Essential Oils for Scars – plus blend recipes and application guide

Essential Oils for Scars

Herbal treatments for scars are nothing new. Whether it was to prevent scars or to reduce them, there have been poultices and compresses – devised by generations of observation and knowledge of the materials at hand – to help aid the healing process for centuries. Essential oils for scars can be seen as a more potent and manageable way to take benefit from what cultures all over the world have known to work for all that time.

Not every scar is created equal though.

Essential oils are good for acne scars and scars from minor cuts,burns, or other minor wounds; they are especially effective at preventing scars while a wound is healing. Older scars and deep scars – from lacerations and burns – will take longer to treat, and may have less noticeable results compared to newer and surface scars.

Why Does a Scar Form?

I’m sure you know what a scar is. If you’re reading this article you likely have at least one scar and you understand what it looks like and why you have it – but why does a scar form instead of just looking like regular skin?

Let me answer that for you.

The skin has two main layers. The epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin, and the dermis, the deeper layer beneath that. If your cut, scrape, or burn is only a shallow one – meaning it hasn’t reached the dermis – you are less likely to scar. However, if the damage reaches the dermis, then a process called cicatrisation begins to aid in healing the wound.

In this process collagen fibers are formed and granular skin tissue fills the wound. It’s a lot like filling in a pothole; the new concrete doesn’t match the existing because it’s mixed differently and has to be added in, rather than a road that was paved all at once, which is smooth.

Scar tissue is different from your existing skin tissue in a few ways:

  • hair doesn’t grow on it
  • it doesn’t have sweat and oil glands
  • it’s susceptible to UV light

Normal scars are generally flat and lighter in color than surrounding skin, but sometimes they are pitted scars, also called “pockmarks“. these scars are generally from

But there are also two types of irregular scar formation:

  • Hypertrophic scars – raised and reddish (discolored); sometimes itchy and can subside with time
  • Keloid scars – raised and sometimes red or brown (discolored); sometimes out of control, these take over healthy skin and can keep growing even after the wound has closed.

We will attempt to address all the symptoms of these different scars with essential oils that are anti-inflammatory, blemish reducing, and skin smoothing.

How Do Essential Oils Heal Scars?

To reduce a scar you need to soften and reduce the collagen that formed. The best way to reduce a scar is while it is forming by using essential oils that are cicatrisant. Cicatrisant constituents aid wound healing by promoting and regulating cell regeneration. If used correctly these essential oils can prevent noticeable scars from forming during the healing process from cuts or burns.

If you have had your scars for a while, you will want to fill in or smooth out your scar, and possibly reduce any discoloration. The list below is of essential oils for scars, new and old. You will also find applications and blend recipes to guide you to smoother and scar-free skin. Let me just warn you though, the older and deeper your scar, the harder it is to reduce them through herbal remedies.


Scar Reducing and Preventing Carrier Oils

Essential oils are often too strong to apply to the skin on their own, also called “neat” application. Carrier oils are gentle, lipid based oils that mix well with essential oils. The use of carrier oils, oils that are used to “carry” the essential oil onto the skin, is important and beneficial.  There is a vast selection of carrier oils to choose from, but here we will discuss carrier oils that add to the scar reducing benefits of the essential oils in this list. Please take sometime to check these oils out and use them in your application of essential oils to your scars.

Rose Hip Oil

Rose Hip oil(not to be confused with Rose essential oil) is a very effective scar reducer. As a whole, Rose Hip is high in many vitamins, fatty acids, and other important constituents. It has Retinol, a Vitamin A, which is common in cosmetics as a wrinkle reducer. It also has Vitamin C which promotes healthy and “organized” collagen production, reducing the formation of scars and keloids, as well as fading discoloration. Lastly it has omega-3 and omega-6 linolenic acids which improve scar elasticity and hyper-pigmentation. This is one of the most effective essential oils for scars.

  • Reduces and flattens scars
  • Fades discoloration
  • Regulates healing

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot Kernel Oil is the perfect carrier oil for scars and skin related issues in general. Its full of the good stuff that skin loves, including vitamins A and E, as well as, omega 6 gamma-linolenic acid. Each of these constituents all equate to a very powerful skin rejuvenating/regenerating oil that helps collagen production to fill in indented scars.

  • Collagen producing
  • Skin smoothing
  • Scar reducing

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is a great carrier oil in general, which I recommend for most skin applications. It contains vitamin E and lauric acid, both being extremely beneficial to skin. Topically it keeps moisture in while absorbing into the skin and to help smooth and nourish it. You can also ingest coconut oil and the fatty acids will deposit under the skin, filling it in and evening out its tone.

Use it when you’re cooking, take a shot of it, or do a coconut oil pull for more benefits from coconut oil.

  • Collagen producing
  • Skin smoothing
  • Can work from the inside out when ingested

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a bit heavier than other oils, which means it wont evaporate quickly and allows essential oils to sit on the skin longer and exposing it to more of its healing constituents. The  content of vitamin A,E, and D, oleic acid, potassium, and lecithin are nutrients your skin loves to help generate more and stronger cells. They easily absorb through the epidermis and into the dermis, healing from the bottom up – reducing and fading scars and discoloration.

  • Reduces scaring
  • Smooths skin
  • Fades discoloration


Essential Oils for Scars

1. Helichrysum Oil

helichrysum essential oil for scars

Helichrysum essential oil is extremely beneficial for both new and old scars. It’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic pain relieving properties are helpful for new wounds, but besides being a pain reliever, it also has properties of fast wound healing and reduced scarring. It is an emollient and will keep skin soft and moisturized which helps keep scars from becoming pronounced, as well as helping reduce existing scars.

  • Prevents new scars
  • Reduces old scars
  • Moisturizing
  • Promotes fast healing

2. Neroli Oil

Neroli essential oil is derived from citrus, which is a powerful healer in itself. it’s cicatrisant, cytophylactic, and an emollient and those are the three main components to a powerful scar reducer. Cictrisation is the ability to promote healthy skin regeneration, that’s why this essential oil is used in various anti-mark and blemish products. Nerolis scar reducing ability is aided by its cytophylactic and emollient properties, these keep the cells protected, healthy, and nourished; this is especially helpful for fresh wounds you want to prevent from scarring.

  • Reduces old scars
  • Prevents scarring while healing
  • Anti-bacterial/antiseptic
  • Protects new wounds from infection

3. Geranium Oil

geranium essential oil for scars

Geranium essential oil is cicatrisant and has two important constituents, Alpha Pinene and Limonene, which work together to penetrate below the surface of the skin to heal from the dermis up. It prevents scarring with a fresh wound, and its anti-bacterial properties will keep your wound safe from infection while it heals.

  • Prevents scar formation
  • Reduces redness and blemishes
  • Protects from infection
  • Heals wounds quickly


4. Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot seed essential oil is rich in Beta-Carotene, Alpha and Beta-Pinene, as well as Limonene. It stimulates collagen production which will help to fill in and smooth out indented scars, such as pockmarks. It can also even skin tone and is protective against UV light, which is helpful to regenerate the natural skin tone of discolored scars while protecting them from UV light, since they are more susceptible to sunburns.

  • Collagen producing
  • Smooths skin
  • Reduces discoloration


5. Lavender Oil

lavender essential oil for scars

6. Lavender essential oil is greatly renowned as an essential oil for scars and wounds. Around 1910, French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé realized the healing properties of lavender after he badly burned his hand and dunked it into the closest tub of liquid available, which happened to be a tub of lavender oil. Gattefossé later noted how quickly his wound healed, and without scarring. Since that time, the reports of how effective lavender is for a number of ailments is through the roof.

Far as essential oils for scars go, it’s especially effective for new wounds and the prevention of scars due to its anti-inflammatory and cytophylactic properties. It’s also, reportedly, great for fading existing scars and reducing discoloration.

  • Improves healing
  • Reduces scarring during healing
  • Promotes new cell growth


7. Sage Oil

Sage Essential Oil contains multiple constituents that are skin restorative. The oil is easily absorbed by the skin, which means these compounds can work from below the skins surface. It’s ability to reduce scar tissue is due to it’s ability to break up the fibrous scar tissue as well as dissolve fat deposits. This is also a great essential oil for cellulite and stretch marks.

  • Easily absorbed/penetrating
  • Rejuvenates skin
  • Reduces scars
  • Removes fat deposits


8. Niaouloi Oil

Niaouli Essential Oil is another cicatrisant essential oil for scars. Native to Australia, you can find this as an ingredient in a many skin creams and lotions, as well as toothpaste and soap. It is antiseptic and anti-bacterial, which is a plus if you’re using this for scar prevention in a fresh wound. It’s ability to penetrate and revitalize scars come from its high levels of alpha-pinene, limonene, and linalool. It also is a great analgesic, and will alleviate painful scars.

  • Reduces old scars
  • Prevents new scars
  • Pain relieving


More essential oils for scars

These are other essential oils that are cicatrisant and will reduce your scars.

Essential Oils for Scars – blend recipes and application guide

Single Oil Topical Application

There are two methods for applying a single oil topically. The first is using a dab of pure essential oil, called neat application, but for many oils this is too potent and my cause mild to severe irritation. The second application method is to use a carrier oil. These are mostly inert or supportive oils that you can mix with your essential oil to dilute it for a more practical application regiment.

Quality carrier oils include:

  • Jojoba Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Peach Kernel Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil

As mentioned in the Carrier Oils for Scars section above. Rose Hip, Apricot Kernel, Coconut, and Avocado oils are all extremely beneficial to scar reduction, so they make great carrier oils for scar reducing essential oils.

When mixing together your carrier oil and your essential oil the recommended dilution ratio is 12 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil.

Application of single essential oils for scars depends on the essential oil used, as well as, the age and type of scar it is applied to. Try using oils once to twice daily, if symptoms worsen either reduce applications or stop all together. If symptoms don’t get better try to slowly increase application, but don’t exceed 5 times daily. Even though these are essential oils to aid in skin health and scar healing, it is still possible to cause irritation and sensitivity by over-use of them.

Essential Oil Massage

  1. Mix your essential oil with a carrier oil, to dilute it.
  2. Place a couple of drops of diluted EO to your hand (if your scar is very small you may only want to place a drop on a finger tip)
  3. Rub over your scar for a few minutes
  4. Repeat daily for 2 weeks, Skip 2 weeks, then repeat.

Essential Oil Bath

  1. Mix 20 drops of essential oil to 1/4 cup Espom salt or milk in a non-reactive container
  2. Add mixture to bath water as it is filling
  3. Get in and enjoy

Essential Oil Blend Recipes

Essential Oil Scar Preventing Blend

  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice (recommended oil: rose hip oil, peach kernel oil, or apricot kernel oil)
  • 2 drops angelica oil
  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • 2 drops geranium oil

The pain relief of angelica oil, mixed with the scar-preventative properties of geranium oil, and the soothing relief of lavender make this blend great for a fresh burn that you’re currently treating. It’s also highly anti-bacterial in the event your burn blisters and opens. Using peach kernel oil is a nice addition for the sensitivity of a fresh burn. Just mix these all together in a non reactive container and apply twice daily until your burn has healed (about a weeks time)

Essential Oil Scar Diminishing Blend

  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice (recommended oil: rose hip oil, peach kernel oil, or apricot kernel oil)
  • 3 drops frankincense oil
  • 3 drops myrrh oil
  • 3 drops angelica oil

Use this blend for old scars, whether they’re from burns or other wounds. Both frankincense and myrrh act as skin smoothing agents that can reduce scar tissue. Apply this blend once a day for two weeks, then stop application for two weeks and repeat. Follow this schedule for a few months and you should see your scar diminish.

We are always adding more and more about how essential oils work with each other, and with our bodies. Check back regularly for more information or join our mailing list for updates straight to your mailbox!

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