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Essential Oils Blog

Personal Care Archives

Flawless Feet for Summer

Flip flops, open-toed sandals, peep-toe slingback heels, just going plain ol’ barefoot — you know the drill! Warm weather is here; it’s time to let your toes breathe. We want to help you keep your feet looking their best and avoiding the funky feet and toenails that can crop up when exposing them to shared showers or swimming pool areas. The amazing essential oils used in this DIY will help keep your feet clean and fresh this summer!

DIY Flawless Feet

Flawless feet essential oil DIY

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Apply to funky feet/ toenails that result from being barefoot in shared showers or swimming pool areas.

Flawless feet essential oil DIY

*This DIY includes Lemon Essential Oil, which is a phototoxic oil. However, the amount of Lemon used here is much less than the 2% dilution recommended to avoid phototoxic reactions, so you have nothing to worry about! This DIY is perfectly safe for feet that love to soak up the sun!

Father’s Day DIYs For The Hipster Dad

Father’s Day is just around the corner!

Don’t let this holiday sneak up on you — Plant Therapy is here to help! This week, we will be introducing brand new just-for-dad DIYs for all kinds of dads! Today’s dad: Hipster Dad!

How do you define what a dad is? 

Well, he’s the navigator of road trips, the comedian extraordinaire, the solid rock to lean on when times get tough, and the philosophical guide through life! Great dads help support their family, while inspiring, motivating, and encouraging a sense of wonder and commitment in their children. That’s no light load to carry. And they do this all while staying true to their own personal interests and style!

Wait. Style? Dad?

Those two words don’t always go together, do they? Well, thanks to the growing number of hipster dads these days, they do now!

If you’re wondering what a hipster dad is, you’re not alone. It is tricky to pin down these creative men who take “Dad Swag” to the next level. They have a wide range of passions and hobbies, from retro gaming to design to hats. They may be foodies or book lovers. Maybe they stay ahead of the latest trends or revive old ones. And even though a hipster dad can be many things, they overwhelmingly have a singular common thread: a beautifully well-groomed or purposefully lush, rugged beard.

So this Father’s Day, show the hipster dad in your life that you appreciate him by helping him take care of that beard he loves so much! Try these DIYs to give Dad something totally unique, nourishing, and sure to take that beard to the next level of awesomeness!

Earthy Clean Essential Oil Aftershave

Earthy Clean Essential Oil Aftershave

 

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Mix all ingredients in a spritz bottles. Shake well.

DIY essential oil after shave

Manly Fresh Essential Oil Shaving Cream

Manly Fresh Essential Oil Shaving Cream

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Melt together Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Jojoba, and Fractionated Coconut Oil together in a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in essential oils. Allow mixture to cool and harden. Put baking soda in bowl and mix well with an electric hand mixer. Store in airtight container.

Manly Fresh Essential Oil Shaving Cream

Don’t want to DIY?

Plant Therapy also offers a beard set that includes a bottle of beard oil (Smokey Lumberjack and Urban Fresh), a tin of beard balm, a beard comb, and a dropper. This set will keep beards healthy, softer, and more manageable, while helping skin stay healthy and flake-free!

Healthy Nails With Essential Oils: DIY Cuticle Balm

Healthy Nails With Essential Oils: DIY Cuticle Balm

Look down at your fingernails — how are they doing? Are they perfectly polished, torn and tattered, or somewhere in between? Whether you love your nail art and time at the salon, or if you’ve completely forgotten you have nails on your fingers all together, we can all benefit from clean, healthy nails and cuticles. And yes — there’s an oil for that!

First, let’s talk about nails.

We all have them — they are living, growing parts of your body made of a translucent protein called keratin (just like your hair!). Their primary purpose is to protect the soft tissue and highly sensitive tips of fingers and toes from damage [1]. If you’ve ever accidentally slammed your finger in a door or dropped something heavy on your toe, you have your nails to thank for absorbing much of that impact. It probably still hurt — a lot— but those tiny, tough shields protected you from even more pain and damage. Nails also serve as visual indicators of your health [2]. They can alert healthcare professionals to fungal infections, thyroid disease, vitamin deficiencies, and a lot more.

Oh yeah — and they’re great for scratching an itch!

And just like your nails protect your fingers, your cuticles protect your nails. They sit over the nail matrix, which is the very important part of your nail that grows. This soft piece of skin is prone to drying out and cracking if not moisturized, which can not only be painful and unsightly, but may become infected and inhibit the health of your nails.

Thankfully, it is really easy to keep your nails and cuticles healthy and strong. Here are some great carrier oils and essential oils that your nails and cuticle will love!

Healthy Nails With Essential Oils: DIY Cuticle Balm

DIY Cuticle Balm

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Melt beeswax in a glass bowl over simmering water.
  2. Add Jojoba and stir. You’ll notice when you add the cooler Jojoba Oil, it may solidify slightly, then remelt. This is fine!
  3. Add honey and essential oil, stir to combine.
  4. Pour into lip balm tubes.

This project makes about 6 tubes — perfect for sharing with friends! Plus, you can keep one in your purse and one on your nightstand, with extras to spare.

 

References:

[1] Your nails. (2015, May). Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/your-nails.html

[2] Bond-Nelms, C. (2017, Oct. 4). What are your nails saying about your health? Ripples, bumps or splits may be a sign of illness. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/medical-condition-fingernail-health-fd.html

May Oil of the Month: Honeybell Synergy

honeybell essential oil synergy

Just in time for summer, we created an exclusive, luscious sweet synergy: Honeybell. This synergy blends some common and less common essential oils into an exquisite feast for the senses, and a truly unique experience.

 Honeybell brings you a fresh and fruity aroma, and a juicy, sparkling citrus bouquet with a bit of woody and herbaceous tones rounding it out. This synergy comes out of the bottle with a delicious burst of berry.

 

honeybell essential oil synergy

Honeybell’s Background:

Honeybell contains some favorite familiar oils such as Orange Sweet and Grapefruit Pink and Lime Steam Distilled. But we also wanted to add a little something extra special to make this synergy really pop, so we added Buchu, Cognac and Galbanum essential oils to finish this blend. Each helps to create an amazing symphony of scent.

With that in mind, here is little background on these three less common oils:

 

Buchu (Buchu Betulina)

Buchu is distilled from the dried leaves of a small shrub native to South Africa.

These leaves have traditionally been used to support a healthy urinary system and to ward off pests.[1] Steffen Arctander, an expert and author of natural  perfumery, wrote that Buchu is “primarily extracted into tinctures, oleoresins and other extracts for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Because only small amounts of Buchu are distilled into essential oil overall, it isn’t easily available for everyday use.[2] Arctander notes Buchu essential oil is “prized in small amounts in the fragrance and flavoring industries for its strong, pleasing scent of blackcurrant,” which he further describes as an aroma of “penetrating, tart berry.”

Buchu essential oil also has an important place in working with the spirit, and can be used to support a sense of stability, especially in situations that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar.[3]

 

Cognac (White Vitis Vinifera)

Cognac (one of the finest brandies), is created to very strict specifications, and named for the Cognac region of France. The white grapes used in Cognac are first fermented into wine, and then distilled twice before being placed in a wooden barrel to age much like whiskey. [4]

Cognac Essential Oil is distilled from the fermented grape tissue remaining in the barrel once Cognac has aged . This makes for a scent highly prized by high-end producers in the perfume and flavor industries.

Arctander describes Cognac Essential Oil as an “intensely strong, almost harsh-fruity, oily-fatty, yet green-herbaceous odour of outstanding tenacity and great diffusive power….rectified, it is used in flavors and perfumes to give “lift” and fresh-fruity natural notes in liquors, fragrances.”[5] Because Cognac has such a powerful and penetrating aroma, it’s only used in small amounts.

 

Galbanum (Ferula Galbaniflua)

Galbanum essential oil is distilled from a gum resin extracted from the stem of a large herb native to the Middle East and Western Asia.

The resin itself has been prized since ancient times for its therapeutic and spiritual benefits for wound care, skin issues and respiratory support.[6]

According to Valerie Worwood the Galbanum resin was “one of the ingredients in the anointing oil instructions given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.” Galbanum resin was also used by Hippocrates for its healing properties, and prized by physicians in the Middle East.[7]

Galbanum distilled into an essential oil is still prized today for perfume making. Arctander notes its odor is “intensely rich green, woody balsamic with a dry undertone.”  Only small amounts are required to bring the green note that Galbanum gives to a scent, because of the strength of the aroma.[8]

In aromatherapy, Galbanum essential oil is great for body (and mind) when used for skin care, respiratory ease, and to soothe the nervous system, especially with worry and nervous tension.[9] For the spirit, Joni Keim recommends using Galbanum to support a sense of stability and personal strength.[10]

 

Honeybell’s Benefits:

So, now that we’ve discussed what makes Honeybell so great, let’s talk about its benefits beyond the scent!

Honeybell is exceptionally soothing and relaxing, and can help lift your mood, or promote a positive outlook. Because it’s very calming to the senses, you can reach for Honeybell to help reduce worry and nervous tension.

When diffused, Honeybell helps boost your outlook with a sparkling scent, brightening your day.

honeybell essential oil synergy

 

Blending Honeybell:

Honeybell shines as a natural fragrance to uplift the spirits and soothe the senses. In addition to adding to your diffuser, or carrying with you in a personal aromatherapy inhaler, you can also add Honeybell to personal care products for luscious self care. Just add Honeybell at 1% dilution into your favorite carrier.

KidSafe®: No

Cautions: Not safe for pregnancy and nursing.

 

Here are some suggestions for using Honeybell to get you started:

Honeybell Body Wash

  • 18 drops Honeybell Synergy (or 9 drops per 1 oz carrier for 1% dilution)
  • 2 oz unscented, natural body wash

Add to a PET plastic squeeze bottle and shake hard to mix

 

Honeybell Lotion

Add to a PET plastic squeeze bottle and shake hard to mix.

 

Honeybell Solid Perfume

(from the enclosed Product Details Sheet)

Melt beeswax over a double boiler. Stir in carrier oil. Remove from heat. Stir in 20-25 drops of Honeybell Synergy. Pour into small tins or jars and cap tightly to cool.

 


Sources:

 

[1] Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: the Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-Being. Fall River Press, 2014.

[2] Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Pathfinder. 1960.

[3] Keim, Joni, and Ruah Bull. Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils. CreateSpace, 2015.

[4] “Cognac (Drink).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 May 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognac_(drink).

[5] Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Pathfinder. 1960.

[6] Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: the Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-Being. Fall River Press, 2014.

[7] Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments. New World Library, 2016.

[8] Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Pathfinder. 1960.

[9] Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: the Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-Being. Fall River Press, 2014.

[10] Keim, Joni, and Ruah Bull. Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils. CreateSpace, 2015.

Phototoxicity: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe!

The sun is outside shining, the temperatures are warming up, and it’s time to dig out that summertime wardrobe from hibernation! Shorts, tank tops, and flip flops — here we come! But before you go and lather up your skin with all those DIY lotions, creams, lip balms, body oils, and perfumes you’ve had so much fun making, there is something very important we need to discuss: Phototoxicity.

So what IS phototoxicity anyways?

The term ‘phototoxicity’ just means that there are specific essential oils that when you put them on your skin and go out into the sun, can cause pretty significant damage, including severe burning, blistering, and discoloration. 

Wait, what?

Don’t worry. Even though phototoxicity isn’t something to take lightly, it’s also easy to avoid and keep yourself safe in the sun, I promise.

Phototoxicity, also called photosensitization and phototoxic contact dermatitis, is a UV light induced reaction to a photoactive substance. [1]

Some essential oils are termed ‘phototoxic,’ since they increase the likelihood of a phototoxic reaction. These oils contain certain chemical constituents with a structure that gives them the ability to absorb UV light, store it, and release it in a burst into the skin. [2] 

Reactions can occur up to 18 hours after the oil has been applied to the skin and then exposed to UV light. So even if you don’t see a reaction right away, do not assume that a reaction won’t occur later. So be careful!

Here’s a handy graphic for reference: 

What phototoxic oils does Plant Therapy carry?

You may notice that these phototoxic oils are all cold-pressed. The distillation method is extremely important, since some of these oils can also be steam distilled. When distilled, the components that cause phototoxicity are not present, so they’re safe to use in the sun.

To avoid phototoxic reactions, cover any area of the skin with a phototoxic oil on it, or just don’t use a phototoxic essential oil topically if you are concerned about sun exposure.

So which oils can you use in the sun, and still get that citrus-y smell you love?

Our website clearly states if an oil is phototoxic, and also provides maximum dilution recommendations to avoid phototoxicity. We also offer many non-phototoxic oils that still have the uplifting, citrusy aromas you love:

So even though summertime is the perfect time to discuss phototoxicity, please be aware that UV light is present all year-round. Phototoxic reactions can be painful and permanent, so use extreme caution when using phototoxic oils and being outside!

And as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Certified Aromatherapists to learn more!

 

References:

[1] “Aromahead Institute’s Aromatherapy Certification Program” https://www.aromahead.com/courses/online/aromatherapy-certification-program

[2] Phototoxicity. Retrieved from https://westcoastaromatherapy.com/articles/phototoxicity

 

DIY Hand Sanitizer

DIY essential oil hand sanitizer

If you live in the Northern United States, it’s likely that your tree, flower, and grass pollens are just beginning to ramp up. That means itchy eyes, a nose that doesn’t want to inhale oxygen anymore, and that constant throat tickle that just won’t seem to give up — no matter how fervently you try to hack it up! Young and old alike, if you suffer from these seasonal pollen threats, you understand the discomfort. Last month we addressed allergies and essential oils more in depth here, so give that a read if you need a little relief.

But now we’re going to address another important body part associated with seasonal threats: Your hands! The hands that itch, that hold the tissues, that touch your sensitive, uncomfortable face and throat. They need to stay clean, otherwise your condition will just get worse. No one wants to deal with being sick and having a bad case of mid-Spring sniffles at the same time.  

The quick fix is often hand sanitizer, especially if hand soap and water isn’t available when you need it. Instead of going to the store to buy a sanitizer, which is often primarily made up of ethyl alcohol, try this quick and all-natural alternative!

DIY essential oil hand sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Pour Aloe Vera Jelly into a flip top bottle.
  2. Add 18 drops Germ Fighter OR KidSafe Germ Destroyer
  3. Shake well to mix oils.
  4. Use a dime size squirt of the gel as needed on your hands and rub in.

This is such an easy way to make your own hand sanitizer, without all of the drying properties of alcohol. And, because this recipe calls for our Aloe Vera Jelly, there isn’t even a need to add a preservative. It doesn’t get much easier than this!

DIY KidSafe® Buzz-Off Lotion Bars with EOs

DIY insect repellant essential oil lotion barsIt’s mosquito season again, which means it’s time to make a new DIY batch of buzz-off lotion bars!

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but around here it’s starting to get seriously hot and humid. That means the buzzing outdoor annoyances are coming out in full force. I spend a lot of my time outside in the garden or tending to the yard, so I really need something to help me stay pest free.

To keep myself free from those buzzing buggers, I made these lovely, natural (and KidSafe®) buzz-off lotion bars using Plant Therapy’s Shield Me Synergy.DIY KidSafe Buzz-Off Lotion Bars

DIY insect repellant essential oil lotion barsThis recipe was created for you by Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist.

Melt beeswax, butters, and almond oil together in a double boiler. Once melted, stir in your KidSafe Shield Me Synergy and vitamin E. Pour into mold and let dry.

Enjoy the outdoors, pest-free!

DIY Essential Oil Lip Balm – Perfect for Mother’s Day!

DIY Essential Oil Lip BalmGet your lips ready for a sweet springtime smile!

This DIY lip balm is a quick and easy way to keep your lips healthy and soft with all natural, nourishing products! Also, it’s another great way to say “Thank you” to the special mom of your life this Mother’s Day!

This recipe calls for our Love Vanilla Synergy. It is an exceptionally sensual blend of Vanilla Oleoresin and Ylang Ylang Complete. The warm and inviting scent of Vanilla mixed with the sweet and exotic aroma of Ylang-Ylang makes for a very enticing treat for your lips!

Just a quick note – Love Vanilla is not a KidSafe synergy. If you’re interested in making a wonderful kid-friendly lip balm, check out this blog!

DIY Essential Oil Lip Balm What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Place beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water {double boiler}
  2. Heat until melted
  3. Once melted, stir in essential oils
  4. Pour into tins or tubes
  5. Allow to cool before capping

This is a great project to do with a friend, so they can hold your lip balm tubes. This recipe cools quickly, so once you’re ready to pour, move quickly and have your friend tap the lip balm tubes to settle the mixture as you pour.

*Recipe makes enough for 3 tubes or 1 circular tin. To make more than that, please multiply by number of items you want to make.

April Essential Oil of the Month: Magnolia Flower

Meet Magnolia Flower!

While “Magnolia” may bring to mind that Grande Dame of stately floral trees that grace the South, this essential oil actually comes from another type of Magnolia, which is cultivated in China and Southeast Asia for its ornamental and aromatic beauty.[1]

April Essential Oil of the Month: Magnolia Flower

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Our Top 3 Must-Have Essential Oil Aromatherapy Accessories

Our Top 3 Must-Have Essential Oil Aromatherapy AccessoriesThere’s tons of great ways to incorporate essential oils into your life (check out THIS blog!), but some ways are simply more practical for everyday use than others.

Diffusing machines are great, but you can’t exactly enjoy the uplifting effects of Spearmint or the calming properties of Vetiver when your out and about working, socializing, running errands…basically doing anything that has you moving around and away from an electrical outlet. So, with your convenience in mind, here are a few must-have accessories for when you’ve got things to do and places to be. This way, you can easily experience the therapeutic benefits of your favorite essential oils whenever – and wherever – you actually need them!

1. Aromatherapy/Essential Oil Inhalers

Our Top 3 Must-Have Essential Oil Aromatherapy Accessories

First, aromatherapy inhalers. These convenient must-haves make wonderful travel buddies! They are small enough to carry around in a purse, briefcase, roomy pocket, or car console – just to name a few. Plant Therapy offers a 3-pack of sleek, lightweight, and colorful inhalers that you can customize to support all kinds of concerns, like feelings of nervousness or fatigue, a queasy stomach, troubles focusing, etc. Or, you can use it just to keep your favorite scents close by – like the striking smell of a Rose flower or the rich, earthy aroma of Patchouli. Inhalers are also a great way to introduce family and friends to essential oils since they’re so functional and portable.

Check out these blog for some great inhaler recipes:

 

2. Essential oil roll-on bottlesOur Top 3 Must-Have Essential Oil Aromatherapy Accessories

Like aromatherapy inhalers, essential oil roll-on bottles are a must-have accessory if you’re looking for an effortless way to use your oils any time you need to. Taking just minutes -or less- to dilute your chosen oil(s) in a carrier oil, you can now safely and easily apply it topically! Create a blend of oils or use a single oil to tackle something specific, physically or emotionally; make a premade roll-on to keep your hands silky soft, relieve some kind of body discomfort, energize you before a workout, keep you focused during work – you name it!

Since you never want to put undiluted essential oils directly onto your skin, using a carrier oil is a vital ingredient when crafting your roll-on. Fractionated Coconut Oil is a common and popular choice, but since Plant Therapy offers more than 20 different carrier oils, feel free to get creative, experiment with different carriers, and make a roll-on blend to fit your needs that is uniquely yours!

3. Plant Therapy’s Dilution Chart Magnet

Our Top 3 Must-Have Essential Oil Aromatherapy AccessoriesOne more must-have essential oil accessory: Plant Therapy’s Dilution Chart Magnet. This easy-to-understand chart will make sure that you are correctly diluting your oils. You can be sure your blends are absolutely safe to use because the dilution percentages and guidelines are approved by Plant Therapy’s Certified Aromatherapists and Robert Tisserand, an expert in essential oil safety. Give it a home on your refrigerator for a quick reference when you’re blending.

Do you have a favorite essential oil accessory? Let us know in the comments below!
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