So You’ve Got Some Oils…NOW WHAT? (Adventures of a New-bee)
Hi All! My name’s Alisa, and around here, I feel like the baby of the essential oils family! I’ve been at it for two months and before that, I had never used any essential oils. I’m learning quickly thanks to this team’s support, and you can read about my adventures over on my blog www.theessentialadventure.com. I wanted to share with you my “hit a wall” moment from a few weeks ago. It seems fairly consistent that for a lot of folks, when you get your premium starter kit, there is a moment of, “Okay, NOW WHAT?” and I ran into this myself. Here’s my tale…
Yesterday, I took a glance over these essential oils I’ve now owned for three weeks and it hits me – only about half of them have been opened. Hmmm… eleven oils, twenty-ish days, and I’ve only touched five of them? Crap. Did I really need these? (At this point, part of me panics because, if you know my husband, spending money on things that don’t work or aren’t used is not an option around here… he’s even more thrifty than me!) I push the panic out of my mind and step back. Taking another look at the ones I haven’t opened, I realize the oils that are left are the ones I am absolutely NEEDING to work for me… I mean they are the reason I got into this and I haven’t even smelled them? Again, hmmm… I need to open these things up and figure out if they will help us! …but HOW do I do that?
After a little contemplation, Pintrest surfing, and researching, I had a couple of dozen things I wanted to try with the oils, but let’s be real – I don’t have time on my hands to mess around with 24 recipes and dilution formulas – I need easy things I can do with one hand while the other arm balances an 8 month old on my hip. So here’s what I figured out –here’s how I broke free of the ‘What do I do with these?’ conundrum and by the end of the day I had opened and used the rest of my oils.
- Diffuse Something– my diffuser arrived only three days after the oils came (fyi-the diffuser is the contraption that makes the oils airborne without heating them so their beneficial properties are maintained, but you get a nice aroma to ease your way into using an oil) I diffused Thieves because I was feeling a little tickle in my throat which for me, is usually only about two days ahead of a full-blown cold. (Side note – by the end of the day, the throat-tickle was gone!) I really liked doing this with Thieves because it has a really strong aroma if you smell it out of the bottle, but when it’s diffused, it fills your house with a warm, spicy aroma that I really enjoyed – especially when it’s functional, too. Any of the kit oils can be diffused, so this was a great way to try something new.
- Apply Something ‘Neat’– that’s right, it’s like you’re ordering an adult beverage… ‘neat’ just means nothing added. PLEASE NOTE – not every oil can (or should) be applied ‘neat’. MOST oils need to be diluted at least 50/50 with a ‘carrier oil.’ That means for one drop of essential oil, you need to mix in one drop of regular oil (like coconut oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil…even a good olive oil). Also, if you’re worried about skin-sensitivity issues, dilute the essential oil even more and apply it to a test area first. I just took the Frankincense oil, put a couple of drops in my hand, and applied it to my face instead of my normal face moisturizer. The essential oil was instantly absorbed into my skin and it felt just as dry as it had before. For a moment, I thought it hadn’t worked, but about two minutes later my face felt hydrated and smooth – not at all oily like I thought it would have after putting oil on it. As the minutes rolled by I was more and more impressed – my crazy combination skin felt like skin I’d only dreamed of having! Love it!!
- Dilute Something for Later – Let’s face it – if it’s not ready to be used when I need it, I’ll probably reach for something else. And like I said before, most of the oils need to be diluted… it’s not that you’ll melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if you don’t dilute, but the oil is potent enough to overwhelm your system, especially when you’re just starting with them. Since I have kiddos, dilution is an even bigger deal if I want to use the oils to benefit them, so the easiest way to do that is to prep it in advance. It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. I just took 6 drops of Lavender in a glass container and added 2 ounces of sweet almond oil. Done. I didn’t even know what I would use it for, but by the end of the day, I had applied it to some eczema, cradle cap, dry skin, and a big-ole bruise that my youngest acquired in her latest ‘crash-and-burn-‘cuz-I’m-learning-to-walk’ moment. This is sure to be one of the favorites.
- Make Something– don’t worry! Like I said, I don’t have time to make dozens of different recipes either! Trying to find a concoction for each situation I had in mind is not realistic for the time I have to devote to this stuff. There may be days where I am feeling especially creative and adventurous and you might see a post about something frivolous and less than practical, but today is not that day. I came up with an idea of using a base lotion/cream recipe that can be made in a big batch and then portioned off to make multiple mixtures. Here’s what I did…
1 cup Shea Butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
That’s right, only two ingredients. Now take these and melt them in a double boiler. I just took the bowl from my stand mixer, and put it inside a saucepan about half full of water. Put this on your stove over med-hi heat to melt.
Once it starts to melt, you can either sit there and watch it continue to melt, being careful to not boil your ingredients, or you can be like me and turn off your burner, leave the whole set up on the stove for 15 minutes while you fix toddler, baby, and yourself lunch, and let the hot water bath do all the work. The picture below is what it looked like when I turned off the heat and walked away.
I came back to it after 15 minutes and it was completely melted. Give it a quick stir and pop it into your freezer to cool down and firm up a little. After about 30 minutes mine looked like the pic below – firm around the edges, but was not-quite set up in the middle. If you forget about it in the freezer, just pop it back on your double boiler and melt it again. No worries.
At this point, put the whisk attachment on your stand mixer and turn it on medium speed. At first it will look like this…
In just a few seconds, it will start to get air in it and turn white. You’ll want to stop the mixer 2-3 times to scrape down the sides of your bowl to make sure everything gets incorporated, but just keep mixing until it’s fluffy. It will look like cake frosting.
Base mix is done!! Now, you can dish it out into smaller bowls and add the essential oils of your choice. The possibilities are endless, but I made three things…
- Added 5 drops Peace & Calming to 2 oz. Base Mix for a nighttime lotion for the kiddos. I used it that night and my baby, who usually wakes up screaming and frightened 3-4 times each night, only woke up twice and in a very gentle, reasonable manner.
- Added 20 drops of Frankincense to 2 oz. Base Mix for a face cream for myself. It may not seem like you’re making a lot of lotion, but you actually have to use much less than conventional lotions to get the same result. I usually use a dime-size helping of regular lotion, but with this, I only need a pea-sized portion – maybe less.
- Added 20 drops of Stress Away to 12 oz. Base Mix for an awesome body butter. Stress Away smells like a vanilla and lime tropical vacation and it does just what the name implies – takes your stress away. I like it because it doesn’t necessarily make you tired, just helps dispel excess pressure so you can focus on doing what you need to do.
And that’s it! One recipe – three helpful products, and you could certainly (and easily) do more with it! Going into my “what do I do now” moment, I was baffled and overwhelmed, but with a little inspiration, I am gradually getting to look more and more like a seasoned pro!
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