Easy DIY Liquid Hand Soap Recipe with Essential Oils

Liquid hand soap is expensive, and with the amount that we wash our hands in our family, we go through it quickly.  This recipe makes a nice large amount, enough to fill all the soap dispensers in your home with plenty to spare, and it’s extremely inexpensive to do.  It can also be customized with your favorite essential oils!

Supplies Needed

1 bar of natural soap (I recommend Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap)
4 cups of water
Essential oils
Optional: moisturizing oils like jojoba or avocado oil


Grate the entire bar of soap with a cheese grater or in a food processor (by far, the easiest way).

Boil four cups of waer on the stove.  When the water has reached a rolling boil, remove from heat and add the grated soap flakes, stirring until combined.

Allow the soap mixture to cool for 15 minutes, and then stir again.

Let the mixture cool overnight.  As it sits it will thicken further.  The next day add your essential oils and use and store the extra soap as needed.  For an extra moisturizing soap, add 4 tbs. jojoba or avocado oil after the recipe has cooled.


How much essential oil to use

If the soap will be used by children it is best to err on the side of less essential oils.  A 1% dilution, which is a safe recommended amount for children, would be 160 drops per 32 oz of soap, or about 1 ½ teaspoons of essential oils.  If you would like to do a variety of different fragrances, you can add 40 drops of oil to 1 cup of liquid soap.  For adult use you can use more oils if preferred, but a 1% dilution is safe for the whole family.

Essential oil blends are wonderful for use in this recipe (I really like NOW Solution’s Smiles for Miles or Cheer Up Buttercup). Other oils that are nice in soap are combinations of grapefruit and lime, bergamot and lemon, orange and clove, or lavender and spearmint.


New Essential Oil Bracelets

We have just received a shipment of new lava rock essential oil bracelets. Each bracelet has fifteen lava rock beads, which absorb essential oils and gently diffuse the scent throughout the day. Lava rock is made from cooled volcanic magma, and wearing the beads can feel very grounding. The seven rainbow beads represent the seven chakras in the body and also represent the beauty, promise, and diversity of our world, in one harmonious whole.

We’re in love with these bracelets, and asa Valentine’s gift for our lovely customers, we are offering these bracelets on sale for only $5 each while supplies last. They make a perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.

To apply the essential oils, massage one drop of oil per bead (as many as you choosedepending on how potent of a scent you’re looking for). It’s a simple and beautiful way to get the benefits of essential oils. Some of our favorites that we’ve been using are lavender for relaxation, orange for positive mood, and rosemary and lemon for enhancing memory.

Easy DIY Coconut Oil Deodorant with Essential Oils

This recipe makes an easy to apply paste, and it’s great because it’s made with ingredients you likely have in your kitchen. Most things I read about homemade deodorants say that arrowroot is preferable, but I used cornstarch when I made it since that’s what I had on hand. This is a small recipe, since I wanted to make a couple different ones with essential oil blends, though it is easily doubled.

This recipe is perfect for the cooler weather we’re having. In the summer it will likely be necessary to add a couple melted tablespoons to the coconut oil before mixing to make it firmer since coconut turns into a liquid at 76 degrees.


•    3 tbs. coconut oil
•    2 tbs. baking soda
•    2 tbs. arrowroot powder or organic (non-GMO) cornstarch
•    10 drops of essential oils (you can adjust the amount more or less depending on how strong of a scent you prefer)  

My favorite oils to use in this are a mixture of patchouli and cedarwood since I love their scent, but you can use whichever oils you prefer. If you have issues with body odor, adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the mixture can be beneficial. I would avoid cinnamon and citrus oils however, since they may be irritating.

Also, some people find that baking soda bothers their skin. If you find that to be the case, reduce the amount of baking soda in the recipe to see if that takes care of the issue. Additionally, if you apply this deodorant right after shaving under your arms, it may sting. It’s best to wait 30 minutes after shaving under arms before applying if you have sensitive skin.


  1. Combine baking soda and arrowroot/cornstarch in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.

  2. Add in coconut oil and mix with a fork until well mixed, breaking up any lumps in the coconut oil.

  3. Mix in essential oils

  4. Store in small jar or container with a lid and apply as needed!

DIY Exfoliating Lip Treatment for Dry Chapped Lips (It’s Great for Hands Too!)

Cold winter weather and chapped lips seem to go hand in hand, so this simple recipe is a great one to have in the house (plus it’s made with ingredients that are probably in your cabinet). It’s perfect for lips, but it also is nice for dry flaky hands.

1 tbs. coconut oil*
1 tbs. raw honey
1 tbs. sugar
3 drops lavender oil

*I prefer using fractionated “always liquid” coconut oil for this recipe, but you can use regular coconut oil, or even avocado or olive oil if it’s what you have handy.

This recipe can easily be scaled to make a larger quantity.

1.    Melt coconut oil in the microwave if needed to bring it to a liquid state.
2.    Combine coconut oil, raw honey, sugar, and lavender. The coconut oil will not mix in with the honey and sugar all the way, but that’s not an issue.
3.    Scoop out a small amount, roughly a teaspoon, and apply to lips.  Scrub the lips gently with the mixture and then let sit on lips for a few minutes before rinsing off.
4.    After rinsing apply a thin layer of coconut oil on lips before sealing with a good lip balm.
5.    Enjoy your soft and moisturized lips!

This recipe is wonderfully moisturizing and healing, since honey is a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture to the skin.  Coconut oil is also extremely moisturizing, and lavender oil is soothing, healing, and has antibacterial properties.  All of the ingredients are safe for ingestion as well, in case you get a bit in your mouth.

If using on hands, scoop a couple tablespoons on to freshly washed hands and scrub hands, then let sit for a minute before rinsing off.  After drying hands, put on a nice thick hand lotion (I’m partial to Kiss My Face’s olive and aloe moisturizer).  Also, be sure to always wear gloves outside- this cold weather just sucks the moisture out of skin!

DIY Essential Oil Nail Recipes for Strengthening and Nail Fungus

We have new empty nail brush containers available at the store which are perfect for making your own essential oil blends for healthy nails. Essential Oils can be very helpful for the nails and are a wonderful, natural way to improve nail health. We have two simple essential oil nail recipes below: one for strengthening and another for helping to get rid of nail fungus.

Nail Strengthening Blend

This oil is helpful for weak, brittle nails, and also helps whiten nails.

20 drops lavender oil
10 drops lemon oil
Jojoba oil
Add the essential oils to an empty 1oz. nail brush container and then fill the rest of the way with jojoba oil (a pipette is helpful for this, also available at the store). Brush this oil liberally on bare nails once or twice a day (it smells great, so it’s a treat).

Nail Fungus Blend

This oil blend is absolutely wonderful for nail fungus on finger and toe nails.

30 drops tea tree oil
10 drops oregano oil
5 drops clove oil
5 drops orange oil
Jojoba oil
Add the essential oils to an empty 1oz. nail brush container and then fill the rest of the way with jojoba oil (a pipette is helpful for this). Brush the oil liberally on bare nails before bedtime. With consistent use, this oil will help fungus infected nails to begin to grow in healthy. This blend can also be used twice a day for increased effectiveness.

A New Essential Oil Diffuser with a Unique Tree Design

We have a brand new diffuser by NOW Solutions and I’m crazy about it. It’s a gorgeous diffuser with a beautiful design of bare-branched trees around the outside which is lit from behind when in use. I’ve never seen a diffuser like it (I wish I had a better picture of it than the one below)- you can see a more detailed zoom of the diffuser on the NOW website here.

Like all of the diffusers we have available at the store, it uses high frequency vibrations to create a fine aromatherapy mist without heat. It uses only water and oils, and when all the water has been used up (about seven hours when on the continuous setting), it turns off by itself.

It’s much prettier than it looks in the picture (especially when it is lit up)!


Also new this month from NOW is a “Seasonal Changes” essential oil gift set with oils for winter wellness that includes bottles of tea tree oil and eucalyptus radiata oil, as well as two essential oil blends- Clear the Air and Nature’s Shield (NOW’s version of the legendary “five thieves” oil blend).  

DIY Preventative Essential Oil Lice Spray for Hair

With school back in session, many parents are worried about lice, since it can run rampant through a classroom. Luckily, there are several essential oils that actually repel lice.

Tea tree oil is wonderful at repelling lice (and its also antibacterial and antifungal), but it isn’t the greatest smelling. Mixing it with other lice repellent oils helps it to smell nice while also being very effective for keeping head lice away.

These oils work well when mixed with water in a small bottle (we sell small 2oz. amber bottles at the store that would be perfect for this).


Preventative Essential Oil Lice Spray

This preventative spray has a pleasant, herbal smell. It’s best sprayed on in the mornings before school on both the scalp and on the length of the hair as well. This recipe is to be used on children 5 and up. For younger preschoolers, omit the eucalyptus oil from the recipe.

2 oz. spray bottle, filled halfway with water

10 drops tea tree oil

5 drops lavender oil

5 drops rosemary oil

5 drops eucalyptus oil

witch hazel (optional)

Fill a 2oz spray bottle halfway with water (it’s best to use distilled or bottled water) and add the essential oils.

After adding the oils, fill the rest of the way with either witch hazel or water (witch hazel helps to keep the oils mixed with the water better, and works as a natural preservative, though the recipe can be used with just water as well).

Shake well before each use.


Our Store's Essential Oil Availability Listing


We also have a large assortment of 100% pure essential oils from the brands Aura Cacia and NOW Solutions, many of which are under $10 a bottle (I've listed the oils we carry below, and we also can order other specific essential oils if you are looking for one not listed).  NOW Solutions is a local company based in Illinois.  For more information on their essential oils, see our blog post linked below:

NOW Solutions Essential Oil Testing and Quality

We can also get any essential oils by Simpler's Botanicals, though we only carry their essential oil blends in the store at this time.

Essential Oils Currently Available at Pass Health Foods:

Atlas Cedar
Balsam Fir Needle
Basil, Sweet
Cedarwood, Texas
Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon Cassia
Cinnamon Leaf
Clary Sage
Chamomile, Sweet
Clary Sage
Clove Bud
    Eucalyptus Globulous
    Eucalyptus Radiata
Fennel Seed
Fennel, Sweet
Jasmine Blend
Juniper Berry
Lavender and Tea Tree
Lemon Balm
Lemon Eucalyptus
Orange, Sweet
Pine Needle
Rose Absolute
Rose Hip Seed
Sandalwood Blend
Sweet Basil
Sweet Orange
Tea Tree
Thyme, White
Ylang Ylang


Essential Oil Blends:  

NOW Solutions Essential Oil Blends: 

Bottled Bouquet

Cheer Up Buttercup

Clear the Air

Good Morning Sunshine

Lemon Eucalyptus

Mental Focus

Nature’s Shield

Naturally Loveable

Peace and Harmony

Peace, Love, and Flowers

Peaceful Sleep

Smiles for Miles


Simpler’s Botanicals Essential Oil Blends: 

Blissful and Bright

Calm Within

Deep Restful Sleep

Focused and Aware

Fortify and Protect


Also on our website:

Our Store's Carrier Oil and DIY Beauty Availability List




How to Use Hair Oils for Gorgeous Hair

Many people shy away from using oils in their hair because they don’t want a greasy head (and really, who does). Used properly, however, certain oils can be extremely beneficial to the hair, and make a huge difference in hair texture and condition. Hair treatment recipes are simple to make and most people have the necessary ingredients in their kitchen cabinets!

Hair oils can be used two ways, as a treatment before washing, or as a styling aid after washing their hair.

To use as a hair treatment, apply to the hair, concentrating on the ends, and leave in for one to two hours (leaving oils in the hair overnight is especially effective) and wash hair normally in the morning. You may want to sleep with a towel over your pillowcase or use a shower cap to avoid an oily pillow, though I don't think it's really a problem if you wait a short time for the oil to absorb a bit before bed.

Using hair oils after washing hair is a great way to add a bit of shine, reduce static and fly away hair, as well as helping to seal the damaged ends of hair. Use the oils sparingly- use less than you think you’ll need at first to avoid an oily look. Dry, sun damaged hair can especially benefit from a bit of oil added after washing.

Four oils to try on your hair:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is especially helpful for damaged hair. Coconut oil has a low molecular weight, so its able to actually penetrate hair strands, conditioning from the inside out. The fatty acids are also able to bind to proteins in the hair to help protect the hair from the roots to the ends.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is full of vitamin E. It’s frequently used to help to tame frizzy hair and can also be a good moisturizer for dry hair or a flaky scalp. Argan oil absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave any residue behind, so it’s suitable to use as a leave in conditioner or styling aid (start with just one or two drops).

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil can help to promote scalp health and fight off bacteria. It’s also a great oil for increasing shine. Massaging extra virgin olive oil into the scalp has even been said to help with hair growth, since it removes sebum that can block hair follicles.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is full of healthy fats and vitamins that help to rejuvenate damaged and dry hair. It’s also a fantastic oil to use as a deep, overnight, conditioning treatment.


Essential oils can be added to the above oils to help further increase their benefits.

I’ll post traditional uses for essential oils for hair below.

For Hair Loss and Hair Growth:

Atlas Cedar


Clary Sage

Juniper Berry



Oily Hair and Scalp:




Ylang Ylang


Dry and Damaged Hair:





DIY Insect Repellents with Essential Oils

June is here, and so are the bugs! While conventional, DEET based insect repellents are very effective, I don’t love the idea of spraying chemicals all over myself, and I definitely don’t want them on my daughter. Luckily, there are natural alternatives.

A number of essential oils are very effective against mosquitoes and ticks. Both mosquitoes and ticks search out humans by smell, so essential oils work in two ways to keep away bugs: first, it masks our natural human odors, and second, certain oils actually repel biting insects.
We’ve been working on it, and have developed an essential oil blend that works very well against mosquitoes. The mosquito blend is also effective against ticks, though we’ve made a “tick blend” that is specific to repelling ticks, so that’s the one I’d use if you’re in the forest or other areas where ticks can be a problem.

These blends are measured for use in our 10ml essential oil rollerbottles. We sell empty rollerbottles and also rollerbottles filled with grapeseed oil (a carrier oil). Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to skin. Grapeseed is a wonderful carrier oil to use with bug repelling essential oils since it doesn’t have a scent of its own.

These recipes use Aura Cacia’s lemon eucalyptus oil which has been proven to be effective against mosquitoes. NOW Foods also has a lemon eucalyptus blend, which I like (it’s a mix of lemon, eucalyptus, and lemongrass), but it is not the same as true lemon eucalyptus (eucalyptus citriodora).

Mosquito Repellent Essential Oil Blend (to be mixed with a carrier oil in a 10ml rollerbottle)

10 drops Aura Cacia lemon eucalyptus oil
10 drops citronella oil
5 drops lemongrass oil
5 drops lavender oil
5 drops geranium oil


Tick Repellent Essential Oil Blend (to be mixed with a carrier oil in a 10ml rollerbottle)

8 drops Aura Cacia lemon eucalyptus oil
8 drops geranium oil
8 drops lemongrass oil
4 drops lavender oil
4 drops juniper oil
4 drops peppermint oil

While the above blends are those we think are most effective, while still being great smelling (over the years I’ve used some different natural bug sprays that I thought smelled awful), using just a combination of lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and/or lemongrass will still help to keep bugs from biting.

The thing I like about using rollerbottles for insect repellents are that they’re small- they’re easy to carry in a purse or pocket, and they’re also easy to apply. Another great thing using an insect repellent in this way is that children can apply it themselves. My daughter loves rolling on her “bug stuff” when she goes outside. I love it because I think it fosters independence, so if she decides to go out in the backyard, she will put on her own bug blend so she doesn’t get bitten by mosquitoes.

If you find a spray more convenient, you can multiply the above recipe by four and combine it with 8 ounces of witch hazel in a spray bottle (you could also use distilled water, though I found that witch hazel made a better bug repellent).  Shake the bottle before spraying.

River putting on her "bug roll on"

River putting on her "bug roll on"

Another advantage of making your own essential oil blends in small rollerbottles is that they’re small and convenient to have in a number of places- I keep one outside on the deck, one by the backdoor, and another in my purse. Essential oil bug blends should be reapplied every 1-2 hours for maximum effectiveness.


Finally, when it comes to getting mosquito bites (since there will come a time when you forget to put on your bug blend and get a bite), lavender oil works amazingly for taking out the itch.

Lavender oil is one of the only oils that can be put on the skin directly without irritation, and a drop or two on an itchy mosquito bite really helps. I keep a bottle of lavender oil on my bedside table since for some reason it seems like the only time mosquito bites bother me is when I’m trying to sleep. Incidentally, lavender oil is very relaxing and has been shown in research to be wonderful as a sleep aid. 


DIY Essential Oil Flea and Tick Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Ticks really do not like essential oils. They search out pets and people by scent, so essential oils work not only by masking a dog’s scent, but some essential oils actually repel them. Geranium is on the top of the list for repelling ticks, along with lemon eucalyptus, and lavender (study here).   Lavender oil has even been shown in studies to prevent tick eggs from hatching.

This tick blend can be mixed with a carrier oil like grapeseed and rubbed into a pet’s fur and legs.  Essential oils are too strong to be put directly on the skin without causing irritation, so diluting with a carrier oil (an unscented oil) lets essential oil be used on the skin without irritation. For using oils topically on dogs for tick or flea prevention, a good dilution is roughly five drops of essential oils mixed with a teaspoon of carrier oil and then rubbed into the fur- being careful to avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals.

These oils can be mixed and then put on the outside of a collar if it is made of an absorbent cloth.

Pennyroyal oil is very effective as a tick repellant, but even though many recipes online recommend using pennyroyal for pets, pennyroyal can be toxic to the point of death for dogs and cats.  For that reason, even though pennyroyal is an effective tick deterrent, we do not recommend using it topically (directly on the skin) for dogs or cats.  If you still do desire to use pennyroyal for dogs, a very small amount (1-2 drops) can be applied to the outside of a collar to repel ticks (make sure the oil is absorbed into the collar before putting it on).  Pennyroyal should never be used on cats, and only for dogs with caution.

Safer oils to use that repel fleas are eucalyptus, peppermint, cedarwood, and citronella.  

To make an essential oil spray for dogs, combine 30 drops essential oils to one cup of water and to spray on a dog’s fur.  Shake bottle well before spraying each time to mix the water and essential oils.  For small dogs, reduce the amounts of essential oils in this recipe.


Geranium oils and citrus oils should not be used on cats, in fact, cats are particularly sensitive to essential oils, so this recipe is best used for dogs.  Also, essential oils like pennyroyal, cedar, and citronella should not be used on pregnant animals (on any pregnant animal, it is best to use oils only on a collar, rather than on the skin).  Animals should never ingest essential oils.

Cats and Fleas and Ticks

For cats, the one oil that they seem to be able to tolerate is neem oil.  Neem can be helpful for both fleas and ticks for cats.  A small amount can be added to a shampoo (at the dilution of no more than a teaspoon of oil to a cup of pet shampoo).  Neem can also be used in small amounts on the outside of a cat’s collar as a flea repellant. 

Geranium and rosemary oils can be used as a flea and tick repellant on cats, as long as they are highly diluted.   For a flea and tick spray for cats, mix 4 drops total of geranium and rosemary oils to one cup of water and spray on cat’s fur, avoiding the face.

Also on our health blog:

Natural Pet Care for Pain, Anxiety, and More

DIY Essential Oil Home Cleansing Recipe Roundup

Natural cleaners are very easy to make using essential oils.  Ideally, they should be stored in an amber glass bottle, however, to keep the essential oils from degrading.  We sell empty 8oz and 16oz amber spray bottles at the store, and for the month of April we will be having them for 50%!

Aura Cacia, one of the fantastic essential oil brands we carry at the store, has a fantastic index of DIY cleansing recipes using essential oils on their website.  They’re simple to make and use readily available natural ingredients.

Also, a see a few of our other favorites from around the internets are below.


This is a great All Purpose Cleaner from Mommypotamus:

•    1 cup water
•    2 teaspoons castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
•    20 drops essential oil  


Homemade All Purpose Cleaner from Detoxinista:

1/2 cup white vinegar
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil (about 10 drops)


Another similar recipe is this DIY Lavender Tea Tree Surface Cleaner by Free People:

1 Cup Water
¼ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
10 Drops Tea Tree Oil
10 Drops Lavender Oil


DIY Citrus Window Cleaner from The Hippy Homemaker:

3 cups water
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp. orange oil


Homemade Glass Cleaner that Smells Awesome from New Nostalgia:

1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp dish soap
15 drops essential oils


Almost all of the above blends would benefit from the addition of tea tree oil, a potent antibacterial and antimicrobial oil.  Most essential oils do have antibacterial qualities however, so find an oil or blend of oils that you like the best and experiment making your own blends!  I like using a combination of bergamot and lemon, since it's so nice and springy smelling, while still being a great antibacterial cleaning blend.  



Essential Oil Dilution Chart

I love essential oils- they are wonderful for such a wide variety of uses; they are very potent however, so proper dilution is important.  Most essential oils cannot be used directly on the skin without being diluted with a carrier oil since many are too strong and can cause irritation (lavender and tea tree oil are two exceptions).  


Below is a dilution recommendation chart for making your own home and beauty preparations using essential oils:


Massage oil or general topical use: 50-60 drops for each 4 ounces of carrier oil or lotion

Highly scented topical use: 50-60 drops for 1 ounce of carrier oil or lotion

Scented bath: 10-12 drops per tub of water

Steam inhalation: 3-7 drops in a bowl of boiling water

Foot bath: 8-10 drops per bowl of water

Facial mask: 2-3 drops mixed with 1 tsp. clay or honey or mixed with 4 drops carrier oil for dry skin

Facial oil: 6-8 drops per ½ ounce of carrier oil

Hair oil: 25 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil

Body mist: 10-20 drops per 4 ounces of water  

Room spray: 20-30 drops per 4 ounces of water


A note of caution:

Citrus oils like lemon and orange can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s best to not use those oils on sensitive skin in the daytime.  Also, cinnamon bark and cinnamon cassia can be extremely irritating to the skin, and may want to be diluted even more than the amounts above when being used topically.

New Essential Oil Cough Drops and Travel Diffusers by Redd Remedies

We have just gotten in a new line of essential oil throat drops and inhalers that I’m crazy about.  The company’s name is Redd Remedies, and they have the most amazing cough drops I’ve ever tried.  Seriously.  We got a sample a while ago, and I fell in love with them.  We’ve been working to get them in the store and now we finally have them.  They are great tasting and extremely effective cough drops that use essential oils to soothe throats and clear respiratory passages.  They really work.

Also from Redd Remedies, we’ve gotten in two new essential oil inhalers (they actually call them “travel diffusers”), a sinus blend and a lung care blend.  I had been dealing with a lingering respiratory issue for a while, so I wanted to try their lung inhaler to see if it did anything for me. I have to be honest, in that I wasn’t expecting much from the lung inhaler, but was pleasantly surprised- I really felt like after using it my lungs were more open and less constricted.  To use their lung inhaler, you hold it to one nostril and breathe in slowly and deeply.    They also have a sinus inhaler which is really nice for congested sinuses either from colds or allergies.

I’d really recommend trying both the throat drops and their “travel diffusers” (inhalers).  I am a huge fan of them.

Since they’re a new product, we’re having them on sale for 25% off during March.  


Essential Oil Spotlight: Cedarwood

I wanted to mention an oil that we’ve been using a lot lately at our house- cedarwood essential oil.  Cedarwood is a very grounding oil, and is wonderful for helping to ease coughing and loosen phlegm.  My daughter has had a cough that she brought home from school and I’ve been adding several drops of cedarwood along with some eucalyptus oil to the essential oil diffuser in her room, and I think it really helped to calm her coughing so she could sleep.  My daughter also loves the scent (she says it smells like summer).

Cedarwood is known for its relaxing effects, and has been traditionally used for reducing tension and stress as well as calming the emotions, helping one to achieve a peaceful state of mind.

Cedarwood oil is also wonderful for the skin since it has antiseptic and astringent properties.  I frequently add it to the DIY sugar scrub that I use on my face.  It can also be used mixed with jojoba oil as a nighttime moisturizing facial treatment.  Cedarwood is often used by women to help with controlling hormonal acne.

Interestingly, cedarwood has even been studied with impressive results for increasing hair growth in people with alopecia when used topically on the scalp.  When using essential oils on the skin, always be sure to dilute them with a carrier oil first, since straight essential oils can cause skin irritation.

Note: Pregnant women should not use cedarwood, and essential oils of any kind should not be used with children under 2.

DIY Hand Sanitizer with Essential Oils

I use hand sanitizer frequently, but do not love the dry hands or synthetic fragrances they usually are accompanied by.  This is a simple DIY recipe for a moisturizing but very effective hand sanitizer recipe using essential oils.

•    1/4 c. aloe vera gel (I used Lily of the Valley)
•    3/4 c. ethyl alcohol, ethyl rubbing alcohol, or Everclear
•    2 tbs. vegetable glycerin
•    30 drops essential oils*

*Keep in mind that citrus oils like lemon or orange can make the sun more sensitive to the sun, and cinnamon oil can be irritating to the skin, so use them sparingly in this recipe if at all.  I made a few batches of this with different scents that turned out very nicely- any combination of oils will work, depending on your preferences.  My favorite was a spice blend using clove, patchouli, cinnamon and orange (10 drops clove, 10 drops patchouli, three drops cinnamon, and 7 drops orange).

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Pour into a squeeze or pump bottle (a funnel is helpful for this).  This recipe is much more liquidy than the standard antibacterial “gel”, though I used it in an old hand sanitizer pump bottle and it worked fine, even with being so liquid.  I think it would also work well in a spray bottle, though I didn’t have one handy to try it.

Washing hands with soap and water is still the best method for getting ands clean, but this is a good substitute for times when hand washing is not convenient or possible, and your hands will be moisturized and wonderful smelling afterwards.


Holiday Lip Balm with Essential Oils

I am a lip balm fanatic, and love DIY recipes, so this is a great recipe for making a holiday themed lip balm! If you’ve never made lip balm, it’s very simple and economical too- one recipe makes a LOT of lip balm, so it’s perfect for gift giving. We sell all the necessary ingredients and lip balm tubes at the store. You can use your own combinations of essential oils, but one that I really like is with our Christmas Eve essential oil recipe blend.

This recipe made a little over 13 tubes of lip balm.

1 1oz. bar of beeswax
3 tbs. coconut oil
3 tbs. cocoa butter (or shea butter) 

Essential oils:
25 drops spearmint essential oil
20 drops lavender essential oil
15 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
15 drops vanilla essential oil (optional)

Ingredient note: Previously I’ve used 4 tbs. each of coconut oil and cocoa butter, though I used 3 tbs. this time for a harder, waxier balm.  If you’d prefer a softer lip balm, increase the amounts of coconut and cocoa butter (you may want to add a few extra drops of essential oils as well if increasing the recipe)

Essential oil note: I don't like very strongly flavored/scented lip balms, so if you do you may want to increase the amount of essential oils by a few drops each. 


For a complete instructional rundown with pictures, see our lavender vanilla lip balm recipe post.

Prepare your ingredients and open all lip balm containers so the liquid beeswax mixture can be quickly poured and easily filled before it starts to harden.

Melt beeswax in a double boiler.  If you don’t have a double boiler (like me!) you can use a small bowl in a pot of water.  Once the beeswax is melted, add the coconut oil and cocoa butter.

Pure cocoa butter is hard, so I found it easiest to scrape the cocoa butter with a spoon in its jar and then pouring the shavings it into my measuring spoon.

Stir ingredients with a metal spoon until melted.

Once all the ingredients are melted, let cool slightly before adding the essential oils.  If desired, you can separate the recipe into halves before adding the essential oils if you’d like to make more than one flavor.

Note: I would advise using a Pyrex or something with a spout to pout the melted mixture.  I tried using pipettes, but found that just pouring the beeswax mixture into the lip balm tubes was the easiest, since the mixture started solidifying in the pipette before I could fill all the containers.

A New Variety of Eucalyptus Oil

We have a new variety of eucalyptus essential oil that we just started carrying at the store - eucalyptus radiata. The more common form of eucalyptus is eucalyptus globulus, which we’ve always had, but NOW Solutions has released the new radiata species of eucalyptus which we’re thrilled to carry.  

The common eucalyptus globulus is more medicinal smelling, where the new eucalyptus radiata is slightly sweeter.  I have both, but have found myself using the new eucalyptus radiata more frequently.  I’d say the globulus form is better for colds and respiratory issues, where the radiata form is more for a spa experience.

One fantastic way to use eucalyptus oil is in the shower in the morning.  I started using it a month ago, and don’t think I could ever be without it now- it’s so nice.  Try putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the bottom of the shower in the morning (I say a few drops, but in honesty I give the bottle a few liberal shakes).  The steam from the shower will combine with the eucalyptus oil, helping to open the sinuses and breathing passages as well as reduce lung inflammation.  Eucalyptus oil is also extremely antibacterial and antimicrobial.  It’s a simple thing to do to make your morning shower more enjoyable- I’d very much recommend trying it- it really helps you to feel refreshed and ready to start the day!



Holiday Essential Oil Blend Recipes

The following blends are wonderful room scents to use during the holiday season.  The easiest way to use them is in a diffuser (we have four different essential oil diffusers available at the store) that uses ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine aromatherapy mist.  

These holiday blends can also be used as a room spray with water in an atomizer (we have empty glass spray bottles available at the store) or in lotions or any number of DIY beauty products.

The oil concentrations below are appropriate for a diffuser, though you can increase or decrease the amount of oil based on your preference and how strong you want it to smell.


Holiday Spice Blend

This blend is one of my favorites for the holidays.  We frequently have it in the diffuser at the store and I always get compliments on it.  Now only does it smell great, but cinnamon, clove, and lemongrass have strong antibacterial qualities and orange oil is fantastic for boosting mood and reducing anxiety.

4 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
3 drops clove essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil
1 drop lemongrass essential oil (optional)


Peace and Harmony Blend

Patchouli is my favorite smelling oil- it's rich and comforting.  It is also an oil that improves with age, so hiding an extra bottle in the back of a drawer is not a bad idea.  Patchouli is also a very calming and centering oil, that combines with the scent and benefits of orange oil wonderfully. 

4 drops patchouli essential oil
4 drops vanilla essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil


Pomander Blend

4 drops orange essential oil
4 drops clove essential oil
2 drops vanilla essential oil (optional)


Yuletide Blend

4 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
4 drops tangerine or orange essential oil
2 drops pine essential oil
1 drops anise essential oil


Christmas Eve Blend

3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops vanilla essential oil
3 drops balsam fir essential oil
1 drop spearmint essential oil


Royal Peace Blend

Myrrh and frankincense were the gifts brought to the baby Jesus by the wise men.  Myrrh helps to reduce stress and frankincense is purifying and is frequently used in meditation blends, so the combination is perfect for the season as well as anytime you need some extra peace and tranquility.  

4 drops myrrh essential oil
4 drops frankincense essential oil


Enchanted Forest Blend

This combination of oils is very evocative of a winter forest, and is a fantastic Christmas Tree scent.  

5 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
3 drops atlas cedar essential oil
2 drops cedarwood essential oil
2 drops pine needle essential oil


Sweet Relaxation Blend

5 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops patchouli essential oil
1 drop clove essential oil


Candy Cane Blend

4 drops peppermint
5 drops vanilla


Comfort and Relaxation Blend

5 drops vanilla
4 drops lavender


Medicinal Essential Oil Recipe Blends for Cold and Flu Season

Essential oils smell wonderful, but they are more than just a pretty scent- many have very impressive medicinal benefits. Below are some suggestions of essential oil combinations that are particularly helpful during the winter months. 

The amounts below are appropriate for use in an essential oil diffuser, like those we have available at the store, though the same ratios could be used for making a therapeutic balm or an atomizing spray, though you may need to change the quantity of oil depending on how much you’re making.


Sinus Blend for Relieving Congestion

Eucalyptus is amazing for opening up the sinuses, and is also extremely effective at killing airborne microbes when used in a diffuser. Camphor is also a great antiviral and antibacterial oil, and its vapors are great at reducing cold symptoms. Peppermint is very soothing and can calm irritated respiratory passages, so it’s a nice addition to this blend. The optional addition of cedarwood can help with calming coughs if they are accompanied by sinus congestion. 

5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
3 drops camphor essential oil*
2 drops peppermint essential oil

For sinus congestion with a cough, add 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil to the above blend.

*Do not use camphor topically on children, or in a diffuser for very young children.


Respiratory Blend to aid in Relieving Coughing and Purify the Lungs

Hyssop is a very purifying oil and is used to help with reducing excess mucus in the respiratory tract. Cedarwood can help to quell coughs and helps to reduce and loosen phlegm in the lungs when inhaled. Frankincense is useful for breathing problems including bronchitis and asthma, and anise helps to calm a cough.

4 drops hyssop essential oil
3 drops cedarwood essential oil
3 drops frankincense essential oil
2 drops anise oil essential oil


Antibacterial Brightening Blend

This is a nice fresh smelling blend which also helps to kill bacteria in the air- bergamot, lemon, and lemongrass also have very potent antibacterial qualities and smell very nice together. It also helps to freshen stale air in a home.

4 drops bergamot essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops lemongrass essential oil


Winter Sleep Blend

Many of us are congested through the colder months of the year, so this blend combines the power of eucalyptus with soothing lavender oil, which has been shown in a number of studies to be a very effective sleep aid.

5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil


“Thieves Oil” Purifying Blend  

These are the combination of oils traditionally as a purifying blend for illness and immunity.

We have also begun carrying a premixed blend based on the legend of the four thieves called Nature’s Shield at the store. You can read more about the blend here. 

5 drops clove bud essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
1 drops rosemary essential oil


Also on our website:

Disinfecting the Air with Essential Oils

Essential Oil Research Studies and Benefits

Nature's Shield: Our "Thieves Oil" Blend