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Oregano Essential Oil Uses for Skin,
Hair, and Aromatherapy


Oregano oil, derived from the leaves of the oregano plant, is a powerful essential oil that has been celebrated for centuries for its numerous health benefits. Packed with potent compounds like carvacrol and thymol, oregano oil offers a wealth of benefits for both skin and hair. 

In this article, we are going to discuss in detail the oregano essential oil benefits for skin and hair. Learn how to use oregano oil effectively for skin and hair. We have also suggested few DIY recipes using oregano oil that you can try to utilize its benefits.

What Is Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano oil is a concentrated liquid that contains the essential compounds found in the oregano plant, particularly from the species Origanum vulgare. This oil is renowned for its powerful antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular choice in both traditional and alternative medicine. The oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation, where steam is used to vaporize the volatile compounds in the oregano leaves, which are then condensed into a liquid form.

Key Components of Oregano Oil

The potency of oregano oil primarily comes from its high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. The most significant active compounds in oregano oil are:

  • Carvacrol: The most abundant phenol in oregano oil, carvacrol is responsible for much of the oil’s antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It’s effective against a wide range of bacteria and viruses, contributing to oregano oil’s reputation as a natural treatment for infections.
  • Thymol: Known for its antiseptic properties, thymol is another phenol found in oregano oil that helps in preventing infections as well as treating fungal infections. Thymol also supports immune function and promotes healing.
  • Terpenes: These include pinene and terpinene, which have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.


Oregano Essential Oil

Botanical Name

Origanum vulgare

Native to

Mediterranean region

Main ingredients

Carvacrol, beta-fenchyl alcohol, gamma terpinene, thymol, p-cymene, thujene


Sharp and herby

Blends well with

Bergamot, cypress, petitgrain, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, cedarwood, rosemary and chamomile essential oils




Cajeput, marjoram or basil essential oil

oregano leaves

Benefits of Oregano Oil for Skin

1. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties

Oregano oil contains phenols, primarily carvacrol and thymol, which possess potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. These compounds disrupt the growth of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and fungi like Candida albicans, which are common pathogens that can cause skin infections. Applying diluted oregano oil to affected areas can help eradicate these pathogens, promoting faster healing and preventing the spread of infection.

2. Anti-inflammatory Effects

The rosmarinic acid found in oregano oil serves as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. This can be particularly beneficial in soothing inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and allergic reactions. By applying a mixture of oregano oil diluted with a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil, users can experience reduced redness, swelling, and irritation.

3. Antioxidant Protection

Oregano oil’s high antioxidant content helps combat oxidative stress in skin cells, which is a primary contributor to aging and cell degradation. Regular application can help neutralize free radicals, thereby protecting the skin from premature aging and improving skin elasticity and overall health.

4. Healing Wounds

Carvacrol in oregano oil not only reduces infection but also stimulates the process of skin regeneration. Applying a diluted solution of oregano oil on cuts, scrapes, or after surgical procedures can enhance wound healing, reduce the risk of infection, and promote faster recovery.

5. Improving Skin Permeability

Oregano oil’s natural terpenes can help enhance skin permeability, allowing for better absorption of vitamins and minerals from skincare products. This property makes oregano oil a valuable addition to moisturizers and serums, enhancing their efficacy and the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

6. Controlling Acne

The antibacterial properties of oregano oil are particularly effective against P. acnes, the bacteria that cause acne. Regular use of a face wash or topical cream containing oregano oil can reduce bacterial growth, control sebum production, and prevent future breakouts.

7. Skin Detoxification

Oregano oil aids in flushing out toxins that can contribute to skin dullness and irritation. Incorporating oregano oil into facial steams or adding it to bathwater can help detoxify the skin, leaving it refreshed and revitalized.

8. Treating Fungal Infections

Oregano oil’s effectiveness against fungal pathogens makes it useful for treating fungal skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm. A foot soak or topical application of oregano oil diluted with a carrier oil can alleviate symptoms and treat the underlying fungal infection.

9. Reducing Scarring

Oregano oil can promote cell turnover and skin regeneration, which can help in the reduction of scars and dark spots. Mixing oregano oil with a healing carrier oil like rosehip oil and applying it to scars can gradually diminish their appearance.

10. Soothing Itchy Skin

The natural analgesic properties of oregano oil provide relief from itching and discomfort associated with skin irritations and allergic reactions. A body lotion infused with oregano oil can offer ongoing relief and comfort.

11. Natural Insect Repellent

The potent aroma of oregano oil is effective at deterring many types of insects. Applying a diluted oregano oil blend to exposed skin or using it in an outdoor diffuser can help keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay, thus acts as natural insect repellent.

Benefits of Oregano Oil for Hair

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Promoting Hair Growth

Oregano oil stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which nourishes the hair follicles and promotes healthier, faster hair growth. Mixing oregano oil with a carrier oil and massaging it into the scalp can invigorate the hair roots and enhance hair volume.

Dandruff Treatment

The antifungal properties of oregano oil make it effective in combating the fungal causes of dandruff and flaky scalp. Regularly massaging a mixture of oregano oil and a soothing carrier oil like jojoba oil into the scalp can alleviate dandruff and maintain scalp health.

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Strengthening Hair

The nutrients and antioxidants in oregano oil help to strengthen hair strands from the root, reducing hair breakage and loss. A hair serum or conditioner enhanced with oregano oil can protect hair from damage and environmental stressors.

Adding Shine

Oregano oil contains essential fatty acids that help to coat the hair shaft, sealing in moisture and smoothing the cuticles, which can make the hair appear shinier and more vibrant. These fatty acids do not just sit on the surface but penetrate the hair follicles, providing nourishment from within. This natural enhancement of the hair’s lipid barrier leads to a noticeable increase in gloss and vibrancy, particularly beneficial for those with dull, lifeless hair. Regular application, especially when mixed with other hair-nourishing oils like argan or almond oil, can transform the overall appearance of your hair, making it look healthier and more lustrous.

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Natural Conditioner

When combined with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil, oregano oil becomes an excellent natural conditioner. Jojoba oil closely mimics the sebum naturally produced by the scalp, which means it can help regulate oil production, while coconut oil is renowned for its deep moisturizing properties. Adding oregano oil enhances these effects with its rich content of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties, ensuring the scalp stays clean and nourished. This mixture can be applied directly to the scalp and hair as a pre-shampoo treatment or used as a leave-in conditioner to provide deep hydration, promote scalp health, and leave the hair soft, manageable, and beautifully conditioned.

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Preventing Premature Graying

The antioxidants in oregano oil, particularly phenolic compounds like rosmarinic acid and thymol, play a crucial role in combating oxidative stress — one of the primary causes of premature graying. These antioxidants protect the hair follicles against damage from free radicals, which can lead to the degradation of melanin cells in the hair follicles. Melanin is responsible for the hair's natural color, and its reduction leads to graying. By using oregano oil, you're essentially helping to preserve these vital cells, thereby delaying the onset of grays and maintaining your hair’s natural pigment for longer.

Soothing Scalp Inflammation

Oregano oil’s anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial for treating various scalp conditions that cause inflammation, such as scalp psoriasis or eczema. The oil’s active ingredients, carvacrol and thymol, are effective in reducing redness, itching, and discomfort associated with these conditions. Application of a diluted oregano oil solution can help soothe the scalp, reduce flakiness, and alleviate symptoms of discomfort. For those with sensitive scalps, oregano oil can be a gentle alternative to harsher chemical treatments that might exacerbate scalp issues.

Different Ways To Use Oregano Oil Benefits

Oregano is a fragrant herb Origanum vulgare, which is a powerhouse of beneficial properties due to its high content of carvacrol and thymol. Its diverse applications in skin and hair care leverage these compounds for therapeutic and cosmetic benefits. Here are various ways to use oregano oil for skin and hair, detailed with specific methods and precautions.

For Skin

Treating Acne and Breakouts

Oregano oil's potent antibacterial properties make it effective against the bacteria that cause acne. To use:

  • Mix one drop of oregano oil with a teaspoon of a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil. This dilution is crucial as the oil is highly concentrated.
  • Apply the mixture directly to blemishes using a cotton swab. Avoid applying it over large areas of skin.

Soothing Inflammatory Skin Conditions

Oregano oil can help reduce symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, and other inflammatory skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Mix two to three drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil of your choice and apply it to affected areas. Regular applications can soothe inflammation and irritation.

Enhancing Skin Health

Rich in antioxidants, oregano oil can improve skin health by neutralizing free radicals that cause aging and skin damage.

  • Add a drop of oregano essential oil to your regular moisturizer or a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply it to your skin to harness its antioxidant properties.

Fungal Infections

Due to its antifungal properties, oregano oil is effective against fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

  • Combine one part oregano oil with three parts of carrier oil and apply it to the affected area twice daily. Ensure the mixture does not come into contact with non-infected skin.

For Hair

Promoting Hair Growth and Reducing Hair Loss

Oregano oil may improve the health of your scalp and stimulate hair growth due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

  • Mix a few drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil like olive or almond oil and massage it into your scalp. This stimulates blood flow and combats any scalp issues that might be contributing to hair loss.

Treating Dandruff

The antifungal qualities of oregano oil make it beneficial for treating dandruff and other scalp issues.

  • Prepare a scalp treatment by mixing a few drops of oregano oil with your regular shampoo or with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Use this mixture to shampoo your hair, focusing on the scalp. Rinse thoroughly.

Conditioning Treatment

Oregano oil can also serve as a deep conditioning treatment to strengthen the hair and enhance its shine.

  • Add 5-6 drops of oregano oil to a quarter cup of a carrier oil and apply it as a hair mask. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before shampooing as usual. This can be done weekly to maintain healthy, vibrant hair.

DIY Recipes Using Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano oil is a potent essential oil known for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a versatile addition to both skin and hair care routines.

Recipe #1 - Oregano Oil Acne Treatment


  • 1 part oregano oil
  • 9 parts jojoba oil 


  1. Combine one drop of oregano essential oil with nine drops of carrier oil in a small bottle or container.
  2. Shake well to ensure the oils are thoroughly mixed.
  3. After cleansing your face, apply the mixture directly onto blemishes with a cotton swab. Avoid using all over the face.

Benefits: This spot treatment utilizes the antibacterial properties of oregano essential oil to combat acne-causing bacteria, while jojoba mimics the skin’s natural oils, reducing excess oil production. The mixture should not be applied directly onto the skin without proper dilution due to the potent nature of oregano oil.

Recipe #2 - Oregano Oil for Hair Growth Scalp Treatment


  • 2-3 drops oregano essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil 


  1. Warm the coconut oil slightly and mix it with the oregano oil in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your scalp and gently massage for several minutes to improve circulation.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes or overnight for deep conditioning.
  4. Wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo.

Benefits: This tonic leverages the stimulating effects of oregano oil on the scalp to promote hair growth and reduce dandruff. The coconut oil moisturizes the scalp and hair, preventing dryness and irritation.

Recipe #3 - Oregano Oil Anti-Aging Facial Serum


  • 2 drops oregano essential oil
  • 10 ml of argan oil 
  • 10 ml of rosehip oil


  1. In a dark glass dropper bottle, combine the oregano oil with argan and rosehip oils.
  2. Close the bottle and shake well to blend.
  3. Each evening, after cleansing your face, apply 2-3 drops of the serum to your face and neck, avoiding the eye area.

Benefits: This serum utilizes the antioxidant properties of oregano, argan, and rosehip oils to protect the skin against environmental damage and reduce signs of aging. Argan and rosehip oils are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins, nourishing the skin and improving elasticity.

Recipe #4 - Oregano Oil Foot Soak for Fungal Infections


  • 5-6 drops of the oil of oregano
  • Warm water in a foot bath
  • 1/2 cup of Epsom salt


  1. Fill a foot basin with warm water and add Epsom salt.
  2. Add the drops of oregano oil and stir to combine.
  3. Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes, then dry thoroughly.

Benefits: This foot soak uses the antifungal properties of oregano oil to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Epsom salt helps to relax and reduce inflammation in the feet, while oregano oil works to eliminate fungal pathogens.

Side Effects Of Oregano Oil And Safety Precautions

Oregano oil, known for its robust antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, is extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant. While it offers a range of health benefits, particularly for the skin and hair, it's crucial to use it correctly to avoid potential side effects. Here's a detailed look at the side effects associated with oregano oil and the safety precautions that should be taken.

Side Effects of Oregano Oil

  1. Skin Irritation: One of the most common side effects of oregano oil is skin irritation, including redness, itching, or rash. This typically occurs when the oil is not properly diluted before application.

  2. Allergic Reactions: As with many essential oils, there is a risk of allergic reactions. Symptoms can include dermatitis, hives, or severe skin irritation. This can happen even with diluted use, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin or those allergic to plants in the Lamiaceae family, to which oregano belongs.

  3. Internal Irritation: If ingested improperly, oregano oil can cause gastrointestinal upset such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Taking oregano oil internally without proper dilution or guidance from a healthcare provider can be harmful.

  4. Interactions with Medications: Oregano oil may interact with certain medications, including anticoagulants and anti-diabetic drugs, due to its blood-thinning properties and ability to affect blood sugar levels.

Safety Precautions


  • Oil Must Be Diluted: To prevent skin irritation and systemic toxicity, oregano oil should never be applied directly to the skin or taken internally without adequate dilution. It is potent and rich in phenolic compounds, which can be caustic in their concentrated form.

  • Carrier Oil and Applied Topically: When using oregano oil for skin applications, it should always be diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut, or olive oil. A safe dilution ratio is typically 1 part oregano oil to 3 parts carrier oil, depending on the application and individual skin sensitivity.


  • Oregano Oil Diluted with Water: For use in aromatherapy or as a mist, dilute a few drops of the oil in a significant amount of water. This mixture can be used in a spray bottle for direct application to the skin or for aromatic benefits.

  • Applied to the Skin: When applying oregano oil topically, always perform a patch test first to ensure there is no adverse reaction. Apply a small amount of the diluted oil to a part of the skin that is not overly sensitive, such as the forearm.

Internal Use

  • Taking Oregano Oil: If you choose to take oregano oil internally, it should only be under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Ensure it is adequately diluted in a liquid or used in a capsule form designed for internal use.

General Use

  • Oregano Oil Can Be Used Cautiously: Recognize that while essential oil of oregano is beneficial for many dermatological and health conditions, it should be used with caution. Educate yourself about its properties, potential effects, and proper use scenarios.

  • Oregano Essential Oil Has Shown Promise: While research supports the efficacy of oregano oil in various therapeutic applications, its concentrated nature demands respect and careful handling.


In conclusion, the benefits and uses of oregano oil are vast and potent, particularly when it comes to enhancing the health and appearance of hair and skin. Oregano oil is extracted from the fragrant leaves of the oregano plant, and thus oregano oil is rich in powerful compounds such as carvacrol and thymol. These components imbue oregano oil with remarkable antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a prized asset in natural health and beauty regimes.

Oregano oil can be combined effectively with carrier oils to create nourishing blends for the skin and hair. These blends are not only beneficial for addressing a range of skin issues but also for promoting healthy hair growth and scalp health. The thymol in oregano oil is especially notable for its ability to soothe irritations and combat pathogens, providing a natural solution for those seeking to enhance their skin and hair care routines.

Moreover, the antioxidant properties of oregano essential oil make it a powerful tool against environmental damage and aging, preserving skin’s youthfulness and vitality. When used appropriately, oregano oil can be a transformative element in your beauty arsenal, offering natural solutions to enhance your skin and hair’s health.

To harness the full potential of oregano oil, it is important to understand its proper application and safety guidelines. Whether you are using oregano oil for hair and skin or incorporating it into health practices, the benefits of this potent essential oil can bring about significant improvements when integrated thoughtfully into your daily routine.

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