We all love a product that’s safe, reliable, and as effective as possible. But when you have kids that need help, efficiency also ranks pretty high.
Thankfully, essential oils handle all of these needs. They’ve been around for hundreds of years and have been used by millions of people to remedy a variety of situations. Everything from bug repellent to our mental and physical health can benefit from the many characteristics of essential oils.
But how fast do they actually work? And do certain uses and applications work better than others?
That’s what we are answering today. Different methods of use come with different effectiveness, timing, and duration; we’ll break it down for you here.
What Are Essential Oils?
Pure essential oils are compounds that are extracted from plants. This means that the plant’s antibacterial or calming qualities are extracted into a super concentrated oil that you then use to remedy ailments and other issues.
Because of the high concentration after extraction, oils shouldn’t be used on their own. To create a safe oil to use, you need to dilute the essential oil extracts; a few drops will suffice with a carrier oil. Popular options include olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil, diluting the extract's potency without diluting the strength of its qualities and characteristics.
An important note on essential oil safety: This DIY mixture is necessary; pure oils can be harsh, leading to skin irritation or possible allergic reactions.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
A few drops of essential oils can have major health benefits, but how?
Essential oils work through your limbic system. For example, when you inhale the fragrant scent of chamomile or peppermint, the molecules hitch a ride on the olfactory nerves and arrive at the brain. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin barrier (but this latter technique will require more caution).
Most Popular Essential Oils
Some of the most popular essential oils are:
- Ylang ylang
- Tea tree oil
This list represents a mere handful of the essential oils that we love. Everyone has a “go-to” oil they treasure, which can change based on what they are treating.
Common Uses for Essential Oils
Essential oils are well-rounded extracts and cover a multitude of needs. These are some of the most common uses for essential oils:
Indigenous tribes have been using essential oils to fight off insects for thousands of years. It is one of the first known uses for essential oils that still exists today.
Mosquitoes, for example, find us by honing in on our breathing. When we exhale, they are able to target us by the carbon dioxide emissions. This is one of the reasons you find yourself bitten more frequently on walks and other activities that involve moderate exercise.
Essential oils mask the carbon dioxide we exhale and keep us camouflaged from bugs. That’s why we infused our mosquito repellent patches, BuzzPatch, with all-natural citronella oil. The citronella masks our scent, so we can stay bite-free and stress-free.
Headaches and Anxiety
Stress and worry can lead to sleepless nights and issues like headaches or migraines. Essential oils can work to calm our nerves, improve our sleep, and reduce symptoms of migraines and headaches.
Our olfactory senses are connected directly with the area of our brain that creates melatonin for sleep and other chemical responses our bodies need to curb feelings of worry and depression.
The scents and aromas of essential oils can help trigger these chemical responses in our brains, helping boost our mood naturally and effectively.
Focus and Concentration
One of the most popular blends of essential oils among parents is a focus or concentration blend. With the number of distractions our kids face every day, it’s a wonder they can ever concentrate.
Thankfully, with specific essential oil blends, they’ll be able to concentrate long enough to complete tasks without burning out or feeling overwhelmed. The FocusPatch from the Natural Patch Co. helps kids with daily tasks with a unique mixture of lemon, atlas cedarwood, bergamot, and peppermint oils. This patch takes about 30 minutes to kick in, and the next thing you know, your kiddo has completed their chores!
Antimicrobial and Sinus Relief
Eucalyptus, blackspruce, and grapefruit oils are great for creating an antiviral or antimicrobial blend of essential oils. They are naturally “clean” oils and help kill germs in the air or on the body.
You’ll also see lemon and orange essential oils utilized heavily in natural cleaning products and all-natural soaps as they work in place of harsh chemicals.
How Fast Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils can work fairly quickly no matter the application, but the times will vary to a degree.
The length of single-use and the effectiveness can vary dramatically, so you’ll need to weigh all the options against each other to determine what will work best for you.
Applying Essential Oils Topically
Applying a diluted essential oil blend directly onto the skin can work as fast as two to three minutes after application. This will give the compounds in oils enough time to reach the bloodstream and travel through to the nervous system and other areas that require remedy.
Slathering oils directly onto the skin does also come with disadvantages. It can be very easy to wipe away essential oils, either accidentally or intentionally. A mindless swipe can make them either less effective or obsolete. Kids are especially guilty of this, as they don’t always like the texture of oils and creams on their skin.
Even if fully absorbed, essential oils applied directly to skin wear off in as little as two hours after being applied, so continuous applications will be necessary.
Plugging in an Essential Oil Diffuser
Diffusers rely on a holistic treatment called aromatherapy, a technique that applies the olfactory nerves in full force.
Breathe in the aromas, and your sense of smell will send directions to the brain that will, in turn, send signals and chemical responses out to the rest of the body. Our noses, or sense of smell, are the body's fastest-acting sense. It has a direct line of communication with our brain.
So naturally, utilizing aromatherapy is the quickest and most effective way to use essential oils. Diffusers are a way to utilize this treatment method.
You’ll add a few drops of a diluted oil blend to the water, and the diffuser will create a steam that fills the room. Then, we breathe in the floating mist and feel the effects. You can expect to feel the difference in as little as 30 seconds.
The negative aspect of a diffuser has to do with two factors.
- One, it cannot travel, so it’s only an at-home option.
- Second, the effect is contingent based on space. If your diffuser is too small and the room is too big, it won’t work. You’ll either have to wait longer or only feel a slight effect from the diffuser (if any).
Lotions and Sprays
Lotions and sprays are base creams or water solutions that are infused with essential oils. These are then either sprayed on the body or in the air or rubbed into hands and other extremities.
We can also bring the wellness qualities of oils into our skincare routine. Common options include hand soap infused with lavender oil. However, like the direct application to the skin, they wear off quickly.
Lotions and sprays only last up to two hours after application and aren’t as effective as other uses. Rollers can be handy too, but as time passes (or you wash your hands), the effects vanish like the fine morning mist.
The Natural Patch Co. is here to fill in all the gaps. Our stickers are full of essential oils that release in regular intervals over an eight-hour period. They also utilize aromatherapy, so you’re able to get relief quickly in as little as one minute.
Take our SleepyPatch, for example. When applied right before this patch bed, you breathe in a perfect blend of oils that will directly tap into your brain’s melatonin button and have you asleep in record time.
Then, because the oils will be released all night while you sleep, you will stay asleep longer. Eight hours is a full night’s rest, so even though the patch will wear off after this time, you’ll wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
It’s a win-win all around!
A Solution That Sticks
Here at The Natural Patch Co., we are proud that our products are made with all-natural essential oils to give you a clear (and clean) treatment plan for all your different needs.
While there are chemicals on the market that promise speedy results, those products can also come with side effects that us parents just can’t get behind.
Instead, you need to be able to rely on a treatment plan that is reliable, effective, long-lasting, and quick-acting. It’s essential.