We could probably all use a couple of ways to destress these days. If you’ve run out of ideas, consider aromatherapy, and start adding some essential oils into your life. Ancient Egyptians used them extensively for religious ceremonies, cosmetics, and medicinal purposes and they have stuck around to this day.
Most commonly, the use of essential oils is regarded as aromatherapy, a term coined by French chemist and perfumer, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, who badly burnt his hand in the lab and treated the burn with lavender oil which eased the pain and helped heal his hand. His experiments (and results) led some World War II doctors to treat injured soldiers with essential oils. As you can tell, essential oils have been around for a long time and have been used for many purposes.
While you’re most likely not going to use essential oils on war-time wounds, you can still find beneficial ways to fit them into your daily life. Here are some of the best essential oils and when to use them:
To relieve anxiety
Breathing in soothing, calming, and grounding scents can give you a moment of peace and remind you to take time for yourself. Some scents to consider are: rose, lavender, bergamot, orange, and sandalwood.
For a mental boost
If you’ve hit that 3pm slump, consider keeping around an oil-infused face mist. One study showed that sniffing rosemary can increase memory by 75%. It’s no surprise that the oils suggested for mental stimulation are a bit… spicy: rosemary, basil, peppermint, pine, and juniper.
For your skin
A lot of the essential oils are natural antiseptics, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials, and antivirals. Here are essential oils to incorporate into your skin and recovery routine. For acne and skin irritations: tea tree, lavender, oregano, bergamot, rosemary. For muscle tension: peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, ginger, rosemary.
Anyone else having a hard time sleeping these days? It’s time to add some oils into your routine. There have been a number of studies (like this one) that show the benefits of essential oils for sleep. You can just take a deep breath of an oil before bed, or get yourself a pillow spray so you have that scent surrounding you all night long. The scents recommended for sleep are: lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, chamomile, cedar, and rose.
Now that you know which essential oils are best depending on the situation, the question is, how do you use them? It can be as simple as breathing them in straight from the bottle, but we figured we’d give you a few additional ways on how to use essential oils.
- Buy a diffuser. There are many, many diffuser options out there that’ll disperse oils into the air for you. All you have to do is google, “essential oil diffuser” and the options are endless. It’s a great way to decorate a room while also making it smell delicious.
- Dry evaporation. Not interested in buying a diffuser? You can go the dry evaporation route. Just add a few drops of your oil of choice to a cotton ball or handkerchief and add them to places where you want the scent to permeate -- think pillowcase, underwear draw, etc.
- Dilute it and then massage it on your skin. Before you go dabbing oil directly on your skin, you’ll want to dilute the oil with a carrier oil; sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, etc. From there, you can massage it on areas that are tense or in pain, or use it on your temples or wrists, which are pressure points and can promote calm. Not all essential oils are safe to use on skin, so give it a quick search before you do.
- Add them to your shower. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a warm shower. To inhale the oils while you get clean, just add a few drops along the walls of your shower and let it mingle with the steam. If you’re more of a bath person, dilute a few drops with a carrier oil before adding it into the water and you’ll come out smelling like a dream.
We’re sure we’ve convinced you that essential oils are a necessary thing to add to your routine. We get it. At Curie, we use them too. You can find a number of safe essential oils in our products which is one of the reasons they smell so good.
Get started with aromatherapy and take a deep breath of delightfully scented, oil infused air and we’re certain you’ll feel better.