Essential Oil Application Methods

January 19, 2018

Essential Oil Application Methods

@adorndiffuse essential oil education application aromatherapy

Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods of application: diffused aromaticallyapplied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements.

Traditionally, certain essential oil application methods have been preferred or used exclusively. However, as the research surrounding essential oils continues to develop, we can gain a deeper understanding of application methods. All application methods can be safe when used appropriately, including aromatic, topical, & internal methods. One or more essential oil application methods can be used for a wide range of emotional & physical wellness applications:

Aromatic Use ~ Aromatherapy

The sense of smell can elicit powerful responses. Essential oils are quickly absorbed by the smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain which supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behavior, & memory. For this reason, essential oils have an especially powerful effect via aromatic application. Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more calming. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. Diffusers using cold air or water are ideal. However, using essential oils aromatically does not require any special diffusing devices. You can achieve the same health benefits by simply placing a drop or two of an essential oil in the palm of your hand & cup around the nose as you breathe deeply. Other aromatic uses methods of using essential oils include:

  • Apply oil to a cotton ball & place in the air vents of your vehicle
  • Mix oils in a spray bottle with water & mist over furniture, carpet, or linens
  • Add oil to a batch of laundry or to dryer sheets
  • Use in household surface cleaners

Topical Use

Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights & are lipid soluble, they easily penetrate the skin. Although EO's are readily absorbed, there are ways to increase absorption. Use of a carrier oil can also increase absorption, especially in dry or flaky skin as it helps moisturize the skin & slow evaporation of the oil. To decrease the likelihood of developing a skin sensitivity, use a carrier oil to dilute more potent oils & when trying an oil for the first time. The dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil. Start with the lowest possible dose (1–2 drops). A topical dose can be repeated every 4–6 hours as needed. Because every individual is unique, the dose will vary for each individual based on size, age, & health status.

Areas to Apply Essential Oils:

  • Neck
  • Forehead & temples
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Bottom of feet

Other Effective Methods of Topical Application:

  • Add a few drops of oil to a warm bath
  • Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel or cloth in water, adding essential oils, & then applying to the desired area
  • Add oil to a lotion or moisturizer & then apply to skin

Sensitive Areas to be Avoided:

  • Eyes
  • Inner ears
  • Broken, damaged, or otherwise injured skin

Internal Use

Certain EO's have a culinary history. They can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of conditions. When you sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add basil leaves to spaghetti, you are actually consuming some volatile aromatic essential oil compounds. EO's contributes health benefits as well as add flavor & aroma to foods. When concentrated, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted health benefits. When ingested, EO's enter the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. EO's are lipid soluble so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, EO's are metabolized by the organs & are then excreted. Proper dosing according to labeling recommendations & professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity. Effective Methods of Internal Application:

  • Use oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs & spices.
    • Remember; essential oils are stronger than fresh, so start with a very small amount
  • Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea, etc.
  • Take essential oils internally in a veggie capsule or add to a small amount of applesauce or yogurt
For more information on Essential Oils, please see our post on Essential Oils Defined ~ What Exactly IS an Essential Oil?
Looking to purchase essential oils? We would LOVE to have you on our team! Retail & Wholesale pricing available! Reach out for more info or click here to discover more about essential oils: Adorn & Diffuse Essential Oils


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not & these statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please consult a medical provider before using essential oils. 

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