Fall might bring changing leaves and pumpkin spice lattes, but it also brings damper, darker weather.
If you’re ready to cut seasonal affective disorder off at the pass, the woody, medicinal scent of eucalyptus might be your new secret weapon.
Not only will this ultra-invigorating scent give you an insta-energy boost, but the oils from eucalyptus are also antibacterial and antimicrobial. (Read: perfect for stopping a cold in its tracks).
Here are our fave six ways to include eucalyptus in your health and beauty routine all season long:
1. Purify Your Pores
Like tea tree oil, eucalyptus is chock-full of antibacterial properties - which makes it perfect for zapping pimples and keeping acne at bay.
Once the weather turns sour, staying on top of acne can be tricky - especially since most acne treatments (including eucalyptus oil) are drying.
According to skin-care expert Shrankhla Holecek, botanical face oils - while a little intimidating - might be just the thing your skin needs to, well, stop producing so much of its own oil.
While most people fear that extra oil will make their face break out, that’s just not true, Holecek assures Refinery29.
“In reality, many face oils are non-comedogenic," she explained to the popular lifestyle site. “They can actually work to regulate the skin's overproduction of oil.”
When working with essential oils like eucalyptus, be sure to use a “carrier oil like jojoba or grapeseed oil...to dilute it and carry the nutrients into the skin,” instructs Mi-Anne Chen at Refinery29.
Otherwise, the powerfully concentrated essential oil might wreak havoc on sensitive skin.
From our catalog: Stop oil in its tracks with our Eucalyptus Seafoam Facial Cleanser. This richly foaming, detoxifying blend of seaweed, invigorating eucalyptus and mint essential oils, and skin-softening rosehip oil washes away makeup and other impurities to leave you feeling fresh, energized, and ready to tackle your day.
2. Heal Your Lips
Windy weather got you down? Heal cracked lips with the power of eucalyptus - just make sure your lip balm has a strong humectant to counteract the possible drying effects of eucalyptus oil.
Natural humectants like shea butter make perfect, moisture-rich lip balm bases, dermatologist Whitney Bowe told New York Magazine.
And you’ll have to stay on top of things if you want those dry lips to get better, since dinnertime can wreak havoc on your kisser.
“You have to reapply [lip balm] regularly after eating and drinking,” dermatologist Heidi Waldorf explained to New York Magazine, since all that action can dry out your lips.
Before you go to bed, remember to exfoliate dry skin away with a lip scrub (they’re super easy to make yourself) and add one last coat of your favorite nourishing lip balm for a perfect pout in the morning.
3. Stimulate Your Scalp
If your scalp starts to feel dry and itchy this winter, a few drops of eucalyptus oil in your normal conditioner will perk you right up.
Eucalyptus oil “can bring down inflammation in the scalp which helps create an ideal environment for hair growth,” explains Kristin Collins Jackson at Bustle.
Other keys to weathering cold? Minimize the amount of time you spend with your hair dryer and change the way you shampoo, suggests Sophia Breene at Greatist.
“Shampooing strips moisture from the scalp and hair, so wash strands every other day,” writes Breene.
You can also bail on shampoo altogether during the week, she says, by rinsing off and adding conditioner.
This “works just fine to keep hair clean and moisturized” when the temps are chilly, Breene writes.
If a “tingly” DIY conditioning treatment sounds like it’s right up your alley, Jackson shares her nourishing recipe, which includes avocado, coconut milk and oil, and eucalyptus with readers.
A conditioning treatment that sounds good enough to eat? Sign us up.
4. Clear Your Head
Had a bad day at work or an argument that turned into a major buzzkill?
Eucalyptus oil can help you leap over that mental hurdle, suggests Nicole Yih, the assistant director of the Mandarin Oriental Spa.
“It’s a stimulant that combats sluggishness and relaxes over-worked blood vessels throughout the body,” Yih told Prevention.
You can also turn to eucalyptus if you have a tension, sinus, or allergy-related headache, since it’s the essential oil for congestion and inflamed respiratory passages.
Add a few drops of the oil to your bath, or a few fresh leaves to your shower, to steam away your troubles.
From our catalog: Chill out with our Eucalyptus Shower Gel. Therapeutic herbs, rose hydrosol, green tea, and seaweed nourish for healthier skin, while eucalyptus essential oils help lift your mood and cleanse your skin.
5. Kill Your Cold
If your mom depended on Vicks Vapo-Rub to help you get over a chest cold or congestion, than the slightly woody, minty scent of eucalyptus will be deeply familiar.
There’s a reason eucalyptus is such a successful cold killer. As an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic essential oil, it kills germs with a vengeance.
Stylist Karla Welch, who works with Olivia Wilde and Felicity Jones, even uses eucalyptus leaves in her shower as an insurance policy against getting sick.
“We have a eucalyptus tree, so we throw eucalyptus leaves in there, especially in the winter to steam up, and I swear that’s how I keep my kid from having colds,” Welch told Into the Gloss.
“They’re just germs—children are germs. But the eucalyptus helps,” she joked.
An extra steamy shower that keeps us from sniffling all winter? Yes, please.
From our catalog: Kick a cold to the curb with our Organic Eucalyptus Sea Therapy Bath salts, made from crystallized kelp. Harvested from an organic seaweed farm off the Brittany coast of France, the seaweed’s clear plasma rise to the surface of the sea and are crystallized by the hot summer sun.
This highly detoxifying bath contains all the therapeutic elements from the sea - over 60 different minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids that replenish, nourish, detox, and heal. Organic peppermint essential oil refreshes and stimulates circulation, while organic eucalyptus essential oil strengthens immunity, clears up sinuses, and eases congestion.
6. Boost Your Energy
It might seem counterintuitive, but the deep, medicinal scent of eucalyptus can help you feel rejuvenated and more energetic.
“If you are strained, tense, or frazzled, try creating an aroma mist spray with balancing oils,” suggest the editors of Total Beauty.
“Add fifteen to twenty drops of eucalyptus, geranium, or bergamot to one ounce of distilled water in a dark glass spray bottle. Mist yourself when feeling stressed. This should help immediately!”
Whether you need to take a beat before a big meeting or just need something to cut through the fug of late fall, eucalyptus oil’s restorative scent will help you clear your mind and feel ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
“During times of emotional overload, it can restore balance, improve concentration, and increase intellectual capacity,” suggests Roberta Wilson, author of Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty.
That almost sounds better than our 3PM cup of coffee! Almost.
From our catalog: Moisturize and energize in one fell swoop with our Eucalyptus Hand Buttercream. Rich buttercream softens and deeply nourishes skin with anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants, while essential eucalyptus oil restores your spirit and helps you hit the refresh button.
With winter right around the corner, trains and planes will be filled to the brim with sniffling travelers. (Gross!)
Get a jump on cold prevention by incorporating eucalyptus oil into your health and beauty routine while you’re still feeling hale and healthy, or diffuse this essential oil in your bath or shower to brighten up your day and lighten your mood.
While everyone else is freaking out this winter, you’ll have holiday stress on lock with your new-found essential oil know-how. It’s smooth sailing until 2017, babe.
Do you use essential oils in your beauty routine? Tell us how they work for you in the comments below :