Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Making the Best Use of Essential Oils

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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Stretch Marks – Body Oil or Lotion?

I’m in my fifth month of pregnancy and my skin has become very itchy!  It’s stretching to accommodate my little baby and all I want to do is itch all day!

Treating itchy skin

At first, I was using my home-made lotion.  I make it fairly thick, so there’s lots of moisturizing potential.  However, it just wasn’t enough!  I can only attribute this to the fact my skin is dry to start with.  Much to my dismay, I needed something a bit stronger.

Mama To Be Oil

My sister-in-law gave me a bottle of Mama to Be Oil.  It’s made by Earth Mama 

Angel Baby.  This Company prides itself on making products with zero toxins and organic ingredients. It’s a straight oil, with no water or wax that you might find in a lotion.  It’s a mix of a few carrier oils, including Grape Seed Oil, Jojoba,and Borage Oil, and a couple of essential oils (orange peel and orange) for scent.  This oil gets a fairly high rating on the Good Guide website.

I started using it twice a day on the most sensitive parts of my body.  Not only did it smell great, but it really soothed my skin.  What a relief!

I’ve got my fingers crossed that this oil might help me avoid any prominent stretch marks (though, I’ve heard that’s a long shot).

Body Oils

There are lots of women who use oil as a moisturizer, rather than a cream or lotion.  If you put it on your damp skin right after your shower, your skin will absorb it the best.  If you want to try using an oil to see how your skin takes it, an easy one to start with is sweet almond oil.   Of course, as with any skin product it’s always a good idea to do a spot test on your arm to check for allergic reactions before slathering your body in any new product!