Topical Uses of Essential Oils

Essential oils are commonly used in beauty products or aromatherapy. However, they are not only used for their aroma but are widely used as healing remedies.

Finding out how to use essential oils on the skin is what usually turns most people from casual oil users to essential oil devotees.

Essential oils are able to deliver a range of benefits to your nervous system, organs, muscles, blood and organs as they are absorbed through the skin and move around your body in the bloodstream. Absorption is increased by massage as the circulation in that area of the body is also increased. 

Essential oils can be mixed together to create an alluring scent and healing benefits but a key point to remember is that pure essential oils are concentrated and most should be diluted if they’re going to be applied topically.

There are some, however, that can be applied directly to your skin.

For example, pure Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) can be used on the skin for cuts and minor burns and it can be inhaled to promote relaxation and sleep.

Essential oils can help cleanse, tone and hydrate your skin, improving the health of your skin, reducing the appearance of blemishes and giving you a healthy glow! You can safely use essential oils on most external parts of your body but you need to be careful with the delicate and sensitive parts. There are some extremely effective remedies that require just a couple drops applied strategically on the body for natural healing:

Wrists ~ all natural essential oil remedies can be applied to your wrists for ease of use.

Head ~ essential oils can be applied to the crown of your head, behind the ears, to your neck and to your temples which are key pressure points.  

Chest ~ applying essential oils to your chest can work wonders if you have any sort of congestion or cough. 

Stomach ~ massaging essential oils on your stomach when having digestive issues can quickly soothe and relieve discomfort. 

Feet ~ foot massages are typical in spa treatments before a pedicure. There are numerous reflexology points on your feet so applying essential oil to your feet can be an incredibly effective cure for a variety of issues, for example, massage into the inner arches to improve digestion.

Massage ~ essential oils are wonderful for massage to calm, relax, rejuvenate, revitalise and are fantastic for a sensual massage. Aromatherapy and Sports Massage are the most common.

Bath ~ one of the easiest and most effective ways to use essential oils is in your bath. The warmth of the water helps the skin absorb the oils whilst their aroma is inhaled. Just lay back, relax and reap the benefits. Use a maximum of 10 – 20 drops of essential oil in a full bath and take care not to run the oils under the tap as the bath is filling as they will rise through the air with the steam and could become volatile. Instead, pour the oils in after the bath is filled and mix well so that they are distributed evenly for the best effect before getting into the bath.

Steam Inhalation ~ an extremely effective way to reap the benefits of essential oils is through steam inhalation. This involves combining essential oils with hot water to create therapeutic steam. Add 3 – 7 drops of essential oil to boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl and breathe through your nose for no more than two minutes at a time. This method also makes an excellent facial. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, allowing the moist heat to open your pores. Take care not to steam your face for too long or get too close to the hot water as this could cause inflammation.

Other ways to enjoy essential oils

Oil Burner or Diffuser ~ dropping a few drops of essential oil into an oil burner or diffuser is a popular way to clear up breathing problems.

Candles ~ an ever popular way to enjoy essential oils, candles are a firm favourite for many. There is a huge variety of aromas to choose from to create the desired ambience, be that relaxation, sensual, revitalising, freshening or whatever you fancy!

Are Essential Oils Safe?

Whether a specific oil is safe for you depends on a number of factors, including your age, health conditions and use of prescribed medication and supplements.

If you are worried about using essential oils it would be useful for you to do a patch test which would allow you to see how your skin reacts to a particular oil before you perform a full application: First, wash your forearm with unscented soap and pat dry. Rub a few drops of diluted essential oil onto a small area of your forearm. Wait 24 hours. If the patch is red, itchy, blistering or swollen you have had an adverse reaction should discontinue use. It’s very important that if you experience discomfort during the 24 hour test, wash the area immediately with soap and warm water.

Guidelines for Topical Use

Many people use essential oils topically for their skin-healing or pain-relieving properties but care must be taken to administer them properly otherwise rashes and other side effects may occur. There are even some essential oils that are poisonous if absorbed directly through the skin. If you have sensitive skin or you are pregnant, you should discuss use and potential risks with an aromatherapist or your doctor before using an essential oil on your skin.

Dilution

Generally, you should keep concentration levels of essential oils below 5% (diluting at 1% is equivalent to adding 6 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil. This can vary depending on your age and health. Carrier oils are typically vegetable based and help spread the essential oil over a larger surface area.

Popular essential oils that can be used undiluted:

  • chamomile
  • cypress
  • eucalyptus
  • lavender
  • tea tree
  • rose
  • sandalwood
  • bergamot

Popular essential oils that must be diluted:

  • bay
  • cinnamon bark or leaf
  • clove bud
  • citronella
  • cumin
  • lemongrass
  • lemon verbena
  • oregano
  • thyme

Tips:

  1. Rosemary, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Orange and Ylang Ylang essential oils are brilliant for concentration, particularly when studying.
  2. Lavender, Chamomile, Marjoram, Frankincense, Geranium and Jasmine essential oils are all known to help relax and de-stress at any time of day but are particularly effective at night to get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Using a Eucalyptus or Juniper essential oil will have you breathing clearer in no time.
  4. Peppermint essential oil can calm a nervous stomach or indigestion and soothe motion sickness or general nausea.
  5. Tea Tree is a popular essential oil for feet as it’s antibacterial and a great freshener. Bergamot, Peppermint and Rosemary essential oils are also popular on the feet because of their miraculous healing effects. 

Check out the essential oils we use in our products and their benefits.

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