One of the most common skin diseases both men and women of all ages suffer from is eczema or dermatitis. Most often found on the arms, elbows, legs, knees, cheeks, and forehead, it can show up almost anywhere on the body and can create painful itching and burning that is difficult to treat. Most everyone I've talked to who has this condition has tried some sort of over-the-counter medication with minimal results. Olive oil is safe to use, affordable, and commonly found in local supermarkets. And since most people are not allergic to olive oil, it can be a safe alternative to drugstore products that can irritate sensitive skin even more. While extra virgin olive is best for its antibacterial properties, and can be used on its own as a deeply penetrating oil, a combination of olive oil and certain essential oils can be even more effective. Below is a list of some of my favorite essential oils to use in a simple blend that you can make at home. I recommend starting with one or two essential oil blends until you find a combination that works for your particular skin condition and creates the scent you prefer the most. Add 3-4 drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of olive oil. While you can make a large bottle to keep in the bathroom to use right after showering while skin is still moist, it's a great idea to purchase a small vial or bottle with a dropper to carry around with you to use throughout the day.
Best Essential Oils for Eczema
With a sweet, floral aroma that lifts the spirits, geranium is known to be one of the best essential oils for skin health with anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and calm irritated skin and help it to heal.
Lavender essential oil is arguably the best known and most commonly used essential oil in skin care products. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, is known to be antiseptic and antibacterial. Lavender is typically one of the first essential oils people try at home. It has a gentle scent and is safe to use for most people with sensitive skin.
Growing wild on our property in Portugal, thyme is another effective essential oil to treat eczema. More invigorating than lavender, it is very aromatic and has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties.
A gentle and soothing essential oil and known for its calming effects, German or Roman chamomile helps relieve dry, itchy skin and has a light, fruity scent.
Tea Tree or Melaleuca is probably one of the most recommended essential oils for its purifying and cleansing qualities. Antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, it has a cooling effect on dry, irritated skin. Since many people with eczema also suffer form asthma and seasonal allergies, its scent also helps to open up airways and relieve congestion.
Helichrysum is recognized to promote healing of the skin and can be effective in reducing the appearance of scars. The downside is that it is one of the more expensive essential oils on the market and can be hard to find. It's a powerful oil that can cause a burning sensation when used undiluted, so make sure to test a small patch after blending if you have sensitive skin.
Cedarwood has a grounding aroma that is warm, relaxing and perfect for the winter months. Especially effective on seborrheic eczema, it helps to balance sebum production and fight infection.
One of my favorite essential oils with an ancient and mystical history, frankincense is widely used in both natural beauty treatments and to enhance spiritual experience. It's often used to help improve and smooth skin conditions. Because anxiety and stress can worsen symptoms of eczema, many people find that the comforting scent of frankincense helps prevent flare ups.
Have you tried using olive oil and essential oils to treat eczema? I'd love to hear your experience with any of these oils and let me know in the comments if I've left out one of your favorites!