The best summer essential oils – diffuser blends and recipes to see you through the summer!

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By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

The best summer essential oils

There are so many great essential oils that can help and heal different issues during summer, and those that give us a fragrance reminiscent of warm summer evenings, days at the beach, summer holidays and even our favourite ice cream! Summer is definitely my favourite time of year – and living in the UK, where hot days and warm evenings are scarce, even in July and August, I need to create some sunshine, even when there isn’t any!

Furthermore the powerful chemical complexes of essential oils can also help to heal and soothe skin conditions or issues that we may experience during the summer, such as bites, stings and sunburn.

The best essential oils to use during the summer are;

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Melissa
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree
  • Citronella

Essential oils are the pure oils that are extracted from the leaves and flowers of herbs and plants, the peel of fruits and even the bark and resins from trees. Even though the oils are pure and natural, they are each made up of a powerful chemical complex. These chemical complexes give each oil a variety of properties or therapeutic actions, which are the actions or effects they can have on the skin, body or mind. The therapeutic actions that essential oils for summer, need to have are;

Anti-inflammatory – these oils reduce and soothe inflammations on the skin so useful for bites, stings or rashes.

Antiseptic – prevents or removes infection so a good natural alternative for cuts, scrapes, stings etc.

Anti-allergic – can prevent, remove or soothe an allergic, so these oils make a good natural anti-histamine.

Cooling – cools the area of application so good to cool skin down in hot weather or extreme temperatures, or treat sunburn.

Refreshing – these oils are good to revitalise and refresh, either in warm weather, or to give an impression of summer!

Uplifting – helps positive thinking and uplifts the emotions – perfect for inducing a feeling of summer sunshine!!

The best essential oils for summer


Bergamot is a lovely refreshing – very underused – citrus oil! It is cooling, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, so a great all rounder to use in the summer. It will help heal, calm and cool inflamed skin conditions, plus the aroma makes a great addition to any summer diffuser blend


Cedarwood has a slightly heavier woody fragrance that pairs well with lighter citrus oils. It is antiseptic and soothing, so calms itching on skin; conditions such as bites and stings.  Will be useful to soothe the skin during a heat rash.

(Do not use during pregnancy)


A lovely gentle essential oil that is anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and uplifting. It has lovely, subtle floral aroma that makes a good addition to a summer diffuser blend, while also calming and soothing irritated skin conditions especially during skin allergies.

(Do not use during pregnancy)

Clary sage

Clary sage reduces inflammations on the skin, so can be used to reduce skin irritations such as insect bites and stings. It is also uplifting and promoting feelings of euphoria, so an ideal addition to a summer diffuser blend!

(Do not use during pregnancy)


A cooling oil, that is useful to use on sweaty, or excessively oily skins. The subtle woody aroma blends well with both herby and citrus fragrances.

(Do not use during pregnancy)


An all-round healing oil, Lavender is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and cooling, so useful for treating bites, stings, inflamed or sore skin conditions, including sunburn. 


Lemongrass is an antiseptic oil that is a natural insect repellent, so a perfect oil to have around during the summer months!


An anti-allergic oil so soothes, or prevents allergic reactions as well as being useful to have around to use on bites and stings.

(Do not use during pregnancy)


Peppermint has lots of useful ‘summer’ uses! It is antiseptic, cooling, so will help calm hot skin conditions or inflammations, while having a cooling effect on sunburn. It also makes a great addition to many summer diffuser blends.

(Incompatible with homeopathic medicines)

Tea tree

A useful essential oil to have in your summer medicine bag as s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic so good for treating itchy skin conditions, bites, stings and sunburn.


Citronella is a well known insect repellent, so can be used in a diffuser blend or treatment creams, to keep bugs and mosquitos at bay! More mosquito repellent recipes here!

(Do not use during pregnancy)

Summer essential oil recipes

Soothing roller blend for bites & stings

Ideal to carry with you to apply directly to a bite or sting to relieve the itching or irritation. Simply add the sweet almond oil to a 10ml roller bottle, add the essential oils and shake to mix.

  • 10ml Sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops Chamomile
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Cedarwood

Soothing skin cream for bites & stings

A useful cream to create and keep as an alternative to over the counter bite & sting creams. Try to use a very plain hand or body cream, so that the essential oils give the most power in this blend.

  • 50ml plain hand cream
  • 7 drops Thyme
  • 7 drops Lavender
  • 6 drops Tea Tree

Soothing & cooling skin cream for inflamed & hot skin

Either of these blends are good to apply to mild sunburn, heat rash or just ‘hot & bothered’ skin. Create this as your summer body lotion to cool, calm, hydrate – and smell wonderful!

  • 50ml plain hand/body cream
  • 7 drops Chamomile
  • 7 drops Bergamot
  • 5 drops Peppermint

Antiseptic skin cream

A useful cream to replace the more common shop bought antiseptic cream, to use on cuts and scrapes to prevent infection and accelerate healing. Pack in your holiday medicine bag!

  • 50ml plain hand/body cream
  • 7 drops Tea tree,
  • 7 drops Lavender
  • 6 drops Bergamot

Anti-allergic skin cream

Apply to the skin during an allergic reaction, or directly after a bite or sting, or inhale the oils together (see diffuser blends) if suffering with hay-fever.

  • 50ml plain hand/body lotion
  • 7 drops Chamomile,
  • 7 drops Melissa
  • 6 drops Lavender

Summer diffuser blends

Both of these blends, smell wonderfully citrusy and and almost antiseptic, with the added benefit of warding of mosquitos and flies!

Mosquito repellent #1 – Lavender & Lemongrass

Mosquito repellent #2 – Citronella, Eucalyptus & Orange

Ylang ylang flowers typically smell more powerful at night. These 2 floral blends paired with light, refreshing mandarin or bergamot, are reminiscent of warm, balmy evenings!

Exotic evening – Ylang Ylang, Jasmine & Mandarin

Exotic floral – Bergamot, Ylang Ylang & Lavender

Benzoin has a distinct vanilla, almost white chocolate aroma, and when paired with peppermint, can remind us of mint choc chip ice cream!

Mint choc chip ice cream – Peppermint & Benzoin

Replicate a favourite summer desert, by blending these zingy citrus aromas with the vanilla scented Benzoin

Key lime pie – Lime, Lemon & Benzoin

This uplifting, refreshing, fragrance contains the main components of this cocktail favourite!

Mojito – Lime, Grapefruit & Peppermint

Pure citrus fruits make this wonderfully refreshing summertime blend.

Fruit burst – Grapefruit, Orange & Lemon

Imagine a beautiful, pine forest fringed Mediterranean beach with this woody, citrus blend.

Beach days – Petitgrain, Pine & Orange

A summer garden comes to life in this highly floral diffuser blend.

Floral burst – Lavender, Geranium & Jasmine

This blends gives a really fresh, clean, sea air scent.

Driftwood – Cypress, Peppermint, Orange

Precautions of essential oils for summer

Essential oils, even though natural, are highly volatile, chemical substances, so blending guides/amounts should be followed carefully to ensure the correct amounts are used.

Bergamot and Lemongrass are phototoxic, so if applied topically, direct sunlight should be avoided.

Topical application of the following oils should be avoided during pregnancy; Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Melissa, Citronella & Thyme.

Peppermint essential oil is incompatible with homeopathic medicines.

Using any of the oils in a diffuser or burner is safe, however use with caution if pregnant, or suffering with any respiratory disorders.

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, that has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.

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