Essential Oils 101: Why You Should Care About Aromatherapy

You don’t have to be a patchouli-wearing hippie to enjoy essential oils—these natural essences can be worked into any busy girl’s lifestyle with some mood-lifting benefits to boot. For a crash course on aromatherapy, we turned to co-founder of organic body-care line EO Products Susan Griffin-Black, whose advice has us even more determined to experiment with the vials we’ve picked up on a whim from Whole Foods. Ahead, all the need-to-know basics.

Getty Images

Intro To Essential Oils

Getty Images

"Essential oils are the concentrated essences—the heart and soul—of plants, extracted by steam, solvents, cold press or CO2. Simply inhaling their scent can transport us, enhance our lives and improve our well-being."

Getty Images

"They're nature in a bottle—a convenient way to bring plants into our lives. It's not always practical to bring an entire forest into your office (although that would be amazing), but that doesn't mean you can't feel like you've just taken a breath of fresh pine-infused air. The most significant effect is the way they can change our mood. These essences can help us calm down, be more focused or feel energized just by smelling them."

  • For stress relief: "Rose, geranium, and sweet orange are good options to ease stress, anxiety or restlessness."
  • For trouble sleeping: "Lavender is like a lullaby—it helps relax you and send you off to dreamland. I also like vetiver and ylang-ylang for bedtime."
  • For energy: "I love a little lemon, eucalyptus and just a bit of peppermint on my shower floor in the morning to get me energized."
  • For a mood boost: "Lemon myrtle and ylang-ylang are incredibly uplifting."
  • For allergies or stuffy nose: "Eucalyptus is great for any kind of congestion—it’s great for clearing the air."
Getty Images

"The easiest way is to put a few drops on your shower floor—the hot water and essential oils create an incredible aromatic experience. It's the best way to start the day! You can also drop them into your hot bath, put them into a diffuser or mix them into a spray bottle with distilled water for an easy room freshener. Always remember to dilute essential oils with a base oil when using them on your skin—coconut and jojoba are my favorites."