Woman looking fresh after shower.

In this high-stress age we’re in, essential oils have become a go-to remedy for everything from mild headaches, to lack of concentration, to insomnia. Kate Middleton and Victoria Beckham use moisturizing rosehip oil in their skincare routines. Kourtney Kardashian loves manuka oil, which has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Gwyneth Paltrow uses clary sage oil to relax. While it’s important to emphasize that these oils do not cure any of these ailments, they do provide a wash of relief.

Essential oils today are most popularly used in aromatherapy, which is a holistic treatment that uses aromatic oils for overall wellness — body, mind and spirit. These oils are aromatic compounds that are extracted from plants through the process of distillation. It captures the oil’s “essence,” or what one might call flavor or scent. They are combined with a carrier oil to make them safe to use and apply on skin. 

How Do Essential Oils Work?

As the term suggests, aromatherapy deals with smells and how the body reacts to them. The chemicals in essential oils interact with the body when they are inhaled or applied to the skin. Inhaling these aromas stimulates the limbic system, which is a set of structures in the brain that support emotion, behavior, long-term memory, and sense of smell. This system also plays a role in functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, which can explain claims of improved physical wellness with aromatherapy.

According to Hope Gillerman, author of Essential Oils Every Day: Rituals and Remedies for Healing, Happiness, and Beauty, breathing in essential oil vapor instantly changes brain patterns, making us feel calmer and more grounded. The most effective way of using essential oils is by inhaling the aroma with a calm, steady breath. You only need one drop in the center of your palm.

If your essential oil is in a roll-on bottle, rub a little bit on your palm and, in turn, rub your palms together. Bring your open palms to your face and inhale slowly. You can rub the oil on pulse points as well--such as the temples, back of the ears, or inside of your wrists. Blood flows close to the skin on these specific points, so essential oils are filtered into the bloodstream faster. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oils into your bath for a relaxing soak.

For a more enveloping effect, add around five drops into an aromatherapy diffuser to fill your entire space with the scent.

An Essential Oil for Every Woe 

There are about in the world — only 150 of which are used commercially. If you’re planning to start a collection, it’s best to go with the basics first. These are some of the most popular, widely available essential oils to address a wide spectrum of needs.


Lavender essential oil promotes relaxation and is said to relieve anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and insomnia. It also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to help heal minor skin issues such as bug bites. Lavender plant is native to North Africa and the Mediterranean mountains and it’s grown specifically for essential oil production. Indulge in a with Dove Relaxing Lavender Body Wash, infused with lavender oil to help calm and nourish the skin. The soothing lavender scent is a bonus!


Bergamot essential oil has a citrusy, fruity scent and is derived from the bergamot orange tree that is native to Asia. It’s antibacterial and anti-biotic to help fight infection. It’s also a relaxant, so it relieves tension and anxiety, and is a natural mood booster. Bergamot essential oil is also a natural cleanser, making it good for unclogging pores and reducing sebum on skin.

Tea Tree 

comes from leaves of the tea tree, which is native to New South Wales, Australia and was used by the Aborigines for many years to treat coughs, colds, and wounds. It is a powerful germ-fighter, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, deodorant, and antiseptic. It’s great at treating skin infections, acne, and .


Vetiver essential oil has a warm, sharp, earthy scent. The oil itself is derived from the root of fragrant Vetiver grass. It is widely used in men’s perfume and grooming products for its woody, masculine aroma. Vetiver essential oil is used to improve alertness and combat mental fatigue. It is also effective at reducing stress and nervousness.

Now you can start your own essential oils journey. Whenever you feel like you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, are unable to focus, or need to unwind, all you need is a drop to make it all better.