There's been a lot of buzz around essential oils lately. Suddenly, different brands are selling their own blends of the oils, along with diffusers, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and even vitamins that utilize them. Why? Because they work. People swear by essential oils for a lot of reasons, whether they are using them as calming agents, cleaning agents, or skin cleansers. Read on to find out what our favorite essential oil hacks are and why.
1. Wake Up/Energizing Oils
Girl, we know you hit snooze about five times when Monday morning rolls around, so we know you'd love this hack. Essential oils that are citrusy, spicy, or minty are great scents to wake you up and get your energy going for the day, and a combination is even better. Some of our favorite essential oils for energizing blends are lemon, grapefruit, spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon, and frankincense. If you don't want to mix and match yourself, check out this blend that will wake you up in no time with rosemary, peppermint, and lemon scents. You can use these with a diffuser, dab them on your skin, or gently inhale the scents to see results.
2. Teeth Whitening
Just about everyone wants whiter teeth, but only a few of us are willing to undergo the whitening process at the dentist that may cause sensitivity, and we sure aren't as disciplined as we could be when it comes to applying our Crest White Strips. This hack can be as easy as you want, with the simplest recipe calling for one or two drops of orange oil added to your toothpaste once or twice daily. Of course, there are other recipes that include ingredients like coconut oil, turmeric, and peppermint to help the whitening process along, improve the taste, or to create a more natural toothpaste alternative.
3. Cleaning Products
Unfortunately, the counters do need to be wiped down occasionally and the shower does have to be cleaned. With essential oils, you can do that naturally and with a killer scent that won't overpower your lungs. For an all-purpose cleaner, add three or four drops of tee tree oil and lemon oil to warm water in a spray bottle. Spray your counter tops and wipe them down to naturally disinfect and leave a lemony clean scent behind. If you need to clean your shower curtain, swap out the drops of lemon oil for eucalyptus oil and you're good to go. The possibilities for cleaning solutions that come from essential oils are pretty endless.
4. Skin Remedies
Despite what the movies taught us, acne and other skin problems didn't disappear the moment we stopped being teenagers. No, those seem to be here to stay, and we're happy to try anything that will make us look more like the boss ass women we are and less like the nervous, hormone-filled teenage girls we were at our first homecoming dances. For acne, add a few drops of cedar wood, lemongrass, chamomile, or tee tree oil to a carrier oil like jojoba oil or grape seed oil before applying to skin. If all that oil seems like overkill, add 2 or three drops of tee tree to raw honey, apply to skin, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then wash it off. If you have a dry or flaky scalp, add ten drops of tee tree oil to your shampoo bottle (or just a drop or two to whatever you squirt into your hand) and wash, shaking or mixing well before use. For psoriasis or eczema, tee tree, lavender, and sandalwood oils have been found to have some success in calming down the inflammation when mixed with carrier oils and applied.
5. Cold and Flu Symptoms
Disclaimer: If you're really feeling awful and you know you need to go to the doctor, GO. However, these essential oil hacks can definitely make you less miserable as you fight off those nasty symptoms. A few drops of oil of oregano can do wonders for a sore throat, while a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender oils added to coconut oil can make an amazing vapor rub that will make you feel like you can finally breathe again.
6. Calming/Anxiety Reducer
Laying awake anxiously before or after a stressful day blows, and so does going through an entire day unable to shake stress or anxiety. Lavender, chamomile, and cedar wood oils are infamously calming, and adding a few drops to a diffuser, spray, or roller can make a huge difference in your day. If your struggling to fall asleep late at night, drop four drops of cedar wood oil and three drops of lavender oil into a diffuser and call it a night, or add drops to coconut oil and apply topically for maximized effects.
Making deodorant is a fun and easy DIY, and a great option for people who have skin that is easily irritated by regular deodorants but have had limited success with natural brands. For a base DIY deodorant recipe, click here. Once you have the basics down, you can mix and match your favorite essential oils beyond the bacteria killing eucalyptus oil for a scent you'll love and be happy to wear all year long.
8. Insect Repellent
People are increasingly interested in finding and purchasing good mosquito repellents, but due to potential health risks and skin irritation, some people are hesitant to slather their bodies in the commercialized brands. Luckily, many essential oils have been evaluated for use as insect repellents, and the results have been promising. Oil of lemon eucalyptus seems to be just as effective as low-concentration deet, and lavender, witch hazel and citronella oils are also popular when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. Peppermint seems to be the most effective when it comes to repelling spiders naturally, and flies hate mint, lavender, and rosemary scents. Try mixing different combinations of these oils with warm water and spraying on no-bug zones for best results.
Sometimes we forget to apply sunscreen, which is a big no-no on its own— and whether it's because we wanted a wicked tan or just forgot the bag at home, we usually end up with painful sunburns. Creating a sunburn spray that consists of aloe vera juice, coconut oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil will help you heal that burn quick. Peppermint oil will naturally ease the pain with it's trademark cooling sensation, while lavender will speed up healing and reduce the redness of the burn. The quicker you heal, the quicker you can head back to the pool— just don't forget the sunscreen this time!
10. Headache Relief
Headaches can wreck your day, so why suffer if you don't have to? A lavender oil-infused bath can help ease headaches and stress along with a temple massage with other soothing oils, like peppermint or eucalyptus oil. Making a simple headache balm can also help take the edge of nasty headaches. This recipe uses coconut oil as a carrier, and peppermint, lavender, and frankincense essential oils to help sooth the pain away.