Essential Oil Basics: Part 2 – Using Essential Oils

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So now that you know what essential oils are, let’s talk about how you can use them in your own home. The most popular ways to use essential oils are to diffuse them through the air or apply them on your skin (topically).




Diffusing or inhaling essential oils is the most effective way to get the benefits, which include: relaxation, improved breathing, mood enhancement, and more!

Here are a couple of tips:

1. Only put essential oils in an essential oil diffuser – not a humidifier, candle wax warmer, etc.
2. Do not dilute the oils with a carrier oil (or use a pre-diluted oil blend) in a diffuser. It will ruin it.

Most diffusers work about the same, so here are the general steps, but obviously follow the directions that came with your model.

Step 1: Take the lid off the diffuser and add water. Most models will have a max fill line.
Step 2: Add your oils. For a small space like a bedroom, I only use a few drops.  In a larger space, I may use more depending on how strong the scent of the oil is.
Step 3: Replace the lid, and turn it on. You’ll see the mist and smell the oils immediately!


Run your diffuser for 30-60 minutes, then turn it off for one hour, and repeat if desired.



Topical application is best for a skin or muscle issue, or when you want oil absorption for a longer period of time. (Essential oils take time to get through the skin as opposed to being inhaled.) I always recommend you dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, before applying them.  I’ve included some dilution guidelines below.

Note: It is NOT recommended to use essential oils on children under the age of 2, unless directed by your healthcare provider.

.25% Dilution (1 drop per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil)

  • For children 2-6 years of age

1% Dilution (1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil or 5-6 drops per ounce)

  • For children over 6 years and the elderly
  • Recommended when applying oils to the face or all over the body

2% Dilution (2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil or 10-12 drops per ounce)

  • For healthy adults in most situations

Please note that these are guidelines, not rules. There may be exceptions based on the individual and the oil being used. Always use the lowest dilution possible for your needs.


If that’s a little too much work (I totally get it), you can purchase many varieties of essential oils that are pre-diluted in a rollerball (pictured), and just apply it directly to your skin without having to mix anything.

Be aware that most rollerball applicators used the dilution recommended for a healthy adult, and may not be sutable for use on children (unless you are using the Plant Therapy KidSafe products…more on those in my next post!)



Some people and brands also advise taking essential oils internally (adding them to drinking water, etc.), but based on the research I’ve done, I do not feel like this is safe. Therefore, I do not practice this myself, or recommend it to others.

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:


Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

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  2. […] Essential Oil Basics: Part 2 – Using Essential Oils […]

  3. […] prefer to use my oils in a diffuser, but they can also be used topically, in a personal inhaler, or with essential oil jewelry. As […]

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