EO Safety: How to Use Essential Oils Topically
I love my essential oils and TRUST ME I never thought I'd say that. My friend Courtney, mommy to 7 aged 1.5 to 13, uses her oils all the time. Her house is clean (well, messy but clean!), her kids are healthy and they never go to the doctor... So, finally, a year and a half ago, I got my kit.
Oh my. These are little bottles of magic. I use my oily products to clean my house, clean my teeth, support younger looking skin, soothe my digestion issues, delete the occasional headache, soothe my vocal cords and other tired muscles... and so much more. Seriously, search "essential oils whatever-ails-you" and see what you get. Magic.
To learn more about the brand of oils I use and promote, click here. To get your own, click here. Or call me with any questions -- my email and phone number are at the top of every page. Love talking oils and health any time!
Using oils is not rocket science (fortunately for me, lol) but there are some very helpful tips and tricks you'll want to know to wring every bit of essential goodness out of your oils! Basically, essential oils can be used three ways: topically, internally and aromatically (by diffusing).
Here’s how to use essential oils topically.
There are two ways to apply essential oils topically: “neat” which means directly on the skin, and “diluted” which means thinned with a carrier oil. Both are perfectly fine and you’ll want to choose your method depending on what you want to accomplish with that particular oil.
The Power of Essential Oils
EOs do not mess around. No matter how you use it (topically, internally or aromatically), within 5 minutes, that EO is in your blood stream, heading to all bodily systems and organs including your brain. Within 22 minutes, that EO is throughout your body. (Which is why you want to use only the purest EOs!)
The one very important exception to using an oil neat is if you have sensitive skin. Then it’s best to use a carrier oil (more on this below), especially the first time you try out an oil. You want to make sure you have no reaction, usually presenting as a slight burning sensation, redness or itch.
I do not have sensitive skin, I can slather it all on. My sister-in-law, Peggy, does have sensitive skin so she always tries a new oil with a carrier the first time. She doesn’t need much carrier and not with every oil. She just needs to test them with a carrier the first time.
Cover More Ground with Carrier Oils
Carrier oils also make an EO spread MUCH further! This is helpful from both a healing as well as financial perspective.
For instance, it’s hard to make one or two drops of an oil cover an ankle or shoulder, but mixed into a bit of avocado oil, it covers much more ground! Plus, the carriers send the EOs deeper into the skin for more healing penetration. Avocado oil is particularly good at penetration!
What are “Carrier" Oils?
A carrier oil is simply an oil that you mix with an essential oil to dilute it, to "carry" it over more distance.
There are lots of great carrier oils. Some of my go-tos are sweet almond, jojoba and MCT (MCT = fractionated coconut oil). I also put MCT in my coffee so always have some of that handy! My favorite carrier by far is avocado oil. It’s a tiny bit heavier than the others, but penetrates quickly and deeply — my skin loves it!
In fact, you can use any good quality oil or lotion you have handy! I make an awesome tallow balm (she said modestly) and I always use that as my carrier. Tallow is very healing for the skin.
Yes, you can use olive or coconut oil, but, surprisingly, they are not quite as good at penetrating the skin for me.
Using Essential Oils with Kids?
Yes, you can use EOs with babies and kids, you just need to be extra alert with their (often) super sensitive skin. It's pretty much brand new skin, after all ❣ Here are some very basic guidelines for using EOs with certain demographics:
Dilution % Used For:
1% Children for over 2 years old, Elderly, or Immuno-compromised
2% Healthy Adult
3% Acute use: Short term and small area.
What's a "dilution?" A 1% dilution = 1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. So a 2% would be 2 drops of EO per tsp of carrier and so on. A 0.5% dilution would be 1 drop in 2 tsps of carrier oil.
There are no hard and fast rules here. Of course, it's best to err on the side of caution and over-dilute when using for the first time with anyone. EOs are powerful.
That said, I have friends who use oils on their kids (even when they were babies) without diluting, just using very little at a time.
When my 7mo grandchild had a little digestive distress, I used a drop of DiGize on her belly: put a drop on my hands, rubbed my hands together and lightly rubbed in a clockwise circle (which is how stool moves through the colon) on her abdomen. I've used Peppermint with her, too, and she gets Lavender in her Epsom salt baths almost every night. We've diffused Lavender with her since she was an infant, very relaxing for all of us!
Did you get a little EO in or near your eye and it's burning? Don’t rinse with water! Drop a little oil in your eye, whatever mild cooking oil is handy (as long as it's not a specialty cooking oil with spices). An oil will dilute the EO and quickly stop the burning. And, don't worry, you will suffer no damage to your eye.
Btw, this also works when you’ve been cutting up hot peppers or garlic and touch your eye. That smarts, right? Those are the vegetable’s essential oils on your hands that have gotten into your eye! "Rinse" your eye with a drop or two of oil for quick relief.
In fact, I keep a small dropper bottle filled with organic flax seed oil in my fridge door. I've been using it to relax my eyes during the day when they are over-tired from computer use. Simply put a drop in each eye, close your eyes and relax for 5-10 minutes. Very nice… and handy to have the cold oil in the fridge ready for a hot pepper emergency 🙂
That's it: no rocket science involved!!! When you have questions, please ask. My phone number and email are at the top of every page.