Hi and welcome to my letter Y post in the #AtoZChallenge. Yay, we’re almost done with the challenge. Today, I will share about one of my favorite essential oils with you: ylang ylang. I never quite understand how to pronounce it, but who cares if it smells good?
Ylang ylang essential oil is derived through steam distillation of the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree. Its common name comes from the repetition of the Tagalog word for “wilderness”, “ilang”. The tree occurs in the tropical rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia, Comoro and Polynesia.
Ylang ylang is an interesting oil, in that it is distilled somewhat differently from other oils. You may have seen ylang ylang essential oil be referred to as “Extra”, “Complete” or a Roman number I, II or III. The difference lies in the distillation time. Ylang ylang extra is only distilled for a short time. Then the remaining oil is further distilled to create ylang ylang I, II and III. Finally, a completed distillation results in ylang ylang complete. For aromatherapy purposes, ylang ylang extra or complete are preferred. I honestly have no i dea what variety of ylang ylang oil I own.
The aroma of ylang ylang essential oil is exotic, sweet, floral and a bit fruity. The essential oil is thought to help lessen anxiety and depression. It is also said to be an aphrodisiac. Ylang ylang essential oil is thought to help reduce negative emotions such as nervousness, tension and sadness. It also supposedly promotes positive feelings of cheerfulness and optimism. For this reason, it is very useful in promoting sensuality for couples.
When used topically on the skin, ylang ylang essential oil is believed to help regulate the skin’s oil production, thereby reducing excessive dryness or oiliness.
The maximum usage rate in skincare products is 0.8%, because there is a risk of skin sensitization. Also be careful when using ylang ylang essential oil in a diffuser for the first time, as it can cause a headache.