If you’re anything like me, you’ve amassed quite a collection of essential oils—but have no idea how to use most of them beyond the occasional sniff to relieve a headache or get a quick energy boost. We’ve talked about which oils to use for detox, women’s health and gorgeous skin but what are the best ways to use essential oils in your everyday routines? Whether you want to battle fatigue, reduce tension or improve focus, read on for 5 ways to make the most of these powerful oils.
5 Ways to Use Essential Oils Every Day
Diffusing oils in the morning is a great way to get your day started on the right note. Throughout the day, try stimulating oils for work or study or uplifting oils if you need an energy boost. Try relaxing and sedative oils at bedtime. You can make a simple reed diffuser or buy a diffuser like this one that covers a larger area.
Clear your mind then inhale directly from an open bottle or rub a drop of oil between your palms and breathe in the aroma. Do as needed throughout the day. Apply a few drops to a handkerchief and carry it in your pocket or make an essential oil inhaler or terra cotta necklace that you can inhale whenever you like.
Bring oil to your next massage or give yourself a massage at home to ease tension and get circulation moving (or even help with cellulite!) Make your own massage oil by adding 15-20 drops diluted to 1/2 cup of carrier oil. Start by massaging the feet as it allows oils to quickly enter the bloodstream.
Add 2-5 drops of essential oil to a carrier oil or use with Epsom salts. Try one of these aromatherapy bath salt blends. Avoid using cinnamon, cassia, oregano, wintergreen and lemongrass in baths with essential oils as they might irritate sensitive skin.
The most common places to apply oils are the bottoms of feet, chest, temple and pulse points. Once you’ve mastered that you can move on to different places on your body that align with specific ailments, aches and pains. Apply 2 to 3 drops (a little goes a long way) right on the skin, or combine 5 to 10 drops with a carrier oil like jojoba, grapeseed or olive oil.
Not all oils, or brands of oils, are safe to apply topically. Before applying any essential oil topically, check with the manufacturer to see if it’s safe to use that way. Then consult this handy list to find out where you should be applying your oils. Note: never use essential oils (even topically safe ones) in your ear canal or near your eyes!
- Temples or back of neck: lavender, basil, peppermint for stress, nausea, motion sickness, insomnia, headaches
- Outside of ears: juniper for tinnitus, and lavender, basil for earache, swimmer’s ear
- Behind ears: peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus for headaches, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue and lavender, chamomile for insomnia
- Shoulders: ylang ylang, clove, wintergreen for shoulder or joint pain
- Chest: eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon for chest congestion, coughs, bronchitis, asthma
- Over heart: ylang ylang, bergamot for depression, stress
- Abdomen: clary sage for menstrual cramps and peppermint, ginger, fennel for digestive issues, nausea
- Wrists: vetiver, basil, lemongrass, myrrh for carpal tunnel syndrome
- Heels: clary sage, myrtle for reproductive system
- Sole of foot: peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus for respiratory issues and ylang ylang, bergamot for stress
- Outer arch: grapefruit, juniper, lemongrass for colon, bladder, liver
- Bottom of big toe: peppermint, rosemary, lavender for headaches
Essential Oil Tips
- This guide is not meant as a substitute for medical advice. Definitely talk to your doctor!
- If you have easily irritated skin, try using essential oils with a carrier oil first. If redness occurs, apply carrier oil to the area to dilute the essential oil.
- Citrus oils can increase sun sensitivity so avoid sun for 12 hours after applying.
- To retain their potency keep essential oils stored away from sunlight and moisture.
- Essential oils are extremely concentrated and can rub off nail polish and even melt plastic.
- Oils, and carrier oils, can stain clothing, towels and furniture—so be careful!
- Avoid using metal or plastic utensils or containers to mix or apply essential oils. Stick to glass or ceramic.