I’m often asked about my Essential Oil recommendations and where to purchase, so I thought I’d curate a page of all the info I currently have. I use EO’s every single day. I usually have a diffuser on in the main room, as well as one in our bedroom; we swap up the scents all the time. I even travel with a diffuser and roller balls- I’ve become that person. I truly recommend oils to everyone I know because they are such a lovely way to practice mindfulness and aid in your self care routine. Aside from that (and having a lovely scent) certain essential oils can provide cleaner air, kill airborne virus’s, aid respiratory health (2) and even have a psychological effect.
How essential oils work, is the biological properties in the oil interact with the body by being absorbed topically through the skin and into the bloodstream OR via inhalation using a diffuser. When volatile oil molecules float into your nose, it stimulates the olfactory receptors that then send a message to a part of your brain called the olfactory bulb. It processes information to do with scent and it passes it along to a part of your brain called the Limbic system. Along with responding to sensory information, the Limbic system plays a huge roll in regulating your basic emotions, hormonal balance, memory and drive (think sex drive, regulating hunger etc.). It is the area of the brain most heavily involved in emotion and memory and can be influenced by the information from scent. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet positive effect on your mood and your body. This is why scents and emotions are tightly tied, for example- say childhood memories or moments being recalled by a certain smell.
Anecdotally, people who use essential oils suggest that the oils aid in their mental health & wellbeing. In studies on the topic of essential oils and depression/ anxiety, preliminary rodent studies have shown that inhalation of essential oils under stressful or painful conditions led to noticeable neurological and behavioural responses (check it out here, here & here). While currently there is no evidence to suggest that any singular oil has the ability to treat depression outright, studies have cited particular oils (particularly Citrus, Lavender, or Clary sage) as being very useful alternative therapy in treatment of certain anxiety or depression symptoms.
In our household, an energizing citrus often wakes us up to start the day. At night, we diffuse lavender and cedarwood to promote a better sleep. Instead of reaching for an ibuprofen if one of us has a headache, we’d instead drink some water to re hydrate and topically apply peppermint oil to the temples and back of neck to see if that would sort it (spoiler- it usually does). For an upset stomach, I use my go to’s (DigestZen, Ginger & Peppermint). If I’m having period pain- I use a blend of oils that help with hormonal support (read more about it in my ‘How to make your period less sucky‘ post.)
Many different essential oils have been reviewed to possess different biological properties such as anti-inflammatory or sedative effects, digestive aid, antimicrobial or antiviral effect as well as having antioxidant properties.
For general self care, upkeep and wellbeing, you’d be surprised how well plant medicine works!
*WITH that said- EO’s are NOT a cure all and false claims are very dangerous.
I usually buy my oils from a few different brands (I will link below) but the brand I keep coming back to for all my staples is DoTerra. They offer a huge selection of top quality, very concentrated oils. You only need a few drops to get major payoff. They are a little more expensive than an average brand, but you absolutely are paying for quality.
I first ordered as a retail customer and then quickly realised I would be a repeat customer – so it made more sense for me to be a wholesale member (you get more discounts / kickbacks etc). Now, I am what is apparently titled a ‘Wellness Advocate’, which basically means I am an affiliate with the potential to have a downline of other affiliates and can earn commission as well as collect points (that are redeemable in future orders.) Click here for my DoTerra shop.
If you’d like to try DoTerra oils yourself, my DoTerra member number is: 5990047
You do not need to be a wholesale member or sell DoTerra products yourself in order to purchase them- it’s a common misconception. You’re absolutely able to purchase as a guest. That’s what I did to start with. The only difference is, as a guest, you will not get the wholesale price on oils (which is 25% off) or the ability to make any commission by recommending your oils to your friends or family. You also wouldn’t be able to collect points to redeem for free product or get free shipping on your future orders.
If you enjoy oils and use them often, then maybe being a wholesale member is something to look in to. If you want to try them as a one off- it’s probably not worth doing at that point.
*I’d like to leave a quick note that I am not actively pursuing building a MLM DoTerra business and I don’t really know much about how their structure works. I just love their products and I’m trying to make use of traffic that I’m already getting. It’s nice to recommend a product that we use daily and potentially have some monetary kick back or free product out of it… am I right?
A Canadian brand that I LOVE and have used over the years is called Saje. Their scents make me feel ‘home’- it’s what my Mama always uses. I really love their oil blends- especially Mountain High, Refresh, Stress Release, After the Rain, Goddess and Citrus Dream (To name a few lol). Their natural perfume rollers with crystal ball heads are absolutely glorious – my favourites in that line are the scents, Shanthi or Ananda.
They also carry a must have roller ball set called Pocket Farmacy that includes some handy oils for more medicinal uses in a on the go size.
I find Saje to be less concentrated/ not as strong as DoTerra Oils so you do need a few more drops to get the same scent intensity in the room- hence you run out of the oil a little faster… though they are a little cheaper to begin with. Kinda offsets? lol.
I also occasionally purchase from another Canadian company called Escents. They have a wide variety of single oils as well as blends and my favourites from them include Tahitian Vanilla, West Coast Pine and Full Moon. YUM. They also have some nice bath products in store 🙂
Bottom line- whatever you get, make sure you buy from a reputable brand and not cheap crap. If the product says “fragrance” or “perfume” it is probably synthetic or contains other additives and you REALLY don’t want that. You’re looking for “100% essential oil” or “pure essential oil” or “100% natural” and you’re looking for the correct name of the plant species (usually in latin) on the label. Google is your friend, and as always, reading labels is a must.
Also look for brands in dark bottles- as oil can oxidize and evaporate when exposed to light. Make sure you keep the lid on tight and to store your oils somewhere that is a neutral temperature and make sure they are out of direct sunlight.
When I go to use oils in a diffuser, I usually use 5-8 drops in a 100ml tank, or 12-15 drops in a 450ml tank- but you do you. Some oils are not meant to be used in a diffuser and only supposed to be used topically- so double check before dumping it in. (It would just make the diffuser cloggy and yuck, but it could be fixed if you made a mistake)
If you apply oils topically, you need way less (maybe 2-5 drops?) and remember that some oils will need a carrier oil to dilute; as essential oils are very strong on their own and could cause skin irritation. AVOID YOUR EYES AND GENITALS. Dear god.
I hope this post has given you some information on how and why I use essential oils as well as point you towards some brands or specific oils to try 🙂
I’m no expert (obvs) but if you were looking for one- check out the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists or B.C.A.O.A
Thanks for reading!
Wanted to quickly address that I initially started investing more in essential oils because a few friends of mine are Young Living Reps and introduced me to that brand. I made a few orders and still am working my way through what I purchased. I enjoyed the Young Living Oils that I tried and as much as I respect and wanted to keep supporting my friends businesses; after a few purchases, I decided I would stop buying my oils from Young Living. It was brought to my attention via followers that the founder of Young Living had a pretty sketchy personal history. As the founder had since passed away and his actions had nothing to do with the quality of the oils themselves, (or my friend’s personal businesses) I felt morally ok buying it from them.
I do understand why someone would personally choose to not purchase YL (for whatever the reason), but on the other hand; people buy all kinds of things from less than desirable people/ brands and it doesn’t make the product less good. It’s a moral grey area & a personal call. Not condoning quackery or someones shitty actions in their personal lives- but my intent was solely to support my friends businesses and enjoy the products they so clearly loved and recommended. I dunno. With the information I had at the time, it seemed like the right move.
With that said, due to the negative noise online when I had posted about it, I decided it would just be easier to forgo that particular brand and purchase elsewhere- so just to be transparent- I’ve used and tried and enjoyed these oils, but do not recommend them because of this.
Please remember if you have pets (esp. birds or cats) to research which oils can be toxic for them before going all out with your new diffuser. You likely wouldn’t have any issues, but better to be safe than sorry right? 🙂
ALSO – Please don’t eat your essential oils. Instead, stick to diffusing your oils or apply them topically. Some oil enthusiasts encourage others to ingest oils, but unless you’re under the direct supervision of an actual certified aromatherapist (not an affiliate of a company or a salesperson in a store) then please don’t do it. With so little published research on ingesting essential oils, there is no solid information to estimate what a ‘safe dose’ might be. Don’t risk it. **PLEASE NOTE – the DoTerra website I’ve linked above has some recipes on it that include oil, but please don’t use them. I unfortunately can’t remove those sections from the page as it’s a generalized DoTerra template.
Even when applying topically -be aware that just because oils are natural doesn’t mean they are safe for everybody. They are incredibly concentrated and in some individuals they can cause dermatitis, allergic reactions, phototoxicity or other side effects- so always start with a diluted “test patch” if you’re applying topically. I usually use Jojoba oil, Hemp Oil or Castor Oil to dilute.
Thanks for coming to my oily TED TALK!
Great read! Thank you for getting all your thoughts down. Love that we can come to your website now to take little peeks into your thoughts 😊❤️
Thank you 🙂
Great thoughts – love this karissa x
I’ve read that certain oils in a diffuser (eucalyptus I believe was one?) can be harmful to cats and dogs to breath. I’m not an expert, and I know Karissa mentioned this, I just wanted to reiterate and emphasize the need to do individual research ! If anyone knows more please let me know! Thanks for a great post!
Love It! Super Informative And Helpful 🙌🏼💗
Great read and very informative. Just wondering where you got your cabinet that you store your oils in from? It’s a great way to see exactly what you have.