Essential oils have a long history of being used as a compliment to health from illnesses to skin conditions. What’s most important is considering the individual as it relates to how oils work.
However, given that, there are a number of uses for essential oils. They have many antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Several essential oils have been even been used to stop the growth of bacteria (Swamey et al. 2016)
Essential oils have been found to disrupt the membrane of the pathogenic cells and work to promote a functional and harmonized environment for our healthy cells.
While essential oils have the potential to stop bacterial growth, they also work to clean, purify and uplift one’s mood.
From a skincare perspective, I have used essential oils for many years. Lavender, frankincense and orange oils are among my favorite (I only use orange oil at night because it can cause skin irritation when exposed to the sun...it’s called phototoxicity...bergamot and lime are good examples) (it is also important to purchase a steam distilled variety of the oil as it does not have the same effect...more on that later).
Most citrus oils are extracted from the peel, but varieties such as sweet orange aren’t considered phototoxic; however, always dilute essential oils with a carrier (jojoba, olive, flaxseed oil, etc to prevent skin irritation).
My top five favorite oils
1. Lavender essential oil is one of my favorites. It has a calming scent and it has anti inflammatory/antifungal properties. It’s also a good balancing oil for the more strong oils such as tea tree oil.
2. Peppermint has helped to soothe my upset stomachs for years. It also helps me to concentrate and I diffuse it right before exercise to boost my performance. I also use it along with lemon and lavender to combat my allergies.
3. Eucalyptus oil is one of my go to oils for cleaning and to purify the air in my diffuser (always diffuse in an open area and keep your diffuser away from pets and small children).
4. Lemon is another one of my go to oils. I use it in my skin serum at night. It has made a significant difference to brighten my dull winter skin. I use it in my honey facial scrub and it is amazing. It has antibacterial properties and lifts my mood.
5. My final go to oil is frankincense. When I was battling with my root canal over the summer, my face swelled (it was so bad that I had trouble opening my eye). I created a facial oil with bergamot, frankincense and lavender to keep me calm because my face looked like Will Smith from the movie Hitch, but I also knew that this combination of oils helped to fight inflammation and infection.
I could go on and on, but I wanted to provide you with an overview of why I love oils so much and why I use them (this year makes 11 years). I can't wait to bring you the series on essential oils, but a small taste will do for now!