Essential oils are highly concentrated naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds found in the leaves, seeds, bark, roots, flowers, stem and other parts of the plant. They are both powerfully and beautiful fragrant and they give plants their characteristic smells, play a role in pollination and protect plants against some pests. In addition to their beautiful fragrance and intrinsic benefits to plants, essential oils have been used for ages in food preparation, health-care practices, and beauty treatment.
More specifically, volatile aromatic compounds are small organic molecules that quickly change from their solid or liquid state to gaseous state at room temperature. Typically, when you first open your bottle of essential oil, you will immediately notice the aroma and you can even smell it from a distance. The chemical and physical properties of essential oils allow them to quickly diffuse in the air and interact with the olfactory sensors in your nose.
There are over 3,000 varieties of aromatic compounds identified so far. Their properties vary from one plant to another within the botanical families. Generally, essential oils come with a wide range of therapeutic and medical benefits including fighting flu and cold symptoms, healing skin conditions, alleviating pain, improving digestion, reducing aging symptoms, balancing hormones, and much more. The list of health and therapeutic use for these aromatic compounds is almost endless, and science continues to discover even more uses every year.
How To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils get into your body through the nose and are also absorbed through the skin. Additionally, simply surrounding yourself with the energetic value of these oils can greatly benefit you. Here are some of the general ways through which you can use essential oils.
You can use essential oils in a bath for therapy and pleasure. Just be sure not to use an oil that is not irritating or sensitizing on the skin. Add 5-8 drops of your chosen oil in the bath water and swish the water around before getting in.
This is effective for essential oils that are known to have a clearing effect and support the respiratory system. They include rosemary, Eucalyptus, Spike Lavender and Fir. Prepare a blend of 15-20 drops of the oil and rub it on the chest and upper back.
Fill a small bowl with water and add 3-5 drops of essential. Stir briskly, soak a small piece of cloth in it, rinse and apply to the problem area. You can use warm or cold water depending on your needs.
Essential oil diffusers, also known as aromatherapy diffusers, disperse essential oils in the air in a number of different ways. They are a great way to add some refreshingly therapeutic fragrances into your living room.
You can directly apply some essential oils to the skin to soothe minor insect’s bites, burns, and rashes. The best essential oils for this method include tea tree and lavender oil.
Add 1-2 drops of essential oil into a teaspoon of honey and mix thoroughly. Dilute with 30ml of warm water to dissolve the honey. Gargle with a small amount of this solution and spit out.
Sprinkle a few drops of an essential oil into a tissue or handkerchief and inhale. Alternatively, add 3-5 drops of your aromatherapy oil into a bowl of steaming water. Using a large towel, cover your head, close your eyes, put your face above the bowl and inhale deeply.
Massage using aromatherapy oils improves circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, eases physical tension and relieves mental stress. This is definitely one of the best ways to experience the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.
Essential Oils For Skincare
Skin in the biggest organ of your body, it’s what stands between your body and the environment. It keeps off lots of outside elements, many of which will harm us otherwise. The skin also acts as an indicator of many internal problems such as infections, deficiencies, fungus, allergies and so on. This means that our skin will from time to time suffer from minor to serious ailments that can be difficult to treat and may cause misery. Luckily, essential oils are great for treating lots of skin conditions.
Essential oils have been used for over 5000 years as natural remedies to improve the health of skin and body in general. The benefits of essential oils come from their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Essential oils are growing in popularity due to the fact they are effective and natural remedies without any side effects. Below are some of the most common skin conditions and the essential oils used to treat them
Essential Oils for Acne Treatment
Acne (Acne Vulgaris) is a skin disease that occurs when hair follicles are clogged with oil and dead skin cells from the skin. It’s often characterized by areas of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads, and greasy skin which may result in scarring. The oil buildup around the hair follicles forms food that bacteria feed on. Below are the essential oils that have been proven to treat acne breakouts.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Oregano Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Optional)
- Avocado Essential Oil
- Geranium Essential Oil (Optional)
- Rosewood Essential Oil (Optional)
- Lemongrass Essential Oil (Optional)
Tea Tree essential oil has the strongest effect against acne; the rest can be mixed optionally. To use the above oils, mix them in equal parts, ideally, 1-2 drops of each depending on how much you need. Then mix the blend with a teaspoon of carrier oil; Fractionated Coconut Oil is recommended.
Wash your skin and apply the blend in the affected area in the morning and evening. Simply allow the blend to be absorbed into your skin; you don’t need to do anything else. Keep applying the essential oils until the acne recedes.
Essential Oils for Rosacea Treatment
Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by facial redness and dilated blood vessels, pustules, papules and swelling on the facial skin. The condition typically starts as redness on the nose, cheeks, or forehead and less commonly on the neck, ears, chest and scalp.
Essential oils for Rosacea are effective on both young and the adults. There are some creams and lotions available in the market for treatment of Rosacea, but they often don’t offer a permanent cure. Essential oils, when used with sweet almond or jojoba carrier oils can offer great relief to Rosacea patients. The most effective essential oils against Rosacea include Lavender, Sandalwood, chamomile, cedar, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Frankincense essential oils.
Essential Oils for Ringworm Treatment
The wound healing and antifungal properties of essential oils are great in eliminating ringworm. For this reason, essential oils are often included in standard ringworm creams and lotions. The most promising remedies include oils such as Neem and Tea Tree essential oil. If used continuously for a period of one month, they can also help get rid of athlete’s foot (ringworm of the feet).
Mix 2-3 drops of Neem and Tea Tree essential oil into a teaspoon of Olive or Jojoba oil and apply to the affected area 2 times per day for a period of one month.
Essential Oils for Skin Cancer Treatment
Essential oils have proved to be tremendously useful when it comes to treatment of skin cancer. You can easily reduce the sleepiness and anxiety associated with skin cancer using essential oils. The best essential oil for skin cancer is Frankincense. You simply apply the oil directly on the lesions in the affected area for a period of 4 months. Essential oils provide a natural, safe and non-irritating treatment to the side effects of invasive cancer treatment procedures.
Essential Oils for Oily skin
There are a number of essential oils that can help balance your Oily skin. Below are the most recommended oils and lotions for balancing an oily skin;
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil.
Aloe Vera gel.
Witch Hazel lotion.
This recipe emulates the commercial lotions designed for oily skins, but with a pleasant fragrance and a natural balance of certain astringent properties. To use this recipe, mix 12 drops of lemongrass, 2 drops Ylang Ylang Oil, 6 drops Juniper Berry Oil, 1 ounce of Aloe Vera gel and 1 ounce of witch hazel lotion. Use the mixture as part of your daily skin care protocol and be sure to store the remaining solution in glass rather than a plastic jar.
Essential Oils for Dry Skin
Dry skin is a skin condition characterized by scaling, cracking and itching of the skin. It occurs primarily due to lack of enough water in the epidermis layer of the skin. Some skins are also naturally dry. But even for people whose skins seem to be naturally oily can develop dry skin from time to time due to dehydration, certain skin conditions, and medications.
Dry skin can develop on any body part, but it’s more likely to affect your arms, hands, knuckles, knees and legs. Lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturizers may be effective at times. But they are not enough to effectively restore your dry skin.
Dermatitis is a medical condition for a severely dry skin, and there are different types of dermatitis including allergic contact, irritant contact, atopic and seborrheic dermatitis. If you have dry, sensitive skin that tends to easily get irritated, essential oils might be your best bet.
The most effective essential oil against the dry skin is Myrrh Essential Oil. To use this oil, make a 2% dilution of Myrrh oil in Virgin Coconut oil and apply to the affected areas. For instance, mix 12 drops of Myrrh Essential Oil in 30ml of Virgin Coconut Oil. If the mixture is used as a lotion, it acts faster to restore your skin condition compared o commercial moisturizers.
Essential Oils for Sunburn
If you underestimate the brightness of the sun or how long you will be there, chances are you will end up with sunburn. Everyone gets sunburned at one point in life. Common symptoms of sunburn include reddish skin, general fatigue, pain and mild dizziness. Common sunburn cases should raise no worries as they can be easily reversed. However, excess sunburn from UV radiation can be life-threatening in extreme cases.
Luckily for you, there are simple essential oils that can reverse your sunburn. Lavender essential Oil is your best bet when looking to get rid of sunburns naturally and effectively. To use this oil, mix 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil in 100ml of Aloe Vera gel. Dab this mixture in the sunburned area as often as needed until the sunburn heals. If you don’t have Aloe Vera gel you can use Aloe Vera juice. In this case, put the whole mixture in a spray bottle and spray in the affected area.
Essential Oils for Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a form of skin scarring with an off-color hue. They can reduce over time, but they may not disappear completely. Typically, stretch marks are formed during the last trimester of pregnancy, usually on the belly, but sometimes on the thighs, breasts, lower back, thighs and buttocks. Stretch marks may also occur due to puberty, bodybuilding, weight gain, and hormone replacement therapy.
As with other kinds of discoloration and scarring of the skin, essentials oils can help get rid of stretch marks. Below is an essential oil recipe that can help with stretch marks.
- Virgin Coconut Oil
- Geranium Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
Mix 4 drops of each essential oil in 30ml of Virgin Coconut Oil. Apply the blend to the area of stretch marks every day. Even though it might take a while for the stretch marks to completely disappear, but the anti-inflammatory and nourishing nature of this blend will ultimately give you good results.
Essential Oils for Sunspots
Sunspots, also called aging spots or liver spots occur at an older age when the body is unable to recover from UV radiation damage in good time. The sunspots can be lighter or darker than your normal skin tone and come in different colors and shapes. They usually occur where the skin s irregularly exposed to UV to the sun such as your nose, upper lip, cheeks, forehead, ears, arms, neck, and back of your hands.
Sunspots can be easily eliminated using three effective essential oils namely Myrrh Essential Oil, Frankincense Essential Oil and Lavender Essential Oil. The three can be used independently to treat sunspots; however, to get quick results, combine 8 drops of each oil with 60mls of Coconut Oil and apply in the area of sunspots daily. This blend will promote rejuvenation and healing of the affected skin and get rid of darker pigmentation.
Essential Oils Itchy Skin and Allergies
Itchiness can be caused by many different things such as irritate skin, dry skin, allergies, sensitive skin, and so on. While it’s crucial to find out what is causing the itchiness, it might take some time for you to identify the actual problem. Meanwhile, treating the symptoms can save you from the painful misery.
Peppermint and lavender essential oils have been shown to alleviate the pain, irritation, and flakiness associated with itchy skins. To use these oils, take 3 drops of Lavender and Peppermint and mix with 30mls of Fractionated Coconut Oil or Almond Oil. Gently spread the blend over the affected area. This will soothe the itching and prevent further breakouts.
Essential Oils to Eliminate Bags and Wrinkles Under the Eyes.
Bags under the eyes can occur as a result of water retention, fatigue, not getting enough sleep, dermatitis, allergies and genetics. Eye wrinkles on the other are caused by some aging factors that reduce elastin and collagen including Environmental Aging, Genetic aging, and Hormonal Aging.
It’s best to directly tackle the underlying causes, but before then, essential oils can help you reduce the swelling. Your best bet when it comes to addressing bags under the eyes and eye wrinkles is Cypress Essential Oil. Cypress Essential Oil is a powerful diuretic and astringent that can help combat the swelling. Mix 2 drops of cypress Essential Oil with a teaspoon of melted Virgin Coconut Oil. Apply this blend under and around your eyes before going to bed. Be careful not to get the mixture into your eyes as this may be painful and irritating.
Essential Oils to Eczema and Psoriasis
Eczema is a term used to describe a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become irritated or inflamed. The most common form of Eczema is atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. The condition causes rashes and inflammation on the skin characterized by reddish, itchy patches.
Psoriasis, on the other hand, is an irritating skin condition characterized by skin cells that multiply too fast than the normal cells. The underlying cells die when they get on the skin surface, which causes raised plaques covered with white scales.
There are several recommended essential oil protocols that can help relieve Eczema and Psoriasis related symptoms. These include Tea tree and Oregon essential oils. To use these two, mix 9 drops of tea tree and 3 drops of oregano essential oils in 30mls of fractionated carrier oil. Put the blend in a spray bottle and spray the affected area 2-3 times per day until the symptoms subside. Learn more about the treatment of Eczema, here.
Using Essential Oils To Fight Fungal Infections
A variety of fungal infections can cause flaky, red, itchy skin. Common fungal infections include athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infection, oral thrush, nail fungus, diaper rash and jock itch. Luckily, essential oils have very powerful antifungal properties that can take care of a wide range of fungal infections. Several scientific studies have also backed up these claims.
The most effective anti-fungal essential oils include Oregano Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil and Lavender Essential Oil. The best ways to get quick results is by mixing 1 drop of each of the three oils into 2 teaspoons of fractionated Coconut Oil and stir briskly. Apply the mixture to the affected area 2-3 times per day as long as the inflammation or rash persists.
Essential Oils for Skin Boils
A boil is an infected and inflamed lump located on or under the skin. The condition is commonly caused by staphylococcus bacterium. The boils often appear as red, tender, inflamed and painful, and can appear very suddenly within 24 hours. The nearest lymph nodes often become tender and swollen. The pus that drips during handling can easily contaminate other skin areas causing even more boils.
Other causes apart from the bacterium include poor hygiene, stress, airborne and food allergy, lower resistance, illness, poor nutrition, constipation, certain drugs and a toxic bloodstream and bowel.
The most effective treatment for skin boils is by use of a hot compress with certain essential oils. The essential oils work by drawing out the boil and speeding up healing. Some of the essential oils that have been found to be effective include lavender, Bergamot and Tea tree oils. Gently wash the affected are 2 times daily with a 1-3% dilution of lavender, Bergamot or Tea tree.
Essential Oils For Skin Tags
A skin tag is a small tag on the skin that looks like a piece of soft hanging skin. Skin tags are also known as cutaneous papilloma, acrochordon, cutaneous tag, fibroma molluscum, fibroepithelial polyp, soft fibroma, fibroma pendulum, and Templeton skin tags.
Skin tags can develop on any part of the skin, but they most commonly occur in areas where your skin rubs such as against the clothing or skin such as Eyelids, Under the breasts, Axillae (armpits), Groin, Under the breasts, Neck (papilloma colli) and Upper chest.
Essential oils are very effective in getting rid of skin tags as long as they are used correctly and consistently used. Some of the most powerful oils against this condition include Australian tea tree oil, Oregano oil, Frankincense oil, and castor oil. The named essential oils will work perfectly to eliminate this extra bit of skin without harming or adding toxins in your body.
Essential oils are safe and natural remedies for a wide range of illnesses and skin conditions as listed above. The best part about using essential oils is that you don’t have to worry about side effects or introducing toxic elements in your body. Due to their extensive health benefits, essential oils are continually being explored by the science community for treatment of more serious diseases such as cancer, asthma, HIV, Bronchitis, heart strokes, bronchitis and more. We, therefore recommend that you try out these very effective and natural remedies for your skin conditions first before opting for over the counter lotions and creams.