Essential oils have been beloved for centuries for their myriad curative properties, and over the past few years, they've become all the more popular in the skincare community. Now it seems like everyone has a neat assortment of essential oils on their vanities. But #realtalk—not everyone knows exactly how to use them.
Whether you're a natural beauty connoisseur or more of a novice, this list of lesser-known essential-oil uses is for you. We went on a hunt for the super-simple ways you should be using your essential oils (but probably aren't) and, thanks to Province Apothecary founder Julie Clark and EO Products co-founder and co-CEO Susan Griffin-Black, have put together a guide we think you'll love. Keep scrolling to become an essential-oil master once and for all!
Looking to relax? This is the perfect calming ritual for the end of a long workweek."Fill your bathroom sink or a bowl with steamy, hot water," says Griffin-Black. Then add one drop of eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, and lavender essential oils to the water. (Head over to EO Products, Urban Outfitters, or Aura Cacia to find basically every essential oil you could want.)
"Take deep, slow breaths of the steam, and drape a towel over your head to help keep the steam in," Griffin-Black instructs. The process not only makes you feel instantly de-stressed but also increases circulation, bringing your skin a youthful, glowy flush.
This essential-oil recipe is a lifesaver if you suffer from dandruff or a dry, itchy scalp. "Mix two drops each of lemon, peppermint, and lavender essential oils with one ounce of a base oil—olive, almond (£12), and argan (£12) are all lovely," says Griffin-Black. Massage the mixture into your scalp, allowing it to soak for at little as 15 minutes and as long as overnight. "Shampoo and condition as usual and enjoy a healthier scalp," Griffin-Black says.
There are oh-so-many ways to create sleeping potions out of essential oils. Create a calming sleep mist by pouring 12 ounces of distilled water and 20 drops of lavender essential oil into a spray bottle. Use this to mist your linens and bedding before climbing in, says Griffin-Black. You can also try adding just two drops of lavender under your pillow to help you drift off and stay asleep.
If you're not a big lavender fan but still want to reap its sleep-inducing benefits, Clark recommends getting your hands on some petitgrain oil (£5). "This oil is not spoken about often but it has very similar properties to lavender," says Clark. "It has a subtler scent that is very gentle and slightly woodsy." The oil works well to relax the mind, calm nerves, and soothe irritations.
If you have allergies or congestion but want to keep your treatments au naturel, here's your solution: "Mix four to six drops of eucalyptus essential oil (£6) with one ounce of olive oil, and massage into your chest to help ease breathing," says Griffin-Black.
Work your essential oils into your skincare routine by using them to create a skin-balancing toner. Start by mixing three drops of rose geranium essential oil (£6) with three drops of sweet orange essential oil (£2). If you have oily skin, add this mixture to an ounce of witch hazel (£11). For dry skin, add it to an ounce of aloe vera (£6). "Apply to clean skin with a cotton ball; then rinse, pat dry, and enjoy clean, clear skin," says Griffin-Black.
If you have trouble waking up in the morning, kick your caffeine habit in favor of rosemary (£4). "Rosemary naturally stimulates and enlivens," says Clark. "Its warming properties encourage blood flow to the lips and face, as well as the mind, encouraging awareness, confidence, and clarity."
Here's how Clark recommends using it: "Add one drop to your body lotion in the morning to get your blood flowing, make you feel energised, and help you stay focused!"
Freshen up your space with this unexpected concoction, and your house guests will beg you for your secret. "Mix equal parts distilled water and vodka (yes, vodka!) in a 12-ounce spray bottle and add 12 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils," says Griffin-Black. Then spritz as much or as little as you like throughout the room to infuse it with the scent of your choosing. Griffin-Black recommends EO's Everyone Aromatherapy Blend Pure Essential Oil Fresh (£7) or five drops each of pine, cedarwood, and juniper essential oils.
You don't have to be crafty in the least to make this essential oil hack happen. "Turn on hot water and put three to four drops of your favorite essential oil on the shower floor," says Griffin-Black. She likes to use eucalyptus in the winter and peppermint in the summer.
This is perhaps the coolest essential-oil use of the bunch. "If I have any digestive issues, I will put one drop of cardamom essential oil (£6) in some [body] oil and rub it onto my tummy," says Clark. "This oil helps relieve any bloating or discomfort." How does it work? "Cardamom naturally purifies and enlivens," Clark says. "Its sweet and spicy scent aids in circulation and encourages movement and flow."
What's your favourite way to use essential oils? Tell is in the comments below!