Oil your dreams will come true this winter!

Hello my dears, I have comprised a list of my favourite ways to use your most treasured essential oils this season. 
Unsurprisingly, the top of my list for winter involves a steaming hot bath. Heaven, right? Even better when you add a fragrant element, like essential oils. What most people don't know is that adding essential oils straight into to your bath water, will do more harm than good! As oil and water don't mix, you run the risk of having undiluted and potentially spoiled essential oils bonding directly with your skin, which may cause irritation. To avoid this, use a dispersant! It allows the essential oils to mix in with the water and not sit on the surface to be evaporated away quickly by the steam. This also gives you a longer lasting fragrance.
Now, what is a cheap and easy dispersant, you might ask? Most people will have a variety of odd bits around the house that will be ideal, otherwise almost all supermarkets or chemists will have what you're looking for. You can use body wash, shampoo, epsom salts, milk/mylk or any base oil you like (almond oil, jojoba oil etc). Whichever you choose, make sure it is unfragranced, so the dispersing agent will not alter the scent of your chosen essential oils.
Some base oils such as olive oil, avocado and coconut oil should be avoided, as they can have a stronger natural scent and can be easily substituted for something with less fragrance. However, they are far more viscous and nourishing for the skin, so if your desired outcome is deeper hydration, they are perfectly fine to use. Mixing 4-6 drops to around 20ml (1.5 table spoons) of chosen dispersant, before adding to the bath, is a sure way to make sure they mix well into the water. As always, essential oils that are known skin irritants; such as peppermint, basil, cinnamon and rosemary for example, can be bothersome to our sensitive nether regions, as well as our entire bodies. It is good to avoid irritating essential oils during your soak, and as everyone has completely different reactions to things, trying a test patch on your wrist of the diluted essential oil first, before plunging your whole body into the tub! This will ensure you don't come out of your relaxing soak looking like a tomato and itching from head to toe! 
Diffuse any issue with an ultrasonic, electronic or candle based diffuser - I simply ADORE using essential oils at home and often refer to my daily ritual of setting up my diffuser as atmosphere designing! Essential oils have a plethora of therapeutic value and can enhance positivity and strength, but my main appreciation and love of diffusing these, for winter particularly, is that they help sterilise airborne bacteria! How wonderful! Now I can relax knowing I wont necessarily be affected/infected by bacteria flying at me from every direction, especially on public transport at peak hour (eugh!).
The most used oils in my home this time of year are Lavender, Tea Tree, Fragonia, Blue Mallee Eucalyptus and Atlas Cedarwood. Lavender has almost identical therapeutic properties to tea tree, providing antibacterial and antiviral protection. As I suffer from recurring chest issues, from having bronchial pneumonia as a child, I love Atlas Cedarwood's mucolytic properties. It helps to move and release mucous from the lungs. Using warming essential oils such as cinnamon, black pepper and ginger; you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests, family and friends. Do some research on what warming and wintery scents you enjoy and be surprised at their countless health benefits as well!
As germs get spread at an astonishing rate during flu season, cleaning with essential oils is a fantastic and natural way to keep those pesky microbes at bay. Adding a drop or two (with a dispersnt) to mop buckets, cleaning sprays for example; will allow you to steralise your home without those harsh odours from industrial strength cleaning products. Instead of struggling to breathe while using these products, you can deeply inhale the herbacious scent of lavender, or the warming and musky scent of clove. A general all-purpose home made cleaner involves 700ml filtered water, up to 20 drops of essential oils and double the amount of drops of essential oil solubilizer (or a cheap dispersant listed above, if you're watching your bank statement!) and voila! You have made your very own cheap, easy au natural cleaning product! 
It doesn't matter which your preferred method to use essential oils is, they are such a wonderful alternative to using harsh, bleach based cleaners which not only kill mould but, when breathed in regularly, end up inhibiting your bodies own natural defence systems against common colds and flu. Need I say more..?
Drop a couple of drops onto a tissue you can carry with you in your handbag, up your sleeve, or if you feel so inclined, your brazier.  An excellent way to aid in falling asleep quickly is to add a drop each of Lavender and Roman Chamomile to a tissue or hanky before placing it inside your pillow case, where it will send you off into blissful slumber, in no time! Adding a drop of Tea Tree or Eucalyptus to a tissue before entering the train/bus/tram at peak hour can also prevent contracting other people's nasty bugs, plus it will probably make the journey smell better than the odours being emitted from the carriage of your chosen mode of transport. Essential oils are fantastic at calming, enhancing, uplifting and grounding our ever changing moods, so when you have an issue; reach for that tissue! (That is covered in your favourite essential oil, of course!) 
Yes, I know it can be a little boastful to toot one's horn, but I absolutely adore our seasonal aromatherapy necklace for winter as a portable diffuser with wonderful health benefits, that also doubles as a stylish companion. They are packed full of certified organic essential oils that not only protect you from bacteria, but strengthen your immune system too! Our little necklaces are like wearing a protective, scented talisman, providing a barrier between you and any unwanted illness, plus their fragrance can last up to 3 months. I've seen many different variations of essential oil jewellery on the market, and I have to say - I love them all! I endorse any product that encourages people to use essential oils. Some designs I have enjoyed in particular are gorgeous handmade clay necklaces, or sandalwood bracelets, where you add a few drops onto the accessory to receive the benefits. How funky! 
I believe what sets our necklaces apart is the longevity of the fragrance, lasting months, as opposed to days, plus when they are empty our customers have the opportunity to become little alchemists and refill the bottles with whatever their hearts desire!
I hope this blog sparks some ideas within you to try new and wonderful ways to use your favourite essential oils at home! 
 I love finding new ways to integrate oils into my life, so if you have any funky suggestions that I haven't listed above - please email me at info@clarifieddesigns.com - I would love to hear from you all and share the alchemy love!
Warmest wishes, 
Rachel x