Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the craze of essential oils that is taking the country by storm. However, you may not be too clear on what exactly essential oils are or aware of the myriad of options you have for using them. Beyond the traditional essential oil diffuser are plenty of methods to add essential oils into your everyday routine. These can include applying the essential oils to your skin using a cotton ball or spray bottle or by inhalation. However, there is another easy to use option available to you! You can easily reap the benefits of essential oils by incorporating them into your shower.
What are essential oils?
An essential oil is the essence of a plant after its leaves have gone through a mechanical distillation process. The distillation process can occur in several different ways; the three most common methods are steam distillation, expression, and supercritical CO2 extraction. Distillation refers to using steam to vaporize the leaves and separate the critical chemicals from the rest of the plant material. Expression is a more manual method that involves scraping away the peel of a plant - such as a lemon - to release the oils. Finally, supercritical CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide as a solvent and results in holding more of the original chemical molecules found in the plant than the other two extraction options. Each extraction results in different chemical compositions based on the plant which affects the smell and composition as well as the resulting effects on the body, as is to be expected.
Some of the most common essential oils include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, lemongrass, rose, and frankincense. You can buy them in a variety of forms from a bottle to an essential oil bath pouch and many other options. For more information on the ins and outs of essential oils, For more information on the ins and outs of essential oils and the exact processes used to produce them, check out this article from the University of Minnesota.
What are the benefits of essential oils?
Essential oils come with a multitude of benefits in everyday life; that's why they have such a cult following! Let's explore some of the most common benefits of everyday essential oils.
Essential oils can ease anxiety.
With just under 20% of the U.S. population officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in the past year, not to mention the everyday anxieties that plague nearly everyone, it's safe to assume that any natural way to reduce anxious thoughts during the day is welcome. And essential oils such as lavender and bergamot can do that. How, you may ask? First of all, the use of aromatherapy with essential oils can calm you simply by having strong but pleasant odors distract and relieve your overwhelmed senses. Secondly, the chemicals present in many essential oils can enter your bloodstream and help to balance out your hormonal levels that may be out of proportion as well as decreasing the activity of your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for panic reactions.
Essential oils can reduce pain and inflammation.
This goes for everything from nasal inflammation, which can cause congestion, to skin flare-ups to digestive inflammation. These maladies can be targeted with peppermint and eucalyptus oils, among others. Essential oils such as peppermint and frankincense can be used to relieve arthritic pain and other pain stemming from the joints. Do you ever struggle with headaches? Then try out rosemary or lavender essential oils. Just make sure to read the specific instructions for any essential oil you purchase and be careful if you decide to apply any directly to your skin, lest you get an unexpected reaction. It's always a good idea to test it out on a small patch of skin first.
Essential oils create an uplifting atmosphere and can improve your mood and energy levels.
Who doesn't want to wake up more inspired and refreshed each morning? I know I do! With the help of essential oils such as eucalyptus, jasmine, and rosemary, you can naturally (and safely) stimulate your brain, improve your mood, and even boost cognitive function levels. This sounds particularly helpful to me, as a college student when sometimes being fully awake and ready to be productive for those 8am classes is a struggle. However, no matter your season of life, we can all agree that having a restful fragrance positively impacting your brain is a no-brainer plus.
How can I add essential oils to my shower?
Now that you've heard about the numerous benefits of essential oils as well as their natural sourcing, you're probably wondering even more how you can add essential oils to your showering experience. Good news! There are a variety of options. You can use a spray bottle to douse a washcloth in the essential oil of your choice and put it in an area of the shower where it will be reached by steam without being completely soaked and removed of its essential oils prematurely. You can also consider purchasing a bath salt soak to hang over your showerhead or bathtub drain that will gradually release essential oils during your bathing time.
For a slightly more of a statement piece, you might consider getting a fresh eucalyptus bundle for use in your shower; for more information on how to effectively add a bundle to your showering space, check out our previous blog post here. Another idea for using essential oils in your shower is to take a bowl, fill it partways with water, add 10 or so drops of your selected essential oil, and place it in the shower but not in the direct flow of water. As the steam builds, you'll be able to feel the essential oils seeping into the air.
What essential oils should I use in my shower?
There aren't any specific essential oils that you should avoid using in your shower. However, there are a few with benefits that might be particularly applicable to your bathing routine. For example, a lavender bundle with its calming properties can be particularly helpful as you unwind after the end of a long day while the use of jasmine can help jumpstart the day as you take a quick wake-up shower. If you have chronic pain or headaches, consider using a rosemary bundle or peppermint essential oils to get some proactive relief. As you can see, there are endless opportunities and combinations for you to explore as you search for the perfect essential oils to include in your shower.
At Self-Care Shower, we offer everything from bath pouches to bundles made with your showerhead in mind. The choices are endless! Treat yourself to the gracious scent of essential oils permeating your showering experience and enjoy all of the benefits that come from being in its presence by incorporating natural essential oils into your bathroom today.
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