Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.Jean de Boufflers
I’m a happy, plant based person.
I grow plants, I eat plants and I use plants in my skincare.
Perhaps one of my favourite plant-based products is the essential oil.
Complex, yet simple. Useful, yet luxurious. Pragmatic and uplifting.
Essential oils are extracted and concentrated from the source plant traditionally by steam distillation, or cold pressing the oil from the plant.
Today, a huge range of delicate essential oils are extracted using volatile solvents, like carbon dioxide, that are then evaporated from the oil to produce a concentrated, unadulterated and expensive essential oil or absolute.
The huge range of essential oils on offer can be frankly overwhelming. So if you are new to essential oils, start your collection slowly.
Get to know each oil before discovering the next one.
Despite the fact some of these essential oils are readily available from your supermarket, they are potent and need to be treated with caution. A drop of essential oil goes a long way! Where one drop is suggested, do not think that two drops will be doubly good.
Some of these oils are not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with low blood pressure or people who take certain medications. Always check for any contraindications before using essential oils.
It is always a good idea to do a patch test of any essential oil you have not regularly used before. Simply put a drop of the oil on the inside of your wrist and observe for a few hours. if any irritation or sensitivity develops, like itching or redness, discontinue else. Unless instructed by a qualified healthcare professional, do not ingest essential oils.
Keep your essential oils in a cool dark place, away from the kids!
My Top Six Essential Oils
I have chosen my top six essential oils that I use most regularly and simply can’t do without! They are reasonably priced, readily available and a fantastic start to curating your own essential oil collection.
All six oils blend well together, so experiment with creating your own custom scents and blends for you and your home
Lavender is beneficial for all skin types. Lavender has many proven benefits for use on your skin as it is antibacterial, antifungal and antinflammatory.
Lavender can be used neat on
There is some evidence that lavender is beneficial to help calm and ease anxiety.
Lavender is a natural insect repellant. I love to place a few drops in my drawers and wardrobe for a subtle fresh scent and to discourage moths and silverfish from settling in!
Peppermint essential oil is my go-to oil when I need a mental refresh or can feel a stress headache coming on.
The impressive benefits of Peppermint essential oil have been extensively
When pregnant with my children, sniffing peppermint was one of the few remedies that would help relieve the endless waves of nausea!
Peppermint has antispasmodic properties, offering relief for muscle and joint pain. Just add a few drops to an
If you are suffering from sunburn a few drops in a tablespoon of aloe vera is cooling to the skin and can help sooth the pain.
Inhaling peppermint oil can clear the sinuses and even help with hayfever or seasonal allergies.
I love to use peppermint in my bathrooms and kitchen, it smells so fresh and invigorating! A few drops in a clean dishwasher and household drains will help deter bacteria and keep them smelling fresh.
Anyone who has experienced a cold knows how much relief inhaling eucalyptus essentail oil offers! The health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil are well documented and include boosting your immune system, protection from a variety of infections and relief from respiratory ailments.
Researchers have found that its “broad-spectrum antimicrobial action make it an attractive alternative to pharmaceuticals.” This is why eucalyptus essential oil is the hero of my Laundry! I use a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the rinse cycle of my washing with white vinegar for a clean, fresh scent and to gently disinfect.
Eucalyptus is poisonous and must not be ingested (unless you are a koala!) I choose not to use it on my skin as I prefer alternatives, but if you want to topically apply eucalyptus essential oil to your skin, it must be diluted to 1-5% in a carrier oil.
Tea tree is indispensable in our first aid kit. Potently antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, it is useful for everything from bites, pimples, cuts and even as a hand sanitiser with a few drops diluted in aloe vera gel.
Tea tree essential oil, like eucalyptus, must be diluted when used otherwise it can irritate and damage your skin. Some people are really sensitive to tea tree essential oil so be sure to do a patch test.
I confess I don’t love the scent of tea tree oil so it is the one oil of these six that I don’t use in my steam diffuser.
It was the Greeks and Romans who first proclaimed rosemary’s ability to improve memory, soothe digestion and relax muscle aches and pains. Numerous studies have since confirmed many of Rosemary essential oils therapeutic properties.
My favourite use for rosemary oil is for my hair as it promotes growth, imparts shine and keeps dandruff at bay..
Rosemary is also one of the best oils for treating a hangover or a bad nights sleep. Add 5-10 drops to your soap, shampoo or body wash the morning after the night before for a little relief!
Thanks to the evidence that rosemary aids brain function and memory, rosemary is always used in my office! I blend it with mandarin and lavender essential oil, it smells amazing and is a signal to my brain that it is time to get down to work.
I actually don’t enjoy a lot of citrus essential oils because my skin is sensitive to them. Mandarin is so gentle, it is the exception and I can use it diluted topically on my skin with no irritation.
Mandarin is sweet yet sharp, with a recognisably citrusy scent. I love to use it in the diffuser with the other oils for its cheerful, sunny scent.
I use mandarin essential oil for griping pain and the general, sometimes vague “tummy aches” that kids can get. A few drops diluted into a tablespoon of grapeseed oil and applied on a clockwise motion to the stomach after a warm bath can relieve stomach aches and help get a good nights rest.
So do you have favourite essential oils that you use on a regular basis? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below!