How to Use Essential Oils

Everywhere you turn these days you will find someone using essential oils. And why not? They are an amazing natural alternative to use for a variety of things. But, if you are new to them you may be wondering exactly HOW to use essential oils.

Many people, after they buy their first essential oil starter kit, they excitedly open it, look at it, and then close it again. Why? Because they have no idea how to use them and are overwhelmed at figuring it all out. Some people push the box aside for months before they feel brave enough to use them.

You know what? I think that’s totally understandable. While essential oils are pretty safe, there are some precautions you should take with them. You should probably be aware of what safety measures you need to put in place before you open up the bottles.

However, with proper use of essential oils you will most likely not run into any problems and enjoy the many benefits essential oils can offer you!

Before we get into using them, let’s talk about what they exactly are.


So what are essential oils then? If you look at the essential oils definition at you will read that essential oils a class of oils that obtain their odors and other properties from plants, which are then used for perfumes, flavors, and pharmaceuticals.

Basically, tiny bottles of goodness gathered from plants – a natural source.


Truthfully, before I started using them, I didn’t see the importance of essential oils. However, after adding them into my home I can understand why it is so beneficial to have them around.

Everyday we are bombarded with pollutants and chemicals in our air, in our food, in our products we put on our skin or in our home. It’s pretty much impossible to get away from it. These pollutants are just not good for us. They cause health issues and damage to our bodies.

Even though it’s impossible to get away from it entirely, we can decrease our exposure to these things. Essential oils can help. Instead of burning candles that throw off toxins you can diffuse essential oils. Instead of store bought lotions we can make our own with added essential oils. Instead of cleaning with chemicals we can use essential oils and a few other natural products.

Not only does this decrease our exposure to toxins, but essential oils actually benefit us with their plant properties. The fact that essential oils have been used since ancient times should tell us something. They work. Consider adding them to your medicine cabinet and see how you can use them in your own daily life for a variety of uses.


There are multiple ways you can use essential oils. Let’s talk about the three main ones and then we’ll dive a little deeper into how to use them in those ways.

AROMATICALLY. This means you put the essential oils in a diffuser and enjoy the scent of them that is diffused into the air. This is my favorite way to use essential oils.

TOPICALLY. This means you will apply it directly to your skin. Now, when it comes to how to use essential oils topically, you want to be careful. Some essential oils can be a little irritating to the skin, and therefore you need a carrier oil such as coconut oil to use with them. The coconut oil dilutes the essential oil allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the oil without a burning sensation.

I use essential oils like lavender directly on my skin without a carrier oil. However, most other essential oils I use a carrier oil. Some people prefer to use a carrier oil for any oil, even lavender.

When it comes to using essential oils topically, NEVER put them in your eyes or ears. While you can use them for things like an earache, you want to be sure to put them on the OUTSIDE of your ear, around the back of it, and never inside the actual ear.

INTERNALLY. Now, this is the one that is the most controversial. Let me start this section out by saying if you do NOT feel comfortable ingesting essential oils, don’t do it. Also, don’t EVER ingest essential oils that do not say on the bottle that you can ingest them.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, there are some essential oils you can ingest and I feel fine doing so. I’ll admit, at first I was a little hesitant, but after doing my own research and studying I feel that occasional ingesting of essential oils will not harm me and can actually help. My two main essential oils I use for this purpose would be peppermint when I have an upset stomach, and lemon when I need an added pick-me-up in my water and I run out of actual lemons. πŸ™‚


So, once you have your oils and you are ready to use them, maybe you are wondering how to use essential oils to scent a room. A diffuser is the best option to make this happen, but, how should you use it?

Well, definitely always follow the instructions from the manufacturer. However, many diffusers work the same way where you put water in it and then you add a few drops off essential oil. Be sure to only add a few, especially to start. You want maybe 4 drops at the beginning.

The longer you use essential oils the more you’ll get the hang of what oils will throw more scent than others. For example, I might put up to 10 drops of lemon essential oil in my diffuser because I really like lemon, but only a few drops of geranium because it’s just way too strong for any more than that.

Many essential oil diffusers have a timer on them. Mine from DoTERRA does and I love it. I can set it for 1, 2, and 4 hours which is especially handy when I go to sleep because I don’t have to worry about shutting it off before I fall asleep.


Now, what if you don’t have a diffuser at home? Well, while I definitely recommend a diffuser, there are other ways to enjoy the scent of essential oils without one. You can put a few drops of essential oils in a spritzer bottle with some water and spray some linen in your home. Or you can make a homemade diffuser by adding about 20 drops of essential oils to some rice in a mason jar with some holes poked through the lid to allow the scent to escape.

You can also just inhale the essential oil straight from the bottle! Just take the cap off the bottle, take a deep breathe in and enjoy!


Now, I talked a little bit about using a carrier oil for topical use and to not put it in your ears and eyes, but you may be wondering how to use essential oils on skin safely then.

You should use one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil on average when using an essential oil that should be diluted before using. To apply β€œneat”, which means applying without a carrier oil, just take a drop on your finger and rub it on the area you want to apply it to.

It will vary depending on what essential oil you use, but some key areas to apply essential oils may be the back of the neck, the wrists, or the bottom of the feet. I like to apply peppermint essential oil for head tension on my temples, while I may apply lavender directly to a minor burn I may have.


Now, aside from the three main ways to use essential oils, there other ways too. You can use them in your homemade self-care products, like lotions, toothpastes, and more. Try out my all-natural vapor rub recipe I made with just a few ingredients and my favorite essential oils. I love being able to use something on my skin that is completely free of chemicals.

You can also use them in cleaning products. There are a ton of recipes out there, but the one thing they have in common is that most only use a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils. Lemon essential oil and tea tree essential oils are great ones to use for their cleaning, anti-bacterial power. And of course, they make your whole home smelling fresh and clean!

You can also add them to your bath. Take two tablespoons of epsom salts and add 6 drops of lavender essential oil for a relaxing, soothing bath. I think we can all benefit from more of that!

Some people enjoy essential oils in cooking. This is in line with ingesting. With cooking you can generally feel okay about using them because it is such a small amount in a whole pot or dish of food. Essential oils are especially great for this purpose when you’ve run out of a key ingredient like cinnamon or cilantro. No longer do you need to run to the store, but you can just grab your essential oil and add a drop. Many foods we consume already contain essential oils for flavoring.


There are so many ways you can use essential oils and many essential oils are so versatile. If you are wondering which essential oils are best to start with, here are a few of my favorites for beginners.

Lavender – Great at promoting healthy sleep, as well as promoting healing for minor skin irritations and burns. This is a favorite to use in a diffuser at my house, but we do apply it topically as well.

Peppermint – I love peppermint to apply to my temples and neck when I am suffering from head tension. Peppermint is also great to apply to your skin to help you cool down on a hot summer day. Diffusing this essential oil can help energize you and is perfect to combine with wild orange essential oil for this purpose.

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus was actually one of the first essential oils I used and was amazed at how well it worked! We use eucalyptus primarily for when we have a cold and are stuffed up. We put it in the diffuser while we drift off to sleep. It’s a great one to add to homemade vapor rub as well.

Lemon – Lemon essential oil is the oil you need when you want something to make you smile. It’s summery citrusy scent screams happiness. πŸ™‚ It’s also the essential oil we reach for when we want to make homemade cleaners. Diffusing or cleaning, those are my two purposes for this awesome oil.

Tea Tree – Another essential oil that is handy for cleaning, as well as adding to things like a spray bottle with water and some lavender essential oil as well to spray on our head for dry scalp.


As I mentioned earlier in this post, there are some precautions you should take when it comes to essential oils, and we already covered a few, like using a carrier oil, and only ingesting essential oils that say you can. But what other precautions should you take?

One of the major safeguards you should have in place with essential oils is to not apply citrus essential oils before you go out in the sun. Citrus essential oils are photosensitive which means they can cause rashes and burns when exposed to the sun. Therefore, in the summer you should only use citrus essential oils for diffusing, in cleaning products, or applied to the skin where the sun can’t reach – so under clothes. πŸ™‚

And, I think this goes without saying, but essential oils should always be out of reach of small children. There have been stories where children have been harmed by ingesting essential oils because they smell so good they think they are like candy. Even with the essential oils that are able to be ingested, you are only to use one drop. When kids get a hold of it they are at risk of ingesting way more than is recommended, and on top of that, kids shouldn’t be ingesting essential oils at all anyways.

Basically, essential oils should be treated like you would any other medicine or supplement. Far away from little hands that can grab and get a hold of it.

As long as you take a few precautions, essential oils can be safe and beneficial to you and your family.


I can’t end this post without discussing what essential oils to buy. It’s one thing to know how to use essential oils, it’s another to make sure the essential oil you are using is pure, and of high quality. The last thing you want is to buy an essential oil that has fillers in it and doesn’t do it’s job. Unfortunately, I have done this in the past and was disappointed with the results. That’s why I now buy all my essential oils from DoTERRA. I can trust that what I am getting is 100% pure essential oil, and nothing else. My whole family loves them and it’s gotten to the point where when they arrive in my mailbox after I have ordered some new ones that my kids are eager to be the one to go get them and open them up!

I also love that DoTERRA does humanitarian work and is big on co-impact sourcing, meaning that their employees are getting fair wages. I love knowing that I am buying from a company that is ethical and that is what I am supporting.

Now that you know a little more on how to use essential oils, maybe you want to get started with essential oils to see what they can do for you. If so, you can do that here. Always feel free to contact me and ask any questions you may have when it comes to essential oils.

Essential oils can be an effective tool in your healthy and natural living toolbox for your home, whether it be using it for alternative medicine combined with conventional medicine, or for cleaning, or beauty products, or even just to scent your home in a non-toxic way.Β  Consider trying them out and enjoy the many benefits they give.

How to Use Essential Oils
Article Name
How to Use Essential Oils
Learn how to use essential oils, what kinds are great for beginners, and what safety precautions you should take.
Publisher Name
Simple Life of a Frugal Wife

1 thought on “How to Use Essential Oils”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *