The Best Ways to Use Essential Oils This Summer

May 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET
essential oils
Image: Getty Images/Design: Kenzie Mastroe/SheKnows

Unless you've been totally unplugged (in which case, welcome back to the digital world), you've probably seen the hype about essential oils. People claim all kinds of medical benefits and awesome cures, but it's hard to nail down how factual the claims are. If nothing else, we can confirm they smell good.

If you've purchased your own set of essential oils and aren't quite sure how to use them, summer is the perfect time to make them worth the money. It turns out there are all sorts of uses that are summer-specific. For example, a citronella bug spray, a tea tree yoga mat cleaner or even something as simple as a spearmint breath spray.

Do keep in mind that people respond differently to oils, so you'll want to be careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to dilution and adding carrier oils, and you may want to talk to your doctor and do small test areas on your skin when applying oils topically. And since we are talking about summer, know that essential oils can have a different effect on the skin when exposed to sunlight (called phototoxicity), so be sure to research the oil you're using thoroughly or better yet, run it by your doctor.

We've rounded up some of the best, totally reasonable ways to make the $80 you dropped on an oil seem worth it. 

1 /8: Lavender for After Sun

Lavender bunch
Image: Getty Images

1/8 :Lavender for After Sun

2 /8: Citronella for Fighting Pesky Bugs

Lemongrass plant
Image: Getty Images

2/8 :Citronella for Fighting Pesky Bugs

3 /8: Grapefruit for Bloating

Cut grapefruit
Image: Getty Images

3/8 :Grapefruit for Bloating

4 /8: Lemon for Flavoring Water

Lemon slices
Image: Getty Images

4/8 :Lemon for Flavoring Water

5 /8: Oranges to Purify the Air

Box full of oranges
Image: Getty Images

5/8 :Oranges to Purify the Air

6 /8: Peppermint for Cooling

Peppermint plant
Image: Getty Images

6/8 :Peppermint for Cooling

7 /8: Tea Tree Oil for Yoga Mat Cleaner

Melaleuca tree
Image: Getty Images

7/8 :Tea Tree Oil for Yoga Mat Cleaner

8 /8: Spearmint for Fresh Breath

Spearmint plant
Image: Getty Images

8/8 :Spearmint for Fresh Breath