While there are many commercial products available to reduce wrinkles, some people prefer natural alternatives, such as essential oils.

As people age, the skin begins to break down and lose elasticity. This natural process causes wrinkles and fine lines to appear on the face around the forehead, mouth, and eyes.

Although essential oils will not eliminate wrinkles completely, they may be able to reduce their appearance. They are also a natural alternative to chemical creams and lotions.

In this article, discover some of the best essential oils for preventing and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Best essential oils for wrinkles

Here are 10 essential oils that could help people reduce the appearance of wrinkles:

1. Lemon

Essential oils for wrinkles
Essential oils will not eliminate wrinkles completely, but they may help to reduce their appearance.

Lemon is well-known for its vitamin C content and potential health benefits for the immune system. However, lemon oils are also used in a variety of commercial skin care products to help reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles.

Studies have found that lemon oil could help reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Lemon oil may also help prevent sun damage, which can lead to wrinkles.

All citrus essential oils, including lemon and grapefruit, make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. It is essential to avoid sun exposure for several hours after using citrus essential oils, so it is wise to apply them before bed.

2. Sandalwood

Early studies indicate that sandalwood may have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to these properties, sandalwood may help restore moisture to the skin.

When the skin is adequately hydrated, it may appear plumper and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Clary sage

Clary sage is a sweet-smelling herb related to the type of sage many people keep in their spice rack.

Clary sage has been shown to have antioxidant effects. One study concluded that clary sage might help prevent DNA and proteins from being damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals believed to damage the skin.

4. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a complex fruit offering a variety of health benefits. People often use them in healthful foods and drinks as a nutrient-rich and tasty additive.

A 2014 study concluded that pomegranate oil could reduce oxidative stress, which may help prevent the formation of new wrinkles.

When applied to the skin, pomegranate may also:

5. Lavender

Lavender has a distinct, relaxing aroma. It is often used in aromatherapy and commercial bath products. There is a growing body of research looking at the potential health benefits of this popular plant.

In a 2013 study, a research team studied the antioxidant effects of lavender. Their findings suggested that lavender oil helps protect against oxidative stress in the brain.

These same effects may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines when applied to the skin. However, more studies need to be conducted with humans to prove lavender oil’s effectiveness.

Some people are allergic to lavender. It is advised to do a patch test before applying any new substance to the skin.

6. Carrot seed

In a 2012 study, researchers noted that carrot seeds have some antioxidant effects. The antioxidants could help prevent aging by stopping the breakdown of healthy cells in the skin.

7. Ylang-ylang

Ylang-ylang is an essential oil often used in perfumes. However, according to a 2015 study, ylang-ylang has shown some antioxidant effects that could help aid skin renewal.

Specifically, ylang-ylang was shown to help rebuild the skin’s proteins and fats while reducing the number of free radicals. Many skin care companies add ylang-ylang to their products to take advantage of its potential healing properties.

8. Rosemary

Rosemary is a herb known for its distinct flavor, as well as for its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Rosemary’s antioxidants may help prevent wrinkles by stopping free radicals from breaking down the skin’s elasticity.

One 2014 study found that as little as 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day showed significant results in reducing free radicals.

9. Frankincense

One study found that frankincense was effective in reducing the appearance of scarring and stretch marks on a person’s skin. It may have the same effect on wrinkles and fine lines.

In addition, frankincense may help:

  • tone the skin
  • promote new skin cell growth

10. Rose

Studies suggest that rose oil may have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation can help reduce puffiness and redness in the skin.

Rose oil could be particularly helpful for skin cell renewal, which can keep the skin looking youthful for longer.

How to apply oils

Essential oils for wrinkles should be diluted in a carrier oil
Essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin.

People should not apply essential oils to the skin without diluting them in a carrier oil first. Common carrier oils include:

  • olive oil
  • grape seed oil
  • coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • avocado oil

People should mix the oils well in a bottle or bowl. For use on the face, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommend the following:

  • For sensitive skin: 3–6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
  • For normal skin: 6–15 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

A person should test a small amount on a patch of skin 24 hours before using the oil on larger areas. If any irritation occurs after 24 hours, they may be allergic to the oil and should not use it.

If no irritation occurs, a person can apply the essential oil mixture directly to affected areas of the skin once or twice daily.

Risks of essential oils

Risks associated with essential oils are often related to allergic reactions resulting in a rash or itchiness.

Other signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • a runny nose
  • hives
  • redness or swelling
  • bumps
  • rashes
  • itchiness
  • sneezing

In some cases, an allergic reaction can be severe and cause anaphylaxis. If a person experiences severe symptoms or is having trouble breathing, they should seek immediate medical attention.

A person should never swallow essential oils, as they are toxic.

It is important to note that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate essential oils, so it is crucial to buy them from a reputable source.

Though essential oils may help, there is no guarantee that they will fully reduce the appearance of wrinkles or other signs of aging.

Other ways to reduce wrinkles

Creams and essential oils for wrinkles
Other products, such as moisturizers and creams, can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

There are many commercial products available to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. These products include:

  • moisturizers
  • creams
  • lotions
  • mild soaps
  • face masks

A person can also take steps to slow down the development of wrinkles. These steps include:

  • avoiding smoking
  • avoiding spending too much time in the sun
  • staying hydrated
  • eating foods that are rich in antioxidants

Outlook

Essential oils may help a person reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of skin aging. In addition to these benefits, essential oils may also:

  • reduce inflammation
  • protect the skin from dry air or sun exposure
  • boost collagen
  • even skin tone
  • improve a person’s complexion

However, essential oils are not guaranteed to work, nor will they completely remove wrinkles that already exist.

While usually safe, essential oils should always be mixed with a carrier oil and tested on a small patch of skin before a person applies them to larger areas of the body.