Top Eight Essential Oils Used in Cosmetics and Their Composition!

Essential Oils Used in Cosmetics

Essential oils are natural fluid essences extracted from the botanicals. They find wide application in cosmetics for pleasant odors and various benefits. They also display biological activities that range from anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, diuretic, carminative, to hyperaemic and stimulatory. Essential oil manufacturers offer diverse oils for skin care and hair care purposes. We often use the term cosmetic for skincare items.

What is Cosmetic?

Cosmetics are defined as any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body – epidermis, hair system, nails, lips, and external genital organs or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odor, as per EU cosmetic regulation.

A cosmetic item contains fatty acids, oils, and surfactants with an unpleasant scent. Therefore, a natural or synthetic fragrance is added to remove that odor. Essential oils are the first choice of cosmetic manufacturers being a natural ingredient. It is critical to know the components of essential oils as an ingredient in cosmetic items.

Composition of Essential Oils

Essential oils are made of multiple individual compounds that are divided into main (20-95%), secondary (1-20%), and trace components (less than 1%) depending on their proportion. Typically, strong essential oils such as rosemary, tea tree, and eucalyptus suffice the requirement of odor and antimicrobial and antifungal ingredients in cosmetics.

Strong essential oils contain single compounds in high proportion. For example, 1,8-cineole compounds are present to a great extent in rosemary, eucalyptus, and cardamom essential oils. The cosmetic industrial houses buy such oils in bulk from essential oil exporters or suppliers.

Major Essential Oils Used in Cosmetics

1. Helichrysum/Immortelle Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is an oily fluid with pale yellow to red hue and a powerful honey-like fragrance.  Helichrysum flowers do not change their color even if they dry, so they are also known as Immortelle. The oil is added to tea to treat respiratory tract infections such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. It is also used for migraines, skin burns, allergies, and headaches. 

Helichrysum essential oil has become the most popular essential oil in cosmetics as it brings fragrance, promotes blood circulation in the skin, regenerates skin cells, and prevents fine lines and wrinkles. It is also added to soaps and perfumes for its sweet scent.

Though wide variations appear in the composition of helichrysum oil derived from the produce of different categories, the oil invariably displays antimicrobial and antifungal activity against bacterias and fungi causing skin irritations and infections and delaying wound healing. Helichrysum oil is also effective in the treatment of hematomas. It is safe to use due to its low toxicity level.

Essential Oils Used in Cosmetics

2. Neroli Essential Oil

Neroli essential oil is a pale yellow to coffee brown oil extracted from the flowers of bitter orange trees. It has a sweet, fresh floral scent that is widely harnessed in the perfume and soap industry. Neroli oil contains linalool, limonene, pinene, nerol, and a-terpineol compounds. It possesses antimicrobial, sedative, antiseptic, carminative, and antispasmodic properties. It rejuvenates the skin.

3. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is a colorless or pale yellow liquid with a strong, warm woody balsamic scent. Rosemary oil manufacturers obtain it by distilling flowering tips and leaves of the rosemary plant. The oil contains eucalyptol, pinene, and camphor compounds in high proportion. Its stimulating effects make it a perfect substance for aromatherapy.  It is widely used in bath salts, ointments, liniments, gels, and bath oils. Rosemary oil is added to cologne water, soaps, and lavender water.

Rosemary essential oil nourishes the hair, stops hair loss, and helps remove dandruff. A study has revealed that rosemary oil is as effective as Minoxidil. However, constant exposure to rosemary may lead to occupational contact dermatitis.

4. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is a pale yellow fluid extracted from the leaves of Mentha Piperita. It contains cooling compounds – menthol and menthone in high proportion. Peppermint oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, and as a flavor in food and beverage items. It is added to bitter capsules, chewing gum, toothpaste, dietary supplements (for gastrointestinal problems), and mouthwashes. Cosmetic players in the industry use peppermint oil for its cooling effect and refreshing scent. They obtain it in bulk from peppermint essential oil suppliers in India.

As a precaution, it should not be used in lip balms containing almond/coconut oil, vitamin E, propolis, and lanolin allergens.

5. Rose Essential Oil

The use of rose oil and fragrance is ubiquitous in soaps, face creams, body lotions, etc. It is also added as a flavor in the jam, ice cream, pudding, and yogurt. Rose oil contains citronellol, geraniol, nerol, farnesol, and rose oxide compounds. It has hypnotic, anticonvulsant, antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-HIV, aphrodisiac, and anti-inflammatory properties. Essential oil bulk manufacturers offer rose absolute and rose essential oils to the users.

Rose oil helps treat acne, cleanses bacteria, and hydrates skin. It increases libido and treats male sexual dysfunction. However, regular exposure to geraniol and citronellol compounds of rose oil may cause allergic contact dermatitis.

6. German Chamomile Essential Oil

German chamomile is a blue fluid liquid extracted from chamomile flowers. It has a sweet, herbaceous fragrance and bitter aromatic flavor. It turns brown when exposed to air and contains B-farnesene, farnesol, and chamazulene compounds. It possesses anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, antiseptic, and antiphlogistic properties.

German chamomile oil is used in skin creams and oils, bath additives, mouthwash products, toothpaste, shampoos, and fragrant cosmetics. It is the safest essential oil for dermal application.

German Chamomile Essential Oil

7. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is a colorless or pale yellow liquid with a strong lavender floral aroma. Its major constituents are linalyl acetate, linalool, and terpinene. It is used for anti-inflammatory, calming, skin-healing, sedative, and headache relieving effects. It is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and miscellaneous fragrance applications.

Spike Lavender oil is the camphorous variant of lavender and contains more 1,8-cineole and camphor compounds. It is suitable for pain-relief applications and treatment of wounds, cuts, burns, or stings. It is used in pharmaceutical products besides soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes. However, the users should avoid the oxidized lavender oil as it causes contact allergies. Most lavender essential oil wholesale suppliers provide both the variants of lavender oil.

8. Tea tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil is obtained by distilling the leaves and terminal branches of the tea tree plant. It is a colorless or pale yellow volatile fluid with a characteristic camphoraceous odor. It contains pinene, sabinene, myrcene, and a-phellandrene compounds. Tea tree oil is known for its antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Its steam is inhaled to clear nasal and throat passage.

Tea tree oil is used in the treatment of acne, skin disorders, and fungal nail infections. Its usage as mouthwash prevents bad breath and removes dental plaque. However, its ingestion is toxic and it is not safe for pets.


Natures Natural India provides all of the above-mentioned essential oils in bulk as an established and certified essential oil manufacturer and exporter to the users worldwide.

Author: Ansul Gupta

Ansul Gupta is an in-house natural fragrance, flavor and wellness connoisseur-cum-content writer who loves to explain about essential oils, attars, hydrosols, synthetic fragrances, carrier oils, and different therapeutic blends for their usage in end-products and DIY recipes. She has dream of setting up a Direct-To-Customer customized natural body mists and cosmetics outlet.

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