Real talk here, I have been OBSESSING over essential oils lately. From relaxing in yoga class, to trying to hide the smell of an active boyfriend and two sticky pups, to helping me focus while I’m working — I have been using them for literally EVERYTHING.
You ladies know I am a huge advocate for making my own beauty products at home (things like bath salts, body scrubs, body butters — I even make my own soap!), but I also love making my own homemade and natural cleaners. Essential oils are a great way to clean naturally and add a breath of fresh air into your home and skincare products.
Over the next 8 weeks (at least! 🙂 ) I am going to be showing you ways to use essential oils around your home and in your beauty routine. Get ready, because I am SO excited to share all of these amazing things with you!
Things to Know about Essential Oils Before We Begin
Essential oils are highly concentrated and most of time should be diluted in a carrier oil or with a vinegar or something similar for cleaning products. Carrier oils are oils, like sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil, that help to dilute essential oil and make them safe to use on skin. As a general rule, MOST essential oils should NOT be applied undiluted to the skin. A standard ratio of 5 drops essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil is a safe bet when first getting started with essential oils.
Avoid essential oil use with babies and small children unless you check with a doctor FIRST. Avoid using essential oils on your skin when pregnant, unless you consult with you doctor FIRST. And always do you own research before really heavily adding a new oil into you life. Everyone is different when it comes to scents and sensitivities, so know you body and know the oil before you go all in!
The list below is just a QUICK overview of some of my favorite essential oils, but there are so many things to learn about each oil, and trust me, I still have a lot to learn myself. If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, I would recommend buying a book like Essential Oils for Beginners or Essential Oil Natural Remedies to help you understand the ways to safely use essential oils.
Peppermint – Peppermint has long been associated as a stimulate for the mind and to purify the body. It has an amazing cooling effect when applied to the skin, and can also help relieve sore muscles. Peppermint essential oil can help you feel more alert and relive stress due to it’s refreshing nature. It’s a fantastic all-around essential oil to have on hand for so many things. I love dabbing some diluted peppermint essential oil to my temples when I have a headache, or sometimes in the afternoon when I’m starting to feel tired. It gives a boost of energy and helps clear your head.
Lemon – Lemon essential oil is perfect to help boost your complexion and rejuvenate dull skin. It also has antiseptic and detoxifying properties which help ward off, and treat pimples, and detoxify your entire body. Lemon essential oil is also associated with happiness — because of its uplifting properties, lemon essential oil is also good for increasing focus and concentration. (Just be sure to be careful in the sun for at least 24 hours after applying it to the skin, as it can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.)
Lavender – My most favorite of all oils has to be lavender essential oil. It’s one of the most versatile oils out here and not only helps to relieve stress and relaxation but can help you get a better night’s sleep. This is one of the few oils out there that is safe to use undiluted on skin (still, always do a skin test before going crazy with this!), but my favorite ways to use it is in a homemade diffuser (recipe and how-to coming next week!) and as a perfumer roll-on (recipe coming in two weeks!). I have a hard time falling asleep at night and having a lavender diffuser right by my bed has made a HUGE difference for me.
Ginger – This essential oil perfect for those of you who have frequent indigestion or nausea, as it’s helpful in aiding and promoting digestion and digestive health. Try rubbing a drop or two of ginger essential oil on your lower stomach to helps ease an upset stomach. It’s warming to the body and many times is associated with a feeling of empowerment.
Grapefruit – Just like the citrus fruit, grapefruit essential oil is high in vitamin C, this makes it a great oil to help boost your immune system. It’s similar to lemon essential oil, in that it has detoxifying properties, which also makes it a great oil to add to homemade household cleaners. Grapefruit oil also has uplifting properties and can help reduce appetite and improve digestion.
Chamomile – Just like chamomile tea, chamomile essential oil can help ease stress and soothe anxiety. Chamomile has also been known to be soothing to the skin (but, remember to always be careful — if you have allergic reactions to flowers like ragweed and chrysanthemums, be cautious with chamomile essential oil), so rubbing some diluted oil on irritated skin can be very calming.
Eucalyptus – If you suffer from frequent congestion, allergies, or a stuffy nose, this is the essential oil for you! Eucalyptus essential oil can be used to clear sinuses and relieve sore muscles. It also has many antibacterial properties and can help boost your immune system. Dilute it with a carrier oil and dab it just inside your nose to relieve nasal congestion or create a reed diffuser to breath in the fresh fumes. (Never ingest it or use it on your skin undiluted, as it can be irritating.)
Rosemary – This is one of my newer found loves! Rosemary essential oil helps to clear your mind and can increase concentration. I love having a mix of lavender and rosemary essential oils in my homemade reed diffuser on my desk, because it helps me concentrate and relax — I know, sounds crazy, but I have so many things running through my head all at once that lavender helps me to calm down a bit!
Tea Tree – I LOVE tea tree essential oil!! It’s is hands down my favorite essential oil to clean with when it comes to the bathroom! Tea tree essential oil is super cleansing, it fights infection, it’s anti-fungal, and it’s antibacterial. This makes it PERFECT for icky bathrooms! — Am I the only one who is obsessed with cleaning the bathroom??? (Nik seriously thinks I’m crazy…) — I also love putting a drop or two into my sneakers after a workout, or a long day, to keep them smelling fresh and clean!
Sweet Orange – Not only does this essential oil smell mouth watering, but it’s also a great anti-inflammatory and relaxes muscles. Add a few drops of sweet orange essential oil to a carrier oil and rub sore muscles with it to help prevent muscle soreness after a tough workout.
What are your favorite essential oils and ways to use them?