How to Use Essential Oils
The Four Golden Rules
Before you start using Essential Oils (‘EO’s’):
1) MAKE SURE YOU’RE USING PURE, NATURAL ESSENTIAL OILS: Synthetic fragrances won’t give you any therapeutic benefits.
2) NEVER INGEST OR SWALLOW ESSENTIAL OILS.
3) NEVER APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS TO THE SKIN unless you dilute them first.
4) ALWAYS USE LESS OILS AROUND CHILDREN: We strongly recommend you avoid using aromatherapy when dealing with premature babies, or babies less than three months old. We recommend that you do NOT apply oils in any way to a baby’s skin (massage, creams or baths) until they are slightly older: infants have very delicate skin, especially when younger than three months; they may also rub their eyes with their fists or suck their hands or fingers. Always use very diluted oils around children, and do not use them too regularly. A single drop of oil in a burner is more than adequate for a small child. See our AROMATHERAPY SAFETY page for more detailed information.
Using Your Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used for anything from treating an ailment by applying them diluted to the affected area, to creating a relaxing bath or dinner party atmosphere. You can use a single oil, or a blend of 3 or 4 oils which may work even better in synergy as they complement each other, or as a unique perfume blend. Pre-mixed blends are also available, which removes the guesswork for you.
All of the following suggestions are based on ADULT usage – always use less around children (see above).
Diffusing into a Room or Space
Diffusing Essential Oils generally requires a diffuser or burner – some have a source of heat to help the oils vaporise into the air, other ‘nebuliser types’ spray fine mists of pure oils, or ‘vaporiser’ types spray water-and-oil mists.
Unlike synthetic fragrances which can last for a long period or go ‘stale’ over time, essential oils naturally dissipate or fade away. ‘Top note’ oils like Eucalyptus or Lemon dissipate the fastest (some within an hour), where ‘base note’ oils like Patchouli or Jasmine may last for several days, and ‘mid note’ oils fit somewhere inbetween. When diffusing your oils, try using top – mid – base note blends to help make the top note oils last longer, and give you a more complex scent.
Candle Warmed Diffusers
Candle Warmed Diffusers use a candle to gently warm a saucer of water. Add up to 8-10 drops essential oils to the water – as the water heats, the warmth will diffuse the oils into the air. Keep the water topped up, and replenish the oils when needed.
Electric Diffusers, Vaporisers and Nebulisers all work differently, so check the instructions for your specific model.
Room Sprays / Perfume Sprays
For an instant atmosphere, a water-based room spray can be made in any spray bottle for germs, cleaning, or even blends to help with sleep or stress; or smaller spray bottles can be used for natural perfume blends. Try adding SOLUBILISER to your spray, which will help your oils blend in with the water instead of sitting as a slick on top, otherwise you’ll need to shake it between each use.
Inhaler Sticks are an inexpensive and effective way to take your aromatherapy wherever you go – in a school bag, by the bed, or travelling. They use a blank (unscented) wick inside a sealed inhaler stick – just add up to 20 drops of an oil to the wick and seal it inside the casing. Keep the cap tight between uses, and top up the oils as the scent naturally fades over time.
Add a drop or two of essential oil to a tissue and tuck into your shirt collar or pillow case. Avoid oils that may be sensitising on the skin, or coloured oils that may stain fabric. Do not use this method within reach of babies.
Applying Oils to the Skin
You can add essential oils to various products to apply them to skin – whether to scent your skincare cream or liquid soap, create a relaxing massage oil, or add oils to a balm or carrier oil to apply topically for therapeutic reasons.
Essential Oils must always be diluted before applying them to your skin, particularly on your face as the skin is more delicate. Always use less for children (see top), and always avoid the eye and mouth areas.
Avoid any known SENSITISING oils like Cinnamon Bark or Peppermint. Do a small patch test and if any irritation occurs cease use immediately – use extra carrier oil to further dilute the oil on your skin if you experience irritation.
Some oils cause photosensitisation – sensitivity to UV light – and should not be applied to skin before exposure to the sun, even diluted. See our AROMATHERAPY SAFETY page for more info.
Use the same ratio to add essential oils to an unscented carrier or massage oil (try sweet almond, grapeseed or a pre-made massage blend). Don’t make your massage oil too far in advance as essential oils begin to lose effectiveness once blended with other products.
Roll-on / rollerball bottles are another inexpensive way to take your blends with you, or have a blend ready for application to the skin as a perfume or for therapeutic use. Follow the 3% rule for use on the body, but use a weaker 1% dilution if intended for the facial area.
For a 3% blend, add 6 – 8 drops essential oils in a 10-15ml roll-on bottle, and top up the bottle with a natural carrier oil (Jojoba is best absorbed and not greasy). Insert the roller mechanism – use a BOTTLE TOOL for easy insertion or removal.
To prepare for sleep, to relax or reduce stress, or help sore muscles, oils can be added straight to a bath (avoid sensitising oils). Add no more than 8 – 10 drops in total, and splash them thoroughly into the water before stepping in to avoid a concentration of oils on your skin. Use much less for children (see top).
To treat a cold or other respiratory illness, add 4 – 6 drops suitable essential oils to a bowl of boiling water. Lean over and place a towel over your head and shoulders to trap the steam, allowing you to breathe in the oils. Keep eyes closed to avoid getting oils into them, and take care of the boiling water.
Aromatherapy Jewellery & Car Diffusers
The ultimate take-anywhere personal diffuser, Aroma Jewellery can be used for natural perfumes or therapeutic blends. Car Diffusers work in a similar way and clip to your car’s air vent for blends to help concentration, fatigue or travel sickness.
Scent Pad pieces feature a metal pendant / locket with a solid back, which holds a changeable textile pad. Add a few drops of oil or perfume to the pad and the scent will diffuse through the open holes of the design.
Lava Stone pieces use a naturally porous lava stone bead, which partially absorbs your essential oils to gradually diffuse them as the beads are warmed against the skin. Add a couple of drops of oil to the bead and allow to soak in, then thoroughly wipe dry before use.
WHICH EVER METHOD YOU USE FOR YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS
Do be sensitive to other people sharing your space. Aromatherapy is a personal thing – some scents don’t appeal, while others love them.
Always feel free to experiment with your own blends, but read up for any safety information that may affect you or those around you before using new oils – some are not suitable for pregnant women, or people with high blood pressure etc.
And always use less oils around children – see our AROMATHERAPY SAFETY page for more detailed information.
The advice within this page is general and not specific to individuals and particular circumstances. Before using essential oils or other natural treatments, check all cautions and restrictions. Aroma Queen cannot be held responsible for any injury, damage or otherwise resulting from the use of any treatments or products within this website. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-treatment for long periods or for serious problems, without first consulting a qualified medical practitioner.
Always seek professional medical advice if symptoms persist.
Always remember, Aromatherapy is intended to complement, not replace traditional medicine.