by Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC
Essential oils have the ability to penetrate into the lower layers of the skin, which is where the healing process of a scar takes place. This makes essential oils one of the perfect natural remedies, to help heal scars, more effectively and more quickly. Mixing a suitable blend of essential oils with a carrier oil and massaging in to the area is the most effective way to heal scars.
Essential oils to heal scars
(I am a fully qualified, experienced aromatherapist, however I am not medically trained – if in any doubt of the use of any of the suggestions on scars, please consult a medical professional)
What is a scar?
A scar, is when the skin heals after any trauma to the skin. Scars will naturally heal, on their own, as the skin will automatically renew itself, to ‘knit’ the skin back together. However, when using an essential oil blend on the scar, this can speed up the healing process, and ultimately give the scar a better appearance overall.
How to heal scars with essential oils
Essential oils are the pure oils extracted from the leaves & flowers of plants, herbs, fruit or even the bark, resin and roots of trees. The molecules in essential oils, are so fine that they can penetrate the skin, when applied topically.
They can be absorbed to the deeper layers of the skin, and have an effect on the skin cells of the lower layers. Most creams and skincare products only reach the top few layers of the skin, which is literally paper thin, so while they are effective at hydrating the cells here, it is not having an enormous effect on the skin cells below – which, for healing a scar, is what we need!
In addition, the essential oils, can enter the bloodstream and travel around the body to have a positive effect where it is needed.
Each oil has a variety of properties or therapeutic actions, which means how they have an effect on the skin, body or mind. The therapeutic actions that we want to be looking for to heal scars are;
- Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation. This is useful if the scar is from a wound, so it really calms the area, reduces irritation and calms any inflammation.
- Antiseptic – reduces or prevents infection. Again useful if the scar is from a surgical incision, to prevent infection at the wound site.
- Astringent – Contracts and tightens the skins tissue. Useful for wound and scar healing by bringing the skins tissues together.
- Cicatrisant – Helps wounds heal.
- Cytophalactic – Helps the skin cells regenerate. This is incredibly useful to heal the scar quicker, as these oils will bring fresher skin cells to the surface more effectively so the scar looks better more quickly
Essential oils to heal scars
Myrrh is one of the only essential oils that has cicatrisant properties, meaning that it is good at healing wounds. This will work by having an effect on the skin cells beneath the surface to regenerate them, and the skin cells on the surface by helping the appearance of the wound look less obvious.
Jasmine encourages cell renewal, which means the cells in the lower layers of the skin, are helped to multiply more effectively. This in turn will help new, fresh skin cells come up to the surface more quickly and make the scar look less obvious, much sooner.
Lavender is one of the most well known oils that has great healing properties. In fact the healing properties of Lavender was how aromatherapy and the use of essential oils was discovered and invented in the first place! Lavender promotes cell growth and rapid healing in the skin.
Neroli regenerates cells, so is highly effective at promoting healing in scar tissue.
This is a lovely citrus oil that helps cell growth for scar tissue, meaning that the scar will heal more rapidly.
Patchouli encourages cell growth and is great on scar tissue.
Rosewood is an effective cell regenerator, thus helping the scar heal more quickly.
Vetiver is particularly useful at treating acne scars
The best carrier oils for scars
A carrier oil is a base oil, that differs from an essential oil in that it is stable so does not evaporate in heat. A suitable carrier oil must be chosen to blend the essential oils into.
A more unusual choice of oil than the normal carrier oils, Calendula has good healing qualities so makes it very suitable for healing scars.
Nigella Seed oil
Nigella seed oil is anti-inflammatory , antibacterial and anti-fungal and is thought to be very good at promoting the healing of wounds, so a good oil to use on scars.
This oil has good anti-inflammatory properties, and is full of antioxidants meaning that it will be a good oil to heal and soothe the skin, whilst it is repairing.
Sweet Almond oil
Good old sweet almond oil, is good for so many conditions including the healing of scars. It has a high vitamin content, including Vitamin E, which is very good at healing scars and skin conditions. Blends well with essential oils.
Coconut oil has inflammatory and healing properties and contains many micronutrients which can aid the healing of scars whilst the skin is repairing. Coconut oil solidifies, so ensure the oil is melted slightly before using and mixing with essential oils.
How to use essential oils to help scars
Blending a massage oils is the most effective way to use essential oils for scars. Firstly, essential oils should not be applied neat to the skin, they must be mixed with a carrier oil first.
- Choose your carrier oil.
- Choose your essential oils – you can mix up to 3 in a 15 ml (or more) blend
- Take an amber glass bottle – essential oils must be stored in these type of bottles or jars so the oils don’t come into contact with sunlight or heat.
- Mix 2 drops of essential oil per 5 ml of carrier oil.
- Massage into the affected area, regularly.
For full information and techniques on blending essential oils and carrier oils, READ HERE
(This post contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Gya Labs are one of my favourite essential oils to use, and all the suggested oils can be found by following theses links.
When to start using essential oils for scars
On a surgical scar, please be very careful as to when you start applying oils (or anything) to the area. If there are stitches, or any chance of broken or open skin, do not use the oils. Once the stitches have been removed and the scar is clean and closed, then oils can be used.
On a smaller cut or abrasion, oils can be used much sooner. As long as there is no pain, and the wound is not bleeding or weeping, then application of you blend is fine.
Essential oils for acne scars
When using essential oils for acne scarring, the sooner the better. Treat the acne first (read my full article on oils to use here), and once the main inflammation has calmed down then you can start using oils to prevent the acne from scarring. However, my biggest piece of advice is not to pick the spots! By leaving your skin alone and treating it well, you should hopefully avoid the scarring all together!