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June 16, 2016 3 min read

There are a lot of new users of essential oils thanks to the rising number of multi-level marketing representatives. These new users are quick to sign up with these representatives offering classes where they tout how they use essential oils, discuss how great they are and how much “greener” their life is because of them.

After all, who doesn’t want to live a lifestyle where you have less chemicals in your home and are able to eliminate pain relievers and other medications?

Sadly, once many purchase their kits, they are left with some real questions that need to be addressed to avoid usage that can cause injury. How does one use essential oils?

Most representatives do get it correct in that there are three ways to utilize essential oils: Inhalation, Topical application, and Internal applications. In this article we will briefly address when to use inhalation and when to use topical application.

The use of essential oils internally will not be discussed as that type of use comes with significant concerns for very specific and acute conditions dependent on the individual they are for. If you are seeking information regarding internal applications, please speak with an aromatherapist that is trained in the specialization of aromatic medicine.


Did you know your sense of smell is the only sense that bypasses all the moderators of the brain to produce an immediate response? The responses that are triggered from smell can often induce feelings of relaxation, calmness, happiness, and more.

Due to the immediate response we have using our sense of smell, inhalation is best used to support our emotional and mental health. For example, if someone were having a tough day diffusing something that they particularly enjoy the smell of can assist in uplifting their mood or outlook. Essential oils can also assist us in supporting our bodies natural defense system during colds.

Sounds pretty simple right? It can be, but with the realization that not all essential oils will have the same effect on every person. Keep this in mind when you go to turn on that diffuser of yours!

I have essential oils, but how do I use them?

Topical application

Whether it is a cut, scrape or nick that is healing or a bruise, strain, or skin condition, essential oils can be very supportive in the healing process. The key to using essential oils in topical applications to be supportive in the healing process requires dilution.

Dilutions will vary depending on the individual, the specific essential oils used, and the condition you are trying to support. Due to all the variations, in general most topical dilutions can safely be used from one to five percent. The higher dilution rate is generally used for a shorter period of time and the lower rate will be used longer to avoid irritation and sensitization concerns.

While neat application can be utilized, it is only done so on very rare and during acute situations only. It is not recommended daily due to the higher potential to create irritations and sensitizations to those essential oils used.

To inhale or topically apply

Now that you have a generic understanding of when inhalation or topical use may be more effective, it is important to remember one more note. Always start with less essential oil than you think you may need. If you use too much, you can’t take away the essential oil(s) and it will just use them faster. However, if you start with less and find it effective in supporting your need(s) then you will also be able to make your essential oils last longer.