For more than 5,000 years, frankincense (dubbed the “king of oils”) has been considered a rare treasure, as precious as gold—and in ancient times, just about as expensive. Perhaps the reason frankincense has always been held in such high esteem is that health truly is wealth—and this naturally occurring botanical substance enhances well-being in so many wonderful ways.
Thankfully, it’s no longer necessary to be a king or queen to indulge yourself with frankincense on a regular basis. Today frankincense essential oil is not only widely available—it’s also very affordable! Discover the many frankincense oil benefits in your future when you use this remarkable oil to feel like royalty every day of the year.
Frankincense is a natural resinous sap that comes from the Boswellia tree, which grows in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. It’s distinctive scent is exotic, with sweet and citrusy tones that are both calming and uplifting.
To harvest frankincense, the bark of the Boswellia tree is cut to release the resin inside. Once enough resin has oozed out and hardened, it can then be scraped off and used in its solid form—or it can be steamed to create a convenient essential oil.
Frankincense Essential Oil Uses
Whether you use frankincense oil for skincare, aromatherapy, or general wellness, this versatile oil lives up to its royal reputation. Here are seven special ways frankincense can help you feel vibrantly revitalized—and also absolutely gorgeous.
1. Say Goodbye to Stress
When life’s daily stressors drag you down, the gentle scent of frankincense inspires a feeling of calm composure—without compromising your alertness or causing the kind of negative side effects associated with certain prescription medications. Research shows that inhaling frankincense has a positive, relaxing effect on mood and stress levels, making it a safe and natural choice to help you sail through frantic days with serenity and grace.1
To handle the most hectic of days, add a drop or two of frankincense essential oil to a diffuser or vaporizer in a well-ventilated room. Enjoy this scent alone, or add a drop of a complementary relaxing oil, such as lavender.
2. Look Radiantly Beautiful at Any Age
Damaging free radicals, environmental toxins, and just the passage of time can wreak havoc on the appearance of your skin. Frankincense essential oil can help you hang onto your healthy good looks by fighting unwanted signs of age on multiple fronts. As a powerful antioxidant, it keeps free radicals in check—and its boswellic acids work hard to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen to keep skin looking agelessly smooth, supple, and plump decade after decade.2,3,4
Some of the most unwelcome skin changes we see in later years are actually a result of overexposure to UV rays rather than natural aging. After spending too much time in the sun, skin begins to take on a leathery, uneven, spotted, and wrinkly appearance through a process often referred to as photoaging.
The good news is that even if you’re already starting to see the evidence of past sun-worshiping days when you look in the mirror, frankincense oil can help ease the consequences of a former sunbathing habit. In a recent study, 15 photoaged women were given a cream containing boswellic acids to apply to only one side of their faces for 30 days. At the end of the month, the changes were noticeable. As compared to the untreated side, the facial areas where frankincense was applied daily showed significant improvement in elasticity, and texture—as well as a reduction in sebum excretion and the appearance of fine lines.5
To reveal your timeless beauty, mix a few drops of frankincense into your favorite moisturizer or into a carrier oil that also brings out the best in mature skin, such as rosehip or argan oil. Massage into your face after cleansing in the morning and repeat at bedtime.
3. Calm Your Complexion
If occasional breakouts, redness, and irritation make you want to cancel your plans and stay inside, frankincense oil can get you ready to face the world again. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties support calm, healthy skin, so the first thing people will notice when they see you is your fresh, clear face and genuine smile.6,7,8
To bring out your flawless complexion, add a few drops of frankincense essential oil to your favorite carrier oil (jojoba and tamanu oil are both great for encouraging calm, clear skin!), or to your daily moisturizer. Massage into skin once or twice a day after cleansing.
4. Sleep Like a Baby
If you find yourself tossing and turning when you’d rather be getting some much-needed beauty sleep, breathing in the relaxing scent of frankincense may help transport you to the arms of the sandman for the night. In one recent study, almost two-thirds of participants experienced improved sleep quality following an aromatherapy routine that included frankincense.10
Jumpstart your journey to dreamland by setting up a diffuser or vaporizer with one or two drops of frankincense oil, and running it wherever you spend your evenings, about 45 minutes or so before bedtime. If sleep is still elusive, feel free to bring your aromatherapy into your bedroom for the night.
5. Soothe Tired Muscles and Joints
After intense workouts, or at other times when muscles and joints just feel tired and achy, a luxurious frankincense massage provides the perfect rejuvenating touch.11,12,13
To put the bounce back in your step—and the fun back in your active lifestyle—mix a few drops of frankincense oil into a carrier oil and rub gently into sore or tender areas.
7. Make Your Home Sparkle Without Toxic Chemicals
Cleaning your house doesn’t have to mean a hard choice between hygiene and safety when you turn to natural antimicrobials like frankincense to sanitize home surfaces, instead of commercial cleaning products. Simply add 12 drops of frankincense oil to a cup of water, along with a half cup of vinegar, six drops of tea tree oil, and 5 drops of lemon oil for a fragrantely clean and fresh home without the unpleasant health effects many common household cleaning chemicals can bring.
Choosing the Best Frankincense Essential Oil
To fully enjoy the gift of frankincense oil, be sure to choose a steam-distilled, small batch, 100% organic, single-ingredient product such as Valentia, that’s also cruelty-free, sustainable sourced, and free of parabens, sulfates, preservatives, coloring, or artificial additives of any kind.
Every tiny drop of precious frankincense bestows valuable and lasting gifts to enhance your natural beauty, your health, and your well-being. As soon as you inhale that very first whiff, you’ll be glad you decided that you’re worthy of the royal treatment.
1. Moussaieff, A., Rimmerman, N., Bregman, T., Straiker, A., Felder, C. C., Shoham, S., … Mechoulam, R. (2008). Incensole acetate, an incense component, elicits psychoactivity by activating TRPV3 channels in the brain. The FASEB Journal, 22(8), 3024-3034. doi:10.1096/fj.07-101865
2. Beghelli D, Isani G, Roncada P, et al. Antioxidant and Immune System Regulatory Properties of Extracts. (2017). Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity., 2017:7468064.
3. Thring, T. S., Hili, P., & Naughton, D. P. (2009). Anti-collagenase, anti-elastase and anti-oxidant activities of extracts from 21 plants. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 9(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-27
4. Choi, Oi-Sook, Mi-Hwa Kwon, Min-Kyu Kong, Soon-Hee Lee, Sung-Rye Gang, Pil-Sun Kim, and Young-Chul Kim. (1986). Inhibition Effects of Frankincense Oil on Skin Aging (II): Focussed on Histological Observation. Journal of Environmental Toxicology, 23, no. 2: 129-138.
5. Calzavara-Pinton, P., Zane, C., Facchinetti, E., Capezzera, R., & Pedretti, A. (2010). Topical Boswellic acids for treatment of photoaged skin. Dermatologic Therapy, 23, S28-S32. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8019.2009.01284.x
6. Ljaljević Grbić, M., Unković, N., Dimkić, I., Janaćković, P., Gavrilović, M., Stanojević, O., … Vukojević, J. (2018). Frankincense and myrrh essential oils and burn incense fume against micro-inhabitants of sacral ambients. Wisdom of the ancients? Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 219, 1-14. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2018.03.003
7. Dozmorov, M. G., Yang, Q., Wu, W., Wren, J., Suhail, M. M., Woolley, C. L., … Lin, H. (2014). Differential effects of selective frankincense (Ru Xiang) essential oil versus non-selective sandalwood (Tan Xiang) essential oil on cultured bladder cancer cells: a microarray and bioinformatics study. Chinese Medicine, 9(1), 18. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-9-18
8. Bost, J., Maroon, A., & Maroon, J. (2010). Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Surgical Neurology International, 1(1), 80. doi:10.4103/2152-7806.73804
9. Khosravi samani M, Mahmoodian H, Moghadamnia A, Poorsattar bejeh mir A, Chitsazan M. (2011). The effect of Frankincense in the treatment of moderate plaque-induced gingivitis: a double blinded randomized clinical trial. Daru, 19(4):288-94.
10. Dyer, J., Cleary, L., McNeill, S., Ragsdale-Lowe, M., & Osland, C. (2016). The use of aromasticks to help with sleep problems: A patient experience survey. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 22, 51-58. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.12.006
11. Hamidpour, R., Hamidpour, S., Hamidpour, M., & Shahlari, M. (2013). Frankincense (乳香 Rǔ Xiāng; Boswellia Species): From the Selection of Traditional Applications to the Novel Phytotherapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Serious Diseases. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 3(4), 221-226. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.119723
12. Su, S., Duan, J., Chen, T., Huang, X., Shang, E., Yu, L., … Tang, Y. (2015). Frankincense and myrrh suppress inflammation via regulation of the metabolic profiling and the MAPK signaling pathway. Scientific Reports, 5(1). doi:10.1038/srep13668
13. Cardiff University. (2011, August 4). A wise man's treatment for arthritis: Frankincense? Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621121316.htm