First Posted August 2016
If you have read my blog, you know that I am passionate about Aromatherapy & Essential Oils. Let me re-phrase that, I’m passionate about the Safe & the Appropriate Use of Essential Oils.
You also know that I love summer… going to the beach or the lake, enjoying my garden, BBQ’s & picnics, and having the time to relax.
What I could do without is the sleepless nights due to the heat, sore feet from my cute new sandals, bug bites, sunburn & dry skin from all of the swimming, oh, and snakes. I really don’t like snakes. And wolf spiders IN my house. (They belong outside). But other than that I love summer. And when using essential oils in the summertime there are a few things to remember…
Phototoxicity: fresh & zesty Citrus Oils are the perfect summer scents. Try using them in a room spray or diffusing them in your home. Just use caution when using them on your body & going out into the sun as some citrus oils are phototoxic. A phototoxic reaction may be a severe sunburn, swelling and possible blistering of the skin. A good rule of thumb: don’t apply phototoxic essential oils to areas of your body that are exposed to the sun or if you are using a tanning bed. You may have a reaction up to 24 – 72 hours after using a citrus oil on your skin, and the signs may be visible for up to a few weeks afterward. Photosensitive essential oils are Bergamot, cold-pressed Lime, Mandarin Leaf, Bitter Orange. Cold pressed Grapefruit & Lemon to a lesser degree (Other photosensitive essential oils are Angelica, Cumin, Cinnamon Bark & Rue.)
You have to be very careful of your dilutions (.04% – 1%), depending on the essential oil.
More ideas for using Essential Oils in the Summer…
Cool Off: If you are finding the heat a little too much make a mister out of Spearmint, or Sweet Basil, Cypress & Geranium essential oils with Lavender Hydrosol & purified water. Keep one beside your bed, and mist the back of your neck & your chest You could also use Lavender & Spearmint Hydrosol blended with purified water. Shake well before use. Use a dilution of 1 %.
Sunburn: Anyone who has had a sunburn, knows how much they hurt. After a cool, baking soda bath, I like to use a blend of Roman Chamomile, Lavender & Peppermint or Spearmint essential oils mixed with Aloe Vera Gel, and Helichrysum Hydrosol.(The amount of Peppermint /Spearmint that I use depends on how bad the sunburn is.) Use a dilution of 1 – 2 %. Shake well before use. (You could also use a cooling blend of Lavender & Roman Chamomile Hydrosols in a mister).
After-Sun Skincare: After a day at the beach, try applying a really nourishing body oil to freshly showered skin. Try carrier oils like Apricot Kernel & Jojoba with Helichrysum, Carrot Seed, & Patchouli essential oils. It takes some time to soak in, but it feels wonderful on your skin. Use at a dilution of 1 %.
Dry Hair: If your hair is looking dried out, try adding 2 drops of Cedarwood Atlas or Rosemary essential oil to 1 TBSP of Jojoba or Argon oil & massage thru your hair & don’t forget your scalp. Wrap your hair in a towel for 30 min, then shampoo it out.
Blisters: try a dilution of Tea Tree, Lavender & Myrrh in a carrier oil. Dab on the blister with a Q-tip. (Use a 2% dilution) You can also use Chamomile or Geranium essential oils. Apply up to 3 times per day.
Athletes Foot: try a blend of Tea Tree, Palmarosa, & Cypress in a gel base. Dab onto infected area. Use a 2 – 3% dilution. Or try a few drops of Lemongrass instead of Tea Tree, it works well too. (Be sure to get a new pair of flip flops so you don’t re- infect your feet).
Cracked Heels: After a nice soak, massage your feet & heels with a carrier oil (I like Apricot Kernel & Jojoba) blended with Patchouli, Rose Geranium, Tea Tree & Frankincense essential oils, & then put on a pair of clean socks, as it soaks in. Do this often to keep your feet sandal-ready & to avoid the possibility of pain or infection.
Bites: I like to blend Witch Hazel, Helichrysum Hydrosol, & Aloe Vera Gel in a roller bottle with Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, & Lavender Essential Oils. Gently roll on the bug bite to help ease the itching & irritation. Use a 2 – 3% dilution. You can also use Niaouli or Thyme essential oil as well.
Stings: Dab the area with witch hazel, then make a paste out of Baking soda and Lavender Hydrosol and apply to the sting. You can also apply a dilution of German Chamomile and/or Lavender essential oils to the sting along with an ice pack.If you have more than one sting, there is a lot of swelling, the stinger is hard to remove, or you are having an allergic reaction I would see a doctor ASAP. (From past experience, I am very cautious with Bee stings).
Insect Repellent: Check out my blog “Bugs of Summer” for more info.
This summer, you may want to consider adding some essential oils to your 1st aid kit, either in your home or to take with you camping or to your cabin. Store your Essential oils in a cool, dark place; avoid leaving them in a hot car.
Have a Safe & Aromatic Summer…
Always use a low dilution (.25% – 1%) for children or elderly people. (Avoid Sweet basil if you are epileptic)
My Blog is for information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice. Essential Oils are for external use only & should always be diluted before topical use.
- Catty, Suzanne, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, a division of Inner Trade International, 2001.
- Davis, Patricia, Aromatherapy: An A-Z. London: Vermilion, 2005. Print.
- Worwood, V. A. (2000). Aromatherapy for the healthy child: More than 300 natural, non-toxic, and fragrant essential oil blends. Novato, CA: New World Library.
- Worwood, V. A. (1991). The fragrant pharmacy: A home and health care guide to aromatherapy and essential oils. Toronto: Bantam. Print.