The essential oil of Ylang-Ylang


FUNCTIONS: antiseborrheic, antiseptic, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Ylang-Ylang or Cananga odorata is a fast growing tropical tree (it can reach up to 12m or 39ft) that is native to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Ylang-Ylang has traditionally been used by the South Pacific natives to help the skin regulate the production of sebum, but also to relieve high blood pressure, fight against stress and tension and as an aphrodisiac.

The essential oil of Ylang-Ylang is extracted by steam distillation of fresh flowers of the Cananga odorata tree. Its sweet floral scent happens to be used in may popular perfumes and was first made popular by Chanel n°5. Ylang-Ylang flowers are edible — they also happen to be a common ice cream flavor in Madagascar.

Ylang-Ylang flower

Ylang-Ylang flower


Commonly used in perfumes and aromatherapy for its delicate scent, Ylang-Ylang essential oil has also many benefits for the skin and hair.

  • A few drops mixed with other carrier oils can help regularize sebum production making it great to reduce acne, dermatitis, skin irritation and even dry itchy eczema patches.

  • It has anti-inflammatory properties that make it good to treat inflamed skin and blemishes. It’s also great for bug bites.

  • For hair, the oil can also be used to boost strength and growth and to cleanse an itchy scalp. It is particularly efficient for the treatment of dry, lifeless, color damaged hair.


  • For the skin: Use only a few drops of the essential oil mixed with a vegetable oil such as almond or rosehip (make sure that the total mixture has less than 2% of Ylang-Ylang essential oil). Apply the formula onto damp skin and massage, insist especially on pimples or areas of redness.

  • For the hair: Create a quick mask by adding just a few drops to an Argan or a Coconut oil and massage your hair and scalp for 5 minutes. You can also heat the blend for better efficiency.

  • For its relaxing virtues: Add a few drops to your bath.


Use essential oils only in diluted form (with a vegetable oil) on the skin and never internally. Avoid especially the eyes, ears and mucous membrane areas. Do not use essential oils while pregnant or if you have liver damage, epilepsy, cancer or other serious health problems.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of ROWSE, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.