This was an exciting opportunity to feature in Closer Magazine as an aromatherapy expert. The article is called 'Can aromatherapy oils boost your wellbeing?' and these are the questions that I was asked by the journalist:
What are the benefits?
Essential oils can help promote relaxation and sleep, and ease anxiety and stress. They can stimulate our minds - to improve concentration when studying or even when sitting an exam. In skincare, they can balance and rejuvenate the complexion, and reduce inflammation in acne prone skin. Most essential oils have anti-bacterial benefits, and some can even ease congestion from colds and flu.
Is there any proof that they can make a difference?
An essential oil is a complex mixture of organic chemical compounds. Lavender, for example, contains a high proportion of the chemical linalyl acetate, which is an acid derivative that has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Therefore, Lavender is a great choice if you are looking for help with stress or insomnia.
Are they safe to use?
They are extremely concentrated and can be harmful if not used carefully. You should never use an essential oil neat on your skin or in baths, and you should avoid them in your first trimester of pregnancy. If you have a health condition, it's advisable to consult a qualified aromatherapist - some oils should not be used, for example, if you have epilepsy. Look for products containing essential oils, like bath salts, pillow mists or skincare. Use neat essentail oils through an electric diffuser, candles or inhale a drop from a hankie.
What should I look for when buying an oil?
Don't buy essential oils based on price. Some cheaper ones are diluted and synthesised in a lab, making them inferior, especially lavender. A reputable supplier will state the common name, botanical name, source, bath number and use-by date. Companies dedicated to organic standards are committed to providing high-quality oils that are both environmentally friendly and sustainable.
If you want to learn more about what an essential oil is and what their benefits are in skincare, read this article that I write a few months ago.