20 Essential Oil Uses for Body, Skin, Hair, Nails, and More
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for many different medical purposes. In recent years the popularity of essential oils has been on the rise and many people are discovering the amazing uses of them. Many people swear by them and say that essential oils have changed their lives.
Not only do essential oils have a vast number of medical benefits, but they are also great for making your own natural personal care and beauty products. Here are 20 essential oil uses for your body, skin, hair, nails, and more.
Remember you should never apply essential oils directly to your skin (with a few exceptions). Dilute your oil in a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil. Always read and follow the directions on the back of the bottle before use.
1. Massage Oil
Essential oils are great for aromatherapy but they are also a powerful remedy for aches and pains. The best essential oils for pain are lavender, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, chamomile, eucalyptus, marjoram, clary sage, and myrrh. Essential oils like frankincense, lavender, wild orange, ylang-ylang, spearmint, lime, bergamot, vetiver, and rose are very effective in treating stress and anxiety which would be beneficial in a massage oil. Blend some of these essential oils with a carrier oil or an unscented lotion to make your own natural massage oil.
2. Baths and Foot Baths
Using essential oils in your bath is a great way to relieve stress, aches, pains, and even to detoxify your body. The best essential oils for baths and foot baths are lavender, lemon, peppermint, ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, cedarwood, lemongrass, sandalwood and wild orange.
It's important to know that essential oils are not water soluble. Don't add them directly to your bath because they can separate from the water and irritate your skin. Always dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil before adding them to your bath.
3. Natural Deodorant
There may be many harmful ingredients in your deodorant and if you're like most people, you are applying them to your armpits daily. With a few ingredients, you can make your own deodorant that is actually safe. Plus you can add your favorite scents and choose your benefits. The best essential oils for deodorant are lavender, lemongrass, lemon, thyme, tea tree, rosemary, grapefruit, geranium, ylang-ylang, and cedarwood.
To make your own natural deodorant, mix a few drops of essential oils with equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda an pour into an airtight container. You can even use empty deodorant containers to make the deodorant easier to apply.
4. Lotion and Moisturizer
There are many essential oils that are very beneficial for your skin. For example, lavender is great for healing skin irritations and abnormalities and Frankincense is good for ageing skin, elasticity, and helps to regenerate skin cells. Some other good oils for your skin include geranium, ylang-ylang, tea tree, juniper, cypress, chamomile, clary sage, rose, and bergamot.
To make your own lotion or moisturizer you can simply add some essential oils to an unscented store-bought lotion or you can make your own home-made lotion with natural ingredients. If you want to make your own lotion you can use coconut or shea butter for your base and mix in the essential oils of your choosing
5. Facial Scrub
Facial scrubs are essential for keeping your face looking young and fresh. When your face sheds old skin cells your pores can get clogged which leaves your skin looking dull. With only 2 ingredients and a few essential oils, you can make your own natural facial scrub that will keep your face looking great with the benefits of essential oils.
Frankincense, tea tree, geranium, ylang-ylang, myrrh, and neroli are all great for treating acne and blemish problems. Lavender, rose, sandalwood, clary sage, cypress, geranium, and frankincense all have powerful anti-ageing properties and help make your skin smoother.
To make your own essential oil facial scrub use an organic sugar (like cane sure or brown sugar). Blend in a small amount of carrier oil to make a paste and add a few drops of essential oils. Another option is to use baking soda and a small amount of water if you would like a more basic facial scrub.
6. Body Spray
We all know that commercial perfumes and body sprays are full of toxins and harmful chemicals. When you spray them you are breathing in these chemicals and everyone around you is breathing in these chemicals too. When you use your own homemade natural body spray, you can feel good about using it because it's not harmful to your health. Essential oil body spray may actually be beneficial to your health and uplifting for your mood.
You will need distilled water, alcohol, carrier oil, and the essential oils of your choice. You can use whichever oils you like the most. Get creative and try some blends until you find what you love. It is advised to use glass spray bottles for your essential oils mixes because the oils are known to break down plastic and can even leech chemicals from the container into the mixture.
7. Lip Balm
You can actually make your own lip balm with just a few ingredients. You will need beeswax, shea butter, and a few drops of essential oils. You can also add some vitamin E which is great for your lips. The best essential oils to use in a homemade lip balm are jasmine, rose, lavender, grapefruit, orange, and spearmint. You can use these empty lip balm tubes to make your own natural lip balm.
8. Cellulite and Stretchmark Reducer
There are 15 essential oils that will help reduce cellulite and stretch marks. They are rosemary, lemon, juniper, grapefruit, douglas fir, geranium, frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, cedarwood, myrrh, spikenard, helichrysum, fennel, and rosehip oil. Simply add a few drops of essential oil to a carrier oil and apply topically to the area. It's most effective if you massage the oils in the skin and repeat a few times a day.
9. Dark Spot Reducer
Essential oils can be used to reduce the appearance of dark spots (age spots, pigment spots, liver spots) on your skin. The most effective essential oils for dark spots are frankincense, lavender, geranium, lemon, cypress, ylang-ylang, tea tree, rose, neroli, patchouli, sandalwood, helichrysum, myrrh, and carrot seed.
Castor oil is also known to be effective on dark spots so using it as a carrier oil for your essential oils would be beneficial. Apple cider vinegar is also very good for skin and can be effective in treating dark spots.
10. Nail Strengthener
Essential oils can help to strengthen weak and brittle nails and bring your cuticles back to a healthy condition. Olive oil works well to strengthen your nails and treat your cuticles. Vitamin E is also very good for your nails, so if you can, add some to the blend. The best essential oils to use for your nails are rosemary, lavender, frankincense, lemon, myrrh, eucalyptus, and grapefruit. Apply the mixture to your entire nail and cuticle and repeat daily. You probably won't see immediate results but after several weeks you should start to notice your nails looking much stronger and healthier.
11. Dandruff Treatment
There are several essential oils that are effective in treating dry scalp and dandruff. These oils include chamomile, eucalyptus, tea tree, geranium, rosemary, lavender, cypress, lemon, and petitgrain. Dilute the oils with jojoba oil coconut oil, olive oil, or castor oil (which are also effective for dandruff), and massage into scalp. Leave the mixture in for 1-2 hours and rinse out. It might be hard to rinse out so you may have to use a tiny bit of shampoo to get it all out. Another option is to add some essential oils to your shampoo. Dilute them in a carrier oil first and mix with your shampoo.
12. Wrinkle Reducer
Essential oils can help to promote cell growth, boost skin elasticity, and improve skin firmness which all help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. With the right essential oils and carrier oils, you can make a homemade anti-ageing skin treatment to help keep your skin well moisturized and firm and to boost your skins natural production of collagen.
The best essential oils for reducing wrinkles are frankincense, geranium, jasmine, helichrysum, rose, neroli, myrrh, sandalwood, and clary sage. For your carrier oils use vitamin E, grapeseed, almond, argan, and apricot.
13. Hair Thickener
Many of the products you find in the store for volumizing your hair contain harmful chemicals that will actually do more damage to your already fragile hair. Essential oils are an effective natural alternative for thicker and stronger hair.
Rosemary oil helps restore damage to hair and promotes hair growth. Thyme increases blood flow to the scalp which helps deliver nutrients to the hair. Clary Sage helps to balance the scalp oils and prevents the scalp from drying which is what causes brittle hair. Cedarwood is also known to stimulate the hair follicles increasing circulation to the scalp. Some good carrier oils to use are almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, and castor oil which are all amazing for your hair.
14. Shampoo and Conditioner
Shampoos and conditioners can contain harmful chemicals which can actually do damage and leave your hair looking dry and brittle. Many people struggle for years to find the right shampoo and conditioner that will leave their hair healthy and balanced. This can be very frustrating and expensive.
Whether you have normal hair, oily hair, or dry hair you can make your own homemade shampoo and conditioner with a few simple ingredients. This is a great way to add some essential oils to your shampoo and conditioner too add fragrance and the benefits of the oils.
To make homemade shampoo and conditioner you will need liquid castile soap, cocoa or shea butter, liquid lecithin, and a carrier oil (this is what you will add your essential oils to before adding them to the mixture) like jojoba oil, almond oil, argan oil, avocado oil, olive oil or coconut oil.
15. Breath Freshener
Any of the mint essential oils are good for making your own breath fresheners like peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen. Or you could use grapefruit or orange oils if you prefer a sweeter taste. Just mix a few drops of essential oils with filtered water in a small glass spray bottle.
16. Soap and Body Wash
Generic soaps can be really rough on your skin because it strips it of its natural oils and leaves it dry. These natural oils are essential for healthy skin and removing them can affect the ph level of your skin and leave your skin looking unhealthy and unevenly toned. Using essential oils in your body wash will wash the dirt from the surface of your skin and protect your skins natural oils and balance.
All you need to make your own essential oils body wash is liquid castile soap, a moisturizing oil (like jojoba, olive, or coconut), and a few drops of essential oils. The best essential oils for your skin are lavender, frankincense, geranium, ylang-ylang, tea tree, juniper, cypress, chamomile, clary sage, rose, and bergamot.
17. Teeth Whitener
There are four essential oils that are great for whitening your teeth. They are peppermint, wintergreen, lemon, and orange. The easiest way to use these essential oils to whiten your teeth is to add a single drop to your toothpaste before you brush your teeth. Do this once a day for a week and you should start to notice a difference.
Another (and possibly more effective) way of using essential oils for whitening your teeth is to make a baking soda paste. You will need a teaspoon of baking soda, a small amount of water (enough to form a paste), and a drop of essential oil.
Make sure that you do not swallow any of the essential oil and rinse out your mouth thoroughly after use. While generally safe, some essential oils can be toxic if ingested.
18. Natural Sunscreen
It is well known that most store-bought sunscreen contains harmful toxins. The good news is you can make your own sunscreen with natural ingredients including essential oils. Carrot seed oil has the highest SPF level. Raspberry seed oil also has a natural SPF as well as coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter. Zinc Oxide is another key ingredient for homemade sunscreen.
You can also make yourself homemade after-sun by adding a few drops of essential oils (lavender, frankincense, and peppermint are good) to aloe vera.
19. Weight Loss
Essential oils, in combination with a healthy diet and proper exercise, may be effective in helping you lose weight. There are few different ways essential oils can assist you in losing weight.
Some oils are effective for uplifting your overall mood which can keep you focused on your diet and help you avoid those emotional induced junk food cravings. Specifically, lavender, orange, rose, ylang-ylang, bergamot, frankincense, and chamomile are all known to help increase your mood and fight stress anxiety and depression. Bergamot, lemongrass, lemon, rosemary, and peppermint are great for increasing your energy which is helpful for keeping up with your exercise routine.
Grapefruit is one of the best-known oils for losing weight because it can increase your metabolism and helps you break down fat in your body. Ginger also works because it aids in digestion and reduces inflammation in the body. Peppermint, tangerine, and orange may also help you lose weight because they can naturally suppress your appetite.
While there is no one secret combination of essential oils that will guarantee weight loss, including essential oils in your everyday routine, may help you lose weight faster and easier.
Keep in mind these essential oils should not be ingested. Although generally safe in most cases, some essential oils can be toxic if taken internally.
20. Bug Repellent
It's pretty well known that DEET, which is the main chemical in bug spray, can be dangerous to your health. However, with the infectious and potentially fatal diseases that can be transmitted by mosquito's and ticks, bug spray may actually save your life. Either way, you are taking a risk. So what do you do?
Thankfully essential oils can be very effective in repelling mosquito's, ticks, fleas, lice as well as many other types of pests. The best essential oils for repelling insects are citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, cedarwood, cypress, oregano, clove, and geranium. Mix these oils with a carrier oil in a glass spray bottle or add them to your favourite lotion.
More Essential Oil Uses
If you enjoyed this article and you would like to know more essential oil uses, read '10 Essential Oil Uses for Green Cleaning and a Healthy Home'.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.