The best thing about making your own skincare products—you can change the ingredients as your skin changes. If you have a specific skin condition that you want to address, you can create your own recipe based on the symptoms you want to target. There are a number of skin conditions that can benefit from natural ingredients, and one of those is rosacea.
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a condition that causes a “blushing” or reddening of the skin with visible blood vessels, mainly appearing on the face. Along with redness, skin discomfort such as burning and itching may be present, along with small bumps that may be mistaken for acne. It’s also worth noting that there are various types of rosacea that have many different symptoms affecting different parts of the face, including the eyes and eyelids [source].
What Causes Flare-Ups?
There are a number of factors that can trigger a rosacea flare-up, but stress, diet, extreme temperature changes, heat, medications, and certain medical conditions are some of the most common. While allopathic treatments for rosacea include oral antibiotics and medicated creams as well as laser treatments [source], there are several ways to support skin health naturally and, in turn, help keep flare-ups at bay.
Ways to avoid rosacea triggers:
—Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
—Eat a whole food diet rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatory foods
—Get plenty of good quality sleep
—Exercise regularly (note that intense exercise may trigger a flare-up)
—Avoid extreme temperature changes
—Avoid intense heat and sun exposure
—Reduce toxin exposure
—Use natural ingredients on the skin
How to Use Essential Oils for Rosacea
Because rosacea flare-ups can be triggered by a number of factors, it’s best if using essential oils topically to do it in very low dilutions. While essential oils do contain a number of beneficial properties, high concentrations can be irritating to the skin.
I recommend starting with a conservative dilution of 0.25% to 0.5%. This is equivalent to 1–2 drops of essential oil for every 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
Simply choose the essential oil(s) you want, and add a drop or two to a tablespoon of skin-nourishing carrier oil such as argan, jojoba, rosehip, or almond. You can then use this oil in your daily skincare routine.
Add 1 drop of essential oil to any of these face masks for sensitive skin. Soothing mask ingredients like yogurt, cucumber, and aloe will clean and soften skin without causing irritation.
However, using essential oils topically isn’t the only way that they can benefit rosacea. Another way they can be useful is to diffuse them. Since most of the essential oils listed above are helpful for improving your mood or reducing anxiety, you can choose one or more to diffuse when you’re feeling overly stressed.
If you’d like to use something even more gentle than essential oils on your skin, I suggest using hydrosols. They’re made from the water that is left over when essential oils are distilled.
Hydrosols are significantly less potent and are even gentler on the skin, yet they contain numerous benefits. You can use them in making homemade toners or face mists.
Specifically for rosacea, try these:
The Best Essential Oils for Rosacea
Using essential oils is a great way to incorporate natural ingredients into your skincare routine, and there are a number of ways that essential oils can be beneficial for rosacea.
Lavender is an excellent essential oil to use for skin care. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [source] that make it an appropriate choice to use for rosacea when the skin is inflamed and irritated.
However, another use for lavender is to diffuse it to promote feelings of relaxation. Lavender has long been used to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and for good reason. Numerous studies have shown that lavender has anxiolytic effects and can help improve your overall mood [source].
Another fantastic essential oil to consider for rosacea, chamomile also contains potent anti-inflammatory properties [source], making it well suited for dealing with inflammation. Anti-inflammatory, hydrating aloe combines with soothing oils in this 3-ingredient chamomile face serum.
Chamomile herb has a long history of use as a stress-reducing agent, and although human studies are lacking on the essential oil, many people use the essential oil to promote feelings of calm as well.
Helichrysum is a prime choice for skin care, in general, so it’s a no-brainer that it would also be beneficial for rosacea. As with the other oils in this list, helichrysum contains impressive anti-inflammatory and other properties [source] that make it helpful for use on the skin. It can easily be used on its own or in combination with other essential oils in most skincare formulations.
4. Tea Tree
Tea tree is a powerhouse of an essential oil that can be used in just about any situation. However, it’s also particularly beneficial for the skin and can be especially useful when dealing with rosacea.
Many people make sure to keep it in their natural first-aid kits for everything from bug bites to burns, cuts, wounds, and more. It contains numerous beneficial properties, including antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects, and can aid itching, irritated, and even wounded skin [source].
Rose essential oil can not only help you feel more calm [source], but it’s also highly sought after for its benefits to the skin. Many believe that rose oil has excellent anti-aging properties, but did you know that rose also contains potent antibacterial properties for common skin microbes [source]? This makes it a good option for cleansing the skin and removing bacteria that may be contributing to inflammation and rosacea flare-ups.
Geranium is another essential oil that’s beneficial for a number of skin conditions, including rosacea. It contains antimicrobial [source] and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s great for balancing the health of the skin. Many people also find the aroma of geranium to be calming as well, appropriate for those times when you’re feeling stressed.