How to Use Essential Oils?
Essential oils are formulated to work in harmony with our bodies, promoting well-being, and boosting our health. They work naturally with our bodies so that they can heal themselves. The little amber bottles of essential oils pack a whole lot of benefits, and there are many different ways you can use them.
The most common ways to use essential oils are aromatherapy (inhalation) and topical application.
Using Essential Oils Aromatically
The aromatic application means smelling the aroma of essential oils to receive therapeutic benefits. They affect our memory, hormones, and emotions powerfully. It involves our olfactory system and helps to manage our mood and emotions.
For diffusing the essential oils – meaning, to release its molecules into the air – there are many methods and devices. Diffusers and nebulizers can help you to get aromatic benefits as well as make your place smell divine. There are numerous types of diffusers available in the market – some involve water while others involve heat – so make sure you follow the directions, including how much essential oil drops to use.
Some other ways you can aromatically use essential oils are by placing a drop or two on a tissue, cotton ball, or pillowcases, as room sprays or inhaler tubes.
Did you know that when you sniff an essential oil, the molecules can reach your brain within 22 seconds? That is why you need to be careful of inhaling oils – as they will affect you and also others around you who can inhale them.
Using Essential Oils Topically
The topical application of essential oils allows the oil to absorb into the skin. To experience therapeutic benefits, apply the essential oil to targeted areas like the crown of the head, behind the ears, neck, temples, wrists, and soles of the feet. You can apply essential oils to most parts of the body, but be cautious of sensitive skin, the area around the mouth, eyes, and inner ear.
It is important to note that essential oils must not be applied directly to the skin without proper dilution.
Massaging with essential oils is the best way for relaxing and relieving pain from the body. The body acts as the diffuser here as it heats the essential oil and releases its scent into the air. For a calming massage, add few drops of Lavender, Cedarwood, or Patchouli Essential oil to carrier oil. Whereas for rejuvenating your muscles, the cooling effect of Peppermint essential oil is a great option.
The bathing ritual is in itself a self-soothing treatment, and adding essential oils can provide further benefits. Since these oils are not water-soluble, a dispersant like bath salts is required to mix the oil into the bathwater. You can add 4-8 drops of Lavender oil to a carrier oil and Epsom salts, and then add it into the water for a relaxing and therapeutic experience.
Essential oils are great for improving the appearance of healthy skin! Adding essential oils to lotions, creams, serums, or toners helps to target specific skin issues. The advantage of using lotions or creams in place of carrier oils is that they do not leave skin feeling oily but are still able to emulsify the essential oils. You can even add them to shampoos or conditioners to target specific hair issues.
One of the most fun ways to use essential oils topically is to make your perfumes or colognes. Creating perfume can be a bit confusing, with little knowledge of base notes and blending. But you can come up with something truly unique and perfect for you. Depending on the strength of perfume you prefer, add 15-30 percent of oils, and the rest can be a carrier oil (for a rollerball or spot use) or alcohol (for a spray).
What Are Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils are non-volatile base oils. They are generally botanical and are used on their own, or to “carry” the essential oils into the skin. They are derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually seeds, kernels, or nuts.
Essential oils are volatile – they evaporate quickly, contain the natural scent and characteristics of the plant. They are highly concentrated and irritate when applied directly to the skin.
Carrier oils do not evaporate or have a strong aroma, which makes a perfect pair for diluting essential oils—controlling the concentration of the essential oil without altering its therapeutic properties or aroma.
The dilution ratio depends on the type of essential oil, the area of application, and age and health of the person. It is necessary to dilute hot oils with carrier oils.
Different carrier oils have different properties and use. They can vary in consistency, absorbency, scent, and shelf life. The choice of carrier oil depends on the desired benefits. Some of the most commonly used carrier oils are Almond oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil, Jojoba oil, and Grapeseed oil.
For choosing the best type of carrier oil for your skin, few questions are necessary – what is your skin type, whether you have any allergies, and how and where you will be applying the oil. Experiment with a few carrier oils using a patch test and see how your skin responds to it.
Ingesting Essential Oils
We do not recommend the internal use of essential oils, without proper consultation by a medical doctor and an experienced Aromatherapist. The reason for this is that undiluted and pure essential oils are highly potent, concentrated substances. When you swallow the oils, they can come in direct contact with vital organs such as the mouth, tongue, food pipe/esophagus, stomach, etc. which may cause irritation and possible damage.
Essential Oil Safety Guidelines
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances, so you must use them with extreme caution and care.
1. Always read the product and packaging labels for instructions carefully before use for each oil.
2. Do not use essential oils near eyes, ear canals, around the mouth, broken skin, and other sensitive areas.
3. Remember, less is more! Whether you are using them topically or aromatically, always add few drops first.
4. Stop the use of oil if you experience irritation or discomfort. Do not rinse with water. Instead, apply carrier oil to the affected area.
5. Hot oils and citrus-based oils can cause temporary photosensitivity. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for 12-48 hours.
6. Follow proper dilution guidelines.
7. Practice safe storage – keep oils out of reach of children. Store them in cold, dark places.
8. Consult with a doctor before using essential oils if you have specific health concerns, are pregnant, or breastfeeding.