Camphor Oil For Skin Care – Benefits & Uses

Skincare is immortal, but in our modern lifestyle, the significance of skincare has become increasingly evident. Daily exposure to pollution, stress, and other factors puts the skin at risk. On the other hand, the pursuit of healthy, radiant skin isn’t just about one’s outside look, it’s a fundamental aspect of self-care and overall health.

With so many products available for skincare, there is a growing awareness of natural and organic skincare remedies. Organic oils have emerged as powerful allies in this fight for healthier skin. Among these, Camphor Oil is considered to be one of the best for its myriad benefits in skincare routines. Known for its soothing and rejuvenating properties, Camphor Oil offers a complete approach to skincare, providing both nourishment and protection. Let’s comprehend the wonders of Camphor Oil and its role in promoting skin health and vitality.

About Camphor Oil for Skin

Camphor Oil, though not as widely recognized as some other oils for skincare, has a plethora of benefits and versatile uses in skincare. Steam distillation is the process used to extract the oil. Derived from the wood of the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora), this oil has been treasured for centuries for its medicinal and therapeutic properties. It is from East Asia, particularly from parts of China and Japan, and has long been revered in traditional medicine and cultural practices.

In skincare (& health care), pure camphor oil offers a range of benefits owing to its natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. It is used for its ability to soothe irritated skin, alleviate itching, and reduce redness and inflammation, making it particularly beneficial for those with sensitive or problematic skin conditions such as eczema or acne. One of the key uses of camphor oil is in relieving muscle and joint discomfort. It has a cooling effect along with analgesic properties that make it a popular choice for massage oils and balms aimed at soothing sore muscles and easing tension. The oil is an ingredient in many beauty products. A review article has been published that looks into the health-related properties of camphor oil. [1]

Camphor oil is often incorporated into skincare formulations for its purifying and cleansing effects. It helps to unclog pores, regulate sebum production, and combat bacteria that can lead to acne breakouts. Its refreshing aroma can have a calming effect on the mind, making it a popular ingredient in aromatherapy blends aimed at promoting relaxation and stress relief.

While camphor oil may not be as well-known or even easily available as some other oils, its popularity is on the rise, thanks to its impressive array of skincare benefits. From ancient medicinal practices to modern skincare products and routines, camphor oil continues to prove its worth as a versatile and effective natural remedy for promoting healthy, radiant skin.

Benefits of Camphor Oil for Skin

Camphor oil has a multitude of benefits for the skin, making it a valuable addition to skincare routines. Here are some of the benefits of camphor oil for skincare:

  • Soothing and Calming Properties: Camphor oil possesses soothing properties that can help alleviate skin irritation, itching, and inflammation. Its cooling sensation provides relief to red irritated skin, making it particularly beneficial for conditions like itchiness, swelling, eczema, dermatitis, and even insect bites. It is because of these properties that the oil is used in skin care products. 
  • Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: The oil of camphor has natural antiseptic properties, which helps combat bacteria and fungi that can lead to skin infections and acne breakouts. Hence, it effectively cleanses the skin, thereby preventing the proliferation of harmful microorganisms and promoting clearer, healthier skin. These properties are also helpful in treating toenail fungus.
  • Reduces Acne: Camphor oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it efficient in treating acne. It helps unclog pores, reduces excess oil production, and soothes inflammation, thus leading to a reduction in acne lesions and also preventing future breakouts.
  • Promotes Circulation: When applied topically (along with a good massage), camphor oil can stimulate circulation in the skin. Better circulation brings vital nutrients and oxygen to skin cells, promoting cell regeneration and overall skin health. This enhanced circulation also contributes to a healthy, radiant complexion.
  • Relieves Muscle and Joint Aches: Camphor oil’s analgesic properties make it beneficial for relieving muscle and joint pain (general pain relief). When applied topically, it helps soothe sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and lessens discomfort that often accompanies conditions like arthritis and muscle strains. A massage with camphor oil generates a warmth that is useful for muscle aches. Massaging with products containing camphor essential oil including cream, lotions and ointments stimulate nerve endings and improve blood circulation.
  • Skin Cleansing and Purifying: Camphor oil has properties that help remove dirt, impurities, and excess oil from the skin. It can be used as a natural astringent to tighten pores and tone the skin, leaving it clean, refreshed, and revitalized. It also has a nice fragrance that helps relax.
  • Anti-aging Benefits: With its antioxidant properties, camphor oil helps protect the skin from free radical damage, which can accelerate the aging process. Regular use of camphor oil may help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, promoting a more youthful complexion.

Overall, camphor oil gives us a range of benefits for skin health and can be a valuable asset in maintaining clear, smooth, and radiant skin. However, it’s essential to use it in moderation and dilute it properly to avoid potential skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. The journal Phytotherapy Research published a study conducted on the effect of camphor oil on wrinkle formation and wound healing. [2]

How to Use Camphor Oil for Skincare

Incorporating camphor oil into your skincare routine is simple and can yield numerous benefits for your skin. Here are several ways to use camphor oil effectively:

1. Spot Treatment for Acne

Dilute a small amount of camphor oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, and apply it directly to acne-prone areas using a cotton swab or clean finger tips. The antibacterial properties of camphor oil help combat acne-causing bacteria and reduce skin inflammation.

2. Facial Steam

Add a few drops of camphor oil to a bowl of hot water and create a facial steam. Next, lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel to trap the steam, and allow the camphor-infused steam to open up your pores, cleanse the skin, and promote circulation. This can help clear congestion, detoxify the skin, and improve overall complexion.

3. DIY Face Mask

Mix a few drops of camphor oil with natural ingredients like honey, yogurt, or mashed banana or avocado to create a homemade face mask. Apply the mask to clean skin, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. This mask can help hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy glow.

4. Massage Oil

Blend camphor oil with a carrier oil, such as almond oil or grapeseed oil, and use it as a massage oil for sore muscles / joints or tired feet. The warming sensation of camphor oil can help relieve tension, improve circulation, and soothe muscle aches and pains.

5. Diffusion Aromatherapy

Add a few drops of camphor oil to a diffuser or inhale it directly from the bottle to experience its aromatic benefits. The refreshing scent of camphor oil can help alleviate stress, calm the mind, and promote relaxation, contributing to overall well-being.

6. Hair Care

Incorporate camphor oil into your hair care routine by adding a few drops to your hair oil, shampoo or conditioner. Massaging the diluted oil into the scalp can help improve circulation, stimulate hair growth, and alleviate dandruff or scalp irritation.

By following these simple methods, you can harness the benefits of camphor oil to promote healthy, radiant skin and overall well-being.

Camphor oil can be a helpful ingredient in some DIY skincare recipes, but it’s important to use it with caution. Here’s why:

  • Camphor oil is quite potent and can irritate the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin.
  • Only use a few drops diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba, almond, or grapeseed oil.

DIY Recipes with Camphor Oil for Skincare

Here are a couple of DIY recipes with camphor oil for skincare, keeping these precautions in mind:

Recipe #1 – Soothing Muscle Massage Oil:

This recipe used topically can help with muscle aches and pains.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil (like jojoba or almond) with 5-10 drops of camphor oil.
  • Massage the mixture onto sore muscles.

Recipe #2 – Spot Treatment for Minor Blemishes:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of carrier oil with 2-3 drops of camphor oil.
  • Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and dab it directly on blemishes.

Recipe #3 – Camphor Oil Acne Spot Treatment


  • 2-3 drops of camphor oil
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel


  1. In a small bowl, mix 2-3 drops of camphor oil with 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel.
  2. Cleanse your face thoroughly and pat it dry.
  3. Using a cotton swab, apply the mixture directly to acne-prone areas or individual blemishes.
  4. Leave the spot treatment on overnight or for at least 30 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
  5. Follow up with your regular skincare routine.
  6. Repeat this process daily or as needed to help reduce inflammation, kill acne-causing bacteria, and promote clearer skin.

Is There Any Risk in Using Camphor Oil For Skincare

While camphor oil offers numerous benefits for skincare, it’s important to be aware of potential risks associated with its use, especially when used improperly or in high concentrations. Here are some risks to consider:

  • Skin Reactions: Camphor oil is potent and can cause skin irritation, especially when applied directly to the skin or used in high concentrations.
  • Sensitivity: Individuals with sensitive skin may be more prone to adverse reactions to camphor oil.
  • Toxicity: Ingesting camphor oil or applying it to broken or damaged skin can lead to toxicity, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.
  • Children and pets: It’s crucial to keep camphor oil out of reach of children and pets and to avoid using it on open wounds.
  • Respiratory Problems: Inhaling large amounts of camphor oil vapor can irritate the respiratory tract leading to cough and breathe issues.
  • Pregnancy and Nursing: Pregnant or nursing individuals should exercise caution when using camphor oil topically or inhaling it.
  • Interactions with Medications: Camphor oil may interact with certain medications, particularly those metabolized by the liver. It is not to be taken internally.

Overall, while camphor oil can be beneficial for skincare when used appropriately, it’s essential to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines to minimize the risk of adverse reactions or toxicity. If you experience any negative side effects or have concerns about using camphor oil, consult with a healthcare professional.


Camphor oil emerges as a potent yet versatile ally in skincare, offering a spectrum of benefits ranging from soothing irritation to relieving muscle tension. While its efficacy is undeniable, prudent usage and awareness of potential risks are paramount. With proper understanding and application, camphor oil stands as a valuable natural solution, contributing to the pursuit of healthier, glowing skin in harmony with overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does camphor essential oil do for skin?

Camphor essential oil has cooling and soothing properties, making it beneficial for relieving itching, irritation, and inflammation on the skin.

Can I use camphor oil on my face?

Always do a small patch test on an inconspicuous part of your body before using it on the face. If there are no side effects, then you can use it on your face, but only after proper dilution. It is always better if you consult a dermatologist before using essential oils on the skin.

Is camphor oil good for skin whitening?

There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that camphor oil is effective for skin whitening. It’s primarily used for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, not for skin lightening.

Is camphor oil good for face skin?

Always consult a dermatologist before using essential oils on the skin, especially on the face.

Is camphor oil irritating to skin?

Camphor oil can be irritating to the skin, especially if used in high concentrations or on sensitive areas. It’s important to dilute it properly and perform a patch test before applying it to larger areas of the skin.