Since the time of the pharaohs, people have been using essential oil for everything from aromatherapy to homeopathic treatments. In ancient times, essential oils were considered precious items — so precious that they were usually reserved for the high born and royalty. Today, we don’t have to be born a king or queen to have access to the amazing benefits that essential oils provide.
What is an Essential Oil?
In the most basic sense, an essential oil is the essence of a plant. Oils are distilled or pressed from the plant they come from and retain the scent and therapeutic properties of the plant. Essential oils are used for everything from aromatherapy to the homeopathic treatment of various ailments and illnesses.
It is important to know that not every essential oil brand or type is the same. There is quite a difference between natural and synthetic essential oil; specifically, synthetic oils do not have therapeutic properties. There are no regulatory bodies that check essential oils and many multilevel marketing companies have trademarked misleading phrases like “therapeutic grade” and “certified pure” to make their oils seem more effective. Make sure to read labels carefully, make your purchases from reputable distributors, or ask for the oil data sheets.
How To Use Essential Oils
There are as many ways to use essential oil as there are reasons to use it. Each reason is personal — just as the scent combinations that will work best are unique to each person. You may need to play around with different fragrances to find the blend that will work best for you.
- Use an essential oil in your diffuser to help you sleep. A blend of chamomile, lavender, and clary sage will set the mood for relaxation.
- To help your focus and concentration, apply a tincture of lemon and ylang-ylang.
- Fight a cold with a blast of eucalyptus, chamomile, and peppermint.
- Enhance or improve your skincare regimen with essential oils.
Choosing the Right Essential Oil for Your Skin
The first step in choosing the right essential oil for your skin is knowing what you want to do. Are you trying to moisturize or fight acne? Are you trying to even skin tone and color? Perhaps, if you are like most of us with combination skin, you are trying to do a little of all of it. Rest assured that there are essential oils for skin that address most conditions.
When choosing your essential oils for skin, it’s a good idea to know what kind of skin type you have in order to choose the right carrier oil. Carrier oils hold the essential oil and dilute it a bit, which is important when using certain oils that are rather potent in their pure form. Some carrier oils for skincare are:
- Jojoba oil (sometimes called jojoba wax): a great universal carrier oil.
- Argon oil: This is great for people with dry or thinning, aging skin.
- Coconut oil: This nourishing ultra moisturizing oil is perfect for treating dry, chapped skin.
Here are ten essential oils to get you started, but do not be afraid to experiment with other compounds to find your perfect blend. The oils that you choose are really dependent on what you are trying to accomplish and what scents you prefer.
- Tea tree: A popular oil for treating wounds. Tea tree oil works beautifully to treat acne, scars, and age spots, too.
- Lavender: This oil is not only wonderful for soothing frazzled nerves, but is great for treating aging skin, breakouts, and blemishes.
- Lemon: If you have red marks or age spots, lemon should be your go-to solution. It is considered photosensitive, so be sure to skip the sun if you use this oil.
- Patchouli: A favorite among hippies for generations, this earthy oil is wonderful for treating combination skin.
- Bergamot: If you have oily skin, this essential oil will help get it balanced.
- Rose: Aging skin meets its match with this essential oil.
- Orange: This citrus-based oil will not only treat your combination skin, but the aromatics will give you a focus boost.
- Sandalwood: This oil is ideal for treating dry skin.
- Ylang-ylang: Perfect for treating aging skin, this is a soft floral scent that can double as a perfume.
- Tangerine: Softer and sweeter than pure orange, tangerine is great for treating aging skin.
While it may seem daunting at first, accessing the benefits of essential oils to treat your skin is achievable. With a little bit of know-how, you can find the perfect essential oil combination to have glowing, radiant, and healthy skin.