by Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC
(Post written in 2020)
Essential oils can be used to treat all sorts of different conditions and can be a preventative measure too. Using essential oils in a hand cream is a great way to add extra hydration and nourishment, along with a lovely aroma, of course!
But what if we could add an extra element? What if we could add some antibacterial and antiviral properties to the hand cream?
At the time of writing this, we are in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are (hopefully), washing our hands a lot to protect ourselves and others from the virus. Because of this, our hands will be becoming dry, so using a hand cream regularly, is a great idea.
Add to this some essential oils that can help to protect against bacteria and viruses, then its even more beneficial!
(To be clear – using essential oils will not prevent you contracting Coronavirus, other virus’s, or bacterial infections, but just give you some added cleansing protection)
It occurred to me that with the vast shortage of hand sanitiser, and anti-bacterial hand soap, that I could make a version of hand sanitiser using aromatherapy oils. A homemade anti-bacterial hand cream!
Good hand cleansing is imperative at the moment. So, how can aromatherapy add to what we are (hopefully), already doing?
How do essential oils work?
Essential oils are the aromatic substances or pure oils extracted from the leaves, petals, herbs, peel or bark from plants, flowers, trees and fruits.
They are often referred to as the plant’s life force and are usually extracted from the plant by means of distillation (a steam process method) or expression (squeezing the oil out).
The molecules in these essential oils are so fine that they are able to penetrate the surface of the skin and absorb to the deeper layers of the skin. From here they enter the bloodstream and travel around the body to have an affect.
They work by changing the chemical messages and impulses sent around the body, therefore changing the ways the body functions. For example if an oil is known for relaxing, then it may help to reduce heart rate and breathing rate to calm the body down.
In addition to this, each essential oil has an array of properties, meaning that they will have certain benefits and effects for a number of conditions.
Properties of essential oils
To create a useful product, the properties I was looking for were;
Meaning that it kills bacteria.
This is an ingredient that kills a virus or suppresses it’s ability to grow.
Anything antiseptic, prevents the growth of disease-causing micro-organisms.
So brilliant properties, to add to a homemade anti-bacterial hand cream, to aid in sanitising our hands, and preventing bacteria during this time – and beyond!
So, my recipe doesn’t include alcohol, which is an essential agent in a hand sanitiser. But the purpose of this hand cream, is to add anti-bacterial (and other essential) properties to the treatments you may already be using – hand sanitiser and hand soap.
(This post contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
The oils I chose;
With a very light, floral fragrance, Roman Chamomile is antiseptic and bactericidal.
(Do not use during pregnancy).
Tea tree has a strong, clean scent, and is antiseptic, anti-viral and bactericidal! So a key ingredient with super-powers!
From the leaves and flowers of the white thyme herb, this has a fresh scent and is also antiseptic, antiviral and bactericidal.
(Do not use during pregnancy or be used by those with high blood pressure).
A lovely fresh scent, lemon adds the properties of antiseptic and antiviral.
The recipe is so simple.
Take a plain hand and body lotion. The plainer the better, as anything loaded with chemicals will react adversely with the essential oils.
If possible dispense this into a separate pump top bottle.
Then add 5 drops of each of the oils per 100 ml, and 2-3 drops of each per 50 ml. Using a spoon or a small spatula, mix, until the oil droplets are mixed in.
The result is a super fresh, clean smelling hand lotion, that used after each hand wash, will help keep the germs that are around us, at bay.
Other oils that have similar properties are; Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Pine & Rose Damask. If you have any of these at home, they will be effective too.
Disclaimer – I am a qualified aromatherapist, and these oils are safe to use in small quantities. Do not use any essential oils undiluted directly on the skin. However if in any doubt of the use of oils, please consult your local practitioner for a consultation. I would also like to re-iterate that this hand cream will not kill the virus that is prevalent at the moment, it can be used in addition to other proven methods of hand sanitising.
For more essential oil recipes READ HERE