Getting started with essential oils can be difficult and overwhelming. I know this from my experience as essential oils haven't always been a part of my skin care routine.
But after doing a in-depth research and I using them for a while, I developed a serious love for them.
If you too are interested in incorporating them in your regimen but have no idea where to start form, or just curious what the heck they are - you have come to the right place.
This post is to share all the basics about essential oils and to introduce you their uses and benefits.
VIP Guests at My DIY Party
Over the past 5 years I have made a lot of changes in my life - I simply took responsibility for my physical, emotional and mental health.
One of the great changes I made was to get rid of all the harmful beauty products I was using and replace them with simple natural ingredients. I started making my own serums, masks, moisturizers and scrubs.
So it become a messy DIY a party at home. And guess who is always the VIP guest at this party - that's right, essential oils.
I had no idea how to use them at the beginning. In fact, I can recall my first experience with essential oils: I heard tea that tree oil is great for treating acne - so I got myself one of those.
I came home and starting applying it directly onto my face.
It was stinging and burning, and kinda feeling wrong. So I thought 'This is the tea tree oil's fault, I am not gonna use it any more'.
If you have some experience with oils, you probably know that it wasn't the oil, it was me who didn't use it the right way.
They are strong, very potent and not meant to be topically applied without being diluted.
Getting Started With Essential Oils The Right Way
About a year ago I got chickenpox. When small children experience it, it performs as a mild virus. But if teens and adults get it, it can cause more serious problems.
So going through this hell, I learned that a good thing to do after having the chickenpox virus, is to do 2 things - cleanse the blood and apply oils to clear the spots and scars.
So I made a significant change in my diet (I can tell you more about it in another post) and I started treating the scars with rosehip oil. I read it can help replenish the skin and remove the scars.
Along with the research abut rosehip oil, I learned so much about essential oils and how versatile they can be.
So I started trying different oils and making my own blends until eventually I replaced all creams, serums and moisturizers with DIY products.
In Doubt When Getting Started?
So whatever new ingredient you are planning to introduce to your skin, please don't do as I did. Still in doubt even after you did your research? - Ask your dermatologist.
With this been said, let's dive into the essence of essential oils 🙂
All You Need To Know When Getting Started With Essential Oils
Essential oils aren’t some magical mystery, they are simply a gift from the nature.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants, seeds, flowers.
They are strong, very potent and often have unique and rich aroma.
Essential can be found in skin care cosmetics, soap, lotion, shampoo, bath salts, and candles.
Things to have in mind when getting started with essential oils
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.
Does the process of extraction matter?
You bet it does!
To ensure you get the best out of oils, you should always be looking for products that weren't extracted through heating.
Oils obtained through chemical processes (e.g. refined products) are not considered essential oils.
You can find essential oils extracted through 3 different methods:
- 1Steam Distillation - In this method, steam is directed through the plant material. The lighter chemical within the plant are being vaporized. This rich steam is then condensed through a cooling process. This method generates two products: the essential oil (oil-soluble product) and a hydrolat (water-soluble product).
- 2Expression - Expression is usually used for obtaining essential oils from citrus fruits. The process of scraping the peel of a citrus fruit to release the oils is called expression. The challenge here is to capture the oil extracted. Expression does not involve heating.
- 3Super-critical Extraction - This process uses CO2 (carbon dioxide) as a solvent. It is once added and then eliminated to help produce higher-grade oil which is very close to the raw composition of the plant it is made of. It is said to be richer in the chemical molecules found in the plants then the distilled oils.
Uses of Essential Oils
This is mostly what I use my oils for. I add them to serums, creams, moisturizers. You can even add them to OTC products, too.
You'll find plenty of recipes when you look around the website, so def go have a look afterwards.
Same applies for the hair products. The power of conditioners and masks can be immensely increased just by adding a few drops of your favorite oils.
Some oils are said to have positive effect for people having trouble falling asleep. A study shows that lavender essential can improve mother's sleep quality during postpartum period.
Due to its antimicrobial properties, eucalyptus essential oil makes a wonderful addition to any homemade cleaning recipe. For example, to make a cleaning detergent for your floor, mix 10 drops of equaliptus oil with 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and some hot water.
Lavender essential oil is known for its stress-relieving properties. Add several drops to spray bottle with distilled water. Spritz the mixture on pillows, linens and clothes.
Another way to use these oils at home is to add a few drops of lemon or peppermint oil to your laundry. Not only will the oils make your clothes keep the fresh scent longer but they will kill bacteria and germs.
That's probably the first that comes to mind when people here 'essential oils'. And that is for a good reason. Adding a few drops to your diffuser will relieve stress and make your bedroom feel like a luxurious spa place.
Talking about spa - you can also add essential oils to your baths. Combine them with epsom salts and a handful of rose petals and you will have a tremendously relaxing experience.
Can You Ingest Essential Oils?
According to this case study, a 40-year old female was brought to the emergency room because she had ingested an inappropriate amount of peppermint essential oil.
So to answer the question
Essential oils are not intended for consumption. I know many blogs promote them as flavorings for smoothies, cakes, etc but you should know essential oils are not just something "fun". You can get severe poisoning after ingesting them. So if you're going to add them to meals or drinks, make sure you consult with a certified aromatherapy specialist who can advise on the use and dosage.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Very few studies have examined the safety of these oils for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding make sure you consult with your physician before considering using any essential oils or other herbal products. The study I base my opinion is this one.
Getting Started With Essential Oils - How To Choose Oils
When it comes to our health we should only go for the highest quality products. Don't let the low price fool you. Essential oils, even those you pay highest price for tend to be cheap in the long run.
The way you use them is adding only a few drops to a carrier oil or to another product.
On the other hand, a cheap product can be either harmful and with unknown origin or it can turn to be expensive in the long run.
Can you buy essential oils cheaper from natural food stores?
Some companies dilute their essential oils in base oils beforehand. This way they can offer more 'competitive price' to their customers and have bigger profits.
In other words, the oils you see in natural food stores on in Whole Foods are therapeutic grade and you won't get the benefits you expect.
Who do I trust?
From my research, Plant Therapy seems to be the clear winner. Those are brands offer highest grade, unadulterated, pure therapeutic oils.
I really hope you are more confident to try and experiment with these oils. Remember to always dilute them and to do a patch test before applying to the skin.
If you have any questions regarding the oils or how to blend them - I would be happy to help you.
Do you use them already? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.
Thank you for reading my blog, I truly appreciate it.
Stay healthy and take skin care 🙂