A Guide To Using Essential Oils
There are so many essential oils out there it’s often difficult to understand what you can use and how. Here is our guide to essential oils.
Essential oils are natural multitasking products derived from flowers and plants. The oily extracts concentrate the incredible potential of our favourite herbs and can be used for their therapeutic properties. They are mostly used in aromatherapy for their revitalizing, anti-inflammatory, balancing, antiseptic and cicatrizing properties. The world of essential oils is sometimes a confusing one, as the options are many and the uses are endless. They’re not only effective for your health, but they’re especially great when it comes to balancing your mood, whether you need some relaxing or uplifting energy.
How to use essential oils
Essential oils are perfect for exploring sensory wellness. Infuse your home with scent using aroma diffusers, oil burners or adding oils to a hot bath. Whether you’re busy working or taking a moment to unwind, the right essential oil can focus or relax your mind. They can also be used topically on the skin for a massage and skincare.
However be mindful of how you apply them. Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts, and they’re extremely potent. Which is why a few drops is usually enough for whatever you need. Especially if we’re talking about its use on the skin. Some oils can cause reactions so it’s important to use them correctly and test a small amount first. You should always use a carrier oil to dilute them to avoid burns or irritation. A carrier oil won’t disrupt the scent or effect of your essential oil and you can choose your favourite according to your skin type or the area you want to massage. Jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil ( although we discourage its use on the face as it’s comedogenic), avocado oil or grapeseed oil are some of the best choices. Once you have created your mix, test on a little patch of skin to make sure it won’t cause any irritation.
Choosing the best oil for you
When it comes to considering your essential oil and it’s sustainable credentials, pay attention not just to how the brand respects the environment with organic practices, but check that the plant itself is not endangered. You might be surprised to know that frankincense’s forests, in Somaliland, are disappearing as global demand for the oil is on the rise.
The scent you will choose depends on your taste and personality not to mention the moment. However it’s best to research your oils as some might not be suitable for your skin or health concern. Pregnant people specifically should avoid certain oils which can induce early labour. Here is a helpful guide to a few of the most popular oils and their properties. However we highly recommend that you smell each one to see what effect it has on you before you purchase.
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A good quality carrier oil is important because it goes directly on your skin. We recommend choosing an organic one that won’t break the bank. Typology have an exciting range of organic botanical oils that are perfect to use as carriers. As an added bonus, this one is suitable for sensitive skin too. Simply mix it with a few drops of your desired essential oil to create a calming massage oil. It also works wonders for your skin and hair.
Lavender oil has been used and loved for centuries. Its distinctive scent and beneficial effects made it a much celebrated scent by ancient Romans and Egyptians. Lavender is a perfect choice when you need relaxation. Its calming properties help to melt away anxieties that may be preventing you from falling asleep. Adding a few drops on your pillow before going to sleep is a good natural remedy for insomnia. Or add a few drops to water in an oil burner to allow the calming scent to permeate your bedroom. On the skin, you can apply it to the soles of your feet. Have a look at the principles of reflexology to choose where to massage for maximum effect.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used as traditional medicine by Aboriginal’s for centuries. Native Australians crush tea tree leaves to extract the oil, which is then inhaled to treat coughs and colds or applied directly to the skin for healing. Melaleuca leaves are the component that creates the base of tea tree essential oil, which presents itself in around 92 different combinations. Tea tree is known for its revitalizing and sharp scent, but also for its antibacterial properties. When mixed with aloe vera it makes an incredible remedy for fungal acne, and combined with coconut butter is a great homemade deodorant. To make your own all-natural mouthwash, add a drop of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water, mix thoroughly and swish in your mouth for half a minute.
Lemon essential oil is an excellent choice for its uplifting properties: a few drops in a diffuser are perfect for raising your spirits when you’re anxious and need a stress reliever. There are claims that it may help to reduce anxiety and depression as well as ease morning sickness in pregnant women. Applied topically (using a carrier oil) it is perfect for treating acne as it’s antifungal properties help to kill bacteria on your skin. It’s packed full of vitamin C which means that it speeds up the healing process of any acne you treat too. Lemon oil also makes a great non-toxic detergent that can be used around the house.
Sandalwood is a naturally scented wood that can maintain its perfume for decades. Its unique and intense scent make it one of the most valuable tree types in the world. Sandalwood oil’s sweet and rich notes, make it a great choice for meditation. It’s no surprise that it has been used for centuries in religious or spiritual ceremonies. Specifically East Indian Sandalwood has long been used in chinese medicines and ayurvedic treatments for a variety of ailments. There are also studies which show evidence that the oil can be used to improve alertness, manage anxiety and speed up wound healing. Why not try adding a few drops to a hot bath. The steam will diffuse the scent, allowing you to breath in it’s many benefits.
Vetiver is part of the gramineae family, and unlike most plants, it grows downward creating a thick tangle of roots in the ground. Its intense earthy scent has grounding properties; it is also rich in sesquiterpenes, beneficial for the immune system. It’s a perfect oil to balance and ground yourself, on a physical and mental realm. Mix it with a little lavender oil using a carrier and massage your neck and feet to promote a feeling of grounding calm. It’s antibacterial characteristics mean it will cleanse your skin of dirt and pollutants. Add a few drops to your cleansing oil and use it to clean your skin at the end of the day. Warm water and a cotton cloth will get rid of the oil, and with it the dirt and makeup.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products. This post may contain affiliate links.