Aromatherapy essential oils are just that—essential to a spa experience. They contain powerful healing properties that target a number of different wellness concerns. The increasing interest in aromatherapy in recent years has led many spa-goers to become fully aware of the benefits of some of the most common essential oils, including eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rose, and tea tree. However, some lesser-known oils provide amazing benefits that deserve recognition, too.
Black spruce: This oil is an antiseptic and can help clear congestion and reduce inflammation.
Blue chamomile: This anti-inflammatory oil helps heal and treat pain and irritated skin. Vista Blue Spa at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa (CA) offers the Bliss on the Bay ($190, 80 minutes) signature body treatment, which utilizes Body Bliss products and includes a replenishing body polish of lavender and blue chamomile, followed by a back massage, a hydrating cocoon wrap, and a stress-relieving head, neck, and shoulder massage.
Blue tansy: Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, this oil helps calm skin and heal wounds. The Tension Relief Bath (starting at $180, 50 minutes; $255, 80 minutes) at Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas helps calm and restore the body, especially sore muscles and tight joints, with a combination of blue tansy, cedarwood, frankincense, and sage from Pure Fiji and Sankaya.
Cajuput: This oil is known for its antiseptic properties and for helping to revive the skin. At The Spa at CopperWynd at CopperWynd Resort & Club (Scottsdale, AZ), guests can enjoy the benefits of cajuput with the Turquoise Rain Scrub ($140, 60 minutes). This skin-revitalizing treatment, which utilizes Body Bliss products, includes an aloe, native blue corn, and turquoise-infused body polish that leaves skin soft, hydrated, and enlivened with essences of organic mint and cajeput.
Carrot seed: Carrot seed oil moisturizes skin and hair and relieves stress.
Cedarwood: This oil improves dry skin and eczema and is known for its astringent, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits.
Cypress: Cypress helps relieve anxiety, heal cuts, and remove toxins. Well & Being Spa at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas (Irving, TX) offers The Leg Works Therapeutic Pedicure ($85, 50 minutes) in which FarmHouse Fresh products containing a blend of organic essential oils and botanical extracts including calendula, cypress, geranium, and rosemary help tone and strengthen the legs and feet. In addition, a mud mask refines skin texture and increases circulation.
Elemi: The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of this oil boost new cell development, treat minor cuts and bruises, and can help treat congestion.
Fragonia: Fragonia’s antifungal properties make it great for use as an anti-inflammatory and immune system stimulant. “It’s also said that fragonia can help release unwanted emotions, making it a great oil for grief and depression,” says Monique White, marketing project manager for aromatherapy and certified aromatherapist at Epicuren Discovery. “This would be a powerful oil for the treatment room and could be used to treat multiple concerns, both physically and emotionally.”
Mentha Arvensis Leaf: Also known as wild mint, this oil offers decongestive properties and helps relax muscles. “Ideal for decontracting massages that relax muscles, it also has a powerful purifying effect that helps clear the respiratory track,” says Hanna Ralston, education and aesthetic manager at Natura Bissé.
Moringa: This oil helps fight acne, is anti-aging, and helps skin retain moisture. The Anti-Oxidant Face Massage ($75, 25 minutes) at Calm Waters Spa at Hawks Cay Resort (Duck Key, FL) utilizes Elemis products and includes an application of moringa oil to help replenish vital nutrients.
Myrrh: Myrrh helps maintain a youthful complexion, soothes the skin, and reduces signs of aging. Willow Stream A Fairmont Spa at Fairmont Kea Lani (Wailea, HI) offers the Brightening Manicure ($85, 60 minutes) utilizing Kerstin Florian products, including a moisturizing myrrh nail oil.
Pomegranate seed oil: The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil help protect against sun damage and reduce signs of aging.
Vetiver: This oil helps heal scars, treats stretch marks, and improves anxiety.