Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, including topical application. Although essential oils provide support to your entire body, topical application to a specific area can provide a localized effect.
For example, if I have a headache, I love to apply Lavender oil topically to my forehead and temples.
Topical application is a simple way to target a specific area of your body while enjoying the whole body benefit.
In this article, let’s explore some of the basics of topical usage for essential oils.
Using Carrier Oils for Diluting Essential Oils
Carrier oils are used to help carry essential oils onto your skin. You can use a variety of oils such as:
Any of these are fabulous. Check out my informational video about carrier oils.
Mixing your essential oil with a carrier oil helps to increase the surface area of application and also helps avoid a sensitive skin reaction.
Believe me, with my sensitive skin, using carrier oils is a must for many essential oils.
How to use Essential Oils Topically
Essential oils by doTERRA are classified in the following categories:
- Neat: You can apply these type of oils topically without diluting them. For example, I use Lavender oil on its own without a carrier oil. Essential oils in the “Neat” category are mild. Some of these include Melaleuca, Melissa, Sandalwood and Frankincense.
- Dilute: You should not apply these oils on their own. Always dilute before a topical application. Some of these include Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano, Thyme and Cassia. Prior to having a full understanding of how to use essential oils topically, I applied Oregano to my neck area and immediately broke out in an itchy red rash. Lesson learned!
- Sensitive: If you have young or sensitive skin, you should definitely dilute oils classified as “Sensitive”. Some of these include Bergamot, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Ginger, and Peppermint.
Applying Essential Oils Safely
Be aware of how your body or skin reacts to essential oils. As I mentioned, my skin is extremely sensitive so I know that I’ll get a reaction to some oils without dilution.
Every person is different. What works great for me may not work exactly the same for you. For example, although Lemongrass is a wonderful oil for many things, my body did not like it much!
But, my body reacts perfectly to other oils! Just be aware so you can get the best results when using essential oils topically.
Tips for Using Essential Oils Topically
More is not always better! And, that’s what I love about essential oils. One bottle lasts for a long time because all you really need is 1 to 2 drops! The potency of just one drop is mind blowing!
Citrus oils provide amazing benefits. They contain photosensitive compounds called furocoumarins. With that in mind, if you apply citrus oils topically, it’s recommended to avoid sunlight exposure for about 12 hours.
If in doubt, dilute! If you try out a new essential oil using topical application, be sure to dilute it to make sure you are not sensitive to it. Don’t worry, the effectiveness of the oil is not diminished in any way!
Areas of the Body for Essential Oil Topical Use
- Face: Use essential oil as part of your regular skin care regimen to beautify the skin and promote a clear, healthy looking complexion.
Neck/Forehead/Temples: These areas are good to target feelings of tension.
- Abdomen: Application of essential oils, especially over major digestive organs.
- Arms/Legs/Back: Massage onto the arms, wrists, legs, feet, or back after physical activity.
- Roof of the Mouth (Soft Palette)/Base of the Skull: Applying oils to these areas is an excellent way to help transform your mood and balance your emotions.
- Chest: Rubbing oils onto the chest promotes feelings of clear breathing.
- Bottoms of Feet: The feet have large pores that rapidly absorb essential oils, making this an ideal application site for generalized effect. Apply and massage in 2–4 drops of essential oil.
I hope you gained some insights from learning about How to Effectively Use Essential Oils Topically.
My favorite place to apply the oil is my neck and temples. I also use Breath on my chest when I recently had a head cold. It helped so much!
Have you started using essential oils? What’s been your experience? Do share in the comments.