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 help with a headache or to get a quick mental 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 help 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
Diffusion is one of the most popular methods of using essential oils. Diffusing oils in the morning is a great way to get your day started on the right note. Then, throughout the day, try stimulating oils for work or study or uplifting oils if you need an energy boost. Finally, try relaxing and sedating oils at bedtime.
Or, if you simply want to enjoy the aroma of essential oils, aren’t really looking for an energy boost, and don’t need help relaxing, just grab your favorite ones and diffuse away!
Another thing to remember is that diffusion is also a fantastic way to help freshen up the aroma in the house. Citrus and cinnamon oils are excellent at deodorizing and helping to spruce up the air indoors.
You can make a simple reed diffuser or buy a diffuser like this one that covers a larger area.
If you don’t have a diffuser, or maybe you’re traveling or at work, consider simple inhalation. Just 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 this as needed throughout the day.
Alternatively, 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.
The benefits to using a hanky or essential oil inhaler are that you don’t have to carry around bottles of essential oil with you everywhere (no oily spills!), and the aroma is strong enough for you to experience it, but not so strong that others around you will notice.
As an added bonus, essential oil inhalers, essential oil jewelry, and even a cotton ball or handkerchief will hold the aroma for several hours—if not days.
Bring some essential oils to your next massage or give yourself a massage at home to help ease tension and get your circulation moving [source] (or even help with cellulite!) Massage is a wonderful self-care practice to start incorporating, and I promise you won’t regret it!
You can make your own massage oil by adding 15–20 drops diluted with 1/2 cup of carrier oil. I know it may sound sort of boring to give yourself a massage, but you’d be surprised at how relaxing and effective a few minutes of gentle massage can be.
A great place to start massaging would be the feet and then work your way to other areas of your body, especially where there are sore muscles or the circulation is sluggish.
I have just started to get back into the practice of taking baths for self-care. After a particularly rough day or if my body is feeling sore and tired, a nice warm bath does wonders for me! And a great way to kick those relaxing baths up a notch is to incorporate essential oils.
Simply add 2–5 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil and mix with Epsom salts. If you’re needing some inspiration, try one of these aromatherapy bath salt blends. Then, release the worries of the day while you let the detoxing bath salts and the alluring aroma of essential oils lure you into a state of relaxation.
Just make sure to avoid using cinnamon, cassia, oregano, wintergreen, and lemongrass in baths with essential oils as they might irritate sensitive skin.
There are a number of ways to use essential oils topically but always mixed with carrier oils. The most common places to apply oils are the bottoms of feet, chest, temple, and pulse points. Once you’ve mastered these areas, you can move on to different places on your body that align with specific ailments, aches, and pains.
You can create personalized formulations based on your needs, or simply combine 5 to 10 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of a carrier oil like jojoba, grapeseed, or olive oil and apply where needed.
Remember, not all oils, or brands of oils, are safe to apply topically. Before applying any essential oil to your skin, check with the manufacturer to see if it’s safe to use that way. Note: never use essential oils (even topically safe ones) in your ear canal, in the nose, or near your eyes!
While scientific research on essential oils is growing every day, studies are still pretty limited. However, there are a number of ways essential oils have been used throughout the years.
Below, I’ve listed some of the most common traditional uses for several essential oils, as well as some ideas for where to apply them on the body to make use of their beneficial effects.
Temples or back of neck: lavender, basil, and 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, and eucalyptus for headaches [source], dizziness, anxiety, muscle fatigue and lavender, chamomile for insomnia
Shoulders: ylang ylang, clove, and wintergreen for shoulder or joint pain
Chest: eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon for chest congestion, cough, bronchitis, asthma
Over heart: bergamot for depression, stress, and ylang ylang for self-esteem [source]
Abdomen: clary sage for menstrual cramps and peppermint, ginger, fennel for digestive issues, nausea
Wrists: vetiver, basil, lemongrass, and myrrh for carpal tunnel syndrome
Heels: clary sage, myrtle for the reproductive system
Sole of foot: peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus for respiratory issues, and ylang ylang, bergamot for stress, heart, high blood pressure
Outer arch of foot: grapefruit, juniper, and lemongrass for colon, bladder, liver
Bottom of big toe: peppermint, rosemary, and lavender for headaches
Essential Oil Tips
This guide is not meant as a substitute for medical advice. Always be sure to talk to your doctor about the use of essential oils for certain health issues to ensure this is safe for you!
If you have easily irritated skin, be sure to do a patch test and always dilute essential oils appropriately.
Citrus oils can increase sun sensitivity [source], so avoid sun exposure for at least 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 when using them!
Avoid using metal or plastic utensils or containers to mix or apply essential oils. Stick to glass or ceramic.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board-certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.301
Thanks for the chart and the article. I am interested in the myrtle for pituitary gland – I have Cushing's Disease, tumour has been found on the pit in the MRI and waiting for more results – possibly surgery next weekend. How does myrtle work on the pituitary and the cortisol, please? TIA. Daphne
Essential Veda says
Awesome blog…thanks for sharing your thoughts with us
<a href="https://essentialveda.com/category/blog-posts/">Carrier oils</a>
<a href="https://essentialveda.com">Essential oils</a>
S Rath says
Found Natures Sunshine products including Oils are pure and authentically source verified right down to the farm, field & even the plant. It means they qualify to have a PNP# government certification that many oils on the market do no not have or conform to. There is a difference.
You shouldn’t use olive oil with essential oils because the molecule is bigger and it won’t combine well. You CAN apply it without an oil. Lavender helps with irritation for example and doesn’t always need a carrier oil. A lot of oils out there say they are 100% pure which is what the FDA allows but in reality they only are 4% pure.
Does essential oils eork on Buritis? And which one would be the best?
I have terrible pain in legt hip,
You should NEVER put oils neet(strate on your skin) always use in a carrier oil. I am a Certified Aroma Therapist. I went to school to learn how to use oils safly,their healing properties, and the scienc behind them. Never put oils straight on skin
Carolyn. Irban says
I have severe arthritis in my both shoulders affecting range of motion and causing a great deal of pain . Pain also goes down my arm past the elbow down to the wrist. I was always interested in use natural oils for specific oils that can be used as both shoulders have the same type of problem and down the arms to wrist and in right finger trigger finger I have pain at base of finger and it seems tight and sticks a little when bending my finger causing pain in fonger. On both sets of knees I was supposed to get surgery in both knees
And they are bone on bone which I still get
Shots done in both knees. Lower back is constantly hurting Mr in my lower back after getting triple heart bypass approx 15 monthsvago. I need surgery in both knees
Bone and bone. I am a diabetic type 2 and it affects your slow healing.
Can someone help me get started and get
Started and what I would need. And what carrier oil to use and do you prefer out of the 3 companies recommended and need a defuser. Due to pain I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep
Diann Hayes says
Hello….I’m a Young Living Essential Oil distributor and would love to help you with your questions. The premium starter kit is the best way to get started as it contains a number of the most common oils and a diffuser. Please feel free to check out my Young Living page and let me know where I can most help you.
Yes contact me fourasbaskets @verizon.net I can answer your questions
I have never tried these oils don’t know much what’s a diffuser and I have problems sleeping at nights help me please
I’m no expert…but try some lavendar in a diffuser or put a drop or two on the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, put them up near your face and breathe in a few times. You can also put a bit of lavender behind your ears. It’s one of the sedative or relaxation oils. I’d try it diluted with a carrier oil such as olive oil first (if using topically)
I would like to know what kind of oil I can use for migraines and stress.? I’m allergic to all kind of peanuts. I would like to know if you recommend something that is 100 percent free peanuts . Thank you. Mi name is Carmen.
My daughter swears by rubbing peppermint oil on her temples and the back of her neck along with two Excedrin migraine strength and a dark room help her tremendously
How do I get a starter kit? How much.is it?
The premium starter kit is 160 dollars plus shipping. You get with a young living rep and sign up.
Veronica marston says
I have never tried these oils don’t know much what’s a diffuser and I have problems sleeping at nights help me please
Please help.. suffering with sebhoric dermatitis, used all over the counter products with no results. I just bought oregano oil but don’t know how to use it for my condition. Can you please suggest a recipe for me. I know not to use it straight. I appreciate anything you can tell me.
Stephanie Graysmark says
I have stage 4lymphoma and I am interested in aromatherapy and reflexology and want to know more the treatment of this illness has me feeling everything from fatigue to pain and believe that essential oils can help alleviate some of these things please help me thank you.
I am suffering with seborrheic dermatitis and have tried all the over the counter products and just left me frustrated and broke. . I just started using tea tree oil on my face with no results. I read that oregano oil is good so I bought it, now what. I can’t find any recipes that includes the oregano. Please help!
Also have frankincense, lavender, coconut, almond, grapeseed
Have you tried Renew lotion from Melaleuca?
I have seen amazing results for all kinds of dermatitis with the Soothe regimen from Rodan and Fields. Not trying to advertise but my daughter had literally tried everything, nearly breaking the bank! Soothe cleared it up and kept it clear!
You list several oils under each body part. Are you suggesting that you can use any one of these oils or are you saying to blend all those oils into one roller ball jar?
I have epilepsy(sezers) what oils would be safest for me to use just to injoy?
My Modern Essentials book says to use clary sage. I use doTERRA essential oils. It’s pure, potent and effective.
Also has CPTG, certified pure therapeutic guide, which is what you should look for in essential oils.
I love doterra oils, I also use young living oils and auracacia oils.
Hi. I’m new to the oils.
How do it use it as a diffuser or how do it put that together?
Grandma Netty says
For my diffuser I fill to line with very warm water ( it helps the diffuser no work to heat it) then I put 4-5 drops of your oil in and turn it on. Mine doesn’t last all night but it really helps me to sleep fully at night. It also helps so I breathe (thieves) my diffuser oil in at night and I don’t get sick and it has a pleasant aroma.
home page says
Thanks extremely beneficial. Will share website with my good friends
Thieves is a wonderful oil, to diffuse. I use it every day
The chart is so small I can’t read it. I have a lot of essential oils but don’t know how to use them.
Take a screenshot with your cellphone then enlarge the screenshot with your thumb and pointer finger.
What brand of oils are you using?
I need a bigger chart! Can’t really read it.
Judy Ann says
I use mine every night.
So on your chart the oils listed by each area of the body, do you use one oil listed or are you combining all the oils for that area.
I am wanting to know that as well? Thanks for asking
The question I have is that my roller bottles have stainless steel ball tops, should I not use them with the essential oils combined with the carrier oil. I am referring to the tips where you said to avoid using metal or plastic.
Essential oils should always be used with a carrier oil. No matter what. Roller Ball bottles come in plastic and the roller tops pop on and off. Never ingest essential oils either. Never use alone, always use with a carrier oil.
What is a carrier oil, and where can you get roller ball bottles?
You can get the roller bottles on Amazon. And just google carrier oil; in short they are just regular oils like olive, almond, grape seed. You can also search and find on Amazon
Donna B says
Stainless steel is fine. Glass is fine. Other metals and plastic are not..
Thank you so much for the chart & which oils to use . Helps tremendously! Have a Blessed day!
On the chart you showed will oils work the same on men?
Yes, they work for men as they do for women. ⚘
Love your site. I have number of very good oils but other than diffusing I have not learned much otherwise but do want to learn!
Thank you for your time and effort you have really helped me
Jessica Hannum says
I just became a Doterra Wellness Advocate and really love your website. I am excited to try making some new products for myself with your recipes. And, I love that you added bullet points on the safety use for oils. Very important!! Thanks! <3 I'm @QuestStones on instagram.
Ha ha. Showed the body chart to my husband. He said it’s great but it’s for women!!