Essential oils aren’t new, but the stress caused by the pandemic has certainly brought them to the forefront of every self care conversation. Here’s everything you need to know about picking the right oils.

Finding time to focus on yourself has led to more and more discoveries of self-care rituals, at least for the past five years or so. The need for self-care is now even more crucial, given the endless unpleasant surprises the pandemic has given us. There are different ways to indulge in taking some time for oneself, and one such universally applicable self-care option is essential oils. While we talk about diffusing essential oils in our skincare routines, there are plenty of other ways you can incorporate them into your wellness routines.

Essential oils are mainly concentrated plant extracts that are used by applying topically when diluted with suitable carrier oils like coconut oil, almond oil, argan oil, or olive oil, or by diffusing them into the air. They have been used for ages by ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman civilisations, and the Aboriginals from Australia to care for their skin, hair, and health. 

Essential oils

“With so many claims about the different benefits of each oil, they are here to improve your well-being,” explains Plabita Sharma, National Training Manager at The Body Shop India. She continues, “The most basic way to use essential oil is to get a diffuser. Having a diffuser is one of the easiest ways to add some life to any room, and experience the benefits of these oils. For the shower, you can run a small diffuser in the bathroom. You can also put a few drops onto your washrag or loofah to intensify the smell. Cleaning your space with essential oils is just another way to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine. Plus, you’ll feel comforted by the idea that you are not bringing any harmful chemicals into your home. Adding essential oils to a bath has numerous therapeutic benefits. Try lavender if you are winding down after a long day.”

Essential oils

Eucalyptus and peppermint oils are known to keep cough, cold, and respiratory ailments at bay. One can mix a couple of drops of these essential oils with a tablespoon of suitable carrier oil, and apply them to the chest area, or diffuse them using a home diffuser. Saurav Patnaik, co-founder of beauty and wellness brand, Anveya, explains that as essential oils are highly potent and concentrated when pure, they should be used in moderation, and should be applied topically only after diluting them significantly as per recipes and recommendations from reputed sources. “Like all other natural products, in rare cases, one may be allergic to them, hence one should always check for allergies before using these essential oils for the first time. Lemongrass essential oil, Citronella essential oil and Clove essential oils are other popular essential oils with a myriad of benefits,” he adds.

If you’re planning to start using these oils and haven’t been properly introduced to them yet, we have an expert from one of the most popular skincare brands today, to guide you. Amanda Bell, the Global Director of Education and Artistry at Pixi advises using a high-quality carrier oil like Almond or Jojoba, and measure out 10 to 30 ml for a facial oil and around 100ml for body oil, add three to seven drops of your Essential oil (per 10ml), and store it in an opaque or dark brown or blue glass bottle, and out of direct sunlight. “My top tip is to start off with pre-blended oil that you can use neat on the skin, or mix 1-2 drops in with your moisturiser. Use a facial mist with aromatic purposes to lavish the skin with weightless hydration, and add 1 to 2 drops of the pre-blended oil into the water when you are washing your face. 

Essential oils

Sharma suggests verifying that your essential oils are 100 per cent pure, with no synthetic fragrance or adulteration. “Know about each oils’ safety concerns and the current health of the user. These oils are not recommended to use internally,” Sharma opines.

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT OIL

For calmness and soothing: A blend of lavender and chamomile oil

For uplifting and energising: A blend of neroli and grapefruit oil

For focusing: A blend of peppermint and rosemary oil

For moisturizing: Rose oil, bergamot oil