Bathing with Essential Oils

Using essential oils in your bath is one of the simplest and most effective ways to use them. The warmth of the water helps the skin to absorb the essential oils and their fragrance is inhaled at the same time. The very fact that a bath makes you stop and relax for a moment helps your body make the best of the essential oils and their therapeutic properties.

You can put essential oils into your bath neat but a few precautions have to be adhered to as the oils do not actually dissolve in water.

Use a maximum of 10 drops of essential oil in your bath. Six is often enough so start with six if you have very sensitive skin and only use more when you feel confident and familiar with certain oils.

Don't run the oils under the tap like bubble bath otherwise they will go up in the air with the steam as they are so volatile. Therefore pour the oils in after the water has run.

Always be careful not to sit on the oils. Some essential oils, especially citrus oils will sting if sat on. There are a few ways to make sure this doesn't happen.

1. Always put the oils in at the "tap end" of the bath.

2. Agitate the water to ensure an even distribution of the oils.

3. Don't have the water too hot.

4. Don't be tempted to add an extra drop. More is not better. These oils are extremely concentrated and a few drops go a very long way.

5. Someone once told me that a good idea was to dilute the oils first in very hot water before pouring them into your cooler bath.

6. If you want to really moisturize your skin and guard against any irritation, make a blend first with vegetable oil ( see blending) and add this to your bath.

All this makes it sound as if you shouldn't use the oils neat but I always do and I love the freedom it gives me to experiment every time. I am however aware of a few people with sensitive skin who have had stinging problems so I feel I should make you aware.

For babies it is a good idea to dilute your essential oil in a teaspoon of milk before adding to the water. Just two drops of either Lavender or Chamomile will be beautifully soothing, help promote calm and ward off germs. Again, you can use the oils neat for babies but make sure you keep the neat oil away from direct contact with their skin. Children over two and under six should have just four to six drops in the bath.

So now you know how, set the atmosphere by lighting a candle, play some relaxing music, add the oils of your choice to your bath and have a good long soak.