Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul

Making the Best Use of Essential Oils

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve accumulated a few different essential oils and have learned a lot about them.  I am by no means an expert.  Rather, I’ve picked up a few hints and tips along the way and have learned the importance of researching an essential oil before putting it into use.  One of my favorite resources for this type of research is The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless. This post is all about the few things I’ve learned along the way.

How can I use essential oils?

Essential oils play a big role in our lives, whether we know it or not!  Given that they are so concentrated, it’s important to be aware of the ones that pop up in our daily routines.

They are used to add scent to lots of products, such as lotions and soaps.   I’ve experimented quite a bit with different combinations and amounts of essential oils.   If nothing else, I’ve learned that a few drops go a long way when scenting a product!

Some essential oils, like peppermint, can have a cooling effect and are added to creams for that purpose.  This works great in a foot bath at the end of long day!

Essential oils may also have healing properties.  Tea Tree Oil is often used to help address infection.

Other essential oils, like the ones in the citrus family, may have a photosensitizing effect on your skin.  That means these are not always the best oils to use on your skin before going out in the sun.

Can I use essential oils directly on my skin?

I’ve found a mixed opinion on this question.  There are some who swear that essential oils must be diluted in a base oil, milk or cream before applying to the skin or hair.

There are also others who say that some are OK to put directly on your skin.

The fact is that essential oils are highly concentrated.  Many pounds of dried flowers or resins are used in the creation of these essential oils.  Therefore, a small amount goes a long way.  In my own personal experiments, I’ve found that a drop or two can make a big difference to a recipe.  I’m also a big fan of dilution, just to be on the safe side.

Essential Oils During Pregnancy

A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy.  As someone who is experiencing those changes for the first time, I can personally attest to the truth of that statement!  Since essential oils can be so strong, it’s important to research any essential oil that you use on your skin during this time of your life.

If you believe that certain essential oils, such as jasmine absolute,  can assist in the childbirth process, you might also agree that it would be important NOT to use that particular essential oil until the right time in the pregnancy!

Does that mean you have to avoid all essential oils (and perhaps your favorite scent) during pregnancy?  No!  Go ahead and use safe essential oils in dilution and in moderation.  I’ve been using a blend of essential oils on my belly to help keep my skin supple.  It’s called Mama To Be Oil and I love it!

Essential Oils for Babies

Newborns’ sense of smell is an important one.  Knowing that, it makes sense to ensure that your newborn’s environment is filled with soothing, non-toxic, smells.  You can create that environment by infusing your home with a soothing scent, like lavender.  However, it doesn’t mean that you should be slathering your newborn’s skin with the same essential oils!  Baby’s skin is sensitive and, for at least the first three months, you’ll want to stay away from any kind of essential oil, or chemicals for that matter, directly on their skin.

If you’re interested in more tips on how to use essential oils for babies, check out Natural Baby Care by Colleen K. Dodt.  This is an easy read and has lots of helpful hints on baby care.

How Do YOU Use Essential Oils?

I hope this is a helpful post, especially if you’re exploring the use of essential oils.    For those of you who use them regularly, what tips can you add to this list?

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17 thoughts on “Making the Best Use of Essential Oils

  1. I love essential oils. I use them in massages by adding few drops to the carrier oil. I add some to my cleanser oil and a moisturizer. Few drops of lemon or tea tree oil works well with laundry liquid. And I use few drops of my favourite smells in the burner, especially during dark, gloomy evenings, it really lifts my mood!

    • That sounds great! The scent of an essential oil can have a powerful effect on your mood or in a room. I personally always struggle with the scent of tea tree oil. I use it in my face oil and for the purpose of dealing with infection. However, I’ve always found the smell so strong that I end up shying away from it! I definitely like your suggestion of using it in laundry soap.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I love them too – I use them. In cleaning products,in baths, trying to match the right oil to the purpose of the bath (pain relief, calming, etc), in massage oil and sometimes I just sprinkle a drop of lavender on my pillow.

    • Once you have a few essential oils on hand, they become quite versatile and you can use them to address whatever you need. I love that.
      I think it’s great that you try to find the right ones for the job, depending on the circumstance.
      I find that I always lean towards the citrus-scented oils, no matter how much I intend to try new scents!

  3. Reblogged this on shoshanaspa and commented:
    A great how to article! Thanks to Au Naturel!

  4. I love essential oils… I just purchased a diffuser with a timer for when I go to bed.. it’s so calming and restful!

  5. I pretty much live by peppermint oil. I use it for baths, beauty products, cleaning, perfume, and so many other things. It’s the only thing that works for me for a headache too!

    • Well that certainly keeps things simple! It’s also easy to see why you (or anyone) would gravitate towards peppermint. It’s so refreshing and cooling. I use peppermint and wintergreen oils in my homemade mouthwash and I find that very refreshing too.
      Thanks for your comment!

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  10. I love roller bottles. I place a few drops of lavender in a 10 ml roller bottle and bring it wherever I go. Bug bites? Put some lavender on it. Bumps and bruises? Put lavender on it. Need instant stress relief (you guessed it, lavender)

  11. BTW, your website is so beautiful.

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