Essential oils can bring a lot of benefits to one’s health and wellbeing. However, picking the right essential oil can feel as overwhelming as it feels calming and soothing.
Just as not all regular medicines and therapies work for everyone, not all essential oils work for everyone either. Multiple factors need to be considered to determine what essential oils would work best for an individual’s needs. If you want to step into the world of essential oils but find it confusing, start with finding out the following nine things to find the right essential oil for you:
Have You Done Enough Research?
Essential oils get a bad rep, which is mostly due to some of the users’ enthusiasm. Several people claim essential oils to be magic potions, but it’s important to mention that reality is a little different. Scientifically, essential oils don’t contain magic ingredients. They will not cure serious ailments or diseases either.
In the self-care industry, ‘chemicals’ also get a bad rep. It is why before you incorporate essential oils in your routine, you should understand that though essential oils are completely organic, they’re still made up of chemicals. Many people confuse ‘organic’ as a synonym of ‘non-synthetic.’ Non-synthetic is anything that isn’t made in a lab or through mixing raw chemical compounds. At the same time, organic is anything derived naturally from plants or animals and hasn’t been mixed with raw chemicals. However, organic compounds are also made up of chemical compounds.
Everything in the universe is made up of chemicals, including humans and other animals as well as plants. Not all chemicals are harmful, and not everything that is made in a lab is harmful either. Chemicals are what make up the biological cells in all organisms. Organic health and wellbeing products can be safer than synthetic health and wellbeing products because they’re natural. However, they may contain certain chemical compounds that you believed only existed in synthetic products.
Before you begin using essential oils, you should research exactly how essential oils benefit people. You don’t want to have high hopes only to be let down.
What Are You Using Them For?
Picking out the right essential oil becomes easy when you know the purpose you want to use it for. Most people who benefit from essential oils use them for aromatherapy. Essential oils extracted from Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Jasmine, and Chamomile have been used in aromatherapy practices for thousands of years.
Another good reason to incorporate essential oils into one’s home is their insect repellent properties.Some manufacturers use essential oils such as thyme, citronella, sage, rosemary, peppermint, and lemon in organic insect repellants. Some people may also see benefits like improved quality of sleep and suppressed hunger by continued use of essential oils. Some essential oils can also relieve nausea, congestion, or cramps in some people.
There are up to 90 different types of essential oils available in the market these days. The essential oil that would fit your needs can depend on the specific aromatherapy practice you want to incorporate in your routine or the specific insects you wish to repel from your home.
What Does Your Doctor Say?
Different people tend to benefit from different things. It’s completely okay to incorporate alternative medicines into your routine if your doctor knows and approves. Don’t go against your doctor’s advice and use essential oils or anything else, which may obstruct your ongoing treatment.
You should take your doctor on board if you suffer from a serious medical ailment and want to use essential oils to relieve yourself of some of its symptoms. Don’t assume your doctor will discourage their use because essential oils are sometimes used in alternative medicine. Your doctor is most likely to approve your use of essential oils for aromatherapy.
On the other hand, if you don’t suffer from any serious health complications, you don’t need any doctor’s permission to use essential oils. However, if you develop some health concerns by using essential oils, please consult a doctor as soon as you can.
Have You Accounted for Allergies?
It is important to read up on the ingredients in essential oil blends before using them. Some essential oils, especially if applied to the skin, can trigger allergies in some people. These allergies can continue to worsen when not detected or taken care of immediately. In severe cases, people can develop rashes, blisters, or scaling of skin too.
Inhaling essential oils through diffusers or homemade candles can also result in itchiness of skin, eyes, or nose or other allergies affecting the respiratory system. People can experience stuffy or runny noses, watery eyes, or sneezing. In extreme cases, the use of essential oils can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, hives, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some people may also experience symptoms similar to those of an anxiety attack.
To avoid allergic reactions from essential oils, research well on the ingredients of the essential oil you want to use and make sure it’s free of any allergens. If you’re confused, consult with your doctor. They will guide you on if you should use the essential oil and in what quantity.
How Will You Apply Essential Oils?
There are two safe ways to use essential oils: through inhalation and topical application.
Essential oils can be inhaled through their use in diffusers, candles, burners, and sprays. Essential oils can be mixed with pre-made candles by melting the wax in a double-boiler or making homemade candles. You can also mix it with water and spray it in any room to deodorize it. Essential oils are mixed in with water when using in diffusers and burners too.
Most essential oils used as mood boosters are used in diffusers, candles, and burners. Common mood booster essential oils include lavender, chamomile, sage, and ylang-ylang. In the form of sprays, essential oils are commonly used as disinfectants and insect repellants. Many people also use lavender essential oil mixed in with water as a spray in their bedrooms, specifically on their sheets and pillows to improve their sleep.
Topical application refers to diluting the essential oil with a carrier and applying it directly to the skin. Using a carrier is necessary as essential oils can harm the skin when applied directly. Usually, the carrier is another oil that is safe for direct application on the skin. The dilution should only leave 3% of essential oil concentration in the mixture. A concentration greater than 3% can harm the skin.
The method of topical application is mostly used in aromatherapy massages or baths. However, before practicing this method, people with sensitive skin should consult a dermatologist. Essential oils with disinfecting properties such as peppermint, lemon, and citronella should not be used on the skin with or without the carrier oil. Topical use of any essential oil should also be avoided on damaged skin.
What Carrier Oil Will You Use?
In the US, FDA has approved all edible plant-based oils as carrier oils. Rarely anyone happens to be allergic to these common carrier oils. The most popular and cheapest carrier oils include coconut, olive, almond, and apricot oil.
You can safely pick any of these or other carrier oils available in the stores. However, there are a few points that you should keep in mind while picking a career oil:
- The Odor of Carrier Oil – Pick a carrier oil that you like how it smells, but remember that it will change when mixed in with the essential oil.
- Your Skin Type – While you may not be allergic to a carrier oil, your skin may not be its fan either based on how moisturizing or dry it is. For example, rosehip seed oil makes for a suitable carrier oil for those with dry skin, while olive oil can further dry out their skin. If applied to hair, the skin of the scalp and hair quality should be kept in mind. Argan oil is a common carrier oil to incorporate essential oils in hair care.
- Shelf Life of Carrier Oil – This may not influence which carrier oil you’re picking, but it may impact its quantity. Some oils last for a longer time than others. Your use and their shelf life may affect buying the carrier oil in bulk or in little quantity.
How Will You Include Them in Your Routine?
It is one thing to plan for regular use of essential oils in your daily self-care routine, and it’s another thing to let them spoil on your shelves while you forget about them. Your plans to incorporate essential oils in your routine should be practical, easy, and enjoyable.
There’s no point in buying things that will feel like a burden to use. Instead of improving your life’s quality, essential oils sitting in your cabinet will be a waste of your money.
The effects of some essential oils also take time to be strong enough to be noticed. You will have to stay consistent in the use of essential oils to get any benefits from them. If you cannot use the oild regularly, it would be better to look at other organic self-care forms.
Are You Aware of the Dos and Don’ts of the Essential Oil?
The practices of using essential oils have been developed over millennia. They are not just about the beneficial chemical compounds and the sweet aroma they emit. Essential oil practices are about the traditions and rituals associated with their usage. They are about the whole experience their usage brings.
Before using essential oils, ask yourself if you want to commit to the whole experience. You should also ask yourself if you can realistically commit to using essential oils for a long time.
Here are also a few don’ts you should be aware of when using essential oils:
- Don’t use essential oils on pets or children for any purposes, not even for the same purposes as yourself.
- Don’t think of them as a replacement for traditional medicine.
- Don’t leave them unattended in the presence of children and pets. Children and pets tend to ingest whatever they can get their hands on, and essential oils can prove fatal if ingested.
Do You Know Where to Get Essential Oils?
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the quality of essential oils available in the market, it can be difficult to determine just by reading the labels. However, here are a few guidelines that will help you identify good quality essential oils:
- The bottle will be airtight – high-quality essential oils will never come in a cheap bottle. The quality of the bottle and the seal on it should give you a good idea about the quality of the essential oil it contains. Any good-quality essential oil will always be packed in a dark-colored glass bottle to keep it safe from direct sunlight and warmth, as these can affect the quality of some essential oils.
- The label will say it all – there should be four important things written on the label. First, the country of origin; second, the plant’s name; third, how that plant was grown; and fourth, the extraction method. If any of these are missing on the label or not written clearly, don’t buy that essential oil.
- It should read “100% Pure Essential Oil,” and there should be no mention of the word “fragrance.”
- The source will be mentioned – the country of the origin of the essential oil should be mentioned on either the label or the packaging. If you want to be responsible, look for ethically and responsibly sourced essential oils, such as Maverick Oils. Maverick Oils is a family-owned business where all the products come from legitimate sources to ensure quality and benefits.
Everything aside, make sure not to overthink or overdo them. Essential oils are used to enhance self-care. If at any point you believe you’re not achieving this purpose, you should pause or stop the use of essential oils. However, if and when incorporated responsibly into one’s routine, essential oils can prove to be greatly helpful.