Essential Oils Topical Uses

Essential oils have a great number of topical uses, and although it would be very difficult to cover every single topical use for essential oils, we will go over many. I've divided this into the following categories, for ease of skimming. 

There are far more uses for essential oils than we have covered here. If you are wondering about something specific that we didn't cover, feel free to contact me, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

Topical Mending

Many essential oils are very effective for repairing skin topically. You can use essential oils to super charge a poultice, or mend wounds faster. Some essential oils can also be used on their own as well.

Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
  • Melaleuca (tea-tree):  Melaleuca can be used in a poultice or on it's own for mending sores, cuts, or abrasions. It is very fast acting in helping your skin regenerate. Melaleuca on it's own is a very effective natural remedy for  mouth sores or unwanted sores caused by pathogens or bacteria. It is an all purpose alleviating agent for any broken skin. Melaleuca is very strong, and has a burning sensation if used undiluted. When using Melaleuca for mending skin, you can dilute it with fractionated coconut oil. This will slow down the absorption of the oil, and give it more time to sit on the affected area.
  • Yarrow Pom: Yarrow has been shown to be a more effective purifying agent than either vitamin e or c. Because of it's strong germ-destroying properties, it is a very effective additive when you're trying to mend skin. This is a good poultice or oil remedy ingredient. 
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is very cleansing for the skin, and can also dry out skin sores. Turmeric and melaleuca together make a very effective remedy for boils, acne, or other pussy skin sores.
Frankincense Image By Lupus in Saxonia - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
  • Frankincense: Frankincense is an extremely powerful mending tool. Frankincense can be used topically on abnormalities or growths on the skin to help shrink them. 
  • Sandalwood: Sandalwood was shown to help reduce skin growths in mice. Although there have not been human trials yet, sandalwood is believed to be a good co-worker of frankincense in reducing abnormalities and skin growths.
  • Lavender: Lavender is very soothing to the skin and can relieve a number of irritations. This is a good all purpose additive for skin irritations or abrasions.

Helichrysum: Helichrysum helps the regrowth of top skin. Its very effective as an additive to skin remedies.

  • Deep Blue: This is doTerra's equivalent to an icy-hot. Deep blue relieves sore muscles, helpful for twisted ligaments, bruises, etc.. This is a very good one to have on hand in any house-hold, especially if you have kids or athletes.
  • OreganoOregano combats unwanted bacteria and pathogens. It is very effective at cleansing cuts, scrapes, or other skin abrasions. Oregano MUST be diluted, it is very powerful, and can burn your skin if used undiluted. 
  • Fractionated coconut oil is an ideal carrier oil for remedy purposes, as it helps the oil remain on the effected site for longer. Castor oil is another very good carrier oil for remedies. Castor oil has repairing properties of it's own, and is a good additive to poultices or other natural skin antidotes.

Skin Care

Essential oils can greatly improve your skin care routine. Not only do they smell great, but they have incredible properties that benefit your skin. 

Melaleuca (tea-tree) oil, is one of the most important to mention for skin care. Melaleuca alleviates skin sores, tightens pores, and cleans skin very quickly. Melaleuca touch alone, works as an excellent skin toner, and blemish remedy.

Skin Blemishes 

These are a list of oils that help improve blemished skin. Include a couple drops into your skin care routine, or you can make a roller blend, and apply the oils to your face last. 

Knowing what each oil specifically targets will help you choose the ones that are best for your specific goals. Personally, I like to make a blend of whichever of the following oil I have on hand in a roller bottle, and use it through out the day.

The best carrier oil for blemished skin is Castor Oil. Castor oil is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and disinfecting agent. It is very cleansing for the skin, and helps repair imperfections quickly.

  • Spikenard: Purifies the skin
  • Turmeric: Cleansing, antibacterial, drives away topical bacteria and pathogens.
  • Melaleuca (Tee Tree): Cleansing, purifying, reduces topical bacteria
  • Basil: Cleansing to the skin
  • Petitgrain: Topically destroys germs
  • Patchouli: Reduces wrinkles, imperfections, blemishes, discoloration, and tightens pores, promoting a smooth complexion
  • Frankincense: Reduces skin imperfections; helps shrink growths, moles, and dark spots
  • Cedarwood: Promotes healthy looking skin
  • Helichrysum: Improves the overall appearance of skin
  • Lavender: Soothing to skin; helps rejuvenate irritations
  • Lemongrass: Purifying and toning for the skin
  • Juniper Berry: Cleansing, detoxifying, natural toner
  • Grapefruit: Helps mend blemishes quickly, cleansing to the skin

Melaleuca and Turmeric combined in a roller bottle with castor oil is an incredibly fast acting acne antidote, with the added benefit of acting as a skin toner. Add Juniper Berry to this blend and use at the end of your skin care routine to prevent and combat acne. You will be pleasantly surprised at your clear, glowing complexion. 

Oily Skin

All of the oils listed below are cleansing and help balance the oils produced by your skin. You can mix and match based on what you have, or which scent your enjoy. These are all good oils to include in a face scrub or cleanser as well.

You can always make a roller blend of your oils of choice and apply it directly to your to skin at the end of your skin care routine. 

Dilute these with a carrier oil, as many of these may have a burning sensation if you apply them without a carrier oil. The best carrier oil for oily skin is Jojoba oil. It has a very similar chemical makeup as the your natural skin oil, so your body it able to absorb it very quickly with little to no residue. 

Dry Skin

Geranium flower Image By CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

For dry skin, you'll want oils that hydrate your skin as well as moisturize. Also, if your skin is dry, it is very important to ensure that you are hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and to help your body retain the hydration from your water, you can mix in citrus oils. Citrus oils are very cleansing for your insides as well as your outside. We will be talking more about citruses in the internal uses section.

Suggested carrier oils for dry skin are fractionated coconut oil (slow absorption into skin), jojoba oil (helps hydrate skin), and castor oil (helps skin to retain moisture).

All of these oils help balance the tone of your skin, as well as moisturizing. 

Combat Aging

One of the best things to combat aging skin is ensuring that you are always well hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Other liquids do not replace water. Well-hydrated skin ages much better than skin that isn't.

Hair Care

Clary Sage Seeds in Bloom Image By Naturesage - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

There are two clear winners when it comes to essential oil haircare. Those are Melaleuca and Clary Sage.

Melaleuca is a natural hair and scalp cleanser. It promotes healthy looking hair, and a clean scalp. Melaleuca also drives away pathogens, including lice. It completely smothers the living lice, and burns up the eggs. If you look at lice shampoos, they will have Tea-Tree oil (another name for Melaleuca) as the active ingredient for killing lice. 

Melaleuca is also very drawing, so when applied directly to the scalp is can promote hair growth. It's also very effective at balancing hair oil.

Clary Sage helps repair split ends and increase the overall shine of the hair. Clary Sage also balances the oil level of hair. It helps promote strong hairs and prevents fly-aways and breakage.

When I make shampoo and conditioner at home, I always use both of these. I also use Clary Sage directly on my hair to improve over-all appearance, and because it smells good.

Sleep Aid

We will cover essential oils for sleep in topical, aromatic, and internal uses. Essential oils are incredibly effective in helping your body relax, release melatonin, and sleep deeply. 

Before we talk about essential oils though, I want to talk about magnesium oil. When using essential oils for sleep, it's best to use magnesium oil as the carrier oil. Most people have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is something that is difficult to get in your diet, and even most magnesium supplements have other harmful chemicals in them, which reduce the efficacy. 

Pure magnesium oil can be absorbed through your skin, and your body can process it more quickly. Magnesium is very effective at helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. Pure magnesium oil in a spritzer bottle mixed with essential oils, can provide you with everything you need to help you sleep. Although essential oils are effective on their own, magnesium oil acts as a train to carry them deep inside.

Image By Brooke Cagle brookecagle

Essential oils to promote relaxation:

  • Lavender: Lavender has incredible restful properties, and is one of the most effective essential oils for sleep. Lavender helps your brain release melatonin naturally, which helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Clary Sage: clary sage is very good for promoting sleep, because it is effective at calming the mind, and promoting calming emotions.
  • Cedarwood: promotes feelings of calmness
  • Ylang Ylang: In women Ylang Ylang is very calming and can help promote sleep, however in men Ylang Ylang is also an aphrodisiac, which can interfere with good rest.

Sweet Dreams Recipe:

In a spritzer bottle add:

  • 20 drops of Lavender
  • 10 drops Clary Sage
  • 10 drops Cedarwood
  • (for women) 10 drop Ylang Ylang
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with pure magnesium oil

Shake well, and spritz on your feet before bed. The largest pours in the human body are on the feet, so spraying on the feet ensures the quickest absorption, and that fasted effect.

Additional aid: put a few drops of lavender and clary sage on your pillow and at the base of your neck. Massage a small amount of lavender into your temples to help melt away the stress of the day, and prepare your body for sleep.

Household Cleaning

doTERRA offers a blend called On Guard, which is very effective for combating negative germs and helping prevent impaired health. In their On Guard Collection, there is a cleaner concentrate that you can use, and they also have a laundry detergent.

However, if you are a fan of making your own, you can use these oils to make your own and cut costs.

  • Lemon: excellent natural cleansing agent
  • Grapefruit: another excellent natural cleansing agent
  • Purify: this is for getting rid of smells. Purify help eliminate odors on a molecular level. You can mix purify with water and use as a spritzer to get smells out around your home

DIY All Purpose Cleaner:

  • 1/4 c Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 c distilled water
  • 5 drops lemon
  • 5 drops grapefruit

DIY Fabric Cleaner:

  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 1/2 c Hot water
  • 10 drops Purify
  • Thoroughly dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add purify, shake well, and spritz on fabric furniture. Use a damp rag to rub on spots, you'd like to get out. Allow to dry completely, and vacuum with hose to get off any remaining baking soda residue.
  • Also effective for carpet cleaner, or for fabric clothing that doesn't require dry cleaning. 

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