Essential oils are like the experimental jazz of health and beauty: you know you could probably enjoy — and benefit — from using them, but they’re a little bit daunting.
The oils in those little bottles are potent, powerful and can be applied in a number of ways.
The most entry-level uses for essential oils are inhalation and topical uses. Once you figure out how to apply a few different essential oils, you’ll realize how easy it is to integrate them into your daily routine.
In general, when you’re using essential oils, you want to follow three simple rules:
1. Dilute to 1%
Essential oils are really potent. To use them safely, you’re going to want to dilute your oil so you’re exposing yourself to a 1% concentration. To achieve that percentage, you can mix about one teaspoon of a “carrier” oil — any vegetable or nut oil — with one drop of essential oil.
Try olive oil or coconut oil, both of which have moisturizing properties. You can also use this same ratio with water, rubbing alcohol or unscented creams and washes.
If you already include olive oil or coconut oil in your beauty routines, you can add drops of essential oil to those mixtures. Products that are not scented, like face washes or shampoos, will mix well with essential oils.
2. Test a Small Area
Remember to put your safety first. It’s a smart idea to test a small area of skin with your essential oil of choice before using it all over. It’s also wise to mention to your doctor that you are looking to add essential oils into your beauty routine.
3. 3-Year Time Limit
In general, your essential oils should last for about three years. As with any health and beauty product, if you notice a marked change in color, consistency or smell, you should toss your old essential oil and treat yourself to a new one.
Now that the rules of the essential oil game are laid out, let’s play. Here are some fun and easy ways to add essential oils into your daily routine.
While many essential oils are chosen for their specific properties such as stress relief or the ability to fight off bacteria, keep in mind that the use of essential oils is very personal. You can swap out other essential oils of your choice into almost any of these suggestions.
Peppermint Oil Scalp Scrub
This scalp scrub is perfect for breaking down the oils and product residue that can build up in our hair. Mix two parts baking soda with one part clarifying shampoo (or any undyed, unscented, gel cleanser) and add five drops of peppermint oil.
Apply this mixture to wet hair in the shower and massage into your scalp for up to five minutes before rinsing well and conditioning as normal. Peppermint oil is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, so you’ll get an extra deep clean on your scalp. Plus, you’ll enjoy the tingling, cooling effect. Try working this scrub into your routine once a week.
Eucalyptus Oil Steam
If you’ve got the sniffles from a head cold or allergies, this eucalyptus oil steam could be a game changer for you. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil and remove it from heat. Add three to five drops of eucalyptus oil and stir. Place a towel over the back of your head to create a tent, close your eyes and then breathe in the fragrant steam, through your nose, from an arm’s length away.
This process can be done for 5-10 minutes, with breaks if you feel you’re overheating. Eucalyptus oil is known to help clear congestion and, combined with the steam, is a powerful sinus soother.
Lavender Oil Spray
Lavender oil has a soothing effect on the nervous system and can be used to relax. In a spray bottle, you can dilute lavender oil in water and rely on this mixture to spray your linens, particularly your pillow cases, to enjoy an easy night’s sleep.
Ginger Oil Aromatherapy Puffs
If you suffer from nausea related to pregnancy, anxiety or motion sickness, ginger oil will be your new best friend. Proven to reduce nausea when inhaled, it could be helpful for you to keep some within arm’s reach.
You can create aromatherapy puffs of ginger oil — or any essential oil of your choice — by adding one to two drops of oil onto individual cotton balls and storing in an airtight container such as a tin or tupperware. You can recycle a tin of mints or the like for this purpose. When you start to feel nauseous, take out one of your aromatherapy puffs and breathe in the calming scent.
Lemon Oil Cleaner
There’s a reason why cleaning products often have a lemony scent. It’s because lemon is super antibacterial!
If you want a more natural solution to cleaning countertops, vanities, yoga mats and even your tech devices, try mixing lemon oil in a spray bottle with water or rubbing alcohol. You’ll create a fresh-smelling cleanser that can be used to kill off nasty bacteria without excess chemicals.
Tea Tree Oil Face Wash
If you’re into banishing acne the natural way, look no further than tea tree oil. This essential oil is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, so it can prevent new blemishes from forming while also tackling ones that already exist. One drop of tea tree oil can be mixed with a teaspoon of non-comedogenic, unscented facial cleanser and used daily.
Rosemary Oil Shampoo
Rosemary oil can help you keep a healthy head of hair. This substance increases circulation to the scalp, promoting hair growth. It also has a reputation for preventing greying and dandruff. You can use it daily by mixing one drop of rosemary oil with one teaspoon of unscented, clarifying shampoo.
Essential oils can fit very easily into your health and beauty routine. If you’re ready to try one — or a few — check out our therapeutic-grade, 100% pure, organic essential oils.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.