Essential oils are luxurious and smell fantastic, but there’s so much more going on beneath the surface. Every essential oil is a concentrated distilation packed with potent plant compounds that bring huge benefits to our minds and bodies. These extracts are quickly and easily absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream. Essential oils also work wonders for ambience, transforming your living space into an uplifting environment that has a positive impact on your wellbeing.
In this blog, we’ll explore the following questions:
- What are essential oils?
- How can essential oils be used?
- What are the benefits of essential oils?
- Is it safe to put essential oils directly on the skin?
- Is it safe to consume essential oils?
What Exactly are Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are plant extracts that contain concentrated amounts of a plant’s key properties. They’re made using a steam or water distillation process, or by cold pressing the plants with a hydraulic press.
Essential oils should then be blended with a carrier oil, such as coconut, almond, or argan oil, which reduces their intensity and makes them safer and easier to use. You might not think it from their diminutive bottles, but many essential oils are so powerful that they should be handled with care when applied on the skin (and even more so if taken internally).
Aromatherapists work with essential oils to support their clients with physical, mental and emotional health issues.
Read on for more information on the benefits of some of our favourite essential oils below.
How to use Essential Oils
There are all kinds of ways to use Essential Oils. Our favourites include:
Diffusing them at home for calm on demand.
Diluting them with a carrier oil and applying to the skin for a number of health benefits. Note: this should always be done with care. Make sure oils are thoroughly diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin.
Adding a drop onto fabrics, such as clothing or bed linen, for a soothing scent to support sleep and help you wind down.
Adding a few drops to your bathwater for sensual steam inhalation – diluted into Epsom salts or into a carrier oil.
- Using them to make natural skincare products at home, such as body scrubs, lip balms and moisturisers.
These are just a few ideas. In specific cases, some essential oils may also be safe to be mixed with drinks or food and ingested - but always check with a medical professional beforehand.
How do you use essential oils in the home?
Using essential oils at home with a diffuser or oil burner is a safe and easy way to add their powerful properties to your daily life. It’ll also create an uplifting atmosphere immediately. You’ll be surrounded by the scent of your chosen oil, and - depending on which you choose - it can boost your mood, improve your concentration or ease anxiety - naturally.
Most people use essential oils with burners or diffusers.
An oil diffuser is a device that breaks down the oils into smaller particles and dispenses them into the air. They usually plug into the wall, and some are battery-powered. The most popular types of diffuser are:
Nebulising diffusers - working with a vacuum and pressurised air mechanism
Humidifying diffusers - which use water to create a fine, scented mist
Evaporative diffusers - with a fan that turns the oil into gas
Oil burners are simple ceramic or copper pots which have a bowl for the oils at the top, and space for a tea light to be lit underneath. You mix your essential oils with a carrier oil in the top, and the heat from the candle evaporates the oil and disperses it into the air.
Diffusers and burners both work well, so which you go for is really down to your personal preference. Good quality diffusers can be expensive — so a burner is a great option to start out with on a budget.
Our favourite essential oils and their health benefits
All of these oils are a regular part of our lives, and we think you’ll love them too. We’ve noted their key benefits here, but each of them has several additional healing properties too — so if you’re interested in a certain essential oil, make sure you consult a professional and/or do some research about it. Please remember that all of the essential oils below need to be significantly diluted before any application on the skin. If you’re using them in a diffuser, you don’t need to worry about carrier oils.
Tea tree - a strong antimicrobial oil, you can use it to heal minor burns, rashes and cold sores, care for your skin and nails, and boost your immune and respiratory systems
Patchouli - use it to ease anxiety and lift your mood, improve the health and appearance of skin and hair, and boost your libido
Bergamot - a wonderfully soothing oil to care for your skin and treat common skin conditions, as well as elevating your mood and creating a serene environment at home
Eucalyptus - this cooling and cleansing oil will make you feel alert and refreshed, soothe muscle aches and improve circulation, and it has powerful antiseptic properties
Myrrh - feel peaceful and calm with this oil in your home, and use it to support a healthy, youthful complexion, as well as to heal fungal skin infections or freshen your breath
Rosemary - perfect to stimulate body and mind; it’ll wake you up and make you feel alert, improve concentration, and nourish your skin and hair
Peppermint - a brilliant energy booster, use it to invigorate and rejuvenate, relieve headaches and fatigue, support your immune system and reduce inflammation
Lemongrass - use it reduce joint pain and inflammation, soothe muscles after a workout, increase energy, treat acne, and even improve digestion
Lavender - well known for its calming qualities, this essential oil is a natural sedative and will improve sleep, ease anxiety and increase positivity, soothe aching muscles and joints, and improve the appearance of skin
Clove - a great oil for oral health, you can use it to soothe toothache and sore gums, boost your immune system and ward off viruses
- Frankincense - a popular oil for use in meditation, it’ll create a sense of balance and calm, support healthy, glowing skin, and help to heal skin irritations and minor wounds
A word about the quality of your essential oils
Not all essential oils are made equal. You can often pick them up cheaply in the supermarket or online, but it’s really important to check how they’ve been made, and what’s on the ingredients list.
Cheap essential oils are often actually a synthetic chemical compound that has been manufactured to smell like the plant, but doesn’t actually contain any of the health-supporting elements. And those synthetic chemicals can be toxic, as well as offering no health benefits.
In case you weren’t sure, we’re proud that all our essential oils are naturally sourced and free from sulphates, parabens, synthetic fragrances and animal derivatives. So they’re good for you and sustainable, too.
Where to begin with essential oil diffusion?
If you are feeling overwhelmed with this world of possibilities offered by essential oils, our thematic essential oil blends can be a great place to start exploring the benefits of diffusing essential oils in your home. Options include (but are not limited to!) our Focus blend to support concentration and attention; our refreshing Breathe blend to help clear your airways and combat respiratory infections; a soothing and relaxing Deep Sleep blend to create a restful environment before bedtime, and even a Christmas spice blend to bring festive cheer into your home!