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When it comes to pampering your skin, you know I am all about the DIY!! You can use products as natural as your beauty! My biggest issue was having zero idea where to start and what essential oils were or did, so I had to do some research before I started dropping them in my DIYs. I thought it would be super fun to share a mini beginners guide with y’all. Essential oils are the centuries-old secret of radiant-looking skin, lustrous hair, and an ageless-looking complexion. The interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that claims that essential oils can have curative effects for a number of ailments, including restoring beauty and good health.
But how do you get started with essential oils? It helps to understand what an essential oil is. An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. An oil is “essential” because it carries the “essence” of the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.
Essential oils are generally extracted from plants using distillation, often by using steam. Other processes include expression or solvent extraction. The end result is extremely concentrated and is generally too strong to use directly on the skin, where it can cause an allergic reaction or severe irritation. This is why essential oils are generally diluted before use on the body.
One of the easiest ways to dilute an essential oil for beginners is to add a few drops to hot water and create a steam bath. Holding your face over the steam bath can help the essential oils to penetrate your skin, and depending on the oil you use, this practice can have a range of benefits. Eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil are both known as antiseptics, for example, and are extremely beneficial in the treatment of acne. Lavender is considered calming and can help with irritated skin, anxiety or insomnia.
Essential oils can also be added to “carriers” such as plain shea butter, coconut oil or lip balm mixtures. Just a few drops are normally enough to scent and flavor the carrier. Then the product can be applied directly on the body. If you want to learn how to use essential oils, it may pay to make a visit to your local health food store and ask if they sell these “carrier” products so you can begin to make your own customized beauty products. Remember, you can blend essential oils too – keep experimenting until you find the scent and remedy that works best for you!