Essential oil basics and immunity-boosting blends

Essential oil basics and immunity-boosting blends

By Amy Galper, member of our Credo Clean Beauty Council and co-author of Plant Powered Beauty and founder of NYC's first aromatherapy school.

The beauty of using essential oils goes way beyond their proven ability to promote health; they also promote well- being. Essential Oils have a remarkable capacity to affect both the body and the mind simultaneously. Their molecules can absorb into the body through our skin and consequently affect our physiology, while the experience of their beautiful aromas can directly impact our emotions, spirit and frame of mind. They can generate emotional responses and are used to create positive mood states, calm nerves, and promotes a sense of euphoria—uplifting, inspiring, and grounding the mind and body.

Based on the molecular properties and behavior of essential oils, aromatherapy (the practice of using essential oils) supports our innate ability to heal ourselves—making it a powerful ally in treating mind, body, and emotions. It has been practiced since the ancients used plants as a living pharmacopeia approximately 5,000 years ago to advance healing and transformation, helping approach issues like anxiety, sleeplessness and allergies. Today, it’s more supported and relevant than ever and is one of the fastest growing healing disciplines.

1.  First, what is an essential oil?
An essential oil is an aromatic substance extracted from different parts of plants, like roots, wood, seeds, flowers, leaves and resins, via the process of steam distillation. This unique and alchemical process captures the “invisible” aroma of the plant and transforms it into the essential oil. Although they are called “oils”, essential oils don’t feel at all similar to nut and seed oils like almond, argan or avocado oils; instead they are light to the touch and evaporate quickly.

Plants make essential oils during the process of photosynthesis, meaning the complex structure of their molecules originates from light, or pure vibrational energy; no wonder their aromas can so deeply resonate with our emotions and spirits.

2.  Safety and essential oils- let’s talk about it
Let’s think about the safety of essential oils more from the perspective of how we use them and how we relate to them. They are potent and complex, and should be used with care and respect. Essential oils have never been intended to be used in large quantities over long periods of time. They are special, and should be used sparingly and mindfully. Less is More. 

Here are a few suggestions:

• Essential oils are safe when...selected appropriately for the individual or purpose of the product.

• Essential oils are safe when...the method of application (baths, skincare, diffusion, etc.) is chosen correctly for the individual or purpose of the product.

• Essential oils are safe when...the dilution/dosage, length of time, and intensity of treatment is based upon the individual, the essential oils being used, the nature of the condition, and the intention of the product.

    3. My Favorite Essential Oil Blends to Boost Immunity
    For respiratory support and allergies, and clearing the mind from stress and anxiety:

      Eucalyptus—a unique species called Eucalyptus staigeriana, or Lemon Iron Bark
      Emotional: Cleansing, purifying, detoxifying, mind clearing, strengthens our inner resiliency
      Physical: Supports respiratory, immune supportive

      Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinale)
      Emotional: Mind clearing, mind balancing, focuses thoughts, improves concentration, helps us see and understand clearly
      Physical: Respiratory support, pain relief, digestive

      Inula (Inula graveolens)
      Emotional: Calming, soothing, sedative, offers inner comfort and sweetness to self
      Physical: Support to respiratory, especially for dry conditions. 

      To support sleep so we stay strong:

      Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
      Emotional: Soothing, calming, relaxing, relieves tension brought on by emotional stress
      Physical: Anti-inflammatory, wound healing, respiratory support, skin soothing, digestive, pain relieving

        Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
        Emotional: Heart centering, emotional balance, emotional grounding and emotional wound healing, self-reflective, introspective
        Physical: Tissue reparative, anti-viral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving


        Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
        Emotional: nClearing, purifying, self-reflective, meditative, soul journeying
        Physical: Support to respiratory, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, tissue reparative, immune supportive

        Stress relief and anxiety so stress doesn’t wear us down:

        Pinon Pine (Pinus edulis)
        Emotional: Clearing, purifying, meditative, soul connecting
        Physical: Supports respiratory, immune supportive, antibacterial, antimicrobial

        Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
        Emotional: Deeply calming, sedative, soothing to stress from emotional outbursts, and stress that affects us physically, emotional wound healer
        Physical: Tissue reparative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial

          How to use the blends:

          Diffusing essential oils is a great way to enjoy and benefit from their therapeutic properties. Any kind of essential oil diffuser will do. Our preferences are either:

          The Cool Steam Diffuser: where you add a few drops of your blend into a water receptacle in the machine and it vaporizes the water and the essential oil droplets are carried into the air. This mode of diffusing can have a great affect on our state of mind, as well as cleansing and purifying the space around us, but the chances that the essential oil droplets will actually enter our bloodstream via inhalation is slim.  The droplets aren’t small enough. 

          A “nebulizing” Diffuser: In this kind of diffuser, the essential oils are added directly into the machine, without needing water to lift and disperse the molecules into the air. Instead via sonic vibration and air pressure vaporize the essential oils into tiny micro-drops and disperse them into the air. This is a very potent delivery that can easily be breathed in and connect with our bloodstream. Because it is so potent we recommend running this machine only for 10 minutes at a time, making sure to have ample breaks in between, and making sure the space is well ventilated.

          Body Care: Body, Face and Scalp Oils

          This is another excellent way to deliver the powerful benefits of essential oils to our bodies and minds. All you need is some basic vegetable oil. Any oil will do. And while we are stuck at home, oils like olive, or sunflower, safflower all work really well.  


          A basic guideline for a recipe is as follows:

          • For 1 TBSP of oil, use about 8 drops of essential oil(s). You can add more.  But I wouldn’t recommend exceeding 15 drops per TBSP.

          • If using an oil, you don’t need much. Often just 1 tsp or your blended mixture is enough to rub on the face, or on the scalp. For use on the body, you can be more liberal. But avoid sensitive areas, and mucus membranes.

          How to find these ingredients in Credo products?

          • Use Credo’s Product Finder to search for specific essential oils to include in your routine. Or just go ahead and type in your search bar at the top right of your screen! Have a sensitivity? The Product Finder can also exclude ingredients to find the best products for you.

          • Don't worry, we never allow hundreds of ingredients found in The Dirty List. 

          Follow Amy for the latest in beauty wellness and more. 

          Back to blog