Essential oils are the key ingredient to aromatherapy – a practice that seeks to improve wellbeing through your sense of smell.
Many believe that aromatherapy can have health benefits, especially for stress-related concerns like headaches, sleep and anxiety.
Aromatherapy essential oils are distilled extracts of various natural botanicals – mainly herbs, spices and other strongly scented plants – that have been used throughout history for their healing or mood-altering properties.
For example, lavender is used to calm, while peppermint is used to stimulate.
While essential oils form the foundation of aromatherapy, with their extremely strong smells, they cannot be used directly on the skin, as they are highly concentrated.
They must first be diluted or blended using, for example, a diffuser, oil burner, or a carrier oil.
Carrier oils, also known as base oils, are natural oils that have a neutral or gentle scent.
Vegetable oils, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and hazelnut oil, are the most popular oils used to “carry” essential oils to the skin.
It is easy to add essential oils to other natural oils to make your own pampering products, such as massage oil, face oil, or body oils.
However, if you blend essential oils yourself, it is important to get the ratios of oils right. Too strong and the final product could irritate your skin – some essential oils are in fact prohibited for pregnant people or those with sensitive skin conditions. The key to using aromatherapy safely during pregnancy is to research the essential oil you’re considering and consult your doctor or midwife before using it.
That is where pre-blended products come in.
If you buy a pre blended essential oil, you can be sure it has been made to the right ratio and thoroughly tested.
It will also carry a warning on the label if it is not suitable for certain conditions.
A great example of a favourite H&B blended essential oil is ilāpothecary Beat the Blues Pulse Point.
It is a blend of essential oils with moringa oleifera seed oil, from the famous Himalyan “miracle tree”.
The concoction of geranium, clary sage, tuberose and petitgrain essential oils is designed to be self-affirming and fortifying.
And the fact it comes in a handbag-friendly roll-on vial is an added bonus!
One of our all-time favourite brands is Miaroma. The company not only has a wide range of pure Miaroma essential oils, but also produces plenty of blended Miaroma oils.
Miaroma Rose Blended Essential Oil is a combination of rose essential oil blended with sweet almond oil and vitamin E.
The oils help refine skin texture and tone, while many find the delicate rose scent fragrant and stimulating, in terms of its therapeutic benefits.
You can use this Miaroma oil as it is, or as a carrier oil for your own blends by adding in other essential oils. It blends well with jasmine, patchouli, peppermint or neroli oils.
Beauty Kitchen is another fabulous brand that specialises in blended oils, especially body oils.
They are interesting as they are such complex blends, combining many carrier oils with many essential oils.
For example, Beauty Kitchen Inspire Me Brightening & Toning fuses extra virgin olive oil, Abyssinian oil, jojoba oil, quinoa oil and evening primrose oil with orange, lemongrass, spearmint, basil, grapefruit), sweet fennel and peppermint, among others.
The result is a non-greasy moisturiser that leaves skin with a brighter and firmer appearance, moisturised and subtly scented.
The same carrier oil blend is used in Beauty Kitchen Love Me Caring & Anti-ageing.
However, this time, the aromatherapeutic blend of essential oils, including cedar wood, cinnamon leaf, patchouli, clove, frankincense, ginger, coriander, and pine needle, among others, is designed to aid relaxation and a sense of wellbeing.
True Skincare also puts a deep knowledge of aromatherapy and natural oils to use for beauty’s sake.
True facial oils come in attractive vials with pipettes to dispense the small amount needed to get the desired effect, be it rehydration, clarity, balance or nourishment.
A perfect example is True Skincare Organic Rehydrating Rosehip & Rosemary Facial Oil, which harnesses rosemary essential oil, which is traditionally used for its antioxidant and antiseptic properties.
When that is mixed with the blend of natural carrier oils, including rosehip oil, apricot kernal oil and others, the effect is a face oil that can help reduce the appearance of blemishes, dark spots and fine lines.