Essential oils have been used for centuries for health, beauty and cooking. They are incredibly concentrated and a little goes a long way.
When using essential oils in cooking, it’s important to know which ones are safe and how much to use. Here are some tips to get you started.
Soothes Sensitive Skin
Essential oils can heal blotchiness and irritation and soothe skin conditions like eczema, acne and allergies. They can also help balance oily skin and promote healthy hydration levels.
Many essential oils can be used on sensitive skin without irritating it, including lavender and tea tree oil. Other options include frankincense, sandalwood and neroli. These oils have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe redness and itching and keep pores clear.
However, it’s important to note that a few essential oils can cause reactions when applied directly to the skin, including birch and wintergreen. These oils should be diluted before use. Additionally, it’s recommended to test a few drops of a new oil by applying it to a small area on the forearm and waiting 24 hours.
The calming effects of essential oils reduce skin irritation, making them an effective supplement to traditional acne treatments. The main oils that work best to treat acne are tea tree, lavender and oregano oil. The chemical in oregano oil (carvacrol) destroys the wall that bacteria build around fatty acids, which helps to improve acne lesions.
Lavender oil has a soothing effect that soothes irritated skin and fights stress and anxiety, while promoting good sleep. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil (melaleuca) kills acne-causing bacteria and prevents the development of a bacterial infection. It is safe to use on the face when mixed with jojoba or almond carrier oil. This prevents any burning sensations that may occur from pure, undiluted oil.
Firms Up Wrinkled Skin
When diluted in a carrier oil, essential oils can help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Helichrysum is one of the most powerful essential oils for tightening skin because it inhibits key physiological enzymes that break down collagen and elastin in the skin, making it firmer and younger-looking.
This oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties and is packed with antioxidants that can fight oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It promotes skin cell regeneration and has wound-healing capabilities.
This oil has a subtle orange, floral scent and is a natural wrinkle fighter. Regular use of this oil can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you with a glowing complexion.
Detoxes the Body
Essential oils work as mild diuretics and increase urine production and elimination of toxins via the skin. They also help stimulate the liver to eliminate toxins and excess water and increase basal metabolism for a more vigourous body.
Essential oil massage promotes the elimination of toxins through circular and oblique movements that mechanically drain the tissues. This detoxification is enhanced by the application of essential oil blends that are specifically formulated for this purpose.
It is important to note that the quality of essential oils varies significantly. Buying from known, trusted suppliers will ensure that you get pure, therapeutic-grade oils and blends. These are not the same as the so-called ‘clinical grade’ oils sold by some essential oil retailers that are not regulated by any governing body.
The aromatic properties of essential oils stimulate the brain’s olfactory system by increasing the secretion of serotonin and dopamine, both of which help lower your cortisol levels. They also promote calm, and are used for aromatherapy and as part of natural healing remedies.
You can apply a few drops on your wrists and ankles to inhale when you’re feeling anxious, or use a diffuser to fill the air at home or work with soothing scents. One randomized, controlled clinical trial found that inhaling rose oil lowered the agitation of people receiving hemodialysis treatment.
Keep in mind that essential oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it’s important to choose high-quality ones from reputable companies. And be sure to dilute them and carry out a patch test before applying them to your skin.