A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils


What's more relaxing than aromatherapy? Retail therapy. We've combined both to create your ultimate guide to shopping for essential oils.


We get it. It’s hard to believe that some scents can actually have a positive effect on your mental health, and even harder to believe they can have physical benefits too. But we’re here to prove to you that actually, they can. 

Aromatherapy is a healing treatment that uses only natural plant extracts. It usually works in one of two ways: through skin absorption (primarily for physical benefits), and sense of smell (for mental benefits). The first method is effective since many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties - they can be applied to the skin to fight infection or relieve pain. Inhaling the oils is effective as it activates the direct link between our sense of smell and our brain.

Most commonly, aromatherapy is for relieving stress, agitation and anxiety. The relaxation properties and subsequent release of tension also help to treat headaches and migraines, manage pain, soothe sore joints, and improve your quality of sleep. Those are pretty powerful from simply sniffing nice fragrances!

Now that we’ve established what aromatherapy is and why people love it, let’s delve into the most popular essential oils and what they’re used for.


1. Lavender

Best for: relaxation and improved sleep.

  • Relieves symptoms of stress and anxiety by lowering your heart rate. Which, in turn, lowers your breathing rate and interrupts your fight-or-flight response.

  • Promotes sleep by lowering heart rate and skin temperature, and keeps you in a deep and restorative sleep for longer periods of time.

  • Great for battling acne due to its antiseptic properties. Now, your brain may be screaming warning signals at you at the thought of putting an oil on your skin, but lavender essential oil is actually non-comedogenic (a fancy way of saying it won’t clog your pores).


2. Peppermint 

Best for: energy boost and muscle soreness

  • Provides an invigorating boost of energy by increasing blood flow when applied directly to the skin.

  • It’s a natural exfoliant due to the presence of methyl salicylate, which is thought to break down into salicylic acid when applied on the skin. Salicylic acid (if we keep repeating the word, maybe you’ll read it correctly) helps to shed the top layer of skin, made up of dead cells.

  • Menthol’s anti-inflammatory properties make peppermint essential oil an effective pain reliever when applied topically. It soothes redness, swelling, and irritation, perfect for those with sensitive skin!

  • Like lavender, peppermint is also an antiseptic, making it a great ingredient in skincare products for a natural glow. 


3. Eucalyptus

Best for: detoxifying air in your home and decongestion.

  • Helps to relieve cold symptoms, working as a natural decongestant and a cough suppressor by opening up the airways and clearing them of mucus buildup. 

  • Being antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial, eucalyptus makes for a great air purifier. Simply add a few drops to your diffuser and let the essential oil do its magic.

  • Promotes mental clarity and clears brain fog. By invigorating the senses, eucalyptus improves concentration and brain function. 


There are many, many more essential oils all with amazing physiological and physiological benefits, we have only named three of the most popular that cover a range of ailments. 


So what essential oils should you buy?

One common misconception is that a pure essential oil offers the most effective benefits. This actually isn’t the case. Combining multiple essential oils with similar chemical components into a blend allows the oils to work together to achieve one common goal. It is common practice to blend around 3-5 essential oils together, featuring a core of the blend, an enhancer, and a harmoniser. 

We realise those words mean absolutely nothing to you which is why, as a beginner, your best bet is to browse the essential oils on our website to find ready-made blends that appeal to your individual needs. For example, this de-stress blend by Neom combines the relaxing properties of lavender, jasmine, and rosewood to create one super relaxing blend.

Essentials oils make great gifts for anyone interested in self care, wellness, or natural beauty products. You’ll find them hidden in a whole range of our products from candles and diffusers, to skincare and haircare.