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Essential Oils

How to Use and Get Benefits of Essential Oils

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Avocado essential oil, chunks, and fruits in white background

Even with the frequently evolving trends in the beauty and wellness industry, some experts still advise the use of natural products. Personal care trends change so rapidly due to constant reinvention with the latest technology. Regardless, natural products such as essential oils have remained a staple when it comes to natural beauty.

Essential oils are extracts taken from organic ingredients such as plants and herbs. They come in various types depending on which part of a plant or herb they are taken. Flower essential oil, leaves essential oil, seeds essential oil, and peel essential oil are some of its most common types. There is also wood essential oil, berry essential oil, and root essential oil to offer you wide-ranging therapeutic effects. Other unique types of extracts include bark essential oil, resin essential oil, and rhizome essential oil.

All these extracts capture the essence of the plant. The oil carries the plant’s healing and therapeutic properties. It may sometimes include flavor or fragrance too. This helps in aromatherapy and massage. You will love essential oils even more when used for personal care. Some oils such as rose and castor essential oil are great for keeping hair and skin healthy.  Here is a detailed run-through of the different types of essential oils. Get to know them better and learn which one suits your needs.

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Contents

    Essential Oil vs. Carrier Oil

    The terms “essential oil” and “carrier oil” are often surrounded by confusion and ambiguity even among essential oil users. They are commonly used for creating oil blends and DIY recipes. But can you really differentiate the two? Castor Oil Review is here to help you. Here are pointers on how to tell one from the other. Check out some examples too.

    Fresh lavender bunch, essential oil and bath salt on wooden background

    Essential Oil

    Essential oils are extracts taken from aromatic portions of plants such as leaves, barks, roots, and flowers. Typically carrying a strong aroma, they are often used in aromatherapy. Since they evaporate easily, it’s ideal to combine them with carrier oils when used for massage. They don’t spoil over time like carrier oils. Instead, essential oils oxidize and lose their therapeutic benefits. Distillation is the most common method of extracting essential oils.

    Examples: lavender oil, rose oil, chamomile oil, eucalyptus oil, patchouli oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, cedarwood oil, sandalwood oil

    Carrier Oil

    Carrier oils are vegetable oils taken from fatty portions of a plant like the seeds, kernels, and nuts. They typically have a thick texture like honey. Unlike essential oils, they don’t evaporate quickly or give off a distinct fragrance. Carrier oils may have an unpleasant taste or smell over time.

    They are mainly used to dilute essential oils for topical applications. They are so named because they “carry” the essential oils to the skin. Pressing the seeds or solvent extraction are the two most common methods of producing carrier oils.

    Examples: Castor oil, argan oil, almond oil, Apricot kernel oil, hazelnut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, pomegranate seed oil

    Essential Oil Categories

    Different types of essential oils are taken from a large number of botanicals. Having such a diverse source, essential oils come in three categories based on how long their aroma lasts.

    • Top Notes – are volatile oils with a strong smell that typically evaporates faster. A carrier oil is very useful when using top note oils. Common examples are peppermint, lemon, basil and eucalyptus oils.
    • Middle Notes – are thicker and viscous oils. They have a more subtle smell that stays longer than top notes. Great examples are thyme, anise, sage, and marjoram oils.
    • Base Notes – are blending agents that bring an oil mixture together. It usually has a lingering aroma such as sandalwood, frankincense, Amyris, and myrrh.

    Wonder what other useful products are made with essential oil? Aside from pure essential oil products you can use for your skin, hair, and body; more products can be created from it. Take castor oil for example. Whether in cosmetics, as a supplement, or castor oil pack – this oil works! Check out how it effectively treats stomach upset.

    How to Dilute Essential Oils

    The best way to reap the benefits of essential oils is to use them with carrier oils. Since essential oils are mostly thin, they disperse quickly. Using them alone may not be a good idea. Before you could even massage it on your skin or apply on your hair, essential oils may have evaporated already. To help keep its therapeutic benefits intact as you use it, try to combine it with a good carrier oil. Choose nutrient-rich and beneficial carrier oils like argan and castor oil. Refer to our Essential Oil Blend Matrix and Conversion Table to guide you on the specific ratio you need.

    Essential Oil Blend Matrix

    Blend Percentage – Drops of Essential Oil (per ounce of Carrier Oil)

    • 1% blend – 6 drops
    • 2% blend – 12 drops
    • 5% blend – 15 drops
    • 3% blend – 18 drops
    • 5% blend – 30 drops
    • 10% blend – 60 drops

    Notes:

    1. For adults, 2.5% blend is typically sufficient. This concentration suits most purposes such as a body massage.
    2. For children under 12 years, 1% blend is normally safe. Always seek the advice of a doctor before using essential oils for children.

    Conversion Table

    Conversion Table Image Here

    Remarkable Uses of Essential Oils

    Are you looking for great ideas on how to use essential oils? Here are the most common essential oil applications you will always want to remember.

    Aromatherapy

    Enhance your overall well-being with essential oils. Aromatic plant extracts and essential oils are great for aromatherapy. You can put it on a diffuser to expel its relaxing fragrance in the room. You can simply sniff from the bottle too. Others enjoy aromatic baths with a few drops in the tub. Inhaling the scent of essential oils has therapeutic effects for the mind and body. Their beautiful aromas help stimulate brain function or boost positive energy.

    Bottles of essential oils, diffuser, and a few flowers on a wooden table

    Sample Recipes:

    With your diffuser, use these simple recipes to fight some mild emotional and mental concerns. Experience relief with just a few drops of essential oils.

    • Essential Oil Blend for Mental Clarity – Fight anxiety with 2 drops bergamot oil, 2 drops clary sage oil, and 1 drop frankincense oil.
    • Essential Oil Blend for Memory and Concentration – Enhance your study habit with 3 drops rosemary oil and 2 drops lemon oil.
    • Essential Oil Blend for Stress – Relieve stress with 3 drops of clary sage oil, 1 drop lemon oil, and 1 drop lavender oil.
    • Essential Oil Blend for Energy and Alertness – Keep your spirits up with 2 drops peppermint oil, 2 drops lemon oil, and 1 drop frankincense oil.
    • Essential Oil Blend for Happiness – Boost your feelings of happiness with 2 drops lemon, orange or bergamot oil; 2 drops grapefruit; and 1 drop ylang-ylang, rose, or neroli oil.

    Massage Therapy

    A massage helps ease discomfort from joint and muscle pains. It’s your best option to soothe everyday and occupational stresses. This hands-on manipulation of body tissues can maintain or improve physical function. With the use of essential oils, a massage could turn into a sensual or therapeutic experience. It is a great way to enjoy the relaxing touch of massage therapy. Indulge in its soothing effects on your body.

    Woman enjoying a relaxing massage in a spa

    Sample Recipes:

    For all these sample recipes, use 1 fl. ounce of carrier oil such as castor oil or argan oil. These are great to use because they are rich in moisture and they help nourish the skin. Blend it with 10 to 12 drops essential oils. Below are some exciting examples you should try. Which one do you think will work for you?

    • Muscle Pain Blend – Relieve sore muscles with 2 drops of ginger oil, 4 drops peppermint oil, 5 drops eucalyptus oil, and 1 drop black pepper oil.
    • Restful Sleep Blend – Have a better sleep after a massage with 5 drops lavender oil and 5 drops Roman chamomile oil.
    • Stress Blend – Calm your stress down with 2 drop lemon oil, 3 drops lavender oil, and 6 drops clary sage oil.
    • Passion Blend – Excite your partner’s desire to make love with an aphrodisiac blend. Use 2 drops jasmine oil and 8 drops sandalwood oil.

    Hair Care

    For soft and shiny hair, using essential oils is the best way to go. Some types of essential oils contain healthy nutrients that keep hair moisturized. Your hair stays silky smooth and easy to manage. There are essential oils that contain fatty acids, vitamin E, and proteins like castor oil. These compounds help boost the growth of healthier and stronger hair. Some oils like coconut oil are effective scalp treatments. Applying it on the scalp may help relieve dandruff and itchiness.

    Young woman's portrait with happy emotions on pink background

    The most common way of using essential oil for hair is by diluting them with a carrier oil. You can choose among several carrier oils to mix essential oils with. It’s good to know your hair type and hair needs so you can make calculated decisions when choosing. Here’s a list of specific hair issues you might want to solve. What do you think is the perfect carrier oil for your hair?

    • Frizzy Hair – Tame unruly hair with avocado oil, olive oil, and shea oil.
    • Dry Hair – Give your locks intense moisture with argan oil, castor oil, and coconut oil.
    • Oily Hair – Regulate sebum on your hair with almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and grapeseed oil.
    • Thin Hair – Grow thicker mane with grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, argan oil, and castor oil.
    • Hair Loss – Fight hair loss and strengthen hair with castor oil, olive oil, argan oil, and coconut oil.
    • Dandruff-Prone Scalp – Relieve itch and get rid of dandruff with coconut oil and castor oil

    Skin Care

    The nourishing properties of many essential oils are great for skin care. Applying it regularly will leave your skin feeling soft and supple. The moisturizing and healing properties of essential oils help rejuvenate the skin. Many types of essential oils contain antioxidants. They help reduce or prevent signs of skin aging. Look younger and fresher with a brighter complexion.  Use all natural skin care products like essential oils.

    Remember that not all essential oils are the same. For more efficient use, it’s important that you find the right essential oil perfect for your skin type. Normal, dry, oily, or combination skin – we got essential oils for those and more!

    • Normal Skin – Pamper normal skin with fennel, frankincense, geranium, German chamomile, jasmine, lavender, lemon, neroli, palmarosa, and rose essential oils.
    • Dry Skin – Heal dry and chapped skin with cedarwood, geranium, German chamomile, hyssop, lavender, myrrh, neroli, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sandalwood essential oils.
    • Oily Skin – Balance oily skin with bergamot, cypress, frankincense, geranium, German chamomile, jasmine, juniper lavender, lemon, lime, orange, palmarosa, rosemary, ylang-ylang essential oils.
    • Combination Skin – Keep combination skin healthy with bergamot, fennel, frankincense, geranium, German chamomile, jasmine, lavender, lemon, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, rosemary essential oils.
    • Aging Skin – Defy skin aging with tangerine, ylang-ylang, patchouli, cypress, sandalwood, lavender, frankincense, rose, palmarosa, elemi essential oils.
    • Red Marks / Dark Spots – Get more flawless skin with lavender, lemon, and frankincense essential oils.

    Food

    Make sumptuous recipes using essential oils. Food grade essential oils are perfect for flavoring and are safe for consumption. These oils can also enhance your dish’s aroma.  It creates a more delightful dining experience. They are common ingredients for sweets and baked goods like cinnamon oil. They make more flavorful soups and marinades too. Peppermint, lemon, and orange are a few essential oil favorites for savory cooking.

    Bottles with different kinds of essential oil for cooking

    Why use essential oils on your dishes? Perhaps, you will love using essential oils for not only improved taste but health reasons as well. To give you a better idea, here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of cooking with essential oils:

    • Enhanced Flavor – Because some essential oils do have a strong taste, they often make your dishes more flavorful. Instead of adding chemical-based powders and flavor enhancers, try essential oils for more satisfying meals.
    • Little Calories – Health conscious? Replace your regular high-calorie kitchen oils with essential oils. If you pay attention to your diet, they are perfect for you! Season all your meals such as salads, soups, and yogurt.
    • Exciting to Use – With essential oils, you can definitely have fun cooking at your kitchen. Find versatility as you reinvent traditional recipes. You can discover new flavors and even come up with original recipes to satisfy craving taste buds.

    Looking for the best brand of essential oils? Check out our list of high-quality essential oils and get full details on the brand, their business, and offered products.

    Precautions When Using Essential Oils

    The use of essential oils is not without some safety precautions. To ensure effective use, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

    Some Oils are Not Suitable for Pregnant Women

    Although essential oils are generally safe to use, some may not be suitable for pregnant women. There are certain essential oil types like castor oil that can induce labor. Rose oil can also help stimulate or increase menstrual flow.

    Pregnant women who use certain essential oils and may not be due for giving birth may experience uterine bleeding. It is harmful to the baby and it could even lead to miscarriage. To avoid it, it is generally safe to avoid using it until the baby is born. When planning to use essential oils during pregnancy, consult a medical expert first. Ensure the safety of the mother and the unborn child.

    Avoid Contact with Eyes

    The eyes are one of the most delicate body organs. They are made up of very sensitive tissues and nerves that are prone to irritation. Putting essential oils on your eyes may result in mild and brief discomfort. In case of an accident, wash affected area immediately with clean water. See an eye doctor right away if irritation persists.

    Some Oils are Not Suitable for Children

    Essential oils, especially aromatic ones, are delightful ingredients for a relaxing aromatherapy. While you can simply put it in a diffuser, you should be mindful when using it around kids. Note that not all essential oils are safe for kids. Before you use them, make sure to conduct a quick research. Protect the health of the entire family by being a smart essential oil user.

    Here are a few examples of essential oils that are safe for the kids:

    • Bergamot
    • Cedarwood, Chamomiles, Clary Sage, Cypress
    • Frankincense
    • Grapefruit
    • Juniper Berry
    • Lavender, Lemon
    • Mandarin, Marjoram
    • Neroli
    • Orange
    • Palmarosa, Patchouli
    • Sandalwood, Spearmint, Spruce
    • Tangerine, Tea Tree
    • Vetiver

    Seek Doctor’s Advice When Needed

    While some essential oils are generally safe for ingestion, you need to make sure they are food grade. Taking them internally may pose harmful effects, especially when consumed in a wrong dosage. Oral consumption of essential oils must only be upon the advice and supervision of a doctor. Always ask for your doctor’s opinion when trying to use castor oil for treating certain medical conditions. They can give you proper instructions to ensure your safety.

    Always Do a Patch Test

    Some essential oils may be too strong and concentrated. They may not be ideal for people with very sensitive skin. To test, always make sure to conduct a patch test before any widespread application. Similar to any new product you want to use on your skin, performing a patch test helps avoid accidents such as burning sensation and irritation. Want to test your sensitivity to a product? The next section tells you how.

    How to Do a Patch Test

    3 Easy Steps for an Effective Patch Test

    1. Wash the area for patch Choose a less obvious spot near the actual area you intend to use the essential oil. For example, the inside of your elbow or wrist will work for body application. If you are going to apply it on the face, try doing the patch test behind your ear.
    2. Put a drop or two of the essential oil on your skin. You may use a cotton ball or cotton swab. Rub essential oil onto the testing area, up to a diameter of 1 inch.
    3. Monitor the area for 24 hours and see if there is any reaction.

    Assessing the Results

    No undesirable effects – You are not sensitive or allergic to the product and can therefore proceed with using it.

    Redness, itching, burning, or rashes – You should be aware of these bad reactions. If you experience any of these, wash the area and discontinue use immediately.

    Feeling nauseous, dizzy, headache, or difficulty in breathing – Wash the area immediately. You may run another round of patch test again the next day.

    However, note that if symptoms persist, you may need to check with a physician immediately. These could be symptoms of anaphylaxis, which is a serious life-threatening allergic reaction. Patients will need medical treatment ASAP. This is an indication that you are sensitive or allergic to the oil.

    Ready to use essential oils for your skin? If you have made it through the patch test, it’s time to show your skin some love with awesome oil blends.

    How to Make Essential Oils Last Longer

    Although essential oils are naturally powerful products, they do not go on forever. Like all commercial beauty products you use, they have a shelf life too. However, there are tricks on how to stretch its lifespan. Do you want to know how?

    The secret lies in your proper safekeeping. You must protect your essential oils from three damaging elements. Keep your oils away from contact with oxygen, heat, and light to avoid degradation.

    Pink rose essential oil bottles on brown background

    Avoid Oxygen Contact

    Oxidation is a chemical process that destroys the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Every time you open a bottle of essential oil, oxygen gets inside. It reacts with some of the components of the essential oil and may cause it to disintegrate. Applying oxidized product on skin leads to increased sensitivity.

    Close the lid of essential oil bottles tightly every after use to avoid oxidation from happening. If you got a huge bottle, try dividing it into smaller bottles. For example, a 30 mL bottle can be divided into two bottles with 15 mL of essential oils. This way, you can store one bottle while using the other for everyday application.

    Store in a Cool Dry Place

    Because most essential oils are highly volatile, they easily evaporate even at room temperature. Exposing them to heat makes its lighter components such as fragrance disperse more quickly. This results to loss of healing properties and benefits.

    Make sure to store essential oils in a cool dry place. Keep them in medicine cabinets or drawers. Others put them in the refrigerator. It’s fine because it helps preserve the oil. Notice that essential oils, especially thicker ones, may turn solid at certain temperatures. But that’s okay. You simply have to warm them before use.

    Keep Away from Light

    Direct sun exposure can damage the essential oil. It’s due to not only the heat but the ultraviolet rays coming from it too. Sunlight may alter or weaken the oil’s natural properties.

    Use amber glass bottle to protect your essential oils against light degradation. Most high-quality oils come in amber glass bottles already. If not, you can buy them from the nearest drug store or online.

    It’s nice to keep your essential oils nice and safe. But isn’t it nicer if you use them? Learn different tips on how to make effective oil blends to make your hair healthy and beautiful. Discover new recipes such as hair mask, anti-dandruff solution, and eyelash booster!

    Ivan Orville

    Hey, I'm Ivan! I recently discovered my love for plants and here I am, nourishing my green thumb. Join me on my adventure on finding the different benefits that we can reap from plants.


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