The 10 best essential oils for dry skin – and how to use them

by Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

As a qualified aromatherapist I have worked with essential oils for many years. I love how they work within the body and the positive effects they can have! Using essential oils for dry skin can work really effectively.

Also as a facialist I use essential oils in most of my facials to be able to treat and improve specific conditions. There are many oils that are effective at relieving dry skin, both on the face and the body, but these are my favourites and most effective;

  • Carrot Seed
  • Frankincense
  • Rose
  • Chamomile
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Benzoin

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Check what skin type you have here.

A small bottle of oil, laying next to some flowers.  The 10 best essential oils for dry skin and how to use them.

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 different property or therapeutic action meaning that it can have an effect within the skin or the body.

Some of the properties that we will be interested in for the skin are;

  • Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation/sensitivity
  • Astringent – tightens tissues, especially in the skin
  • Cytophylactic – regenerates cells
  • Depurative – removes impurities and toxins
  • Tonic – invigorates and gives strength
  • Vasoconstrictive – reduces blood flow to an area, thus reducing redness
  • Vasodilatory – increases blood flow, thus invigorating and warming
  • Balancing – has a balancing effect on the oil production of the skin

The best essential oils for dry skin

Carrot Seed

This is one of the lesser known oils, but is one of the best essential oils for dry or wrinkled skin! Great for very dry, wrinkled and mature skin.  It doesn’t have much of a scent to it but the benefits are numerous.   Carrot seed is highly nourishing, deeply hydrating, and very effective at treating dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis & dermatitis.  Carrot seed oil is rich in beta carotene and vitamins A and E.  Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, and retinol stimulates the production of collagen.  As carrots contain an abundance of Vitamin A, it makes sense to use them in our skincare!

Do not use during pregnancy


A really rejuvenating essential oil for a dry, mature skin.  Lifts a dull, dry complexion.  Often with a ‘musty’ aroma, frankincense is excellent at smoothing the skin and lessening the appearance of wrinkles.  As the essential oil penetrates the lower layers of the skin, used over time the skin will be fresher and brighter and smoother, as the cells coming up from the lower layers have been treated by the frankincense.


Probably the ultimate oil to use for the skin on the face. Not only does rose smell divine but it is a very good oil for reducing inflammations, and helping to prevent broken capillaries, which often occur on a drier skin type. It soothes, nourishes and revives a dry & mature skin.

As a precaution do not use during pregnancy


A really soothing, calming oil, so ideal to treat any irritation or itchiness that is accompanying your dry skin. A good oil to use for dry skin in harsh weather conditions.

Do not use in the first 3 months of pregnancy


Jasmine smells beautiful!  From the flowers of the jasmine plant, this oil is another excellent anti-ager. It encourages cell renewal, so makes fresher, brighter skin cells come to the surface much more quickly, so ideal for mature, dull, dry wrinkled skins.

Do not use during pregnancy


A good all round oil for treating the skin. Lavender has good healing properties so useful for irritation that accompanies a dry skin. It also promotes cell growth which means that it will encourage brighter, fresher skin cells to come to the surface – very useful for a dry skin, which can often look dull.


Extracted from the flowers of the orange blossom neroli is a very popular oil for the skin. It is really useful for dry & mature skins as it encourages new cells to reproduce and migrate to the skins surface, lessening the appearance of lines and wrinkles and helping to banish dry skin.


A heavier, base note oil, patchouli is cytophylactic, meaning that helps cell growth in the skin and is also effective at treating dry, chapped skin.

A strong oil, so use in small quantities

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang – As this oil balances the sebum, it can recognise when there is not enough sebum being produced on a dry skin, so it will stimulates the sebum production a on dry skin. 

Use in moderation as a strong ‘heady’ oil


A lesser known oil that is good for relieving dry and chapped skin or treating conditions such as dermatitis. So it is ideal for overly dry skin with surface flakiness. Benzoin is a warm smelling oil with a vanilla aroma to it.

Essential oil blends to use for dry skin

Blends for the body

Using an oil on the body is ideal to combat and nourish dry skin. Apply after a shower or bath onto damp skin, to reap the benefits of your blend.

Use a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond Oil or Grapeseed oil and add 20 drops of essential oil per 50ml of carrier oil.

  • Lavender, Chamomile & Carrot Seed
  • Benzoin, Patchouli & Chamomile

Blends for the face

Using a facial oil daily is ideal for protecting and nourishing dry skin, and helping to prevent ageing.

Use a carrier oil such as Evening Primrose oil, Rosehip oil or Avocado oil and add 2 drops of essential oil per 5 ml of carrier oil.

  • Neroli & Patchouli
  • Frankincense & Rose

Essential oil products for dry skin

Blending your own oils is great fun and you can tailor make your oil to your exact needs. However, you may find it easier to purchase a ready made aromatherapy product! These are a few of my favourites;

What causes dry skin?  

lady having facial massage - essential oils for dry skin

Dry skin is usually caused by a lack of sebum being produced by the skin. Sebum is the natural oil found in the skin and nourishes the skins surface while giving a protective layer.

If there is not enough oil being produced then the surface of the skin will feel tight, rough to the touch, lines & wrinkles will be more obvious and the skin may show other signs of ageing too.

Hydration is key in the fight against ageing! The more hydrated our skin is, the brighter, healthier and more youthful the skin will look.

Dry skin can also appear during menopause, as oestrogen depletes, so too does the production of sebum. Check out essential oils to BALANCE HORMONES.

How to treat dry skin

Using essential oils to treat dry skin, can really effective, however there are other techniques you can use, alongside to combat dry skin.

Use a balm or oil cleanser

This immediately adds nourishment to the skin and relieves dry or dehydrated skin straight away. The texture of a balm is so soothing, your skin feels instant relief. Check out my CLEANSING tips.

Body brushing

Dry body brushing is very effective at smoothing dry akin, encouraging circulation and helping to improve the appearance of cellulite. A body brush is used, on dry skin, and lightly brushed over the surface of the skin, in upwards motions – or towards the heart. Do this for a few minutes daily, on areas of concern to help improve dry skin.


Performing some massage movements on either the face or the body, really helps improve the appearance of the skin. Not only does massage help stimulate the circulation, which means skin cells will be nourished, but the manipulations will help stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.

Use stimulating movements – really see the skin move underneath your hands and fingers – when you apply your oil or lotions. Or even better get a professional massage!

Massaging oils or creams onto damp skin can also enhance their benefits and lock in extra moisture.

Warm the skin

A warm skin will absorb products more easily and encourage sebum to be produced. Using a steam room or giving yourself a facial steam is an ideal way to help combat dry skin.


Disclaimer;  I am a qualified, experienced aromatherapist.  All these oils are safe to use in small quantities.  However if you are in any doubt of an oils suitability for you, if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant, please either consult your local practitioner or contact me for a consultation. Contact Me

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.

1 thought on “The 10 best essential oils for dry skin – and how to use them”

  1. I love this! Such a great and natural method. I’m working on slowly but surely trying to add in more clean products and kick out the bad!

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