Vetiver Essential Oil - Benefits, How to Use - Skin, Meditatoin, Stress Relief

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Everything You Need to Know About Using Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver essential oil isn’t one of the most common oils, but its use dates back for hundreds of years. It’s been used medicinally all over the world in places like Asia and West Africa. It’s made through the steam distillation of a grass called Vetiveria zizanoides, which has a powerful but delightful earthy fragrance that promotes cooling of the mind and the body.

Vetiver essential oil is used extensively across the world for making perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and to freshen and cool rooms. It has a strong aroma similar to Patchouli essential oil and is described as smoky, spicy and herbaceous. It is valued for its ability to enhance a sense of deep grounding and is known in Sri Lanka as the “oil of tranquility.” If you are curious about this exotic oil, here are a few of our favorite ways to use and benefit from vetiver:

1. Skin

getting a back massageIf you suffer from blemishes or irritating redness, try incorporating vetiver into your skincare routine. This oil is excellent for the skin and promotes skin health and a smooth, even-looking skin tone. Vetiver is also highly cleansing and can support a fresh face and clear pores. Its cooling abilities are useful for soothing skin that has been overexposed to the sun, dehydrated or wind-chapped. Add it to your favorite unscented lotions or cleansers and reap the ancient beauty benefits of this exotic oil.

2. Promotes Deep Meditation

Because of its ability to calm, center and ground the mind, vetiver makes a beautiful essential oil to utilize in your meditation practice.

3. Vetiver to Beat Stresswoman receiving scalp massage

Vetiver oil is calming and soothing and has the power to help release negative feelings like anger and irritability associated with stress. It can also help promote feelings of hope to people who feel disconnected and lack motivation.

One study done on rats showed that individuals who inhaled vetiver essential oil performed better during stressful tasks. In another study, scientists found that it had positive effects on emotional regulation, blood pressure, and heart rate. If you are prone to feelings of stress, try incorporating vetiver into the hectic parts of your day with a portable essential oil inhaler.

How to Use Vetiver

Organic Vetiver Essential Oil If you’re new to vetiver, you may be wondering the best ways to use this ancient, grounding oil. Vetiver is versatile, but it is also a particularly potent essential oil, great for aromatherapy and diffusing.

It’s especially lovely in a warm bath to promote deep relaxation. Vetiver essential oil blends well with lavender, sandalwood, rose, Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage. Play around with some blends and discover how vetiver can highlight the positive qualities of some of your favorite oils. Just remember that when adding any essential oil to your bath, you should always add an emulsifier first!

As with any oil, make sure to dilute vetiver before applying topically. Use sparingly because it is a potent oil, though it is generally considered safe and non-irritating. Always buy 100 percent pure oil that is free from additives and artificial ingredients. Enjoy adding some vetiver to your life!


85 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Using Vetiver Essential Oil”

  • “Everything” you need to know? I found this article very broad. i.e.: “Everything” would include how many drops in the bath, what is an emulsifier and how much to use. A sample of how to dilute for topical application would’ve been nice too.

  • I love the smell of vetiver! I’ve been using it topically but haven’t used it in the diffuser yet. Thanks for this post!

    1. Bev, we do not recommend using Epson salt as an emulsifier, but it is a wonderful addition to a carrier oil/essential oil blend 🙂 To discuss your concern about Reynauds disease, please reach out to our aromatherapists at [email protected]

  • the oil is amazing when it comes to calming down over active children. i cannot tell you how many times we have had a playdate here at out house and the visiting child is actings over stimulated… add some vetiver to the diffuse and voila! all is calm again 🙂

  • I’m glad I happened upon this post through a link in a different PT blog post. I’ve had vetiver for a few months now and haven’t really used it as I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Some great suggestions to get the oil into my rotation.

  • I wish I would have read this yesterday. I am bi-polar and yesterday was a very bad day, I could have used it. I definitely will try it next time. Thank you.

  • I love Vetiver! I have only used it in an inhaler at bedtime when I am feeling really restless. It is very calming. I love this blog post to encourage me to use it for skin care which is my next EO adventure to try.

  • Excellent separation anxiety for my dog. I diffuse vetiver, cedarwood, frankincense and lavender to calm our small Havanese dog down – it puts him to sleep and he becomes so relaxed! This blend also completely calms me down when I’m feeling stressed! I didn’t know about the skin benefits; would it be helpful mixed in with my eczema cream? Really curious…

  • I’m looking forward to trying this one. I don’t have ADHD, but am ADD, plus my husband has high blood pressure. Hoping that diffusing this will help both of us!

  • I bought vetiver a while ago to help with anxiety, but hardly used it until a friend had it on recently. I was reminded how much I love the smell! I wore it through Christmas and felt so much more calm. I didn’t know it has skin benefits too! I’ll have to put it in my next batch of face serum or hand salve. Thank you PT!

  • Ok, I am a newbie… how many drops do I add to my face cream? How many drops in a bath? How many in essential oil for massage? Thanks

    1. Kasey, for the face cream, it depends on how much base (cream) you have. We recommend a 1% dilution for facial applications, so if you have 1 oz. of face cream, that would be 9 drops of Vetiver mixed in that. For a bath, first mix the essential oils into a fragrance-free body wash or shampoo. For instance, in a tablespoon of body wash, you’ll want to use a maximum of 13 drops of Vetiver for a 3% dilution-the highest dilution we recommend for Vetiver. Of course, always feel free to use less than the maximum we recommend. For a massage, that again depends on how much carrier oil or lotion you use. I’m going to link our dilution blog here in case you’d like to read more about it:

  • I originally picked up vetiver because of its calming benefits in children especially those with ADHD. However I am so excited to see it has those same calming benefits on the skin, I’ll be trying it out on a client it’s very sensitive and reactive skin in a facial today!

  • I suffer greatly from anxiety and chronic stress. I have been using roll on Lavender throughout the day to help with my symptoms. I read this blog as well as all the comments and truly believe this could be my next oil purchase. I would be interested in a roller ball blend that I could incorporate throughout the day to help bring feelings of calm. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you again Plant Therapy!

  • When i looked into essential oils the first time for relaxation this is one of the ones recommended most. With how many uses there are for this oil ill have to get some!

  • This gave me such a good idea. I bought vetiver a while back in hopes it’d help be a calming oil in my household, but it is STRONG by compairison to all the other oils I’ve ever owned. I became gun shy to use it on myself topically, but since seeing it pairs well with rose, I have a rose castile soap that’d be awesome for a bath/shower Looking forward to using it now that I have more insight as to how it smells and ideas as to how to use it. 🙂

  • I purchased vetiver after reading about uses for anxiety and obsessive thinking. Once I got used to the smell I really enjoy using as inhaler. I didn’t realize the skincare benefits, and will be trying those out now!

  • This has been on my “really need to get” list for a while. You say it smells similar to patchouli? That’s my absolute favorite! Who knew it had so many benefits!

  • I’ve just received this one and wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. This was helpful though! I make my own facial cleanser and will be adding this into the next bath 🙂

  • Nice to learn more about this great oil. It’s still new to me, but I’m liking it so far. Thanks for the great info!

  • I bought this awhile ago an had not used it. After reading all these benefits I have added it to my skin care roller and it has helped with a rash that I have. This has been an incredible addition to my oil collection! Thank you for keeping us informed.

    1. That’s great to hear it has helped with your rash! It really is an incredible addition to ones collection 🙂

  • Thank you for this information! I always hear that Vetiver is a great oil to have, but never understood what I would use it for. I plan to use it in my blends!

  • Thank you for all of this information! I just purchased vetiver primarily for sleep issues, but I am very excited to try it any other way.

  • I use Vetiver in combination with lavender for sleep, rub on the soles of the feet and also diffuse – it works so well.

  • This is such an interesting oil! When I first smelled it I did NOT like it (it was not Plant Therapy brand!) but now I’m intrigued by it. Thanks for a great post—good to learn & im excited to work with it more!

  • Vetiver is my #1 oil to diffuse for sleep but I did not know it had wonderful skin benefits so I will be whipping up a batch of my face serum replacing on of my other top skin care eo (probably frankincense) with Vetiver to compare what benefits I can see. Will update comment in a month should there be any noticeable improvements to my skin.

  • I had purchased vetiver a while back and I’m glad I did. I knew it was calming but did not know of the other uses.

  • I am looking forward to trying Vetiver. I just ordered it and it came in a few days ago. Heard great things about it!

  • I got Vetiver with my last order and I am quickly finding it to be a new favorite. I’ve diffused it and made a facial lotion with it so far. I am becoming addicted to the soft gentle heavenly scent!

  • This is my ultimate favourite oil. Instantly relaxes me and eases feeling of anger and stress.
    I have it in an inhaler and as a roller ball on my kids spines

  • I think I might need to give the one another try…I bought vetiver from a different company and couldn’t stand the smell…but it wasn’t thick at all…how thick is this oil compared the Green Patchouli Absolute? I am thinking the brand I had before was fake, or at least “off”…

    1. Chelsea, Vetiver is definitely considered a thicker oil, but not quite as thick as the Green Patchouli is

  • I have used it in a night time diffusion blend with ylang ylang and green patchouli and it was extremely relaxing!

  • Thank you for this great blog. I found Vetiver through Plant Therapy and it’s an oil that is a must in my collection. For those nights that I just can’t unwind or settle my mind I pull out the Vetiver and add a drop to my diffuser. Whether alone or added to other calming oils or the synergy Relax, I find that I can rest. I appreciate Plant Therapy giving us the information and safe ways to use oils to enhance our well being.

  • I smelled this oil a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t appeal to me, but it’s good to be familiar with many different oils.

  • Vetiver is on my wishlist. I’d like to make an inhaler with it! Sounds like it would be a great oil to help unwind in the evening.

  • Vetiver is one of my favorite oils to diffuse in the evenings! I never thought to add it to my bath, though. I’ll have to give it a shot! Thank PT!

  • I tried diffusing Vetiver but it sank to the bottom of the diffuser and then I read that it should be diluted (even) when diffusing. What oil do you recomment to use as a carrier for that purpose?

    1. Kristina, I would not advise adding carrier oils to your diffuser. When you add the Vetiver to your diffuser, are you not able to smell it?

  • Vetiver is by far my favorite oil. I use it daily. I can definitely confirm that it calms and motivates me. I did not know it came from a grass though, that’s very interesting. Thank you as always to Plant Therapy for providing so much useful information!

  • Thank you so much for this information! I have this oil in my collection and I wasn’t really sure what it’s benefits were. I am definitely going to incorporate this into my skin care routine.

  • Thank you for this post! I’ve wanted to learn more about vetiver because I love the scent. I was wondering if this is safe to add to enhance sleep blends for children and if so, what amount is recommended?

        1. Don’t worry, there are no stupid questions. Because Vetiver is a more intense oil, we recommend using 1-2 drops in your diffuser or when blending with other oils. If you want to use it topically, you’ll need to dilute it in a carrier oil first to 1-3%. We have a very handy article and chart to help you get started diluting oils. The number of drops of Vetiver you would use depends on how much carrier oil you’ll be using. Hopefully, this is enough to get you started. But if you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to our customer satisfaction department at [email protected]!

  • i usually add this in my diffuser for bedtime. i could say that it really promotes relaxation and good sleep. i was surprised to know that this could also be used for skin problems especially for blemishes. i am very excited to add it in my beauty serums. thanks PT.

  • This was a short and sweet, but very helpful article on Vetiver. I bought this oil awhile back, but struggled to use it as it is very thick and doesn’t come out of the dropper very well. I use it in my laundry when I do my bed sheets as it is supposed to be relaxing. I like the other idea uses that this article suggests. I would like to try it in my bath, but curious, the article says to use an emulsifier. What is that? and why? I use other oils in my bath and sometimes feel like it burns my skin, would that be the reason for the emulsifier? Thanks PT!

    1. Amy the emulsifier helps distribute the essential oil throughout the bath, rather than just leaving it to float on the top (oils aren’t water soluable). So an emulsifier is needed for a safe and effective way to use EOs in the bath. Another way to do this would be by adding the EOs to body wash, or bath soap. Those will act as emulsifiers as well. Then I just recommend adding that under the faucet to help distribute that in the bath.

  • Thanks for writing about this oil! My son is on the autism spectrum, and I use this in a blend for him that really he’ll his calm and focus.

    1. That’s wonderful to hear that this blend helps to calm and focus your son. Thank you for sharing that with us today 🙂

  • Vetiver is one of my favorite essential oils. I love the way it smells. For me Vetiver is calming and relaxing. It is very effective for sleep and relaxation no matter how I use it, whether it be in roller ball blends, lotion blends, or diffuser blends. One of my favorite blends contains vetiver with cedarwood, frankincense, ylang-ylang, bergamot, patchouli, and lavender.

  • I have not tried this oil yet but I think I need to! Sounds like a great oil for when I am stressed and plus Retha always talks about it on the lives! 🙂

    1. If you haven’t tried Vetiver yet, you certainly should! So many great benefits, it’s a must have for Essential Oil collections

  • I always forget about the benefits for the skin that Vetiver offers. Thanks for the reminder! I need to start using it more in my homemade skin care products. I didn’t like the smell at first but Vetiver has grown on me over time.

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