Because skin absorbs essential oils, this is significant way for the body to benefit from the therapeutic qualities of essential oils.
Approximately 12% of our body mass is skin. Primarily, the skin protects against foreign matter entering our bodies. It was once thought that nothing could penetrate the skin, but it turns out that microscopic particles (such as essential oil molecules) can be absorbed through the skin.
Ways to apply essential oils to the skin include:
Massage – Professional massages, when combined with the use of essential oils, have awesome therapeutic benefits. Massage is a healing art. An aromatherapy massage facilitates the absorption of essential oils. Aromatherapy massage helps re-establish overall harmony and revitalize ailing or malfunctioning parts of the body. In addition, it helps balance the body, mind and emotions to help you look good and feel good.
Creams & Lotions – Essential oils can be added to unscented cleansers, toners and moisturizers. Plain cream bases made from pure & natural ingredients can be purchased through essential oil suppliers. Calamine lotion makes a good base, as does zinc oxide cream.
Compresses – Uses of compresses include: reducing fever, inflammation and pain; improving circulation; relieving fatigue or headaches; releasing fluid or lymph congestion. Always use cloths made of natural fibers and use only enough water to soak the compress.
Hot Compresses – These can relieve either muscular or arthritic pain. A few drops of essential oil can be added to a small bowl of very hot water. Wearing rubber gloves, dip a folded cloth into the water. Squeeze out the excess water. Make sure the cloth is not too hot, then place it over the effected area. To keep in the heat, you can cover it with plastic wrap or a towel. Leave on for only 15 minutes, then gently move or massage the joint to help relieve the pain.
Cold Compresses – These come in handy in first aid situations, especially in a case of swelling, sprains, inflammation and fever. Place 3 or 4 ounces of water and six ice cubes in a small bowl. Add a few drops of essential oil. Dip a folded cloth into the water. Squeeze out the excess water. Never allow a cold compress to dry out.
Alternating Hot and Cold Compresses should be applied in cases of sprained ligaments or bruises. This will help circulation.
Showering – After diluting the essential oils in 10 ml of carrier oil, massage it into the skin before getting under the shower spray. To avoid slipping or falling, please do not apply the oil blend to your feet.
Shampoo – Some shampoos are available that include essential oil in their formula. Otherwise, you can add 2 or 3 drops to your full shampoo bottle, or to 100 ml (3-4 oz.) of water for the final rinse of your hair, being ultra-cautious not to get any in your eyes.
Use of Essential Oils in the Bath
Using essential oils in your bath benefits the body both by inhalation of oils as they evaporate, and by absorption through the skin in the water. For maximum benefit, be sure the room is warm, and turn off the taps before adding the blended oil to the water. Be sure to dilute 8 to 10 drops in 5 ml of carrier oil.
Some oils can be applied “neat,” as in directly from the bottle, but I recommend reading about some precautions when using essential oils. Next to aromatherapy, the second best way to benefit from essential oils is to absorb them through your skin.
The valuable properties of essential oils are used to treat many emotional and physical conditions. The human body will be affected in a positive way when essential oils are applied to the skin in one of these ways.