Although essential oils have roots in ancient beauty rituals, their popularity continues to skyrocket—especially for those seeking natural skincare ingredients. Essential oils are highly concentrated volatile plant extracts. They are obtained through a few different extraction methods, and the part of the plant we get the essential oil from can be different depending on the oil but is typically the most aromatic part. Rose oil, for example, comes from the petals of the rose, while citrus oils come from the rind.
The real meaning behind the name “essential” oil conveys how that oil is made: with the very essence of the plant from which it’s sourced. It is this very aspect of potency, purity, and concentration that makes these oils essential in natural skincare. Because essential oils are all-natural, it might be easy to assume that they're gentle and largely unreactive. By definition, it's extremely potent stuff. They contain the life force of the plant, which makes them beneficial and powerful. On average, they are up to 75 times more powerful than dried herbs.
First, the more diluted an essential oil product, the safer it is to use.
Skincare products use such small amounts of essential oils, there is much less likelihood of a reaction. For example, jasmine absolute is a possible skin irritant at levels of more than .7%. While this amount may sound like very little, Jasmine has such an intense, strong scent and high cost, it is unlikely to be more anywhere near that percentage in a skincare preparation, whereas it might be in a much higher concentration in a “natural perfume”
Second, the closer essential oils get to your face, the more they will affect your health and wellbeing.
Essential oils evaporate into invisible vapours as soon as they are exposed to air. When you apply to your face, you breathe in the essential oil vapours. and then your body absorbs these vapours very effectively and quickly into your brain and lungs. Not only can inhaling an essential oil change your mood and lower your anxiety level, but it can also lower the cortisol in your bloodstream.
Beneficial Essential Oils to Try
This cooling, minty oil is the key player that stimulates blood flow and works great to help relieve headaches, sinus pressure, and hot spots. A little on is perfect for relieving stress, and a tiny bit below the nostrils promotes deep, clear breathing. Peppermint oil is also great on the scalp, helping to relieve dryness and stimulate blood flow for healthy growth. You’ll want to part the hair and apply it directly to the scalp, then massage it with the fingertips for the best results.
Arguably the most common oil used in aromatherapy, one whiff of lavender essential oil makes us instantly more relaxed. This floral oil makes for a superb acne spot treatment, working to relieve active inflammation all over the body. We also use it for skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema, to aid in skin healing. Apply a few swipes of oil onto pulse points for aromatherapeutic benefits, or to the scalp to mitigate excess oil.
Sweet Orange Oil
A detoxifying oil that comes from orange rind, sweet orange oil is antimicrobial and helps to treat acne. Add this oil (or your favourite citrus essential oil) to pressure points, like the web between our thumb and index finger. Naturally uplifting, this oil can also brighten your mood and energize the mind.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile is a daisy known for its soothing effects as a nightcap tea. In essential oil form, this floral contains potent anti-inflammatory properties that make it equally calming for the skin.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is a legendary herb regarded for soothing the mind, body, and soul. So it’s no surprise that this especially floral essential oil is known for alleviating inflammation as well as relieving pain while naturally easing anxiety.
The perfect oil for almost any skin type, 100% pure rose essential oil makes for a great face and body treatment. Like lavender, the rose has a soothing effect on the mind, but this oil works wonders for the skin as well. Rose is healing, calming, and can treat scarring and redness. Beyond the skincare benefits, rose is also hailed as beneficial for anxiety relief and menstrual pain.
Tea Tree Oil
Last but not least, one of the most potent oils in the game: tea tree essential oil. This oil is antibacterial and antiseptic: useful for treating irritation, inflammation, and acne. Ironically, this is one of the few “oils” that helps to combat excess oil. Another excellent oil for the scalp, the tea tree helps to fight fungus, dandruff, and itchiness for a balanced, healthier head of hair. We use this oil on both pulse points and pressure points for aromatherapy, and of course on blemishes and other irritations as a skin treatment.
WHERE to Apply Essential Oils
From head to our less-than-perfectly manicured toes, numerous skin areas benefit from essential oil application.
Pulse Points and Sore Areas
The areas where we detect our pulse through the skin are usually quite sensitive, and the skin in those areas tends to be thinner. An active essential oil that stimulates, cools, or warms feels sensational in these areas. Of the 9 pulse points, the ones we recommend for applying essential oils are the ankles, inner wrists, inner elbows, neck, and temples. Imagine applying cooling peppermint oil to the ankles after a long run... ah, almost worth the sweat.
What is the difference between a pressure point and a pulse point? A pulse point is where we’ll find our heartbeat, but a pressure point is a network of distinct points where sensation is greater on the body. Pressure points are all over our body, with several on our heads and hands that are great for applying the essential oils that we’ll mention later.
The skin on our scalp is unique in how it functions, in comparison to the skin on the rest of our body. Scalp skin tends to experience the most oiliness, severe dryness, and stress from regular grooming. Thankfully, essential oils applied onto the scalp can help balance, soothe, and relieve scalp issues for better scalp function
It seems like our scalp, feet, and hands are always in competition for the driest part of the body – this is especially true for our hardworking cuticles. The thin skin around our nails suffers from every hand wash or spray of sanitiser, which makes an essential oil rollerball with nail nourishing nutrients an incredible way to keep skin supple and soothed.
Dry / Irritated Areas
Do you have any areas of skin that get recurring irritation or dryness? This might mean eczema (very common on the elbows and knees) or perhaps heat rash or sunburn (typical for the shoulders and neck). 100% PURE essential roller balls on these areas can help relieve an itch, burn, flakes and dryness.
Tips to use Essential Oils:
Always Dilute In Carrier Oil
For all of the essential oils’ benefits, it’s also important to consider their risks. Because they are so concentrated, they can easily irritate if applied directly to the skin. That’s why we recommend choosing a product already formulated with essential oils or diluting your essential oils in a carrier oil for DIY products. Popular carrier oils are jojoba, grapeseed, avocado, rosehip, olive, or sweet almond.
They Shouldn’t Be Used Everywhere
As mentioned before, essential oils can offer a wide variety of properties – meaning they should be applied for targeted concerns, rather than as a blanket treatment. For example, cinnamon essential oils are great for aromatherapy, but their warming properties can be quite irritating on skin. This is why you’ll often see them in lip-plumping products, but never in something like an eye cream.
Seek Out Quality
As with any wellness product, make sure that the essential oils you buy are from a reputable source. Many brands out there are quick to make a profit off of people who seek a healthy lifestyle. Meanwhile, there are small businesses that take pride in their essential oils and display a dedication to quality and efficacy. That’s why it’s always a great idea to research essential oil brands independently – rather than trusting the cheapest option on Amazon.
Don’t Use Expired Essential Oils
While essential oils may have quite a shelf-life, they will eventually expire. When this happens, they are no longer suitable for use – and may even irritate. Typically, essential oils have a shelf life of about 3 years, but they may spoil sooner if they experience prolonged exposure to heat, oxygen, or sunlight.