Essential oils have become a polarizing ingredient in beauty over the past few years—converts sing their praises unendingly while skeptics raise concerns over their bold claims and effect on the skin. In my experience, these concentrated botanical extracts need to be properly formulated and diluted in order to deliver their benefits sans irritation. Since I spend most of my time volunteering myself in the name of research, I can tell you firsthand what actually works for me (and smells really good to boot).
Here are of my favorite ways to add essential oils to my daily beauty routine.
Aromatherapy Associates remains my favorite company for soothing essential oils—I once de-planed in London and went straight to their spa to erase 12 hours of stress from my limbs. At home, I make do with their Deep Relax oil, which I apply liberally in the shower to unwind Monday-Friday. The delicious blend of chamomile and vetiver works every time.
I love the silky texture of this cream-oil, which is perfect as a nighttime treatment. It’s packed with botanical oils that are chosen for their high omega 3 and antioxidant content. Smooth it on post-shower and give yourself a quick facial massage for intense hydration and glow.
This glass diffuser is my solution to days when I’m too lazy to even light a candle (it happens sometimes). The hourglass vase holds the brand’s Baies fragrance oil, evoking fresh roses and blackcurrant leaves—a scent I have yet to hear anyone object to. To use, simply give it a turn; as the oil drips through, it will subtly perfume the air.
Atelier Cologne makes some of the best-smelling bar soaps around. The French-milled bar has a moisturizing base of aloe vera and shea butter, but it’s the essential oil scent combinations that keep me coming back. Currently, I can’t get enough of Cédrat Envirant, which combines citrusy top notes with mint, tonka bean and vetiver.