Essential Oils 101

Organic and holistic approaches to skincare (and overall health) practices are having a moment. Now, more so than ever before, when you grab a beauty product from the shelf, you’ll read–clearly advertised–”infused with essential oils” or “made with essential oils”. Okay, great. But what exactly are essential oils, and what can they do for you?

Valley’s got the scoop to help you get savvy in navigating this oily realm.

First things first–essential oils are extremely concentrated plant extracts. With that being said, these oils are completely natural and highly potent. If you do decide to purchase pure essential oils (not a product that is infused with the oils) then you must also buy a “carrier” oil, which dilutes the essential oil as well as aids in the process of absorption into the body. Some common carrier oils include: olive, avocado, sunflower seed and grape seed oils.

The uses for essential oils are practically limitless. Essential oils can be used for aromatherapy, easing muscle inflammation, as well as treating some skin conditions. You’ll also see these oils featured in skincare or hair care products at local beauty stores.

Aids Sleeping

Simply smelling essential oils before you go to sleep relaxes you for a restful night sleep. Another option is to spray the essential oil on your pillow for a constant calming affect.

Oils known to help with sleep: rose, lavender, chamomile and sandalwood

Helps with Anxiety

Alleviate stress in just 30 seconds by taking the oil and massaging it on your temples (pressure points) to naturally get rid of any tension.

Look for these oils to help yourself relax: orange, clary sage, lemon and bergamot

Keeps You Focused

We all know the feeling of being physically present, but not mentally “there.” Staying focused and motivated throughout the entire day is hard, but when that mental slump hits, put down that Red Bull and reach for essential oils instead! Sniffing the right scent blend or even spraying some on your face can instantly revitalize you.

Shop these scents to give you a little push to finish out the day strong: peppermint, grapefruit, cedar and basil

Stops Inflammation

Whether it be a blemish, sunburn or an aching muscle–essential oils can soothe any redness or pain. Pat a few drops of the oil on a blemish to zap away redness. To aid in muscle pain, massage the oil on the afflicted area, and let your skin absorb it.

Oils to purchase for blemishes: tea tree oil, rosemary, lavender and oregano

For muscle inflammation: chamomile, peppermint, ginger and cayenne

Once you get comfortable using essential oils, you can start experimenting and creating your own oil blends. Essential oils are conveniently sold at Wegmans and Trader Joe’s–head over there and get yours ASAP!