10 of Our Must-Have Essential Oils (and Why They're So Amazing)

POPSUGAR Photography | Benjamin Stone
POPSUGAR Photography | Benjamin Stone

So many of us at POPSUGAR are healthy-living fanatics, and just like we love sharing our tips with you, we share our wellness tips with each other, too. One of the things that we found many of us had in common was our shared love of essential oils and their natural healing properties (which more and more research is supporting as being valid).

Do you diffuse oils or use essential oils in your wellness practice? This natural approach to health is so accessible, whether you're taking a breath of rose oil for its depression-remedying properties, killing bacteria with tea tree oil, or steaming some eucalyptus for sinus relief. Here are 10 of our favorite oils and blends and what they do for us!


"When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, my therapist recommended diffusing oils as a natural relief treatment — and she specifically recommended lavender. I went out that day and stocked up on lavender (and got myself a sweet little diffuser from Now). This practice and this particular oil carried me through some tough times, it started a practice of oil diffusing I now rely on daily, and to this day I fall asleep with that comforting lavender scent." — Dominique Astorino, assistant editor, Fitness

"I love using lavender oil for lots of things — I have a spritz with a lavender oil base and a heating pad filled with lavender buds. I even use the oil itself with a little bit of vinegar in place of fabric softener when I wash my linens to infuse them with scent so I'm surrounded by it when I try to sleep. There's an essential oil place near where I work, where I learned a bit more about its uses (on POPSUGAR!), and it's so calming and such a clean, organic scent." — Rachel Crowley, copy editor

"I use lavender oil to feel zen. It reminds me of traveling to the South of France, where it is harvested, and visiting spas there." — Lauren Levinson, senior editor, Beauty

"I swear by lavender oil to relax me every night before bed." — Shannon Robson, director, Entertainment


"I'm pretty obsessed with eucalyptus oil. Whenever I'm sick, I add a few drops of it to a bowl of hot water for a steam bath, and in a matter of seconds I can breathe again! I've also found that if you rub it into sore muscles, it can provide pretty immediate relief (cinnamon, too — a trick I picked up from a spa I once visited)." — Michele Foley, content director, Fitness

"Eucalyptus is SO great for breathing better and opening up my sinuses — and also for relaxing and relieving tension and anxiety. I mix it with my lavender oil in my diffuser and take nice deep 'aaahhhhh' breaths. I got mine from Young Living and I love it." — DA


"I have pretty much every single oil you can imagine and a bible of what to do with all of them. Peppermint oil from Doterra is always in my bag: it's amazing for dry, itchy scalps (sorry — it's what happens during this season), alleviating headaches, menstrual cramps, the scent is energizing, it relaxes stomach aches and bloating, and it's anti-viral — a great hand sanitizer if you will!" — Anna Monette Roberts, editor, Food

"Peppermint essential oil is my go-to for any time I'm nauseous. Random, but putting a few drops in your palms and cupping your hands around your face makes you go from queasy to breezy." — Candace Lowry, senior social video strategist


"I also love vetiver. I rub it on my feet (with lavender) and put it in a diffuser to act as a sleep aid. It's great for traveling on long flights too to help with relaxation." — AMR

POPSUGAR Photography | Benjamin Stone

Tea Tree

"Tea tree oil! I first started using it years ago when I got a piercing, and the oil helped it heal when it got infected. I also LOVE the smell. Tea tree oil has so many great uses!" — Hilary White, editor, Smart Living and Love

"I use tea tree oil on a Q-tip or cotton swab and then swab the back of my throat when I'm sick — I'll be honest, it tastes terrible but the relief is incredible." — DA

Tension Blend (Wintergreen, Lavender, Peppermint, and More)

"This stuff from Doterra is INCREDIBLE. It's called 'tension blend,' and I mainly use it for headaches or neck and shoulder pain, but TBH I just put this stuff on any time I feel stressed. I literally don't go anywhere without it; it's in my purse 100 percent of the time." — Alexandra Young, marketing

Citrus Oils

"On days I am feeling sluggish, I'll rub lemon or grapefruit oil on my temples. Both scents are energizing and help power me through the day." — MF


"Rose oil purportedly creates a romantic ambiance but has also been said to be amazing for combating depression. I honestly just love the fragrance! It's soothing, sweet, floral, uplifting . . . but unfortunately also very expensive, so it's for 'treat yo'self' diffusing days or for an at-home spa-like experience." — DA

Thieves (Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary)

"I love all of the Young Living essential oils. My dad swears by them, so he ordered me the box with the matching diffuser and I use them almost every night. My favorite is Thieves (a Gwyneth Paltrow favorite, too!) which is a combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary." — Sam Netkin, assistant editor, Native

Oregano Oil

"When all else fails, my fail-safe is oregano oil. It is a powerhouse restorer of health and my absolute go-to when I'm feeling anything less than 100 percent. It's a potent antibacterial and antimicrobial that also fights free radical damage, can help reduce and relieve allergies, stimulates digestion, and helps to clear yeasts from the body, both externally and internally. A little goes a long way, and brand to brand the quality also greatly varies. My favorite without comparison is Wild Oil of Oregano. Like with any supplements, natural or otherwise, be sure to check with your doctor or health professional about any potential interactions or complications." — Alle Weil, contributing editor and holistic health counselor