Frankincense Essential Oil - Warm, Relaxing, Skin-Loving

By Hannah Kohut

A bottle of essential oil with frankincense resin

Frankincense often brings to mind the holiday season. It has a warm, spicy, woodsy scent and is central to many cultural traditions. This essential oil has been around for centuries, going back to ancient Egypt, and is currently used for aromatherapy and certain ailments and skin conditions. It’s also great for mood balancing, calming, and grounding.

Botany of Frankincense

Frankincense trees in Salalah, Oman

Frankincense (Boswellia) essential oil comes from the sap of Frankincense trees, which are native to the Middle East, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa. Frankincense’s essential oil is made from the tree’s milky-looking sap. 

History and Traditional Uses of Frankincense

Frankincense burning on a hot coal. Frankincense is an aromatic resin, used for religious rites, incense and perfumes, incense smoke

While frankincense has its literal roots in the Middle East, its name comes from the French term “franc encens,” which means a pure incense. Frankincense was used in Medieval times as an incense in religious settings and used by the ancient Egyptians in the mummification process. It has been of social and economic importance for centuries.

Traditionally, frankincense essential oil has been used as a home fragrance, with cultural beliefs that it can cleanse the home and possibly bring good health just from its scent, and has been found in ancient cosmetics such as eyeliners and perfumes.

Popular Uses of Frankincense Essential Oil

Young Black woman in towel wrap holding bottle of essential oil in hand

Relaxation and Anti-Anxiety

Frankincense essential oil is popular in aromatherapy for its relaxation qualities. The warm, woodsy scent is great for the colder weather and can help create a calming, cozy environment.

How to use

Add a few drops of frankincense essential oil to your bath, or dab it on a cloth mixed with a carrier oil such as avocado oil and apply to your pulse points. Also, try mixing a few drops into an unscented lotion or an oil diffuser and keep in your powder or guest room for a relaxing treat for holiday visitors.

Enhances Mood

Frankincense is an all-around winner when it comes to mood enhancement, and is a great grounding tool when you need to calm your mind and focus. In fact, frankincense has been cited in a study on the effectiveness of aromatherapy for mood symptoms.

How to use

Add a few drops to an essential oil diffuser and let the aroma fill the room before your meditation or yoga practices.

Skin Health

Frankincense essential oil can be great at promoting the look of healthier skin by reducing uneven skin tone. It is also used as an anti-aging skincare additive, and can be helpful with reducing the appearance of blemishes.

How to use

Add a couple drops of frankincense essential oil to your favorite moisturizer, or try the Boswellia Wrinkle Cream.

Hair Care

You can help keep hair shiny and moisturized with frankincense essential oil. By keeping your hair and scalp smooth, it may even ward off dandruff or dry scalp.

How to use

Make a hair mask with coconut oil and a few drops of frankincense essential oil. Apply to dry or towel-dried hair for five minutes and rinse well.

Frankincense Essential Oil Precautions

Be careful of signs of allergic reactions, such as hives and itchy skin. Start with one drop at a time to learn your skin’s tolerance for frankincense essential oils, and never start with a large amount.

Always spot-check essential oils before topical application to check for sensitivity and limit diffusing time. Essential oils, although natural, are very potent substances with the potential for unforeseen side effects. It’s also important to know that statements in this post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Adding Frankincense to Your Essential Oil Collection

Frankincense essential oil is wonderful to have on hand for your relaxation and beauty needs. Pick up some of this aromatic oil today to discover your new favorite ways to use it. 

Shop our entire line of essential oils and diffusers to find the newest must-haves for your collection.

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