Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some Smelly Goodness from Mother Nature: Aura Cacia Essential Oils

While I love my perfumes, sometimes I yearn for something a little more natural, such as pure lavender or grapefruit essential oils. I find that essential oils are extremely versatile and can be used throughout your beauty routine, as well as around your home. I love how I can control their intensity (and mix) depending on my nose's mood! And a small bottle will last nearly forever as you're only using several drops at a time.

Here are the five essential oils that I typically reach for:
  • Lavender: This calming and relaxing oil is always one of the most popular. I add a drop or two to my unscented laundry soap. Another practical use is to include several drops in the bottom of your empty kitchen trash cans. It will help to neutralize any nasty garbage odors.
  • Grapefruit: This fresh oil is always refreshing to my senses. I love to spike my bath water with several drops. And, sometimes I'll combine it with peppermint or lavender for an extra scent kick.
  • Eucalyptus: This oil is the perfect cold buster. When my nose is stuffy, I'll add 4 or 5 drops of this powerful oil to the floor of my shower. Once the water and steam mix with the oil my nose gets some much needed relief.
  • Rosemary: This is a greater mixer with my hair products, specifically any pre-shampoo oils. It is ideal for nourishing the scalp and helping to regulate the oil secretion of your hair follicles. Just add a drop or two to your pre-shampoo oils and then massage into the scalp area. 
  • Lemongrass: Just because I love the scent of lemongrass! I'll combine 5 or 6 drops with 1 cup of epson salts and make my own bath spa. For best results, I'll mix the ingredients right before my bath.  
Where to purchase? Essential oils are available in natural food stores as well as mass retailers. I prefer the oils from Aura Cacia, as those are the ones that I have the most experience using. I've purchased mine at my local Henry's. They range in price depending on the rarity of the oil and bottle size. Most are under $10.

Other uses? The Aura Cacia web site offers a plethora of information on essential oils. They also offer an iPhone app for learning about the origins, characteristics and healing properties of 22 important essential oils. How cool is that?

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