What are essential oils?Ema-Woo/Shutterstock
Before you start using essential oils—which can offer some surprising beauty benefits—you probably want to know exactly what the heck they are. Hope Gillerman, an essential oils expert and author of Essential Oils Every Day, says “These are the aromatic liquids extracted exclusively through steam distillation from the aromatic flowers, trees, fruits, grasses and leaves and tree resins that produce them. These intense liquids are so concentrated and evaporate so quickly that you can smell them from across the room.”
Where are the biggest misconceptions about oils?Julietphotography/Shutterstock
Often when people hear “essential oils,” they think of a fragrance. But the oils can offer more than a perfume alternative—for example, some people have had success using them for easing allergy symptoms. But there are so many anecdotal uses that people need to use caution, says Gillerman. “Essential oils are more than just scent: They are herbal medicine in its most concentrated form. It takes a football field of lavender to make two gallons of essential oil; you need six dozen roses to make one drop of essential oil.” Gillerman said.