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10 Essential Oil Beauty Hacks I Bet You Didn't Know About

Essential oils hold the keys to all sorts of beauty needs.

Beauty & Fashion

Although I've never had full-blown acne before, I am the one who gets a period pimple, that is obnoxious as all get out, in the sense that it pops up right when I don't want it to, right where I don't want it to be. Plus, my hair tends to lend towards the drier side, no matter what I do. Well, at least it used to be that way. Something that has gotten my skin under control is essential oils (specifically tea tree oil and lavender oil for zits). What's gotten my hair right is a sweet almond oil blend, along with Jamaican Black castor oil with rosemary in it.

Why am I sharing this? It's because it wasn't until I stopped being a product junkie and I started doing some research on different essential oils and what they can do, that I discovered that they are must-haves when it comes to my beauty routine. They're natural. They're therapeutic. And they serve multiple purposes, which is definitely a huge plus.

But enough about me. Do you want to try something that will help your insides as well as maintain your beauty on the outside? If so, I've got 10 different essential oils that can get you on the road to looking and feeling, just as amazing as you wanna be.

*Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, xoNecole may earn a small commission.

1. Anti-Aging: Carrot Seed Oil

Shutterstock

Off top, carrot seed oil is loaded with antioxidants that help to strengthen your immune system. Since it also contains antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, it's the kind of oil that is also great when it comes to cell renewal, detoxing your blood and stimulating blood circulation. Something else that's awesome about carrot seed oil is it has antiseptic and antiviral properties that make it a great ingredient for homemade deodorant.

Since it's an oil that helps to protect your skin from UV damage, that's one of the reasons why it tops the list if you're looking for an anti-aging essential oil. Being that it's also high in vitamins A, C and E, it mends skin, boosts collagen and is a wonderful moisturizer too. No doubt about it, carrot seed oil is definitely an essential oil that can help to keep your "black from cracking".

Try This: Combine two tablespoons of pure Aloe vera gel with five drops of carrot seed oil and three drops of a carrier oil (like coconut oil or safflower oil). Apply the formula to freshly cleaned skin before turning in at night. Then wash it off in the morning. (Make sure to keep this stored in the fridge.)

2. Hair Growth: Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood is an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal type of essential oil that is great at treating anxiety and insomnia as well as softening the appearance of acne-related scarring. Another pleasant surprise about the oil is some people have even said that it helps to alleviate discomfort that's directly related to arthritis. But what makes it a top hair beauty treatment oil is the fact that it's pretty powerful at treating alopecia areata (a disease that directly attacks hair follicles). Plus, since cedarwood oil also has the ability to balance the sebum that your scalp produces (so that your follicles don't get clogged up), hindering hair growth as a direct result.

Try This: Mix two tablespoons with jojoba oil with one teaspoon of cedarwood oil. Apply the mixture to your scalp, massage for 10 minutes and then rinse out (right after shampooing and conditioning your hair).

Nature's Truth Aromatherapy Essential Oil, Cedarwood

Nature's Truth

3. Skin Exfoliant: Sweet Almond Oil

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Sweet almond oil is definitely one of my favorite essential oils on the planet! It's high in vitamins A, E and zinc which makes it great at reducing eye puffiness, moisturizing your skin and even reducing the effects of sun damage. And, since sweet almond oil contains powerful emollient properties, it can gently remove dead skin cells so that you're able to end up with even skin tone. It's also an oil that reduces the appearance of acne scars. It can even cause your stretch marks to fade over time.

Try This: Combine a half cup of colloidal oatmeal with three tablespoons of sweet almond oil and a tablespoon of manuka honey. Apply the mask onto clean and damp skin. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes then rinse off with cool water.

4. Toner Ingredient: Thieves Oil

What I like a lot about thieves oil is it's a combination of some of the best essential oils around. It's got cinnamon, cloves, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus oil, all rolled up into one. This makes it the kind of super oil that is able to boost your immune system, fight sinus congestion, improve your mood, relieve body aches and pains and, if you add it to your DIY toothpaste recipe, it will fight tooth decay and make your toothpaste taste so much better too. Thanks to all of the antimicrobial properties thieves oil contains that are able to kill bacteria and fungi, it's also an ideal ingredient if you like to make your own skin toner.

Try This: Steep some chamomile tea and let it cool. Then add a teaspoon of witch hazel, a half teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (the kind that has the mother in it), along with five drops of thieves oil. Put the combination in a spray bottle, shake and then mist your skin with the toner solution.

5. Damaged Hair Cuticles: Rosemary Oil

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Rosemary oil is the ultimate. It helps to improve your concentration. It provides pain relief. It decreases stress levels. It increases blood circulation. It reduces joint inflammation. It improves liver and digestive health as well. I use it directly as it relates to the health of my hair, though. Since it stimulates blood circulation, your hair follicles are able to get the nutrients that they need in a quicker amount of time. Rosemary oil is also an oil that can help to stop premature greying, hinder dandruff and yes, it can repair damaged hair cuticles too. That's because the antioxidants in the oil are able to seal your cuticles so that, if they're weak, they can get strong again.

Try This: Seal your hair with Jamaican Mango & Lime's Jamaican Black Castor Oil Rosemary Oil. If you'd like some tips on how to properly seal your hair, click here.

6. Collagen Booster: Orange Oil

I like orange oil because it smells so refreshing. As far as health benefits go, it is able to reduce depression-related symptoms, increase your exercise performance, fight certain bacterial strains, heal acne and even treat constipation. Orange oil is also considered to be a great anti-aging essential oil because it has the ability to trigger collagen production in your skin, which can smooth out fine lines and cause your skin to appear more youthful-looking as a direct result.

Try This: If you want to make your own orange oil to apply to your skin, click here for a recipe.

ULTA Orange Essential Oil

Ulta Beauty

7. Skin Soother: Copaiba Oil

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Copaiba oil is an oil that comes from copaiba trees. Some of its cool benefits include the fact that it is able to help treat infections like bladder infections, strep throat and even gonorrhea. The irony to this oil is that while it is able to treat gonorrhea (and syphilis), it's also an aphrodisiac too (some Native Americans even used it as a form of contraception). This oil is awesome for your skin because it contains beta-caryophyllene which is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps to soothe any irritation and heal it over time.

Try This: Mix three teaspoons of avocado oil (which is a great healing oil) with three drops of copaiba. Apply directly to wherever your skin is irritated.

8. Dry Scalp: Ylang-Ylang Oil

If you want an oil that will lower your blood pressure, alleviate anxiety, reduce depression-related symptoms, slow down your heart rate, soothe the pressure that comes with headaches, treat sinus infections and make it easier for you to go to sleep at night, ylang-ylang oil is just what you're looking for.

On the beauty tip, because it's also an oil that stimulates sebaceous glands, it can help to heal your dry scalp while deep conditioning your hair at the same time.

Try This: Add three drops of ylang-ylang oil to three tablespoons of coconut oil. Massage the oil onto your clean damp scalp. Then let it sit for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water and style.

Now Essential Oils Ylang Ylang, Extra, 100% Pure

images.heb.com

$22

9. Scar Treatment: Helichrysum Oil

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While this isn't exactly the kind of oil that comes up in regular conversation, once you know all of the ways that it can benefit you, you'll want to get a couple of bottles of it as soon as possible. Helichrysum essential oil comes from a Mediterranean plant. It is able to do everything from reduce inflammation during a cold and relieve intestinal spasms to stop staph infections and treat candida. As far as your beauty needs go, helichrysum oil is great because it speeds up the healing process of wounds (including popped pimples) so that your scars are smoother and less apparent to the eye.

Try This: Mix a teaspoon of Vitamin E oil with two drops of helichrysum oil. Then directly apply the combo onto any healed scars you may have.

10. Hair Strengthener: Clary Sage Oil and Lavender Oil

Clary sage has the reputation of being a natural antidepressant and stress reducer. Something else that's wonderful about it is, clary sage also has the ability to reduce menstrual cramps and reduce menopausal symptoms. Hair-wise, this is the kind of oil that can reduce dandruff and strengthen your hair follicles. Lavender oil contains properties that fight allergies, treats insomnia, helps to heal eczema, reduce menstrual cramps and relaxes your nervous system. It's great for your hair because lavender oil can help to make your hair strands thicker while stimulating hair growth in the process.

Try This: Apricot kernel oil is high in vitamins A and E which makes it a great carrier oil for your hair. Mix a half cup of it with 5-7 drops of clary sage oil and 3-4 drops of lavender oil. Zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds and then apply as a hot oil treatment for your hair. Do it twice a month for best results.

Now Essential Oils, 100% Pure, Lavender

Walmart

$13

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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