The current demands of the global market aiming to a more sustainable way of life is pushing cosmetic industry towards a major change regarding raw materials and production practices. Essential oils from aromatic and medicinal plants have been used for cosmetic purposes since ancient times, as their bioactive compounds are responsible for some important biological activities. Nowadays, the interest for essential oils is steadily rising and their use as natural bioactive ingredients or as antimicrobial factors in cosmetic formulations has increased. Although the origin of essential oils is natural, their sustainability is often questioned due to non-cost effective production processes. In this paper we present the potential uses of essential oils as ingredients in cosmetics in a more holistic way and we try to draw the line between the terms “natural” and “sustainable”.