Fragrant Secrets to Youthful Skin: 4 Essential Oils for Wrinkles & Other Signs of Skin Aging (Updated April 2020)

You’ve seen them everywhere. You’ve seen the ads, the commercials, the products – all telling you that they have the secret to turning back time and make you look young or prevent you from looking old.

But would they really work on you?

All of them would claim that they do, but also most of them are made from artificial chemicals that can be risky to try especially if you have sensitive skin. So instead of trying each one of them until you find your “holy grail of all anti-aging products,” there is another way you could go.

three women of different ages
One of the popular benefits of essential oils include anti-aging properties. Essential oils are rich in antioxidants, which is a key element in anti-aging products. Photo Source: Shutterstock

Anti-aging essential oils

Essential oils have grown more and more popular because of the countless benefits they provide. Some of their advantages include improving digestion, hair nourishing, and, yes, anti-aging. So if you’re looking for a product that is both natural and effective, you’re on the right page.

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

Essential Oil Brands Comparison

Here are 5 of the best anti-aging essential oils:

1. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an herb with a variety of uses, but it's first used in the food industry as a preservative and spice. However, before it became a marvel in the kitchen, it was a local plant in the Mediterranean and Portugal

The rosemary plant can grown up to 6 feet, but what's best about it is that it can also survive a drought which makes it relatively easy to grow.

five rosemary leavesEven in its dry form, the rosemary plant still retains its flavor and fragrance


In its essential oil form, it provides a lot of health benefits and was even first used to treat gout. It can also improve your memory, soothe muscle pains, and ease your upset stomach. As an anti-aging agent, it’s known for its antioxidant qualities which makes it also popular in the cosmetics industry

Cellular oxidative stress – the imbalance in the ability of your body to detoxify – can make your skin age faster. It causes wrinkles and pigmentation, which make your skin look older. Not to mention the UV light from the sun which is also known as a contributing factor to speeding up skin aging.

Antioxidants like rosemary essential oil help you by balancing the natural oils in your skin while assisting your body in detoxification. Excess oil production in your face doesn’t mean you have to get rid the oil. It’s not an entirely wrong belief, but think of it as fighting fire with fire. Balancing the oil in your skin with rosemary essential oil can actually reduce the oiliness of your skin.

Studies have also found that using antioxidants like rosemary essential oil can prevent the symptoms associated with UV exposure. In addition, this essential oil can give your skin a healthier, firmer look. It can reduce inflammation and improve blood flow, giving your skin the glow you’ve always wanted.

Some of its benefits also include:

  • Hair growth agent
  • Reduces Cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) levels
  • Liver support
  • Memory retention

Learn more about other essential oils that can help you take care of your skin and beauty

2. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

The ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) is known for its sweet and floral scent and its benefits related to hair thickening. However, the first areas in the world to bask in the aroma of this plant are Madagascar and Southeast Asia.

The essential oil comes from the flowers of the ylang ylang tree. The oils from this plant contain antioxidants, which you already know to be an important agent for anti-aging. However, aside from its antioxidant capabilities, ylang ylang has anti-inflammatory components that also help you have more youthful skin.

Inflammation caused by sunlight, burns, pollution, cosmetic ingredients, and others ages the skin. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you could do to avoid the environmental causes of inflammation.

Well, unless the human race can magically make global warming and pollution go away, we’re all far from avoiding them.

You may be more prone to the causes and effects of inflammation if you live in cities which have more air pollution and are more exposed to harmful UV rays. These may not totally have adverse effects on your health, but it can definitely put a dent on your body’s natural detoxification and damage your cells. The effect on your skin? Inflammation and rapid skin aging. Harsh!

Ylang ylang essential oil can reverse these effects, repair the damaged skin and bring out your healthy skin.

Other bioactivities presented by this essential oil include antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and antibiofilm activities. These bioactivities help preserve the health of your skin and can even prevent skin ailments like skin cancer and melanoma.

Benefits of ylang ylang essential oil also include:

  • Improved blood flow
  • Improved intestinal function
  • Improved mood

3. Lemon Essential Oil

This one’s pretty common and you’ve probably already read or heard about the countless benefits of this fruit. Lemon (Citrus limon) is a potent antioxidant high in vitamin C, which plays a role in forming collagen, supporting your immune system, and healing wounds and inflammation.

lemon fruit hanging from a treeThe lemon fruit is composed of only 10% carbohydrates and 89% water, making it ideal for your diet


As an essential oil, lemon can restore dull skin and rejuvenate droopy skin. Because it’s a powerful antioxidant, it can effectively protect your skin against cell damage that causes your skin to age.

The collagen boost it provides also helps prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face. Collagen is an essential nutrient for your skin’s health. It makes up about 80% of your skin, it’s responsible for keeping your hair shiny, and it keeps your skin firm and glowing. Collagen in your skin can be found in the dermis, which is also the foundation of your skin for elasticity and firmness.

“Why do I have to use lemon essential oil if I already have collagen?”

Well, as you age, the collagen levels in your body decline, as does your collagen production. This explains why you get wrinkles as you age. The decrease in collagen affects skin moisture which leads to loss of skin elasticity. So basically, lemon essential oil fills these gaps.

Furthermore, lemon essential oil has antiseptic properties that help treat acne and reduce excess oil on your skin. It also protects your skin from further damage.

Aside from taking care of your skin, lemon essential oil can also help alleviate mental fatigue, stress, tension, and anxiety. It can also regulate your sleep, relieve digestive problems, and get rid of dandruff.

Which other essential oils can help you relieve stress and tension?

4. Patchouli Essential Oil

A member of the mint family, patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a bushy herb that bears pale pink flowers. This plant is just like the ylang ylang, as it’s abundant in tropical areas like Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and South America.

Before it became famous for its anti-aging components, the patchouli oil was initially used as a protectant against insects that destroy fabrics. In Asia, however, it serves as a treatment for dandruff, oily scalp, and skin irritations.

As if it’s traditional uses aren’t amazing enough, the patchouli essential oil also provides a lot of benefits regarding anti-aging. It contains caryophyllene which induces anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects – typically the necessary components for anti-aging.

Studies on this essential oil also showed that it could provide increased protection against wrinkle formation, improved skin elasticity, and increase the collagen content of your skin by 26.3%. That puts a lot of checks on your anti-aging factors list, huh? There’s more come. Evidence backed by science showed that patchouli oil can smoothen your skin and help prevent the damaging effects of UV light on your skin.

Aside from all those skin benefits, patchouli oil used in aromatherapy can improve your mood, helping you get over feelings of sadness. The scent of the patchouli essence stimulates your brain to release serotonin and dopamine – which are the hormones responsible for giving you pleasure and motivation.

Having trouble with sex? Patchouli oil is also a known aphrodisiac that can help with sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and sexual anxiety. If you want to bring back the heat in your sex life, you’d definitely want to light some patchouli scents in your bedroom. Not to mention that sex also has anti-aging capabilities, so it’s a win-win situation.

Precautions in using anti-aging essential oil

As much as the essential oils we’ve recommended to you have outstanding effects, there are some precautions that you must be aware of. After all, there will always be some side effects in every remedy.

The first thing you should know about is the concentration of essential oils – which is highly concentrated. Say for example lemon essential oil. You would have to take 75 lemons to make a 15ml bottle of lemon essential oil. This high concentration is what makes them potent, and their microscopic molecules allow them to penetrate your pores easily and do their thing.

Because of their high concentration, we recommend that you dilute a drop of essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. All of the essential oils we mentioned in this article may be used topically or on your skin, but never use them without dilution. Dilution decreases the chances of skin irritations and allergic reactions. Otherwise, you may encounter rashes, breakouts, and permanent sensitivity to the oil.

We also recommend doing a patch test, or a skin test before trying any essential oil for the first time. Just put a drop of diluted oil on a patch of your skin and wait for half an hour. If you experience redness or itchiness in that area, then your skin may not be compatible with the oil, and we don’t recommend that you use it. Unfortunate, but safe at the least.

Furthermore, some citrus oils can make your skin sensitive to the sun – also called photosensitivity. It may lead to discoloration and blistering from sun exposure. To prevent photosensitivity, we recommend that you use only citrus essential oils – like lemon and grapefruit – at night before bed.  

Essential oils can also affect your hormones which is why we don’t recommend them for pregnant or nursing women. As easy as the oils enter your bloodstream, it can also easily reach your baby through the placenta. Although, some oils are safe, but do seek advice from your doctor before doing anything. On the bright side, you can still use the essential oils for aromatherapy.

Some of the oils you shouldn’t use during pregnancy include:

  • Basil
  • Fir
  • Sage
  • Rosemary

You should also be careful about storing your oils. You must not leave them in extreme temperatures like direct sunlight or inside the refrigerator. You must always remember to put the lid back on the bottle because leaving it off will decrease the effectivity of the oil – essential oils are volatile, which means they quickly evaporate when exposed to air. You must not put heat on the essential oils in an attempt of aromatherapy, so use diffusers instead.

Don’t get discouraged by all the precautions. There may be a lot of warnings, but it’s a small price to pay if you want to reap their benefits. Just make sure that you conduct proper research so that you will be safe, and get the most out of every essential oil you use.

a woman drinking water with cucumbers in it
There has been no approved claims of the benefits of essential oils in your digestive system, so it's not recommended for ingestion. Photo source: GETTY

How to properly use anti-aging essential oils for your skin

1. Rosemary Essential Oil

For pimple treatment, remove the cap of the bottle and place a finger on the spout. Next, turn the bottle upside down and shake it. Once you lift your finger, you should have a drop or two, then directly put it onto a pimple. Do this once or twice a day until your pimples are gone.

As an anti-aging toner, pour two tablespoons of almond or olive oil into a bowl and add two drops of the rosemary essential oil. Next, stir the oils for 15 seconds. You can choose to rub the mixture into your palms or use your ring finger to distribute the mixture to your face. Finally, massage your face in circular motions until your skin has absorbed the oil. You can do this up to two times a day.

2. Ylang ylang Essential Oil

There are different ways you can use ylang ylang for your face, and it depends on your skin type.

For dry skin, you can combine five drops of ylang ylang with a carrier oil, then apply it to your face before bed. For oily skin, combine three drops of ylang ylang essential oil with a drop of rosemary and two tablespoons of your carrier oil and massage it into your face once or twice a day. For acne prone skin, combine four drops of ylang ylang oil with an ounce of olive oil and apply to your face.

You may directly apply ylang ylang to your skin, but you can still choose to use a carrier oil to dilute it.

3. Lemon Essential Oil

First, you must do a patch test since this oil is one of the citrus essential oils which must be used with caution. Mix six drops of lemon essential oil with one teaspoon of your carrier oil. Put up to three drops of the mixture onto the gauze of a band-aid and place it on your forearm for a day or two.

If blisters, rashes, and itchiness occur, then you should avoid using lemon essential oil on your skin. Of course, you don’t have to wait the entire day. If you’re already experiencing allergic reactions, then you must immediately remove the band-aid from your forearm.

As a facial mask, you will have to mix the lemon oil with other essential oils, such as tea tree. So you will have to do a patch test with the other two to be sure that you don’t have allergic reactions with any of them.

If you aren’t allergic to any of the three oils, then you can proceed with mixing. You will need a separate bottle wherein you will combine 30 drops of each essential oil. Use a bottle similar to the bottles of your essential oils. Never use a plastic container as the oils will easily “eat” or break down the plastic.

Next, combine five drops of your essential oils with three teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of plain, unsweetened yogurt. Mix the combinations and put a generous amount on your face and massage in a circular motion. Be careful not to put some on your eyes and lips.

Wait for 15 minutes and wash your face with lukewarm water.

As a skin toner, combine four drops of lemon essential oil with 15 grams of aloe vera liquid into a spray bottle. Shake it well and spray it onto your face while avoiding your eyes.

4. Patchouli Essential Oil

In using patchouli essential oil as an anti-aging ingredient, you will have to combine one to two drops with a carrier oil or a moisturizer. This will help reduce scars and prevent wrinkles. You can also apply a small dab directly to a pimple.


All of the anti-aging essential oils in this article have a one thing in common. These essential oils have antioxidant properties, which are important in keeping your skin young. Aside from their anti-aging abilities, there are also a lot of benefits that you can get from all of them.

a woman with magnifying glasses over her skin
Before trying essential oils, follow precautions and try to find out everything about the essential oil that you will use


Just make sure to conduct enough research, take note of the precautions, and use them properly. You'll thus have no problem with any of them.

If you’re thinking about where to find all of the mentioned oils in this article, look no further! You’re on the right page. We have all of them here at Aroma Foundry, available for you.


  1. Anti-aging essential oils
  2. Anti-aging essential oils
  3. Antioxidant activity of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oil and its hepatoprotective potential
  4. Role of antioxidants in the skin
  5. Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Bioactivities of Cananga odorata (Ylang-Ylang)
  6. Oxidative stress and antioxidants at skin biosurface
  7. Prevention of UV radiation-induced cutaneous photoaging
  8. Expert Reviewed How to Apply Lemon Oil to Your Face
  9. Risks and Dangers of Essential Oils
  10. How Inflammation Ages Skin
  11. Which essential oils help get rid of wrinkles?
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Author Profile

Martin Luigi LagustanSee more Martin's article>>>

Electronics Engineer-turned writer, Martin has always had his heart on writing. If he isn't writing, he spends most of his time reading books, drinking coffee, and playing with his 6 fat dogs. His favorite Aroma Foundry scent is Lavender, which he uses personally.

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  1. Introduction
  2. Anti-aging Essential Oils
    1. Rosemary Essential Oil
    2. Ylang ylang Essential Oil
    3. Lemon Essential Oil
    4. Patchouli Essential Oil
  3. Precautions
  4. How to Use Anti-aging Essential Oils
  5. Summary
  6. Bibliography