Courtesy of Anthropologie

They do more than just smell good. Harness their healing powers with this primer to the most effective essential oils and their uses

Allison Young  – May 3, 2018

It’s time to start thinking about essential oils as essential. The potent plant extracts aren’t just pretty fragrances; wellness experts report that essential oils can help with everything from anxiety and depression to migraines and fatigue—and even give you hair and skin a youthful boost. Here’s how to incorporate them into your life.


Uses: Sleep aid and super relaxer

There’s a lot to love about lavender. The fresh floral scent can help with migraines and PMS, plus it works like a chill pill, calming the nervous system and even helping you get to sleep.

How to: Add 1-3 drops to a cotton ball and tuck it into your pillow for a natural sleep aid.  


Use: Make cleaning more fun

Bright and zesty, science says sniffing the citrusy scent can lower stress and give you a natural mood boost. The oil is also a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic, perfect for cleaning.

How to: Mix together ¾ cup baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap, and 12 drops lemon essential oil for a chemical-free bath and kitchen scrub.  


Use: Add pep to your step

Perk up with peppermint. Research says the minty multi-tasker can give your workouts an extra push, boost alertness, calm road rage, and even silence hunger pangs. Dang!

How to: Add a few drops to a car infuser and drive happy.


Use: Take a spa trip

Synonymous with spas, the sweet, clean scent instantly transforms your bath into a Zen-like space, plus science says it can act as a decongestant, helping to reduce stuffy noses and head pressure.

How to: Put your face over a bowl of boiling water with 2-5 drops eucalyptus added. Close eyes, inhale, and repeat.


Use: For glowy skin

So much more than an incense scent, frankincense could be the anti-ager your skin needs. A powerful anti-inflammatory and wound healer, topically it’s been shown to decrease fine lines and boost skin elasticity.

How to: Add 1-2 drops to a dab of your favorite face cream before applying.  


Uses: Grow your hair and memory

Rosemary gets major points for revving up the brain, increasing memory, focus, and concentration. It also gets props as a hair stimulant for fuller, healthy-looking locks.

How to: Give yourself a rosemary scalp massage. Add 4 drops rosemary oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil (like jojoba or grapeseed) and massage into scalp.


Use: Crank up confidence

Derived from the star-shaped flowers found on the tropical ylang-ylang tree, studies have found the rich floral fragrance can improve self-esteem and promote inner harmony. Talk about flower power!

How to: Put 1-2 drops on your wrists for a natural perfume.

Sweet Orange

Uses: Uplifting and relaxing

Sweet orange oil has some sweet benefits. The bright, cheery scent can simultaneously raise your spirits and reduce anxiety, making it an all-in-one mood enhancer and relaxant.

How to: Rub 1-2 drops of the essential oil between your palms, then inhale.

Tea Tree

Use: Wipe out germs

A natural born cleanser, tea tree has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties to fight funky odors and germs.

How to: Whip up an all-natural yoga mat spray. Add 2 tablespoons witch hazel and 10 drops tea tree oil to a 2-ounce glass spray bottle. Fill remaining with water, shake, spray on mat, and wipe with a clean cloth.

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