So Slick: The Five Most Essential, Essential Oils
Essential oils are pretty miraculous—they are antibacterial, smell amazing, and can be used in all kinds of helpful ways. But with great power comes great responsibility because they really do mean business. Adina Grigore, creator of the excellent skincare line S.W Basics (we can’t get enough of her cream and oil serum), knows the topic is a bit slippery, which is why she literally wrote the book on it, called Just the Essentials. In our series So Slick, she’s sharing the cliff notes on how to glide on into this world.
If you’re starting your E.O. collection from scratch, where do you even begin? Basil or bay? Geranium or grapefruit? Adina has some ideas.
“It’s impossible to deny how amazing lavender oil is. The roster of proven benefits is almost ridiculous—it’s sedative, antispasmodic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, anesthetic, anticarcinogenic, immune-boosting, and antiviral. You can put it in lotion or use it in a room spray or for your linens—the list goes on...”
2. Clary Sage
“Clary sage possesses a myriad of beneficial properties for the skin: It’s antibacterial, astringent, and antiseptic, and it can help improve circulation. I like the uniquely sweet, herbal aroma of clary sage, which helps to cut through some of the more pungent ingredients used in natural skincare, like olive oil. So it’s versatile, effective, and plays well with others!”
“Diluted lemon oil has a high concentration of D-limonene, a compound that assists in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, promoting circulation, and toning the skin. Recent research showed that D-limonene exhibits powerful skin-repairing properties, making this essential oil a great addition to any DIY skin recipe. It’s important to be careful with lemon oil, though, because it can make your skin photosensitive. I recommend using it in products you plan on rinsing off in the shower and not going higher than 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Also, always when sunscreen when you’re using it (but you’re doing that anyway, right?!).”
4. Tea Tree
“Tea tree oil is definitely enjoying a moment in the natural-beauty-world sun right now and deservedly so. It’s antiviral, so it kills oral bacteria to treat gingivitis, heals mild-to-moderate dandruff, weakens the influenza virus, and has been shown to slow the growth of tumors in mice. Tea tree oil also works like benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. It takes longer but causes fewer side effects and is less drying than BP.”
“I find the smell of sweet orange oil to be so fragrant that you only need a very small amount when DIYing. In studies, orange oil reduced anxiety when it was inhaled. When applied topically, it slowed down participants’ pulse and breathing rates, and they also reported feeling more cheerful and vigorous. So it’s not a sedative or a stimulant—it helps to balance out your mood. Like lemon, orange can also make your skin photosensitive, so just be careful when using it!”