Do you have an unsightly scar that won’t go away? Do you wish your scar to heal naturally? Are you wondering how essential oils fit into the picture?
Essential oils are natural oils prepared from plants. The practice of using medicinal plants for healing is ancient.
More and more, essential oils surface in our home and popular culture. This popularity brings with it a wonderful associated knowledge of how to use the medicinal properties of plants for natural health and well-being.
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In this case of scarred skin, essential oils assist the body’s natural healing process and improve the look and appearance of skin. At the same time, they may also promote a feeling of well-being and decrease anxiety disorders associated with blemished skin.
Why Does Our Body Make Scars?
Scars form as a natural part of wound repair during the body’s healing process ¹. Your body sends collagen fibers to mend any damage. The scar appears only after the wound is completely healed. Essential oils for the appearance of scars are different to those for open wound repair.
Scars are usually darker or lighter than the skin surrounding them. In most cases, scars are sunken in due to cell tissue damage surrounding the skin injury. If the wound is unable to heal for an extended period of time, or the skin becomes re-injured during healing, a scar may show on your skin for a long time.
It’s absolutely normal that you want to help your skin repair itself. Essential oils contain natural, anti-inflammatory substances. Applying essential oils on scars can help reduce their appearance and initial formation. For longer-lasting scars, you can fade out their appearance with essential oils.
In this article, I’ll list the 7 best essential oils to handle scar tissue, plus 4 carrier oils to support your blend. These natural oils revive, heal and clean the epidermis. Some essential oils have excellent antioxidant and antibacterial properties that may lower your scar’s appearance.
The recipe is simple: 15 ml of carrier oil (=3 teaspoons), to 9 drops of essential oils of choice. If you’re young, generally healthy, and not intending to use this recipe longer than needed, you may use up to 22 drops of essential oils to the same amount of carrier oil. This makes for a stronger 5% dilution rather than the recommended 2% dilution rate.
- Guide to Essential Oils Dilution Rates (including charts for usage and home recipe creation)
Blend essential oils into a carrier oil. See further below for the best carrier oils to use on scars.
Apply it on the wound and surrounding areas for at least one month. Do not use excessive quantity – a little goes a long way. Aim for daily usage (twice daily if you can), to promote natural and speedy healing of injuries and scars.
With essential oil treatments, consistency is key. It takes time for your body to react to the treatment. The typical cycle for the outermost layer of your skin to get renewed is 28 days 5. So, while the essential oil recipe can stimulate and support better skin composition and lessen the appearance of scars, it still takes the body’s own powers to actually make that new skin and bring it to the surface to be seen and enjoyed.
With a really pronounced or deep scar you will have to use the home recipe for at least 4 weeks before seeing improvements.
Use These Top 7 Essential Oils for Scars
Blending more than one essential oil is always a good recommendation as single oils support each other in a blend, and make a sum that is greater than its parts.
Arzanol is an anti-inflammatory substance found in Helichrysum essential oil ². It can enhance the healing of wounds and scar tissues. Other effective substances in this oil are antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant elements.
Antioxidants in Helichrysum oil inhibit the growth of free radicals. This helps in regenerating new cells and increasing the formation of collagen in the body.
Helichrysum oil can also aid skin infections such as acne or skin rashes. It is a calming, soothing oil and in most cases, safe for children and the elderly as well.
Due to the soothing nature of lavender essential oil, using it on scars is beneficial. A study conducted by the US National Institute of Health in 2016 demonstrated the wound-healing effects of lavender oil ³.
This therapeutic oil has antiseptic, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties. Most aromatherapists begin scar treatment with lavender essential oil. It helps in regenerating dead and lost tissues by increasing collagen production in the body. Collagen enhances the growth of new skin tissues and cells.
Lavender is generally a well-tolerated oil with a pleasant and familiar smell. It is also safe for children 2+ years of age.
Cedarwood essential oil has pain relieving properties and can soothe scar tissues. Aromatherapists often use it for treating acne. It lessens inflammations and soreness of injuries.
Boswellic acid is an active substance in frankincense essential oil. It has anti-inflammatory effects on scars. This oil can tighten the skin and enhance the formation of fresh skin cells.
The antibacterial properties of frankincense oil prevent the wounds from getting worse. It soothes and tones the skin properly, and always makes the list of top oils for skin care.
5. Tea Tree
Speed up the healing process of injuries and scars by applying tea tree essential oil. This oil is an immune booster. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.
Use tea tree oil cautiously if you have an autoimmune condition and other allergies. Do not use tea tree around cats.
6. Carrot Seed
You can treat old scars using carrot seed essential oil. It contains antifungal and antibacterial properties used for healing wounds and scars.
These substances can give the skin a smoother, toned look. Maintain a consistent application of carrot seed oil for one month to see results on your skin.
The antioxidant and antimicrobial features of hyssop essential oil prevent infections on injuries. Hyssop supports scar healing and concealing of scars and wrinkles. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties that can treat broken skin.
Natural Base Oils for Scars
In essential oils application, you should never put oils on your skin directly. Essential oils can cause minor side effects if you’re not careful whilst using them.
Always dilute with a base oil (also called a carrier oil) to prevent burning and possible skin irritations.
Although knowledge around carrier oils isn’t as popular as some of the essential oil info, it’s no less important. They are nutrient-dense powerhouses that can have a positive impact on the healing process.
The best carrier oils to support scar healing include:
1. Sweet Almond Oil
One of the best carrier oils for scars is almond oil. According to experts, constant application of almond oil can tone your skin. It can also enhance your complexion, and cause regrowth of new skin cells. Its anti-inflammatory properties can lessen the appearance of scars.
Maintain a consistent usage for at least one month if you want an effective outcome.
2. Castor Oil
Castor oil breaks up excess oil formed on the skin. While it’s a very thick carrier oil, it does not block the pores of your skin. Rather, the oil can soothe and smooth any tissue produced by scars. For a scar on your face especially, I would use Castor oil as your carrier oil.
By using castor oil, you can reduce the appearance of scar tissues on the body. Do not apply too much oil – just enough to soften the scar.
Massage the oil onto affected areas. Repeat the process twice daily for good results.
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3. Vitamin E Oil
Damages caused by free radicals can be repaired by protecting the skin with vitamin E oil. It is useful for enhancing the appearance of scars. It promotes the production of collagen while moisturizing your skin and preventing further scarring.
If you want to experience the effectiveness of vitamin E oil, maintain a consistent usage for at least one month.
4. Rosehip Seed Oil
Treat scars, wrinkles, acne, and other skin conditions using rosehip seed oil. Post-surgical scars can be handled using this oil regularly. It can reduce atrophy, redness, and discoloration on the skin.
However, if you suffer from kidney stones, anaemia, and diabetes, you should not use rosehip oil.
While physicians or dermatologists can offer other treatments, essential oils are a superb option for the natural treatment of scars. Many oils for healing scars are effective when compared to other home remedies. Not only does the art and science of aromatherapy offer the benefits of essential oils, it also uses fatty oils (base oils or carrier oils), to complete the treatment. Carrier oils boast lots of healing properties on their own, and beautifully support the function of the essential oils you’re choosing to apply to your scar.
¹ Scars and Your Skin: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/scars#1
² Arzanol, an Anti-inflammatory and Anti-HIV-1 Phloroglucinol & Pyrone from Helichrysum italicum ssp. Microphyllum https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/np060581r
³ Antioxidant and Wound Healing Activity of Lavandula aspic L. Ointment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27769632
4 Can You Reduce the Appearance of Scars with Oils? 13 Oils to Try https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-scars
5 Understanding the Life Cycle of the Skin https://www.galderma.com/understanding-life-cycle-skin