The therapeutic use of essential oils is a relatively new phenomenon. In 1910 Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a chemical engineer from Lyon, treated his burns with lavender oil after an explosion in his laboratory and was so impressed by the results that he went on to found the French Society of Aromatic Products, and coin the term “aromatherapy”.
In recent years essential oils have really come into their own as people have begun to appreciate the difference they can make to their physical and mental enjoyment of life.
Here are a few of the ways that you could use essential oils in your daily life to make a positive difference.
Beauty and wellbeing
Beauty and wellbeing applications abound when essential oils are diluted with a carrier oil such as Almond and Jojoba, enabling them to then be applied to the skin as massage oils, cleansers, exfoliators, rubs and so on. These products are heavily regulated for a very good reason as pure essential oils can be incredibly strong and may harm you if put directly onto the skin. This is particularly the case with certain citrus oils which are highly active, with astringent properties and photosensitivity that activates under direct sunlight and can cause chemical burns.
This is where experts have an important role to play in providing a variety of naturally derived products that have gone through a very detailed process of Cosmetic Compliance and Safety Assessment. This is achieved with reference to The IFRA (International Fragrance Association) standards for the safe use of fragrance ingredients, such as essential oils.
As a side note, it must be said, however, that it is practically impossible to determine the effects of multiple ingredients as they mix together on the very personal chemistry of your skin. Many people are intolerant of or allergic to on-skin applications, so my advice is to proceed with caution, and again trust the source. My favourite here is Aesop, a brand with true eco credentials and a BCorp to boot.
Off skin applications
If you want the enjoyment of the fragrance of essential oils without putting anything on your skin, then try Perfino natural scent jewellery, created specifically so you can wear, and enjoy some expertly blended pure essential oils without having to put any chemicals on your skin at all. This is uniquely achieved by a single drop of oil on a porous lava stone that sits inside the jewellery, giving you aromatic pleasure all day long with none of the possible pitfalls.
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Aromatherapy or the therapeutic use of oils, has really grown its audience in the last decade as increasing scientific evidence supports the use of oils, often in ways that have been used and studied empirically for centuries.
Neals Yard, which started in business 40 years ago and continues to sell from its shop in the Covent Garden area of London, has for years provided treatments using their oils supported by great credentials and a wealth of expertise. Here you can enjoy essential oils for their scent and therapeutic benefits in the context of facials, massage, reflexology and so much more, with purported benefits of increasing focus, relaxing muscles, or easing headaches.
Niche expertise and know-how has further developed over the last few decades catering for the use of aromatherapy and essential oils for very specific purposes. Anatome produces signature sleep blends as well as a range of oils to support immunity, heart health, and mental wellbeing, and they all smell great.
In the home
Cleaning and even disinfecting
This is done with the less expensive oils, particularly citrus oils, and especially lemon can be effective. A small drop of lemon oil in the dishwasher makes for a clean machine and a wonderful smell in the kitchen, and then there is the loo…
This can be achieved with the tiniest drop of Lavender or your favourite essential oil. This is far more natural and minimal in terms of packaging than some of the products on the market which are 100% synthetic and come in large plastic containers.
And finally, spiders!
There are certain insects, particularly spiders, that really don’t like peppermint. So, if you would like to control who, or what, comes into your home, and like the smell of peppermint, you can put this around your windowsills and conduct your own little experiment. This is also great for ladybirds who do so like to come into the house when we would rather they were eating the aphids on the roses.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Brookes is the founder of Perfino, an innovative natural scent jewellery brand. Perfino combines expertly blended, 100% natural, pure essential oils with exquisite jewellery so you can wear scent all day long without any chemicals touching your skin. The solid recycled silver and 18ct gold vermeil, artisan-designed pendant comes with six lava stones and 10ml of carefully blended natural essential oils – all sourced from sustainable growers. One drop of oil on the stone in the pendant will give you a delicate fragrance that can last for days.
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