What’s Up with Essential Oils and Should Guys Use Them?

Your masculinity shouldn’t be challenged by “mandles” (man-candle), bubble baths, or essential oils. The latter is a particularly easy self-care practice to pick up that promises worthwhile benefits like waking you up without a fourth espresso, easing stress, and aiding digestion. Even male executives at Crate and Barrel are using essential oils before their 6ams. Essential oils are also in beard balms, so chances are, you’ve already used them.

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Throw a vial of orange essential oil in your pocket for a business trip or power up your diffuser with lavender for a hard night’s sleep. Here are no-fuss ways dudes should use essential oils.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essentially (har-har), these are concentrated oils derived from natural products like plants, flowers, and herbs. Inhaling or ingesting these oils should spur mental and physical changes from stress relief to alertness, improved digestion, headache relief, and more. The effect will depend on the oil, with each essential oil having its own remedial purpose.

While a ton of medical research is being done showing essential oils’ power to help patients with thyroid cancer and improve pain, anxiety, and nausea in hospital settings, using this homeopathic remedy as an everyday supplement to improve sleep, mood, and stress is ramping in popularity.

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How to Use Essential Oils

  • Diffuser: For as little as $15 you can grab an essential oil diffuser at Target and start inhaling the benefits of lavender, peppermint, and rose. Fill the diffuser with water and add a few drops of your favorite oil concentrate. The infused mist fills your bedroom, office, or living room.
  • Candles: Essential oil candles take away the need for extra accessories and crap crowding your countertops. These candles are made with essential oils so the smell is released during burning.
  • Oil: Perhaps the most common application of essential oils is dabbing the pure concentrate on your trigger points (i.e. temples, wrist, neck, and upper back). You don’t need a lot because the oil is powerful. Direct skin contact is, however, the most “dangerous” application in that you could experience an allergic reaction or rash if your skin has a sensitivity. This is our favorite method because it’s so darn easy to carry a small vial with you and pull out for a quick smell, dab, or drop into your drink.
  • Cologne: A new way men are starting to use essential oils is by looking for nature-inspired, musky oils to replace their colognes. Oakland, California-based Juniper Ridge suggests adding their Coastal Pine, Desert Cedar, Cascade Forest, Redwood Mist, or White Sage oil into a plain lotion and using as a personal fragrance. “We don’t say ‘if you’re stressed out, smell this,’ but the main purpose of our oils is to connect with nature and escape to a place that you can’t physically be,” says National Sales Director, Krista Delosreyes.

Best Oils for Guys

NYC-based candle and diffuser boutique Gibson & Dehn has created essential oil combinations for Crate and Barrel executives and the Plaza Hotel, to name a few. Founding Member Julia Weinzimer recommends these essential oils for men:

Essential Oil

Remedy

Reason

Chamomile Improve Mood “Chamomile is great for improving mood and prompting relaxation,” Weinzimer tells The Manual. “I’d suggest a roller ball to apply the oil on your wrist.”
Lemon Digestion and Weight Loss “We know that drinking lemon water helps with digestion, but if you put essential oil of lemon on your skin it also helps digestion, and can even aid with weight loss,” Weinzimer says. Inhaling lemon essential oil has also been proven to help cancer patients increase saliva secretion after radioactive iodine therapy.
Lavender Sleep If you have trouble winding down after work or falling asleep, Weinzimer suggests lavender. “Ask your partner to rub lavender oil on your temples. I do this to my boyfriend and he’s not a big believer but every time I do it he gets relaxed.”
Sandalwood Relax and Mental Clarity Weinzimer says sandalwood is the best-selling note in their collection for men. When Gibson & Dehn created an essential shaving oil for the Plaza Hotel they used sandalwood because it makes you both calm and mentally clear— exactly the state you want to be in taking a razor to your cheek.
Bergamot Clean Skin and Reduce Stress “Being in the citrus family, bergamot is used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema,” Weinzimer says.
Orange Energy Inhaling orange essential oil can feel like drinking a glass of fresh orange juice in the morning, Weinzimer explains. “My brother loves the citrus scent because he’s in finance and goes to sleep late and wakes up early. He keeps the oil in his desk.”
Rose Reduce Anxiety “Rose improves mood and reduces anxiety,” Weinzimer says. And that’s just the beginning. Rose oil has also been linked to being an antidepressant, antiviral, a great astringent, and even an aphrodisiac.
Ylang-ylang Headaches and Nausea “If you’re looking for a headache reducer, I’d try ylang-ylang,” Weinzimer adds. “It’s also used to treat nausea.”
Peppermint Energy and Digestion “The old wives’ tale of drinking peppermint tea to aid in digestion and boost energy is true,” Weinzimer says. “Putting the oil on your body lets it seep in, in a similar way to drinking it.”

Beginner Tips

Weinzimer says it shouldn’t be expensive or difficult to start using essential oils. When finding one to try, look for as few ingredients as possible, and don’t assume that the most expensive one will be the best. “Goop loves boasting essential oils for $100 dollars, but you can find one at a local Sephora,” she adds.

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