The Next Big Thing in Aromatherapy: Or Not

Because aromatherapy is still struggling just to become real aroma  “therapy,” a next big thing is difficult to predict. I’m not sure it’s even necessary to have a “next big thing” option. Though aromatherapy and essential oils may appear to be stuck in a same-old-same-old syndrome, I don’t see this as a bad thing. Due to the latent power waiting to be accessed, aromatherapy does not fade into old trend territory, instead it has continued to maintain, grow at an ever cresting pace, and garners revitalized attention year after year. I have often stated that those of us who work with essential oils never feel jaded or bored with their use, as they persist in their ability to surprise and impress with their results. Using an oil in the same old way can suddenly create a next big thing use for that particular essential oil.

I’ve developed a very therapeutic holistic health and beauty care system using essential oils as a key functional ingredient. This holistic model will address how skin conditions relate to the body systems (digestion, cardiovascular, etc.), the emotions, the environment, lifestyle and energetics (which here I will define as spirituality and philosophy), and how all of these can be treated simultaneously with essential oils, or more specifically, a completely holistic, well structured, beauty formula. The fragrance itself will be an aspect of the therapeutic formulation. I’d like to think it’s a next big thing, but, honestly, this is not completely new to seasoned aromatherapists.

In developing beauty treatments I’ve found some very strategic ways to use essential oils, along with supercritical CO2 extracts, which fall under the aromatherapy category, in very medicinal manners and still remain as personal care items. I cover some of this in my book, Aromatherapy: Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for Esthetics.

The art of aromatherapy has always had promise to introduce something novel to the marketplace. The versatility of essential oil application is blessed with a plethora of techniques and novel product ideas, none of which has yet to bring aromatherapy out of its understated place in personal care and health. It’s especially unfortunate that essential oils have not been fully embraced by the holistic natural health care community.

Utilizing essential oils to their full, or at least moderate, capacity is the best next big thing that could – or continue to – happen for aromatherapy. What I haven’t mentioned, in context to the challenge this presents, is product claims, new EU regulations and the ability to suggest, prescribe, and treat according to professional licensing, all of which do create some hesitation in clinically working with, and formulating retail products that contain, essential oils.

There is really so much potential with essential oils to, at some point, have a next big thing.