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Bienfaits cutanés de l'huile essentielle de romarin.

What are the benefits of rosemary essential oil for the skin?

Essential oils are common ingredients in cosmetology. Renowned for its numerous benefits for the skin, rosemary essential oil is incorporated into various skincare formulas. Discover its virtues and skin properties in this article.

The essential oil of rosemary, in brief.

Theessential oil of rosemary is extracted from the aromatic plant Rosmarinus officinalis, more commonly known as rosemary. This essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of rosemary leaves. It is widely used to relieve rheumatic pains, stimulate blood circulation, and soothe digestive disorders. Rosemary essential oil treatments are recommended in the spring and fall to detoxify and stimulate the liver. This essential oil is also recognized for its skin benefits, particularly due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It is primarily composed of terpenes (α-pinene, eucalyptol, camphor, and camphene). These compounds, along with others in lesser quantities, interact synergistically to provide the characteristic benefits of rosemary essential oil.

An anti-inflammatory essential oil.

Rosemary essential oil is composed of a blend of terpenes, including eucalyptol, which is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. A study conducted on rats revealed that eucalyptol significantly inhibited the production of cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-4, and IL-5 in lymphocytes, as well as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 in monocytes. These cytokines, particularly TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, play a role as pro-inflammatory mediators in the inflammatory process.

Furthermore, the α-pinene and borneol, found in rosemary essential oil, also contribute to its anti-inflammatory activity. The α-pinene works by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of NF-kappa B and reducing inflammatory markers, while borneol suppresses the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

By inhibiting these pro-inflammatory cytokines, rosemary essential oil helps to reduce inflammation and can therefore be beneficial in alleviating symptoms associated with inflammatory issues such as arthritis, muscle pain, joint pain, and skin conditions like theacne or the psoriasis.

An antioxidant essential oil.

Rosemary essential oil possesses antioxidant properties that may be beneficial for combating oxidative stress. This property aids in the fight against the body's production of free radicals. Indeed, 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, and β-pinene are three components of this essential oil that have a free radical scavenging activity. Their role is to combat free radicals, which are unstable molecules with a free electron. As a reminder, they are responsible for the degradation of skin cell constituents such as the elastin and the collagen. The result is a loss of elasticity, typically manifesting as premature cell aging and the appearance of wrinkles. The active ingredients in rosemary essential oil neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to them.

Furthermore, the role of antioxidants is to form a protective barrier on the skin's surface to shield it and prevent oxidative stress. This phenomenon is equivalent to an excessive multiplication of free radicals following external aggression (exposure to UV rays, pollution, etc.).

An antibacterial essential oil.

Numerous studies have been conducted to assess the antibacterial activity of rosemary essential oil. These research findings have shown that this oil exhibits inhibitory activity against the growth of certain bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium that is present in larger quantities during acne.

The inhibitory effect of rosemary is the result of the action of rosmarinic acid, rosmaridiphenol, carnosol, epirosmanol, carnosic acid, rosmanol, and isorosmanol. These compounds can hinder the growth and multiplication of bacteria by disrupting their metabolism. They interact with the cellular membrane, causing alterations to genetic material and nutrients, disrupting electron transport, and causing leakage of cellular components. Additionally, they produce an interaction with the membrane proteins that results in the loss of membrane functionality and structure. Other studies have also shown that camphor and borneol present in the essential oil inhibit Gram-positive bacteria by inducing changes in the bacteria's metabolism. However, specific information on this topic is limited.

Thus, rosemary essential oil can be used in skincare formulations to help treat skin conditions caused by bacteria, such as acne and other skin infections.

An astringent essential oil.

Some sources suggest that rosemary essential oil may have astringent properties, which could help tighten the skin's pores, reducing the likelihood of hair follicle blockage by sebum, which is responsible for the formation of comedones (blackheads) and pimples.

It is, however, important to note that to date, no scientific study has demonstrated that the application of rosemary essential oil has visible beneficial effects on the occurrence of comedones or pimples.


FU Y. & al. Investigation of antibacterial activity of rosemary essential oil against Propionibacterium acnes with atomic force microscopy. Planta Medica (2007).

OJEDA-SANA A. M. & al. New insights into antibacterial and antioxidant activities of rosemary essential oils and their main components. Food Control (2013).

RAŠKOVIĆ A. & al. Antioxidant activity of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oil and its hepatoprotective potential. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014).

NIETO G. & al. Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, L.): A Review. Medicines (2018).

WINKELMAN W. Aromatherapy, Botanicals, and Essential Oils in Acne. Clinics in Dermatology (2018).

MOLINER C. & al. Rosemary Flowers as Edible Plant Foods: Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Properties in Caenorhabditis elegans. Antioxidants (2020).


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