Using Essential Oils Safely

As the research on essential oils continues to develop, we are gaining a greater understanding of application methods for essential oils.  All application methods are safe when used correctly, including aromatic (to smell), topical (put on your skin), and internal (eat them!) methods.

You can use one oil many ways, for a broad range of emotional and physical wellness applications. You can use an oil on its own, or blend it together with a carrier oil for application with many different ailments.

Here are some further explanations on the three recommended uses for dōTERRA essential oils:


The sense of smell can cause powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional responses. Essential oils are rapidly absorbed by smell receptors, which have a direct link to the limbic system by way of the olfactory nerve. The limbic system is part of the brain that supports a variety of functions including smell, emotions, behaviour and memory. For this reason, essential oils have a particularly powerful effect on changing emotional responses through the direct link from the nose to the brain’s limbic system.

Some essential oils induce uplifting or invigorating effects, while others are more relaxing and calming. Diffusion is one of the simplest methods for using essential oils aromatically. Diffusers that use cold air or water are ideal. However, using essential oils aromatically does not require any special diffusing devices.

You can achieve the same health benefits by just placing a few drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand that is then cupped around the nose as you breathe deeply.

Additional aromatic uses for Essential Oils Include:

  • Apply oil to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your vehicle
  • Mix oils in a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens
  • Add oil to a batch of laundry or dryer sheets
  • Use in household surface cleaners


Topical application is a very effective method for applying essential oils. Because essential oils have low molecular weights and are lipid soluble, they quickly penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they stay in the affected area for a localised benefit.

Although essential oils are readily absorbed, there are many ways to increase absorption. Using a light massage will increase the blood flow to the area of application, in turn improving distribution throughout the body. Use of a carrier oil can also increase absorption, especially in the skin that is dry or flaky as it helps moisturise the skin and slow evaporation of the oil.

To reduce the likelihood of developing a skin sensitivity, especially on young or sensitive skin, you should use a carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil) to dilute stronger oils and when trying out an oil for the first time. The recommend dilution ratio is typically one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.

It’s always worthwhile to use several small doses throughout the day rather than a single large dose. Start with the lowest possible dose (1–2 drops). A topical dose can be repeated every 4–6 hours as needed. Because every individual is unique, the treatment will vary for each based on size, age, and overall health status.

Best Areas You Can Apply Essential Oils

  • Neck
  • Forehead and temples
  • Chest and abdomen
  • Arms, legs, bottom of feet

Other Effective Methods of Topical Application 

  • Add a few drops of oil to a warm bath
  • Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel or cloth in water, adding essential oils, and then applying to the desired area
  • Add oil to a lotion or moisturiser and then apply to skin

Sensitive Areas to be Avoided:

  • Some facial areas, such as the skin around the eyes
  • Eyes and inner ears
  • Broken, damaged, or otherwise injured skin



Dilution is one of the most important aspects of effective topical application; it is also one of the most misunderstood.

Carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, have been shown to improve essential oil application through several different pathways.

Evaporation is the main issue in topical application, as body heat and the skin present a formidable barrier. One of the most important benefits of dilution is that it slows the flashing off of the volatile aromatic compounds, largely through one of the fundamental laws of fluid dynamics: decreasing the surface area of a substance exposed to air reduces the rate of evaporation.

When diluted, essential oil chemical constituents have been shown to pass through the epidermis in the skin more efficiently than when applied neat. 



We ONLY recommend SOME of dōTERRA Essential Oils for internal consumption as dōTERRA after undergoing rigorous CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® Quality Testing

Traditionally certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions (see Essential Oil Metabolism). When you sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add fresh basil leaves to your spaghetti, you are consuming some volatile aromatic essential oil compounds.

Essential oils contribute many health benefits as well as flavouring and aroma properties to foods. When in their concentrated form, essential oils can be used as dietary supplements for more targeted and potent health benefits. Internal use is a very safe and efficient method of application because of the sophisticated physiologic processes of our bodies.

When ingested, essential oils directly enter the bloodstream via the gastrointestinal tract, where they are transported throughout the rest of the body. Essential oils are lipid soluble, so they are readily transported to all organs of the body, including the brain. Then, like all things we consume, essential oils are metabolised by the liver and other organs and are then excreted.

The composition of essential oils is highly involved. Each constituent possesses a unique set of biochemical properties that react with cells and organs in different ways. Although these mechanisms of action are not completely understood, the positive end results have been demonstrated. However, the body is only equipped to handle appropriate doses of essential oils.

Proper dosing according to labelling recommendations and other professional guidelines should be strictly followed to avoid toxicity.

Today, many essential oils are found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) list, which affirms the safe use of essential oils as flavouring agents and preservatives. Every substance found on this list has a well-documented history of internal safety. Although essential oils have health applications that extend far beyond flavouring, this list sets a safety framework that can be applied to the internal use of essential oils.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Essential Oils are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.