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When summer temperatures start to soar and it gets too hot to handle, cooling essential oils can provide some relief.
Whether you’re looking to beat the heat, cool down after a workout, or soothe uncomfortable hot flashes, cooling essential oils can help you feel more comfortable and refreshed.
Cooling essential oils contain certain ingredients such as menthol, eucalyptol, or carvol, which help the body feel cooler. Menthol in particular has been the subject of many studies.
This is one of many studies that highlight menthol’s cooling characteristics.
Other studies show these ingredients come in contact with the skin, they send messages to receptors in the brain suggesting that the body is cooler than it really is. This is what creates that distinctive cooling effect.
Using these oils is an effective natural way to provide relief from hot weather, hot flashes, and other conditions that cause heat and discomfort.
These are the top 10 cooling essential oils and the ingredients that give them their cooling properties:
Peppermint essential oil is known for its cooling and refreshing properties. The oil contains a high concentration of menthol, which provides a cooling sensation on the skin.
Menthol also helps reduce inflammation and discomfort. Peppermint oil is also known to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to soothe sore muscles, headaches, and nausea.
Precautions when using peppermint essential oil:
The aroma of peppermint does have a stimulating effect. While this makes it perfect for diffusing during the day, it can interfere with sleep when inhaled before bedtime.
While menthol can feel refreshing and cooling in low dilutions, it can be too hot and uncomfortable on the skin in high concentrations. Use a dilution of 1-2 drops peppermint oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil such as almond or argan before topical application.
Spearmint essential oil contains a high amount of carvone, which gives it a cooling sensation.
Spearmint oil has a similar cooling effect to peppermint oil but with a milder aroma. It is also gentler on the skin. If you find the aroma of peppermint very strong, spearmint is an excellent alternative.
In addition to its cooling sensation, inhaling the aroma of spearmint can help relieve headaches and nausea.
Topical application helps reduce inflammation and soothe skin irritations.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a distinctive aroma that’s refreshing and invigorating.
The oil is rich in eucalyptol, which gives it its cooling properties. A cold compress with eucalyptus oil offers quick effective relief from heat exhaustion. It also helps bring down a fever and soothe sore muscles.
In addition to eucalyptol, eucalyptus essential oil also contains a high quantity of 1,8-cineole, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inhaling eucalyptus vapors using a steam bath is one of the most effective ways to clear the sinuses and airways.
Eucalyptus oil also has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Methyl salicylate, the main ingredient in Wintergreen, is what gives this essential oil its powerful cooling, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wintergreen essential oil has a refreshing and cooling effect on the skin. It is also a natural pain reliever and is often used in topical analgesic creams and gels formulated to soothe sore muscles and joint pain.
It is important to note that wintergreen oil should be used with caution as it contains high levels of methyl salicylate, which is very effective in small doses but can be toxic in large doses.
5. Tea Tree
Tea tree essential oil contains terpinen-4-ol, which has a cooling and soothing effect on the skin. This essential oil is great for reducing inflammation and can be used to relieve sunburns, insect bites, and other skin irritations.
Lemon essential oil contains high levels of limonene, which is a compound known for its cooling and refreshing properties.
Limonene has a cooling effect on the skin and is often used in skincare products to soothe and hydrate the skin. It is also known for its astringent properties, which help to tone and tighten the skin.
In fact, all citrus essential oils have cooling properties. However, these oils are also phototoxic. You must avoid exposure to sunlight immediately after applying any product with citrus oils to the skin as it can cause painful skin reactions.
Lavender essential oil is rich in linalool, which has a cooling and calming effect on the skin.
Linalool is known for its ability to reduce inflammation, soothe skin irritations, and heal sunburn faster.
Lavender oil is also known for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
The cooling and refreshing effect of Geranium essential oil stems from its rich geraniol content. Geraniol also has potent astringent and toning properties, which makes it a popular ingredient in skincare products.
Inhaling the aroma of geranium oil can also help balance hormones and reduce stress.
Rose essential oil contains high levels of citronellol, which has a cooling and hydrating effect on the skin.
Citronellol is often used in skincare products for its ability to soothe, hydrate and moisturize the skin.
Rose oil is also known for its ability to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Make your own rose bath bombs for a truly cooling and refreshing bath any time of the year.
Sandalwood essential oil is well known for its woody, sweet, and exotic aroma, as well as its cooling and calming properties.
Sandalwood essential oil contains a unique chemical compound called santalol, a sesquiterpene alcohol that gives the oil its powerful cooling and calming properties.
Santalol also has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an effective ingredient in many skin and bath care products and soaps. It can soothe irritated skin and reduce redness and inflammation.
Additionally, sandalwood essential oil has been shown to have astringent properties, which can help to tighten and firm the skin.
Special Mention: Peppermint Eucalyptus Essential Oil
A combination of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils creates a powerful cooling effect on the skin. This blend is often used in massage oils and balms for its muscle-relaxing properties.
Peppermint essential oil contains high levels of menthol, which provides a cooling sensation on the skin. Eucalyptus essential oil contains eucalyptol, which has a refreshing and invigorating scent.
Together, these oils create a powerful cooling effect on the skin and are often used in massage oils and balms for their muscle-relaxing properties.
This list of cooling essential oils is far from exhaustive. All oils from the citrus aroma families (lime, sweet orange) and mint aroma families also have cooling properties.
Except for lavender, rose, and geranium, all other floral essential oils have milder cooling properties in comparison.
5 Cooling Essential Oil Spray Recipes
Cooling Mist Spray
10 drops Peppermint
10 drops Eucalyptus
10 drops Lavender
1 cup Distilled Water
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray onto the face and body for a refreshing and cooling sensation.
Shake well before each use.
After-Sun Soothing Blend
5 drops Lavender
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Chamomile
1 tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel
Mix all ingredients together and apply to sunburned skin for a soothing and cooling effect.
Cooling Muscle Relief Massage Oil
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Eucalyptus
5 drops Ginger
1/4 cup carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil)
Mix all ingredients together and massage onto sore muscles for a cooling and pain-relieving effect.
Cooling Foot Soak
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Tea Tree
1/2 cup Epsom salt
Mix the essential oils with the Epsom salt and add to a foot bath filled with warm water.
Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes for a refreshing and cooling effect.
Refreshing Diffuser Blend
3 drops Lemon
3 drops Peppermint
3 drops Lavender
Add the essential oils to a diffuser for a cooling and refreshing aroma. This blend is perfect for hot summer days or after a workout.
How To Use Cooling Essential Oils
Inhalation is a simple and effective way to use cooling essential oils.
Add a few drops of your preferred cooling essential oil to a diffuser or vaporizer and inhale the scent.
To add variety to your days, use any of these sizzling summer essential oil blends in your diffuser. These blend recipes combine one or more oils from the mint, citrus, and floral aroma families to create various refreshing aromas that are perfect for diffusing during the hot days of summer.
This Cheerful Citrus Diffuser Blend combines 4 different citrus essential oils for a powerful citrusy aroma while this Refreshing Lemonade Diffuser Blend combines 3 milder citrus aromas with peppermint for a truly cooling and refreshing aroma. These are hands-down my favorite two summer scents to create with cooling essential oils.
Topical application is another common way to use cooling essential oils. You can dilute the oil in a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply it to the skin. This method is great for relieving sore muscles, joint pain, and inflammation. Be sure to do a patch test before applying the oil to a larger area of skin and avoid sensitive areas like the eyes, mouth, and genitals.
Cooling Spray Mist
Make a cooling mist by adding a few drops of cooling essential oil and ½ teaspoon sweet almond oil to a spray bottle filled with water.
Shake the bottle well and spray the mist over your face and body for an instant cooling effect. This is particularly effective for relief from hot flashes, high temperatures, and skin irritation.
Avoid misting your face if you have sensitive skin.
A cool compress is a simple and effective way to use cooling essential oils for headaches, fever, and inflammation.
Add a few drops of your preferred cooling oil and a teaspoon of carrier oil to a bowl of cool water.
Soak a clean cloth in the water, wring out the excess water and apply the cloth to your forehead for 10-15 minutes to reduce headaches and fever.
The cloth will get warm as it absorbs the heat from your body. Re-soak it in the cool water and re-apply for another 10-15 minutes.
To cool down when you step indoors from the hot sun, apply a cool compress over your forehead, neck, head, and chest.
Adding a few drops of cooling essential oil to a cool bath can provide a refreshing and relaxing experience, especially on a humid day when you’re feeling hot and sticky.
On days when all you have time for is a quick shower, here’s how to use cooling essential oils in the shower.
Soothing body oil
Cool down and relax with a soothing body oil made with cooling essential oils. Whether you need to unwind before bed or wake up refreshed in the morning, mix a drop or two of your preferred cooling essential oils with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba, and massage it into your skin.
Precautions When Using Cooling Essential Oils
Start with a small amount to avoid an intense cooling sensation.
Remember, essential oils are highly concentrated, so it’s important to use them in moderation and dilute them properly.
Always do a patch test before using a new essential oil.
Consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using essential oils. See Full Disclaimer here.