Last week we focused on one of the methods for using essential oils - diffusing & aromatic usage. This week we're going to focus on another method for using essential oils - topical application. Let's learn how to apply essential oils.
How to apply essential oils
Essential oils are easy to apply to the skin. Add a drop or two to your hand and apply directly to the skin. Seems simple, right? Well, there is one important thing to consider.
Essential oils are strong natural substances and very easily absorbed throughout the body. It's important to remember that they are powerful and treat them accordingly.
Diluting Essential Oils
Essential oils are often applied 'neat' (meaning no dilution). But I don't recommend neat application for everyday use. They are very potent and some of them are even considered "hot", meaning they will feel very warm, even uncomfortably warm, to the skin. That's why it's important to dilute them, especially when you are just learning how to apply essential oils.
Now, there are many oils you could use undiluted but I really don't recommend it, for a few reasons:
- Essential oils are powerful and should be used with proper care
- Essential oils are easily absorbed through the skin into the body
- More isn't necessarily better
- Too much oil can cause a detox reaction
- Dilution does not change the efficacy of the oil, it just allows you to use less essential oil per application
- Dilution saves money - those little bottles can get expensive!
- Dilution is very important for babies, small children, and those with sensitive skin
Wondering what you're supposed to use to dilute your essential oils? With a 'carrier' oil.
Carrier oils are simply vegetable-based oils that you can use to dilute your essential oils. A few options (look for organic and unrefined, if possible):
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Almond oil
- Grapeseed oil
All you need to do is put a bit of carrier oil in your hand, add a few drops of essential oil and apply directly on the skin. Some oils may stain clothing so wait a few minutes for your skin is dry after the oil application before dressing.
While I think dilution is important, it can be a bit tricky to know how much carrier oil you need. Basically, the smaller the person, the more you should dilute.
- Infants - 1-2 drops essential oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil
- Children - 1-2 drops essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil
- Sensitive skin - 1-3 drops essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil
- Daily use - 2-3 drops essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil
Applying essential oils
Once you have figured out your dilution ratio, it's simply a matter of combining the carrier oil and essential oil and applying directly to the area of concern. For new oils, be sure to check for detox reactions and don't apply more than two oils or blends at a time (in case of reaction).
Use 1-2 drops of oil twice a day on the area. You can increase to 4 times a day if needed. Once you learn how to apply essential oils you'll find many ways to use them every day.