You’ve surely seen or heard of essential oil diffusers — they’re all over the place lately, and for good reason. Aromatherapists tout the many benefits of adding essential oils to your self-care routine, whether you’re looking to improve your health or just looking for a way to help you unwind. While we’re big fans of essential oil diffusers, they aren’t the only way to get the amazing benefits of essential oils.
Using a few drops of essential oil in the shower (or in the bath!) can be a great way to incorporate them into your life without adding any extra steps to your routine. Much like when you apply essential oils topically, you’ll want to know how best to dilute your essential oil so you don’t use too much, but it’s pretty easy to find information on the proportions needed to use essential oils in a healthy way.
Once you know the ratio of essential oil to whatever you’re using to dilute it (whether it's coconut oil, jojoba oil, or something else), you have a couple of options as to how you use it in the shower. You could place a cup or bowl filled with water and your essential oils at the back of your shower, on a ledge, or in a shower caddy. The vapor from your shower will release the oils as the temperature increases.
You could also rub your essential oil blend into a washcloth and keep the washcloth in the shower — this works much in the same way as the cup. If you make your essential oil and carrier oil mixture, you could also wipe it on the walls of your shower before you turn the water on. The heat from the shower will help the smell waft through the air — instant spa vibes.
If all of this sounds like too much of a hassle, it’s also as easy as letting some of the water gather in the bottom of your bath before you start your shower so that you get the aromatherapy benefits as you bathe. If you’re more of a bath person than a shower person, as long as you make sure your essential oils are appropriately diluted, you can use them directly into the bath with your Epsom salts, hot water, and whatever else you may use. Think of it as a customizable bath bomb, without the colorful clean up after.
However you choose to disperse them, we have some recommendations about the best essential oils to use in the shower.
If You Shower At Night
If you shower in the evening, your shower experience is probably part of your wind-down routine. While we often hear recommendations to cut down on phone use, television-watching, or caffeine and sugar intake as it gets closer to bed time, there are other things you can do to help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
When dispersed in your shower, essential oils can have amazing aromatherapeutic effects. There are many essential oils that promote relaxation. Some are packed with certain antioxidants, like Apigenin, which may help ease any anxiety you might be feeling. Others are thoughts to positively impact your blood pressure or heart rate, helping you really relax on a deep level.
Combined with other good late-night habits, adding some of the following essential oils to your shower can make it much easier for you to have a calm, relaxing evening — and drift comfortably off to dreamland, stress-free.
- Chamomile essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Bergamot essential oil
- Sandalwood essential oil
- Ylang Ylang essential oil
- Frankincense essential oil
If You Shower In The Morning
If you’re more of the get-up-and-go type, you probably have your morning routine down pat. However, adding some essential oils to your shower can be a simple, no-hassle way to enrich your wake up experience while stimulating your senses and helping you get the most out of your morning — without any extra caffeine!
Citrus essential oils are a great go-to if you’re looking for an early morning pick-me-up. Essential oils like orange, lemon, or grapefruit are all known to help in improving emotional wellness. If you wake up feeling tense or with your thoughts racing, diffusing a bright, citrusy essential oil in your shower can help with that. Not to mention they just smell fresh and beautiful!
Other essential oils can be great to add to your morning shower for their uplifting, invigorating properties. If you’re looking to cut back on coffee but still feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first thing in the morning, any of these essential oils will be a great addition to your routine.
- Lemon essential oil
- Black Pepper
If You’re Not Feeling Well
If you’re shaking off the vestiges of a cold, flu, or other illness or suffering from allergies, it can be difficult to feel ready for work in the morning or even for an easy day at home. Showering when you’re feeling under the weather can help wake you up and make you feel refreshed. But by adding some essential oils to your shower, you can really stimulate your sense in a way that makes getting on with the day less of a hassle even if you’re not feeling well.
There are essential oils, like eucalyptus and peppermint, that are great if you’re looking to ease your congestion so that you can breathe easier. Other essential oils, like thyme, clove, and cinnamon, are thought to have cleansing properties, helping refresh you If you’re feeling groggy.
There are also many essential oils that can help relax you and relieve stress. So if you’re someone who can’t stand being under the weather and losing out on productivity, essential oils like lavender and chamomile can help keep your stress levels low, so you can focus on getting better. Others, like eucalyptus and tea tree, can help open up your sinuses and boost your immune system.
While they’re no replacement for actual medical treatment if you need it, any of the following oils are a great way to relax and re-set if you’re feeling unwell!
- Tea tree
If You Need A Pick-me-up
Sometimes we shower not because we need to but because we need a reset. Showers can be refreshing!
When we’re feeling unfocused, overwhelmed, or stressed, a little self-care can go a long way toward helping you hit the reset button. Taking a nice, luxurious shower can be a great way to do this. But it’s even better if you can add some essential oils to your shower. Depending on which essential oils you use, they can help boost the restorative feeling of a little self-care and give your mood the boost it needs to help you get through your day.
Much like if you’re looking to wakeup, citrus oils can be a great addition to help you find your focus. Essential oils that are thought to help promote emotional wellness or relieve overall feelings of tension — like Eucalyptus, Basil, or Spearmint — are also excellent essential oils to add to your shower. There are also essential oils that are thought to increase your ability to focus… which is something we all could use!
If you need a way to refresh yourself and find your center, a shower enhanced with your favorite essential oils can really help shake off the cobwebs and help you to hit the ground running.
In summary, adding essential oils to your shower is a quick and easy way to enhance your morning, evening, or mid-afternoon get-it-together shower. Essential oils all have different properties that can help you get in whatever headspace you’re looking for, depending on the combination. And that’s another important thing!
While it’s good to know what each essential oil does, you can also combine them into your ideal blend. We laid out some essential oils to encourage specific mindsets, and you can definitely combine those oils to make an ultra-relaxing mix or a super wake-up blend. But there’s no need to limit yourself.
If you like the idea of using essential oils in the shower, we think it’s a great idea to mix and match your favorites. This way, you can get the exact experience and benefits you need to suit your lifestyle or make the perfect mix to set your day’s tone. Plus, we don’t just like essential oils for the amazing things they can do for our moods, health, or sense of wellbeing. They also smell amazing!