“Eucalyptus oil is good if you have a cold, and lavender oil can help you to relax and sleep.” This one sentence essentially summarises all I knew about essential oils before I started my skincare line. Even then, I wasn’t entirely sure why eucalyptus oil was “good” and how exactly these oils worked.
Well, fast forward five years, and essential oils are a staple in my home, business, and daily skin regimen. I’m not one for fads or speculation so let me explain why even a skeptic like me has been persuaded to incorporate these little bottles of oil into my daily life.
What are they?
So, first of all, allow me to remove all the mysticism around exactly what are essentials oils. Quite simply, they are concentrated chemical compounds that are usually extracted from either the roots, bark, flower, or seeds of a plant.
There are different methods of extraction which impact the quality of the essential oil produced at the end. It’s the sheer concentration of the oil that makes them so effective and means a little goes a long way.
What is all the fuss about?
With superfoods popping up every week, it’s not particularly controversial to say that we all pretty much accept the benefits that come from fruit and vegetables. Much like eating kale isn’t just good for your digestive system and iron levels, the benefits of lavender, for example, go beyond just the scent. Essential oils can improve your mood, skin, hair, circulation, pain relief, and digestive issues, to name but a few.
How to use them?
There are a whole host of ways to use essential oils. One of the most well-known methods is inhalation via steam or a humidifier. Whilst the cocktail of essential oils in the humidifiers throughout my home change on a daily basis, I’m going to focus on the numerous benefits that can be derived from incorporating essential oils into your daily skin routine.
Essential Oils for Skin – What are the benefits?
Now before we go any further, there is a huge disclaimer that I think is crucial to successful use. Essential oils are not magic potions, nor are they medication. If we have a headache, most of us will take a couple of pills and then are able to feel the benefits within a few hours. Whilst this can be the case with essential oils, the benefits usually take much longer to experience. Patience is key. Having said that, if you are anything like me, once you begin to see the benefits, you’ll be so amazed by the results, you’ll know the wait was worth it.
So, let’s talk skin! I won’t bore you with all the details of my story, but I began using essential oils because I have sensitive skin. My interest then deepened once I had my amazing daughter, who, from birth, has had even more sensitivity than mine and was diagnosed with eczema. After giving birth, I also had some stretch marks, which I wanted to get rid of, if at all possible.
My mother suffers from arthritis and severe pain in her joints and back. She was also regularly scouring the aisles for the best anti-aging cream. Then, there was my niece, a tween whose obsession with makeup had worsened her acne-scarred skin and was looking for an answer.
Enter essential oils! I have done years of research to try and find the best solutions for all of these individual ailments, and just to be clear, my search did not start with essential oils at all! Yet, after untold cycles of research and experimentation, essential oils have been able to address all of these issues for my family and me and others with whom I have shared the fruit of my research.
How to get started?
There are hundreds of essential oils out there, but I’ve included a little table below to help introduce you to some of the most well-known oils for different skin conditions:
|Condition||Essential Oil Type|
|Tone/Tighten Skin||Lemon (night use only)|
Another important rule to essential oil use, especially when it comes to skin application, is that they must be diluted. Carrier oils are the collective name used for the group of oils which can be used to dilute essential oils.
Some of the best-known carrier oils include coconut oil, argan oil, and sweet almond oil. As a rough guide, 20 drops of essential oil is equivalent to 1ml.
The maximum concentration level should never exceed 5% of the entire solution. So for every 100ml solution, no more than 5ml of that solution should be comprised of essential oils. Remember that a little goes a very long way.
Hopefully, this article will have dispelled some of the myths surrounding essential oil use on the skin. I know first-hand how effective they can be for all skin types and hope you will be inspired to try them out for yourself.