Aromatherapy in Aveda’s Composition Oils

By Christiana Metrakos


Webster’s Dictionary defines aromatherapy as “the use of aroma to enhance a feeling of well-being.” The term aromatherapy was coined in 1928 by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French scientist whose interest in the healing properties of essential oils was sparked by his remarkable experience with lavender oil. In 1910, Gattefosse badly burned his hand while working in his family’s cosmetics laboratory. He submerged his hand in the nearest liquid which happened to be lavender oil, and was so surprised at how quickly his injury healed, and with how little scarring resulted.

Though it took until 1928 for Gattefosse (who is widely regarded as “the father of aromatherapy”) for the general public to recognize aromatherapy as a legitimate thing, the roots of humans’ use of aromatic and essential oils date back to thousands of years ago. It’s believed that ancient Egyptians created oils infused with herbs for use in rituals, medicine, cosmetics, and perfumery. Years later, Hippocrates (commonly referred to as the “Father of Medicine”) studied the effects of essential oils on health, and promoted their use for medicinal benefits.

Aveda utilizes essential oils in almost all of their products, from the Composition Oils, to their body care line, to even the shampoos and conditioners. You can incorporate aromatherapy into your day just by doing a Stress Relieving Ritual with the proper aromas.

Here is a guide to Aveda’s Composition Oils with a breakdown of each of the aromas used in each one and what their benefits are, for both mind and body. This can be helpful in choosing the best Composition Oil for your Stress Relieving Ritual.

Beautifying Composition Oil

  • Lavender – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: calming, can combat insomnia, has been used to treat headaches and exhaustion. Topical/external Benefits: the only essential oil that can be used undiluted to treat burns, can relieve joint and muscle pain when used in a bath, aids in healing eczema or dry and cracked skin.

  • Rosemary – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: aids in learning and memory, aids in easing headaches, soothes stress by decreasing body’s level of cortisol (one of the body’s hormones released when we experience “fight or flight mode”), relieves throat congestion and respiratory allergy symptoms, decreases anxiety - A study published in Holistic Nursing Practice in 2009 found that the use of sachets containing lavender and rosemary essential oils helped reduce anxiety associated with test-taking. Topical/external Benefits: stimulates hair follicles which may encourage hair growth.

  • Bergamot – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: decreases anxiety and stress, provides a pleasant and citrusy scent, uplifting and antidepressant. Topical/external Benefits: analgesic (reduces pains), natural deodorant, antispasmodic (treats muscle cramps and spasms).

     Calming Composition Oil

  • Rose Oil – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: antidepressant, boosts self-esteem and confidence, relieves anxiety and tension; provides feelings of joy, happiness and hope. Also a natural aphrodisiac. External/Topical Benefits:antiseptic (protects from developing infections), has antioxidant properties, provides healing properties for scarring and stretch marks, is a natural nerve tonic (soothes nerves when applied topically), tones skin and strengthens hair follicles using natural astringent properties.

      Shampure Composition Oil

  • Contains a blend of 25 different essentail oils including lavender, rosemary, and ylang ylang.

Aveda Men's Pure-Formance Composition Oil

  • Kunzea – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: refreshes with its clean Australian bush scent (similar to Eucalyptus with some of the same aromatherapy benefits). Topical/external benefits: aids in healing blemishes, aids irritated skin, gentle on sensitive skin, soothing for feet and body when used in baths.

  • Spearmint – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: promotes alertness with its vivacious and sharp aroma, cures headaches and stress-related neural problems, stimulates brain function and blood circulation. Topical/external Benefits: add to a bath and it may help treat itching, athlete’s food, dermatitis, insect bites, and other skin conditions.

  • Vetiver – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: sedative which may reduce anger, anxiety, epileptic and hysteric attacks, restlessness, and nervousness. Topical/External Benefits: may aid in healing wounds by promoting cell regrowth.

  • Lemon – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: promotes positive mood, supports healthy respiratory function. Topical/External Benefits: naturally cleanses the body and promotes supple and clean skin.

    Aveda Love Composition Oil

  • Sandalwood – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: memory booster, sedative (reduces stress and anxiety) Topical/External Benefits: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and astringent.

  • Frankincense – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: calms with its earthy, spicy and woody aroma. Topical/External Benefits: aids in the healing of acne, insect bites and boils; strengthens hair follicles.

  • Myrrh – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: aids in respiratory issues when breathed-in. Topical/External Benefits: healing benefits may help treat athlete's foot, ringworm, weeping eczema, bedsores, boils, carbuncles, and acne.

  • Jasmine – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: antidepressant, sleep aid, expectorant. External/Topical Benefits: treats dry, brittle skin.

  • Ylang Ylang – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: sedative properties help to reduce stress, antidepressant properties drive away stress and anxiety, bright and exciting aroma increases energy and positive mood. External/topical benefits: antisebborhoeic properties encourage regularity and normality for the sebaceous glands, antiseptic properties.

  • Rose Oil – Wellbeing/Internal Benefits: antidepressant, boosts self-esteem and confidence, relieves anxiety and tension; provides feelings of joy, happiness and hope. Also a natural aphrodisiac. External/Topical Benefits:antiseptic (protects from developing infections), has antioxidant properties, provides healing properties for scarring and stretch marks, is a natural nerve tonic (soothes nerves when applied topically), tones skin and strengthens hair follicles using natural astringent properties.

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