How To Use Essential Oils: Application Methods + Dilution

How do I use my essential oils? This is one of my most asked questions, and for good reason. doTERRA Essential Oils are powerful and potent and safety is a big concern for many people, so today were going to talk about using your essential oils safely and effectively.

Application Methods

Aromatic: Inhaling essential oils is one of the easiest and most frugal ways to use your oils. Simply opening a bottle of your essential oil and breathing in its aroma can elicit powerful physiologic, mental and emotional responses. With your choice of essential oils you can trigger direct responses from the body, like uplifting your mood with a citrus oil or using Peppermint to keep you alert and energized. Alternatively you could use Lavender or Serenity to provide calming properties that release stress and help relax the mind and body.

Besides direct inhalation from the bottle you can place a drop of an oil or blend into the palms of your hands, rub them together, and then cup your hands around your nose and mouth (it isn’t necessary to make direct contact with the face) then breathe in the oils deeply for a few breaths. After your done, I like to rub the excess oils on the back of my neck or over my heart.

Another way to get the aromatic benefits of your oils is by using a diffuser. This method is wonderful for affecting moods, killing airborne pathogens, changing the aromas of a specific space, as well as providing a targeted approach for relaxing or stimulating the mind. Diffusing your oils is very frugal too, for example I can add On Guard into our diffuser and everyone in my home will receive the aromatic, immune boosting benefits of that blend.

Want to learn about the science behind the aromatic benefits of essential oils? Learn more here.


Topical application of essential oils is one of the fastest, and simplest ways to experience to benefits of these oils for the body. Essential oils have many wonderful benefits and the topical uses for the oils allows the user to target specific areas of the body, for example using Lavender for a burn, Deep Blue for back discomfort or aches and breathe on the chest for respiratory support.

You can apply your essential oils directly to the skin with a carrier oil (see below for more information on safety and dilution), you can use doTERRA’s Touch Rollers or make your own roller bottle blends, or by adding yours oils to a warm bath.

Let’s talk safety when using essential oils topically:

There are 3 Classifications of oils when it comes to topical use Neat, Dilute and Sensitive.

Neat: Oils categorized as “neat” can be applied topically without dilution because of their exceptionally mild chemistry. Frankincense, Lavender, Melaleuca, Melissa, and Sandalwood are good examples of “neat” essential oils.

Dilute: Oils in this category have potent chemistry and should be diluted with a carrier oil before topical application in every case. “Dilute” oils include Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Oregano, and Thyme.

Sensitive: “Sensitive” oils are those that should be diluted before use on young or sensitive skin. Bergamot, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Ginger, and Peppermint are examples of “sensitive” oils.

PSA: Most Citrus oils are photosensitive, what does this mean exactly? This simply means that due to a certain chemical compound you should avoid using these oils topically up to 12 hours before being exposed to direct sunlight, tanning beds or other artificial sources of UV light. 


The internal use of essential oils has been a controversial topic in the essential oils community in recent years, but this is mostly due to lack of awareness and education. An important reminder though, the essential oils at your local target, Walmart or health food store states not to take internally and that is simply because those oils are not pure, and they are either synthetic or have fillers.

If you have researched doTERRA’s essential oils you will know that they are all thoroughly tested to ensure they are pure, and are free from any containment’s, synthetics or fillers.  (Why doTERRA?) All of the essential oils that are safe for internal use from doterra are on the U.S Food and Drug Administrations GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list and include a supplement fact label on the bottle.

Using your oils internally:

  • Recommended Ideal Amount Chart
  • Put the recommended drops into a veggie capsule and swallow whole.
  • Use your oils for flavoring while cooking.
  • Add to your water for flavoring and the internal benefits.


Dilution is a process in which essential oils are mixed with or into a carrier oil. A carrier oil is normally a vegetable oil that “carries” the essential oil onto the skin. There are many benefits to diluting your essential oils including increasing the surface area of absorption, enhancing the absorption into dry skin, preventing sensitivity responses and conserving your precious oils.

There are many carrier oils to choose from, doTERRA’s carrier oil of choice is Fractionated Coconut Oil for its long shelf life and light weight texture. You could also use Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Safflower Oil, Avocado Oil, Rose hip Oil Etc.

doTERRA already offers so many wonderful articles on the science behind dilution, they will be linked below:

Fresh Look At Dilution

To Dilute or Not Dilute

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