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How to Use Aromatherapy

How to Make Cosmetic Aromatherapy Preparations

Pamper yourself with the luxurious feeling of aromatherapy skin care facials. Once you've discovered how beautiful they make you feel, you might want to make it a weekly treat. And you even may want to invite your friends over for an afternoon of preparing and applying a whole skin care regime.

Your afternoon could begin with a mask of cosmetic clay. While waiting for the clay to dry, you can massage each other's feet using scented massage oil. When the clay is dry, rinse it off with warm water and follow with an oatmeal scrub. Then enjoy a relaxing facial steam. Spray your face with a fine aromatic water, and while your skin is still moist, apply a soothing cream or lotion. Finish with a drop of essential oil perfume. Preparation formulas for these skin care processes and others follow.

Aromatic Waters

Scented waters treat many different skin problems, such as acne and burns, and are also used cosmetically as a skin-freshener. The essential oils they contain are so diluted that aromatic waters can be applied directly onto sensitive areas of the face. They are perfect for making herbal compresses for injured skin or for complexion problems. Although different from hydrosols, which are the more expensive by-products of distilling essential oils, these aromatic waters work wonderfully in their own right. Add 5-10 drops of fragrant essential oils to 4 ounces of water or aloe vera juice.

Aromatic Bath

Bathing offers the most relaxing and luxurious way to take your medicine! Since stress makes you more susceptible to disease, an herbal bath may be the most important herbal treatment we have. Not only is the bath relaxing, it allows the medicinal essential oils to be absorbed gently over a large area of the body. Baths are also useful in treating certain skin problems and muscle pains. The essential oil-laden steam that rises off an aromatherapy bath can double as an inhalant for lung and sinus congestion.

The easiest way to create an aromatherapy bath is to add 3 to 5 drops of essential oils directly to your bath water. Add them after you run the water so they won’t evaporate too quickly, and be sure to swirl the oils around before you get in. Avoid using more than one drop of hot oils such as peppermint, and go easy on the citrus oils, especially orange, for the same reason. Want to make your bathing experience even more deluxe?

  • 1/2 teaspoon essential oil (your choice)
  • 1 ounce vegetable oil

Combine ingredients. Use 1 teaspoon per bath. For babies, use only 1 drop in a basin. This is especially good for dry skin. When you emerge, your body is covered with a light film of fragrant oil that lasts for hours. It also keeps your skin from becoming dry or itchy after bathing.

Cosmetic Clay

Bentonite or cosmetic clay, which are available at natural food stores in boxes and in bulk, can be used as a facial mask for tightening the skin. To prepare, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of distilled water to 1 tablespoon of clay to make it into a paste. (Usually one part water to two parts clay will do.) Add 3 drops of essential oil and stir in well. Pat over your face, let dry, and then wash off with warm water. Clay can also be used medicinally for drawing out bee stings or for drying rashes and pimples.

Aromatherapy Cream

You can turn any basic cream or lotion into an aromatherapeutic product. Start with an unscented cream, and stir in 3-6 drops essential oil for every ounce of cream or lotion -- or make your own cream from scratch:


  • 1 cup oil
  • 3/4 ounce beeswax (22 grams), shaved
  • 1 cup distilled water, warm
  • 30 to 50 drops essential oils

Making cream is very similar to making mayonnaise -- the proportions need to be fairly exact for it to come out right. Carefully melt the shaved beeswax in the oil on the stove. Cool it so that you can put your finger in a oil without discomfort. Put the lid on your blender with the center cap removed. Pour the warm water into the blender through a funnel (using a wide mouth funnel reduces splattering). Turn the blender on high speed, and add the oil/beeswax mixture slowly and evenly. It should begin to thicken after about three fourths of the oil has been added. This is a good time to add the essential oils. When all of the oil has been added, you will have a thick, beautiful cream. Pour the cream into wide-mouth jars. The cream will last at least a month if kept in a cool place. Storing it in the refrigerator will prolong its shelf life for several months.

Aromatherapy Lotion

Making lotion is a little trickier than cream, but it can certainly be done in your kitchen. Use the following ingredients, and follow these instructions given for making cream:


  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 ounce beeswax, shaved (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup distilled water, warm
  • 30 drops essential oils

Do not cut these recipes or there will not be enough liquid to cover the blender's blades.
To vary the recipe, the water portion of your cream can be any one, or a combination, of water-soluble ingredients such as aloe vera juice, rose water, or a strong herbal tea.

Aromatherapy Underarm Deodorant

The most important action of any deodorant is to kill bacteria, which essential oils do very well. By making your own deodorant, you can soothe rash and irritation (try Roman chamomile) and avoid the use of harsh, pore-blocking ingredients found in commercial products.


  • 15 drops lavender
  • 5 drops sage oil
  • 5 drops coriander
  • 2 ounces aloe vera juice or witch hazel

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.
This will keep at least a year.

Aromatherapy Perfume

Commercial perfumes only imitate the glory of nature. Why not wear a bit of nature itself as your personal fragrance? Apply one undiluted drop of nonirritating essential oil to a spot where your pulse beats, such as your inner wrist or behind the ear, and the warmth generated will help spread the scent. You might want to start with floral oils, such as lavender or geranium, or one of the aromatic woods, such as sandalwood. Some people prefer the wild scent of patchouli. Others splurge on the more pricey rose, jasmine, or neroli (orange blossom), all of which are found in expensive perfumes.

Aromatherapy Lip Balm

Protect your lips from drying wind and cold conditions by using soothing lip balm. Heal chapped lips and keep them kissable while enjoying natural flavors such as tangerine, lemon, peppermint, rose, or even anise, by using the following recipe:


  • 1/4 cup of your favorite oil
  • 1/4 ounce beeswax, shaved
  • 10 drops essential oil

Warm the oil in a pan and add the beeswax. Stir until the wax melts. Add essential oils after the salve cools just a bit so the oils do not evaporate. Store the balm in a snap top "lip balm" container, which are sold in drugstores and camping supply shops. They may also be available at your natural food store.

Lip balm will last at least a year unless you keep it in a warm place such as your car.

Aromatherapy Facial Steam

A facial steam will open the pores of your face, making your skin feel dewy soft as it takes on a radiant, youthful pink glow. Bring one quart of water to a simmer, remove from heat, and add 15 drops of essential oils. (Try five drops each of lavender, rosemary, and geranium.) Keeping your head about 12 inches above the pan, place a towel over the back of your head and secure the ends around the pan to capture the steam in a miniature sauna. Be sure to keep your eyes closed so they won’t become irritated. Steam for a few minutes, then lift your head and take a breath of fresh air as needed. Go back under the towel and repeat a few times. Do this for no longer than five or ten minutes -- less if you have sensitive skin.

Aromatherapy Skin Scrub

Grind 3 tablespoons of oatmeal with 1 tablespoon cornmeal in an electric coffee grinder. Store powder in a closed container. To use the scrub, moisten 1 teaspoon with enough aromatic water, tea, or hydrosol to make a paste. Apply to dampened face. Gently scrub and rinse with warm water.

Next, we will look at some aromatherapy preparations for the home.

To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:

  • Aromatherapy: Here you will learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
  • How Essential Oils Work: In this article, you will learn how essential oils are produced, the difference between essential oils, and how to buy and store essential oils.
  • How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
  • Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
  • Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.