HOW TO USE YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS
Copyright Aroma Queen 2017
There are many different ways you can use essential oils - including some you may not have considered before. We cover many of the popular methods for you below, but before you get started here's a reminder of the basic golden rules regarding aromatherapy:
FOUR THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOU START USING ESSENTIAL OILS
1) MAKE SURE YOU'RE USING PURE, NATURAL ESSENTIAL OILS and not synthetic fragrances, as fake oils don't carry any of the therapeutic benefits that natural oils do. Also if you've bought essential oils that are already diluted in jojoba oil, bear in mind that they can't be used in the same way as pure oils.
2) NEVER INGEST OR SWALLOW ESSENTIAL OILS
3) NEVER APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS TO THE SKIN unless you dilute them first. Read below for easy instructions on how to dilute your oils.
4) ALWAYS USE LESS OILS AROUND CHILDREN - see our OILS 4 KIDS page if you're planning on using Aromatherapy around children.
Have a read of our AROMATHERAPY INTRO & SAFETY page if you want to learn how to tell the difference between natural and synthetic oils, as well as more detailed safety information. Our other LEARN MORE pages cover additional in-depth articles about ingestion etc, or using Aromatherapy around children. You might also like to visit our AQ FACEBOOK 'NOTES' PAGE where we regularly publish blogs, notes and recipes regarding Aromatherapy and other natural products - don't forget to LIKE the page while you're there to let us know if you've found it helpful!
WHICH ESSENTIAL OILS SHOULD I USE, and HOW CAN I USE THEM?
Essential oils can be used for a host of different purposes, and via a multitude of methods: whether to treat an ailment by applying them diluted to the affected area, or to create a relaxing bath or dinner party atmosphere, make a personalised natural perfume, or ward away germs during flu season when you're out and about.
You can use a single oil, or a blend of 3 or 4 oils that may work even better in synergy as they complement each other - the possibilities are endless. Recipes for various aromatherapy blends for therapeutic use, natural perfumes, skincare, relaxation blends etc are in abundant supply on the internet, and can inspire you with new ways to treat different scenarios - just be wary of recipes that suggest you use more than the recommended amount of oil, or recipes that involve ingesting oils - this is generally unsafe (see our other LEARN MORE pages for more information).
If you want to know what a particular oil is known to be good for, each AROMA QUEEN premium quality ESSENTIAL OIL is listed with a detailed description of qualities, which you can look up at any point in the future as a reference here on our website. Our LEARN MORE pages also include many suggestions of oils to suit various purposes. Another option is to purchase pre-prepared PURE OIL BLENDS that have been formulated to suit different situations, so if you don't know which oils are best to suit your needs, a pre-made Oil Blend can remove any confusion (you also won't need to purchase each individual oil in the recipe).
Through using recipes & blends and experimenting, or investing in an inexpensive beginners guide or TEXTBOOK that will help ease you into it, you'll soon learn which oils are best for you - as well as which ones suit your own tastes.
POPULAR AROMATHERAPY METHODS
SCROLL DOWN FOR INFO ON THESE METHODS:
* DIFFUSING OILS INTO A ROOM OR SPACE
- Candle-Powered, Electric, Vaporiser & Nebuliser Diffusers
- Room Sprays
- Tissue Method
* INHALER STICKS
* APPLYING ESSENTIAL OILS TO THE SKIN
- Adding Oils to Skincare Products
- Topical Application
- Roll-On Bottles
- Atomiser Bottles
* AROMATHERAPY BATHS
* STEAM INHALATIONS
* AROMATHERAPY JEWELLERY
All of the following suggestions are based on ADULT usage.
Visit our OILS 4 KIDS Learn More page if you want to use Aromatherapy around children.
DIFFUSING OILS INTO A ROOM or SPACE
Essential Oils usually smell great straight from the bottle, but in order to diffuse them into the environment you generally require a purpose-made diffuser or burner of some kind. Many require a source of heat to help the oils vaporise into the air, other 'nebuliser types' spray fine mists of pure essential oils, or 'vaporiser' types spray water-and-oil mists. So while you may have some success sprinkling oils onto pot pourri etc, you're more likely to get a stronger scent and a wider throw with a diffuser that is designed to vaporise the oils for you.
Whichever type of diffuser you use, once the oil is vaporised into the air around you, you will begin to breathe the scent in and the oils will enter your bloodstream through the respiratory system. So whether you want to burn some oils for relaxing or meditating, to deodorise a space or bring a pleasant scent to the room, or to treat a specific ailment, diffusing oils into the air can be a simple way to do it. Just be aware that everyone in the space will be exposed to the oils, so it may not suit everywhere - it may not be appropriate to diffuse oils in an office or somewhere public. If that's the case, try looking at a personal diffuser such as an inhaler stick or aroma jewellery, which won't affect those around you nearly as much!
HOW LONG WILL THE SCENT LAST?
Unlike synthetic fragrances which can last for a very long period and often go 'stale' over time, essential oils are a natural product, and they all naturally dissipate, or fade away. 'Top note' oils such as eucalyptus or lemon dissipate the quickest, some within an hour; whereas 'base note' oils such as Patchouli, Frankincense or Jasmine may last for several days, and 'mid note' oils fit somewhere inbetween. Whichever oils you use, just bear in mind that they won't last indefinitely. When burning oils in a diffuser, try using top - mid - base note blends that encompass a range of notes, as these will help make the top note oils last longer and will also give you a more complex scent. Aside from the oils you're burning, some diffusers create longer lasting scents than other types; others might have a stronger scent but might churn through your oils very quickly - they are all different. Ultimately, once you notice that the scent has started to fade, just refresh the oils as necessary - but don't over-do it: try leaving the room and re-entering again to get a sense of how strong the scent is as you may have become de-sensitised to its strength. You can also take a sniff of some fresh COFFEE BEANS - surprisingly, this does refresh the palate and is an excellent way to clear the nose between testing various oils as well.
ROOM DIFFUSER TYPES
Skim down the page for information on the ultimate personal oil diffuser - Aroma Jewellery.
CANDLE WARMED OIL DIFFUSERS / BURNERS
One of the simplest types of oil diffuser is the CANDLE WARMED diffuser, which generally uses a 'tealight' candle to gently warm a saucer or bowl of water, to which essential oils are added. Light your candle and fill the saucer with water, and add around 8-10 drops total essential oils to the water. As the water heats, the warmth will diffuse the scent of the oils into the air. Depending on your burner, the water may evaporate before the candle runs out - just top up the water as needed and don't allow the saucer to boil completely dry as this may damage your burner. Refresh the oils as necessary.
Some candle warmed burners can also be used to burn soy wax melts, if the dish is deep enough and the candle warms it to a hot enough temperature. Beware when purchasing wax melts, as the majority feature cheap synthetic fragrances rather than natural essential oils. Synthetic scents do not have any therapeutic or relaxing benefits.
ELECTRIC 'PLATE' TYPE OIL DIFFUSERS
All electric diffusers are designed differently, so check the instructions for your specific model. As a general rule, you do not require water in an electric burner as instead of a candle flame that warms the saucer to quite a high temperature, a small electric element will gently warm a plate that you add the oils directly to. Avoid diffusers that run too hot as they will 'burn' the oils - not only reducing their therapeutic benefits, but also causing an unpleasant burnt smell.
VAPORISERS & NEBULISERS
There are currently many types of electric vaporisers and nebulisers available. but you do need to understand how they work before deciding which may be best for you - and be aware that quality can vary greatly as cheap manufacturers try to cash in on the trend.
VAPORISERS usually 'mist' fine droplets water and essential oils into the air; NEBULISERS are similar except they usually attach directly to a bottle of pure essential oil and vaporise fine droplets of pure oil into the air - this can give a stronger scent as there's no water involved, however as it is misting pure oil straight from the bottle they can churn through your oils very quickly; some also can't be used with certain oils such as citrus as these may corrode the fittings. As with electric diffusers, all are different so make sure you follow the instructions for your specific model. Bear in mind that some vaporisers use special 'dilutions' rather than pure oils, so check exactly what product your vaporiser will require as it may not use the pure oils that you have in your collection. Some cheap vaporisers are also just basic 'humidifiers' dressed up as aromatherapy diffusers - while they are fine to mist water into the air to humidify a space, some use a wadded filter to draw up the oils and water, and this can easily clog up with some stickier oils. If you're looking at purchasing a vaporiser to use with aromatherapy, make sure you find one that is guaranteed to work with pure essential oils.
Spray / atomiser bottles can be used for room sprays of all types: anti-germ or insect sprays, your favourite scent, a 'Sleep' blend to calm the mood before bedtime, or any number of therapeutic Aromatherapy purposes. The scent may not be as long lasting as when your oils are vaporised via a diffuser, but they can still create an instant atmosphere. Follow this guide to create your own sprays - and as a hint, try adding inexpensive SOLUBILISER to your spray, which will help your essential oils blend in with the water instead of sitting as a slick on top. If you don't use Solubiliser, you can just use pure essential oils and water, however you'll need to shake the bottle vigorously before every use to ensure you don't spray pure oils into the air.
(CLICK HERE to view our AQ ROOM SPRAY KIT).
There are times when this simple method is all that you need - whether it's to take a 'sleep blend' to bed with you, or you're out and about - or you just don't have another burner on hand! Just add a drop or two of pure essential oil to a tissue and tuck into your shirt collar or pillow case. Avoid oils that may be sensitising on the skin, or coloured oils that may stain fabric - and try to fold your tissue so that the oil avoids direct contact with your skin. The warmth of your skin, or your head against the pillow, will help diffuse the oils into the immediate air around you so you can breathe them in.
INHALER STICKS - PERSONAL / PORTABLE OIL DIFFUSERS
Inhaler Sticks are an inexpensive and effective way to take your aromatherapy with you, wherever you go - in your children's school bags, by the bed, or travelling. They're also great for when it's not really appropriate to share your oils with those around you, such as at the office or when you're using a less pleasant therapeutic blend that not everybody may want to share!
Inhalers use a blank (unscented) wick inside a sealed inhaler stick - all you need to do is add up to 20 drops of your oil or oil blend to the wick and seal it inside the casing. Just take your inhaler out and take a sniff whenever you need to - keep the inhaler sealed between uses to avoid the oils drying out, and top up the oils again as the scent naturally fades over time. Try colour coded plastic inhalers for day to day use, or stylish long-lasting aluminium and glass versions for your favourite blend in your handbag. Spare wicks are also available, as well as pre-made inhalers in our Pure Blends and Oils 4 Kids ranges.
(CLICK HERE to see our INHALER STICK OPTIONS).
Scroll down to read about AROMA JEWELLERY - another great personal diffuser.
APPLYING ESSENTIAL OILS TO THE SKIN
You can add essential oils to various products to apply them to the skin - whether you want to scent your skincare cream, create a relaxing massage oil, or add some essential oils to a balm or carrier oil to apply topically for therapeutic reasons.
Whichever method you're looking at, you need to dilute your essential oils first or you may experience sensitisation. Use this table to easily calculate how much oil is safe to use: generally 3% is the maximum amount of essential oil you'd use to apply oils to areas on your body, however as the skin on your face is more delicate, it's recommended that you only use 1% maximum essential oil when applying around your facial area. Use less for children - see our OILS 4 KIDS Learn More page for complete instructions.
Also avoid any oils that are known to be SENSITISING to the skin - such as Cinnamon Bark or Peppermint. If you're concerned, do a small patch test first and if any irritation occurs cease use immediately - use extra carrier oil etc to dilute the oil on your skin if you experience any irritation. Other essential oils - some of the citrus oils in particular - can be PHOTOSENSITISING, which means that if you apply them to the skin (even diluted) they will encourage burning in UV light, so you are best avoiding those. Check our AROMATHERAPY INTRO & SAFETY page for a list of which oils may cause photosensitisation.
Avoid applying any oils to broken skin, around the eye or mouth area.
To create an aromatherapy massage oil, all you need to do is add up to 3% essential oils to an unscented carrier or massage oil (try sweet almond, grapeseed or a pre-made massage blend which will be designed to have good 'slip'). If you're planning on applying the blend around the face use only 1% essential oils, and always avoid the eye and mouth area.
For an instant scented massage try adding 5 - 6 drops of essential oils for every 10ml (two teaspoons) of massage oil - use the table above to make larger amounts. Try using calming or relaxing oils for stress; oils to help with insomnia before bedtime, or even warming oils or blends to help with pain or aches. Pre-made PURE OIL BLENDS come in very handy for quickly making up a massage product as they take the guesswork out of which oils to use for a certain purpose. Try not to make your massage oil too far in advance as essential oils begin to lose their effectiveness once they're blended with other products.
(CLICK HERE to view our MASSAGE options).
ADDING OILS TO SKINCARE CREAMS AND PRODUCTS
Many Essential Oils are excellent for use in skincare as they have benefits to suit a variety of skin conditions. Whether you want to make your own skin creams from scratch, create an oil-based serum, or just want to add your favourite oils to an existing cream, lotion or balm, the same rules apply - use a maximum of 3% essential oil for the body, and up to 1% for the face, and stir through well (see the table above to calculate how much to use). Use natural creams and ingredients rather than petrochemical products such as Sorbeline, as petrochemicals actually form a barrier to stop the oils from being absorbed into the skin. See our LEARN MORE page on Natural Skincare for more info and ideas.
To treat a specific condition, you might want to apply oils directly to an affected part of the body. As always, you'll need to dilute them first. You can use any natural carrier oil (sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba, apricot, or a natural massage oil etc) or a cream that features natural ingredients, to 'carry' the essential oils and allow them to penetrate through the skin and into the bloodstream (avoid petrochemical based creams as they'll form a barrier to prevent the oils from being absorbed). Use the same rules from the table above - a maximum of 3% for the body, and up to 1% for the face, and stir or shake through well. Avoid applying to broken skin or wounds, and always avoid the eye or mouth area.
Roll-on bottles are an excellent (and inexpensive) way to take your blends with you, and are available in standard 10-15ml sizes like the ones pictured, as well as mini 5ml bottles or bulk 30ml sizes.
You can easily create a skin-application blend in a roll-on bottle for therapeutic use (headaches, nausea, insect repellent etc) or even as a natural perfume using your favourite essential oils, to take anywhere. Stick with the 3% rule for use on the body, but use a weaker 1% dilution if intended for the facial area. Use around 6 - 8 drops total essential oils in a 10-15ml roll-on bottle, then top up the bottle with a natural carrier oil and insert the roller mechanism - Jojoba absorbs really well, but you can also use any other carrier oil such as Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernel or Grapeseed. Use amber glass or opaque bottles to protect your oil blend, or keep clear glass bottles out of direct sunlight.
(CLICK HERE to view our DIY OIL BASED PERFUME KIT, or CLICK HERE to view our ROLL-ON BOTTLE RANGE).
ATOMISER / PERFUME SPRAY BOTTLES
Atomiser sprays follow the same rules as 'Room Sprays' (above): use up to 3% essential oils in a spray bottle and top up with water (use the table above to calculate how much oil to use, depending on the size of your bottle). As a tip, try adding inexpensive SOLUBILISER to your spray, which will help your essential oils blend in with the water instead of sitting as a slick on top: add the correct amount of pure essential oils to the bottle, add the same amount (or a little less) of Solubiliser, and then top the bottle up with water. If you don't use Solubiliser, you can just use the essential oils and water, however you'll need to shake the bottle vigorously before every use to ensure you don't spray pure oils onto your skin.
(CLICK HERE to view our DIY WATER BASED PERFUME KIT, or CLICK HERE to view our ATOMISER BOTTLE RANGE).
Aromatherapy baths are one of the most popular ways to use essential oils, and are as easy as it gets - they're excellent when using oils to prepare for sleep, to relax or reduce stress, help sore muscles - or even an aphrodisiac blend to create the right atmosphere.
Oils can be added straight to a bath (avoid oils that can be sensitising on the skin) - add no more than 8 - 10 drops in total, and splash them into the water before stepping into the bath to avoid getting a concentration of oils on your skin. The warmth of the water will diffuse the scent of the oils into the air, plus you will absorb some of the oils through your skin through direct contact.
As with all aromatherapy, use less oils for children - see our Learn More page on OILS 4 KIDS for complete instructions on using oils around children.
One of the best ways to treat a cold or other respiratory illness is via a steam inhalation. Add 4 - 6 drops of essential oils known to help your condition to a bowl of boiling water. Lean over the bowl and place a towel over your head and shoulders to trap the steam, allowing you to breathe it in. Keep your eyes closed to avoid getting oils into your eyes, and avoid leaning so close that the hot steam burns your skin. Excellent for respiratory and sinus issues.
Aromatherapy Jewellery is the ultimate take-anywhere portable & personal aromatherapy diffuser, and can be used as a natural perfume diffuser or for a therapeutic blend.
There are dozens of designs and styles available, from simple metal or long-lasting stainless steel pendants that use a textile 'scent pad', to unique natural porous lava stone bracelets or pendants, with many unisex designs that can be used by children as well. With either type of Aroma Jewellery, try using just a couple of drops of oil to start with: bear in mind that you'll be carrying the scent around with you and you don't want to overwhelm yourself, let alone everyone else. Some people prefer stronger or weaker scents, and some oils have more strength than others, so experiment with the amount you use.
(CLICK HERE to see our AROMA JEWELLERY RANGE).
AROMA PENDANTS - SCENT PAD STYLE
Aroma Pendants that use a textile scent pad all use the same principle: a metal pendant / locket with a solid back that sits against your skin; inside the locket the scent pad is inserted - just add a few drops of pure essential oil, a pure oil blend, or even your favourite perfume to the pad and insert it into the locket. The front of the pendant usually features a 'filigree' design with various holes. As the pendant heats against your skin, the oil on the pad is gently warmed and the scent diffuses into the air immediately around you through the holes on the front. You can use your favourite scent as a natural perfume, or even therapeutic oils to kill germs, help with headaches or help you relax. To change your scent - or the colour of the pendant - just change to a new scent pad (spares are available for all pendants).
AROMA JEWELLERY - LAVA STONE
Lava Stone jewellery features natural porous lava rock beads which partially absorb your essential oils, and diffuse the oils as the beads are warmed against the skin. Available in bead bracelets of varying designs, or as pendants which may use a 'locket' to store a changeable bead. To use, add a couple of drops of essential oil to the bead and allow to soak in for a period, then thoroughly wipe dry before use to avoid the pure oils coming into contact with your skin - particularly when using bracelets. Even with pendants, occasionally the oil may rub against the skin so avoid using oils known to be sensitising (Peppermint, Cinnamon Bark etc) and if irritation occurs cease using that oil or try using less.
Visit our TAKE-ANYWHERE AROMATHERAPY BLENDS page
for more ideas on how to use Aroma Jewellery, Inhaler Sticks, Roll-Ons and Atomisers.
(CLICK HERE to see our AROMA JEWELLERY RANGE).
WHICH EVER METHOD YOU USE FOR YOUR ESSENTIAL OILS:
Do be sensitive to other people sharing your space as Aromatherapy is a personal thing - some scents don't appeal to certain people, while others love them.
Always feel free to experiment with your own blends if a suggestion doesn't appeal to you, but read up for any important safety information that may effect you or those around you before using new oils - some are not suitable for pregnant women, or people with high blood pressure etc.
And always use less oils around children - see our OILS 4 KIDS Learn More page for full instructions, and take a look at our our AROMATHERAPY INTRO Learn More page for more detailed safety information.
Always remember, Aromatherapy is intended to complement, not replace traditional medicine.
AQ stocks a full range of Essential Oils, Oil Blends, Carrier Oils and Accessories (burners, inhalers, roll-ons, kits and cases).
The advice within this page is general and not specific to individuals and particular circumstances. Before using herbs, essential oils or other natural treatments, check all cautions and restrictions. Aroma Queen cannot be held responsible for any injury, damage or otherwise resulting from the use of any treatments or products within this website. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-treatment for long periods or for serious problems, without first consulting a qualified medical practitioner. Always seek professional medical advice if symptoms persist.