Tired, hungry and cannot seem to avoid a skin breakout? Essential oils might be the answer to all these problems and more.
Essential oils are not necessarily a new thing, they have been used for thousands of years within beauty, home and general wellness products. What might be new to you is that using pure essential oils alone or in combination with other oils can help fix whatever it is that might concern you. Magic potion? Sign us up!
What are essential oils?
That lavender candle you light after a long work day can make you instantly feel relaxed? Essential oils are like that, but better! The small amount of essential oil used in that candle is a powerful tool when used in its entirety.
Essential oils are derived from the volatile liquids of the plant and obtained from properly distilling any part of the part including branches, seeds, roots, bark, stems, leaves, fruit and/or flowers.
To experience the maximum benefits of essential oils, make sure you choose an non-adulterated therapeutic grade product. According to Aroma Workshop in Chicago, "Adulterated oils contain synthetic chemicals or compounds instead of the pure essential oil -- taking away from the pure effects. [Therapeutic oils] are determined by two factors: environmental Factors and physical Factors; how and when the plant is harvested, how it is distilled and even how it is bottled." Reading the label will tell you where the oils are from and if they are additive-free.
How to use essential oils?
Good news, Womanistas: one of the best ways to use essential oils is by massage. Diffusers are great and all, but let your honey know that dedicated massage time is now a must!
Aroma Workshop explains that the best ways to utilize essential oils include, "Administer[ing] by one of three methods: diffused aromatically such as a diffuser, applied topically to the skin, or taken internally as a dietary supplement."
As important as using your essential oils is storing them. "Leave air space in the bottle so the oil can breath. Before storing and using, turn the bottle over several times to mix."
Oils to Inspire Positivity
According to Nan Martin, LSHC-CRTS of Experience Essential Oils, "Each essential oil’s complex, pleasant, and unique scent activates the limbic system -- the brain’s center of emotion and memory -- differently." Using an essential oil will not automatically turn you into the happiest, most positive and upbeat person. Only chocolate can do that. We kid!
Lavender is well-known for being a relaxing oil, part of why it is relaxing is its gentle, nerve-calming effect. Orange oil offers a variation of calming as it can help alleviate anxiety, depression and even anger. Jasmine can act as a natural anti-depressant; releasing feel-good chemicals in your brain. And if you have grapefruit for breakfast, you are on the right track each morning. Grapefruit is said to combat stress and depression. It’s an enlivening scent that helps wake you up, starting your day right!
Essential oils can also be used in your everyday activities such as cleaning. Those harsh chemicals are not only dangerous for children, but for you as well! There are a number of product lines that include essential oils in their cleaning solution, your guideline to not have adulterated oils will be compromised in some cases. There are non-essential oil natural ingredients that when combined with oils, create a powerful and safe cleaning agent. You can also create your own! We love this guide to green cleaning with essential oils.
Refine Your Skin
You already know our love for face oils, they can be that key product that turns your skin woes upside down. Essential oils can help promote a clear-looking complexion and even soften the appearance of signs of aging.
Tea tree oil is known to kill bacteria without drying out your skin. If you have tried benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to no avail, tea tree might be the gentle yet powerful solution you need.
Hydration is essential (no pun intended!) to keeping skin youthful and jojoba oil can help with that. The oil contains many beneficial ingredients, including vitamin E, vitamin B complex all will moisturize the skin. Just as you may enjoy pomegranate juice or extract for your body health, pomegranate seed oil protects your skin with its bioflavonoids from sun damage.
Relaxation and Sleep
Warm milk, reading before bed, thinking peaceful thoughts -- if nothing seems to work to help you fall asleep or at the very least, ease the racing thoughts in your mind, oils are to the rescue. Just as oils stimulate receptors and activate the limbic system associated with weight loss, they can do the same with state of mind. Turn off any distractions -- sorry Netflix and Etsy, you will have to wait -- and close your eyes, allowing the essential oils to work through your senses.
Oils can help boost your overall wellness, even if you think you are feeling fine. For example, oregano is anti-parasitic, can help with athletes foot and help ease sore muscles. If your digestion is feeling a bit off, oregano is said to help.
Eucalyptus oil can be used as an anti-inflammatory, decongestant, deodorant or antiseptic. If you are having trouble focusing and staying alert, cardamom is a natural stimulant. The oil can invigorate the mind and alleviate fatigue -- we are swapping out our coffee, stat! Well, maybe one cup of it.