea tree, but im not sure what else to get. Also, I read somewhere that castor oil is good for acne as a carrier oil. I have decently oily skin during the day, but It dries out easily. Im also 20, if it makes any difference. Any suggestions?

    • Mare says:

      Hi Hayley, I am so sorry for my delayed response. Between vacationing in China, coming back, the sudden death of my best friend, jet lag, and lost luggage, I have barely been able to function (or blog). So here are my belated thoughts for your skin:

      1. Re: castor oil, it is VERY heavy. I would not have thought of it as a good carrier oil for acne. My first thought is, REALLY?!?! You’re kidding! Usually, we like light carrier oils that don’t sit on the skin and clog up pores. I prefer Grapeseed oil for acneic or oily skins.

      2. Yes, I can relate to your red spots and slow-healing blemishes! Those are the story of my life. I would really suggest you look into Immortelle (aka Everlasting aka Helichrysm angustifolia) because it is a wonderful cell proliferant and can speed up the healing process.

      3. I like your choice of Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Clary Sage is great for hormonal skin and Tea Tree is wonderful as an antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic. I also like Immortelle, as I noted above, and perhaps the final oil that I would suggest would be Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). That is also great for balancing hormones and combating acne at the same time.

      4. My suggestion for your personal blend formula would be: 6 drops of Clary Sage, 6 drops of Tea Tree, 6 drops of Immortelle, 6 drops of Geranium, in 1 ounce of Grapeseed carrier oil. What you do is, you get a 1 ounce dark amber bottle, then add the essential oils, then top it up with the carrier oil. Then you stopper it, shake it a bit to mix the oils, then store it in a cool, dark place. When you want to use it, you wash your face, then apply about the size of an American quarter to your palm, rub your palms together, and massage into your face.

      5. Lastly, you mentioned your age. Let me just tell you: it gets better (and worse) and then better again. The early 20s were a mess for me. Then in the late 20s, my skin got really clear and lasted until the early 30s. Then the hormones started in again. Now, in my late 30s, it has cleared up again, but only after I got pregnant. But now, I wish it were oilier (your skin dries out with age). So, just do the best you can and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just make sure you have a healthy diet that helps promote elimination through the skin and the right exercise regimen as well.

      Good luck! Please let me know how it goes. Wishing you all the best,

  11. Hayley says:

    Just one more thing. I have alot of red spots that are healing from past blemishes. They seem to take forever to heal. The meds I am on right now is supposed to be bringing all of the nastiness out of my skin and its making me break out more, so im only using the cream every few days and going to try to treat them as they come. Im not using any more commercial products on my sensitive skin. I realize I have done nothing but make it worse with harsh chemically based soaps, scrubs, and toners. I kick myself every time I think about all of the different things I have tried. Now I just wash it with organic soap make from lavender oil and goat milk, and nothing else. Overall, my skin seems to be uneven, dry in some places, and oily in others, red, irritated, and broken out. a complete mess. Im going to be ordering my oils in a few days, I think I will order the list of oils you have listed above for hormonal skin with acne, and when I get them I have no idea how to use them or mix them the correct way. Thank you again for this wonderful inspirational post. It has given me such hope.

  12. Sez D says:


    I have some broken capillaries on both sides of my nose. Ive just got myself some German Chamomile oil and was wondering how many drops I should add to say 2oz of Cream instead of oil?
    Also I was wondering if its possable to add this oil to a face cream with an SPF for day use?

    Love your website.

    • Mare says:

      Hello Sez, I must apologize to you for my delayed response. Just got back from China yesterday and have been jet-lagged and heartbroken (my best friend died suddenly and unexpectedly). Anyway, I do like your choice of German Chamomile (make sure it says either Matricaria recutita or Matricaria recutica as the Latin name) for broken capillaries. Another good according to Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, is Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum) for broken capillaries. It is also blue, and can be found carried by some of the essential oil companies. What I would do for 2 ounces of cream is to add 15-20 drops and then mix it around. I would normally say 40 drops, but Chamomile has a STRONG earthy scent and it may overwhelm you. Also, it might screw up the consistency to put in so many drops as 40. Lastly, it’s better to go conservative, as you can always add more. Yes, you can add it to a face cream with SPF for day use, ASSUMING THAT THE SPF IS A PHYSICAL BLOCK and not a CHEMICAL BLOCK. I can’t be positive that it won’t change the chemical make-up of the SPF, which is what provides the coverage. What I would do instead is, make a blend of the Chamomile using a carrier or base oil, apply that, and THEN apply the SPF cream during the day to make sure you get your sun protection as well.

      Let me know how it goes!! All the best,

  13. Heidi says:

    hi mare,
    i’ve got reactive, thin, fragile, oily, blemished , aging skin. On top of that, extremely dehydrated. I’m wondering if i need a bit of everything in my blend.
    would these be good: clarysage for the oiliness, petitgrain for the blemishes, geranium for hormonal breakouts, immortelle & carrot seed for aging, chamomile to calm reactive skin.
    and the carrier oils? i’m afraid oils would clog my pores, and yet afraid that the grapeseed oil will be too”drying” for my dehydrated skin. would jojoba and apricot kernel be too heavy?

    thanks for your input!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Heidi! I really like the essential oils you’ve chosen. If you wanted to cut down from 6 oils to 4 oils (to keep expenses low, for example), the Clary Sage could double for the oiliness and the hormonal breakouts, and the Immortelle could double for the blemishes – it’s highly cell proliferant! In other words, you could probably lose the Geranium and the Petitgrain. However, those two oils really do smell wonderfully floral, so if you think you’d like them in for olfactory purposes, they certainly won’t hurt. Just remember to do a skin patch test with each and every oil that you choose before you actually make your blend.

      With respect to the carrier oil, I think either Jojoba or Apricot Kernel oil would be really nice! Those are nice and medium-weight oils that are also indicated in skin care. I think another good choice would be Kukui Nut oil, and also Peach Nut oil (although I can never really find the latter). I don’t think Grapeseed would be “drying” per se…it’s not an astringent or anything, it’s just the lightest-weight of the carrier oils and so it will get absorbed quickly. If you do want something more moisturizing and heavier, then go with the Jojoba or Apricot Kernel or Kukui Nut or Peach Nut. Good luck – I’m looking forward to hear how it goes!

      • Heidi says:

        hello mare,
        thanks for the prompt reply! i will now be on scour for my essential oils and carrier oils.
        I do have a general question: how long can i store my blend before it goes rancid?
        as for the essential oils that i am going to be purchasing, how long is their shelf life in general?

        thanks a lot once again!

        • Mare says:

          Hi Heidi,
          If you store the essential oils properly – in a cool, dark place – they should last you quite a while, like 1-2 years. Citrus oils, though, spoil much quicker. I’ve seen my Sweet Orange and Lemon essential oils eat the rubber in the dropper top, and then the rubber falls into the oil, and basically, it’s just not good. I’d say the citrus oils last about six months.

          Similarly, for the blend, it would be ideal to use up the blend you create in about 90 days. If you’re using it every day/night, you’ll probably use it up in that timeframe anyways. Speaking of blends, I’ve got to go make myself a new one very soon!

  14. Abbey Road says:

    i just stumbled across your blog and i love it! i’ve been researching essential and carrier oils as a cheaper (and organic) way to nourish my skin. i’m 21 and i want to start taking care of my skin in a friendlier way!

    my skin is hormonally-imbalanced (i break out at that time of the month, and when i’m very stressed). my skin’s also very dry and dull.

    i was considering using geranium and or ylang ylang, evening primrose, hemp and coconut. what do you think? which oils are best for my skin type? i’m mostly having difficulties finding the best carrier oil for my dry skin.

    • Mare says:

      Hi there, thanks for writing to me! I am so glad you’ve made the decision to look into essential oils for your skin. They are truly one of Nature’s most wonderful gifts. Anyway, I like your choice of essential oils: Geranium and Ylang Ylang are both very hormone-balancing and good for hormonal breakouts. I might also suggest adding both Clary Sage and Marjoram – those are also wonderful, wonderful EOs for what you are describing.

      Re: the right carrier oil, I like Evening Primrose…would be my first choice for you. Second choice would be Avocado, because it is very moisturizing. Coconut oil is also very moisturizing, but would not be my first choice because … well, it would really skew the overall scent and most coconut oils I’ve encountered can be too heavy and pore-clogging for the face. For the body, no problem, but I would hesitate to use it on my face. I am not familiar with hemp oil, to tell you the truth. My suggestion to you is this recipe:

      6 drops each of Geranium, Ylang ylang, Clary Sage, and Marjoram. Put these in a 1 ounce dark amber (or cobalt blue) bottle. Fill up the bottle with Evening Primrose. Apply at night before bed and after you wash your face in the morning. If, in the wintertime, the Evening Primrose is not hydrating enough for you, then switch over to Avocado for the duration of the winter.

      Let me know what you end up deciding to do!

  15. Victoria says:

    I just came across this post today and I love how clearly you spell everything out! I am 29, and have been dealing with oily skin and acne since I was 12. I have been to the dermatologist and on various medications (topical and oral) throughout my teens and 20s, but nothing seemed to help much. I am tired of putting so many chemicals into my body, and for so little reward. My skin is pretty sensitive, and I have been reacting to many of the recommended medications, face washes, astringents, etc.

    This is exactly what I needed. Since I only saw your post today, I will have to do some more research into what specific oils will work best for me.

    If I might ask a few quick questions: 1) Is there a best type of container to mix the oils (do you recommend glass jars or bottles like I’ve read elsewhere)? 2) I know you specialize in facial care, but do you have any recommendations for oily scalp, can I add essential oils to my shampoo?

    Thanks again for all the great information!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Victoria, I am so glad you found me and that my post was helpful to you. Wow, sounds like you and your skin have been through quite a journey. I hope you are able to find something that works for you. To answer your questions:

      1. I think it’s best to use colored glass bottles – I use dark amber, but you can also use cobalt blue – with the dropper tops.
      2. Regarding oily scalp, I would look into Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis). There are many different chemotypes of Rosemary, but I think any one of them will do. You can simply add a few drops to your shampoo, or if you would prefer not to change the smell, you can add the Rosemary drops to a bottle of water and use that to rinse your hair, after you’ve shampooed it.

  16. bess says:

    Hi Mare,

    Thank you so much for your article. It is brilliant and helpful.

    I am 23 years old and have very dry, hormonally-imbalanced and sensitive skin. I have been using the rose oil from Aesop, but I still find it not hydrating enough for me. That’s why I am thinking of making my own facial oil and that’s how I found your article.

    I have thought of a list of oils that I would like to use:

    geranium (hydrating)
    lavender (acne scars)
    carrot seed (hydrating)
    immortelle (scar and acne)
    german chamomiles (calming my sensitive skin)

    I am wondering if the blend will be too heavy for me. Please tell me your thought.

    For carrier oil, do you suggest almond oil or jojoba oil for my skin?

    Thank you for your great piece of information,

    • Mare says:

      Hello Bess, thank you so much for commenting. Here’s wishing you the best of the holiday season. Apologies for my delayed reply, as I flew out yesterday and am now visiting my in-laws. Anyway, here are my thoughts on your blend:

      1. It is my preference to blend no more than 4 essential oils together in a blend. There’s no reason why you can’t choose more, but at some point, the marginal benefit in synergies starts to decline. Also, it can get expensive to add so many oils together.

      2. That being said, in your case, since you’re only 23 (so young!!), I would suggest ix-naying the Carrot Seed. That one is highly protective and anti-aging, but not necessary for you at this point.

      3. I would also suggest making one tweak to your other choices. I love Geranium for you, it’s a great hormonal balancer. I also like the Immortelle, especially for scarring and rejuvenating. The German Chamomile is a good choice for both hydration and sensitive skin, especially for redness, inflammation, broken capillaries, etc. The color of it should be blue (just letting you know, so you don’t freak out). This is because of the chamazulene (it’s a constituent that get synthesized during the steam distillation process, and is unique to Chamomile). But instead of Lavender, I would suggest Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea). Clary Sage has a similar chemical makeup to Lavender, so it is also healing and regenerating, but it does the added duty of hormone-balancing as well.

      4. Re the carrier oil, I tend to go with Jojoba for a couple reasons. First of all, it is most like the surface of the skin, so it is not too light and not too heavy, and is easily absorbed. Secondly, it won’t interfere too much with the smell of the oils, as it doesn’t have much of an underlying smell (whereas Sweet Almond oil does). Naturally, if you’re allergic to nuts, you probably should not use Sweet Almond oil. I like Sweet Almond, too, but given that you are dry, I think the Jojoba will give you a bit more coverage.

      5. You can also do a seasonal blend and use different carrier oils depending on whether it is hot season or cold season. What I personally do is, during the wintertime I use the same essential oils, but a different base oil (carrier). I use Avocado because it is much thicker and hydrating. In the summertime, I use Jojoba oil because it’s not as heavy and still provides good moisturization.

      6. Another essential oil I would advocate investigating that is good for BOTH breakouts and hydration is Sandalwood (Santalum album). I don’t mention this in my article because a) Sandalwood is extremely expensive, so it might break the bank for some people and b) Sandalwood trees are increasingly endangered, and it is hard to make sure that they’re ethically replanted – takes 30 years to grow to a point where they produce oil. If you can’t find good Santalum album (usually from Mysore, India), a good alternative is Santalum spicata, which is usually from Australia.

      Good luck! Would love to hear back on how your blend works!

  17. Sowjanya says:

    Hi Mare,

    You article is very well explained and encouraging to try blending essential oils for skin care. I am glad I stumbled upon your blog.

    I am 28 yrs old and I have acne-prone sensitive skin. I dry out very badly too. If I don’t apply moisturizer soon after I wash my face I have a tight and visibly dry skin within the next 5-10mins. I also have uneven skin tone with blemishes and whenever i get a spot it seems to heal very slowly and leaves a mark.

    I have tried lot of moisturizers and medication suggested by dermatologists and nothing seemed to help on a long-term basis. I am currently using Lush’s Vanishing Cream. Though I found it helpful I still breakout regularly.
    Can you please suggest me a blend that I can make to address the above issues.Also please let me know if you want me to use a different blend for day and night. Just for your information I have used Jojoba oil previously as a nightly application(maybe around 2-3yrs ago) having read about its properties to heal acne but I still broke out after using it and discountinued using it. If possible please suggest me a clenser and a scrub that I can use for my skin.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Mare says:

      Hi Sowjanya, just wanted to quickly acknowledge your comment and let you know I will get back to you shortly with some questions and suggestions. All the best, Mare

      • Sowjanya says:

        Thanks for responding Mare.Looking forward to hear from you about the suggestions and questions you have for me.


    • Mare says:

      Hi Sowjanya, thanks for your patience. Okay, I have several thoughts that are all a-jumble in my head. Let me try to organize them.

      1. My first thought is, to take a truly holistic look at what is going on with your skin, you might to see an ND or holistic physician. The skin is really just one giant elimination organ, and if you’re experiencing acne-prone/breakout behavior, then that might mean you need more overall help with eliminating toxins and wastes from the body. A holistic strategy might include changes to your diet, some herbal teas, eliminating food-based allergens, etc. And essential oils would be just one component (a topical component) of this strategy.

      2. In my 20s, I also had a bout of acne that turned out to be hormonally driven. This happened in my early and late 20s. The mid-20s, however, were great!! Unfortunately, the mid-20s were only about 3 years. Have you noticed some changes in the skin in your twenties, or has your skin always been this way?

      3. Drinking enough water also has a lot to do with keeping the skin hydrated. Do you think your daily water intake is enough?

      4. Okay, now let’s talk about specific essential oils for you. For acne-prone skin, I think of the camphoraceous essential oils, like Spike Lavender and Rosemary. Camphor by itself is toxic, but in Rosemary and Spike Lavender, it is nicely balanced by the matrix of other chemical constituents. For sensitive skin, I think of the Chamomiles, especially German Chamomile. For dry skin, I think of Sandalwood and Palmarosa essential oils. For skin that has blemishes and scars easily and heals slowly, I think of Immortelle (or Everlasting). A good blend for you MIGHT be: equal parts each of Spike Lavender, German Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Immortelle. BUT, I want you to skin-patch test yourself before you use these oils. Do you know how to do a skin patch test? Especially for people who are sensitive, it is vital to do a skin patch test before applying essential oils to the skin.

      5. In terms of a carrier oil, I am sorry to hear that Jojoba didn’t work well for you. You may want to try a “lighter” carrier oil such as Grapeseed oil, which gets absorbed into the skin very quickly. The downside of Grapeseed, however, is that it isn’t very hydrating, which you definitely seem to need. Have you tried other carrier oils such as Apricot Kernel, Avocado, Peachnut, Aloe Vera? You can also do a skin patch test with these similar to how you would do it with essential oils, but you would wait 24 hours to see if there was a reaction (vs. waiting 5 minutes in the case of an undiluted essential oil).

      6. I DO recommend making a day blend and a night blend. The essential oils are the same, but the carrier oil is different. At night I like to use a heavier carrier oil (such as Avocado or Aloe Vera oil), and during the day, a lighter one (such as Grapeseed). In your case, however, because of how sensitive your skin is, you may not be able to tolerate many. I would just pick based on how your skin reacts to skin patch tests.

      7. In terms of a cleanser and a scrub…I really like cleansers from Eminence Organics skin care, and my favorite scrub is from Dermalogica (the Daily Microfoliant). But honestly, if your skin is sensitive, you may do better with a chemical scrub (like a peel) rather than a mechanical one. My favorite peel is from Knutek, and it’s called the Omega Peel.

      Well, those are my thoughts for now. Let me know your feedback/comments and perhaps I can provide more.

  18. belinda white says:


  19. belinda white says:

    WANT TO MAKE MY OWN FACIAL OIL,my friend has been using this method and her skin is glowing,carrot seed,rose oto,lemon,chamomile carcarrier oil wheatgerm what do u think of this please let me kmow thanks.

    • Mare says:

      Hi Belinda, your friend’s facial oil sounds fantastic. It’s an especially good blend for mature skin that tends towards being sensitive or having thread veins. It sounds like it is working, too, as her skin is glowing, as you describe.

      Re: your own facial oil, it would depend upon your own skin concerns and goals.

      • belinda white says:

        thanku for ur quick reply iam 46 so i would like a facial oil to combat ageing i have thought about putting, carrot seed,roseoto,clarysage,chamomile and immoretelle together what do u think ,thankyou again..

        • Mare says:

          Hi Belinda,

          I really like the essential oils you’ve chosen. Carrot seed is very anti-aging and protective, and is perfect for “mature” skins. Rose otto is my absolute favorite essential oil for women of all time, and you have done well to choose it. It is perfect for mature skin that need hormonal balancing. Clary Sage is also very hormonally balancing, while Chamomile (do you mean the German or blue chamomile?) is great for sensitivity and thread veins. Lastly, Immortelle is a wonderful cell proliferant and heals blemishes quickly. As long as you have skin patch tested all of these on yourself and have had no reactions to them, I would say go ahead and go for it. Now what were you thinking of as a carrier oil? That is another important decision. I like Evening Primrose for you, but really, it would depend on how hydrating you want the carrier oil to be (Avocado is one of the most hydrating, but it also changes the scent of the essential oils drastically).

          Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your selection of oils…if you want to blend 5 oils together, just remember that you need to get to about 24 drops, so you could do about 5 drops of each of them in your blend per 1 ounce of carrier oil. In other words, 24 drops total per 1 ounce of carrier oil – since you have 5 oils, that is roughly 5 drops of each. Hope this helps!

  20. belinda white says:

    hi my friends baby is 10 weeks old she has excema,could u suggest a blend of oils for her to try,with agood moisturising carrier oil,thankyou..

    • Mare says:

      Hi Belinda,

      I would be very careful about using essential oils with a 10-week old. Because of a baby’s still-fragile and sensitive developing systems, Aromatherapists don’t generally recommend using oils at this stage. I didn’t use essential oils topically on my own child until she was closer to 10 months old – and when I did, it was highly diluted (1/4 the concentration I would normally use on an adult) – I made her a tummy rub for her upset tummy.

      I’m sorry I don’t have anything more helpful to offer on this front. The only other suggestions I have would be that since eczema can be related to food sensitivities as well as environmental pollutants, maybe it would behoove your friend to see a holistic pediatric practitioner who can help her with an elimination of various food and environmental allergens to see what the underlying issue is. Good luck! I feel for the little babe.

  21. Jessica says:


    I am just entering this wonderful new world of natural remedies and if you could possibly help me with my chronic acne issues that would be amazing :)

    About me:
    I am 26 mother of three, very fair skin (born with white blonde hair) and currently not allergic to anything but my face often gets red and my acne has improved very little since I was 15. I have some what oily skin but i have some dry spots as well and since I’ve had three kids my skin is looser than I like. If there is a blend to help me I would appreciate ypur advice!

    Jessica :-)

    • Mare says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for writing! Hmm, your note is very interesting. Have you ever been told by a dermatologist or esthetician that you have rosacea or couperose or anything like that (I am asking about the redness)? This would help me make some suggestions if you have. So, I am hearing that you have combination skin (oily in some places, dry in others) that may be a bit sensitive, and that you’re also prone to acne/breakouts.

      My suggestions in terms of essential oils may or may not address ALL of the problem, since as you know, the skin is the body’s largest elimination organ, and if it is clogged, it can reflect a more overall state of “clogged-ness” that is just manifesting in the skin. I would do a skin patch test on yourself before using ANY of these…please promise me you will do that. For sensitivity, I like German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) or Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum). For your skin, I like Sandalwood (Santalum album) – it is both anti-acneic and hydrating, so it should not dry you out too much. I also like Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) for acne, although that is a bit stronger. If you think the breakouts could be hormonally related (if you notice them on your chin right before your cycle, that could be a sign), then maybe try Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), or Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), or Marjoram (Origanum majorana). Maybe a good blend could be: 6 drops German Chamomile, 6 drops Sandalwood, 6 drops Geranium, and 6 drops Spike Lavender.

      In terms of your carrier oil, maybe pick one like Jojoba, which is not too heavy and not too light, and blends well with the natural sebum on the surface of your skin.

      Also, if you drink certain herbal teas along with your essential oil regimen, it could also support your body in eliminating the toxins and impurities. I have been meaning to blog about this forever. Certain alterative herbs like Burdock, Yellow Dock, and Red Clover, are wonderful for that purpose. In any case, probably would be worth a try.

      Good luck! Let me know what you end up going with. – Mare

  22. MJC says:

    Just stumbled on your great blog – from all the way downunder (in New Zealand).

    • Mare says:

      Thank you! I love meeting people from around the world. You have some cool essential oils native to New Zealand…in particular, Manuka (also called Tea Tree New Zealand or Leptospernum scoparium). Must be nice to have local Manuka honey available, yes?

  23. lize says:

    Hi Mar
    Just found this blog and am loving it… Your very helpful, honest and caring with your replies! Could you recommend.a blend for me… 33 years old, with dehydrated, redness prone, spider veins / broken capillaries in face, blotchy dry patches but yet can have a oily t zone. Puffy eyes also. Thanks xx

    • Mare says:

      Hi Lize,

      Thanks for your comment! I am glad you found my blog, too. When I read your post, I had a jumble of comments in my head, so bear with me as I get them out (they may seem kind of out of order):

      * Dehydration! That you would do well to fix. Dehydration could also be the reason for the puffy eyes, honestly. The body tends to hold onto water if it thinks it isn’t getting enough or to counterbalance a high-sodium diet, for example.
      * The spider veins/broken capillaries…has a dermatologist or other kind of skin expert told you that you have rosacea, or couperose, or anything like that?
      * Some essential oils that come to mind for spider veins/broken capillaries are Chamomile (German) and Blue Tansy (which expert Aromatherapist Kurt Schnaubelt really likes for sensitive skin or thread veins). I also like Rose essential oil, if you can afford it. True Rose is very pricey!
      * Helichrysm is also very good for rejuvenation – it’s very cell proliferating.
      * I also thought of Sandalwood and Palmarosa for helping to hydrate. Both are also very balancing, so they could be good for combination skin.
      * A big budget blend would have Rose, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, Helichrysm, and Blue Tansy.
      * A low-budget blend would have Blue Tansy, Palmarosa, Helichrysm, German Chamomile, and maybe Lavender. As you can see, you’re not going to get away from Blue Tansy or German Chamomile (the latter can be a bit pricier).
      * A good carrier oil for you might be Jojoba or Apricot Kernel – those are very good for the skin, not too heavy, and not too light.
      * Please don’t forget to do skin patch testing on yourself before you do put any of these oils in a blend.
      * There is a school of thought that the best way to deal with thread veins and broken capillaries is to bring increased blood flow to the area to “flush them out,” so to speak. They would recommend putting a rubefacient on the surface of the skin – like Paprika – to get the circulation going naturally. There is a skin care line called Eminence that makes a Paprika Treatment that you can only get through a spa or esthetician (as part of a facial – you can’t get it for home use), so you might look into a nearby spa that has this line or offers this treatment.
      * Question for you: are there times you notice that the redness is worse, such as after drinking or perhaps after eating a certain kind of foods? Or maybe after exposure to some kind of environmental irritant, a certain kind of laundry detergent, perfume, smoke, etc.? I am just wondering if it is triggered by an event, as rosacea sometimes is (which is why I asked if you might have been diagnosed with rosacea).

      Okay, I’ve rambled on for long enough…those are my thoughts, in a nutshell (a BIG nutshell). For your puffy eyes, or for eyes in general, you could try upping your water intake, a vitamin K treatment (topical), or even Cistus (Rock Rose) essential oil. You could put 5-10 drops of Cistus in 1/2 ounce of carrier oil, then rub on the bone underneath/around the eye (resist the temptation to rub right underneath the eye – it will irritate it!!!). Cistus is supposed to be excellent for the eyes.

      Well, let me know if you have any more questions, and what you decide to do!

      • lize says:

        Hi Mare
        Thanks so much for your reply. I was diagnosed with rosacea couple of years ago. The papules and putsules seem to be under control at the moment. Redness, broken capillaries and dry patches (sides of nose, forehead) seem to be my main problems. I’m going to try what you recommended and see how that goes… Will keep you updated.
        How many times a day should I apply the blend, and is it instead of or in conjunction with my moisturiser.
        Mare, thank you so much for your help.

        • Mare says:

          Hi Lize,

          Sorry for the late reply, I was down in Anaheim over the weekend for the Natural Products Expo West show and just got back. Okay, I thought it might be rosacea…which no one really understands (still!). But, I will tell you that there are several esthetics skin care lines that advocate treating rosacea the way you would treat acne, with Jan Marini (a very well-known line) among them. Now, they are about 180 degrees opposite of what I usually advocate here, which is all-natural, organic, no synthetics, etc…but I did at one time carry their line at my spa and a lot of my customers (and my employees) loved that line a LOT. I do just want to provide you with the information so you can make your own decisions.

          Re: the # of times a day you want to apply the blend…I would do it 2x a day. After you wash your face in the morning, put it on under your moisturizer, and after you wash your face at night, put it on as the last thing you do before bed. If you are really dry, you can also apply a layer of night cream over it, but I usually just put a dime- to nickel-size amount on my palm and rub it into my face, then jump into bed!

          Hope this helps.

  24. lize says:

    I forgot to mention earlier that I also suffer from congestion on the nose and chin, with lots of blackheads.

  25. Ina says:

    Hi Mare thank you for all the information!I am 21 and have combination and sensitive skin.I also suffer from hormonal breakouts. I am thinking to do a blend with rose,helychrisum,german chammomile and i am undicided between clary sage and tea tree oil.As a carrier oil I want smth hydrating but not heavy. Could you give me some ideas? I will order the oils online so i can’t patch test them:( thank you in advance

    • Mare says:

      Hi Ina,

      Thank you for writing! With regard to your question about Clary Sage vs. Tea Tree, I think I would go with Clary Sage for your skin because you describe your skin as “hormonal.” I also think Clary Sage will work much more nicely with Rose, Helichrysum, and German Chamomile from a “scent” perspective as well. With regard to a carrier oil, may I ask what part of the world you live in? That can help me determine what to suggest/recommend.

      Yes, I understand that you can’t skin patch test before you order the oils, but you should definitely do it AFTER they arrive. That way, if they cause a reaction on your inner elbow, you don’t have to put them on your face to find out. Of course, it would be awful if you spent all that money on Rose and then it caused a reaction. If this is a concern, I might suggest that you try Geranium first (sometimes also called Rose Geranium) (Pelargonium graveolens), as it is much less expensive, but also good for hormonal skin. I really love Rose, but it’s important to make sure you’re sourcing it from a reputable vendor. Here’s my list of favorite essential oil suppliers. Where are you planning on buying from?

  26. Ina says:

    Hi Mare,
    thank you for answering me.
    I live in Albania,Europe.
    I had already seen your list of suppliers and i have decided on The Apothecary Shoppe at ACHS( i think they ship internationally,but i’m not sure).

    • Mare says:

      Hi Ina, my suggestion for carrier oil would be something on the heavier side. Avocado oil comes to mind, although that does tend to change the scent. Another good one is Apricot Kernel oil, if you can get it. Let me know how it goes! Good luck!

  27. jocelyn says:

    Hi there! I am so glad that I stumbled upon this website! I have been researching and researching ways to naturally heal my acne, but have become confused and overwhelmed by all of the differing information! I was doing the oil cleansing method and it was working great for a couple of weeks and then BAM acne ALL over. I think it may have been because I added a bit more castor oil in the secong batch which I have read is both not compatable with acne prone skin, but also absolutely necessary for the oil cleansing method (see how I get confused??)
    Anyways, I’ve been thinking about making myself an oil based cleanser, but possibly adding a natural-based emulsifier so I don’t have to rub my sensitive skin every night to get the oil off. I was wondering if you could give me some advice about what to use.
    I am 23 and never had any issues with my skin until I was about 17. So for the past 6 years I’ve had sensitive, more oily than not acne prone skin. My acne is mild to moderate little semi-red congested bumps that pop up wherever they please on my face. I also have very fair skin so every time I get a zit, I’m guaranteed leftover marks which have become very noticeable on my cheeks. My theory is that I used too many harsh products on my face (proactive, blue light/acetone treatments/ prescription creams) because my problems really began after starting proactive at 17. I also do tend to get some hormonal acne around that time of the month, but my skin is never totally clear as it is so I don’t know how much blame I would place on horomones. Anyways, I’ve heard that jojoba oil is excellent for acne and I really love argan oil. I also have some kukui oil that I also have read may be good for acne. The essential oils I have heard that are good for acne are manuka oil and lavendar oil. Do you have any ideas on a good blend for a cleanser for my skin?
    p.s. Thank you so much and sorry for such a long post!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Jocelyn,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to me and leaving a comment! You poor thing. I can SO remember those acne-ridden days from my early 20s. Every day I woke up, my face sported a new constellation of pimples, it seemed.

      Question: have you seen a dermatologist for this? If not, have you ever seen an esthetician? What other skin care products do you use? I am just wondering what other advice or diagnosis you may have received, and what your skin care regimen/routine looks like other than cleanser. My suggestion would be to seek one out, if you haven’t. In general, Master Herbalists are taught that the skin is an elimination organ and congestion in the skin happens when the skin is not eliminating properly. So going to see a holistic physician or dermatologist could help you understand the systemic reasons why your skin is not “working” optimally. Anything I say here is just a suggestion to help alleviate the “symptoms” of what’s going on underneath. Does that make sense?

      My first thought is that maybe we make you a facial cleanser that is not so “oily,” so you don’t have to rub all that hard to get it off. What if you combine apple cider vinegar with spring water with your facial oil as a cleanser? That could work. I am going to guess, but something like 2 ounces of cider vinegar and 2 ounces of spring water, for every 3 ounces of facial oil? In terms of the facial oil part, I like Jojoba and Argan, and I love Kukui Nut oil. Why don’t you mix all three – 1 part Jojoba, 1 part Argan, and 1 part Kukui Nut oil? You can add essential oils into the mix, too. Yes, Manuka oil (Leptospernum scoparium) – which is also sometimes called Tea Tree New Zealand – is great for acne, as is Lavender. The variety of Lavender that I MOST like for pimples is Spike Lavender, or Lavandula latifolia. There are also other wonderful essential oils for breakouts, and you almost cannot go wrong. Here would be my suggestion to start with:

      Mix Manuka, Spike Lavender, Myrtle (Myrtus communis), and Immortelle (Helichrysum angustifolia) in equal parts. Take maybe 30-35 drops of that combination and add it to your 7 ounces of cleanser (2 ounces cider vinegar + 2 ounces water + 3 ounces facial oil combo). Then use that as a cleanser and see how it goes.

      Also – try something for a full week to really test it out. Anything shorter than that and you won’t really know what impact it might have. Also! Try making an acne-prone skin mask and facial serum too. That is what this post was originally about – making a facial oil to use as a serum or moisturizer, rather than as a cleanser.

      Talk to you soon! Hope it goes well!

      • jocelyn says:

        Hello! Thank you so much for your quick reply!I completely understand what you mean about underlying factors. Here is a little bit more about me: I had seen a dermatologist continuously for a little over a year in my teens. They had prescribed to use only oil-free products, chemical peels and blue light treatments (which is where they rub acetone on your face and you put a light on your face twice a week in hopes of drying up the sebaceous glands). As you can imagine, it did not work and only made by skin irritated, red, flakey and more pimples. I had been using Dr. Hauschka’s cleansing cream and toner, but took a break to try the oil cleansing method which I liked until I broke out again probably due to changing the mixture. Right now i’m experimenting with a few things while I try to formulate my own face wash. I actually added some apple cider vinegar and distilled water in equal parts to my toner, but I haven’t been using it long enough to see if it really helps or not (about 5 days), I also just began using evan healy’s lavendar and blue chamomile milk cleanser for something really gentle to use in the morning in conjunction with the cleansing oil I wanted to make to use at night.
        I have never been to a holistic doctor because I live in an area of Nebraska that does not offer that service, but right now I live between Nebraska and Denver so maybe I could search the Denver area for one (any suggestions? 😀 ) I had seen a regular doctor in the past who put me on birth control for about a year, mostly because of my TERRIBLE periods, but also for my acne, which I ended up getting off because of the side effects, but it didn’t make my skin clear either. Other than my period problems, I am in good health. I don’t have any skin concerns at all on my body, I am not over weight, I excercise and I eat a mostly very healthy diet. It is really only my facial skin that I can’t seem to find a way to please! Could horomones or possibly an allergy I’m not aware of only affect my face and nothing else? I hope that train load of information clears up my vagueness if you made ir all the way through my second very long post 😀 Thank you so much again! It is really exciting to finally talk to someone who is willing to share so much information

  28. Kirsty says:

    I have been wanting to try a facial oil for a while but as they’re so expensive I looked into making them yourself.
    I am really excited about trying but am struggling to know exactly what to use and where to buy them from.
    I am 28 have combination skin and suffer with blemishes and breakouts, my skintone is quite uneven and sallow / dull, I also have a few marks from where blemishes have been as they never seem to really heal properly.
    I definately think that the breakouts are hormonal but as I have just been diagnosed with severe endometriosis I have been given a treatment that stops ovulation (basically bringing on the menopause) which I will have for around 6 months so I am unsure if I will still keep having hormonal breakouts or not.
    Please can you help with the oils and blending method and also application type I could use.

    Thank you :-)

    • Mare says:

      Hi Kirsty, how are you? Thanks for commenting and writing to me. I have a few thoughts and suggestions for you to try. Let me just get them out, although they may seem jumbled because I’m writing things down as I think of them.

      1. For skin that doesn’t heal properly, Immortelle (Helichrysum angustifolia) is a wonderful cell proliferant and is highly rejuvenating. That is my favorite essential oil of all time, probably. It is even more cell-rejuvenating than Lavender.

      2. I’m not sure whether you’re still going to have hormonal breakouts either, since it appears that you are going to be in menopause for a few months. You may find that the breakouts just clear up as a result of the treatment, I don’t know. I have heard several women say that this happened for them with a change in hormones.

      3. Essential oils don’t really help with uneven skin tone or sallow/dull skin per se. Sometimes that can be helped a little by exfoliating once a week. I wonder if you could make yourself some kind of exfoliant (maybe with rice bran powder or something like that?) to see if that makes a difference? This is usually how I achieve a brightening effect myself. You could maybe add a few drops of lemon juice to your exfoliant, as lemon juice has a nice, brightening effect too.

      4. I understand that budget is a concern for you. So maybe the Immortelle is out. In such a case, the least expensive oils that I can think of to help would be: Tea Tree, Geranium, Lemon, and perhaps Clary Sage. I like Clary Sage because a) it is chemically VERY similar to Lavender; b) it is a LOT less expensive than Lavender; c) it really helps with hormonal balancing for women; and d) it has a nice sedative effect as well.

      5. A really good carrier oil that might fit your budget is Aloe Vera oil.

      6. Maybe you could blend 6 drops each of the essential oils I mentioned above in 1 ounce of Aloe Vera oil for your facial serum.

      7. To use it, you put a dime to nickel size in your palm and apply to your entire face at night. Don’t do it during the day! I added Lemon to your blend (because it’s very astringent and also brightening in its own way), and that can cause some photosensitivity.

      8. Lastly, please make sure to do a skin patch test before using these oils on your skin. Even after you’ve spent the money to buy them, it’s still a good idea to do this because you don’t want to use them on your face if you end up having a reaction to them, right? You can always use them for another person, like massage or diffusing or scenting your underwear drawer. A girl’s always got to have some essential oils on hand, ya know? 😉

      Well, let me know your thoughts if you have any. Looking forward to hearing back as to how this blend worked out for you.

  29. Kelly says:

    Hello…I have acne prone skin…roseacea…and scarring…in my 40’s …I’ve had laser surgery…you name it to correct…I’ve started taking omega7 well as 3,6,9,…etc…i just purchased neem oil and seabuckthorn oil … i have jojoba and was wondering if I’m on the right track…
    how would I blend and what you’d suggest? PLEASE HELP ME!!!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Kelly! I am so sorry for taking so long to respond. It’s been a whirlwind week. Anyway, I am turning 40 in a couple weeks here, so I am right there with you. Wow, it sounds like you have really been through the ringer with your skin! But it also sounds like you are really doing some good things for it, such as taking the right Omega supplements and using great neem and seabuckthorn oil. Those are very excellent carrier oils and wonderfully healing. You can use one of them, or even a combination of them, if you like as a carrier oil.

      With such sensitive skin, it is absolutely imperative for you to do skin patch testing. To test out a carrier oil, you will have to put a small amount on your inner elbow and leave it on for a 24 hour period to see if there is any reaction. If there is no redness or irritation, then you can use it on your face. To test out an essential oil, put 1 drop on your inner elbow and hold it closed for 5 minutes. If there is no redness or irritation, then you can use that essential oil. But, I would still suggest a layered approach. In other words, it might be best for you to try one thing at a time. For example, start by testing out the Neem, and if you pass, then use nothing other than the Neem for a week. If your skin takes well to that, add Seabuckthorn. If your skin takes well to THAT combo, then add 1 essential oil, etc. etc. Make sense?

      So, my suggestion is to start with Immortelle (also called Helichrsyum angustifolia) as your first essential oil. That is the most cell proliferant and rejuvenating essential oil out there. I think it is an absolute must! What you would do is, put 4 drops of it in 1 teaspoon of your carrier oil. Mix it up, massage gently into your face, then go to sleep. If that works well, and you want to add another essential oil, I would recommend Carrot Seed (Daucus carrota), which is highly protective and anti-aging. Honestly, those two, plus a really good carrier oil, might be all you need. They will address scarring and aging effects.

      If you also want to address acne, then I might suggest adding some Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) to your blend. The ratio remains the same…about 1 drop of essential oil to 5 drops of carrier oil. So you’d blend the Immortelle, Carrot Seed, and Spike Lavender together first, then add 4 drops of your blend to a teaspoon of carrier oil. Make sense?

      I hope this helps – let me know how it goes!!


  30. Mimi says:

    First of all I want to express my appreciation for your sincere replies and willingness to offer your expertise. I am really excited to have found such an informational blog.

    I am 24 and in overall good health. I exercise three times a week and eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber. My water intake is usually half my body weight and I am very conscious about what I put in my body.

    With that being said……… I can’t seem to understand why I am breaking out……???????? It is very frustrating to me and it has recently been affecting my self esteem significantly. I never experienced these breakouts until a year ago when I was prescribed a month long course of antibiotics for sinus/ear infection. It could be my imagination, but that was around the time this all began happening to me.

    I have researched a decided upon 4 essential oils…… Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Tea Tree and Bergamont (Bergaptene Free). Do you think these are suitable for my skin type………

    I am not sure what carrier oil to choose from….?

    I have read that Olive Oil and Jojoba are good oils……….. Can you give me some advice???????? My skin is combination; acne prone (mostly cheeks and chin) and I haven’t been one to experience sensitivity with new products. I do however have an allergic to benzoyl peroxide if that makes a difference.

    Thank you

    • Mare says:

      Hi Mimi,

      Thanks very much for your comment. Oh my, you poor thing! I have to tell you something: your experience mirrors mine almost exactly. When I turned 24 – EXACTLY – I also started going through the worst breakouts. My esthetician told me it was hormonal – and it lasted five long years until my late twenties. When I turned 30, it went away, and my skin went clear again for another five years. You’re probably thinking, “AAAGHH! I don’t want to wait until I’m 30!!” I don’t blame you.

      I didn’t know about essential oils then. I think it would have helped me to know about them, looking back. I really liked the essential oils you chose. I might suggest a couple tweaks: Ylang ylang is great for hormonally related acne, but I think Geranium might be slightly better. Clary Sage is another good one for hormonally related breakouts. But Ylang ylang is fine. I would suggest substituting Spike Lavender for plain Lavender. Spike Lavender has camphor in it, which is wonderful for acneic skin (and the surrounding chemical matrix of Spike Lavender renders the camphor less toxic). Tea Tree, as you know, is one of my favorites for breakout skin. Now to the Bergamot…I love Bergamot’s smell and like to use it in body blends, but for the face, I’m not sure it’s my first choice, even though you are getting it Bergaptene-Free. Maybe I’m just paranoid about the photosensitivity. Anyway, as I mentioned, Clary Sage is a good one, Marjoram is a good one, Myrtle is also a good one (Myrtus communis), and Tea Tree New Zealand as well (Leptospernum scoparium, sometimes also known as Manuka). There are a lot of anti-acne essential oils, so many, in fact, that I don’t think you have to choose Bergaptene- or FCF-free Bergamot. But that’s just my opinion. Bergamot is definitely good for acne, so if you insist, you’re not poorly off.

      As for carrier oils…I think that choice depends mostly on whether you have very dry, very oily, or normal skin. You said combination, so I would think something like a Jojoba oil would work great. So would an Apricot Kernel oil. Olive is okay, it’s more appropriate for dry skins. You can also make two blends with the exact same essential oils – one for day and one for night. The night one would be heavier. For the day, you could use Jojoba or something as light as Grapeseed. For night, you could use the Olive or even Avocado oil.

      Anyway, let me know what you end up deciding as your blend…very excited to hear about your results! All the best, Mare

  31. Miki says:

    Hey! Your articles are so useful, especially for those starting out.
    I was hoping you could give me some advice: my mum has some jojoba oil and rosehip oil. Is it okay to use just 1 essential oil? And if so, in what quantities? Can carrot seed and sandalwood oils be used in the same blend or is 1 good enough? (The oil is for mature and ageing skin, normal skin type which can get mildly dry).

    Also, for normal to dry skin, what oils would you recommend? No skin issues to address, just looking for good, healthy skin care for the long run :)

    Thanks so much!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Miki, thanks so much for writing to me, and for the feedback. To answer your questions, yes, it is okay to use just 1 essential oil. The ratio you will want to get to is 20 to 24 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil. Yes, you can use both Carrot seed and Sandalwood in the same blend. Carrot seed is my favorite anti-aging essential oil, and Sandalwood is one of my favorites for dry skin. So I think it’s going to be a success. If you are going to use just those two, then I would do maybe 10 to 12 drops of each in your blend. Careful though – Sandalwood is very expensive, and also powerful-smelling (good-smelling, but still overpowering). :-)

      For normal to dry skin, with no skin issues to address (well, you do mention some chicken pox scars in your later comment, so I will address both of your comments here), I like the two that you have chosen, but I might just add some Immortelle (Helichrysum angustifolia) to give your skin a regenerative boost (excellent for scarring!) and perhaps some Rose (Rosa damascene) or Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) to balance hormones, etc. Those four would make you a very nice blend. Also, between the two carrier oils you listed, I like Jojoba better for those with normal skin. Rosehip oil is great too, but just may not provide enough moisture. Or, you could make two blends – one with the Rosehip and use it for day, the other with Jojoba and use it for nighttime. Hope this helps!!

      All the best,

  32. Miki says:

    Actually, in the long run to have an even skin tone and blemish free skin.. I have some chicken pox scars..

    Thanks once again!

  33. amna umer says:

    dear mare i love to read your blog .your suggestions are awesome.since one month i havebeen searching about essential oils and i am also using some of them.i want to tell you about my skin age is 36.and since i was thirteen i do have problem skin.i am an asian woman with fair skin.i never remember the period when my skin is free of blemishes.its like countless period of decades that i have been suffering of blackheads,acne,red blemishes and red scars.i have very sensitive combination many little pores on my nose with countless tiny blackheads. i have breakouts regularly always have stubborn blackheads which dont like to come out.and with the little heat my cheeks started to show off ugly red scarring.sometimes i want to give up because i am tired of treating these junks. from one month for the day time my skin routine is afer cleansing i spray toner made of 8 oz rose hydrosol mixed 2 tbs of aloevera gel 6 drops of sandalwood oil 6 drops of rosewood oil and 6 drops of ylang ylang oil.and after that i put 4 drops of grape seed oil as a moisturizer.for night time i cleansed my skin then spray the toner made of 2/3 cup of green tea and 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and added 12 drops of lemon oil and 12 drops of lavender oil.after that i put 12 drops of jojoba oil as a moisturizer.that routine helped some how my nose looks much is soft but still i have breakouts and ugly red scarring which doesnot want to heal.i also have uneven skin tone.and i also have dry flakes on my face specially on nose and cheeks.i am residence in johannesburg (dry weather).please help me .one last thing scrubing even with the gentelest medium have proven a night mere for me because i gives me an intense red rash and ugly breakout.

    • Mare says:

      Dear Amna, thanks very much for writing to me. Wow, your skin sounds very sensitive! It sounds like it gets red at the slightest provocation, especially if you try to scrub or exfoliate. It also sounds like your main concern is the scarring and the continuing breakouts. I will try to address each one of your concerns here. Truthfully, your regimen sounds wonderful! If you’re experiencing skin problems still, then I would suggest that you work with a holistic physician to address some of the underlying issues in your skin.

      Skin is our largest organ, and its job is to eliminate toxins from the body. If it is clogged, then something is preventing it from doing its job properly. A holistic doctor can help you look at food sensitivities, nutrition, and other root causes that might be causing the imbalance. Any suggestions I make would need to be verified with a doctor and incorporated into an overarching strategy for managing your health. That being said, a couple thoughts that come to mind are:

      1. Try adding the essential oil Immortelle (Helichrysm angustifolia) to one of your skin care blends. It is highly cell proliferant and rejuvenating. It heals bruises and scars quickly for me, and I love it. It is one of my favorite essential oils, but so few people know about it that I am constantly recommending it to people. You can just add a drop or two to your Jojoba oil moisturizer.

      2. Try supporting your skin by drinking herbal tisanes that support the removal of wastes and toxins from your body. Alterative herbs are wonderful here, as are antiseptic herbs. My suggestion would be to make a burdock root tea – you can also add yellow dock and calendula flowers to the tea. To make a cup of tea, take 1 teaspoon of your blended herbs (you can do equal parts burdock root, yellow dock, and calendula) and steep in 8 ounces of hot water. The Latin names are: Arctium lappa, Rumex crispus, and Calendula officinalis, in case you want to be sure.

      3. Try adding German Chamomile (Matricaria recutica or Matricaria recutita or Matricaria chamomilla) essential oil to your blends to help alleviate redness and sensitivity. This essential oil is blue from its high chamazulene content (a compound created through the steam distillation process). It’s one of Aromatherapy’s best skin care weapons. You can add that to your toner or to your moisturizer too. Don’t worry, once you massage into your skin, your skin will not be blue – it will be absorbed quickly. You’ll see.

      Hope these help – good luck! Let me know how it goes.

  34. amna umer says:

    dear mare,
    love to see your response so is of great help for far as i know german chamomile is available but i have to find out helichrysum.i will incorporate it in my skin care regime.and the herbs you advised me for that i want to tell you something about my health issues.i have been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and due to these harmonal imbalances i am also suffering from artheritis and hair loss(baldness).so plz tell me if it is right to take these herbs or not.i am using rosemary oil for hair loss just guide me that how much of rosemary drops should be blended in carrier oil.i was also on homeopathic medication for these issues and now i feel better alot.these medicines include “arnica ,sepia and rhus tox”


    • Mare says:

      Hi Amna,

      Sorry for being slow to reply again. I just got a new job and consequently have been less able to devote as much time as I would like to blogging and answering questions. The diagnosis makes sense now – if you’re suffering from hormone imbalances, it could also affect your skin and manifest in skin conditions. I would not be able to tell you if it’s right to take these herbs – I would suggest you find a holistic physician who is knowledgeable about your condition and also about herbs. I can point you to research that shows which herbs are supportive of hormonal imbalance conditions, such as Vitex agnus castus, Evening Primrose, Motherwort, Red Clover, etc., but I cannot make medical recommendations. My suggestion would be for you to do some research on the herbs I mention above, and then to pick out a couple that you think might be helpful, and work with your doctor to select which ones you might take.

      Re: Rosemary oil for hair loss…I would suggest 10 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil.

      Re: homeopathy – it’s wonderful!! I am so glad that you are feeling better. That is definitely a great route, especially if you are working with a qualified homeopath who knows what he/she is doing. I just have one caution: many homeopaths state that essential oils ANTIDOTE homeopathy (basically cause homeopathy to be ineffective), so be careful combining strong-smelling essential oils with the use of homeopathy. If you want to use both, I would ask your homeopath what to do. Rosemary, for example, is an example of an essential oil that antidotes homeopathy.

      Hope this helps! – Mare

  35. Miki says:

    Thank you so much for your quick reply! I can’t wait to try this out 😀
    Also, can the oil blend be used on top of moisturizer or beneath or is it too much together?

    • Mare says:

      Hi Miki,

      Personally, I prefer the oil blend on the skin as the first layer, followed by moisturizer. This is because the essential oils penetrate your skin easily due to their small molecular structure, and the oil will absorb fast (you’ll see). The moisturizer, on the other hand, will typically sit on your skin a bit longer. This can be good, because it can be protective. I don’t think it’s too much together (for me, it’s more effective to use them together). The only time I will not use a moisturizer on top of the oil blend is if it’s a very hot and humid day, and I don’t want to walk around uncomfortable. Hope this helps you!!

    • Mare says:

      Actually, I take that back…I always use moisturizer during the day. But always on top of the oil blend, not beneath it. :-)

  36. Veronica says:

    I’m getting a little frustrated with skin care. My skin used to be much more resilient, but in the last year or two, it’s become quite troublesome. I was hoping you might be able to help me with some skin care options (skin care blend, toner, moisturizer and/or special treatments) that would actually work and not break the bank.

    Here are my issues:
    My skin gets VERY dry all over. I often get flaking or peeling, even on my nose. However, my pores also seem to get pretty easily, especially on my nose.
    My skin is sensitive.
    I have red areas, especially on my cheeks and nose.
    My skin has started to show signs of aging: small expression lines, enlarged pores and loss of even skin tone/clarity/smoothness.

    My skin used to be wonderful and now I’ve tried so many things that haven’t worked. It’s disheartening and I feel like I’m just throwing money away!

    Any recommendations you could give me would be very appreciated!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Veronica,

      Thanks so much for writing! I apologize for the slight delay in my reply. It’s been a little crazy for me lately!

      Okay, it sounds like you have a few issues with your skin: dry, red, sensitive, aging, clogged pores, and discoloration (would this be hyperpigmentation)? I too am experiencing increased dryness and unevenness in skin tone as I get older. Ah, those days of our youth! Well, we’re wiser, right? (That is what I tell myself).

      I need to understand a little bit more about you before I can make any recommendations:

      1) How much do you want to spend on each of these (skin care blend, toner, moisturizer, serums, masques, treatments)?
      2) How much do you want to make your own skin care vs. buying from established brands, etc.?
      3) Do you have any medical diagnoses that might affect your skin care? Have you seen a dermatologist for any skin conditions? What were his/her recommendations?
      4) Are you using any topical skin care treatments right now (such as Retin-A)?


      • Veronica says:

        No worries. I’ve been away from the computer most of the last week. :)

        1) Ideally, I’d like these to be as affordable as possible. I know that they might incur an initial cost that is higher than they will be in the long run from buying supplies. It would be nice for each of the items to end up in the $5-15 range, though.
        2) It would be neat to be able to make my own. It has the ability to be much more customizable. However, if the cost of an established brand is similar and does the same thing, I don’t mind buying it.
        3) No medical conditions that affect my skin that I’m aware of, except possibly hormonal birth control. I have not been to a dermatologist. None of the conditions really seem to be that bad, just annoying.
        4) I’m not using any special skin treatments, just washing and moisturizing.

        Thanks again.

        • Mare says:

          Hi Veronica, once again, I must apologize for my tardiness. I just started a new job 4 weeks ago and it is CRA-ZEE busy. Okay, I do think hormonal birth control can affect our skin, so that is good to know that you are on that. Here are my suggestions:

          1) If you go the make-your-own route, then the essential oils I would suggest are: German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) for dryness and sensitivity, Carrot Seed (Daucus carrota) for its protective, anti-aging properties, Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) for hormone-balancing properties, and Immortelle (Helichrysm angustifolia) for its restorative/rejuvenating properties. German Chamomile can be quite pricy, though, as can Immortelle. You would use a combination of 24 drops (so 6 drops of each) in 1 ounce of carrier oil (Jojoba will do as a nice base). Evening primrose is nice as well, but it does have a scent, so it may throw off the scent of your entire blend.
          2) If you want to try a product that you can buy, I might suggest the Eminence line of skin care products. Their Eight Greens masque is particularly nice for those of us who are experiencing hormone-related skin issues and who want to re-experience a more youthful look. It’s not cheap though. They also have a nice Stone Crop Serum, which I use myself for hyper pigmentation. I do have a series of posts on the steps in a facial that might be helpful for you in making your own toners, serums, etc. etc. Let me go dig those up and create a Resource Page. Stay tuned.
          3) The main thing I would keep in mind is that to see any changes, you have to wait for at least 3 months for your cells to completely “turn over.” And especially as we are in our 40s, it may take even longer. So don’t give up if you don’t see results right away…give it at least 90 days!

          • Veronica says:

            I think I will try making my own and see how that works. Thank you so much for your recommendations!

          • Veronica says:

            I’m looking to get the essential oils for my blend. While I was at it, I thought I would get supplies for a toner as well. Can you recommend what would be a good toner recipe?


          • Mare says:

            Hi again Veronica – it seems that great minds think alike. I have already written a post on the topic of how to make your own essential oil toner: In general, I would pick a toner base – and for that I recommend a hydrosol (also called a hydrolat or flower water), and some essential oils. For the essential oils, the same one you use in your facial blend can be used in your toner. Honestly, sometimes the hydrosol by itself is good enough as a toner – they’re my favorite. Scan through my post and let me know if you still have any questions! Thanks! :-)

          • Veronica says:

            I’m currently using rosewater as a toner that I mist on after cleansing. I’ll just try making a small bottle with my skin care oils added to it.
            Thanks again! :)

  37. Veronica says:

    *I meant to say that my pores get clogged very easily.

    Oh, also another aging sign are some small areas of discoloration, esp. on my forehead.

    Thanks again!

  38. Bindu says:

    Hi Marie,
    I cant believe my eyes that i am reading soo much information on a single page. So u soo helpful to us.
    I want to create facial soaps with low cost non irritant, non sensitizing, non phototoxic EO’s
    One soap would be sesame goat milk soap with lavender 2% and palmarosa 2%
    And Second one would be sesame goat milk soap with lavender 1.5% and petitgrain 1% and palmarosa 1.5%
    Both are targeting scarred facial skin. but first one would be for dry scarred skin and second one would be for oily/sweaty acne/scarred skin. Pls tell if this is correct.
    Or only the first soap suits all skin types??

    I think This post on skincare EO’s can be a blog in itself.

    • Mare says:

      Hi Bindu, thanks so much for writing. Sorry for the delay, I have just started a new job and things are a little crazy, to say the least. My question is: why do you want to use facial soaps? It’s not the essential oils that concern me, it’s the main ingredients of the soap itself. Other than sesame goat milk, what else are you using in the base? I think soaps tend to dry skin out, but please correct me/enlighten me if I am wrong. I am always looking for good information.

      With respect to the EOs themselves, Lavender, Palmarosa, and Petitgrain are all wonderful scarred facial skin. Lavender is very cell proliferate and rejuvenating, while Palmarosa is wonderful for dry skin. And Petitgrain is great for oily skin, so you have chosen great oils. I like Immortelle better than Lavender, but if you’re taking scent into the equation (as in, you want your soap to smell nice), then Lavender is probably a better way to go. What kind of Lavender are you using? Lavandin? Spike Lavender? Lavandula angustifolia?

  39. Sandy says:

    Hi – I am going to get V-beam laser in a couple of weeks and have been using EOs/blends for months for my acne prone/rosacea, hormonal aging skin …. I was wondering a good blend to apply after the V-beam for anti-inflammatory, anti-redness as I was told I could expect swelling and redness for a week. I have a ton of EOs but thinking I need blue tansy (I have helichrysum as well as a ton of others) – I have coconut, jojoba, grapeseed and hazelnut carriers – can you tell me a good blend to make for this purpose?

    • Mare says:

      Hi there, Sandy! Thank you for commenting! The best anti-inflammatory, anti-redness oil, in my opinion, is German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). The chamazulene in it that is created during the steam distillation process is one of Aromatherapy’s most potent weapons against redness and inflammation. I would prefer that to Blue Tansy, personally. I do like Helichrysum, as that will help your skin rejuvenate itself/heal faster after the treatment, so it’ll be great. A good healing blend would be: 12 drops German Chamomile and 12 drops of Helichrysum in 1 ounce of carrier oil. I like Jojoba and grape seed as carrier oils…Jojoba if you have drier skin, grape seed if oilier.

      I have another little tip in terms of disguising the redness after the treatment: the Colorescience line has a FANTASTIC powder brush called “Yellow Rose of Texas” that counteracts red skin. I used to use it all the time to disguise rosacea when I owned a spa. If you want, I might even have a sample brush left – I can look for it and send it to you (just privately message me your address at Hope this helps!!

  40. Bindu says:

    Hi Marie, I am soo happy to see ur reply. You must be having grt dedication to ur blog. I make handmade soaps. Not all soaps are drying, Handmade soaps are very very good as they contain natural glycerin. It all depends on base oil we use for soap. I used cold pressed coconut oil, Black Sesame, Olive and goats milk to make soap and . I think its very conditioning. So actually u can try 100 olive oil liquid soap base and try adding EO’s , Use it as Facewash, bodywash. I mostly make Bar soaps becoz i want to include Goats milk. Its not possible to make liquid soap with GM, as Liquid soap involves heat.
    My new blends are like this,
    Dry skin: palmarosa: lavender: Frankinsense = 3:2:1
    Oily Skin/ Acne prone- Palmarosa: Lavender: Myrtle = 2:2:1

    My main concern is improving facial skin, scars, discoloration what ever and long term safe usage. Also pls tell me if any of these oils darken skin, becoz i am Indian and so bothered abt photosensitivity and darkening. I have read somewhere that petitgrain may cause skin discoloration. Can u also mention some forums for aromatherapy and skincare.
    Thank You,

    • Mare says:

      Dear Bindu, wow, I am very behind on responding to comments. On the day you posted this, my parents flew into town from Shanghai, so the rest of my week was spent hanging out with them and showing them around. I apologize!

      Anyway, your soaps sound lovely. Hmm, I bet if you did use goat’s milk and coconut oil, the bar soap would be hydrating. The ones I’ve made with just vegetable glycerin have been drying for me, but it sounds like you’ve come up with some great recipes.

      Regarding any of the oils that darken skin…the photo-sensitive oils are mainly the citrus oils – like Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, etc. Oh, and also Angelica (which is not a Citrus at all), which surprises me. None of the oils you mention above are photo-sensitivity-causing.

      Regarding Petitgrain…well, that’s interesting. It IS a citrus genus, but I have never heard of it causing photo-sensitivity. Both Petitgrain and Neroli are widely used in skin care (both come from the plant Citrus aurantium var. amara, it’s just that Petitgrain is distilled from the leaves and twigs and Neroli is distilled from the blossoms), so I am surprised to hear that. People will just use Petitgrain a lot of times because it is so much less expensive than Neroli (which can cost up to $350 per ounce at retail). Both are great for acne-prone, oily skin. Have you ever heard of Orange Blossom Water? That is the hydrosol that is the by-product of steam-distilling Neroli.

      Re: Aromatherapy forums…I would just go to the sites of the well-known suppliers for more information. For example, Floracopeia, Ananda Apothecary, Oshadhi, and Aura Cacia are all reputable suppliers, and often times they offer good information on their web sites. Hope this helps!!

  41. amna umer says:

    dear mare,
    it is always a great pleasure to read your blog because it gives me the knowledge and knowledge is power.and one thing i must admit is your dedication and patience for our problems and questions.i want to ask you about rosehip carrier it wise to use on acneprone very sensitive skin?currently i am using grapeseed oil in morning and jojoba oil in night.both are showing good results.and i also want to know about aloevera oil more question is that in response to my last mail you recommended me german chamomile .i bought the one .my question is that what is the difference between german chamomile and german chamomile (blue) i bought the blue one but it is written (blend).thanks for your patience.

    • Mare says:

      Hi Amna, did I respond to this yet? I don’t think I did. Shame on me! I just started a new job and I swear, I don’t know night from day anymore.

      Anyway, let me answer your questions:

      1. I really like Aloe Vera oil, it is another of my favorite carrier oils. Very hydrating.
      2. The difference between German and German Chamomile (blue): there is no difference. Those are the same thing. German chamomile has the Latin name, Matricaria recutica. Sometimes you will also see it as “Matricaria recutita.” I’m not sure why that is, but that’s the way I’ve seen it in my texts. When this plant species is put through the steam distillation process, something happens chemically and the component chamazulene is created, and it’s blue! And it causes the essential oil to be blue. But don’t worry – your face will not turn blue. It completely gets absorbed into the skin without any discoloration at all. I bet for labeling purposes, the vendor you bought it from labeled it as (blue) to let you know that it is different from Roman Chamomile, which is the plant Anthemis nobilis (the old name was Chamamaelum nobile), which is NOT blue.

      Does this help?

    • Mare says:

      Oh! I’m sorry, you had one more question, about Rosehip carrier oil. Yes! It is wise to use on acne-prone skin. Regarding your skin being very sensitive, well, you just want to make sure you test it out on the inner elbow before you put it on your face. You can put a small spoonful on the inner crook of the elbow, then put a gauze patch over it, and leave it for 24 hours. If you have no redness or irritation, you should be fine to use it on your face. Hope this helps!

  42. Lisa says:

    I have a question. I have just started using oils (as facial cleanser and moisturizer), for almost a week I have been using jojoba oil and added rosehip oil today. I have not added any essential oils yet. My skin has started to react to the oil with break outs (though not exactly acne) and I am experiencing more dryness than before. I haven’t been using organic or particularly “clean” skin care before, but have had fairly healthy skin with no break outs. Are my skin reactions normal or a sign that I should lay off the oils? I have read so many wonderful things about facial oils and really want them to work for me, but I’m not sure what to do. Is it more likely that this is just a cleansing phase?
    Regards Lisa

    • Mare says:

      Hi Lisa, thank you so much for writing. I have a couple thoughts:

      1. Did you skin patch test the jojoba oil and the rosehip oil before you used them? I have an entry on how to do a skin patch test, if you’d like to learn more. Basically, you put the carrier oils in the inside of your elbow and cover it up with a gauze patch, and walk around with it for 24 hours to see if you react. You can do rosehip oil on one elbow and jojoba oil on the other elbow, if you want, so you can do it simultaneously. It IS possible that you are having a reaction. If, however, you do this, and no redness or other irritation develops, then you might consider (continued in #2)…

      2. Sometimes, when you make a change to your routine, you can notice your skin also changing. It COULD be that your skin is breaking out because the oils are helping to bring the impurities to the surface, and you just need to give it another couple weeks before you really know if that is what is happening. Because the theory is that it will all clear up if that is the case.

      3. Re: the breakouts…it also MIGHT be that you’re not removing the oil completely from the surface of the skin, so it’s staying in the pores. Although, I would be surprised if that was it…it should just be absorbed.

      4. Re: the dryness…I have also noticed that using just the facial oil as moisturizer is not enough for me. I have noticed that my skin just “drinks” in the oil, and I have to re-apply another layer of oil or put on a cream moisturizer. This is because your skin absorbs the oil (it doesn’t just “sit” on your skin, hence my comment in #3 above). Another thing you can do is use a more moisturizing carrier oil…Avocado oil is a good one.

      5. If it is just the cleansing phase, then you should notice a difference in a couple weeks, so I would suggest that you stick with it if that is what you suspect. But if you do #1, and you wait out the few weeks that I suggest in #2, and the breakouts are STILL there, then I would suggest changing the skin care routine altogether and using either other carrier oils or a completely different cleanser/moisturizer altogether.

      Let me know how it goes! Hope this helps.

      • Lisa says:

        Hi again and thank you so much for your answer.
        I did the skin patch test like you suggested, with no reaction from either oil. My skin doesn’t seem to want to get any better, while some of the breakout has diminished, more have come. Other problems are clogged pores and tiny bumps – not acne-like – (have no idea what to call it) that have appeared around my nose and chin. I think these might be a result of dehydration, though I’m not sure – I’m not quite as dry in the nose area as before (not flaky), but I guess I could still be dry. Do you have any suggestions for an oil blend? Since I don’t have problems with acne, and believe my skin is dry (and perhaps a little sensitive?) I don’t want anything too strong. What I’m searching for is something
        1. against clogged pores (I’ve understood that these can come when you have dry skin?)
        2. that really hydrates without clogging pores
        3. that helps with red dots/scars
        4. that can give dull skin some glow

        I am interested in the avocado oil but don’t know if it is too heavy.. Oh, and I’m 21.

        Kind regards Lisa

      • Lisa says:

        Hi again, I’ve read a bit more about the different oils and I’m thinking about making this blend:
        Immortelle – for scarring
        German chamomille – for sensitivity and dryness
        Sandalwood – for dryness and breakouts
        Carrier oil: either avocado or jojoba oil.
        Will any of these essential oils help with clogged pores? Do you think this is a good blend for me?

        Regards Lisa

        • Mare says:

          Hi Lisa, apologies for my delay in responding. I really like your blend. I would still ask you to skin patch test each essential oil on the inner crook of your elbow. If you put one drop undiluted on the inner elbow, hold the elbow closed for 5 minutes. If you see any redness or irritation, then you’re sensitive to that oil. If you’re not showing any reactions to any of them, then go ahead and make them into a blend. I think 8 drops of each will do for 1 ounce of carrier oil.

          Regarding clogged pores…I guess I have to take a step back and explain that there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is where your skin doesn’t produce enough sebum, which contributes to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dehydrated skin is where you don’t drink enough water, which doesn’t support the skin in doing its job (which is elimination). My guess is, based on your young age, that it is more the case that you have dehydrated skin, and not dry skin. When the skin isn’t supported with enough water, it has a hard time eliminating and allowing the toxins to pass through, which can lead to clogged pores (this is all from my days of sitting in on the training that my estheticians would receive while working at my spa).

          So, in addition to making yourself the blend, I would also dry making sure you have optimal water intake, too. There are lots of good water-calculators online (by this I mean, tools that help you figure out how much water your body needs each day.

          Regarding which carrier oil…I think I would suggest Jojoba for daytime and Avocado for nighttime – maybe you can make yourself two blends. If not, then my personal preference is Jojoba, since my theory is that you have dehydrated, not dry, skin. But I could be wrong! Please use your own intuition and preference…Avocado is known to be more hydrating, so if what I am saying doesn’t resonate with you, then pick Avocado.

          Hope this helps!!

  43. Heidi says:

    hi mare,
    thanks to you , i’m now experimenting with essential oils. From the readings above, seems like helichrysum is great for cell regeneration/anti aging and sounds like a “must have” for aging skin. I tried using it diluted in my normal face cream for a few days and i must say, my skin did not like it at all! what a pity! i so wanted to reap the cell proliferation benefits of it as i’m in my early 30s already nearing the mids.

    Is there another essential oil that has similar properties to helichrysum?

    thanks a lot for your wonderful patience!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Heidi! Thanks very much for writing. Oh boy, I am so sorry that your skin does not like Immortelle (Helichrysum). It is the most cell proliferant essential oil around, and my absolute favorite. Well, a close second would be Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis). That could work a lot better for you – this time, however, I would suggest you do a skin patch test on the inner crook of your elbow before putting it on your face! Think of how much irritation that would save (not to mention, face cream).

      I can’t think of another one other than Lavender off the top of my head, but if I think of one, I’ll come back to you ASAP. I have this funny feeling I am forgetting about one, so I need to go back through my texts to see if it jiggles a memory. Hope this helps!!

  44. Kris says:

    Hi, I’m just starting off in the world of natural skin care, I am 27 and have had pimples for the past few years, never really had a problem with pimples in my teens, have tried pro activ and all sorts I’d chemical based products, recently a friend put me onto eminence, I read in one of your posts you know abit about this line, I was using the anti blemish tube which seemed to not really do much, I only get pimples on my chin, a few on jaw and neck, not sure if it’s hormonal, my skin in rather dry, and rather oily too, I am now using a goat milk soap with activated charcoal, olive oil, tea tree oil and frankincense oil to cleanse but it tends to leave me rather dry after showering then I get oily, what oils and carrier could I use to moisturize, control sebum production and oily skin, and eliminate pimples, and marks from previous pimples, I want to just hopefully use the goat milk soap and oils to moisturize instead of using a moisturizing cream. I have also been using tea tree as a spot treatment, and the last few nights have put a few drops into a moisturizer of a night
    I am kinda thinking grapeseed as a carrier with tea tree, lavender and geranium as essential oils and maybe frankincense, would love to know your thoughts, thanks so much

    • Mare says:

      Hi Kris,

      Thanks for writing to me. There is a saying we have about pimples in the spa industry – when they’re on your chin, it’s hormonal. When they’re on your forehead, they’re stress-related. So, it sounds like yours might be hormonal – I used to get those unsightly chin pimples all the time, and HATED them. The reason your skin could be dry is that the products you’re using may be stripping off the skin’s natural protective mantle of oil, and it’s just struggling extra hard to replenish it. So in addition to the cleanser, are you using a moisturizer?

      From what you’ve written above, I’m gathering that you want to moisturize, control sebum production and oily skin, eliminate pimples, and improve the appearance of scars left behind by previous pimples. I like the blend you have created yourself above. The Tea Tree is good as an anti-bacterial, and I use it a lot in anti-pimple blends. The Geranium is great for hormonal breakouts, and the Lavender is highly cell proliferant, so it should help heal the wounds left behind by previous pimples. Is there a reason you have chosen Frankincense? I mean, I’m not against it – it’s good for pimples too, but it’s just an unusual one in that it’s quite expensive, and there are other oils that can also help control breakouts. There are two tweaks I would make to your blend above, and everyone who’s read my posts can probably guess what they are already.

      1. Change Lavender to Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia). It’s just a slightly different species, but it has a higher camphor content that is good for breakouts.
      2. Change Frankincense to Immortelle (Helichrysum angustifolia). This is my favorite wound healer and cell proliferant. Since I took out your original Lavender, I figured I had better put in a rejuvenator.

      If I were you, the blend would look like this: 6 drops Spike Lavender, 6 drops Immortelle, 6 drops Tea Tree, and 6 drops Geranium in 1 ounce of Grapeseed oil. I AM ASSUMING YOU WILL SKIN PATCH TEST these essential oils on yourself. This is how you do a skin patch test. Hope you try it out and it works for you! Please also let me know, I’d love to follow your progress.

  45. Jenn says:

    Hi, Im trying to figure out an essential oil blend for my son. I’m sure he’s not loving it, but we’ve tried so many different things and none of them are working. He is 14 and acne has been a problem for 2yrs. The idea of essential oils is new to me and a little confusing. His face doesnt seem to be oily, it’s more dry but that’s probably from the pro-activ. He’s acne is all over his face and inflamed.
    I would truely appreciate your suggestions!!!
    Thanks, Jenn

    • Mare says:

      Hi Jenn, thanks for writing to me. Okay, many years back, I had a client who just wanted the strongest essential oil blend for acne that I could make for her. I skin patch tested her with all of these, and all was well. I made up the blend for her and told her, “I’m crossing my fingers because if this doesn’t work, then it is beyond my power to help your breakouts and your acne.” She came back 3 months later and gave me a big hug and showed me her clear, glowing skin. The blend worked for her! And she asked for another.

      So, I am going to say the same thing to you. This is the strongest essential oil blend for acne and pimples that I know how to make. If it doesn’t work, I don’t know what will – it won’t be in the essential oil realm, is my guess. The only other thing I might suggest is looking into herbs for hormone-balancing, as my guess is that is what your 14-year-old son is going through: hormonal changes. Saw palmetto is an herb I have studied that is good for men, but you might want to work with an ND on dosage and use. Also, please be sure to skin patch test these essential oils before you use them. I have written an entry on skin patch testing here.

      Here goes the recipe:

      6 drops of Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
      6 drops of Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
      6 drops of Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
      6 drops of Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia, also known as MQV)
      You put this in 1 ounce of a carrier oil. My suggestion is Grapeseed oil, since that is the most lightweight (in my opinion). You mix it all up.

      Then, have your son cleanse his face. After drying off, pour about a nickel size of this in his palm, have him rub together and then apply to his entire face. You can do this morning and night. Hopefully he’ll stick to this, and hopefully it’ll help! Let me know how it goes – I really want to know!

      • Jenn says:

        Thanks so much for replying! We haven’t had a chance to get the oils yet but we’ll let you know how it goes. Normally how long does it take to start seeing results? “Hopefully we see results”. I’ll also be checking on the Herb/Palmetto!
        Thanks Again….. Jenn

  46. Kris says:

    Hi Mare, thanks so much for the prompt reply, yes that’s right I want to clear old marks, stop new pimples and fix dry and oily skin, I don’t use the frankincense straight, it is one of the ingredients in the goat milk soap I’m using, in it there is goat milk olive oil tea tree charcoal and frankincense, I’m finding this is rather drying for me after i use it, and still have rather oily skin through out the day, I’m just using a facial moisturizer made by organic line sukin, it’s like my skin it rather flakey and I can see the pores are abit clogged with dead skin but then oily on top? Do I need to exfoliate? And what should I be doing about a cleanser? I went to the docs about it and he prescribed me epiduo, it’s a benzoyl peroxide gel, but I think I would rather a natural way, at the moment I only wash at night with goat milk soap and sukin moisturizer, I went to a herbalist also who recommended for me to take vitex and women’s balance herbal supplements, which I’m taking, thanks so much for your time…………kris

  47. Kris says:

    Also, how do I use the oil mixture, both in the morning and night? coz at the moment I just wash at night and just rinse face with hot water then cold water in the morning and what should I wash with in conjunction with oil mixture? Thank you

    • Mare says:

      Hi Kris, thanks for writing again! Okay, let me see if I can address everything:

      1. Like I was saying, I think the soap strips out your skin’s natural mantle, so your skin might be overproducing oil to compensate. Try spraying on a toner after you cleanse, as well as using a moisturizer.
      2. YES! Exfoliation is a great idea. I would recommend exfoliating once or twice a week (2x a week max).
      3. Regarding cleanser…that’s up to you. Right now you’re using the soap, which I think may be too drying for you. If you want, you can pick up any natural cleanser, or even try an oil cleanse (see my post on using castor oil as a deep cleanse for the face).
      4. If you make your own blend, you use it as a serum. You would still cleanse your face, and after you cleanse, you would put a nickel size in your palm and rub it around in both hands. Then, apply to your entire face. If it’s morning, you can wait for the serum to absorb (will go in fast), then put on moisturizer and make-up/sunscreen. If at night, you can just go to bed!

  48. nani says:

    hi Mare!!!
    This is such a wonderful site!!! And you’ve been very helpful with everyone. I am from the Philippines and I’m planning to use essential oils for body scrubs and such. It’s a bit hard to find essential oils where I am, today I saw this aromatherapy booth at the mall and they had these ‘essential oils’.. however, when I looked at the bottle it had a warning that said “Do not take internally or apply to skin and other sensitive areas”. I’m a bit confused now, can I use what I bought (lemongrass essential oil) with my body scrub? Is there a way to know if the essential oil I buy is good for skin?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Nani, thank you for writing me. I apologize for my delay in responding – I have been traveling on business for the last couple days. Just thought I’d take the opportunity to get back to you quickly between meetings here. You ask a very good and very important question, which really comes down to what level of trust we can have for essential oil suppliers. Many in the industry are unethical and will “cut” essential oils with other substances, sometimes synthetic, to increase their profit margins. It is easy to do and hard for the consumer to figure it out. So, this is what I will tell you:

      1) The label MAY have just been trying to ward off liability. MAYBE the label meant to say, “Do not apply DIRECTLY to skin.” In other words, the label may have been warning you to dilute essential oils first before applying. This is a valid statement, if that is what the label is trying to say. The only two essential oils that I would apply “neat” on my skin – or undiluted – are Lavender and Tea Tree. For the rest, I would dilute with a carrier oil (as in a facial blend or body blend), with sea salts or Epsom salts (as in a bath), with alcohol (vodka) and water (as with a perfume or room spray or ouchie spray), or with baking soda (as in a carpet or diaper pail deodorant, etc.). But rest assured, essential oils are meant to be applied to the skin, just not on an undiluted basis.

      2) Re: the safety of the oils from that particular supplier – I wouldn’t know. You say it was a booth at the mall…I am not sure I would trust that myself. I would certainly not purchase EOs from a vendor in a booth at a mall and think it was 100% pure myself. I usually order mine online and receive them in the mail. Are you able to order essential oils online and receive them in the Philippines? I like to use these suppliers.

      3) Re: taking essential oils internally. Well, this is quite the subject. According to my Aromatherapist training, you CAN ingest essential oils. For different conditions, we are trained that people can take one drop on the tongue up to 3x daily. As an example, I like to take a single drop of Cinnamon on the tongue for digestive issues. Or a single drop of Ginger on the tongue for nausea or travel sickness (or Peppermint essential oil). In fact, for IBS, an often-recommended remedy is enteric-coated peppermint essential oil capsules. In fact, in Europe, many clinical protocols do call for the oral administration of essential oils. Sometimes they even administer them via anal suppositories, to avoid affecting the liver. You can also use essential oils in a vaginal insertion (like with a yogurt “tampon” for things like candida). So it’s not true that you cannot take essential oils internally. HOWEVER, most manufacturers will label bottles that way because they do not want the liability of something happening where someone mis-uses the essential oil and is harmed. I would say that you absolutely have to know what you’re doing if you are going to take them internally, and I would not recommend that anyone without Aromatherapy training take essential oils internally. I would also say you have to make even MORE sure of the quality of the essential oil before you ingest it, because obviously you now will absorb any synthetics that are put in (if they do put them in).

      Bottom line is….the best way to know if the essential oil you bought is good for the skin is to buy it from a supplier you trust. In answer to your question about whether you can use the Lemongrass oil you bought with your body scrub, I would say, “probably.” You are planning to dilute with your body scrub anyway, so I would guess that it is safe. I wouldn’t use it undiluted, though. t hope this helps and answers your questions!

      All the best,

  49. Rebecca says:

    Hi there..
    I have been onto this same page many a times trying to decide what to do..
    I have quite horrible skin… breaks out here and there… always seem to have red lumps/bumps.. and i have milia and blackheads.. Above my chin in the crease i guess you would call it i have white bumps that I can squeeze but they dont go away.. its not milia..
    Just wanting to find out what the best thing to do is…
    I have found a couple of natural skin care product lines, just thought id get your thoughts on them and if i could just add some essential oils to them or whether I should just do my own cleanser, toner and well as a serum
    the ranges are sukin and nudebynature
    nudebynature also do mineral cosmetics.. i find when i put foundation on it makes me itchy, im hoping this line of products might be different.. what do u think?

    • Mare says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for writing! I am sorry you’re experiencing such frustration with your skin. Have you been to a dermatologist to see what the diagnosis is? Usually an Aromatherapist can help once you have a diagnosis by suggesting essential oils that have been shown to support the amelioration of certain skin conditions, but without really knowing what the mysterious white bumps are, I would have a hard time suggesting anything. I will ask you: Do your skin conditions appear worse with certain times of month (I.e., your menstrual cycle)? I ask this because it may be hormonally related. It would be good to find this out.

      As for the two skin care ranges that you mention, I looked on their sites and they appear to be Australian. I have not encountered them in the USA, so I have no experience with them. However, reading the ingredients, they appear to be very natural and good products (assuming truth in their labeling). My thought would be to figure out if your issues are hormonally related by closely observing what happens during your menstrual cycle. My other thought would be to try ONE thing at a time, so that you know exactly what is working and what is not. How long should you try the one thing at a time? For at least one whole month (because you can’t tell the difference or have anything to compare to otherwise).

      So, before I suggest any essential oils, I will just ask you to let me know if you observe whether your breakouts are hormonally related. Thanks! – Mare

      • Rebecca says:

        Thanks so much for replying… I didnt realise you had replied so sorry I have taken awhile to get back to you..
        To be honest I don’t really notice if they get worse during my cycle or anything… a couple of days ago i noticed a couple of big blind pimples starting to show… they havent fully formed yet but are sore and annoying….i havent actually been to see a dermatologist about my skin as yet.. i was hoping i could try and get on the right track on my own.. i am on the pill also.. if that changes anything ?
        what would you suggest i try ?
        I have been using oatmeal as a cleanser with lavender or tea tree in it and honey too, aswell as lemon juice..
        i tone with rose water with lavender in it… and then i use aloe vera gel with a drop of tea tree in it before i apply jojoba with lavender or chamomile in it as my “moisturiser”
        is this all too much or not enough ??

        • Mare says:

          Hi Rebecca,

          Thanks so much for responding. You know…I wonder if you being on the pill DOES throw something off. I know the pill sometimes clears up skin, but then it also sometimes does the opposite (on other women). It sounds like everything you’re doing is great, very natural and helpful. Are you just wanting to create an essential oil blend and use it as a serum before you put on your moisturizer at night or make-up during the day?

          My thought is this…you could try putting together a blend that is a) hormonally balancing, in case it IS the hormones going wonky on you that is causing the breakouts; b) anti-bacterial, to discourage further spreading of breakouts; c) cicatrizant, to heal any scars that have formed; and d) anti-inflammatory, to see if you can’t improve the appearance of those red lumps/bumps you mentioned the first time. Assuming you pass a skin patch test for all of these, I might suggest a blend of Geranium, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Chamomile (either Roman or German). You can do equal parts of them, or you can reduce the Chamomile a bit (it has a heavy, overwhelming earth apple-y scent). You can pick either a lightweight carrier oil (like Grapeseed), or one that is hormonally balancing (like Evening Primrose). I am assuming you pass skin patch tests for the carrier oil too.

          Let me know what you decide. Hope this helps!

    • Mare says:

      Oh, I forgot to answer your question about mineral cosmetics – in general, I like mineral cosmetics very much. But everything is dependent on the processing of the minerals. A good way to test out how good the minerals are is to dump a bunch into a small beaker that you’ve filled halfway with water. If the minerals start to dissolve into the water, then it will not do you much good, since they are supposed to sit on top of your skin. The best kind sit on top of the water without really mixing.

      Sometimes I find that even mineral foundations make me itchy, so I’m not sure if they will help for you. Why don’t you ask for a small sample and give it a try? Most places that sell skin care lines will do that, since they recognize that people don’t to buy without trying.

  50. Juliana says:

    Hello Mare…
    Hope you in good condition and happy surroundings.
    First of all, your writings was quite impressed me and showing me that EOs are not only for aroma therapy. It has other use which is for face. Like other girls who just prefer something easy to apply and remarkable to see on their face, so I’m also thinking those chemical products can help.
    In short, after reading your post I went searching for those kind of oil around my neighborhood. The $$$ cost is also one of the obstacle, that’s what I feel. Currently I have rosehip oil 30ml & tea tree oil 30ml. To give it a try, I have been substituting my Avalon Radiant Vit C moisturizer abt 3weeks now without any irritation or dryness. In the morning I apply + circular massage 3 drops rosehip oil then Loreal SPF30. At night only 3 drops rosehip oil. Sometimes I add tea tree oil on the breakout area and do exfoliation 1 or 2times a week for clearing whitehead. I have combi skin, T area would be oily and cheeks+chin is normal-dry. So far the breakout could exist due to imbalance hormon (PMS), and I treat that area with the tea tree oil.
    I’m planning to step ahead, trying to add other oil, but confusion is there. Do you mind if I consult with you for the following questions
    1. Am I correct to use rosehip oil as the carrier ? or should I change to grapeseed oil which is lighter like you said …. or jojoba oil or even should I mix rosehip oil + jojoba ?
    2. I saw the offer of German Chamomile, Clary Sage, Carrot Seed from Aura Cacia. Which one should be the priority if I can afford only 1 oil to add on ?
    3. What do you think of those diluted in jojoba oil such as Neroli, Frankincense, Rosa damascena ? Is this good to add compared No. 3 ?
    4. How good Aloe vera compare to those EO ?

    By the way, I’m in my early 30’s and live in tropical country.

    Warm regards,

    • Mare says:

      Hi Juliana,

      Thank you for writing! Let me see if I can answer your questions:

      1. I like rose hip oil as a carrier oil a lot, especially for oily and breakout-prone skin. So if that is what you have (which it sounds like you do), then it is a good carrier oil. You can also mix rose hip with Jojoba if you would like more coverage/moisturization. You can mix rose hip and grape seed oil, too! Whatever you want.

      2. If you can only afford one of those oils, and your main issue is that you think your breakouts are related to imbalanced hormones, then the BEST one of the ones you mention would be Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea). That one SHOULD also be the least expensive of the 3 you mention. The other two aren’t ones I would think of for helping imbalanced hormones or breakouts, to be honest.

      3. I’m not sure I 100% understand this question. Are you asking me what I think of the oils that are already pre-diluted in Jojoba oil, and whether I think you should add these vs. the essential oils you mention in No. 2 (you write No. 3 above)? The reason you will find those oils already pre-diluted is that they are extremely expensive oils, and so it makes it more affordable if you buy them pre-diluted already (usually they will dilute at a 5% concentration). Since the skin care blends I make and recommend are usually at a 4% concentration, then yes, you can simply add those oils at a 5% concentration to your blend (but add them at the end). Of those, the best one for hormonal breakouts would be the Rose (Rosa damascena) (but would probably be more expensive). If I had to choose, however, between the diluted Rose and the Clary Sage for hormonal breakouts, I would choose the Clary Sage.

      4. Hmm, this is a tricky question. Aloe vera is not usually an essential oil…it is a carrier oil. So it would not be comparable to the essential oils. It would be comparable to the rose hip, grape seed, or jojoba oils you mentioned earlier as carrier oils. It’s great for dry skin. Personally, I like rose hip oil best for you, as it is lighter than aloe vera and great for breakout-prone skin.

      Has this helped you? Good luck!! Let me know how everything goes. – Mare

      • Juliana says:

        Hi Mare,

        So sorry I double posted my questions due to be unable to see my prev post.
        Thank you for your response.
        Finally I decide to order : Clary Sage (as you advice) , Rosemary and Jojoba oil. Besides for my face, I can use the mixture Jojoba + rosemary +clary sage also for my hair growth & scalp.
        Now I’m scared abt the fragrance from my future mixture of rosehip oil + jojoba (base) + clary sage + tea tree. For now I don;t like Rosehip oil honestly, make me vomitish. Can you comment on my mixture fragrance ?

        Was reading from other websites, I’m wondering abt Rosewood oil (Aniba Rosaeodora). It says Rosewood has excellent cell stimulant and tissue regeneration properties for mature skin care. Could you advice on this oil if it’s good for my combination skin and my future mixture (above) or it’s too over as my age still early 30’s ?

        What benefit I can gain from Rosemary for my face ?


        • Juliana says:

          upss.. 1 more question. I have large pores, can you suggest what EO to add to my future mixture which is not that pricy ?

        • Mare says:

          Hi Juli, thanks for writing again. Regarding your questions:

          1) Fragrance: I am sorry you don’t like the scent of the Rosehip oil. I forgot that it does kind of carry a scent. If you want a carrier oil that has no scent at all, then I would say Jojoba is the best one. Go with that if you want the blend to remain true to the original scents of the essential oils.

          2) Rosewood: Rosewood oil has many great properties, but in Aromatherapy, we stay away from recommending it because of the endangered Rosewood trees. There are other essential oils with similar properties that are also good for the skin, and so there’s no reason to suggest Rosewood if it will deplete this natural resource.

          3) Rosemary: One of my favorite essential oils, but not necessarily my favorite for the FACE, per se. I would say, if you’ve got acne and want to deal with it, Rosemary is a good EO for that. It has other good uses, but for other things, like hair loss (alopecia), etc.

          4) Large pores: I’m not aware of any EOs specifically for large pores. I would say that you would do better making sure that you’re hydrated, and that you are “feeding” your skin with masques and whatnot. A good masque for large pores is the Sour Cherry Masque by Eminence Organics.

  51. Juli says:

    Hello Mare…
    Amazing to read your article and know the other function of EOs. It’s been 3weeks since I started to use rosehip oil and a little tea tree oil on breakout area. And only add Loreal SPF 30 on top in the morning. I need some advice on budgeted recipe of EO mixture. I have several questions since I’m new on this.

    1. I can’t complete the whole combination due to budget, what do you suggest most ?
    2. Is it good enough by using rosehip ? Should I change to other carrier oil?
    I’m in the early 30’s, combination skin, white head at nose ,chin, during PMS could have some acne.


    • Mare says:

      Hi Juli,

      I think you submitted a question already, which I think I answered (just now). I apologize for my delayed reply. It sometimes can take me a few days to respond as I do have a full-time job now and a 2-year-old daughter to take care of…as well as a husband. (And if you’re married, you know that a husband is like a second child sometimes). :-) Hee hee!

      Anyway, see what I responded with earlier. Let me know if that helps, or if you have additional questions. Thanks!!


  52. nani says:

    Dear Mare,

    Thank you so much!!! You cleared up all the questions I have about essential oils that I couldn’t find the answer to in my search throughout the web. I will take your advice on finding a reliable source for my essential oils. I’m now really looking forward to following your tips on various uses of essential oils posted on your website.
    Again, thank you so much for taking the time!


  53. Katie says:

    Hi Mare,

    I’m really interested in using essential oils to replace the nasty chemicals found in most skin care products and was wondering if you might be able to suggest a blend for me. I’m 22 and definitely have acneic skin that is at least partially hormonal, though hard to pin it completely on that as my skin is never really clear. However, I also have fairly dry skin that I can never get to be moisturized, even when I’m not using salicylic acid or other drying agents. In fact, my skin is so dry that I’m already starting to get fine lines. Any suggestions?


    • Mare says:

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for writing. Okay, so if I’m hearing you right, you are experiencing breakouts, potentially due to hormonal cycles, and you’re dry at the same time. Here are my thoughts:

      1. I’m going to repeat a theory of mine that I’ve said to other people at your young age: if you’re dry, chances are you’re dehydrated, and not just dry. Dry is when you’re older, and you start to produce less oil/sebum in the skin. Are you 100% sure you get enough water every day?
      2. I’m going to suggest a combination of anti-acne essential oils, with a very moisturizing carrier oil. You’re going to use this as a serum…meaning, you’ll use this after cleanser and toner, BEFORE moisturizer and sunscreen. Make sense?
      3. Anti-acne essential oils: Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Green Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia), and Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Geranium is good for hormone-balancing too. If you can’t get Geranium, you can also do Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata). Assuming you pass a skin patch test for all of them, you can use 6 drops of each in 1 ounce of carrier oil (pick 4 of the 5 I mentioned above).
      4. Which brings me to the carrier oil: the most moisturizing ones are Avocado oil and Aloe Vera oil. You may not like the scent of the Avocado oil, and the color is green, which may throw you off. But I promise you that your skin will not remain green, and you won’t stink. It WILL change the scent of the oils, though.

      Let me know how it goes!

  54. Alyria says:

    Hi Mare,

    Several essential oils I am interested in experimenting are known to be beneficial for acne-prone, blemished skin, containing both anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, while also serving as effective scar treatments. There is no mention of these particular oils in the blog, or any of the comments/queries, however, and I wonder if, in your opinion, a concoction comprised of all three would be a viable option for helping to heal fresh post-acne marks/scabs.

    They are:

    – Frankincense
    – Juniper Berry
    – Patchouli

    The carrier oil is Rosehip Seed Oil.

    (I also have Tea Tree, Lemon and Rosemary essential oils at hand; please let me know which combination you think is best to expedite the healing process.)



    • Mare says:

      Hi Alyria,

      What a beautiful name you have. Thanks for writing to me. Hmm, you bring up a good point – I do tend to stay with certain essential oils – for skin care, anyway. Let me talk about the ones you mentioned. So, when I think about healing post-acne marks and scabs, I look for the word “cicatrisant” or “cicatrizant” in the therapeutic actions of an oil. That will tell me that it helps to remove and heal scars. I also like the action, “cell proliferant” – when mentioned, it means the EO is particularly good at helping to regenerate wounded cells.

      1. Frankincense – I DO like Frankincense for wound healing, especially for scars, etc. BUT, it is quite expensive. So I don’t usually recommend it that often, as both Lavender and Immortelle cost less. I also think Immortelle does a better job than Frankincense for cell proliferation, but maybe my opinion is just that…opinion. If you really like the scent of Frankincense, but don’t want to spend for it, you could try Elemi (a poor man’s Frankincense).
      2. Juniper Berry – when I think of Juniper Berry, I don’t usually think of it as for the face, or for healing scars. I tend to think of it for its diuretic actions and beneficial impact on the kidneys. I use it in muscle ache blends, as well as blends for swollen lymph nodes, fluid retention, muscle and joint pain, etc. The only use I’ve seen in facial skin care is for acne, but I believe there are other EOs that are better than Juniper Berry, so I don’t usually include this in my recommendations for the face.
      3. Patchouli IS a good one for scars – as well as wrinkles. I just never recommend it because I dislike the scent of Patchouli so much. But that is a personal preference – if you like the oil, then go ahead and use it. It is one of the few oils that actually smells BETTER with time, believe it or not.
      4. Tea Tree: This is a versatile and powerful essential oil, but I mostly associate it for its antimicrobial and disinfectant properties. Not wound-healing per se. But very good for anti-acne purposes.
      5. Lemon: I don’t recommend using Lemon EO on the face. The citrus EOs have photo-sensitizing properties, which means they make you more vulnerable to sun damage. If you’re going to use it, I’m supposed to tell you to wait at least 24 hours before going into the sun.
      6. Rosemary: Again, I don’t think of Rosemary as a scar healer, although it does heal wounds (many essential oils do). I think of it primarily for hair loss, memory boosting, blood pressure raising, stimulant, etc. But not for scar healing.

      What I would say to you is: a) If you’ve already got these essential oils; and b) you skin patch tested yourself for all of them and you show no sensitivity or reactions to any of them, then c) the best one of the ones you mention is Frankincense (for the purpose of healing the appearance of scars). Patchouli is also a good one, if you like the smell. A good blend might be 6 drops each of Frankincense, Patchouli, Tea Tree, and Rosemary to help control acne and heal blemishes/scars. However, the Patchouli is very heavy, so it may overshadow/overpower the other scents.

      Hope this helps!

      • Alyria says:


        Many thanks for your thorough and speedy reply. I’ve begun using the Frankincense, Patchouli, Tea Tree and Rosehip Seed oil blend, and I absolutely love it. Ironically, I skipped the Rosemary as I’m not very fond of the scent, but the Patchouli I find pleasant enough (at least in this mix) and will continue using it.

        Warmest Regards,


        • Mare says:

          Thanks for letting me know, Alyria! How are you liking the blend, now that a few more days have passed? Any noticeable difference? I used to love waking up in the morning – my skin always looks so awesome from marinating all those hours in my blend the night before! – Mare

  55. Sneha says:

    Hi Mare,
    Just found your blog and feels like I found gold! its fantastic.. It has all the information I have been looking for a few weeks now plus you seem so nice.I am have tried a few store bought essential oil blends before and have decided to make my own, that will address some of the skin issues. I am 31, asian-indian origin, combination skin, have few broken capillaries on my cheeks with a faint dark spots.I have thought of some essential oils, could you please comment on it and also suggest others. I live in London, uk.
    I would like to make the following
    1)face oil for the day
    pomegranate seed oil & argan oil
    frankincense, clary sage, neroli
    2)face oil for the night
    base oil:grape seed & avocado oil
    essential oil:carrot seed,german chamomile, immortelle, helichrysm
    3)after shower body oil
    peach kernel oil & apricot kernel oil
    lemongrass oil & bergamot(what anti-aging oil can i add to this?)

    Many Thanks


  56. Hildace says:

    Hi Mare

    Just saw your blog when searching essential oils. I am new to aromatherapy and essential oil but was fascinated by the different facial and body oil products in Australia when I went there for a holiday last month. I am thinking of creating my own facial oil. I am in my mid 50’s and obviously anti ageing and wrinkle treatment are my prime concerns. Can you suggest a formula for me? Seems that carrot seed oil and immortelle are really good. What other goodies can you suggest?

    Many thanks

    • Mare says:

      Hi Hildace,

      Thanks for writing, and many apologies for taking 6 days to respond. I definitely like Carrot seed and Immortelle in anti-aging blends (gosh, I am so predictable). You might also look into Ciste (Rock Rose – Cistus labdanifera), which I’ve heard is good for wrinkles, especially around the eyes. I did get some for myself once, but it was quite expensive, and was used up all too soon. Another essential oil you might look into would be Rose (Rosa damascena), which is also uber-expensive, but great for women and for aging and for hormonal balancing. Yet another good one is German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)…it’s highly anti-inflammatory, and many of the signs of aging are caused by inflammation. My last suggestion would be Sandalwood (Santalum album or Santalum spicata), which is good for hydrating and preserving. A great blend might be Carrot Seed, Immortelle, German Chamomile, and Sandalwood – although I should tell you the Sandalwood scent profile is very strong, so you might not want to use them in equal parts, unless you want to smell completely like Sandalwood. This is assuming, of course, that you pass skin patch tests for all of them and don’t show any reactions/allergies. A good carrier oil for aging skin is either Avocado (for hydration) or Evening Primrose (for help with hormonal balancing). Let me know what you decide!

      – Mare

  57. yi says:

    I love your web ^.^ there are a lot great information, and thank you for sharing with us. I have sensitive, oily skin and hormonal breakouts. Also my pores are very easily clot. What kind of blend should I use? Also, how long does the oil last? (most effective)

    • Mare says:

      Hi Yi,

      Thanks for writing! My suggestion for sensitive skin is always one of the Chamomiles – either Roman or German. They’re my favorite for sensitivity. Roman Chamomile is Anthemis nobilis, and it has no color. German Chamomile is Matricaria recutita, and it has a blue color. Both are great for inflammation and sensitivity. Both are members of the Ragweed family, though, so if you are allergic to Ragweed pollen, I would not use those. In any case, before you make a blend for your face, you should always skin patch test the essential oils first.

      My favorite suggestions for hormonal breakouts are Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), and Marjoram (Origanum majorana). They’re all reasonably priced, so I would just pick the one whose scent you enjoy the most. (Of course, skin patch test the ones you do pick).

      For oily skin, I like to suggest astringents. Not necessarily in the essential oil blend serum itself, but in a toner. A good astringent is a Witch Hazel toner, but the thing to watch out for with that is they like to sell Witch Hazel with a really high alcohol content, which can also dry you out. Another good toner for oily skin is Neroli water (Orange Flower water or Orange Blossom water). I also have a post that is all about how to make your own toners here.

      The last thing you’ll need to decide is your carrier oil. I would suggest Grapeseed or Jojoba oil – I like both for the skin type you describe.

      Finally, I always recommend using up your essential oil blend (make one ounce at a time) within 6 months. Longer than that and they can become less effective (depending on how you’ve stored it).

      Hope that helps!! Let me know what you decide.

  58. Jenn says:

    Hi Mare
    I have a little issue and Im hoping you can help me out! I want my better half to grow a beard or at least keep the stubble/rough look. We’ve been together for 10yrs and all that time,, no beard! The problem is once it starts to grow, his face itches like crazy so he shaves it off. You recommended an essential oil blend for my sons acne, I was wondering about a blend for soothing the initial beard itch and maybe condition?
    Thanks so much, Jenn

    • Mare says:

      Hi Jenn,

      Wow, this is quite a conundrum! I’ve never been asked this question before. I guess if I had to make a hypothesis, I might guess that the itchiness is due to ingrown hairs? So, my thought there would be to have him exfoliate his face more often. Removing the excess layers of dead skin can help the incoming hairs break through the surface more easily. For that you don’t need an essential oil blend, just a good natural exfoliant or cleanser containing exfoliant particles of some kind.

      My only thought on essential oils is…Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or officialis) is well known for being anti-pruritic (anti-itch, basically), so you COULD make him a single oil blend (20-24 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil), and let him use that throughout his beard, but I don’t know if he’ll go for it. I don’t know if my husband would want to smell like Lavender, quite honestly.

      Why don’t you have him try a combination of exfoliation and Lavender oil blend…see how it goes. And let me know! I’m so curious to know if it works.


  59. Seanna says:


    Okay, so I’m 26 and am on birth control to regulate my menstral cycles, it’s given me very bad hormonal acne and I’ve tried everything I could think of to even just help it and so far nothing has been working. Found your blog and want to give this a shot. My mother is an herbalist so my faith in nature is very great.

    Okay my skin has hormonal acne, oily-combination (oily around my nose, forhead, chin, dry around my cheeks), and regular acne (pretty sure that’s due to pollution though.) I have acne scars for the hormonal acne that either aren’t healing, or healing incredibly slowly. And my skin is thin and dull.

    What would you suggest?

    I was thinking of something along the lines of:
    Lavender oil
    Ylang Ylang or Geranium (it sounds like Geranium is better though)
    German or Roman Chamomile

    Does that look okay? I’m really desperate to find something that will even just make it less. As an actress your skin (especially on your face) is your career. Please please any advice or suggestions would be greatly apreciated!

    Sincerely desperate

    • Mare says:

      Hi Seanna,

      Thanks so much for writing. Yes, as an actress, I am sure you want to be as clear as possible. If it’s any consolation, I had the worst hormonal acne from the time I was 24 until the time I was 30, and nothing I did made much difference (although I did not try essential oils, since I did not know about them then). After 30, though, my skin cleared up and the acne has never come back. I’m sure you don’t want to wait that long, though 😉

      I really like your blend! Lavender is great in general for everything skin-related. How can you go wrong? If you want a variety of Lavender that is stronger in terms of being anti-acne, I would suggest substituting Lavender out for Spike Lavender, which controls breakouts really well. Spike Lavender is Lavandula latifolia. Yes, Geranium is better, in my opinion, for hormonal acne. LOVE your choice of Immortelle (everybody knows that is my favorite EO), and you will love how it heals those acne scars quickly. I also really like the German Chamomile for anti-inflammation and for sensitive skin, but I didn’t see you mention anything about sensitivity or redness. I guess my thought here is…for this first blend, maybe you could blend in the Ylang ylang instead of the German Chamomile. Like, go with Spike Lavender, Geranium, Ylang ylang, and Immortelle, and give that a whirl. It’s because I think you’re onto something with the hormonal acne assessment, and I feel Ylang ylang is “better” for that than German Chamomile.

      That is the only tweak I’d make…up to you, of course! Let me know what you end up picking! Oh, and be sure to skin patch test any oils you put in your blend before you make it up – to make sure you don’t react to anything in them! What carrier oil are you going to use? I was thinking Evening Primrose for you, because it’s also a good hormone balancer. Yes, I definitely have seen the pill throw off women’s skin…until you’re off of that, you may not really be able to control the acne fully. Just my thought.

      Hope this helps!

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