Topical Uses for Essential Oils

If you have been reading about essential oils for a while, you are probably aware that there are many ways to use them. You can add essential oils to skincare and hair care products, use them in a diffuser to help your room smell nice, and create a lot of different DIY products. Another way to use them is topically, where you apply a diluted oil to your skin for a wide range of benefits. Here are some benefits and safety tips for using them topically.

Where to Apply the Essential Oils

The first thing to do is learn where you can apply your essential oils topically. This is usually on any area of skin on your body, from head to toe. Some people like to apply them to areas with nerve endings when you have pain or discomfort, like the bottom of your feet. Others use the oils to help with skin conditions, so naturally it would be applied to your face and neck.

The oils can be applied just about anywhere, but here are some common locations:

On the temples (great for headaches)
Across the forehead
Under the nose (for aromatherapy)
Back of the neck
On the face (for skin conditions)
On a location causing pain or discomfort

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Diluting Your Oils

Diluting your essential oils is the number one most important thing to keep in mind when you are applying them topically. Essential oils are pure extracts from plants and herbs, therefore they are usually much too strong for direct skin contact. Depending on your skin, it can cause a burn, allergic reaction, itching, or breakouts.

You will need to mix your oils with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Consider the type of topical application when deciding which carrier oil is best for you.

The dilution percentage should be between 1 and 5% essential oil to carrier oil, but no more than that.


If you have sensitive skin, be extra careful when using essential oils for topical application. It is best to start with just 1% dilution so that you can see how your skin reacts. You might also want to test different carrier oils alone on your skin and see which your skin seems to prefer.

Some people do great with olive or coconut oil, while others enjoy the softness of jojoba oil.

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