What Are Essential Oils? [And How To Choose Them?]

As my love for essential oils grows every day, so does the number of posts I write about them. When I first started using essential oils, I had a lot of questions: 'What are essential oils? What should you look for when you choose yours? How can you guarantee an essential oil is pure?' etc. If you are an essential oil enthusiast and have similar questions regarding these plant extracts, I invite you to read on!

In this post, I'll share with you all I know about essential oils and how to choose the ones that would be perfect for you.


How I Got Started

​Events in Life

In our life, there are certain events that happen to us which urge us to take significant measures -- be it for our careers, our relationships, our well-being, and many other things. In my case, I had to go the extra mile for my health. At the age of 28, well into adulthood, I got chickenpox. I know, I couldn't believe it at the time because I thought I'd be too old to catch the virus. Boy, was I wrong! The real kicker is that chickenpox in adults are way worse-- it left me with huge dark spots and deep scars all over my body. 

It was such a struggle for me because, at 28, my skin wasn't going to stretch anymore. This means that whatever scars or blemishes I have will remain with me forever. But I was never one to back out from challenges. And so, faced with this tragedy, I decided to try all kinds of remedies to heal and replenish my skin. I even went as far as changing my diet and kicking out all harmful chemicals from my skin care products. Quite radical, I know. But the scars... they definitely had to go.

The Commitment

I went vegan in order to cleanse my body of all the toxins it has been dealing with for the past two decades and, along with that, I started applying Rosehip Oil onto my skin. Based on hours and hours of research, I've read that Rosehip Oil does wonders for scars, spots, blemishes, and wrinkles. So I guess you can say that Rosehip Oil opened the door for me to learn about the benefits of essential oils.

The idea of replacing all my skin care products with natural remedies and oils seemed so wonderful that I did not hesitate and dived into more research about essential oils.

My First Experience with Essential Oils

This reminded me of my very first experience with essential oils -- it was a few years ago and I had to deal with a bad case of acne. What I did was I applied tea tree oil topically on the affected area which wasn't a very bright thing to do, as you will learn in my post about diluting essential oils. So I made sure to take note of that tiny, but very significant, detail before making the commitment to swap all store-bought cleansers, moisturizers and creams with all-natural handmade ones.

What are Essential Oils? 

In Essence

Essential oils are aromatic liquids that are extracted from various plants such as leaves, flowers, shrubs, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds. These oils are usually extracted from the plants through distillation, often with the help of steam. There are many other methods of extracting oils such as solvent extraction, absolute extraction of oil, wax embedding, and resin tapping.

Essential oils are also referred to as the lifeblood of plants because they carry oxygen and nutrients within the plant and are part of the regenerative process of the plant. Based on many years of research, essential oils provide way more than just pleasant aromas-- they also consist of powerful compounds that offer a variety of benefits ranging from wellness of the body to religious purposes.

Things to keep in Mind

The way to use them is simply to mix them with a gentle carrier oil and apply on the skin. Dilution is necessary because essential oils are highly concentrated and too potent to be used directly on the skin. Another thing to consider when trying a new oil is a patch test. After you have diluted it, apply a few drops on your wrist and wait for about 20-30 min. This is to make sure you are not allergic to a particular oil before you apply it to your face.

A Brief History of Essential Oils 

What Are Essential Oils? [And How To Choose Them?]

Not everyone is aware of this, but essential oils have been used for ages in religious ceremonies, health remedies, beauty care, food preparation and preservation, perfumes, and many more. These oils come from plants and herbs, and they have also been used for production of medicines from centuries ago up until today-- they are still the main ingredient in products of most pharmaceuticals. Back then, these oils were more commonly referred to as aromatic oils.

Essential oils have been used in many different cultures for many different purposes, but studies show that the Egyptians were the first to have used aromatic extracts for religious purposes, beauty, and culinary. The Egyptians, at that time, became renowned due to their extensive knowledge of medicinal ointments, cosmetology, and aromatic oils. They discovered that these oils could be transformed into pills, ointments, medicinal cakes, suppositories, and powders. China and India were quick to follow on this special discovery, and started using essential oils as well. 

Many of the specific uses for essential oils, as well as recipes for essential oil blends we know and use today, are a direct result of biblical references. Essential oils that are mentioned in the bible include frankincense, myrrh, Cedar wood, cinnamon, and myrtle. One of the most well-known biblical references to essential oils is of the frankincense and myrrh being two of the three gifts brought to baby Jesus.

Eventually, the popularity of Essential Oils spread throughout the globe and, until today, these oils still boast of their many benefits and versatility. They can be found in many of our daily-used products, we just don't know it!

Amazing Benefits of Essential Oils**

I am such an advocate of Essential Oils, and for good reason. These oils have endless benefits and can be used in practically any wellness-related situation. They can be used for relaxation and better sleep, for supporting a healthy immune system, for healing wounds and rashes, for nourishing skin, for treating anxiety, and even for a quick energy boost. 

Personally, I like using essential oils to to nourish and heal my skin, to uplift my mood, for meditation, and recently, I have started experimenting with adding essential oils to my laundry. You can use them for massage, aromatherapy, cleaning your house, in your hair care routines, for treating migraines, and so much more-- your creativity is your limit!

It is for these reasons that I am very passionate about sharing my experience and knowledge about Essential Oils with all of you. With a bit of research and willingness to incorporate the usage of these natural products into your daily routine, life will never be the same. By then, you will understand why I am so in love with these oils and why I am very keen on doing more research and experiments with them!

How to Choose Essential Oils 

How to choose essential oils - And what are essential oils - Pretty Blooming;

The first thing you need to know before getting into the Essential Oil lifestyle is how to choose the right ones. You might think that just because they are all made from plants, any type of Essential Oil would do-- if so, you are dead wrong.

Along with the boost in the popularity of Essential Oils over the past years also came the many different brands that sell them, which offer varying levels of oil in their products. This makes the selection more tricky, especially if you are a newbie in the game. There may be brands that boast of their “certifications” and sound appealing, but their products could still contain harmful chemicals because there is a lack of regulations when it comes to items and products involving aromatherapy.

The one thing you need to remember is that you can't just buy whatever type of oil and expect it to help make your skin better. Picking the best oil for your skin should be taken seriously and done with proper research.

A Quick Guide

For the purpose of skin care, hair care, aromatherapy and massages, you should only be using 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. Basically, when we say it's 100% pure essential oil, it means that it contains nothing more than the oil that is completely and directly extracted from the plant. This type of oil can sometimes be referred to as therapeutic grade essential oils as well. It is also a must to look for undiluted and unadulterated, meaning there is nothing else mixed into the oil. This makes it easier for us to include the oil into our DIY skincare products. 

Unfortunately, only about 2% of the essential oils out there are considered therapeutic grade. I wish there was some kind of a standard so we as customers can be assured that if the label says 'Essential Oil', we get what we pay for. This has been an outstanding issue for so long, that there are no regulating bodies that check on the quality of aromatherapy products such as these essential oils. As a result, there is a big possibility that many of the oils offered in natural food stores are already diluted or adulterated and may actually contain harmful ingredients. 

These factors can really hinder or even discourage newbies from trying out Essential Oils, but fear not as I am cooking up the perfect solution for your troubles with my latest project-- a complete guide on everything related to Essential Oils! I am really excited to share my guide with you because I will definitely go all out with my expertise on the topic of Essential Oils. I will be sure to include everything you need to know in order to dive into this lifestyle, and the following:

1. Mistakes people are making with essential oils
2. How to use essential oils to enhance your health
3. Can you ingest essential oils?
4. How to use them safely
5. How to dilute them properly
6. How to blend them in terms of aromas
7. What carrier oils to use to dilute the essential oils

All this good info, packed in a neat guide is coming soon - stay on the lookout!

How to Get Started on Essential Oils 

As previously discussed, getting started with Essential Oils can be overwhelming and requires a lot of research. Personally, I have done a lot of experimenting and have failed many times before actually getting the hang of it and truly understanding how beneficial and useful Essential Oils are.

For instance, dilution of the oils is very important because these oils are so concentrated and potent that applying them (neat) topically may result in skin irritation. 

You don't need to worry because, after reading the Essential Oils Safety Guide, you will be equipped with instructions on how to blend the oils, how to dilute them, and how to properly use them. No need to do experimentation that may cause your skin harm and damage, I've already done all that for you!

Final Thoughts

This is definitely not the last article I will write about essential oils, their benefits, uses, and getting started. Be sure to stay on the lookout for upcoming posts and, of course, my informative guide which will extensively discuss Essential Oils and everything you need to know about them.

Let me know what you think about Essential Oils and whether or not you'd be willing to give it a go-- leave me a comment down below and share your thoughts!

Thank you for reading my blog, I truly appreciate it.

Stay healthy and take skin care 💋

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Essential Oils Academy - http://essentialoilsacademy.com/history/

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The Information on this website has not been evaluated by FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The information is not intended as a substitute for advice or medical care of a qualified healthcare specialist. The information on this website is for educational purposes only. You should seek the advice of your health care practitioner before undertaking any health changes. Before applying anything on your body and face, please do a patch test first. 


Some of the links in the posts are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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About the author

Valeria struggled with acne for fifteen long years. Everything changed after adopting a "science-first" approach. Now she loves her skin, and help other women get acne-free through coaching and online programs.


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