Your Basic Guide To Essential Oils

We are pretty sure you’ve been wanting to try essential oils! Stress, skincare, health or good old ‘lack of sleep’ – there’s always an essential oil solution to a health problem. But, what do you actually buy and which oils help to relieve common ailments – we tell it all! Consider this your basic, first-level guide to essential oils and how they can be incorporated into your home and lifestyle.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extracted from plants and have aromatic compounds with a therapeutic effect. They are extracted via different methods but usually from the most aromatic parts of a plant. Does the fact that they are natural make them gentle? No, in fact, essential oils can be highly potent and need to be handled with extra care. When used correctly, you can reap several benefits of essential oils by adding aroma to your home oil burner, massaging your skin or even complementing your skin and haircare!

How to buy essential oils?

Smell something at your spa that you love? Make note of the essential oil they are using, so you can buy some for your home too! The easiest way to choose the right, mood-lifting essential oil is to smell it. You can also try dabbing a drop on your wrist or temple to enjoy the oil and its fragrance. But beware, in a commercial set up, it can be quite difficult to know which essential oil is worth spending your money on. Keep in mind though, that good quality and unadulterated oils are hard to find and their overly processed versions can irritate the skin and even your nasal passages.

Uses of essential oils

Essential oils come with a myriad of uses. We’ve listed down some of our favourite reasons for using essential oils:

Face oils

They reduce Stress

If you are looking for an easy way to reduce your stress levels, consider using an essential oil. Oils like peppermint can allow you to focus better while eucalyptus and jasmine can boost your mood. In fact, speak to a naturopath and chances are they will send you home with a long list of essential oils that are natural remedies for anxiety and stress. Just dab a little bit on your wrists or spray an essential oil around your room – you would be surprised at how much it can help!

They help you sleep

Some people also use essential oils as a natural therapy for sleep. Jasmine, ylang-ylang, camomile and lavender are all known to be sleep enhancers. You don’t need a fancy diffuser either! Just take a quality essential oil and add a few drops to your bath. Slowly and deeply breathe in all the goodness and watch as your body gets ready for that much-needed snooze.

They soothe the body and muscular aches

Peppermint is a commonly used essential oil for pain-relieving ointments. Similarly, other oils such as vetiver, pine, and camomile help to reduce pain and inflammation as well as soothe swelling or soreness that you may feel.

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How to use essential oils(and how not to!)

  • If you are using a diffuser, don’t let it run all day long. Just use it for around half an hour and get all the benefits and fragrance of your favourite essential oil.
  • While some people do ingest essential oils, the best way to start is for you to smell them. As a beginner, just try essential oils in the form of candles or spray. You can also use them in a diffuser. Small bottles can also be carried around in your handbag for you to sniff throughout the day.
  • Never apply essential oils directly to your skin. Unless already mentioned in the packaging, always dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil as by itself the product may be too potent.
  • Make sure to store your essential oils well. Oils generally need to be kept in cool, dark places so they do not lose their benefit. Wondering if your essential oil has gone bad? Just smell it to see if the fragrance has changed – it’s an easy way to tell!
  • Don’t forget to experiment! Often you may find that you are attracted to essential oils that aren’t known to all. Just go with your gut and choose. It may uplift your mood and add the right ambience to your home.

5 most popular essential oils

Lavender Essential Oil


Lavender is often used in body care products to offer your skin some much-needed relaxation. It is a multipurpose oil that helps to balance out moisture in your skin as well as reduce redness. In ancient Egypt, Lavender oil was used for embalming bodies while in Rome, it was a well-known antiseptic. And if you’re having trouble falling asleep, your first port of call should be Lavender! Spray some on your pillow or add to your humidifier for a night of calming bliss.

Frankincense essential oil

Frankincense essential oil has a variety of uses including boosting your mood and creating the feeling of a safe and comforting environment. Often used during prayer or meditation, this essential oil makes the perfect addition to a spiritual experience. Frankincense is also helpful for skin radiance and can help to smoothen it. It rejuvenates the skin and produces an inflammatory response, promoting cellular health as well as better immunity for the body.

Peppermint oil


Run out of Peppermint tea? Opt for that essential oil bottle when you begin to feel sluggish instead! Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile oils you can find – from treating nausea to headaches, to relieving itching and muscle pain, this popular essential oil works as an analgesic for the whole body.

Lemongrass essential oil

That fragrance at your spa is probably Lemongrass oil. Lemongrass essential oils are commonly used as aromatherapy to help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Make sure to never apply essential oils directly to your body. Instead, use lemongrass essential oil by adding it to a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, and then massage them into your skin. Alternatively, add a few drops to your humidifier and inhale the steam through your nose. You can even buy diffusers with lemongrass essential oil to keep its aroma wafting through your home.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang has been used to treat a variety of diseases including malaria! It also has calming properties and is an excellent de-stressor. Most commonly found in South East Asia, the Ylang Ylang flower contains potent anti-bacterial properties that make it an excellent cleanser. Got oily skin? Ylang Ylang is also good at balancing the skin and regulating sebum production!

Note – Only use these oils for topical use. Please speak to a medical provider before ingesting essential oils.