Cistus Essential Oil

Cistus Essential Oil to the Rescue of Mature, Stressed Skin (Blends and Tips)

Mature skin can, and it often does, face a lot of problems. It may face dehydration and sensitivity, wrinkles, age spots and irritation. Thankfully, there are natural ways to use to manage these conditions. Although rather unknown, Cistus essential oil is highly valuable from many points of view. It is considered as sacred as Sandalwood, Cedar or Myrrh.


You’ll find here a lot of great information on what this oil can do for your skin. It can help all skin types, but its effects are mostly appreciated for mature ones. I will take its benefits and talk about them in more detail. I will also give you a Cistus blend recipe for each. You can find all of these in the first part of this post.


If you like what you discover along the way, you’ll be able to find out even more about the oil of Cistus in the second part. This oil bears many names. One of them is Labdanum essential oil, which you’re probably more familiar with.


Keep on reading till the end, as you will also find some safety words there. You should always take them into account for each oil, for a safe use. Everyone wants to enjoy the benefits of Cistus essential oil without worrying, right?



Did You Know?

  • Cistus flowers blossom at the same time with lavender and rosemary.


Cistus Essential Oil
White cistus (ladaniferus)


Cistus Essential Oil Benefits and Recipes for Mature Skin


Botanical name: Cistus ladaniferus

Texture: viscous oil.

Color: dark yellow to orange.

Aroma: soft herbaceous and resinous scent with tints of sweet honey. It sometimes has fruity undertones too.

Other names: Gum cistus, Labdanum oil, rock rose.

Shelf life: Four years, give or take. It is influenced by the storage conditions


The benefits of this aromatic essence may exceed all your expectations, especially if you like its aroma. For some it may be too sweet or weird, for others it may be very pleasant. You’ll never know until you take a sniff. Yet, whatever your opinion about its scent is, the fact that it’s extremely beneficial in skin care remains.


The oil of Cistus or Labdanum has:

  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial effects.
  • Antiseptic properties, meaning it can protect from infections.
  • Analgesic (pain relieving) effects.
  • Anti-inflammatory, soothing and calming effects on wounds or cracked skin.
  • Astringent properties, meaning it can make the skin appear more firm and toned.


All these properties are given by its complex chemical composition. The oil is volatile by nature. This means it evaporates fast and its molecules are extremely active. They also work in a complete synergy, delivering all their best effects to the skin.


Cistus essential oil’s chemical profile is made of:


  • 30 – 55% Alpha and beta pinene.
  • 6 – 7% Viridiflorol.
  • 3 – 7% Bornyl acetate.
  • 10% Globulol.
  • 2 – 10% camphene.


I’ve been talking a lot about pinene lately. It is because some essential oils contain them in a higher concentration than others. Such is the case of Hinoki essential oil and its effects on hair loss. It gives the oil its woody and pine-like notes. These molecules are very good antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents.


Viridiflorol is an alcohol that can be found mostly in cistus, tea tree and niaouli. This substance contributes to the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of Cistus oil. It can also help with scars, healing them faster. The substance can also improve the microcirculation.


Bornyl acetate is responsible for the resinous scent of the oil. It is most frequently found in coniferous trees and their essential oils. The substance has pain relieving, sedative and anti-inflammatory effects. It can also act as an antispasmodic and relaxant.


Camphene is another constituent with great medicinal qualities. It is antispasmodic, antibacterial and antifungal. It can also improve the circulation and help scars and bruises heal better.


By now, I guess you can already see the effects of this oil on mature skin. But I will not leave you guessing, and I’m going to start giving you those details you’re interested in. Let’s see how exactly the oil of Cistus can help the mature skin.


Cistus Essential Oil


How to Use Cistus Essential Oil and What are Its Benefits for the Skin


First of all, this aromatic oil can be diffused for 20 – 30 minutes per hour. It can uplift your mood and help your body and mind relax. Just make sure you only use a very small amount, one or two drops at a time. It can be very beneficial for the respiratory system too. Here’re some more inexpensive ways of diffusing essential oils.


But the best way to enjoy its benefits is by blending it with carrier oils and applying it locally. The normal, recommended dose in Aromatherapy is 6 drops of EO per Oz carrier oil. That is a 1% concentration. For face blends and serums, you should not exceed 18 drops of Cistus (3%).


But what is mature skin? It is the type of skin that’s usually seen a lot, from too much sun exposure to an improper hydration and care. It may suffer from dark spots, uneven skin tone and even acne. Unfortunately, this last one is not characteristic only to teenagers.


Stress is also a big factor that causes the skin to look older than it is. It can make it loose its brightness and elasticity a lot faster. Next, you’ll find a few of the common problems that a mature skin type would face at some point.


Of course, it is always better to prevent than to treat. In time, applying daily moisturizers, hydrating your body and getting enough sleep will do miracles for your skin.


Cistus Essential Oil


Mature Skin with Acne


Be it hormones, stress or a poor skin care regimen (or lifestyle), acne may bug you even after the age of 30. Nonetheless, this is not a desperate situation as there are many things you can do and use to get rid of it. Most important would be to find out the cause.


If it is hormonal, then most likely you’ll still have a few breakouts every now and then, especially around your period. But otherwise, the situation can be manageable.


I propose making your own blend after the following recipe and using it every night.

You’ll need:

  • Cistus essential oil: 8 drops
  • Pomegranate essential oil: 6 drops
  • Carrot seed essential oil: 4 drops
  • Argan oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Macadamia oil: 2 tablespoons


Mix the oils in a roll-on bottle or any other recipient you find comfortable to use. Shake it well before each use and apply on a clean, toned skin. I recommend rotating blends after 2 – 3 weeks of use.


All the ingredients have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The carrier oils can nourish your skin, and maintain it supple and firm. If you add a few drops of Immortelle essential oil, this blend is perfect for scars too.



Mature, Sensitive Skin that Reacts Easily


Unfortunately, the use of the wrong products may damage the skin’s natural defense barrier. It may result in a very sensitive skin that gets inflamed and irritated very quickly. It can do so to most of the ingredients you put on it.


Or, on the contrary, after using the wrong products for your skin type for a long time, it may become even more resistant. But that’s not always guaranteed, and you’d want to change its rough aspect anyway.


Cistus essential oil is good at soothing and calming down pain, itchiness, redness and inflammations. It is a great skin conditioner and it can help the skin cells regenerate faster. It is one of the gentlest oils to use for sensitive skin types.


Sensitive and Reactive Skin Treatment

You’ll need:

  • Labdanum (cistus) essential oil: 5 drops
  • German Chamomile essential oil: 5 drops
  • Lavender essential oil: 3 drops
  • Argan oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Rosehip seed oil: 1 tablespoon


Mix all these oils together and shake well before each use. Apply on a clean face, every night and/or morning, depending on how your face feels afterwards.


Cistus Essential Oil


Wrinkles, Age Spots and Dull Complexion


At one point or another we can all face a dull complexion. It may have many causes, which must be addressed on a first basis. Age spots are a depigmentation of the skin because of too much sun exposure. That happens especially when sun protection wasn’t used.


Wrinkles can also be caused by UV light and dehydration. And I’m not talking about fine expression lines here, which are normal. Free radicals are known to damage the healthy cells and cause sagging and loss of elasticity.


All these symptoms can be improved and the aging process delayed with a few good years if you start moisturizing it now. Studies have shown positive results after applying moisturizers on a daily basis also.


Concentrated Beauty Serum for Mature Skin

You’ll need:

  • Cistus essential oil: 10 drops
  • Pomegranate essential oil: 3 drops
  • Neroli essential oil: 7 drops
  • Wheat Germ oil: 1 teaspoon
  • White Lily oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Borage oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Camellia sinensis oil: 1 tablespoon


Apply this face serum each night, or every other week, interchanging it with another blend of your choice. It can be one week acne treatment and the next one the beauty serum, and so on.


All these ingredients will make a potent serum to fight against age spots and uneven skin tone. It can also help fill in deep wrinkles, rejuvenate and tone the skin. This serum is also packed with antioxidants.


Other great anti-aging essential oils you could add to it are Patchouli and Frankincense, Immortelle and Rose.



Did You Know?

  • The smoothing effects of the cistus gum were first noticed by shepherds. The animals would get the resins stuck to their fur while grazing. After they scrubbed the resin off, the shepherds noticed their cuts and skin became softer and healed faster.


Cistus Essential Oil
Violet cistus (albidus)


Facts and More Details about Cistus Essential Oil, plus Safety Concerns


Also known as Labdanum essential oil, Cistus is well-versed and useful in skin care. Its benefits don’t stop or limit there, but I will talk about them more in a future article.


In case you want to know more about it now, here’s your chance. Before I conclude this post, I will also list the oil’s safety measures. Being a concentrated essence, it needs to be handled with care and in moderate doses.


There are many species of cistus plants, about 20 to be exact. Not all yield essential oils and those that do, have a different chemical profile. That in turn, makes them good for various other problems and needs than the one extracted from Cistus ladaniferus.


The rock rose, as they also call cistus, is a highly aromatic and resinous shrub. It grows everywhere in the Mediterranean area in countries like France, Italy, Spain and Greece. But it also grows in Portugal, Morocco and Algeria. The resin of the plants is in fact a gum, from which labdanum is extracted.


Cistus essential oil is a derivative of labdanum, if the solvent extraction method is used. This one will give Cistus absolutes, which are mostly useful in perfumery.


The oil of Cistus is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and stems of the plant with white flowers. The other species have differently colored flowers. It takes up to 20 kilos of plant material to make 1 Liter of essential oil. This is a very potent and concentrated aromatic essence, as you can see. You should never use it undiluted!


To make an idea about their variety, here are a few other cistus species:

  • Cistus ladaniferus (white flowers).
  • Cistus monspeliensis.
  • Cistus salviifolius.
  • Cistus albidus (violet flowers).
  • Cistus crispus.
  • Cistus purpureus.
  • Cistus creticus.


Depending on the area they grow in, some may contain higher amounts of either pinene or camphene. These things should always be stated in the GC/MS report of the seller. If you’re not exactly sure what you’re buying, don’t hesitate to ask them.


Cistus Essential Oil
Cistus crispus


And as usual, you ought to know how to use it safely so I’m going to list below everything you need to know.


Safety Concerns:

  • Always perform a skin patch test before using it in larger quantities. It may trigger allergic reactions.
  • Dilute the oil in carrier oil and use moderate amounts when applying it to the skin.
  • When diffusing the oil of Cistus, you should not pour in more than 2 – 3 drops. Always mix it with a lighter oil like citrus.
  • Do not take it internally, or with anticoagulant medication without medical advice.
  • If you’re pregnant or nursing, you shouldn’t use it the first three months.
  • Keep away from the reach of children and don’t use it on them without medical consent.


To conclude our post here, I must remind you about all the recipes and tips I gave you in the first part. You can use those to try the oil for the first time, or you can adapt and use whatever else you have with Labdanum oil.


You should however, take into account the type of skin you have and the problems you’re targeting. Always use the right ingredients and oils for your skin type! I can’t stress their importance enough.


You can indeed delay the aging process and improve the aspect of whatever bugs you at the moment. Just pick a recipe and buy yourself some pure Cistus essential oil. If you have questions, you know where you can find me. I’d be happy to answer your questions and help you out.


What are your thoughts on this aromatic essence, have you ever used it?



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2 thoughts on “Cistus Essential Oil to the Rescue of Mature, Stressed Skin (Blends and Tips)”

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Whether it’s Cistus or citrus oils, I buy mine from various sources. It’s a matter of preference and who you trust more; just make sure the oils are 100% pure and you get access to the GC/MS report, to check out their chemical composition and extraction method.

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