6 Essential oils to treat itchy skin – and why they work

by Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of issues; dry skin, allergies, hormone imbalance or incorrect product use, among other things.

There are many ways to treat itchy skin, which we will explore further on, but using essential oils to treat itchy skin, could be the natural way to relieve the irritation, and stop the itching at the source.

Essential oils to treat itchy skin

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa
  • Tea Tree

Check what skin type you have here.

How do essential oils work?

Aromatherapy and essential oils have so many uses, and can benefit so many different conditions for the skin and the body.

Essential oils are the pure oils that are extracted from flower petals, leaves, fruit or herbs, and are so fine and pure that they have the ability to penetrate through the skin’s surface.

Because of this, they can get to work at a much deeper level of the skin, than a lot of other skincare ingredients. Most skincare products that we use only sit in the very top layers of the skin – which is needed – but the fact that essential oils can penetrate further, means they will have more of a beneficial effect on various skin conditions we may experience.

Each essential oil has a variety of properties or therapeutic actions. It is important to be aware of these so you get an idea of what effect, the specific essential oil is going to have, and therefore if it is going to work.

The properties that we want to look for, for in essential oils to treat itchy skin are;

  • Anti-allergic – prevents or reduces allergies
  • Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation
  • Calming – calms and soothes the area of application
  • Cooling – cools the area of application
  • Refreshing – generally refreshing
  • Vasoconstrictive – reduces the size of blood vessels, so lessening blood flow

Essential oils to treat itchy skin

Bergamot

A lovely cooling citrus oil, that is useful for treating inflamed conditions such as eczema & psoriasis. Good for sore, itchy skin, as the skin will feel instantly cooled.

(Avoid sunlight if applied topically)

Chamomile

A very soothing, calming oil that is good to use on skin allergies, and irritated skin conditions. A really gentle oil that is ideal if your skin is sensitive too.

(Do not use in first 3 months of pregnancy)

Lavender

Lavender is anti-inflammatory and cooling, so excellent at calming sensitive or irritated skin. Lavender is also known to be very healing, so good at repairing skins tissues if trauma has occurred.

Marjoram

Marjoram oil has vasoconstrictive properties which means it restricts the flow of blood to an area. This is useful if the itchy skin is caused by a skin allergy, and the skin has become very hot.

(Do not use during pregnancy)

Melissa

Melissa (also known as Lemon balm), is anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and cooling, so a really effective oil to use for itchy skin. It will soothe allergic reactions and calm and cool any areas of itchy skin.

(Do not use during pregnancy)

Tea Tree

A fairly strong smelling oil, but has anti-inflammatory and cooling properties so good to treat general itchiness on the skin.

(Use in small quantities)

Essential oil blends for itchy skin

Using an oil on the body is an ideal way to soothe and nourish itchy skin. Apply after a shower or bath onto damp skin, to reap the benefits.

  • Use a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil
  • Add 20 drops of essential oil per 50ml of carrier oil.

Itchy skin essential oil blends for the body

  • 50ml Sweet Almond oil
  • 5 drops Benzoin
  • 10 drops Bergamot
  • 10 drops Lavender

Itchy skin essential oil blend for the face

  • Use a carrier oil such as evening primrose oil, rosehip oil or avocado oil
  • Add 2 drops of essential oil per 5 ml of carrier oil.

Using a facial oil daily, is ideal for protecting and nourishing itchy and dry skin, while helping to prevent ageing at the same time.

  • 10 ml Avocado oil
  • 2 drops Chamomile
  • 2 drops Lavender

You can add up to 3 oils per blend for the body and 2 for the face, however depending on the reason you are suffering with itchy skin, it may be wise to stick to 1 essential oil at a time, to ensure no more irritation or allergies.

What causes itchy skin?

An itchy skin can often start off with dry skin. The dry skin is caused by the decrease in sebum being produced.  Sebum is our skins natural oil, that keeps the skin soft, supple, and moisturised.  

As we get older, the production of sebum is diminished.  This, then obviously causes our skin to become drier, however lack of sebum can happen at any time of our lives.

The dry skin, lacking in sebum, will feel tight and uncomfortable, and look dull and parched, with more lines appearing.

The drier it becomes, if not treated properly, can then become itchy, sensitive and red in appearance.  Also a dry skin has little resistance to harsh climates (hot or cold), which could also make it hot, burning and itchy.

A dry, sensitive skin can also lead to an impaired acid mantle, which then causes even more skin issues.  The acid mantle is the protective layer on our skins surface.

Our acid mantle is SO important! Learn more about it here

Extreme dry skin can also lead to further skin problems such as eczema, however the imbalance in hormones can also cause this. Treating itchy skin properly, can help lessen any further issues.

Itchy skin could also be caused by skin allergies – either to products or to external factors, such as dust or pollution etc.

What else can we do for itchy skin?

Products will help and applying essential oil blends could be the answer, but working from the inside, out, will have also have a good effect alongside the products.

Stimulate oil production

The main thing we want to do is stimulate the production of sebum, onto the skins surface.  We can do this by using pressure on the skin. Whatever products you use, really massage them in, stimulate your skins tissues. Use more pressure or tapping techniques to push the product into the skin. This will stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.  

If your body is dry and itchy, do the same here.  A body massage will be very good for you, as the oil will penetrate your skin and the stimulating movements will encourage sebum production.  

Keep the skin cool

Try not to overheat. The warmer your skin becomes, the more irritated or itchy it could get. A facial spray or hydrolat us useful for keeping the skin hydrated and cool.

Do not over-cleanse itchy skin!

Finally, don’t over cleanse the skin.  Unnecessary cleansing could strip the acid mantle, and therefore the all important sebum.

See more on essential cleansing here.

Essential oil products

While blending your own essential oils is a great idea, you may just want to include some of these wonderful aromatherapy products in your skincare routine.

Decleor Aromessence Rose d’Orient – A delightful balm, containing soothing rose oil, to hydrate, soothe and calm

E’spa Repair & Restore Intensive serum – a rich but gentle soothing serum restoring the skins barrier to protect from external aggressors.

Other ingredients to treat itchy skin

These ingredients may also be useful to consider to treat your itchy skin;

Ceramides

These are good fats that also mimic sebum, so an essential ingredient to look for to banish dry skin. Try:

Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules

Squalene

Squalane mimics your skins natural oils, so is an an excellent emollient. It also has the ability to fight free radicals, so excellent at saving skin cells from damage. Try;

Squalane mimics your skins natural oils, so is an an excellent emollient. It also has the ability to fight free radicals, so excellent at saving skin cells from damage. Try;

Khiels ultra face cream

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream

Hyaluronic Acid

This encourages water to the surface of the skin. And draws water from atmosphere. For more information and to effectively use Hyaluronic acid read here. try;

E’spa Overnight Hydration Therapy An intensely hydrating overnight treatment containing Hyaluronic acid to hydrate, vitamin C to brighten and Ylang Ylang essential oil! A luxurious treat to intensely hydrate and repair the skin, while you sleep.

E'spa Overnight Hydration Therapy - contains Hyaluronic Acid an essential ingredients for dry & itchy skin

So, by introducing these ingredients into your routine, you should be well on the way to banishing the dry or sensitive skin.