Aug 17, 2015

How can I use essential oils?

Dear Oily,

I finally bought myself a bunch of essential oils! I was so excited when they came in the mail; I practically ripped the box open. Now, I’m sitting at my kitchen table with all the bottles set out in front of me, and I’m stumped. Do I sniff them, drink them, roll around in them?

How can I use essential oils?


Eager and Unsure

Three ways to use essential oils | Hot Pink Crunch
Dear Unsure,

Ahhh I remember the days of newfound essential oil excitement! For me, the excitement quickly turned into feeling so overwhelmed that I actually didn’t open my essential oils for a week after receiving them.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a thing or two since then!

To answer your first set of questions: do have a sniffing party, don’t drink them, and it’s probably wasteful to roll around in them.

The Three Paths to Oily Enlightenment!

Based on different cultural traditions, there are three main ways to use essential oils: Topically, Aromatically, and Ingesting. These three methods came about based on locality; the Germans like to use essential oils topically, the British prefer aromatic methods, and the French like to ingest.


Topical means to apply the essential oil to your skin. This can be done either neat or diluted (for a refresher on essential oil terms, click here!).

This is a popular option for those using oils for cosmetic reasons or when you just completed a wicked workout and your muscles are a bit sore.


Using essential oils aromatically requires inhalation. This can be achieved by taking deep inhalations directly from the bottle of essential oil; applying a drop topically to the palm of the hands before cupping the hands over the nose and mouth and taking deep inhalations; or by using an essential oil diffuser to release the oil into the air.

This is a popular option for those using essential oils to influence their mood and emotions OR if someone farted and the room smells real bad.


Ingesting essential oils requires taking them internally through the mouth. This can be done by adding essential oils to a capsule; placing them on a spoon of some carrier oil; adding them to a beverage; or by taking a pre-prepared supplement sold by a company specializing in essential oils.

This option is often used to support body system wellness.

But.. I’m still confused!

I know you’re probably now thinking: “Okay, that’s nice, but which method do I use for which oil?”

I really can’t answer that for you! Sorry :(

I can give you a place to start though. Read the label on the essential oil bottle! In the United States (where Ms. Oily herself is located), the FDA requires that all essential oil bottles be labelled with the essential oil’s primary use only. What does that mean? All essential oil bottles should have labels indicating if an oil’s primary use is topical/aromatic or if its primary use is as a dietary supplement.
Read Your Labels To Learn How to Use Essential Oils | Hot Pink Crunch

Depending on what you are trying to achieve with the oils, you will have to decide from there which method is best for you. Check out the bottle label, do some research in third party reference works AND listen to your body! It will take some trial and error, but your body will let you know what works for you and what doesn’t.

A Brief Lesson in SCIENCE!

While you’re trying to figure out which method works best for you with which oils, consider this brief reminder regarding basic human biology.

What is the body’s biggest organ?

Your skin is like a sponge | Hot Pink Crunch
The skin! It also happens to be a super absorbent organ. It’s one of the reasons why pharmaceutical companies have created things like the patch, which delivers medicine into the body transdermally (look at me.. using big fancy words). It’s also why we should be super careful with what we put on our skin.

What happens when you inhale something?

It goes into your bloodstream through the porous membranes in your honker! Why do you think people can snort things to get high? Come on, we all remember that kid in 7th grade that was caught sniffing glue or the 3rd grader who hoarded all the scented markers? (I liked lemon best!)

If you put something on your skin or inhale something? Yeah, that something is going to get into your bloodstream and circulate throughout your entire body. How else do people get cancer from secondhand smoke or lead poisoning from old paint? What you breathe in and what you put on your skin is internalized by your body! It’s just not called ingesting because you didn’t use your mouth to get it in there.


So remember to read the labels of your bottles for some guidance on how to start using your essential oils! I also recommend doing research in third party reference works to help you choose the best method to help you reach your personal goals.

Whichever of the three ways you choose to use essential oils, remember that the oils WILL get into your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body. That is the end result no matter which of the three ways you choose, so it’s just a matter of how you are going to achieve it.

Caution: Because everything we breathe in, apply topically, or ingest ends up in our bloodstream, I only use Young Living Essential Oils with my family. I do not want chemicals in my body! To find out why I love Young Living, read this! If you’re ready to start your oily journey, check this out!