Essential oils are a big love of mine, and as I will probably be talking about them quite a bit, it make sense for me to give you a bit of basic information on their use as well as a few tips, and best practices.
For those completely new to essential oils I thought it might be useful to put together a simple how to guide to explain the basics of preparing, applying, and storing essential oils and how they can be used for the best results.
I should also mention at this point that not all essential oils are made equal. There are only a few brands of essential oils that I use and trust, and you should always check the labels before you buy. Some companies will advertise their oil as pure or natural, but there is only a diluted percentage of oil in the bottle.
You want to choose essential oils that are 100% concentration to make sure you get all of the benefits.
How to use essential oils
The benefits of essential oils can be attained in a few ways. Once you have chosen the essential oil(s) you wish to use you can chose one of the methods below.
1. Mix with a carrier oil
If you are using an essential oil to massage or apply to your skin it should be mixed with a base or carrier oil before application.
A base oil is a neutral oil such as Coconut oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Rose oil, Sesame or Grapeseed oil dilutes the concentration to protect your skin, whilst enhancing the oil by giving a time-release effect that makes the benefits last longer and helps the oil absorb into your skin.
2. Apply directly to the skin
Once you mix your essential oils with a carrier oil you can go ahead and dab a few drops onto your skin and gently massage to the affected area, or dab on to your pulse points – wrists, temples, behind your ears etc., to enhance the fragrance and increase absorption.
3. Mix with water
Another method for using essential oils is to take them orally and ingest them. You can do this by either adding a few drops to a glass of water, or adding to your food and cooking with them. If this is something you’d like to try you can find some tips for starting out here and some recipe ideas here
4. Apply to a fabric
You can dab a few drops of essential oil to a sleeve or around your collar/neck line, somewhere that is easy for you to be able to appreciate and benefit from the scent throughout the day. This method is particularly useful for oils that elevate or improve your mood or concentration at work (grapefruit or peppermint) , or if you are suffering from a cold or headache and need help breathing or clearing your head (eucalyptus and peppermint oil).
Alternatively you can always carry a small bottle of oil around with you in your bag, or keep at your desk, and inhale throughout the day as needed.
5. Diffuse into the air
This method is one of my favourites at it can make your home as personal space small amazing!
If you use an oil burner fill the top section with water and add a few drops of each of the essential oils you want to use. Light the candle underneath and place in an open space. If you leave the room blow the candle out for safety reasons.
If you choose to use a diffuser fill the water tank and add the essential oil as directed, and set going. Most diffusers will last to 3-5 hours and are safe to leave unsupervised.
Both of these methods also have the added benefit of adding moisture to the air which can help to alleviate dry skin and other problems caused by dry air.
Storing essential oils
The final thing I want to cover is making sure you keep and store your oils the right way. Essential oils are really very delicate and sensitive.
They should be kept in dark glass bottles to prevent damage by daylight, the glass will also ensure no chemical reaction between oil and container.
Ensure bottles are always airtight to prevent any oxidation of the oil, and kept at room temperature away from direct sunlight to prevent any chemical reactions within the oil itself.
If you do this you ensure you can get the most out of every drop of oil.
Whatever method you choose, enjoy using your essential oils and experimenting with mixing different oils and scents.
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