The Essential Oils You Need Right Now

2020 has left many of us feeling a little out of sorts. Whether you’re stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or perhaps having trouble sleeping, have you considered using essential oils to help counteract these feelings? Read on to discover the many benefits they can have for your overall wellbeing and how you can easily slot them into your daily routine…

What Are Essential Oils And How Do They Work?

Essential oils are the oils that are extracted from plants through methods such as distillation or cold pressing. Aromatherapy is the term given for when we use these natural oils for therapeutic reasons, either by inhaling them or allowing them to be absorbed via the skin. “Essential oils work by stimulating the olfactory pathways in the brain - particularly the limbic system, which influences the nervous system,” says Dominic Hawksley, founder of luxury self-care and wellness brand, Olverum. “This controls unconscious bodily functions including the heart rate and respiratory system and is the primary mechanism in control of the fight or flight response - AKA the stress response,” he adds. “It is thought that we each have a unique physiological and psychological response to scents, especially those of natural origin such as essential oils.” The fact that smell can have such a powerful impact on our physiology is good news, and below we’ve highlighted some of the best options to try for various issues:

To Manage Stress And Calm Nerves…

Probably the most common essential oil is lavender, which works wonders for inducing a sense of calm. “Other common oils that are great for stress and anxiety include bergamot, sweet orange, geranium, frankincense, cedar wood and chamomile,” says Dominic. If you’re battling with stress and anxiety, try dousing your wrists with the This Works ‘Stress Check Breathe In’ which may help you to breathe more easily and calm your senses.

To Promote Relaxation…

After a long day (especially as we now approach the winter months), there is nothing quite like a soak in the bath, and this is another great way to reap the benefits of essential oils. Not only will they give your bathroom a spa-like feel, they can also help relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation. Try a few drops of the Aromatherapy Associates ‘Deep Relax Bath Oil’ which uses chamomile and vetiver to soothe an overactive body and mind. It’s the perfect pre-bedtime treat and smells heavenly.

To Aid Restful Sleep…

If you struggle to drift off at night, a few spritz’ of a pillow mist or sleep spray could help to transport you to your soporific happy place. They’re packed with essential oils which have been expertly blended to help you switch off when inhaled. The science behind these clever little sprays is that these aromas encourage the production of melatonin - our sleep hormone. Again, lavender is a popular choice for this thanks to it being a natural sedative, but Dominic suggests also looking out for vetiver, ylang ylang and bergamot. Try spraying your pillow and duvet with the Olverum Restful Sleep Pillow Mist to evoke a sense of serenity and comfort for a more peaceful night. “It’s not just for night-time use though - I’ll often use mine throughout the day for relaxation too,” adds Dominic.

To Boost Your Mood…

Reach for citrusy essential oils such as lemon, orange or grapefruit if you’re looking to reenergise or lift a dull mood. Try adding them into your morning routine for a burst of zesty freshness that will instantly brighten your morning. Look for shower gels or body oils to keep your mood lifted all day. We’d also recommend a well-placed diffuser to fill your home with positivity - especially as we are all spending so much more time indoors. NEOM’s Happiness Diffuser is our top pick and would be a gorgeous gift for a friend this Christmas.

To Soothe Your Skin…

Not only can essential oils have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing, they also bring some pretty impressive benefits when applied topically to your skin too. Lavender helps calm stress levels and encourage sleep but it also has antibacterial properties meaning it’s great for soothing irritated and sensitised skin. For breakouts (including the recent issue of maskne), try diluted tea tree oil on spots which is an anti-inflammatory that will help to reduce redness and promote a clearer complexion. Its also great for an at home foot bath, which maybe useful given pedicures are currently off the menu. Rosehip oil contains both vitamins A and C as well as being an essential fatty acid, so this one’s a good pick if you’re wanting to improve your overall skin health including both texture and hydration levels. One word of warning though, never apply pure essential oils directly to the skin. Instead look for those with have been diluted or blended into a skin-friendly formula. 

Disclaimer: As with all information on Equi London, this information is not a substitute for medical advice. No one diet or supplement regime works for everyone and you should always seek help from a GP and registered health expert before making changes to your diet, or before introducing any supplements.