10 Essential Oils That Deserve A Spot In Your Summer Beach Bag

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Beautiful, sensual, and evocative, essential oils have a stunning range of health benefits, and their natural scents help us connect to our bodies, our breath, and our senses.

There are many ways to work essential oils into your summer routine. Use them to cool off your body, help you calm down before long periods of travel, and soothe your skin after too much time in the sun, pool, or salty air. Essential oils can also help you let go of all the stress that has built up in your body so you can better enjoy a restorative vacation or getaway.

Inhaling an essential oil is the fastest and most effective way to experience its many therapeutic rewards. Another way to deliver essential oils to your lungs is with a diffuser, which disperses oil throughout an enclosed space, making the air inside and outside of our bodies more breathable. You can use water to heal by combining heat and essential oils through hydrotherapy.

Applying essential oils to the skin is another way to create a significant internal effect within our bodies. (Note: Some essential oils—including all citrus oils, coriander, and ginger—are photosensitizing and can lead to sun damage if applied topically.)

Here are the 10 essential oils you can use to look and feel your summer best:

1. Lavender

The next time you find yourself with a deep cut—or its resulting scar—try including an antiseptic fix, like a couple of drops of lavender on a Band-Aid, to help heal physical wounds faster. This all-purpose oil can be used as an anti-anxiety sleep aid, a muscle relaxant, a pain reliever, an antibacterial for wounds and burns, and a topical treatment for dry skin, eczema, and insect bites.

2. Peppermint

Apply peppermint oil on the back of your neck to instantly cool off, repel bugs, and ease itching. It can also help prepare you for sleep, open your sinuses and reduce fever, and alleviate bloating and nausea.

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3. Patchouli

This oil is highly concentrated so you only need a drop in a blend, making it perfect for skin care. Use it for mature, dry, cracked, or sweaty skin, especially in the summer months. This oil is also said to elevate the mood by enhancing sensuality and sexuality.

4. Palmarosa

With its very cooling, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and cellular-regenerative properties, this oil is frequently used (with patchouli) to reduce redness. Diffuse or drop the oil on the back of your neck (with peppermint) for jet lag and to cool down after travel.

5. Sandalwood

This oil can reduce puffiness and soothe the skin after sunburn. When inhaled, it softly eases into the lungs to deepen and relax your breath.

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6. Cypress

With its slightly cooling astringent and diuretic properties, this oil is great at absorbing water. People who tend to retain water, sweat easily, have digestive issues, or have chronic congestion can use it as an allover body oil.

7. Lemon

With their cooling, antiseptic, antidepressant, diuretic, and antioxidant-loaded properties, lemon citrus oils give you a fresh feeling. Dilute them as per a body oil to treat cellulite or avoid fluid retention when traveling.

8. Grapefruit

Grapefruit oil helps relieve water retention and metabolize fats. It can also help balance your mood, soothe a sore throat, and heal topical wounds

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9. German Chamomile

With its cooling and superior anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and relaxing properties, German chamomile is great at fighting allergies.

10. Geranium

This oil can move fluids trapped in the body tissue, like those that form after flying. It’s also used for the treatment of cellulite and dry skin and can help release toxins through your sweat ducts.

Adapted from Essential Oils Every Day: Rituals and Remedies for Healing, Happiness, and Beauty by Hope Gillerman. Copyright ©2016 by Hope Gillerman. Published by HarperElixir, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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