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8 REASONS THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT DIY AROMATHERAPY

If you are someone who enjoys scent for the sensual experience it is, DIY aromatherapy is an enjoyable way to indulge your passion. There are many easy and fun products you can make to replace store-bought versions. But beyond that, there are a number of good reasons to add aromatherapy to your life.

1- To reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in your home. You know those movies where someone assembles a bomb out of a few household cleaning products or makes a flamethrower out of an aerosol spray can? There’s a reason rubber gloves were invented. The chemicals in many household products cause skin irritation, and repeated inhalation of noxious fumes can cause respiratory problems. Even more important, if you have children in your home, using DIY products based on essential oils rather than synthetic substances lessens the chance of an accidental poisoning.

2- Aromatherapy products are cost-effective. For the cost of one bottle of brightly colored window cleaner, you can make gallons of the DIY equivalent using water, white vinegar, and the essential oil(s) of your choice. Pine- and lemon-scented cleansers and polishes can be whipped up in minutes and will make your house truly smell fresh. DIY aroma-therapy products are not only cheaper than commercial products but also are often more effective, which is a win-win any day.

3- Aromatherapy products do double (or even triple) duty. Essential oils put the “multi” in multipurpose. Many have a whole medicine kit of properties, including analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and more. Lavender oil, for instance, is well known for its anxiety-soothing, sleep-inducing properties. But it also is an essential component of the disinfectant blend known as “Thieves’ Oil,” a combination of essential oils so powerful it was used in the Middle Ages to protect against the plague. Lavender is also an excellent ingredient for giving linens a sweet, fresh smell and adds a lovely floral scent to add to cosmetic products.

4- Aromatherapy products can be a safe, nonaddictive alternative to over-the-counter medicines. While this book does not advocate replacing traditional medicine with aromatherapy, essential oil treatments do not come with the list of side effects associated with conventional medicines: When used for headache relief, they won’t cause kidney damage the way some common pain-relief remedies do. Lavender preparations to alleviate insomnia and peppermint oil spray to sharpen focus and lift spirits will not lead to dangerous dependencies. Moreover, if you make your own products, you know exactly what’s in them.

5- You control the quality of the products you use. There are all sorts of sales ploys used to convince us the products we buy and use are safe but even broad labels like “natural” can be misleading or even downright deceptive because there are no regulations about the use of similar terms. If you make your own products you know the quality of the essential oils and carrier oils you’re using and you don’t have to guess. 3

6- Essential oils are cruelty-free. As a conscious consumer, it’s good to know that the ingredients in the products you use—particularly cosmetics—are cruelty-free. Despite years of bad press and public shaming, some mega-companies are still testing their products on animals, blinding them (and worse) in the name of beauty.

7- You can have a “signature scent.” One scent does not fit all and even a store that stocks a wide range of cosmetics and bath products may not have a scent that draws you in. Why settle for a generic lemon scent when you can make your own Meyer lemon body scrub or a shampoo scented with blood orange instead of the more common “sweet orange” scent? Experimenting at home with oils is an affordable and fun way to create your own signature scent.

8- Aromatherapy products make great gifts. Homemade gifts really are the most personal way to mark an occasion and if you’re on a budget, they allow you to offer the gift of luxury for pennies on the dollar. The basic ingredients for a pint of decadently desirable hand lotion, for example, can cost less than a bottle of no-name “pink” lotion from the nearest drug store. Handmade candles made with natural waxes, FDA-approved colorings for use in drugs and cosmetics (D&C), and lead-free wicks are not only fragrant and festive but also much healthier and cheaper than those pricey pillars you can buy. They might smell lovely, but who knows what you’re inhaling along with the scent?

CARRIER OILS

 With just a few exceptions, essential oils need to be diluted before they are applied to the skin or inhaled. Most commonly, they are combined with carrier oils, although you may also dilute them in alcohol, gels, and liquid soap, or add them to water for specific projects.

Carrier oils come in a wide variety of weights and prices. One of the most affordable and readily available carrier oils is olive oil, but its strong fragrance isn’t ideal for use in formulas with delicate scents. Fortunately, plenty of other options exist, including plain old (inexpensive) safflower oil, which you can find near the salad dressing in any supermarket.

Six of the most affordable and versatile carrier oils are:

1- Grapeseed oil, which is particularly good for those with sensitive skin because it’s naturally nonallergenic. Because it is so affordable, it is also great for use in large quantities, such as for massage therapy. Grapeseed oil has a shelf life of between 6 and 12 months. Refrigeration may make it last a bit longer.

2- Sweet almond oil is practical for all skin types and has a light, nutty odor that does not conflict with most blends. It works well as a massage blend, or in some cosmetic applications. It is extremely affordable and has a shelf-life (unrefrigerated) of about 12 months.

3- Rosehip seed oil is considered a dry oil because it absorbs in the skin so quickly. It’s not great for massage, but is wonderful in cosmetic applications for dry and aging skin, but not for acne-prone skin. It is more expensive and more perishable than some of the other carrier oils. Rosehip oil needs to be refrigerated because of its propensity to rancidity, and it lasts about 3 months, so buy it in small quantities if you plan to use it. Don’t use it if you have oily skin.

4- Apricot kernel oil is reasonably affordable and great for dry or very dry skin. It works well in cosmetic applications. It is high in essential fatty acids and contains vitamins A and E, which are wonderful antioxidants for mature skin. Because of its light peach color, it may stain clothing. It has a shelf life of about 12 months and doesn’t require refrigeration.

5- Jojoba oil is unique in that it is a carrier oil that remains shelf stable for a very long time—2 to 3 years in most cases. The skin also absorbs it very well, so it’s great for cosmetic use.

6- Coconut oil has its own, relatively strong coconut fragrance. However, because it is a solid at room temperature, it’s wonderful for creating salves. To use it with essential oils, you need to melt it and mix in the essential oils, and then allow it to return to a solid at room temperature. It is shelf stable for 2 to 3 years, and works well in cosmetic and alternative health applications.

Six of the most affordable and versatile carrier oils are:

1- Grapeseed oil, which is particularly good for those with sensitive skin because it’s naturally non-allergenic. Because it is so affordable, it is also great for use in large quantities, such as for massage therapy. Grapeseed oil includes a time period of between half a dozen and twelve months. Refrigeration may make it last a bit longer.

2- Sweet almond oil is practical for all skin types and has a light, nutty odor that does not conflict with most blends. It works well as a massage blend or in some cosmetic applications. It is extremely affordable and has a shelf-life (unrefrigerated) of about 12 months.

3- Rosehip seed oil is considered a dry oil because it absorbs in the skin so quickly. It’s not great for massage, but is wonderful in cosmetic applications for dry and aging skin, but not for acne-prone skin. It is dearer and a lot of destructible than a number of the opposite carrier oils. Rosehip oil needs to be refrigerated because of its propensity to rancidity, and it lasts about 3 months, so buy it in small quantities if you plan to use it. Don’t use it if you have oily skin.

4- Apricot kernel oil is reasonably affordable and great for dry or very dry skin. It works well in cosmetic applications. It is high in essential fatty acids and contains vitamins A and E, which are wonderful antioxidants for mature skin. Because of its light-weight peach color, it may stain clothing. It has a time period of regarding twelve months and doesn’t need refrigeration.

5- Jojoba oil is unique in that it is a carrier oil that remains shelf-stable for a very long time—2 to 3 years in most cases. The skin also absorbs it very well, so it’s great for cosmetic use.

6- Coconut oil has its own, relatively strong coconut fragrance. However, because it is a solid at room temperature, it’s wonderful for creating salves. To use it with essential oils, you need to melt it and mix in the essential oils, and then allow it to return to a solid at room temperature. It is shelf-stable for two to three years and works well in cosmetic and various health applications.


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