Essential Oils for Beginners II – How to use Essential Oils

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In Part I of my Essential Oils for Beginners series, we discussed what essential oils are and how to choose quality oils (if you missed it and would like to check it out, click here!).  Now let’s chat about what to do with all your new oils.  To skip ahead to Part III, Must Have Oils & Blending Recipes, click here!

You bought some essential oils, now what do you do with them?

First let’s talk storage – essential oils can degrade when they are exposed to heat, light or oxygen.  Your new oils are an investment, make sure you get the most out of them by storing them properly. They should be stored in tightly closed, dark glass containers.  Do not store the oils in plastic jars as some oils could eventually eat through the plastic and make a mess.  Kept in a cool location, they should last at least a year or two.

Dilute & apply to skin – essential oils are fat soluble, meaning they are readily absorbed by the skin.    Because essential oils are so super concentrated, I do not recommend applying them “neat” (straight from the bottle).  Until you learn more about oils, it’s best to only use them on your skin diluted.  Some oils, like lavender & tea tree, can safely be used neat, but others like cinnamon, cloves, or peppermint can cause reactions ranging from a small rash to severe dermatitis to permanent sensitivity to that oil/fragrance.  Until you are familiar with the oil’s properties and how your body reacts to them, it’s wise to only use essential oils diluted in a carrier oil.  A carrier oil is a liquid oil that you mix with your essential oils.  Common carrier oils are sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil & jojoba oil.

Dilution rates:

.25% for young children 2-6 years old – 1 drop essential oil mixed in 4 teaspoons carrier oil
1% for topical use in lotions, cremes or for pregnant, elderly, kids 7-18 & those with sensitive skin – 1 drop essential oil per teaspoon carrier oil
2% for topical use or daily aromatherapy in most healthy adults – 2 drops essential oil per teaspoon carrier oil

For spot treatment, like pain relief, rub the diluted oil over the effected area.  For general body wellness, apply the diluted oils to your pulse points where they can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

If you would like to check out our selection of pre-blended & ready to use essential oil rollers, click here to check out our Etsy page!

Essential Oils for Beginners II - How to use Essential Oils

Inhale – another way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is by inhaling the scent.  Rub the diluted oils on your palms or on a tissue, lightly cover your face and breath slowly & deeply.   You can also buy essential oil jewelry (like this one!) where you put a few drops of oil on a small pad, then you place the pad in an open locket type necklace and enjoy the scent all day.

Steam – Boil two cups of water, pour into a bowl and add 2 drops of essential oil.  Put a towel over your head and lean over the bowl.  Slowly & deeply breath in the steam.  Alternately, add a couple drops to your washcloth during your shower or purchase quality made shower steamers (like these ones!) which release their aromatherapy goodness as your shower fills with steam.  If you are more of a soaker tub kind of person, mix a few drops of essential oil with Epsom salt and add them to your bath.

Beauty Care Add Ins – you can boost your current lotion or creme with the addition of a few drops of essential oils (or buy/make beauty products with the oils already added).  Same goes for hair care, a couple drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo can keep head lice away when your kid’s school has an outbreak or a couple drops of rosemary can help grow thicker, stronger hair.

Diffuser – one of the more popular methods of using essential oils is in an aromatherapy electronic diffuser.  Plug the diffuser in and it will disperse a super fine mist of essential oils into the room.

Homemade cleaning products – the addition of essential oils into your home cleaning products not only adds scent but antibacterial properties.  For ideas on using essential oils in cleaning click here for my post on kitchen cleaning recipes and here for bathroom cleaning recipes

Essential Oils for Beginners II - How to use Essential Oils

A few words on ingesting essential oils – there is a lot of conflicting information floating around the internet about the safety of ingesting essential oils.  I have read lots of arguments for and against the practice.  On the surface, ingesting essential oils should be safe because they are just plants, right?  Even if you could 100% verify the purity and quality of the oil in question, you have to keep in mind essential oils are super concentrated versions of plants.  One drop of peppermint oil in your morning glass of water would be like ingesting 28 cups of peppermint tea.  Oils don’t mix with water so you are basically taking that drop undiluted and over time or for sensitive individuals it can cause burns, blisters, and lesions in your mouth, esophagus, stomach lining, and more.   Essential oils are not meant to be flavoring for food or drink.  When properly prepared by a certified, licensed aromatherapist, essential oils can be properly diluted and used internally to treat a wide range of ailments.  You wouldn’t listen to a MLM representative, random internet blogger (including me!), or marketing company for dosing information on your high blood pressure pills and you shouldn’t listen to those sources for dosing information on ingesting essential oils either. Period.  If you are interested in treating a medical condition with essential oils, ask your doctor or find a certified aromatherapist to help.

Ready for even more essential oil goodness??  Check out Part III of my Essential Oils for Beginners – Must Have Oils and Blending Recipes!  If you missed Part I on Choosing Quality Oils, you can check it out here



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