I have used essential oils for a few years now. I haven’t previously spoken about it on my blog or social media as I was using an MLM (Multi-level Marketing) brand, and I don’t ever want to promote that sort of business model. I recently found Buckley and Phillips Aromatics, an Australian owned brand that is situated right here in Melbourne. They are Choose Cruelty Free certified, which is the best animal testing certification in my opinion, so you can trust that none of their products or ingredients are tested on animals. Their whole range is vegan except for their Unscented Goats Milk Soap and Lotus and Lemongrass Soap, which contains honey. Today I’ll be reviewing 4 of their vegan products, the Happiness Hand and Body Lotion, Organic Frankincense Oil, Blood Orange Australian Essential Oil and Stress Less Essential Oil Blend. Keep reading to find out the three main ways that I use essential oils.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are completely botanically derived oils that have been used for centuries in beauty and healing rituals. Essential oils can be extracted from leaves, wood, peels, flowers, seeds or roots. Essential oils are different from fragrant oils. Fragrant oils are synthetically made scents that have a mix of manufactured and natural components. Most of the Buckley and Phillips oils are extracted via stream distillation, with the exceptions of the Gumleaf citrus essential oils, which are cold-pressed, and the delicate florals (like Rose, Jasmine and Melissa), which are extracted via a gentle ethanol process.
Buckley and Phillips
Buckley and Phillips is a cruelty free Australian owned company, founded in 1972. They do not outsource production overseas and source ingredients, labels and packaging from Australia whenever possible. Their Melbourne based head office used solar-power, and all wax vats are solar heated. All of their candle jars, candle boxes, glass and PET bottles are completely recyclable.
All Buckley and Phillips Gumleaf Essential Oils are stringently tested to ensure they are pure, and all fragrant product ranges use only cosmetic grade oils. Due to the high price and low yield of some of the oils, they are sold as a dilution of 3% in Jojoba Oil. All of these diluted oils are very clearly marked on the website. The Gumleaf Essentials Aromatherapy range includes 4 different product types. They have the pure essential oils, organic essential oils, essential oil blends and pulse point rollers. Buckley and Phillips say their essential oils can be used in oil diffusers, oil burners or diluted for massage. They sell three carrier oils, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil, that you can use to dilute essential oils if you want to use them topically on your skin, as well as pre-made massage oils. If you are pregnant or have epilepsy, then check with your doctor before using essential oils.
There is a lot of information out there about the health benefits of essential oils, but as I am not a medical professional or a qualified aromatherapist, I cannot recommended oils for that reason. I have however found out in my many years of doctors visits for chronic illness, that western medicine can only do so much. It got to a point where I had to start trying alternative treatments because that is all I had left. I don’t believe that essential oils can cure any of the illnesses I have, but I want to do anything in my power that makes it easier for my to manage my illnesses, and if oils can help with that, then I am happy to use them. It could be just a placebo effect, or it could be that scent plays a big role in how we perceive our immediate surroundings, and if that scent is pleasant, that might make it easier to manage mood or pain. I don’t have the answers, but I do have a great group of medical professionals around me who understand why I am using alternative medicine, and they are completely on board and happy to help me do it. If you are also chronically ill and looking into alternative therapies, I recommend finding a good medical professional that can help you through the process, they can be hard to find, but they’re out there.
Three ways to use Essential Oils
There are three main ways that I use essential oils. I use them with a diffuser, in an aroma pod or on the skin.
The Gumleaf Organic Essential Oils are sourced from Certified Organic farmers and are grown and processed without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or GMOs. There are 12 ACO certified organic oils in the range. I have the Organic Frankincense Essential Oil which is $19.95 for 10ml. Frankincense is the main essential oil that I use. I have used it for quite a few years now after my Osteopath suggested that it would be good for both Bonsai and I (my Osteopath is trained to treat dogs too). I do want to make this very clear though – do not use essential oils around pets without speaking to your vet first. Certain oils can be toxic to certain animals, so please don’t risk your pets life. Both my Osteopath and Vet have agreed to the use of Frankincense oil around my pets.
The main way I previously used Frankincense was via an oil burner, but I recently upgraded to an oil diffuser. I bought a cheap one from Kmart, but Buckley and Phillips sell a range with more operational and safety options, which is probably better. I read that oils can be changed in the process of being heated up by an oil burner, and that the cold ultrasonic diffusion keeps the oils in their original state, but if you are just purchasing them for the scent then that probably won’t bother you. This is the only oil that I diffuse in the house. It is a good oil for relaxation, and I have found it to be a good replacement for lavender at bed time (I really don’t like lavender). Bonsai is very drawn to this oil, I’m not sure if he just likes the scent or if he finds that it helps to calm his anxiety, but I am more than happy to continue to provide it for him if it makes him happy.
My favourite oil scents are from the citrus group, and I also love scents like lemongrass and eucalyptus. These aren’t suitable to be diffused throughout the house with my dogs around, so I bought a Banksia Seed Aroma Pod Diffuser from Banksia Gifts Australia so that I could still use my favourite scents. These little aroma pods are made out of Banksia seeds, which are particularly porous, so they soak up the oil and release the scent over an extended period of time. I always make sure to place mine on a piece of card, plate or candle stand, as the oils can seep through and make the bottom sticky. I use a very small amount of oil in mine to ensure the scent isn’t too strong, and I keep it next to me when working or in bed. I can only smell the scent when I’m within a metre or so of the aroma pod, so the dogs have the rest of the house that they can use where the scent doesn’t reach. If you don’t have pets, then an ordinary diffuser will probably work better for you, but I like that I can still enjoy my favourite scents without hurting my animals. I do want to note again that some oils are toxic to animals so please talk to your vet before using them.
I have been using the Blood Orange Australian Essential Oil from the Gumleaf Essentials Pure Essential Oils range in my aroma pod. It is a great uplifting and energising scent which is perfect to have near my laptop to keep me focused on work. Other energising scents from this range that I would use in the same way are Eucalyptus, which you have multiple sorts to choose from like Blue Mallee, Lemon Gum and Peppermint Gum, as well as lemon, lemon myrtle, lime and lemongrass. There’s a huge range of different scents, so there should be something there that you will like.
The final way that I typically use essential oils is by putting them directly on the skin. When using essential oils on the skin, you should dilute them with a carrier oil. As I said previously, Buckley and Phillips sell carrier oils, but you can also use any plain beauty oil that you have on hand like rosehip, sweet almond, jojoba, coconut or marula oil. Just be aware that these oils can have their own scent which will mix with the essential oil that you’re using. Each individual essential oil listing on the Buckley and Phillips website has the recommended dilution amount listed, so you don’t have to guess. The oil that I have been really enjoying using this way is the Gumleaf Essentials Stress Less Essential Oil blend. The listing says that it may help to calm nerves and promote comfort and harmony. It has Lemon, Sweet Orange, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Cedarwood in it. I am OK with lavender mixed in with strong or citrus scents, so I actually really enjoy this oil despite the lavender. I do want to note that this blend has the potential to irritate skin and it can increase sun sensitivity if applied directly to the skin. Buckley and Phillips have an essential oils guide that you can request with your order or view online which includes information about the oils that can cause skin sensitivity. I apply this to the inside of my wrists and I haven’t had any irritation yet. I do however make sure to not go in the sun with it on, and I don’t apply it two days in a row to give my skin a break. I really like using this blend on my wrists as that way I have quick and easy access to the scent, which is a helpful distraction when stressing about writing uni essays.
If you want to use oils on your skin but you don’t want to worry about diluting them, then you can purchase one of the Pulse Point Rollers. They are a roller ball that has the essential oil blend pre-diluted so you can use it without worrying about a carrier oil or easily on the go. I actually already have empty roller balls on hand, so I can make my own version of this with the pure essential oil, but buying them pre-made is a lot easier. The 6 Pulse Point blends available are Stress Less, Headache, Easy Breathe, Equilibrium, Sleep Soundly, and Happiness. If you instead want a pre-made massage oil then you can choose from Stress Less, Indulgence, Relaxing, Soothing and Happiness.
Essential oils in Products
Buckley and Phillips also make bath and body products that include their essential oils. I have their Gumleaf Essentials Moisturising Hand and Body Lotion in Happiness. The hand and body lotions come in the same scents that the massage oils do. The essential oils that make up the happiness scent blend are Grapefruit, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Sweet Orange and Melissa. There are lots of moisturising ingredients in the hand and body lotion formula like Macadamia Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Salflower Seed Oil, Rosehip Oil, Shea Butter, Hydrolised Wheat Protein, Glycerin and Lactic Acid. I really like using this as a hand cream. I am very particular about the hand creams that I actually enjoy using. They need to actually moisturise my hands, and can’t soak in so quickly that nothing happens, but also can’t hang around on the skin and make my hands greasy or sticky. The Gumleaf Essentials Happiness Hand and Body lotion ticks all those boxes for me.
If you want to have a go at making your own products at home using essential oils, then you can check out the Buckley and Phillips recipe page. There you will find information on how to make your own roller ball, muscle bath soak, massage oil and even weed killer. You can also search for easy bath bomb and bath salt recipes if you want to use your essential oils that way. It could be a great activity to do with kids on school holidays.
I tried to keep this post as short as I could but I there was just so much information to include. I hope this blog has helped you decide if essential oils are something that you want to try, or maybe it introduced you to a great Australian cruelty free essential oil brand. Buckley and Phillips create good quality essential oils at a much lower price than that of the big MLMs, and I don’t have to feel bad about supporting a predatory brand structure when I buy from them. Frankincense is always going to be my top used oil, but I have really enjoyed using the Blood Orange and Stress Less blend too. There are so many ways to use essential oils, so I couldn’t list them all today. If you want to know other ways to use them, just let me know and I can write another post. I would love to know what your favourite essential oil is and how you use them in the comments below. If you want to see a video of how I use my essential oils with the diffuser, aroma pod and on my skin, then check out my Instagram as I will have a quick video on it soon.
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