The 6 Best Essential Oils For Eczema
While there is no cure for eczema, or atopic dermatitis, there are things that you can do at home to potentially help with some of the symptoms. The best essential oils for eczema “may improve hydration; moisturize, soothe, and calm the skin; and reduce inflammation and itching,” Alina G. Bridges, DO and dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic, told Bustle in an interview.
How do I use essential oils?
According to Dr. Bridges, you should definitely not take an essential oil straight from the bottle and rub it onto your skin. Instead, dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil (she recommends coconut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, or argan oil). After the essential oil is diluted, she noted, “It can be applied to the skin, added to a bath, or diffused into the air for aromatherapy.” You can also add essential oils to a cream (Dr. Bridges recommends shea butter) and rub it into your skin.
Before using any essential oil for the first time, though, Dr. Bridges recommends testing it out: Apply a small amount with a cotton swab to the inner arm and look for signs of a reaction like redness, itching, burning, or discomfort.
How do I know which essential oils to use?
When picking out essential oils, you should always look for ones in glass bottles (never plastic because oils can actually dissolve the plastic which will contaminate the oil). You’ll also want to avoid buying essential oils that have any additives or preservatives, or have already been diluted.
Now, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t just use any essential oils and expect to see improvement in your eczema. Below you’ll find six essential oils to consider.
1. Tea Tree Oil
How tea tree can help: It is antimicrobial (meaning it can fight infection-causing germs), anti-inflammatory (meaning it can help lessen irritation), and antifungal (meaning it can help reduce itching), among other benefits.
This 100% pure tea tree oil bottle from Maple Holistics has no additives or preservatives. It comes in a glass bottle, so you don’t have to worry about plastic ruining the essential oil.
What Amazon reviewers are saying: “It seems to help with the inflammation that can occur from time to time. I'm glad I looked into more natural ways to help with my eczema.”
2. Peppermint Oil
How peppermint can help: It may help to alleviate itching (but Dr. Bridges recommended to not use it on the face or on the chest of infants and young kids because it can be irritating).
With more than 12,800 reviews and a 4.3-star rating, customers back up that this peppermint essential oil from Artizen is effective (and smells great, too). It has no additives or preservatives, is undilluted, and comes in a glass bottle.
What Amazon reviewers are saying: “I love the Artizen Peppermint Essential Oil and frequently add a few drops of it to my non-fragrant hair and scalp oil. Massaging the mixture into my dry scalp during winter months immediately relieves itching, while providing an invigorating tingling sensation.”
3. Calendula Oil
How calendula can help: “Some studies have demonstrated that this oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce swelling and pain,” noted Dr. Bridges. She also said that this essential oil can also help to hydrate, calm, and soothe your skin.
Calendula oil is made from marigold flowers and this pick from Aromatika is a good one. It leaves out additives and preservatives, is undiluted, and comes in a glass bottle.
What Amazon reviewers are saying: “Very good oil. Great aroma. Will use with carrier oil.”
4. Eucalyptus Oil
How eucalyptus can help: Dr. Bridges noted that eucalyptus oil has both has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
This 100% pure eucalyptus essential oil from Now has no additives or preservatives, is undiluted, and comes in a glass bottle.
What Amazon reviewers are saying: “Use this for skin, my diffuser, sprays, etc. Love it. This brand is consistently good.”
5. Lavender Oil
How lavender can help: “It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Good for patients with sensitive skin,” said Dr. Bridges.
There’s something about lavender essential oil that is just so soothing, and this pick from Plant Therapy is no different. It comes in a glass bottle, is undiluted, and is even organic.
What Amazon reviewers are saying: “I'm a big fan of Plant Therapy Essential Oils and love that they offer organic oils. Lavender is a must have oil in my household and this is the real deal! It does have a little bit more of a medicinal (strong) lavender smell than some other lesser quality oils I have used but it is more effective than those brands. I highly recommend this and other Plant Therapy Oils.”
6. Chamomile Oil
How chamomile can help: It hydrates, calms, and soothes the skin, and also is anti-inflammatory.
With more than 13,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.3-star rating, you can trust that this pure chamomile essential oil from Artizen is the real deal. It comes in a glass bottle and is undiluted without additives.
What Amazon reviewers are saying: “Very relaxing and has calmed my skin down when I mix it with jojoba.”
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Alina G. Bridges, DO and dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic