The plant kingdom is home to approximately a quarter-million different species of plant.
Did you know that only about 450 of these species produce the kinds of essential oils we can use?
That might seem like a small amount, but the extreme versatility of essential oils more than makes up for the brief list of usable plants. Consider that many of the best essential oil recipes involve combinations of two or more of these aromatic compounds and you’ll quickly realize that there are countless recipes available. Some are great for your skin, some can relieve stress, and others simply just smell amazing.
Naturally, this has lead to adventurous essential oil experimenters to come up with all kinds of different recipes, including seasonal concoctions that will knock your socks off and put a smile on your face.
We’ll forgive you if your initial reaction is that “seasonal” recipes sound a little gimmicky at first glance. We promise that once you’ve tried out a few essential oils that somehow seem to perfectly match a particular season, you’ll have a stash set aside for every time of year.
(It’s sort of like having a pumpkin spice coffee in autumn. Sure, it would still taste good in the middle of spring, but there’s just something special about having it “in season.”)
Today we’ll be sharing with you some of our favorite essential oil recipes for summertime. If you’re ready to learn about…
- Which essential oils have the perfect scents and therapeutic benefits for summertime
- Making your own great-smelling, organic “bug spray”
- How to make DIY personal care recipes for your hair and skin during the warm months
- Which fan diffuser recipes offer the best summer fragrances
…then read on!
What Essential Oils Are Best for Summertime?
Let’s take a moment to examine which essential oils are the best for summer. If you want to come up with your own recipes, draw from the ones mentioned here and you can’t go wrong—and you should definitely try brewing up your own mixtures. Many people cite the moment they started experimenting as when they fell in love with essential oils.
Since it gets hot in the summer (duh!) some of the most popular essential oils are from the mint family of plants. Specifically:
- Peppermint essential oil, and
- Spearmint essential oil
Peppermint and spearmint essential oils both have a certain concentration of naturally occurring menthol, with peppermint having more than spearmint. Menthol is actually a pretty fascinating compound: as you probably know, it makes your skin feel cooler. Interestingly, the key word there is “feel” cooler—menthol “tricks” brain receptors into feeling cold, so don’t toss your air conditioner in exchange for a summertime supply of menthol. It still feels fantastic though!
Other non-mint essential oils which can provide users with a cooling sensation include:
- Eucalyptus globulus essential oil, and
- Tea tree essential oil
Eucalyptus has cooling, soothing properties and a scent that’s absolutely perfect for summer and pairs well with mint essential oils.
A quick but important note about Eucalyptus varieties: you’re generally going to find Eucalyptus essential oil being labeled as Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, or Eucalyptus blue. These names all denote different species of Eucalyptus (of which there are over 700, but you’re most likely to encounter these three).
If a label simply says just “Eucalyptus” alone, it’s almost certainly the globulus variety, as this is the most common, “traditional” Eucalyptus that you’re probably familiar with. Eucalyptus Radiata differs in that it has less 1.8 cineole (a compound primarily desired for its therapeutic properties), but a sweeter, more citrusy aroma that some folks fall in love with. Eucalyptus blue has many of the same properties as Eucalyptus globulus, but thanks to its chemical composition generally doesn’t cause an allergic reaction for people with eucalyptol allergies—handy if you like Eucalyptus but your skin doesn’t.
Sometimes referred to by its proper name Melaleuca, tea tree essential oil has a cooling, crisp effect when inhaled or applied to the skin. Evidence exists to show that tea tree oil has germ-destroying properties, making it useful for cleaning and purifying skin, nails, and hair. It’s also a popular organic household cleaner and even makes an appearance below in our DIY essential oil insect repellent recipe.
Other essential oils perfect for summertime tend to have floral, woodsy, herbaceous, or citrusy aromas. Mix, match, and experiment to your heart’s content with any of the following:
- Jasmine essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Ylang Ylang essential oil
- Rose essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Geranium essential oil
- Sweet orange essential oil
- Palmarosa essential oil
- Basil essential oil
- Chamomile essential oil
You can use your favorite carrier oil of choice, but we’ve found that coconut oil and sweet almond oil tend to pair well with summer-themed blends, especially for topical solutions since these carrier oils are a bit lighter and less greasy-feeling than some of their counterparts.
With all of those in mind, let’s take a look at some fun and useful essential oil recipes for summer!
All-Natural DIY Essential Oil Bug Repellent
Here’s the thing about store-bought bug repellent: it’s probably not that great for you, your kids, your pets, or the environment. The debate about it has gone on for years and years—a quick search for the potentially negative health implications of insect repellent will produce hundreds of results containing news stories, anecdotal evidence, and research studies.
You can either A.) Go through all of this to try and figure out whether or not something called N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide is bad for you, or B.) Make your own just-as-effective insect repellent with organic essential oils for a fraction of the price.
Basically your options are “N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide” or “Rosemary.”
We’ll examine a more complex recipe in a moment, but if you’re in a hurry or don’t have some of the other components, you can still make a quick fix to keep summertime insects away. Essential oil bug spray can be as simple as a quick rub-on solution made with your preferred carrier oil plus 20-25 drops of essential oil. The best essential oils to repel insects are:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Tea tree essential oil
- Citronella essential oil
- Cedarwood essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
It’s also worth noting that along with peppermint and cedarwood, tea tree essential oil is an effective repellent against ticks, which are actually quite common if you’re going on a hike or plan to be brushing up against bushes or other foliage.
If you’ve got a bit more time and you’d like to make a bug repellent that can be sprayed on easily, get yourself an 8 ounce spray bottle plus:
Add the witch hazel and apple cider vinegar to the bottle and then drip about 35-40 drops of your preferred anti-insect essential oil—rosemary is great for mosquitoes. Shake well and spray all over, of course avoiding your mouth, nose, and eyes. You’ll find that you smell quite good and insects won’t want to make your arms and legs their new home, all without the diethyl-whatever. You can also try our other recipe, found here.
Soothe Sunburns With This Summer Essential Oil Recipe
Spending time out in the sun is one of the best parts of summer, but if you overdo it, you’re going to get a sunburn. Similar to our discussion above about bug spray, who knows what’s in the store-bought chemical-based suntan lotions—once again, you can make your own organic DIY recipes that work better and for significantly less.
To prevent sunburns before they happen, you only need coconut oil, which you may already have in your collection of carrier oils. Lather yourself up before spending any significant amount of time in the sun, and the coconut oil’s natural SPF will do a pretty good job of protecting you.
If you already have a sunburn, this is where your essential oils will come in very handy. Here’s what you need to soothe and promote quick healing of a sunburn:
Wet and wring out a clean washcloth with cold water, then put a bit of the apple cider vinegar onto it. Not so much that it’s dripping, but enough to be able to dab the cool, wet washcloth onto your skin. You’ll notice immediately that the apple cider vinegar soothes stinging pain.
Next, gently rub lavender essential oil into the area. Lavender is excellent for skin health and the goal here is to give your skin nourishment so that it heals as fast as possible. The peppermint essential oil is optional, but if you have it, definitely use it: it’ll help to relieve that “overheated” feeling you get with a sunburn.
After this, apply coconut oil to moisturize and protect the area. It should dry off fairly quickly.
You can safely apply this recipe to a sunburn as often as you like. We recommend doing it once before bed and then again immediately in the morning. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the sunburn heals—at least to the point where you can walk around again without being in agony—no more than a day or two.
Essential Oil Summer Cooling Organic Body Spray
Aromatherapy body sprays are absolutely delightful. Summertime is a great opportunity to put to use a soothing, cooling, and great-smelling body spray using your favorite essential oils. Of course, the mint family will be making a visit, but feel free to substitute with eucalyptus or tea tree if you prefer it.
The next time you’re outside to garden or for a late-afternoon outdoor meal, try this DIY essential oil body spray, contained in a 4 ounce spray bottle with a “mist” setting:
- 2 ounces distilled water
- 1 ounce alcohol (see note below)
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil (feel free to substitute with your preferred fruity or floral essence)
- 20 drops of rosemary essential oil
Note concerning alcohol: You don’t have to use alcohol—if you don’t, just use more distilled water. The purpose of the alcohol is to strengthen the scent of the essential oils and how long they’ll linger. Never use isopropyl since it will more than likely overpower the nice smells of the solution with its own, and may even contain unwanted additives. Instead, prefer to use clear, high-proof, non-odiferous alcohols like vodka.
Hair Care Essential Oil Recipe for Summer
The summer heat means that your hair’s natural oils and moisture will be reduced, especially if you’re spending plenty of time outdoors. Therefore, the goal during summer should be to reduce the amount of heat your hair is exposed to and to restore moisture.
A few great ways to do that before we even get to our essential oil hair care recipe is to remember:
- The paradox of showers: we all get sweaty in the summertime, so we tend to shower more often. Unfortunately, this can often mean more heat and additional stripping away of your hair’s natural oils. Skip washing your hair with shampoo or other products more often than you usually would, and either only rinse it out or wear a shower cap.
- Cut back on your blow dryer usage—your hair is already getting exposed to enough heat.
- Sweat less by wearing your hair up in a bun or loose braid. Avoid any tight styles as your hair is more prone to damage thanks to the summer dryness.
In addition to the above, use this invigorating conditioner recipe once or twice a week to keep your hair healthy and moist:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut oil
4 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops clary sage essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix well and apply to your hair while it’s still dry. Using a comb will help distribute the conditioner throughout your hair, and you can massage your scalp with your fingers. The lavender and sage are fantastic for hair health and moisturizing, and the peppermint is going to feel awesome on your scalp. Let this sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing in a cool shower.
Want to learn more about essential oil hair care? We’ve got you covered with these 3 simple DIY hair care essential oil recipes.
Try These Relaxing Summertime Essential Oil Fan Diffuser Recipes
Fan diffusers are a must-have in the summer. Put one in the living room or your back patio and you’ll swear that you’ve never felt so relaxed. Let’s take a look at a few absolutely fantastic fan diffuser recipes for summer.
For those who love a “foresty” scent:
- 5 drops Frankincense essential oil
- 15 drops Sandalwood essential oil
- 20 drops Jasmine essential oil (or your preferred floral essential oil)
Time to get citrusy with this fresh, clean-feeling fan diffuser recipe:
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 10 drops lime essential oil
- 20 drops lemongrass essential oil
Perfect for warm summer nights after the sun goes down:
- 5 drops bergamot essential oil
- 5 drops blue cypress essential oil
- 10 drops hinoki essential oil
- 10 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 10 drops mandarin orange essential oil
Fun in the Sun with Essential Oils & Closing Thoughts
Our greatest desire at Aroma Outfitters is for you to have a fun and safe summer while experimenting with the wonderful world of essential oils. These essences are so versatile, so lovely, and so useful that we’d love to see them in everyone’s home and life.
If you’re new to essential oils, why not start using them this summer?
Let us know about your favorite essential oil recipes and summer tips in the comments below!