Natural Soapmaking (once Soap Naturally) Natural Skin Care Handbooks
Ingredient Information

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Essential oil synergistic blends

Blending essential oils

Essential oil blending is an art of its own, and learning how to combine essential oils for perfume, skin care and healing applications requires good understanding of the nature and properties of each plant. The Natural Soapmaking (once Soap Naturally) website includes important references to essential oil properties, and also blending suggestions for perfume and fragrancing uses.

In skin care products, which include among others creams, lotions, body butters, balms and salves, as well as bath, beauty and massage oils, essential oils are added to complement and enhance the active "healing power" of a naturally wholesome base. In this section, we invite you to approach essential oil blending for skin care applications, based on skin type and desired effects.

Use the chart below to decide which essential oils are best suited to your needs, and remember that the quality of the essential oils is the most important factor in determining whether your blends will be successful and skin friendly. In skin care applications, only natural plant essential oils should be used; and if some of the essential oils listed below seem to be more expensive than you are prepared to pay, remember that replacing them with cheaper replicas (e.g., rose fragrance oil instead of Rose Otto essential oil, or commercial grade rose geranium oil instead of Geranium essential oil) might jeopardise the results of your efforts, and even cause your lovingly prepared skin care applications to spark irritation or allergic reactions, instead of delivering the good effects they promise.

Essential oil usage ratios

Only very small amounts of any essential oil, or essential oil blend, are added to skin care applications. Usage ratios that are generally considered safe go from 0.75% to 3%.

Lower usage ratios (0.75% to 1.5%) are best suited to those skin care applications that are used regularly and on extensive areas of skin (such as body lotions), and also in situations where excessive use of essential oils might compound the problem, rather than give relief. In particular, lower usage ratios should always be used in skin care applications for children, pets and for those who suffer from chronical skin conditions. In extreme cases (for instance, when eczema or psoriasis are present), essential oils, as well as any other type of fragrance, are best avoided altogether.

Higher ratios (1.5% to 3%) can be used in applications that are used less frequently or on smaller areas; these include soaps, facial creams and intensive skin care treatments spanning over a limited period of time.

Essential oils by skin type

When deciding which essential oils to add to your skin care preparations, remember that usage ratios should always be kept to a safe minimum. Refer to the Essential Oil Usage Basics section for further details.

Skin type or condition

Suggested essential oils

Normal to dry Australian blue cypress, carrot seed, Chamomile (German and Roman), elemi, frankincense, geranium, lavender, lemon, neroli, nerolina, palmarosa, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, rosalina, rosemary, sandalwood (santalum spicatum, s. album)
Normal to oily carrot seed, Roman chamomile, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemon myrtle(*), marjoram, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, peppermint(*), rosemary, ylang ylang
Combination Australian niaouli (melaleuca quinquenervia C), calendula, chamomile (German and Roman), carrot seed, geranium, lavender, palmarosa, rose, rosemary
Mature skin, wrinkles Australian blue cypress, clary sage, elemi, frankincense, carrot seed, geranium, nerolina, orange, palmarosa, sandalwood (santalum spicatum, s. album)
Sensitive Australian blue cypress, German (blue) chamomile, carrot seed, geranium, lavender, rosalina
Broken capillaries Australian blue cypress, carrot seed, Roman chamomile, geranium, nerolina, rose, sandalwood (santalum spicatum, s. album)
Acneic, young skin Australian niaouli (melaleuca quinquenervia C), clary sage, eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, juniper, lemon tea-tree(*), rosalina, tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia)

(*) Do not use at more than 1% concentration

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Editors & maintainers:
Ersilia Vitale [ ccdream --at-- ],

Marina Tadiello, Patrizia Garzena
[ Soap book authors: Soap Naturally - Ingredients, methods and recipes for natural handmade soap]
[ Soap book authors: The Natural Soapmaking Handbook; The Natural Soapmaking Cookbook ]

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This page was last updated on 5th March 2006

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