Friday, April 2, 2010

Essential Oils and Skin Care: Bugs

 Continuing our series: 

Today I would like to begin a more in depth look at the use of Essential Oils in skin care.
When I originally started this piece, I planned to do it in one week. After looking at my outline though, I actually have several topics under the Skin Care/Essential Oils umbrella. I could either make one extremely long piece or I can divide it into smaller posts. That is what I have decided to do. 

It is truly incredible when you realize just how many benefits Essential Oils have, especially in skin care. They can be used to treat everything from acne and anti-aging to athletes foot, from sunburn and mosquito bites to warts. I realize discussing warts is far from glamorous, but there really is no limit to how many different types of conditions can be helped by the use of essential oils.

I actually have chosen today's topic because it's one most of us will encounter as we head into the warmer months: mosquito bites. In fact, today while I was outdoors with my boys, there was a whole family of tiny mosquitoes lurking around already. I have a couple bits on my arms and they were "bugging" the kids as well.

As we head into summer, Mosquitos are appearing more frequently. I know in the evening if I am sitting out and am near my hedges at all that those little buggers fly out and bite me. When the boys are bitten, they scratch in their sleep and wind up with big marks.

If you've checked out the ingredients, though, in the most popular bug repellants, you feel as though you're caught between a rock and a hard place. You don't want to suffer from itchy mosquito bites, but you also don't want to spray yourself (or your precious children )with formaldehyde releasers and potentially contaminated with 1,4 Dioxane (as found in the 
Avon Skin So Soft IR3535 Bug Guard) or DEET (as seen in many OFF products).

So what can you do? Make your own!

I have been using this mixture for the past few springs and summers and it really works. I actually just made up a batch this afternoon for sitting out in the evening.

Here is what you will need:

*Lemon or Lemongrass, Rose Geranium, Cedarwood & Citronella Essential Oils

*Vodka (any kind, no need to splurge for this recipe)

This one is super easy. If you don't want to order the Essential Oils online and have to wait a few days for them to arrive (if you need it for this weekend, for example), go to your natural foods store and buy them there. Otherwise, I do suggest Mountain Rose Herbs for quality Essential Oils.

This recipe is one to eye ball. You absolutely do not have to have a certain number of drops to get it right. You just need a ratio of about 10 parts vodka to 1 part essential oils. How much of each oil? I am heavier on the citronella and rose geranium. It really doesn't matter, which is great if you're low on a certain oil.

I am using a 4 ounce bottle for this today. I am eyeballing it--it's about 2.5 tbsp. of essential oils to a cup of vodka. I keep this in either a cobalt or amber spray bottle. Store out of direct sunlight (a dark cabinet is fine).

Combine by shaking gently. Now you have a gentle bug spray! Spritz on skin and in air. Avoid getting it in the eyes, as with any product. Please do not consume orally.

This also does well at repelling other bugs, like no see-ums, flies, sand gnats, ticks, and more.

Next week, I will discuss the use of Essential Oils to treat oily and acne prone skin.

Note: I am sure the question, "Will I smell like vodka?" may have crossed some readers' minds. The answer? No. Vodka is nearly colorless and odorless to begin with. Once the Essential Oils are added, their scent will take over. I am recommending vodka for this because the alcohol in it both stabilizes the  scent of the oils, as well as helps preserve the shelf life of the formula. If you do not have vodka in the house, distilled water will be fine, but will need to be thrown out after a few short weeks.


Karley Ziegler Mott

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  1. Nowadays, bugs and other insects are everywhere. That's why there's a need for you to take care of your skin and health by using essential oils and skin care products.

    pest exterminator

  2. Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this topic so thoroughly. I look forward to future post.

    Essential Oils



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