by Alexandra Nicole

The Best Essential Oils for Every Need—And How to Use Them

The BEAUBIT guide with all the info you need on essential oils; everything from how you should dilute your oils to the best blends for every need.

Image via @brit_gill

In times of uncertainty, even the calmest and the least anxious person might resort to their favourite roll-on essential oil for some tension release. After all, the herbal wellness treatment, which dates back thousands of years, can have serious benefits for the mind and body. It’s more than just something to include in your self-care routine; their benefits range from improving your sleep to easing tension to providing a boost when you’re feeling a midday drop in energy. Below, our guide on essential oils—how, when, and where to use them.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. Rose oil, for example, comes from rose petals, while citrus oils come from the rind.

Because essential oils are all-natural, you might assume that they’re gentle, which isn’t the case at all—they’re actually quite potent. Which is why they must be handled with care. This means that a few drops go a long way, and essential oils should be diluted properly before applying them directly to the skin. This is so you can avoid a potential skin reaction and it also allows them to work better. The molecules of pure essential oils tend to evaporate very quickly in the air.

Another word of caution: people suffering from asthma, people with sensitive skin, pregnant women and infants are known to be sensitive to certain blends and quantities of essential oils. While pregnant women may be able to use some oils in low concentrations, the other groups should probably avoid using them altogether.

Those who are not aware of sensitivities should practice caution when trying a new variety. Always talk to your doctor and do your research before trying out any essential oils.

How do I use essential oils?

The quickest and easiest way is to inhale them, an immediate perk-me-up that changes your state of mind and stress level. If you have time and are in the mood for a more relaxing experience, you can squeeze a few drops of an oil blend of your choice into your bath, or into a bowl of hot water for a facial steam session.

Another way is to use them in diffusers and humidifiers, to disperse the scent into the air. But do take note if you own any household pets; essential oils like ylang-ylang oil may be toxic to cats, so do your research before you introduce any essential oil aromatherapy into your home.

How do I dilute my oils?

In most cases, you’ll need a carrier oil—a neutral, plant-based oil that can act as a base. Common ones are sweet almond, jojoba, olive, sunflower seed, avocado, and grapeseed.

A general rule of thumb is to aim for a one to five per cent dilution: six to 30 drops of essential oil per 30ml of carrier oil. It really depends on the amount you’re using and how concentrated you want it to be.

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