Health

3 Ways to (Safely) Use Essential Oils – Lindsey Willis

So you’re ready to use essential oils.

Maybe you’ve never used an essential oil and are curious about effective ways to use them. There’s something about a diffuser involved, right?

Maybe the bottles are sitting in front of you and you’re wondering, Now what?

Or maybe you’ve been using oils for awhile and you are wanting to find out the most effective ways to get the all the oily benefits.

The first time I used an oil (reluctantly, I might add), I was told to rub it on my big toe. To help my stomach discomfort. I definitely ached an eyebrow and was skeptical.

So let’s chat.

3 Ways To Use Essential Oils

Aromatically

First, essential oils can be used aromatically. This is a fancy way of saying smell the oil. Breathe it in. Diffuse it. Sniff it from the bottle. Put a drop in your hands and cup your hands around your nose and mouth and breathe in.

When you’re on the go, you can unscrew the cap, wave the bottle under your nose and breathe in. If you’re at home, plug in your diffuser and put your desired oils in the diffuser with water and enjoy for a few hours.

Aromatic uses of essential oils are best for supporting positive moods and healthy breathing. If you’re wanting to ease feelings of stress on days when emotions are running high, or sustain a sense of focus, or even support a healthy indoor environment and support healthy respiratory function, using oils aromatically can help.

Topically

Second, essential oils can be used topically and rubbed on the skin. So where and why would an oil be used topically? Great q!

Skin irritations and muscle discomfort are two of the most common uses for applying an oil to the skin. Have an itchy bug bite from that camping trip? Feeling sore from leg day at the gym? Apply the oil directly to the area of concern.

Oils can also be used topically to help with internal concerns, like supporting healthy digestion or clear breathing. Rub an oil for digestive support on the abdomen to soothe the occasional upset stomach. Or apply an oil that helps with respiratory support over the lungs to promote easy breathing. Rubbing an oil on your chest is also a great way to get the aromatic benefits of the oil. It’s a two for one: aromatic AND topical support!

For effecting the whole body, apply the essential oil along the spine or bottoms of feet. This helps in supporting whole body systems like moods and a healthy immune system.

Topical: To Dilute or Not To Dilute

The biggest question about topical usage is whether to dilute or not to dilute. Diluting an essential oil means to combine it with a fatty oil like coconut oil to make the oil gentler on the skin. Diluting an essential oil not only makes the oil more gentle on the skin, it also helps to increase absorption, so you get even more of the benefits of the oil.

Some essential oils come pre-diluted with coconut oil (like many of DoTERRA’s rollerball oils) for easy application. These are especially great for those with sensitive skin and the kiddos.

Do you have to dilute every time you use any oil topically? No. Many oils can be used neat (straight from the bottle), but it is recommended that you dilute to get the most benefit from the essential oil and to be gentle on your skin.

Some oils can be particularly cooling or spicy and should be used sparingly as you get used to how they feel for you. Cooling oils include peppermint, wintergreen, and blends with these oils. Spicy oils include cinnamon, oregano, and black pepper.

If an oil ever feel uncomfortable on the skin, wipe off with a cloth and coconut oil. Do NOT use water. Water will actually drive the oil deeper into the skin, while a fatty oil like coconut or olive oil will help to absorb the essential oil and remove from the skin.

Remember, when using oils, less is more! Start with the smallest amount and work your way up to more if needed. A small amount will usually bring the desired effect.

Internally

And third, some essential oils can be used internally. How do you know what oils can be used internally? This information will be shown on the label. Now, just because one brand of essential oils can be used internally doesn’t mean all brands can be used that way. There are multiple ways that oils can be processed and only some create an oil suitable for ingesting. I have used doTERRA’s oils internally for over 5 years and my recommends are specific to this brand.

For internal use, drop the oil in water (always use glass or high quality metal, not plastic, paper or styrofoam cups), place it in a capsule and swallow, or place a drop of oil in the mouth. Internal use is useful when wanting to effect the digestive and immune systems, as well as mood and overall cellular support.

A few drops of peppermint placed in a capsule and swallowed can help soothe occasional stomach discomfort. An immune support blend taken internally can support healthy immune function. A drop of frankincense pressed to the roof of the the mouth can promote a calm mood. And peppermint placed on the tongue can refresh the breath while supporting increased energy.

Using essential oils means you get to choose the method of use that works best for you. You can use one, two or all three of the above methods of use.

3 Safety Tips For Using Oils

Now that you know the 3 ways to use essential oils, here are 3 safety tips to keep in mind.

  1. Never put oils in your eyes or drop them ear canal.
  2. Citrus oils applied to the skin can increase sensitivity to the sun. Don’t put citrus oils on your skin if you’re about to spend hours directly in the sun. It can result in a burn.
  3. If you want to remove an oil from your skin, wipe away with a cloth and coconut oil, NOT water.

My recommendation is to start with diffusing and topical use, then, if needed, start using internally according to the guidelines of the brand you’re using. Enjoy the oil journey!

About the Author

Lindsey Willis is a Wellness Educator, helping families replace toxic products with essential oils. Connect with her at or at her .


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