Oils for Psoriasis: The Best of Mother Nature’s Oiliest

One thing I can thank my psoriasis for is introducing me to the world of natural oils. I’d never mulled over the consequences of my drugstore moisturizers until I realized that I had to re-apply even the thickest of creams several times a day to my driest, flakiest spots. One look at the lengthy ingredient list of my go-to cream was enough to make me reassess my moisturizing habits.

Several applications per day of parabens, fragrance and other irritants on my broken, cracked skin? No, thank you.

Especially when Mother Nature’s oiliest can do what no moisturizer has been able to do – soothe, soften, and even completely heal several stubborn psoriasis patches, including the persistently flaky crust near my nose (RIP, douchebag).

Oh, if you’re wary about putting oily oils on your face – rest assured that there are natural oils that work for and even help acne-prone skin. As a three-time-adult-acne sufferer, I’ve noted the “acne-approved” oils below.

Last note – keep in mind that natural oils aren’t a magic cure for psoriasis – psoriasis is an inside job – but over time, you’ll notice less inflammation, less scaling and flaking, less redness, and overall less psoriasis.

So, let’s get to it – here are the best natural oils for psoriasis, how to use them and where to get the best ones.

Quick Oil Tip: Going the oil route for daily moisture? Leave yours in the shower, preferably in a spray can for extra convenience so you can spritz it directly on your body before you step out of the shower. Warm, moist skin will soak the oil right up and you’ll be all moisturized in less than a minute.

Argan Oil

Pro: Lightweight enough to wear during the day

Con: Can be pricey

This oil really is liquid gold especially for us red, flaky people. My favorite thing about it is that it’s deeply nourishing without being too heavy – it’s a lightweight oil that soaks straight into your skin but just a drop or two of the stuff is enough to hydrate your entire face (flakes and all!). This makes it ideal as both a daytime and nighttime moisturizer and is un-greasy enough to wear under makeup and sunscreen.

It’s also a very healing oil, packed with omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, and skin-healing antioxidants like vitamins A and E. Research shows argan oil to ease inflammation while moisturizing the skin – so do plenty of anecdotal accounts.

Best to use for: Your scalp and face as it’s hydrating yet lightweight

What to get: Argan oil is super popular right now and there are tons of pricey, high-end hair and skin care products that include argan oil. Skip these and just go for 100% argan oil. It’s still quite expensive, but you won’t be paying for any filler ingredients and just a few drops provide long-lasting nourishment so a bottle will last you a long time.

Avocado Oil

Pro: Seriously, crazily moisturizing – the richest oil on earth, IMHO

Con: Too thick and oily for daytime use, unless you’re into that

Super thick and very rich, this is one of the most deeply moisturizing oils you can slather on. It’s rich in vitamins A, D and E, lecithin, as well as potassium, and high in sterolins that penetrate deep into the skin to soften and heal.

As such, it’s an amazing oil for psoriasis sufferers with extremely dry skin – seriously, you won’t find many other topicals on earth as rich as avocado oil. It also makes it a little too thick and oily for daily use on your face or hair.

Best to use for: On dry, psoriasis-ridden parts of your body and as an overnight treatment for your scalp. It’s a little too thick to use as daily moisturizing scalp oil or daytime facial oil.

What to get: Go for 100% pure, cold-pressed avocado oil. If you’d like the benefits of avocado oil without the thick heaviness, try a Vitamin B12 cream containing avocado oil – it’s been shown to be a side-effect free treatment for plaque psoriasis.

Black Cumin Seed Oil

Pro: Super helpful for flaking, cracking, peeling skin

Con: Does not taste very good, but is fine when applied topically

Rich and potent, this peppery oil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antihelmenthic (in English, this means it destroys worms).

It’s best applied directly to cracked psoriasis ruptures where it suppresses the crazy proliferation of skin cells that cause all the flaking and scaling. At the same time, it also encourages proper epidermal growth and has been shown to be equivalent to tazarotene gel for healing psoriasis-affected skin.

Best to use for: Take it internally to boost your immunity, and improve gut health and fight psoriasis from the inside out. Be warned that it’s not yummy – hey, this ain’t candy – but bearable when chased with juice.

Also, apply the oil directly to psoriasis lesions – including dry, flaky, ruptured skin to reduce flaking. Cover it with plastic wrap for at least half an hour, preferably overnight. You can also use it as an all-over body oil – like most oils, it’s great for dry skin.

What to get: Go for 100% pure, cold-pressed black cumin seed oil. Just one bottle – you can both drink it and splash it all over yourself.

Castor Oil

Pro: This stuff is great for lifting scales on both scalp and skin

Con: Much too thick to wear as a moisturizer – works best as short, rinse off treatments

Best known as a constipation remedy, castor oil is an incredibly thick, heavy oil that has another, lesser-known superpower: helping psoriasis plaques heal.

That’s mostly thanks to something unique to castor oil – you see, castor oil has a very unusual composition. It’s made up of around 90% ricinoleic acid, which is a fatty acid that has antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. It’s also known to help your skin and body heal by boosting your lymphatic system. When castor oil is absorbed through your skin, it increases your lymphocyte count, which in turn speeds up the removal of toxins from your tissue to speed healing.

Extra perk? Castor oil is a popular natural remedy to prevent hair loss and encourage thicker, healthier, faster hair growth.

Best to use for: Your scalp and psoriasis lesions on your body. It’s too thick to use as a daily scalp moisturizer, but it’s great as an overnight or pre-shower scalp mask. Just apply it to your scalp, leave it on for 30 minutes and wash your hair as usual. For your body, apply castor oil directly on psoriasis lesions and cover with plastic wrap or adhesive bandage tape. Leave on at least half an hour, preferably overnight.

You can do the same for psoriasis lesions on your face, but if you’re acne-prone, you might want to skip this.

What to get: 100% pure, cold-processed castor oil.

Coconut Oil

Pro: Moisturizing and lightweight – perfect for all-day body hydration. Smells good, too.

Con: Can’t think of any…maybe that it’s probably too thick to wear on your face

You’ve already heard of coconut oil for psoriasis – the internet is filled with anecdotal accounts of people who’ve seen their psoriasis improve by using coconut products. But what exactly is so great about coconut oil and how does it help psoriasis?

In short, there are over 1,500 studies showing coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on earth. And what makes it so uniquely beneficial is the fact that it’s packed with healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MDFAs), including lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which possess the anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that make coconut oil so beneficial for psoriasis.

Lauric acid, in particular, is a super fatty acid and is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses. But the benefits don’t stop there – coconut oil also improves digestion and gut health as well as helps your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients. gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Seriously, if you’re not using coconut oil yet – why aren’t you?!

Best to use for: Everything. Cook with it, put it on your popcorn, blend it into your smoothies, rub it on your scalp psoriasis, use it as a psoriasis-relieving moisturizer all over your body. It tastes great, smells great, helps you lose weight, boosts your energy, has antioxidants that heal the skin, is full of antimicrobial properties that fight candida and fungal sources, and packed with fatty acids that reduce skin inflammation both internally and externally.

Shoot for a tablespoon of coconut oil 3x a day to fight psoriasis from the inside out. You can use as much of it as you want on your body.

What to get: There are so many types of coconut oil – “virgin,” “extra-virgin,” “expeller-pressed,” and so on – but let’s keep in simple. For the stuff you’re going to eat, go for Organic, Extra Virgin (or Virgin – there’s no real difference), and Cold-pressed rather than Expeller-pressed.  Viva Lab’s coconut oil is a great, affordable option.

For the coconut oil you’re going to be rubbing on your scalp, skin and hair – there’s more flexibility. Although we still prefer organic.

Hemp Oil

Pro: So very good for both psoriatic and acne-prone skin

Con:  A bit too thick to wear on your face during the daytime

Rich, soothing, and crazy nutritious, hemp oil’s packed with a huge range of vitamins – A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, E – as well as amino acids, minerals and of course, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the perfect ratio for your skin.

It’s also anti-inflammatory and full of skin-protective antioxidants but what we love most about it is that it’s very high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that’s found in the sebum of healthy skin and which people with psoriasis are often deficient in. Providing your skin linoleic acid helps not only helps keep psoriasis in check, but also improves clogged pores, blackheads, acne and breakouts.

So if you’re on the hunt for a nourishing lotion-alternative that helps psoriasis and acne – this is it.

Best to use for: Pretty much everything. Add it to salad dressings, smoothies, and sauces or just drink it straight (you’ll want to chase it with something). But mostly – rub it into your skin. It’s extremely nourishing, has a lovely earthy scent, and it really helps get rid of redness, itchiness, and scaling.

What to get: Organic, cold-pressed, 100% pure hemp oil is great to have around so you can both drink and apply it as lotion, but our favorite hemp oil topical is Hemp Seed Healing Balm. This stuff is still pretty thick, but not as greasy as straight up oil, and it has more of a sealing effect than pure oil, making it an awesomely moisturizing Vaseline alternative.

Neem Oil

Pro: Great for soothing psoriasis lesions

Con: Smells like…rotten fish fungus – this stuff really doesn’t smell right ‘though it is effective

Neem is more of a therapeutic, medicinal oil than a beauty balm – it’s anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Its claim to fame? Neem’s contains a component called nimbidin, an anti-inflammatory property that’s comparable to standard cortisone drugs when it comes to reducing swelling, redness, and itching.

It’s also a super rich oil, packed with Vitamin E, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids and glycerides that easily get under your skin to nourish and restore your skin’s natural protective barrier. Best part? Neem oil’s got potent analgesic properties so you’ll get some relief from the pain caused by raw, cracked and inflamed skin while you heal.

Best to use for: All over your body. Neem oil soaks right into your skin so you’ll get its wondrous nourishment without you skin feeling greasy or weighed down – it’s light enough to use as a lotion alternative. Neem oil also makes a great treatment oil for scalp psoriasis that you can leave on and wash off after a few hours (keep it on for at least half an hour).

Okay, now that you know what to use it for – here’s a tip on how to use it:  You see, neem oil’s one downside is that it smells…terrible. It’s so effective, you’ll be willing to put up with it but you’ll like it a lot better when the offensive odor is masked.

So try not to use this stuff on its own – instead, add a couple drops of neem your shampoo, conditioner and body wash. To use on your skin in lieu of lotion, mix it with a nicely scented carrier oil like coconut and a few drops of better-smelling essential oils. It won’t totally mask the smell, but it’ll be less offensive.

What to getIt’s going on cracked, broken skin so make sure it’s totally pure (100% neem with no additives or filler ingredients – especially anything irritating or toxic) and preferably organic. Our favorite is Oleavine’s 100% Pure Neem Oil – it’s a blend of organic & wild-crafted, cold pressed neem oil. Great quality and the price is right – it’s on sale right now for $16 so get it before it goes back up.

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Pro: Improves your overall skin and hair quality from the inside out

Con: Can be pricey and it takes at least a few months to start noticing results

This underrated oil hails from the Himalayas and it comes packed with over 60 antioxidants, around 2 dozen minerals, and vitamins B1, B2, K, C, E, A, and folic acid. It actually has a greater concentration of skin-health-boosting beta carotene than pumpkin or apricots.

It’s also got a unique lineup of fatty acids – this fruit’s got Omegas 3, 6, 9, and 7 (Palmitoleic Acid). Sea Buckthorn currently has the highest known concentration of Omega 7 naturally available. Omega 7 is made by your body so it’s not considered an essential oil, but there’s less and less of it in your sebum as you age. And that’s not good news since these fatty acids provide key building blocks for your skin (and hair and nails).

Omega 7s are also thought to support a healthy digestive tract and help your body heal gastric ulcers. More studies do need to be done on the specific health benefits of Sea Buckthorn, but as of now, one thing’s clear – the oil really boosts skin and hair health.

Best to use for: Take ’em in capsule form for better skin and hair. There are user reviews that range from having gotten rid of acne, age spots, moles, redness, rough patches, and so on and so on.

You can also use Sea Buckthorn seed oil directly on your skin, but it’s really only for nighttime use since it’s quite rich and it’s orange-y. Not exactly something you want on your face during the day time. Simply apply it to your red, scaly patches and get a good night’s sleep.

Tamanu Oil

Pro: Really wonderful for flaky, peeling skin

Con: Doesn’t smell great – not as bad as Neem oil (nothing smells as bad as Neem) but still, it ain’t a rose garden

I was pretty reluctant to try this oil since with psoriasis, you’re meant to stay away from oils that encourage faster cell renewal (our skin cells are fast enough, thank you very much), but tamanu oil turned out to be wonderful for repairing patches of scaly, broken skin. Thanks to its calophyllic acid, this oil speeds up the healing of raw, cracked skin by promoting the growth of new, healthy skin.

Best to use for: Tamanu oil is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal but  soothing and deeply moisturizing at the same time, making it perfect to use on psoriasis lesions. The downside, though, is that it’s really, really thick so it’ll just kind of sit on your skin for like an hour until it’s absorbed. You’ll really want to dilute this oil around 1:1 with another, thinner oil on this list (coconut oil is great) for better absorbency. 

Another thing you should know is that this oil smells really…hippie-ish. It’s a deep, wild, earthy sort of scent you might love or hate. Again, dilution helps the smell.

What to get: 100% pure, cold-pressed Tamanu oil.


This is way too long already, but we also wanted to add a few essential oils that you can add into the above oils for more psoriasis-banishing potency.

Oil of Oregano

Not much research, but many psoriasis folk swear by this oil – it’s a powerful antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal. Drop a few drops into your shampoo or use mixed with one or more of the carrier oils above. Read reviews of oil of oregano.

Tea Tree Oil

A classic in the treatment of pretty much every skin condition, tea tree oil has antiseptic qualities and can be applied directly to the skin, ‘though we recommend dilution with one of the carrier oils above. Read reviews of tea tree oil

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
hempoil says September 19, 2017

Hi Jennifer,
The dehydrated face disease can be control immediately with the using of hemp seed oil daily according to the required period of time with the recommendations of skin care specialist and also discussed the results comming during the proper treatment of dehydrated face disease which help you to solve this kind of issue within a short passage of time ,My suggestion is to take care of face skin with the following of instructions given by a doctor and don;t work in the light of sun because the rays of sun demaged the cells of a skin layers due to this reason the cracks are appeared on the skin and also the color of skin is change ,so take care of skin .
Thanks.

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