You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but want to be like the stars, but are the products worth it? In Elite Daily's new series, I Tried, we put it all to the test. We're trying those products as well as celebrities' health and wellness tips, recipes, and life hacks. We'll do the leg work and tell you what living like your fave star is really like.
I can't stress this enough: essential oils are awesome. Like, so awesome. They have endless uses, multiple positive effects, and smell really, really good. Duh. Holistic wellness may still be relatively new in much of the western world, but its practices stretch back to the beginning of mankind (which, consequently, is around the time essential oils blasted onto the scene, too). Celebrities like super-fit dancer Julianne Hough have been vocal about the healing qualities of essential oils and other natural substances, and I'm down to try anything once — especially natural things. I tried essential oils like Julianne Hough, and have since grown an impressive collection I am hyped to share with you.
A-hem. Let's begin.
In Hough's opinion, self-care is the quickest, fastest way to becoming your best self. As a professional dancer, one can imagine she goes the extra mile when it comes to taking care of body. (Those fan kicks don't just happen, people.) She spoke with Health magazine back in April 2019 about her self-care routine, in which essential oils play a crucial role. "Before you can give yourself to your career, your children, your friends, your family, I think you have to practice self care," she explained. "We're humans, we're designed to just survive and keep going. And it's kind of out of nature and out of our instinct to want to take care of ourselves. We want to take care of everything else going around. And our body just survives for us."
In her interview, she broke down three of her favorite self-care products, which include a leave-in conditioner, yummy lip balm, and lastly, essential oils. Hough tends to favor the brand GuruNanda, which has ingredients sourced from all around the world. I already have my own haircare routine and am a devout Vaseline lip-balm wearer, but reading about Hough's oils peaked my interest.
Essential oils are distilled from plants and have the distinct smell and molecular qualities of whatever source they come from. The most widely-known use for these oils is in the form of aromatherapy or as a fragrance in things like soaps and candles. However, essential oil uses extend far beyond their scent. There are certain healing qualities that each one carries that can aid in a variety of ailments. They can be rubbed onto your skin to soothe pain, sometimes added to foods to help digestion, placed on certain pressure points to alleviate things like nausea and headaches, or can be diffused into your air as purifiers for air quality control.
If you have an ailment, there's almost definitely an essential oil that can help with it. In one quick Google search I found oil solutions for sunburns, acne, sleep, focus, energy, hair growth, and my personal favorite: anxiety.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The Anxiety and Depression Association of American characterizes GAD by "persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things." Just to keep those of us with it on our toes, it is often hard to predict what could trigger an anxiety response. Sometimes, these anxiety responses occur without warning and can linger for long periods of time (like weeks or months), or they may last only a day or hour at a time. It's not ideal.
I needed help, which thankfully showed up in the form of talk therapy, a low dose of Lexapro, and lots and lots of yoga.
You guys — yoga is so good for you. It's stellar for mental and physical health and gave me something to ground myself in while I learned how to cope with my anxiety. I love it so much, I actually completed a teacher training program. Through that experience, I learned a lot about the natural ways our bodies and planet are able to self-heal. I also made some deep, serious friendships. Fortunately, one girl I met happened to be studying essential oils and starting her own brand. (Coincidence? Or just the universe listening!!!) The rest of the training group and I became somewhat of essential oil guinea pigs for her, where she would test out recipes and blends for our feedback.
Dude — she nailed it.
Today, I have an extensive essential oil arsenal and I couldn't be more pumped about it. Usually, I use my oils for mood and thought — meaning I take them to calm down, wake up, focus, or relax. I use them by rubbing them on my wrists, behind my ears, or dabbing a little baby bit under my nose. There is a ton of research and study around which oils and scents do what things, but as a rule of thumb, citrus notes tend to evoke energy and clarity, earthy scents enhance relaxation, and spicy smells can offer a combination of both.
My collection includes a seven-piece chakra set with scents designed to balance seven energy points: The root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras. (Chakras are a whole other animal I highly recommend reading up on.) If I feel any one of these particular points is unbalanced, I'll rub the corresponding oil on the corresponding body part.
If I'm feeling particularly all over the place, I'll use all seven at once. I also have a protection blend that I carry with me to ground my energy in environments that have a lot of moving pieces (airports, subways, big parties, etc.) and an immunity blend that helps boost my autoimmune system. For funsies, I also carry a blend my distributor-friend Morgan's Mantras calls "Lady Warrior" which eases menstrual pain and PMS symptoms. (I don't want to brag, but my particular brand of choice also comes with healing crystals inside each bottle. NB-freaking-D!)
While essential oils are not to be confused with prescribed or even over-the-counter medications, you can read all about them all over the internet and in traditional medical publications like the famous WebMD. As with anything you put in or on your body, it's recommended you consult with a doctor before trying them out. In my experience, you will not have that "smashed over the head with impact" effect prescribed medications sometimes can give you, but rather feel a gradual relief.
Absolute worst case scenario — you smell really nice. Not bad for mother nature, eh? Thanks for the inspo, Julianne. And thanks for the goods, planet earth!