Farnesol and Your Skin

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Article: Farnesol and Your Skin.

Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products


What is Farnesol? I hear you ask - fair question. Farnesol is a natural substance contained in some essential oils such as rose, orange blossom, and in herbs such as Lily of the valley. Farnesol is reputed to smooth wrinkles and increase skin's elasticity. It is also thought to reduce skin aging by promoting regeneration of cells and activation of the synthesis of molecules, such as collagen, that are required for healthy skin.

Farnesol a Little Known Miracle Worker

In addition farnesol is also know for its ability to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (also known as ‘golden staph’), which is usually present in atopic dry skin, and not only in regions seriously affected by atopic dermatitis.

Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) discharges various toxins and enzymes that injure the skin, and forms a biofilm (a biological film or barrier) from fibrin fiber and glycocalyx (a gelatinous polysaccharide and/or polypeptide outer covering. This material produced by the bacteria forms the structural matrix of biofilm.); the biofilm is important for adhesion of the bacteria to the skin and for resistance to anti-microbial agents (Masakoa et al., 2005).

In other words, the bacteria (S. aureus) makes a biofilm that helps it to propagate and resist other substances (eg: creams) to interfere with it. In this way, the biofilm acts like a barrier between the skin and the product you apply to your skin.

Farnesol however has been show by Masakao, et al. (2005) to break down this biofilm kills this bacteria, thus creating a ‘way through’ the biofilm and helping to destroy it and the S. aureus bacteria at the same time.

Now we all know that dry skin has a greater tendency to developing fine lines and wrinkles and is generally more susceptible to irritation and allergic reactions than normal or oily skin. So it stands to reason that the use of natural substances that contain this little miracle called ‘farnesol’ would make a lot of sense.

As stated earlier, there are a number of essential oils and herbal extracts that naturally contain farnesol, these include: Rose oil, orange blossom, and the herb Lily of the valley. Essential oil of Rose (an ingredient in our Age Defying Essence, Rose Day Crème, as well as other products in our range) is know for its actions on eczema, redness of the skin and mature skin, and it is highly recommended in the treatment of sensitive, irritated or inflamed skin (Tisserand, 1992).

Knowing that one of the active substances in rose oil is farnesol, it makes sense that skin care products containing the pure essential oil of rose are actually going to help the skin recover and regenerate, by breaking down any biofilm created by the S. aureus bacteria.

Rose oil has no equal in skin care for moisturising, firming, smoothing and repairing the skin. In so doing, it produces no irritation, being cooling, and is calming and soothing to the skin. Rose oil also has a beneficial effect on broken, superficial capillaries and is therefore ideal for mature, dry and/or sensitive skin types.


  1. Katsuyama Masakoa, Kobayashi Yusukea, Ichikawa Hideyukia, Mizuno Atsukob, Miyachi Yoshikic, Matsunaga Kayokod and Kawashima Makotoe (2005) A novel method to control the balance of skin microflora Part 2. A study to assess the effect of a cream containing farnesol and xylitol on atopic dry skin. Journal of Dermatological Science. Volume 38, Issue 3, Pages 207-213.
  2. Tisserand, R. (1992) The Art of Aromatherapy. The C.W. Daniel Company Ltd., England.


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