Guide To Using Essential Oils in The Shower

Want to incorporate more essential oils into your daily routine, but tight on time? It can be done easily as part of your shower. You can reduce pain, relieve congestion, improve your mood, and more while you wash your body.

Many high-end beauty products utilize aromatherapy because experts know the benefits that can be gained from using essential oils in the shower. You don’t have to spend money on those expensive products though! In this guide, you will learn:

  • Why you should use essential oils in the shower
  • Which essentials oils are best for the the shower
  • How to use essential oils in the shower

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

Benefits of Using Essential Oils in the Shower

When you use essential oils in the shower, it’s like combining aromatherapy and steam therapy. You can reap the benefits from both. It is a win-win situation.

The moisture and heat from steam can help to:

  • Relax you and relieve stress
  • Sweat toxins out through the skin.
  • Open nasal passages and improve breathing. 
  • Improve circulation and relax tight muscles
  • Enhance the quality of sleep
  • Open pores and rejuvenate the skin

Facial steamers are another way that you can get steam therapy at home.

With aromatherapy the benefits vary depending on the essential oil (or oils) that you choose to use. Let’s just take an example, if you add a mood-boosting oil like lemon to your shower it helps you feel energized and clarifies the mind. This is in addition to the benefits of the steam shower.

If you want to learn more about essential oils, check out our list of the best aromatherapy books.

essential oils and towels for the shower

The Best Essential Oils for the Shower

The best essential oil to use in the shower is going to depend on your desired results. Do you want to relax or do you need something to give you some energy? The answer could be different depending on the time of day.

Let me share a few options. Feel free to create a blend if you like.

Best Essential Oils to Increase Energy

Grapefruit Oil

 This oil improves your circulation which gives you more energy and helps fight depression. In addition, it can help fight colds and improve oily skin. 

Click here to see the grapefruit essential oils available on Amazon.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil

The scent of cinnamon is most commonly associated with the holidays. When you use cinnamon essential oil it can stimulate circulation, reduce stress, relieve pain, fight off infections, and even improve digestion.

Click here to see the cinnamon leaf essential oils available on Amazon.

Best Essential Oils to Relax

Lavender Oil

Everyone loves the scent of lavender because it is relaxing. Lavender has other benefits as well including helping with insomnia and stress. 

Click here to see the lavender essential oil options on Amazon.

Frankincense Oil

The Three Wise Men gave Frankincense as one of their gifts to Baby Jesus in the Bible. In addition, to its relaxing effects, it can also soothe coughs, improve your mood, aid in meditation, and speed up healing. It blends well with lavender. 

Click here to see the Frankincense essential oils available on Amazon.

Best Essential Oils to Clear Congestion

Eucalyptus Oil

The smell of eucalyptus oil reminds me of Vick's Vapor Rub that my mom used to give me when I got sick as a kid. While eucalyptus oil eases chest and sinus congestion, it also soothes other physical discomforts.

Click here to see the eucalyptus essential oil options available on Amazon

Rosemary Oil

Like eucalyptus, rosemary oil contains the compound cineole. A study found that cineole may help to break up mucus and reduce inflammation. Other benefits of rosemary oil include improving brain function, stimulating hair growth, and relieving pain.

Click here to see the rosemary essential oil options available on Amazon

Best Essential Oils to Improve Your Mood

Lemon Oil

The citrus zing from lemon oil gives you an energy boost when you need it most. It also fights exhaustion, helps with depression, clears your skin, and reduces inflammation.

Click here to see the Lemon essential oils options available on Amazon.

Bergamot Oil

This essential oil can relieve feelings of depression, improve mood, and aid in fighting addictions (including food). It has a unique smell that is citrusy with a hint of spice and flowers.

Click here to see the Bergamot essential oils options available on Amazon.

Best Essential Oils to Relieve Pain

Peppermint Oil

This minty scented oil gives you a cooling sensation that will ease your pain and can also help with hot flashes. Additionally, many find it helpful for breathing and focusing.

Click here to see the peppermint essential oil options available on Amazon.

Ginger Oil

The spicy smell of ginger is unmistakable. It has a warming effect which helps to relax muscles and relieve pain. Ginger oil is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Click here to see the ginger essential oil options available on Amazon.

How to Use Essential Oils in the Shower


There are actually a few ways to use essential oils in the shower. All of these methods are simple and effective. Feel free to try them all to see which one you prefer.

Shower Steamer or Shower Bomb

Shower Steamers (or bombs) are made with baking soda and citric acid, just like bath bombs, but you place them on the floor of the shower instead of in the tub. The hot water activates the fizzing reaction and releases the essential oils into the air.

Some of these products also contain bath salts which can provide additional benefits. Read more about using bath salts in the shower. 

There are a wide range of shower bombs/steamers on the market. The best one is going to depend on your personal preferences. Think about what you are wanting to achieve (i.e. relaxation, clearing congestion, etc) or just choose your favorite scents.

Click to check out the options for shower steamers and bombs on Amazon here.

Shower Diffuser

Use one of these diffusers to turn your shower into a spa-like experience. It’s affordable and can be installed in just seconds. Then, you place one of the essential oil pods in and turn on the water. It comes with three pods and each one will last 8-10 showers. You can refill the pods with your own essential oil blends.

Read reviews and check the price on Amazon here.

A Few Drops on the Wall or Washcloth

You don’t need to buy any beauty products or equipment to be able to use essential oils in the shower. Take a few drops of your favorite essential oil and put it on the wall or outer edge of your shower. You can also put the drops onto a damp washcloth. The oil should be inside the shower where the steam is intense but not in the direct path of the water.

Essential Oil Safety

Remember for the most part essential oils are not tested for effectiveness or safety so you do need to proceed with caution. If you have any serious medical conditions (including pregnancy), please consult your healthcare provider before using any essential oils.

Essential oils are potent and can cause skin irritation. Always dilute the oil before applying to the skin. Then, be on the lookout for symptoms of irritation such as rash, hives, redness, swelling, or itchiness.

Aromatherapy in the shower can be so relaxing and invigorating that you may be tempted to overdo your steam time. If you’re new to steaming limit your shower to 10-15 minutes. Once your body is used to a steam treatment, it’s still best to keep your shower under 20 minutes at a time.

Finally, you need to be extra careful when using essential oils for children. There are certain essential oils that kids should not use and others that need a lower dilution ratio. Also, be careful to keep the essential oils out of the reach of young children, so they don’t accidentally ingest them. Get more specifics about safety with essential oils and kids here.

Also, remember that essential oils have a limited shelf life.  At that point, the oil will be less effective and can even go rancid.  It's important that you store essential oils properly so that they last longer.


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Elena Curtis
 

Elena graduated from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy Clinic, and since her graduation in 2008, she's honed her style that consists of Eastern and Western massage techniques. When she's not working with patients, Elena spends her time reading and enjoying nature.

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