Little Life Hacks: Essential (Oils) Gift Giving

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As we come to the end of the year when gift giving is popular, there is nothing kinder than making something special for family, friends and loved ones. It’s a double win because many products on the shelves today contain chemicals or harmful substances that our bodies are unfamiliar with and are not quite sure how to process. A present made with good intentions and quality products, in my opinion, is the way to go. As we close our Little Life Hacks series this year, I want to share one of my favorite hacks that keeps on giving and marries my love of essential oils (EOs) and natural products. From common hand creams, shampoos to natural fragrances and body scrubs, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy! 

Note: If you're curious about the basics of EOs, learn more in this blog

Exfoliating Scrub– this can be used in the shower to slough off dry skin and also promotes circulation and lymph flow (if you lightly scrub).

Ingredients

  • 5-6 tablespoons of organic sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of carrier oil*
  • ¼ cup raw local honey
  • 30 drops of essential oil - need help choosing an oil, check out this link   

*Carrier Oil options – fractionated coconut oil, jojoba, sweet almond, avocado; learn more in this video

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a glass container and blend well (you can used a recycled glass jar or a mason jar). I like jars that have wide openings for better scoopability. 
  • For use, scrub on skin while in shower before your body is wet.
  • Rinse well with warm water.

Shampoo – You can always use an organic shampoo that is free of sulfates and other harmful chemicals and simply add your essential oils to them. If you want to make your own…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Liquid Castile Soap (lavender scented or unscented is my favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba or almond carrier oil
  • 25 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend
  • 10 drops of vitamin E (for shine)
  • Optional – 5 drops carrot seed oil

Instructions

  • Mix well using a hand blender or stirring well.
  • Store in a 16 or 20-ounce glass bottle (ideally with a pump).
  • My favorite EOs to use are lavender, rosemary, geranium, eucalyptus, tea tree and peppermint. You can use solo or nice combinations are lavender and peppermint or tea tree and eucalyptus or rosemary and geranium.

Conditioner– You can always use an organic conditioner that is free of sulfates and other harmful chemicals and simply add your essential oils to them. If you want to make your own…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil
  • 25 drops EO (match it with your shampoo)
  • 2 teaspoons of guar gum (natural thickener)
  • 10 drops of vitamin E (for shine)
  • Optional – 5 drops carrot seed oil

Instructions

  • In a glass bowl or jar, mix carrier oil, guar gum and EOs.
  • Add distilled water and mix well using a hand blender or stirring well.
  • Store in a 16 or 20-ounce glass bottle (ideally with a pump).
  • Note: lavender and geranium EOs are good for dry hair.
While many essential oils have health and medicinal qualities, they also smell great and promote self-care! Click To Tweet

Body Wash – This is adult and kid-friendly.  You can make an infant wash as well using mild baby soap instead of castile soap.  If it’s an infant formula, add everything except EOs.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Liquid Castile Soap
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
  • Distilled water
  • 40 drops of EOs

Instructions

  • In an 8-ounce container, preferably glass, add all ingredients.
  • Fill remainder of container with distilled water.
  • Mix well and shake before each use.

Hand Cream – Great gift that you can place in a glass jar and add a ribbon

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Shea butter (unrefined)
  • 1/8 cup carrier oil
  • 1 tablespoon of natural beeswax
  • 15 drops EOs

Instructions

  • Place Shea butter, beeswax and carrier oil in glass jar and add this to a pan that contains 1 inch of simmering water (jar sits in pan and acts as a double boiler).
    • Note:  if you are allergic to beeswax, other options are bayberry or candelilla wax
  • As items melt, stir with wooden popsicle stick or something easy to clean or throw away afterwards.
  • When ingredients are melted, remove jar from pan and cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add EOs and stir well. Before it cools all the way, pour into the jar you want to store it in. 

Beard Oil  

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce sweet almond oil
  • ½ ounce jojoba oil (you can also simply use 1 ounce of either sweet almond or jojoba)
  • 3 drops clove, frankincense or cedar EO
  • 3 drops bergamot EO
  • 3 drops lemon EO
  • 2 drops lavender EO
  • 1 glass bottle with a dropper

 Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to glass bottle and shake well before each use.

Muscle and Pain Release  

Ingredients

  • 2-ounce glass salve jar
  • 2 ounces of carrier oil
  • 20 drops wintergreen EO
  • 10 drops turmeric EO (this can stain due to pigment of EO)
  • 15 drops peppermint EO
  • You can add liquid magnesium spray to this solution (5-10 drops); if you add this to the solution, reduce turmeric EO by 5 drops

 Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients and store in a glass jar.

Perfume

 Ingredients

  • 5 ml glass roller bottle
  • 2 drops ylang ylang EO
  • 2 drops lavender EO
  • 2 drops bergamot EO
  • Carrier oil

 Instructions

  • Add EOs to roller bottle.
  • Fill remaining space of roller bottle with carrier oil.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Use on wrists, neck, behind ears.

Cologne

 Ingredients

  • 5 ml glass roller bottle
  • 2 drops cedar EO
  • 2 drops bergamot EO
  • 2 drops patchouli or sandalwood EO
  • Carrier oil

 Instructions

  • Add EOs to roller bottle.
  • Fill remaining space of roller bottle with carrier oil.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Use on wrists, neck, behind ears.

Here is an EO gifts and recipes printable document with each recipe mentioned above.  

Essential oils have been used for centuries in various cultures.  While many have health and medicinal qualities, they also smell great and promote self-care!  Why not embrace a little creativity this holiday season (and throughout the year).  Whether you're making an essential oil body care item as a gift or for yourself, dabbling in EOs is fun!  Want more recipes, check out the practical "at-home" recipes for cleaning and also watch our 4-part series - Essential Oils for Everyone - where you'll learn the basics of essential oil use.  I hope you enjoy using your senses and being present as you embrace your creativity and curiosity.  

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About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, ND, MA, MCHES, CWHC, E-RYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author, wife and mother and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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