Looking for an easy way to get the body-beautifying and mood-enhancing benefits of essential oils? Bath bombs and shower bursts are a great option: they release a veritable explosion of refreshing, rejuvenating essences as you bathe. Here are five oils to solve all your skin woes.
Banish bacne with lemongrass oil.
Antimicrobial compounds in the tropical plant kill acne-causing bacteria, while its astringent properties remove the oil, dirt and toxins that clog pores and lead to breakouts. An added perk: The grass oil’s light scent has a sedative effect that has been proven to decrease anxiety triggers in the brain.
Revive dull skin with lemon oil.
The fruit’s oil is packed with vitamin C and citric acid that work together to encourage skin cell renewal and restore skin’s glow. What’s more, just smelling its citrusy aroma can increase energy levels by 21 percent within two minutes.
Soothe rashy skin with lavender oil.
“Potent anti-inflammatory properties in the herb’s oil readily absorb into skin, helping to reduce redness and irritation fast,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules. Lavender essential oils also contain compounds that shrink dilated blood vessels to help transform a ruddy appearance into one that’s even-toned and radiant. Plus, studies show that inhaling lavender’s ultra-calming sweet scent decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol to leave you feeling peaceful in seconds.
Beat bloat with spearmint oil.
Invigorating menthol in the minty leaf ’s oil helps boost circulation and blood flow. This encourages the body to flush out stagnant fluids and release the trapped toxins that lead to swelling in the face, hands, belly and legs, says Dr. Jaliman. Even better? Research has also found that inhaling the scent not only calms the nerves but can also be as effective at soothing headaches and migraines as taking overthe- counter acetaminophen.
One to try: Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Eucalyptus and Spearmint Essential Oil Bath Additive, $16.95, Amazon
Smooth fine lines with vanilla oil.
Unique nutrients in vanilla promote the production of skin-firming collagen and elastin, its antioxidants fend off free-radical damage to prevent new wrinkles from forming and its antimicrobial properties ward off skinaging infections. And the cake-like fragrance calms the region of the brain that processes emotions to allay feelings of self-doubt and depression.
One to try: Bath and Body Works Rose + Vanilla Nourishing Body Oil, $19.48, Amazon
How to Make Your Own Bath Bomb at Home
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup of baking soda
- ½ cup of citric acid powder (try this one, $27.99, from Walmart)
- ½ cup of Epsom salts
- ½ cup of cornstarch
- ¾ tsp. of water
- 2 tsp. of essential oils of your choice
- 2 tsp. of a carrier oil like olive, coconut or jojoba
In bowl, mix all dry ingredients, except citric acid. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients. Then combine dry mix, liquid mix and citric acid; mix well. Pour into muffin tin, tightly mashing mix into the molds with the back of a spoon. Let air-dry for two days before using. Store bath bombs in a paper bag kept in a cool, dry place.
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This story originally appeared in our print magazine.