How Do You Use Essential Oils?
You don’t need a degree in chemistry or extensive training to know how to use essential oils effectively. With a basic understanding of safety precautions and application methods, it is easy to start using essential oils.
Get Started With Essential Oils
As you get started with essential oils keep these things in mind:
- Determine the uses and benefits of the oil you intend to apply.
- Follow any label and packaging instructions.
- If you have specific concerns, consult with a healthcare professional first.
How to Apply Essential Oils
There are three ways to use essential oils:
1. Through smell. We call this “aromatic” use of essential oils. This includes any application method that helps you experience the aroma of the oil. You can use essential oils aromatically by:
- Diffusing in an essential oil diffuser
- Applying a drop to your hands and inhaling
- Wearing as a personal fragrance
2. On your skin. “Topical” application of essential oils allows the oil to absorb into the skin. Some ways to use essential oils on your skin are:
- Apply to targeted areas and rub in
- Add to lotions or moisturizers
Essential Oil Safety
Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind when you are learning how to use essential oils:
Essential Oil Safety Guidelines
- Avoid applying oils to sensitive areas like the nose, ears, eyes, or broken skin. Avoid using “hot oils” on the face.*
- Always read labels and package instructions before using an essential oil for the first time.
- Use dilution to minimize skin sensitivity.
- Be aware of oils with sun sensitivity warnings.
- Practice safe storage—keep oils out of reach of children.
- Always supervise young children when applying essential oils.
- If you have specific health concerns, talk to a healthcare professional before trying essential oils.
How to Use Essential Oils Aromatically
Aromatic use of essential oils is especially powerful.
The sense of smell is a tool that can elicit powerful physiological, mental, and emotional responses. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system, which is the part of your brain that stores memories and emotions. Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming.
Diffusing is one of the simplest ways to use essential oils aromatically. You can use an essential oil diffuser if you’d like but using essential oils aromatically does not require any special diffusing devices. You can achieve the same health benefits by simply placing a few drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand, cupping it around your nose, and breathing deeply.
Other Ways to Use Essential Oils Aromatically:
- Apply oil to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your vehicle
- Mix oils in a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens
- Add oil to a batch of laundry or to dryer sheets
- Use in household surface cleaners
How to Use Essential Oils Topically (on the Skin)
Essential oils easily penetrate the skin for localized benefits, making topical (on the skin) application a great way to experience the benefits of essential oils. This is why we works to create potent essential oils that are powerful enough to promote healthy-looking skin, yet gentle enough to use on a daily basis.
When used topically, essential oils can improve complexion and skin tone. They can also be used as part of a soothing massage. Before topical application, be sure to follow all label recommendations and dilution instructions.
Beneficial Areas You Can Apply Essential Oils
- Forehead and temples (unless the oil is classified as a “hot oil”)
- Chest and abdomen
- Arms, legs, bottoms of feet
Other Ways to Use Essential Oils Topically
- Add a few drops of oil to a warm bath
- Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a cloth in water, adding essential oils, and then applying to the desired area
- Add oil to a lotion or moisturizer and then apply to skin
Sensitive Areas to be Avoided
- Some facial areas, such as the skin around the eyes
- Eyes and inner ears
- Broken, damaged, or otherwise injured skin