I have been using essential oils for a couple of years now. I use them in place of a lot of other cosmetics, skin care and wellness products.
Before I started using essential oils, I had been so conditioned by use of things like baby oil and lotions. I thought that all oils and lotions were greasy and "oily". When I started using essential oils on my skin at first, I found that I didn't need much. A little went a long way. It wasn't greasy or oily, I liked the way it felt on my skin. It lasted for a long time during my day.
I started using essential oils more and more. I started learning about the different oils and what they can be used for. I enjoyed the light scent I got rather than heavy perfumes, which are generally toxic anyway.
So, what are essential oils for? Since the cosmetics industry (cosmetic meaning not just make up but skin care and hair care) is completely unregulated by any government agency, they can use anything they want in their products. If you look at the ingredient list, you will see that some use lead and mineral oils (mineral oil is a waste product of petroleum) and many more toxins, carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Essential oils are a great way to replace those toxic products you are using.
Essential oils are extracts from plants; they are distilled from plants, a process that extracts the oils and separates it from the water of the plant. People have used them for centuries, they are even referred to in ancient texts including the Bible. They were used for trading and were very valuable. They have many cosmetic and medicinal uses.
Cosmetically, they can replace body lotions. Many are mixed with a sugar or salt scrub. I have found some excellent scrubs at Salus (ShopSalus.com) they mix any scent(s) I desire and I have found them reasonably priced and very usable. I use it in the shower after I shave. It's a great skin conditioner and it helps when I am putting jeans on after a shower. If you use it for a skin conditioner, be mindful of any topical applications you many use. Since I use bio-identical hormones topically, I'm sure not to apply the oils to the part of the skin I apply the hormone to.
I also use oils on my hair rather than use styling smoothers. The essential oils like tea tree, peppermint and herbal extracts are great for smoothing hair after or before straightening. It helps keep those "fly aways" down. Be sure not to use the tropical extracts like citrus (lemon, lime, orange etc) because those are a bit acidic and can harm your hair.
Medicinally the minty oils like eucalyptus are great in your humidifier to help with congestion. It's much better than using petroleum products that use that same extract. It doesn't take much to get into your system. Sniff them right out of the bottle, they work amazingly well. Lavender oils are great for helping you get to sleep, a few drops in your bath and you will be ready for a nap or bed time. The citrus oils are great for waking you up, a bit of citrus oil in the morning after a shower is invigorating. Floral oils are a great replacement for those toxic perfumes made from chemicals.
I have only touched on some of the uses for essential oils. There are some wonderful sellers, like I mentioned above. Many of the cosmetic companies are starting to sell them because they know that people are moving in the direction of less toxins and more natural and organic applications.
What do YOU use essential oils for?