Have you had a chance to read this month’s #beautyinsider Q&A with the lovely Nina? As a Wellness Advocate for doTerra she gifted me a selection of tailored blends of essential oils to try out. I wasn’t familiar with the brand until Nina called me very excitedly to tell me about these natural oils she had been introduced to by a friend. The US-based company has been around for 10 years and provides therapeutic grade essential oils. Meaning ‘Gift of the Earth’, doTERRA provides single oils as well as blends sold through multi-level marketing, i.e. a network of self employed ‘Wellness Advocates’. In 2016 the global essential oils market was valued at $5.91 billion and with a growing trend for wellness in mind, body and soul through aromatherapy and massages, this market is predicted to more than double in size in the next 6 years. Here I review a selection of blends to find out whether natural is the way to go.
Nails: frankincense + coconut oil
As an essential oils newbie this is the perfect one to start with, as it seamlessly slots into my evening beauty routine, replacing the cuticle serum I usually apply before going to bed. With frankincense the key ingredient it smells very different to the product I’m used to. Not unpleasant but does take some getting used to. Known as the ‘king of oils’, frankincense is supposed to promote ‘feelings of peace and overall wellness’. Whilst I’m not getting that vibe, the oil is light and easily sinks into cuticles without endless rubbing in. The roller ball doesn’t feel intuitive to use on a hard surface like nails but I think that’s the format of the sample bottle, if you were to mix these at home you could use a different applicator. I’ve been using the oil for the last 4 weeks and my nails are looking healthy, although cuticles could feel more softened. All in all a pleasant product but it didn’t feel as nourishing as emollients and serums I’ve previously used.
Skin: tea tree oil
This one takes me back to my blemish-riddled teenage years when I had a thing for The Body Shop’s tea tree range (which is still going strong). I went through so many different acne treatments but throughout tea tree oil, with its antiseptic and purifying properties, remained a staple. For this oil the roller ball is ideal. In the last month I’ve applied it liberally every evening along my jawline where my acne tends to flare up due to hormonal stress – or maybe the amount of cookies I eat on a daily basis… No no no, definitely the hormones. The herby mintyness of the oil certainly zings on application, quickly sinking into skin so you’re not left with grease patches on your pillow. This essential oil has made me realise that I might need to bring tea tree back in my skincare routine as it remains a fantastic natural option for blemish-prone skin.
Immune: on guard + coconut oil
Luckily Nina included a cheat sheet on how to use the oils otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with this one. I’m supposed to apply it to the soles of my feet at bedtime (it can also be used before leaving the house in the morning) which is a shame as it smells truly delicious, warm and spicy like mulled wine. The scent comes from on guard, a doTERRA blend including Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf and Cinnamon Bark. It is supposed to support healthy immune function but I caught one of the nastiest colds while using it! Searching the doTERRA website they do recommend to ingest it so maybe that’s why – or use as a non-toxic household cleaner. I love the scent of the on guard blend but can’t speak for its positive effects on the immune system.
Balance: lavender + deep blue + coconut oil
The scent of this essential oils blend initially took me by surprise: labelled ‘balance’, for some reason I wasn’t expecting to be hit by wafts of minty lavender. I love the herbal scent of lavender which invariably takes me back to summers spent in Provence. Combined with deep blue, a doTERRA blend including Wintergreen, Camphor and Peppermint, it has a refreshing rather than comforting effect. I apply it on my wrists and neck throughout the day but I think this oil would perfectly complement a yoga practice so that you can benefit from the scent on your wrists while in downward dog. This should be a good motivation for me to get back into regular yoga, which leads me to the final oil…
Motivate: lemon + wild orange + frankincense + coconut oil
The Motivate blend is hands down my favourite scent: managing to combine the warmth of frankincense with the zestiness of lemon and wild orange – beautiful! This one I apply liberally everywhere: my wrists, temples, neck, décolletage, you name it, it smells of this blend. I’m not a regular essential oil user but going forward the two that I would keep using from this selection are Tea Tree to treat blemishes and Motivate for the scent alone, like a fragrance but all natural. And if you like perfume oil options check out kai’s floral option here.
Researching this post has taught me a lot about the benefits of essential oils and how to use them. If anything the doTERRA website is a great place to swat up on your knowledge of oils and their properties. Cringe alert though: some of the promotional videos on the site are super cheesy (cue happy families playing in the grass and all looking unbelievably glamorous). And if you’re interested in any of the oils featured, Nina @ninaspinknotes can help you. I’d love to hear about any oils you include in your beauty routine, leave a comment below to let me know!
All products photographed are samples.