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Definitely! In fact, it is one of the three ways to use essential oils. They can be used topically, aromatically, and internally. Today, we are going to focus on topical use. Because of their molecular make up, essential oils easily absorb into skin and remain in the area of application for a prolonged effect. And, topical application is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to use essential oils.
Topical Use Basics
- To avoid skin irritations, it is recommended that you dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil) when applying for the first time, when applying to sensitive skin, or when using with children or babies. Click HERE to learn all about carrier oils.
- A good starting place when diluting is 1 drop essential oil to 3 drops carrier oil. Since each individual is unique, you may need to adjust this ratio.You can create larger batches of diluted essential oils in a clean glass bottle or container, or simply mix in the palm of your hand for an individual application. You can also purchase many of the most popular essential oils and blends pre-diluted with fractionated coconut oil. Look for "Touch" products like Peppermint Touch that come in a roller bottle and are pre-diluted.
- Essential are classified as "Neat", "Dilute", or "Sensitive" to help users apply them safely and avoid skin sensitivities.
- Neat. These essential oils can be used topically on most people without causing skin sensitivity. Examples: Frankincense, Lavender, Melaleuca, Melissa, and Sandalwood (Hawaiian or Indian).
- Dilute. These essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before topical application. Examples: Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Oregano, and Thyme.
- Sensitive. It is recommended that these oils are diluted before use on young or sensitive skin. Examples: Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Peppermint, Wintergreen.
- Due to their potency, you should apply small amounts of essential oils several times over the course of a day instead of applying a large amount one time. Apply 1–2 drops every 4–6 hours as needed. If necessary, increase the number of drops until the desired result is achieved.
- Doses will vary for each person based on age, skin sensitivity, size, overall wellness, and even body chemistry. Adjust dosing to each individual accordingly.
- Use a carrier oil to increase absorption. This can be especially beneficial if you are applying to dry skin. Massaging the area after topical application can also increase absorption.
- When used topically, some essential oils make the skin more prone to reactions due to sun exposure (usually an exaggerated and intensified sunburn). These oils are photosensitive. You should avoid sunlight or UV rays for 12 hours after applying to the skin photosensitive oils to your skin. Click HERE to learn more about these oils and how to identify them.
- You can receive topical benefits through other methods beside direct application. Try adding essential oils to a warm bath, add oils to a hot or cold compress, or add them to body care products, like moisturizer, cleansers, and conditioners.
- There are so many ways to use essential oils topically. This handy image will get you started and give you ideas for which oils to try and where to apply them. You can also check out the single oils and blends in our doTERRA Shop to find out specific topical use recommendations for each.
What are your favorite essential oils to use topically? Let us know in a comment.