What you can do

When it comes to wrinkle treatments, the options seem endless. Should you choose a cream or a lightweight anti-aging moisturizer? What about a vitamin C serum or acid-based gel?

If you’re looking for more natural-based treatments, though, you might consider making your own anti-aging serum with the help of essential oils.

Essential oils can’t get rid of wrinkles, but they can help minimize them. They may also:

  • boost collagen
  • even out skin tone
  • help your complexion
  • reduce inflammation
  • promote skin cell turnover
  • protect your skin from environmental damage

You may already know that antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries and green leafy veggies, can help ward off chronic diseases. This is due to their effects on free radicals.

Antioxidants can also have an impact on wrinkles via essential oils. They work by controlling free-radical scavenging activity. In turn, the essential oils may help prevent the damaging effects of everyday environmental stresses, such as:

  • air pollution
  • sunlight
  • smoke

Essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil before touching the skin.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the different antioxidant bases you can use for your essential-oil wrinkle therapy.


This herb is known for both its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. When it comes to skin health, rosemary’s natural oxidative defenses may help prevent free radicals from causing damage.

Rosemary is also available as an essential oil.

A 2014 study noted significant results within seven days of using rosemary essential oil in 10 mg/kg doses. Rosemary may also help benefit your skin by increasing circulation and reducing overall inflammation. Most benefits are related to alcohol extracts from the leaves.


This powerful antioxidant is high in vitamin C. It’s often found in over-the-counter anti-aging products. According to a 2017 study, lemon essential oil had both antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. However, take care not to expose your skin to the sun after applying lemon or other citrus essential oils.

Clary sage

Sage is a type of evergreen-like shrub. Clary sage, a cousin of traditional sage, is different in both taste and medicinal uses. This plant is sweeter to the taste and smell. According to a 2016 study, clary sage has antioxidant properties that can help prevent DNA and protein damage.

This may translate to anti-aging benefits when used on the skin. Clary sage also has antimicrobial effects.

Wild carrot essential oil

This root vegetable has hidden properties in its seeds. For example, carrot seed has been used in the past as a muscle relaxant and as a low blood sugar remedy. A 2012 study on the effects of rats found that carrot seed also has liver protective properties. The authors of a 2014 study also noted antioxidative activities in the oil.

When it comes to fine lines and wrinkles, moisture is perhaps one of the most important benefits essential oils can offer.

Moisture helps trap water in your skin. As you age, your natural levels of moisture tend to drop. Moisturizing products, such as essential oils, can help. Properly moisturized skin can help improve your overall complexion.

Once your skin has a proper moisture balance, it should become smoother over time. Keeping your skin moisturized can also enhance skin-cell turnover. This can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Roses are among the most popular flowers in the world. Certain species are also used medicinally.

Damask rose extracts have potential antioxidant and antibacterial properties. A 2017 study found that rose oil reduced pain and anxiety. This extract may be especially helpful in skin-cell turnover and renewal, a process that’s important in preventing dull-looking skin.

Rose oil also has anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce redness and stressed-looking skin.


Sandalwood oil has long been known for its anti-inflammatory effects and has been used as such for related skin diseases.

As an essential oil, sandalwood also has moisturizing properties due to naturally occurring emollients, which help keep water in your skin. They can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles by acting as a filler.

Sandalwood’s astringent effects can also promote skin-cell turnover, which helps keep the skin moisturized and free of dead skin-cell buildup.


Geranium extracts have been studied in the past as possible cold remedies. The geranium’s natural anti-inflammatory effects may be useful in treating sinusitis and bronchitis. Geranium has also been studied for its potential moisture balance and skin-cell renewal in people with acne.


Ylang-ylang may not be a commonly known ingredient, but it’s widely used in the fragrance industry.

Indigenous to coastal Asia, ylang-ylang is also being studied for anti-aging properties. According to a 2015 study, the plant’s oils contain antioxidants that can aid in skin renewal.

Researchers looked specifically at ylang-ylang’s ability to help repair damage to the skin’s proteins and lipids. They found significant free-radical scavenging activity by these antioxidants. Because of this potential, more cosmetic companies are adding ylang-ylang to their anti-aging products.


Helichrysum is an aromatic flower that’s indigenous to Asia and Africa. It’s a cousin of the sunflower. Its essential oil may have renewal properties that reduce inflammation.

A 2014 study of people undergoing surgery found that the flower had both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. However, more clinical studies are needed to determine its safety and effectiveness.


Neroli essential oils are made from bitter orange tree flowers. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), bitter orange essential oil can help a variety of skin ailments. These are primarily related to fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and jock itch.

For wrinkle treatment, neroli may help rebuild elasticity in the skin. It may also help generate new skin cells.


The pomegranate has grown popular as a food additive in recent years. However, this complex fruit also has numerous health benefits.

According to one 2014 study, pomegranate oil has the potential to reduce the oxidative stress that leads to free radicals. It may also help reduce:

  • inflammation
  • photoaging or sunspots
  • skin cancer cells


Native to the Middle East and India, frankincense is now one of the most common essential oils worldwide.

Researchers in a 2003 study found that frankincense oil may help reduce or prevent the appearance of sunspots. This can improve skin tone while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles. The oil may also help generate new skin cells.


You may have heard about the benefits of lavender oil for stress and sleep. Lavender oil’s benefits for stress may also extend to the skin. Lavender oil is available in many forms, including essential oils.

Oxidative stress from free radicals can damage the skin. The flower itself has antioxidants to help combat free radicals and reduce overall stress. These effects may also have soothing capabilities for skin that’s stressed out and dull-looking.

Before you apply an essential oil to your skin, it must be diluted in a carrier oil.

A carrier oil can reduce the essential oil’s intensity so that it doesn’t irritate your skin and make the product last longer, allowing you to get more for your money.

Carrier oils also have additional moisturizing benefits, which are key for any wrinkle-fighting skin regimen. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly used carrier oils to see which one might be best for you.


Known for the waxy texture of its seeds, the jojoba plant has been used for a variety of skin ailments since first discovered as a folk medicinal treatment. The rich seeds provide ample moisture, making this a great carrier oil for essential oils. Properly moisturized skin can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Jojoba oil is also used for:

  • acne
  • inflammation
  • skin lesions
  • collagen stimulation

Vitamin E oil

From a nutritional standpoint, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It can even help reduce cholesterol. As an essential oil, vitamin E can also help repair your skin topically.

Researchers have long known that vitamin E oil not only helps even skin tone, but it may also fight free radicals that can lead to skin cancer. In terms of a carrier oil, vitamin E has the potential to boost the rejuvenating effects of essential oils.

Grapeseed oil

Historically, ancient Greeks used this oil for medicinal purposes. Grapeseed oil is now noted for its antioxidant properties.

According to the NCCIH, this form of grapeseed is most commonly used for inflammation and wounds. Like vitamin E oil, grapeseed oil offers both nourishing and rejuvenating potential.

Apricot oil

Apricot oil, like vitamin E and grapeseed oils, may also provide added elements of nourishment and rejuvenation.

In fact, apricot oil already has high levels of vitamin E. The oil isn’t made from the fruit, but from the seeds of the apricot. The seeds contain high levels of linoleic and oleic acids, which are considered essential fatty acids for clear skin.

A 2019 report found that apricot oil’s fatty acid makeup makes it absorb well and ideal for dry skin. If you have both wrinkles and dry skin, this carrier oil may provide some extra benefits.

Almond oil

Almond oil is similar in potency to:

  • vitamin E
  • apricot
  • grapeseed oil

Like these other oils, it also has nourishing and rejuvenating qualities. According to a 2018 study, almond oil has significant anti-inflammatory benefits that are used in related skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.

For anti-aging purposes, almond oil may also improve:

  • complexion
  • dry skin
  • scars
  • skin tone

Avocado oil

Often noted for their heart-healthy fats, avocados also offer more in the way of alternative medicine and skin care. Avocado oil is a natural antioxidant. The oil also seems to have anti-inflammatory effects.

When looking for avocado oil, look for oil made from the seeds. They’re said to have the most collagen-boosting effects.

Argan oil

Argan oil is a rich substance made from argan fruit trees. Indigenous to Morocco, this oil has been historically used for:

  • eating
  • skin care
  • hair care

Today, you can find numerous styling products and creams containing argan.

As a carrier oil, argan oil may help boost skin elasticity in your wrinkle-care regimen.

According to a 2015 study, argan oil improved skin elasticity previously lost in women who were postmenopausal.

Women participating in the study used argan oil daily for two months. The results were more significant compared with women in the control group who used olive oil.

You’ll need to dilute your selected essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice before you apply it to your skin.

You can use a separate bottle for mixing, or you can add the essential oils to the bottle of carrier oil. A good rule of thumb is to use about 10 drops of essential oil per 1/2 ounce of carrier oil.

Once you’ve mixed your serum, it’s a good idea to conduct a patch test. This should always be done before widespread use — especially if you plan to apply the mixture to your face.

To do this, choose a small area of skin that’s away from your face. The inside of your elbow is a popular choice. If you notice any reaction within 24 hours, you could be allergic to the oil and should discontinue use. You can also consider adding fewer drops of essential oils to the mix.

To reap the most anti-aging benefits, you’ll want to use essential oils twice daily. Think of it like a wrinkle cream that you’d need to use daily for maximum results.

Although essential oils are naturally derived from plants, these products aren’t completely risk-free. Plants can cause allergic reactions in some people, even if you don’t normally have plant allergies.

If you’re applying diluted citrus oils to you skin, exposure to sunlight can cause burns. Avoid sunlight if using these oils:

  • lemon
  • grapefruit
  • other citrus fruit essential oils

If you’re allergic to a certain oil, you might experience:

  • hives
  • redness
  • bumps
  • rashes
  • itchiness
  • sneezing
  • runny nose

Anaphylaxis is also possible. This is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction characterized by breathing difficulties and significant swelling. If you think you’re having this type of reaction, seek immediate medical help.

One way to reduce your risk of allergic reaction is to conduct a patch test before use. To be completely sure that an oil won’t cause a reaction, it’s recommended that you test twice daily for up to five days.

Essential oils should not be ingested. It’s also important to remember that essential oils aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety or efficacy. If a product sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

Essential oils may be incorporated into your anti-aging skin-care routine, but it’s important to talk to your dermatologist before using them. Choose other oils to:

  • round out the benefits of essential oils
  • protect the skin from inflammation
  • act as a carrier oil for essential oils

Many of the oils listed above are available as essential oils. Add one to your routine at a time. This can help you avoid reactions to prescription or over-the-counter products you may already be using.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it can take any new wrinkle remedy up to three months to take effect. If you fail to see any improvements after a few months of using essential oils, see your dermatologist. They might recommend other products or treatments.

Before starting a new or adding to your current skin care routine, talk to your doctor or dermatologist to discuss any potential risks or negative interactions.