Use Essential Oils Safely

How to Use Essential Oils: 3 Ways

Topically— Some oils require dilution with a carrier oil before rubbing them on the skin. I like using coconut oil, olive oil. Some oils can be applied neat (without dilution).

Aromatically—Essential oils can be inhaled from the bottle or diffused in the air with a diffuser. They can also be dropped on a cotton ball or wet cloth and inhaled.

Internally—Many of the medicinal-grade oils can be taken orally as a dietary supplement.

How to Use Essential Oils Safely

What to do if an oil gets in your eyes or irritates your skin

Essential oils are NOT water-soluble, they are oil-soluble. If an oil gets in your eyes or begins to burn your skin, DO NOT try to remove the oil with water—it will only drive it deeper. Use a carrier oil, such as coconut oil to remove an oil if you have used too much.

Oils and UV exposure

Some oils are photosensitive, meaning they should not be used on your skin before exposure to direct sunlight or UV rays. Using a photosensitive oil prior to sunlight or UV exposure could lead to pigmentation changes, rashes, or cause your skin to burn.

Photosensitive oils include lemon, orange, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, angelica, etc.

Oils and pregnancy

Caution should be used in pregnancy when using oils containing constituents with hormone-like activity such as clary sage, sage, and fennel. Although no adverse reactions have been recorded in humans when using these oils during pregnancy, caution should be exercised.

Using oils on infants and small children

Dilute oils for infants and small children. 1-2 drops of pure essential oil to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pure vegetable oil (coconut, etc.).

Oils and the ear canal

Do not drop oils directly in the ear canal. Instead, dilute and apply on the outer back area of the ear, under the ear lobe, and down the throat (for an earache, for instance). Oils can also be placed on a cotton ball, which can then be placed in the ear.

Oils and the Eyes

Do not drop oils directly in the eye since it will most likely sting and cause the eye to water (though it will not damage the eye). If oils get in the eye, a drop of olive oil in the eye will provide immediate relief.

How to use strong, caustic oils safely

Particular care should be taken when using cinnamon bark, lemongrass, oregano, and thyme—they are some of the strongest and most caustic oils. It is best to dilute these with a carrier oil (coconut, etc.).

Use extreme caution when diffusing cinnamon bark because it can burn your nostrils of you inhale it directly from the diffuser.


When kept away from light and heat (over 90 degrees), oils can maintain their maximum potency for many years.

Oils can dissolve plastics, petrochemicals, and paint. If adding oils to a drink, use a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead of plastic.

If mixing your own cleaning solutions, try out stainless steel spray bottles, available on the accessories page.

Use caution when setting a bottle of oil on a painted surface—if oil gets on the paint, the paint may dissolve right off.

Detoxifying safely with essential oils

If an oil causes discomfort, it is because it is pulling toxins from the system.

Either stop applying the oils to make sure the body isn’t detoxifying too quickly, or dilute the oils until the body catches up with the release of toxins.