Regular readers of the blog will know that I am on a bit of a learning journey with essential oils. There are so many uses for them and am just discovering their uses. I use them for various things from beauty and skin care to cleaning around the house. I think that the more natural products, the better our health can be. Whatever we put on our skin or hair, goes into our body. Like I say, I’m still learning, but think that I’d rather have natural products if they work just as well. Have you used essential oils much before? I’d be interested to hear any of your favourites if you have used them.
One natural product that I like to use for beauty and skin care purposes is Epsom salts. As a Surrey dweller, I feel like I am a little obligated to use them! That aside, though, they do have many brilliant benefits. I think one of the most common ways that people know of is using Epsom salts in a bath. They are perfect to add to the running water of a bath. I don’t have baths too often, but when I do, I go all out. In a bath, they are great to help to soothe sore muscles. They are great for bruises and if you have any joint pain. If you have had a tough workout or been on a long hike, having an Epsom salt bath afterwards will be dreamy. They are also perfect to help you with any muscle cramps too. So yes, ladies, it is perfect for when you want a bath during that time of the month!
Epsom salts are also great to exfoliate your skin with. I am not the best at remembering to exfoliate but know that I need to get better at it. Exfoliating is great to get rid of any dead skin cells that could be clogging up our pores. Any clogging of pores can, of course, cause spots. Not good. So how you would do it with Epsom salts is similar to using something like a sugar scrub. Gently massage a small handful over dry skin areas and your face, when you are in the showers. If your skin needs a bit of a pick me up, then give it a go.
Another thing that I like to do is to make my own exfoliating scrub or hand wash with Epsom salts. If you mix up a little oil of your choice (fractionated coconut oil is a good choice) and then add the same amount of water. Add about half that amount of Epsom salts and then a couple of drops of your preferred essential oil. Tea tree and frankincense are amazing for skin care so I would recommend giving those two a try. I am all about how things smell, so would recommend citrus ones like grapefruit or wild orange. So many choices when it comes to essential oils! This little concoction can all be used as a wash for your hands or used in the shower to exfoliate. There are so many other uses of Epsom salts. Visit http://www.thealternativedaily.com/17-amazing-uses-epsom-salt-wont-believe/ if you want to read a little more about the ways that you can use Epsom salts.
I have done a post about my love of coconut oil before, but just to reiterate, I love coconut oil. One of the ways that I like to use it (other than in cooking and baking) is for my hair. I can get quite a dry scalp and coconut oil helps it so much. I just melt about a tablespoon and then use it on my hair and scalp, before I use conditioner. Leaving it to soak in for a few minutes lets it absorb and gets better results. If you don’t have a jar of coconut oil in your home, you need one! The benefits are endless. I’ve even taken to whitening my teeth with it too. Choosing an organic, cold pressed coconut oil is the best option, so all of its goodness is preserved.
Back to my beloved essential oils! Where do I start with these? First off, you need to make sure that you choose therapeutic grade. This means that they are in their purest form and at their most natural. They can then be applied to the skin directly, or even ingested. I have a few favourites that I regularly use at home. Lemon oils are fantastic to have in as a cleaner. It is also great to add into a glass of water, for extra taste and goodness. Lavender isn’t my favourite in terms of smell, at all. I do like it for its healing properties, though. Adding a few drops to skin after a bug bite takes the edge of instantly. You do need to keep reapplying it for a little while, but I’d take that over a chemical filled bug spray any day.
Lavender is also great to use as a massage oil. Lavender has been know to help people relax for years and years. Mixing it with a carrier oil will instantly make it into a massage oil. So if you need help to relax and wind down, then you need some lavender oil in your life! Lavender also works to help smooth scars and is great for older skin. I know at my age I’m not old, but it is always a good idea to maintain smooth skin. It helps the skin cells regenerate so it is worth having some in to repair your skin.
In terms of beauty, though, one of my favourites to use is tea tree. It has a number of healing benefits as it is antiviral and antifungal. Tea tree is quite strong when it is by itself, so it is good to use a carrier oil with it. A carrier oil is something like fractionated coconut oil as I have mentioned. Other carrier oils are extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, or any other cold pressed oil. Using a few drops in with a few tablespoons of carrier oil is great to use in the shower. You can also use it after a shower as a moisturiser. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard with the carrier oil if this is the case. It can take a while to absorb if there is a lot of it. Not good if you’re in a hurry to get dressed after a shower!
I am prone to getting cold sores when I am run down. I also get them quite a bit if my lips get a little too much sun. Such a good look. Not. I am so glad I have discovered that tea tree oil treats them, though. It could take me over a week or so of humongous cold sore lips before they would start to get better. Now when I have that first little tingle of a cold sore coming, I apply a few drops of tea tree oil, using a cotton bud. It stops it in its tracks! It barely turns into anything and is sorted in about a day. One of the best discoveries for me, ever. So if you suffer from cold sores from time to time, I couldn’t recommend tea tree oil enough.
There are some other great natural products that you can use on your lips too. They won’t treat cold sores, but just help you to have smooth and moisturised lips. A few oats, mixed up in a blender, mixed with a spoonful of honey, cider vinegar and a drop of tea tree oil is a good place to start. If you mix it all up and then apply to your lips using the back of a spoon. Then rub it all in using a bit of a circular motion. Wash it all off after a few minutes. This helps to exfoliate your lips essentially; getting rid of dead and dried skin. If this is a little too odd for you, then you could try a spoonful of melted coconut oil, a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix it all together and rub on your lips as before. Smooth and plump looking lips, here you come. I have got a few other ‘recipes’ over on my Pinterest board at https://uk.pinterest.com/AAUBlog/essential-oils/.
Honey is a fantastic natural product that you can use for other smooth things, not just lips. Honey is naturally antibacterial so it can be a great addition to your skincare routine. If you break out quite a lot, then it will help. It also has some antiseptic properties so it can help to remove dirt and other things that would be blocking pores. So choosing to use a honey based face mask is a great option for clearer skin. Honey is also known to help aid collagen and its regeneration. As a result, skin can look a lot younger. Like lavender, it can also help to improve the look of scars and stretchmarks.
Have you ever used any of these methods? I’d love to hear your stories and if you have had any positive results.