Beginner’s guide to essential oils: Tips on how to use them

Heather Campbell
 min read

A beginner’s guide to essential oils will show the right path to buying and applying essential oils correctly to treat various ailments.

Beginner's guide to essential oils: Tips on how to use themEssential oils are composed of volatile molecules. They therefore easily penetrate human tissues whether ingested, applied to the skin or inhaled.

There are reams of historical facts to show that essential oils have been used to treat people for centuries. Inhalation and application of the right mixtures through modern aromatherapy allow us to enjoy the physical and mental remedies that essential oil treatments offer.

For a beginner, this could seem somewhat overwhelming, but with the right guidance, anyone can quickly learn what to buy and how to apply essential oils for physical and mental well-being.

Tip: For essential oil buying tips, check out our other post How to choose premium essential oils and how to spot a fake

Beginner’s guide to essential oils: How to apply an essential oil?

The choice of the way of absorption of an essential oil will depend on the targeted effect and the nature of the oil. Some are not suitable for external use and others are only suitable for skin use.

For internal use, essential oils should be mixed with a little vegetable oil, honey or yogurt. We can also find oils prepared with alcohol, others in the form of capsules or suppositories.

Through massage, the oil is diffused into the body through the skin’s pores. It is mixed beforehand with a massage oil or an ointment.

By aid of a diffuser, the oil is gently blown in the air in different ways to be absorbed by the respiratory tract.

Inhalation of essential oils

Here are some tips for using an essential oil in inhalation:

  • Place a few drops of an essential oil in your palm and cup your hands toward your nose while slowly inhaling the scent.
  • You can also put the oil in a porous pot but the low evaporation does not allow the particles to significantly affect the air quality.
  • The heat produced by a candle or a lamp diffuses the perfume of the essential oils. However, this same heat can destroy the therapeutic properties.
  • There are electric blower diffusers that allow diffusion in a room. It is also a method that allows for nebulization and is perfectly suited for therapeutic use by air.

Skin application of essential oils

The best way to get the active ingredients of essential oils through the skin’s pores is by massaging with essential oils diluted in a carrier oil such as jojoba.

Foot reflexology can also use essential oils to act directly on the meridians that connect the foot’s arch to the vital organs. Indeed, there are zones known as reflex points located all over the body. It is advisable to know if one wants to act effectively in the associated disorders.

In some cases, essential oils can also be mixed with skincare products such as lotion or shampoo (and they can also be used to make your own skin care products at home). Ensure that there is no incompatibility with the (agricultural) chemicals that some products contain.

Dilution of essential oils

A good bath with plant essences can be beneficial to relax or tone the skin.

If you want to take a bath with essential oils, you can dilute between 5 to 10 drops in honey, a low-fat cream or vegetable oil to disperse the oil in the bathtub.

Generally, we use about 5 drops of essential oil to prepare lotion for the body and about 3 drops for the face. It goes without saying that the concentration of the active product will increase or decrease the dose.

Mixing essential oils

One of the principles that you must adopt to achieve a good mix is to use your sense of smell.

First, choose 3 essential oils that you feel are necessary for your well-being. Then, take the time to smell them. Proceed to pour a small mixture of a few drops of one and the other in a small container and inhale the newly combined smell.

Make sure they smell good and that the smell is right for you.

You can integrate up to three oils of your choice to which you will add a carrier or base oil until you obtain the most suitable mixture for your intended use.

Precautions for use of essential oils

You should refer to your doctor or an aromatherapist whenever you use an essential oil for therapeutic purposes.

Essential oils have active ingredients that can be harmful or toxic to your health if you use them excessively or inappropriately.

Here is a series of precautions to take when using an essential oil:

  • For a direct application on the skin, the first rule to respect is to never use a pure essential oil. Dilute it in a carrier oil and apply it to an area of the skin for a few minutes to see if you have a reaction.
  • Oils for internal use must be used under the supervision or prescription of a licensed practitioner.
  • Be aware that essential oils are highly flammable.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes.
  • Keep essential oils in a closed, cool and dry place and out of children’s reach.
  • People with asthma and epilepsy should avoid fennel, hyssop and rosemary.
  • The use of essential oils for babies and the elderly should always be under the supervision of an aromatherapy physician. The proposed doses will generally be in smaller quantities.
  • People undergoing chemotherapy should not use essential oils.
  • Pregnant women should also avoid using essential oils during their pregnancy until the 18th week. A pregnant woman should ask her doctor for advice before using essential oils.
  • People with high blood pressure should avoid black pepper, clove, peppermint, sage and thyme essential oils.

Beginner’s guide to essential oils: Conclusion

The initial foray into the world of aromatherapy may seem bewildering, but it doesn’t have to be so.

There are several ways to use the benefits of essential oils and this post is meant to serve as a beginner’s guide to essential oils.

To best preserve the properties of essential oils, opaque glass bottles are best to protect them from light.

Remember that the aromatic molecules of essential oils are powerful and should be used with caution.

Please always respect the dosages, the precautions of use and especially do not hesitate to consult an expert in aromatherapy.

Thanks to essential oils, you will be able to treat your daily problems or simply take care of yourself!

Tip: Did you know that essential oils also have a use in the fight against cellulite? Read more in our other post Bathing to fight cellulite: 5 examples of baths (& lists of ingredients)

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More