Responsible Living, Skin Care

My Top 5 Essential Oils

Most of you probably know that essential oils are very expensive so I’ve decided to share with you my must-have oils. Not only do essential oils smell great, but they are so useful in so many ways. They can be used as air fresheners, relieve cold symptoms, as well as treat skin conditions. The best thing is that they are natural and do not leave nasty toxins in your body.

I highly recommend opting for the organic ones and be sure to check the botanical names to ensure that you are getting pure essential oils. Quality essential oils are packaged in dark glass containers. The tinted glass helps to preserve and protect the oils. Essential oils interact with most plastics and will breakdown the plastic. In my early days of using essential oils, I made the mistake of storing my homemade shampoo in an old plastic shampoo bottle; after two weeks, there was an awful smell (similar to that of burning plastic, but of course not as bad). I had to pitch the whole container. That’s why I always wonder how commercial products that claim to use essential oils can use plastic containers; I question if they use pure essential oils, and if they do, they must use the tiniest amounts.

I recently purchased a nebulizing essential oil diffuser made entirely with glass and wood. It is absolutely lovely. I use it as a safe and natural air freshener and to eliminate bacteria in my home. These nebulizing diffusers are much more expensive than the ultrasonic and/or plastic ones, but in my opinion, they are worth it. You don’t have to dilute them with water and they don’t leech harmful chemicals from the plastic parts into the air. I highly recommend trying one out and throw out those hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing sprays and plug-ins.

Here are my top 5 picks:

  1. Lavender
  2. Chamomille Roman + German
  3. Rose Geranium
  4. Carrot Seed
  5. Peppermint

Be sure to scroll to the bottom for some recipes and blends!

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender is at the top of my list because not only is it healing, but it smells amazing. I used to hate the smell of it because I was only exposed to the synthetic kind. The real stuff smells completely different. It is very calming and gentle. A few of its many properties include: antidepressant, antimicrobial, cicatrisant, deodorant, and tonic. It is great for acne, allergies, boils, bruises, eczema, dermatitis, abscesses, inflammations, insect bites and stings, and dandruff.

Chamomille Roman Chamaemelum nobile  + German Matricaria recutica

Chamomile Roman, like lavender, also smells completely different from your loose leaf tea. It provides a gentle floral scent – very calming.  Some of its properties include: antiseptic, bactericidal, cicatrisant, and tonic. Chamomile German has a similar scent, but is blue. It is much more expensive; depending on the type you get, it can be as much as $30+ for 5ml! Some of its properties include: anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, and cicatrisant.  Both essential oils are known to treat acne, allergies, boils, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, inflammations, insect bites, rashes, and sensitive skin. I have sensitive skin and find both very soothing, especially for eczema, with the German type being slightly more effective.

Rose Geranium Pelargonium graveolens

Rose geranium is probably my all-time favourite scent! Its properties are: antidepressant, anti-infammatory, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrisant, deodorant, fungicidal, and tonic. It is commonly used to treat acne, bruises, broken capillaries, burns, congested skin, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, and oily and mature complexions. I love using it in toners and I find it very effective in treating scars and stretch marks. It’s also one of my favourite anti-aging essential oils!

Carrot Seed Daucus carota

Carrot Seed is one of my favourite anti-aging oils because it is rich in nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. Not only is it great for reducing wrinkles, but it is also effective in treating dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.

Peppermint Mentha piperita

Who doesn’t love the cool and refreshing scent and effect of peppermint? I love using adding it in my skin care products, especially in the summer. It also blends so well with many other essential oils. Some of its properties are: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, and astringent. It is commonly used to treat acne and dermatitis.

Source: Julia Lawless’ The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.

My favourite blends for use in diffusers:

1 part Lavender + 2 parts Peppermint

1 part Rosemary + 2 parts Peppermint

5 part Bergamot + 1 drops Lime

2 parts Eucalyptus + 1 part Eucalyptus Lemon (my favourite cold/flu blend)

My favourite DIY handsoap:

100ml pure castile liquid soap + 50 ml filtered water + 15 drops Chamomile Roman + 5 drops Lavender (you can adjust the soap to water amounts based on your preference for a thinner or thicker consistency; add more water and less soap for the former and vice versa).

My favourite shampoo blend:

When I’m too lazy to make my own, I add a drop each of rosemary and peppermint to a tablespoon (roughly) of shampoo. The peppermint helps to reduce dandruff, while the rosemary helps to prevent hair loss and to retain moisture. I like Nature Clean’s Unscented shampoo; it’s Canadian and it has a small number of ingredients and the ingredients are a lot less offensive than other brands.