There have been a lot of health claims around essential oils as of late. I haven’t personally tested all of the new, trendy methods and implementations in full, but I do know that I have long relied on the benefits of essential oils for aromatherapy.
Smelling these scents can improve mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and can successfully shift your perspective. Essential oils are also touted as being able to help release sinus pressure, provide headache and tension relief, with their safe application.
So how can you use the aromatic benefits of essential oils to improve your life?
First things first, remember that essential oils should always, always be diluted in a carrier oil! Otherwise, the essential oil straight up is much too harsh on your skin. If you’re going to dab some essential oil on any part of your body, which is a great way to gain aromatherapy benefits, you need to dilute with a carrier oil!
Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends the following ways to carrying essential oils with you to use as you need:
- Aromatherapy accessories: Necklaces, bracelets, and keychains made with absorbent materials you apply essential oils to and sniff throughout the day.
- Body oil: A mixture of essential oils with a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba or coconut oil that can be massaged into the skin. Because essential oils are concentrated, they can cause irritation. Avoid using them full-strength on skin.
- Aroma stick: Also called an essential oil inhaler, these portable plastic sticks have an absorbent wick that soaks up the essential oil. They come with a cover to keep the scent under wraps until you’re ready.
It’s completely cool to keep essential oils with you on the go – in your car, in your bag, wherever you can stash them for easy access – but my recommendation would be to also carry a small roll-on of your favorite carrier oil. This way you don’t have to lug around a larger container of body oil, but can mix a dilute solution as needed.
Something like vitamin E oil, rosehip seed oil, or almond oil are all easy to find in a roll-on form online or in any health and wellness store. These are great for using to dilute essential oils and protect your skin in the course of your daily travels.
Here are some of my favorite essential oils, along with their best characteristics:
Tea Tree: anti-fungal, cleansing
Tea tree allegedly has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It has a strong, refreshing smell and is a valued ingredient in many natural cleaning products.
Lavender: relaxing, calming, soothing
Serene and soothing, lavender will make you feel like you have been transported to a spa. Use to help ease feelings of anxiety. Good for when you are feeling tense and perhaps combatting a headache!
Rosemary: energizing, invigorating, purifying
There is something about the scent of rosemary that just wakes me up. I love this as a room or pillow spray at the beginning of the day, when I am getting ready to get things started.
Eucalyptus: cleansing, focusing
Clean and refreshing, I also like to dilute a few drops in hot water and use as a gentle steam bath when my sinuses are stuffed up or when I am feeling under the weather.
Peppermint: uplifting, energizing
Peppermint is another essential oil that I find gives me a boost of energy. One of my favorite applications for peppermint is as a body oil to relieve muscle soreness and tension. The menthol properties provide a bit of a tingling sensation but work wonders on areas of tension, including when you’re dealing with a tough headache.
Tips for hair care: Even in hair and skin care, tea tree and lavender are often used for problem skin. If you have a dry or itchy scalp, you can dilute a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil in a carrier oil, rub into your scalp, let sit for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly in the shower. You can do this with peppermint as well – the tingling and invigorating sensation of peppermint oil is more useful for stimulating hair growth at the root!
Tag me in your Instagram posts and let me know your favorite essential oils and uses. Knowledge is power – I’d love to see what you all like best!