A Beginner's Guide to Using Essential Oils

Caitlin M.
ByCaitlin M.

Taking the step into the world of essential oils might seem like a daunting one. Where do I start, what do I buy, can I mess it up? (All very valid questions.) But as it turns out, adopting essential oils into your everyday routine is actually quite simple—once you know a few basics! We chatted with Susan Griffin Black, founder of EO Products, to learn how to use essential oils like a pro.

What can essential oils do: Well, a lot of things! They can improve your mood, help with healthy skin and hair, and make your world smell amazing, says Susan. They can even be used to help improve and treat a variety of health concerns such as headaches, sinus symptoms, stress, and more.

How to use essential oils: Although there are a number of uses for essential oils, the simplest way to use them is to put a few drops on your shower floor or in your bath, explains Susan. "The hot water helps the oils diffuse and the effect is instant," she says. "Plus, it makes your bathroom feel like a spa." Sign us up! Another popular way to utilize oils without playing the apothecary is through an oil diffuser. Most are small and can sit on a bedside table and disperse product at the touch of a button.

Building your oil kit: Building your first oil kit really isn't as intimidating as it sounds. A few basic oils can help beef up your kit and address many concerns. "Lavender, eucalyptus, orange, and peppermint are great starter oils," explains Susan. "Together they can do just about everything." See below for some top treatments!

  • To treat a headache: Mixing a little peppermint and lavender can calm a pounding head.

  • To help sinuses: Eucalyptus is a sinus sufferer's go-to! Place six drops of EO Everyone Eucalyptus Essentials Oil in a bowl of hot water. Place your face over the bowl and drape a towel over your head to breathe in the steam.

  • To keep away bugs: To keep some pesky critters at bay while enjoying the outdoors, combine about six drops of EO Everyone Peppermint, Lavender, or Eucalyptus Essentials Oils with water.

  • To soothe a sunburn: Susan suggests making your own after-sun treatment by mixing eight ounces of aloe vera gel with 12 drops of lavender and two drops of peppermint oils. Lavender soothes irritation while peppermint provides a cooling effect!

  • To relieve stress or anxiety: And if you're looking for a more advanced mixture, opt for lavender, cedarwood, and ylang-ylang, which are wonderful for relaxation.

Pro tip: "Always dilute your essential oils before putting them on your skin!" says Susan. "Start with one or two drops of your favorite oil in a teaspoon of a base oil like jojoba or argan oil. Essential oils are incredibly concentrated, so you won’t need much."

Have you tried essential oils? How do you use oils in your everyday life? Let us know!

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About the Author
Caitlin M.
Caitlin M.
Runner. Music lover. All things nachos. Follow me on Instagram: @caitlinsmiller