When it comes to de-stressing, most people are willing to try just about anything — from guzzling CBD-infused drinks, trying out acupuncture, and even paying to smash some stuff with a baseball bat. But one of the most powerful anti-anxiety strategies may sound ridiculously simple: sniffing essential oils.
Essential oils have been around for a long time, but they’ve been experiencing an uptick in popularity lately, likely because there’s evidence that the aromatic oils are more powerful than many people think. Science backs them up as acceptable remedies for stress, anxiety, and even helping with sleep problems. You can find scents, and different customized blends of fragrances too, that have been proven to help you de-stress.
But, of course, you’ll still want to do your research before using them. “Before using a new essential oil, become familiar with its properties, methods of application, toxicity, precautions, and contraindications,” Stephanie Tourles, author of Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide, previously told Refinery29.
If you’re new to using the fragrant mixes to release tension, Tourles says a good starting place is to use an aromatherapy diffuser for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. You can also mix one to two drops of an essential oil in an ounce of carrier oil (a neutral oil like jojoba, almond, coconut, or olive oil) to create a soothing compress or a massage oil. (You should never put undiluted essential oils on your skin; they can burn.)
Even if you’ve taken a crack at aromatherapy before, certain scents are more effective at taming tension than others. So, we’ve rounded up the 7 fragrances that are really proven to sink your stress levels. The next time you’re feeling anxious or overworked, work one — or all! — of these oils into your self-care routine.