Where to Apply Essential Oils

Are you new to essential oils?

Or maybe you've tried a few but you're not quite sure how to apply them.

I'm here to share a few tips to help you figure it all out.

It can feel a little scary or overwhelming when you're first learning how to use essential oils.

But it doesn't have to be!

Essential oils aren't difficult to use - there are just a few things you need to know about applying them. Once you understand a few simple principles about essential oils you'll wonder why you every worried!

There are many ways to use essential oils - topical application is one great method. Learn where to apply essential oils topically in this post.

I'll show you how to:

  • Learn about topical application of essential oils
  • Find the best way to use essential oils for the quickest results
  • Discover how to layer oils to make them even more effective
  • Use caution with photosensitive essential oils
  • Know what to do if an essential oil causes a reaction

You are in the right place! We are going to cover all of these topics - just keep reading!

Where to apply essential oils

Topical application isn't that hard to figure out.

Drop, dilute, apply. It's pretty simple (just remember to dilute your oils). Even better, there are lots of places on your body that you can apply the oils.

  • Right at location
  • Feet
  • Ears - outside or behind (don't put oils in your ears!)
  • Temples
  • Abdomen
  • Upper back
  • Wrists
  • Neck
  • Nape of neck

Depending on what you are using the oil for, you have a few choices. You can:

  1. Inhale directly from the bottle (or diffuse) - this is the quickest way to derive benefits from the oils.
  2. Apply right at the location - if you have a headache, some sort of pain, or other issues, diluting and applying right where it's needed may be best.
  3. Apply to the outside of your ears for quick absorption (just remember - don't put the oils in your ears).
  4. "Hot" oils for short term use (like Oregano or Thieves) may be applied to the feet (don't forget to dilute).
  5. Behind the ears or on the neck or wrists are great places to apply oils for personal diffusing (when you want to benefit from the aroma and the application).

Layering Oils

If you'd like to increase the rate of absorption, layering two oils or an oil and a blend can achieve that goal. It can also be a nice way to create a specific blend for your own needs and increase the potency of the oils.

To layer the oils, apply the first essential oil, rubbing it into your skin, before applying the next oil, along with a carrier oil (a carrier oil is simply a vegetable oil that is used to dilute essential oils so they are safe for everyday use). Dilution is very important so you will need to keep a few carrier oils on hand.

To make the oils even more effective, place a warm compress on the application site. This causes the oils to go deeper into your body.

Always remember to dilute! You can use a carrier oil like (affiliate links -->) almond oil or jojoba oil with a few drops of essential oil.

What if an oil causes a reaction?

Essential oils can sometimes cause a skin reaction for a variety of reasons - it could be a "hot" oil that needs heavy dilution, you may have cosmetics or lotions that cause a reaction, or it could be a photosensitive oil.

Overuse of one essential oil (applied topically) can even cause contact sensitization.

If an oil feels hot or causes any discomfort, add more carrier oil to dilute the potency. Don't try to wash it off with water - that may drive the oils further into your body.

If a body has any symptoms like a rash, nausea, headaches, etc., stop applying the oil and try a different one.

If you develop a sensitization to an oil, start varying your usage - many essential oils can often be used for the same issue. So instead of depending on just one oil, use two or three different oils individually, diluting as needed.

Photosensitive Oils

A few essential oils are photosensitive - meaning that they react to sunlight. They should not be applied to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight.

So if you plan to apply any of these oils, make sure you apply them in locations that won't be exposed to the sun (or just plan on diffusing them).

Photosensitive oils can cause a rash, discoloration or pigmentation, or even burn the skin so please use caution when applying photosensitive oils.

Photosensitive oils include:

  • Angelica
  • Bergamot
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Limette
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Yuzu

Essential oils have some great everyday uses and once you begin learning how to use them, following these simple guidelines, you’re on your way to creating a healthier home and body.

Free printable dilution chart:

Still feeling a little overwhelmed? Download a copy of the complete post with more tips for diluting oils and a free dilution chart. 

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.