Smell Good. Look Better

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Smell Good. Look Better.

Summer is one of our fave times of the year! Sunshine, extra-long days & fun, fruity cocktails. Unfortunately, it also means triple-digit temps, energy-sapping humidity & oh-so-annoying bugs. One secret to surviving summer in style? Essential oils.  “Plants can have a physiological effect & their aromas can impact our emotions & psyche,” explains Amy Galper, Executive Director & Founder of the New York Institute of Aromatherapy. “By smelling plants’ essential oils, we can support our own body’s natural ability to heal, de-stress & even alleviate some of summer’s struggles.”

As temperatures rise, Galper recommends “uplifting, energizing & cooling citrus scents,” except for lemon & grapefruit, which can sensitize skin to the sun. “Mandarin & sweet orange are nicest for summer because they’re safe for direct application on the skin,” she says.

Plants can have a physiological effect & their aromas can impact our emotions.

Check out Galper’s top 2-step summer essential oil recs:

Après-Beach Refresher
Green mandarin essential oil is made from unripe, green mandarin peels & has a fresh, slightly sour & bitter fragrance. It also has cooling & energizing benefits.

Step 1: Using a dropper, mix 10 drops of green mandarin essential oil with 2 oz. of distilled water in a spray bottle.
Step 2: Shake the bottle to disperse the oil in the water & use as a refreshing spray when heading from the beach to the bar.

Mood Booster
Yellow mandarin essential oil has a lot of the freshness of green mandarin, but smells happily fruitier. It’s a great afternoon pick-me-up if you’re feeling fatigued.

Step 1: Add 10 drops yellow mandarin essential oil to 2 oz. distilled water in a small spray bottle.
Step 2: Spritz yellow mandarin mist around you anytime for an instant mood boost!

Or add a couple of drops to an unscented liquid castile soap to use as a body wash for an uplifting shower.

By smelling plants’ essential oils, we can support our own body’s natural ability to heal & de-stress.

Easy Energizer
“When you’ve had several high-humidity summer days in a row, your body naturally starts to feel more lethargic. A sniff of sweet orange will help lift you from your sluggish state,” Galper says. “Sweet orange essential oil is safe for everyone, even kids, pregnant women & the elderly. It’s my go-to energizing scent.” Since all citrus essential oils are naturally antibacterial, she suggests using sweet orange to make an alcohol-free antibacterial spray.

Step 1: Mix 30-35 drops of essential oil for every 2 oz. of distilled water.
Step 2: Shake, then spritz on your hands or yoga mat for a refreshing summertime workout.

Bug Blocker
Summertime often means swatting away pesky insects & over applying harsh repellants. Thankfully essential oils can help.  “Anti-microbial essential oils like lemongrass, peppermint, cinnamon bark or leaf & eucalyptus are great at deterring bugs but can also irritate skin,” cautions Galper, who recommends repelling pests with scented fabrics instead.

Step 1: Dissolve the essential oils [30 drops total] into a teaspoon of high-proof alcohol.
Step 2: Mix into 2 oz. of distilled water & spray on your clothes or hiking boots to keep bugs away.

Sunburn Soother
Despite our best intentions, beach days often lead to sunburns. To help soothe scorched skin, harness the anti-inflammatory power of lavender, geranium & chamomile essential oils. Lavender also has pain-relieving properties, which can calm the discomfort.

Better still, beat the burn while soaking up the sun by applying an SPF. We recommend Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defense SPF 45 Advanced Daily UV Defender. It features an essential oil blend of Tuberose, Jasmine, Rose & Bitter Orange & helps protects skin from UV rays while building skin’s barrier.

Step 1:  Blend lavender, geranium & chamomile essential oils [6 drops total] into a tablespoon of pure aloe vera gel.
Step 2: Slather on!