Natural remedies have been a part of my life since I was very young. My mom has always instilled in my siblings and I, a respect for and knowledge about how basic, natural products can be extremely beneficial to health–both inside and out. While I have long been familiar with essential oil skin care benefits, for one week, twice a day, I used only essential oils on my skin and here's what happened.

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Amber Holte

Transitioning to an essential oil skin care routine did not simply mean slathering a bunch of tiny bottles of oil on my face and hoping for the best. Different oils have very different purposes, and it is important to do your research before you begin.

1. Coconut Oil

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Amber Holte

Coconut oil has dozens of uses, including skincare. In the spirit of full disclosure, one of the products I used was coconut oil, which is technically a "carrier oil" and not an essential oil, but hang in there with me. I use this as a first step because it is highly effective in removing makeup and dirt from your skin. I simply scoop a bit out of the jar, and warm it up between my fingers. Then, I rub it all over my face to cleanse it, then remove the oil with a warm, wet cloth.

This method is cheap, easy, and gentle on skin. Coconut oil can be picked up at virtually any grocery store or Target near you. It also doesn't hurt to have a face wash that can also be used for everything from cooking to dandruff reduction. 

2. Lavender Oil

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Amber Holte

Lavender oil is often considered the most versatile of all essential oils. Besides reducing stress, cleansing cuts and smelling just delightful, it can be used to reduce puffiness and discoloration under one's eyes. After cleansing, I like to take a drop of diluted lavender oil and used my fingers to apply it under and around my eyes.

3. Rose Geranium Water

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Amber Holte

The calming effects of rose oil have been taken advantage of for centuries. As a toner, I spray my face and neck with a very basic rose geranium water. This step helps to reduce redness caused by blemishes and irritation. It also makes you smell like you just showered in an enchanted forest, and that's always a plus.

If you can't find a rose water spray, it's easy to make your own by combining a few drops of rose oil with a cup of water in your own spray bottle, or simply dab the combo on your face with a cotton ball.

4. Jojoba Oil

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Amber Holte

The oils that human skin produces are very unique, and jojoba oil is the closest plant-based match, which makes it an excellent moisturizer. In the past, I often used lotions for this step, so switching to an oil definitely took some getting used to. 

I apply this step by putting a few drops of the oil in my hand, and patting it into my skin. At first it may seem oily, but after a couple of minutes it will soak in and leave your skin feeling very moisturized. Jojoba oil can be a bit hard to come by, so if you can't find it, coconut oil is a good substitute for this step.  

5. Tea Tree Oil

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Amber Holte

The benefits of tea tree oil on skin conditions is wide reaching. It has been known to treat everything from warts, to athlete's foot and lice. Needless to say, acne and spots don't stand a chance after using tea tree oil. I use this as a spot treatment by putting a drop on a cotton swab and dabbing it on any affected areas in a magic wand-type fashion.

The Results

While I have taken advantage of essential oil skin care benefits for quite some time, by using these oils twice a day there was a definite, noticeable difference in my skin health after one week. While hormones, diet and exercise are among the many factors that effect skin clarity, from an external standpoint, this routine was very effective.

Despite having finals approaching, and stress levels at an all-time high, I noticed a reduction in darkness under my eyes. Clarity, redness and texture were also improved. Overall, I highly recommend incorporating essential oils into your skincare routine, be it these ones or others.

Essential oils can be bought on dozens of websites online (be sure to vet a site for good reviews and oil purity before buying), as well as at stores such as Target or some local grocers. Personally, I buy mine near the U of MN campus at Magus Books and Herbs in Dinkytown, and I highly recommend this option for students living in the area.