Essential oils are some of my favorite beauty products to use on my skin and hair because they’re packed with nature's goodness. I love that they’re natural, smell amazing, and that each one has unique benefits. Whether you’ve got an itchy or oily scalp, or your skin feels dry or looks red, there’s an EO perfect for the job. Recently, I stumbled on one that’s helped me tackle fall season hair loss and lackluster skin — cedarwood oil.
Cedarwood oil is made from different parts of the cedar tree. It has an earthy smell and is often used in products like deodorant, cologne, and bug repellant. Chemical compounds like cedrine, cedrol, and thujopsene are said to be responsible for this oil's powerful benefits. It’s touted as a potent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and an antifungal — all properties which make it a great addition to any beauty regimen.
Cedarwood oil is often used to fight hair loss, and you may notice it as an ingredient in beauty products that claim to thicken hair. This is because it helps fight bacterial build-up on the scalp from conditions like dandruff and eczema, facilitating good scalp health. Less itching and flaking means your hair follicles remain undamaged, and hair can grow normally again! In fact, one study showed that a daily scalp massage with cedarwood, thyme, rosemary, and lavender oils resulted in significant improvement in hair growth among subjects with alopecia areata — a condition which causes the immune system to attack hair follicles on the head.
What’s more, cedarwood oil can improve skin elasticity to keep you looking fresh. Since it’s an antimicrobiol and anti-inflammatory, it’s beneficial for conditions like acne and eczema. One study indicated that when added to a traditional acne treatment, cedarwood oil improved breakout symptoms significantly. And since it’s an antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal, cedarwood oil is a natural purifier that helps to eliminate bacteria and dead cells on the skins’ surface. This increases cell turnover revealing bright, dewey-looking skin!
As with any essential oil, make sure to test a drop on your skin or scalp first. To use cedarwood oil for hair loss, you can add five drops to a weekly hair mask with coconut or olive oil, applying all over the head from root of the hair to tip, focusing on the scalp. Leave your mask on for at least 30 minutes, or overnight with a shower cap or wrapped in cloth. Then, wash normally. You can also add a few drops of cedarwood oil to your shampoo.
For conditions like acne or eczema, apply one drop of oil to the affected area alone or with a carrier oil. Depending on your skins’ sensitivity, a carrier oil like coconut oil may be necessary. To use as a skin-brightening treatment, add two or three drops to a carrier oil or moisturizer and apply at night. You can also add a drop or two to your usual face scrub or wash. The good news is, cedarwood oil has also shown to induce sleep, so slathering on a few drops at night will have you drifting off soundly. For an oil we love, try this one from Plant Therapy ($9.95, Amazon).