7 Tips for Using Essential Oils Effectively, Safely, and Efficiently (for Newbies and Veterans alike!)
While this post is intended for ALL oil users, I personally love Young Living oils (read more about why I chose this company HERE). And if you haven’t joined my private essential oil Facebook group, get access HERE, so you can receive tips and updates about new uses for oils I am discovering.
Dilute, dilute, DILUTE your oils!
- First, it saves you money! If an oil cost $35, and in a 15-mL there are about 250 drops, each drop is worth 15 cents. So why use 10 drops when 3 will be just as effective?
- Second, there are some oils where you don’t want to exceed a “maximum” rate/amount. For information of each oil’s “maximum dilution rate” check out the Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. The general aromatherapy rule of thumb is as follows:
- .25-.50%–children 2 and over (for information on oil use under age 2, check out the book The Complete Handbook of Aromatherapy & Essential Oils. I used it to guide my knowledge of Essential oils use with my infant son and felt comfortable with the authors’ credentials, knowledge, and experience).
- 1%–children 2-10 year-olds, pregnancy/breastfeeding moms
- 2%–10 years and up, most common for DIY skincare/personal use products, and breastfeeding moms
- 3%–Common adult usage
- With the exception of lavender (on occasion), I don’t use oils “neat” or undiluted. Some oils that are considered considered “hot” and can be uncomfortable or painful if applied topically without a carrier oil. And at the end of the day, in addition to safety, I want to save money. Diluting oils achieves both.
Use appropriate oils for the age and the situation.
- What age can I start using oils on my baby?
- For age use on starting essential oil use, the advice varies. Some say “NO OILS UNDER 2—EVER!” Others say “Use any oil, any age—no problem!” I could not, in good conscience, follow either of those pieces of advice. I felt they were too extreme and the potentially unsafe. Just like medications or stomach size varies with weight or age, so to does the use of essential oils.
- I began using essential oils with my son when he was about 6-weeks old. I ONLY used a .25% dilution rate and I limited the oils to 3—Roman chamomile, lavender, and sweet orange. I did this after reading the advice of aromatherapy practitioners in one of my favorite essential oil books.
- Situational Needs
Pregnancy, use of medications, personal sensitivity, etc. All of these circumstances vary and potentially change the level of “ideal” essential oil use and/or dilution rate. Some oils are NOT recommended during pregnancy and/or lactation so it is important to research each oil you use. I love the books The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness & Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals.
- What age can I start using oils on my baby?
Sourcing is EVERYTHING
- If I take care with what I eat, my SKIN products (absorbed into the bloodstream) are no different. I want no fillers (some less reputable companies have been known to cut oils low quality ingredients), high quality, and definitely no pesticides. My preferred brand is known world-wide for commitment to sustainability, natural pest control (including their own oils!). Young Living also owns and operates many of their own farms, giving them the knowledge of the oils from seeds to the bottle.
Use ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em!
- Oils aren’t like a fine wine. They do NOT get better with age—in fact, many oils oxidize (break down, change their chemical composition). One example is Grapefruit essential oil. Buy this oil for quick use, or transfer to a smaller container periodically. Air is not a friend to oils, but many citrus oils in particular are especially prone to oxidation.
The Sun is your friend…except when it’s NOT!
- Photosensitivity —i.e., phototoxicity—refers to the intensification of your skin’s ability to absorb sunlight. The result is an increased possibility of sunburn, depending on your skin type and medications you may be on.
- Some of the more common photosensitive oils include: Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Lime, Lemon, and Grapefruit oils. For exact sensitivity rates/dilution rates, be sure to check out THIS book!
- I am not a trained aromatherapist. I CANNOT endorse ingestion of oils because I lack the knowledge and experience. BUT, if you research it and decide for yourself, I encourage you to do TWO things 1) use only a fraction of a drop (dip a toothpick, then stir into your item) 2) Oils and water don’t mix. Opt for diluting essential oils in a healthy fat (like milk, cream, butter, coconut butter, or a viscous substance like raw honey). Each drop of oil represents a large amount of plant material—all of which has to be processed by your liver. So do your research and get guidance from a trained aromatherapist if you can before ingesting! If you want lemon flavored water, it’s cheaper (and guaranteed safe!) to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon rind.
Don’t take my word for it.
- I am not a medical professional or a certified aromatherapist. I am a mommy-teacher-researcher, but I make my decisions based on the best interests of my own family. YOU are your own biggest advocate! I encourage you to read, research, and learn as much as you can about EACH oil you use!
I’ve come to fully understand that value of natural alternative that exist for everything from cleaning to personal body products. Essential oils are a vital part of my self-care routine and each day, the ways in which I use essential oils increase. I would love to have you join my team. Young Living is a referral-based company, so I will receive a commission from Young Living, but this also means that I become your YL support person!
By joining my team, you will receive:
- Access to a network of educational webinars from my nationwide support team
- Support from my private Facebook communities
- Welcome gifts with exclusive resources to help you get started!
- Full access to all of my resources, including: pre-written classes, materials to bring to classes, a plethora of FDA compliant graphics/infographics, and all of the instruction you need to start sharing right away!