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Essential guide to essential oils

Updated on November 18, 2014
Essential oils are vital for any DIY enthusiast.
Essential oils are vital for any DIY enthusiast. | Source

For any DIY enthusiast, essential oils are, well, essential. They add beautiful smells to all of your creations and some oils even promote some health benefits. The good and bad news is that there are tons of essential oils to choose from, and it's not recommendable to choose your oils based merely on smell.Why? Some oils can have the best smell in the world, and yet may not be suitable for topical application, and some others could, potentially, cause some health hazards if not used properly.

How, then, are we supposed to choose?! Don't be dismayed. Here's a list of some of the most common essential oils and how they can be used.

But first, some things we should know about essential oils before we use them...

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are more than just natural fragrances. They're more than just a pretty face. Think of essential oils as nature's life power concentrated in a wonderful smell. They protect the plant from insects, harsh weather conditions and diseases. They are also vital for the plant's growth and adaptation, as well as giving the plant or flower its distinctive aroma.

The best part is that studies have shown that essential oils can provide humans and animals with similar benefits that they provide to plants. That is why they possess powerful therapeutic qualities, and thus should be used moderately and carefully.

Do you use essential oils?

Are you an essential oil enthusiast?

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Essential oil quality

Every one wants to cash in the popularity of essential oils. However, many oils that are sold as essential oils are made in a lab using harsh chemicals. Others are sold diluted with who-knows-what, thus reducing its natural therapeutic properties and increasing the risk for toxicity.

If you're a DIY enthusiast, make sure the essential oils you use are of the highest quality.

There are a ton of essential oils. Make sure you are using them correctly.
There are a ton of essential oils. Make sure you are using them correctly. | Source

Basic safety measures with essential oils

  • Essential oils should not be ingested, unless it is labeled as safe for consumption.
  • They should always be diluted before applying directly to skin. You can dilute them in vegetable oils such as almond or avocado.
  • Some oils can irritate skin. Always test on a small skin area to see if you develop any negative reactions.
  • Use no more than 6 drops if applying to skin. Essential oils are very powerful.
  • Never apply essential oils to mucuous membranes or eyes.
  • Some essential oils are photosensitive, which means they could react negatively when exposed to sun rays. Make sure you know which oils fall under this category before you go out in the sun.
  • In general, essential oils are not recommended for pregnant women. Check with your physician.

The dropper is perfect to measure exactly how much you need to use without over using it.
The dropper is perfect to measure exactly how much you need to use without over using it. | Source

Negative reactions

Always test the oil on a small skin area. If you develop a negative reaction (redness, itchiness), clean the essential oil with a base oil (almond, avocado, sunflower, etc.) This will dilute the essential oil and reduce the negative reaction. Applying a base oil works better than washing with water.

Psst, Psst...

Essential oils smell so good. I think everyone should be using them to make their own body sprays or perfumes. Click here for a super easy recipe to make your own fragrances. It's so easy, you will only need three ingredients...

List of essential oils

Basil

  • It is a photosensitive oil. Do not use on areas of skin that are constantly exposed to sunrays.
  • Can be used topically. Dilution is recommended.
  • Can be used for internal consumption, but only if labeled as a dietary supplement. It needs to be diluted before consuming.

Cedarwood oil

  • Can be used on skin and does not need to be diluted. Use it only on skin areas that are not sensitive.
  • Could be internally consumed, but only if diluted and if the oil is labeled as safe for consumption.

Chamomille oil

  • Can be applied topically without dilution.
  • Can be consumed without diluting only if labeled as a dietary supplement.
  • Generally safe for children.

Cilantro oil

  • Can be applied topically, but only if diluted.
  • Can be eaten, but only if diluted.

Cinnamon bark oil

  • Should always be diluted before using.
  • Only recommended for use in adults.
  • Use only as recommended and only if it has been labeled as dietary supplement.

Cypress oil

  • Can be applied topically, requires no dilution.
  • Should not be consumed.

Geranium oil

  • Does not need to be diluted
  • Can be used topically in all skin types, except the extremelly sensitive.
  • Generally safe for use in kids.
  • Can be used as dietary supplement only if diluted.

Ginger oil

  • Can be applied topically, but only if diluted.
  • Can be used as dietary supplement only if diluted.

Grapefruit oil

  • It is a photosensitive oil. Do not use on areas of skin that are constantly exposed to sun rays.
  • Can be applied topically, but must be diluted.
  • Can be consumed without diluting. Generally safe for children.

Hyssop oil

  • Can be applied topically only if diluted.
  • Can be used as dietary supplement only if diluted.

Jasmine oil

  • Can be applied topically without dilution.
  • Cannot be used as a dietary supplement.

Lavender oil

  • Can be applied topically without dilution.
  • Can be consumed without diluting only if labeled as a dietary supplement.
  • Generally safe for use in children.

Lemon oil

  • It is a photosensitive oil. Do not use on areas of skin that are constantly exposed to sunrays.
  • Can be applied topically, but dilution is recommended.
  • Can be consumed without diluting only if labeled as a dietary supplement.

Lemongrass oil

  • Can be applied topically, but it must always be diluted.
  • Only for use in adults.
  • Can be used as dietary supplement only if diluted.

Mint oil

  • Can be applied topically, but always needs to be diluted before using on skin.
  • Can be consumed without dilution if labeled as dietary supplement.

Two of my favorite essential oils!
Two of my favorite essential oils! | Source

Essential oil tips

  • Use only one essential oil at a time when using them for the first time. This will help you determine how your body will react to each individual oil. Wait 30 minutes before applying a new oil.
  • Never apply essential oils inside your ear.

Source

For external use only

Some essential oils may be labeled as dietary supplements. If they're not, please don't consume or use them internally. Pure essential oils are meant for external use only. Using them internally would require a great amount of training and testing. I do not suggest anyone use them internally for any reason.

Myrrh oil

  • Can be used topically without dilution.
  • Can be consumed without dilution if labeled as dietary supplement.
  • Generally safe for kids.

Nutmeg oil

  • Can be used topically. Dilution is recommended.
  • Can be consumed. Dilution is recommended.

Orange oil

  • It is a photosensitive oil. Do not use on areas of skin that are constantly exposed to sun rays.
  • Can be applied topically, but requires dilution. Generally safe for children.
  • Can be consumed without dilution if labeled as dietary supplement.

Oregano oil

  • Can be applied topically, but must always be diluted. Only recommended for adults.
  • Can be consumed only if labeled as a dietary supplement. Dilution is recommended.

Patchouli oil

  • Can be applied topically without dilution. Generally safe for children.
  • Can be consumed without dilution.

Rosemary oil

  • Can be applied topically, but must always be diluted.
  • Only recommended for adults.
  • Can be consumed, only if diluted and if labeled as dietary supplement.

Sandalwood oil

  • Can be used topically without dilution. Generally safe for children.
  • Can be consumed without dilution if labeled as dietary supplement.


Spearmint oil

  • Can be used topically only if diluted.
  • Recommended only for adults.
  • Can be consumed without diluting only if labeled as a dietary supplement.

Tangerine oil

  • It is a photosensitive oil. Do not use on areas of skin that are constantly exposed to sunrays.
  • Can be applied topically. Dilution is recommended.
  • Can be consumed without diluting only if labeled as a dietary supplement.

Ylang Ylang oil

  • Can be applied topically without dilution. Generally safe for children.
  • Can be consumed without dilution. Generally safe for children.

Always be careful when trying a new oil. Better safe than sorry. If you have any doubts at all, consult your physician. And always keep discovering the wonders of nature!

Comments

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    • profile image

      Sheena Douthie 

      4 months ago

      So excited after reading this so im going to give them both a go and make their own personal scents my daughters :)

    • profile image

      John Kurian 

      4 months ago

      Hi Silver,

      I am trying to move away from perfumes. Can I only use Lavender essential oil directly on my skin? I want to apply to my pulse points. How many hours would you say it would last if I apply directly concentrated. Please advise.

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi MPG Narratives:

      Yes, there are so many essential oils available, and this list is so, so tiny! Lavender is definitely one of my favorites as well.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi twig22bend:

      I know what you mean. I didn't even know what essential oils were until I started making my own DIY projects. But once you get to know them, they're quite cool. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • twig22bend profile image

      twig22bend 

      5 years ago

      I have a small collection of oils that were given to me as a gift. I had no idea

      as to how to use them. Thanks for sharing this info.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      So many essential oils, I had no idea of all the uses. I have heard of some and use lavender quite a lot. Shared, voted up and useful.

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