It can be a little disconcerting to look in the mirror and notice those fine lines and sunspots. But, unfortunately, your skin is one of the first places where the ravages of time become visible. So is there any way to outrun the ticking clock? While healthy habits like avoiding harsh cleansers and cosmetics and using a moisturizer and sunscreen are critical to keeping your skin looking and feeling young for longer, some natural remedies can chip in too. Frankincense essential oil, distilled from the resin of the frankincense tree, is one such skin ally you can try.
Frankincense has a warm, sweet, earthy fragrance and is used in aromatherapy to support emotional healing, soothe the mind, and focus attention. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic powers and works as an expectorant. Frankincense is great for your skin as well, helping heal scars and treat acne.1 Here’s a closer look at how this essential oil perks up aging skin.
1. Keeps Skin Supple And Reduces Sagging
One of the more noticeable signs of aging is that your skin starts to lose its elasticity and becomes less supple. The elasticity of your skin owes itself to a network of a fiber aptly called elastin. A protease known as elastase is primarily responsible for the breakdown of elastin. Research indicates that boswellic acids present in frankincense oil have anti-elastase activity. So dabbing on a little of this essential oil may be the key to keeping your skin supple.2 3
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2. Combats The Damaging Effects Of The Sun (Photoaging)
Many of the changes that we notice in our skin as we age are brought on by exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. In fact, there’s even a specific term for it – photoaging. Sun exposure can result in fine wrinkles, pigmented spots such as age spots or freckles, uneven skin tone, and rough leathery skin. These changes are usually noticed in areas such as the face, neck, or the back of your hands which are routinely exposed to the sun.4 Frankincense oil can help out here too. According to a study, using a cream containing boswellic acids for a month resulted in significant improvements in a score that measured photoaging in women.5
3. Tackles Fines Lines
Don’t we all wish that we could erase those fine lines that show up on the face with age? Frankincense oil may have some answers there, too. In the study above, treatment with the boswellic acid cream was able to improve the appearance of fine lines as well as skin elasticity when applied once daily for a period of 30 days.6
4. Reduces Age-Related Enlarged Pores
Another effect of aging is enlarged pores. As you age, you lose collagen, the protein that gives skin its structure and keeps it firm. And as you lose collagen, the support structure for your pores becomes looser. Frankincense oil can help keep collagen fibers in your skin intact and fend off enlarged pores.7 8
How To Use Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil can be used on its own in diluted form on your skin. Use a carrier oil such as grapeseed or almond oil and dilute in equal measures. You can also use it in combination with other beneficial ingredients for skin. Here are a couple of ideas to try:
Add To Your Moisturizer: Make frankincense oil a part of your daily skincare routine by adding a few drops to your regular moisturizer before you use it.9
Use In A Facial Mask: Add a drop each of frankincense oil and anti-inflammatory sandalwood oil to 2 teaspoons of hydrating honey. Apply this mask to your face and let it sit for around 15 minutes before rinsing it off. You can use this mask weekly to keep your skin looking and feeling younger.10