Most Kiehl’s fans are probably familiar with our signature ingredients, like olive-derived squalane and calendula extract. While those perennial favorites certainly deserve praise, they’re far from the only notable ingredients used in our formulas. Our products contain a wide variety of plant extracts and essential oils, including one intriguing oil that may not be on your radar yet: eucalyptus oil.
Though you may not associate the invigorating, herbaceous scent of eucalyptus with skincare, the reality is that this fragrant plant oil has known benefits for both your skin and hair. Here, we’ll let you in on a few of our favorite eucalyptus oil benefits and explain how to use eucalyptus oil in your self-care routine. You’ll also discover five Kiehl’s favorites made with this energizing plant oil. Keep reading for our guide to the benefits of eucalyptus oil for hair and skin.
What Is Eucalyptus Oil?
Eucalyptus oil is a botanical oil derived from trees and shrubs in the Eucalyptus family. While the name eucalyptus is commonly used to refer to a specific plant (the Eucalyptus globulus tree, which is native to Australia and neighboring islands), the genus encompasses more than 650 distinct species—many of which can be used to make different types of eucalyptus oil.
The oil itself is highly fragrant, with an energizing, herbal aroma. It is steam-distilled from the plant’s mature leaves and contains a unique compound called eucalyptol, which is responsible for giving the oil its signature scent. Many varieties of eucalyptus oil also contain antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols.
What Is Eucalyptus Oil Used For?
Eucalyptus oil has long been used to address a wide range of skin concerns. Historically, the fragrant oil was also used as a natural mosquito repellent. These days, eucalyptus oil is most often utilized for its invigorating fragrance. Though you don’t want to apply undiluted eucalyptus oil to your skin, it’s frequently used in cosmetic products, including body creams and oils, especially those designed for use in aromatherapy.
Editor’s Note: Eucalyptus can be an allergen to some. You may want to consider a patch test, where an ingredient or product is tested on a small area of skin before use, especially if you have a history of reactions to essential oils or topical products.
Eucalyptus Oil Benefits For Skin and Hair
Now that you’re caught up on what eucalyptus oil is, we’ll give you the scoop on its benefits. Keep reading to discover our favorite eucalyptus oil uses and beauty benefits.
Eucalyptus Oil Benefit #1:
Eucalyptus Oil Has Astringent Properties
Eucalyptus oil contains tannins, which are compounds that boast astringent properties. While it shouldn’t be applied to the skin on its own, in cosmetics, it can help clean the skin and hair and reduce excess oiliness.
Eucalyptus oil is found in Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner, which also contains pracaxi oil and sandalwood essential oil. This two-in-one men’s shampoo and conditioner helps remove weighty buildup to thoroughly cleanse the hair. The refreshing formula leaves the scalp feeling hydrated and promotes soft, healthy-looking strands. It’s suitable for all men’s hair types and can be used on facial hair, as well.
Eucalyptus Oil Benefit #2:
It Is an Effective Moisturizer
Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Studies suggest that eucalyptus oil and extract may help strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier.I Like many other oils, it helps trap water in the skin, which can help prevent and relieve dryness as well as related symptoms, like flaking and irritation. As such, it’s often included in skin and body care products designed for dry skin, like Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. The unique, ointment-like formula creates a barrier that helps seal in moisture, protecting your hands from excessive water loss. Over time, it helps restore the appearance of severely dry hands, leaving them feeling noticeably softer and smoother.
Close Shavers Squadron Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion
You’ll also find eucalyptus oil in some face care products, such as Close Shavers Squadron Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion. This creamy shave gel with eucalyptus oil and vitamin E is a men’s shaving must-have. It helps soften tough facial hair and protects the skin from razor irritation, effectively prepping the skin for a close, comfortable shave. The no-lather formula is suitable for all skin types and can be used daily as part of your regular grooming routine.
I. Ishikawa, J et al. “Eucalyptus increases ceramide levels in keratinocytes and improves stratum corneum function.” International journal of cosmetic science vol. 34,1 (2012): 17-22. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2011.00675.x
II. Mamada, A et al. “Changes in hair properties by eucalyptus extract.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science vol. 31,6 (2009): 475. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00531_3.x