A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils & FAQ

When you think of essential oils, your mind may wander to fancy tiny amber glass bottles of liquids. But what are these liquids, really? Where do they come from, and how are they made? You might have heard that essential oils are derived from plants and that they’re supposed to be good for you— that’s simple enough. But even for many mindful consumers, there’re still mysteries when choosing high-quality plant-based products. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the do’s, don’ts, and myths of essential oils.

How are they made?

Essential oils are derived from various parts of a plant, such as roots, leaves, fruit peels, flowers, resins, etc. But how? The two most popular methods of extracting essential oils are distillation and expression. By distillation, plants are steamed with water vapor to pull the oils from it. Through expression, the plant’s seeds and skin are pressed until oil is expelled. For example, many of our oils derived from flowers, leaves, woods and resins are produced by the steam-distilled method; whereas most of the citrus oils are produced by the cold-pressed method. 

Where are they produced?

To ensure the best quality essential oil, plants are grown and harvested in locations based on local climate and terroir. In 2018, India, the United States, China, France, and Brazil were the top five producers of essential oils, respectively. Aiden & Coco prides itself on responsibly sourcing our products to ensure the best possible quality. Check out our ‘Health Benefits’ page on our website to see where and how each of our oils is produced.

How do we know their quality? 

Essential oils come from plants, but the quality and origins of the plant dictate the value of the oil. To ensure the best quality product, Aiden & Coco’s oils are responsibly sourced from providers that guarantee Quality Assurance. We make sure that our suppliers are able to issue the Quality Assurance, which consists of documentation and certifications for each oil from results of the state-of-the-art gas chromatography to test the oils’ veracity of the purity and potency so that they can meet our standards.

To safely use essential oils and reap the benefits, be sure to research the purity and potency of your oils. Be aware of the ingredients and the price of your product. If your products contain artificial ingredients or additives it can have negative effects on your health.

Why do we need to dilute the oils? 

Essential oils are mostly recommended for topical use (ingestion can be iffy). A lot of people don’t know this but, a major key to using essential oils is dilution. It is highly suggested that essential oils are diluted with either water or carrier oil before use; this is because essential oils are highly concentrated substances. To put into perspective how concentrated oils can be: 1 drop of Peppermint oil is equivalent to drinking 28 cups of peppermint tea. Similarly, it takes about 60 roses to make one drop of Rose oil. 

A carrier oil is a type of simple, unscented oil that can be mixed with essential oils in order to dilute the product. Examples of carrier oils can be coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil. If this seems too complicated, water works too!

How can they be used?

Once you’ve diluted your essential oil blend, you can choose between topical application or aromatherapy. You can dilute peppermint oil and give yourself a head massage to relieve tension. Or, try lavender oil foot massages before bed. You can even spread the diluted oil over your wrists and the back of your ears for a quick-fix. If you’re conflicted choosing between aromatherapy or topical use, here’s a tip: topical use is best for treating muscles and wounds, while inhalation is most effective for improving your mood.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils by inhalation using a spray, diffuser, or oil burner. You can learn more about aromatherapy in our recent article, Aromatherapy Made Simple. No diffuser or oil burner? Don’t worry! Aiden & Coco provides a wide selection of essential oil sprays that are ready to use without the need of dilution. You can experience the benefits of both topical use and aromatherapy experience anytime and anywhere you go. 

Some common Do’s and Don’ts:

DON’T

  • Don’t use undiluted oils on the skin
  • Keep away from eyes
  • Discard oils if they smell rancid. Oils typically keep about a year if refrigerated.
  • Don’t ingest oils because they aren’t regulated
  • Orange, lime, lemon, bergamot, and grapefruit can cause phototoxicity if applied before exposure to the sun. Be super careful!

DO

  • Read ingredient label and be aware of the place of origin and extract method of the oils
  • Use diluted essential oils topically or by inhalation and aromatherapy
  • Practice simple meditation exercises to enhance the benefits for mood and body.

You don’t need to be at a fancy spa or salon to reap the benefits of essential oils. If your products are quality-assured, you can trust the advantages of a plant extract remedy. This guide to essential oils will ensure you’re being safe and careful while enjoying the earth’s alternative medicine. Aiden & Coco’s mission is to make plant-based aromatics as simple and efficient as possible; and, our ethically made, high-quality products are easy for on-the-go and perfect for rookies or connoisseurs. If you have any unanswered questions about essential oils, please comment down below and we’ll make sure you’re covered.

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Many things are good, 

many are important,

but only a few are essential. 

D. Todd Christofferson