10 Brilliant Ways to Use Essential Oils in Your Everyday Life

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Essential oil lavender and orange dry on a wooden table, top view

Essential oils are having a moment. Devotees have long praised essential oils for their therapeutic properties. Now these products, which are simply oils extracted from plants, have gone mainstream. You can pick up essential oils in the grocery store. But what to do with them? Uh... a lot. Prepare for good smells ahead.

Credit: Anatoliy Sizov/E+/GettyImages

Essential oils are having a moment. Devotees have long praised essential oils for their therapeutic properties. Now these products, which are simply oils extracted from plants, have gone mainstream. You can pick up essential oils in the grocery store. But what to do with them? Uh... a lot. Prepare for good smells ahead.

Enhance Your Baths

Towels, aromatic oils and orchid next to bathtub

Life is short; take all the blissful bath experiences you can get. Soaking in a comfortable tub is one of the easiest ways to practice self care at the end of a long day, and incorporating essential oils will make you forget you're in your own bathroom and not at a luxe spa. Add a few drops of lavender or rose oil to a spoonful of carrier oil like coconut oil, then drizzle the mixture into the warm bath. These essential oils can also be used in homemade bath bombs.

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Life is short; take all the blissful bath experiences you can get. Soaking in a comfortable tub is one of the easiest ways to practice self care at the end of a long day, and incorporating essential oils will make you forget you're in your own bathroom and not at a luxe spa. Add a few drops of lavender or rose oil to a spoonful of carrier oil like coconut oil, then drizzle the mixture into the warm bath. These essential oils can also be used in homemade bath bombs.

Deodorize Stinky Spots

Kitchen bin with out of date food

Hey, trash smells — that's what it's known for. Douse a cotton ball with lemongrass or tea tree oil and tuck it in the bottom of the trash can, where it will mask smells until trash day. If you're like most people, you probably have a few other stinky zones in your home, like wherever your sneakers are kept. Make a deodorizing spray with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of essential oils and spritz it inside smelly shoes.

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Hey, trash smells — that's what it's known for. Douse a cotton ball with lemongrass or tea tree oil and tuck it in the bottom of the trash can, where it will mask smells until trash day. If you're like most people, you probably have a few other stinky zones in your home, like wherever your sneakers are kept. Make a deodorizing spray with rubbing alcohol and a few drops of essential oils and spritz it inside smelly shoes.

Spritz Your Yoga Mat

Close up woman practicing yoga on yoga mat with foot between hands

Picture it: You're holding an especially hard yoga pose, trying to relax rather than grimace, when you catch a whiff of soothing lavender. Spritzing your yoga mat with essential oils is an easy way to engage your sense of smell while enjoying your yoga practice. Make a simple spray using water and a few drops of an oil that won't irritate the skin; tea tree and rose oils are both good options. After spritzing the mat, wipe it down thoroughly so the oil droplets don't make the mat slippery.

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Picture it: You're holding an especially hard yoga pose, trying to relax rather than grimace, when you catch a whiff of soothing lavender. Spritzing your yoga mat with essential oils is an easy way to engage your sense of smell while enjoying your yoga practice. Make a simple spray using water and a few drops of an oil that won't irritate the skin; tea tree and rose oils are both good options. After spritzing the mat, wipe it down thoroughly so the oil droplets don't make the mat slippery.

Create DIY Cleaning Spray

Air / furniture freshener

Prefer DIY cleaning sprays over the chemical-laden type you find in stores? Vinegar will get surfaces clean, but it doesn't smell great on its own. Adding essential oils is a simple solution. Citrus oil is an especially good choice for this, as are lavender and tea tree oils.

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Prefer DIY cleaning sprays over the chemical-laden type you find in stores? Vinegar will get surfaces clean, but it doesn't smell great on its own. Adding essential oils is a simple solution. Citrus oil is an especially good choice for this, as are lavender and tea tree oils.

Scent Cards and Letters

Woman reading valentine card

Few people write letters and handwritten cards anymore. But we all love receiving them, right? You could become the person in your family or friend group who sends correspondence through the mail. While you're developing this old-school habit, go a step further and spritz the paper with an essential oil spray. Call it your signature scent.

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Few people write letters and handwritten cards anymore. But we all love receiving them, right? You could become the person in your family or friend group who sends correspondence through the mail. While you're developing this old-school habit, go a step further and spritz the paper with an essential oil spray. Call it your signature scent.

Soothe Sore Muscles

I really felt that workout

You've been working hard, and your body might be protesting. Oils including peppermint and eucalyptus can be useful in easing aches and pains. Experts generally don't recommend putting essential oils directly on the skin, largely because some types can cause irritation. Dilute the oils well by adding just five or six drops to an ounce of a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Do a test on a small patch of skin first, and if you have no adverse reaction, rub it over achy joints and sore muscles.

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You've been working hard, and your body might be protesting. Oils including peppermint and eucalyptus can be useful in easing aches and pains. Experts generally don't recommend putting essential oils directly on the skin, largely because some types can cause irritation. Dilute the oils well by adding just five or six drops to an ounce of a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Do a test on a small patch of skin first, and if you have no adverse reaction, rub it over achy joints and sore muscles.

Bring Real Scent to Fake Flowers

Flower Wall

Fresh flowers brighten up your whole space... but have you seen how much they cost? Save fresh blooms as an occasional treat and instead, make a cost-effective floral display using silk and other artificial flowers. When you're happy with the arrangement, spray it with rose oil diluted in water. Administer another spritz whenever the scent starts to fade.

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Fresh flowers brighten up your whole space... but have you seen how much they cost? Save fresh blooms as an occasional treat and instead, make a cost-effective floral display using silk and other artificial flowers. When you're happy with the arrangement, spray it with rose oil diluted in water. Administer another spritz whenever the scent starts to fade.

Curb Cravings

Woman holding essential oil bottle

If you need some help resisting food cravings, you're far from alone. Enlist essential oils the next time you're tempted to gorge on candy. Peppermint oil in particular is said to help curb sugar cravings. Use it in a diffuser after dinner, or whenever you're most likely to experience those cravings.

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If you need some help resisting food cravings, you're far from alone. Enlist essential oils the next time you're tempted to gorge on candy. Peppermint oil in particular is said to help curb sugar cravings. Use it in a diffuser after dinner, or whenever you're most likely to experience those cravings.

Make Skin-Softening Body Powder

Nothing's going to hold her back now!

We all want skin that's silky smooth and smells good, too. Skip the pricy lotions and creams and instead, make a batch of homemade body powder. With simple ingredients like cornstarch and a few drops of an essential oil you love, it takes just minutes to create your own powder. Dust it on areas where you tend to sweat.

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We all want skin that's silky smooth and smells good, too. Skip the pricy lotions and creams and instead, make a batch of homemade body powder. With simple ingredients like cornstarch and a few drops of an essential oil you love, it takes just minutes to create your own powder. Dust it on areas where you tend to sweat.

Quiet Anxiety

Woman inhaling over a bowl

When everything feels overwhelming and you need to calm your mind and body, essential oils can help. Lavender, rose and chamomile oils are popular choices for people with anxiety. The next time a wave of anxiety hits, put one of those oils in a diffuser, or make your own steamer by adding a few drops of oil to a bowl of just-boiled water. Put a towel over your head and hold your face several inches above the water, then focus on your breathing while the scented steam wafts over you.

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When everything feels overwhelming and you need to calm your mind and body, essential oils can help. Lavender, rose and chamomile oils are popular choices for people with anxiety. The next time a wave of anxiety hits, put one of those oils in a diffuser, or make your own steamer by adding a few drops of oil to a bowl of just-boiled water. Put a towel over your head and hold your face several inches above the water, then focus on your breathing while the scented steam wafts over you.

How to Dilute Rosemary Oil

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