Essential Oils . . . How Do I Use Them?

How to apply EOs

A few days ago I posted on Facebook about a diffuser that I’m fond of that is available on the Spark Naturals website. I was surprised at how many people commented asking, “What is a diffuser?” I guess I had just assumed everyone knew, but we know what happens when we make assumptions. ;-) So I thought it might be a good idea to do a post about the different ways to use (or apply) essential oils. Because it’s one thing to know what these wonderful oils can DO, but it’s a completely DIFFERENT thing to know how to actually get the benefits.

So today’s post is a basic lesson in “essential oil application” and some of my favorite ways to use EOs.

Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally.

Let’s talk about “diffusion” first, since that’s the question that spawned this discussion in the first place.


How to apply EOs




A diffuser is one of my favorite ways to use essential oils! Depending on my mood or any health challenges me or my family members are dealing with…I choose one oil or a combination of oils to diffuse. An essential oil diffuser disperses essential oils into the air of your home or office, allowing you and your family to easily inhale the oils (for immune boosting, stress relief, etc.) AND naturally, effectively disinfecting the air. Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be stimulating while others can be calming and soothing. Beyond emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can purify air of unwanted odors and some airborne pathogens. It is nature’s best and most inexpensive air purifier.

Here are some of my favorite uses for my diffuser:


Mood Influencer.
I work a LOT of late nights (I shouldn’t, but I do.) I diffuse Lavender and Wild Orange to help me stay awake. I can create a mood by diffusing select essential oils. I can energize, focus, brighten, relax, subdue and purify with a diffuser.

Clear The Air.
By adding Spark Naturals Shield blend to my diffuser, I can kill germs and pathogens in the air and prevent sickness from spreading to other members of the family. If someone is sick in our house, Shield is a key player in keeping everyone else well! It also makes the house smell great!

Breathe Easy.
All three of my boys and their Dad suffer from mild asthma. When they get sick it gets worse. By diffusing Respire, another essential oil blend by Spark Naturals, in their bedrooms at night, they breathe much easier and often recover much more quickly.

Better Sleep!
Although I tend to stay up WAY too late, when I finally DO go to sleep I love to diffuse lavender in our bedroom. Sleep is so much easier to attain and much more restful. A diffuser with a timer is perfect for this application.


How to apply EOs




This is the application that most people are probably familiar with. Due to the molecular composition of essential oils, they’re easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically, sometimes diluted with a carrier oil and sometimes “neat” (undiluted). Once they’re applied, essential oils can have almost an immediate, localized effect to the target area of application. They have restorative and calming properties and can be used very effectively in massage and beauty therapy.


1.  Back of the Neck (or the Suboccipital Triangle):  This is a great place to apply an EO topically, close to the blood supply to the brain.

2.  Feet: the bottoms of our feet have the largest pores on our body and allow quick absorption.

3.  Over the heart:  A nice place for a topical application, very soothing and calming.

4.  Localized:  When aches and pains are involved, apply EOs directly to the area of discomfort and massage the oils in with carrier oil. I typically use Fractionated Coconut Oil as a carrier, but other good ones include almond, olive, grapeseed, jojoba, avocado, and sunflower. Peppermint rubbed on your tummy when you’ve over-indulged at dinner provides such relief!


How to apply EOs




Therapeutic grade essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements supporting a variety of healthy conditions. Some EOs have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support a healthy inflammatory response in cells.

I personally take a blend of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint (a natural antihistamine) in a gel cap on a regular basis to help control hives. In the cold and flu season our whole family has benefited from the Cold & Flu Bomb my sister shared with us. (Make sure you write this down!  You will be SO happy you did come wintertime!)


flu bomb

While many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, some oils should not be taken internally. Please don’t use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.


How to apply EOs


BONUS Application :-)


As wonderful as essential oils are for promoting good health…I also LOVE using essential oils around my home!

  • Add a fresh scent to your laundry by placing several drops of lavender essential oil on a clean cloth and tossing into the dryer during the cool-down phase.
  • Essential oils like lemon will remove many stains, as well as gum, stickers and other residue from most surfaces.
  • Many oils have antiviral properties and can be added to natural homemade cleaners, such as sprays, carpet deodorizers, furniture polish and so on.
  • You can even add oils or oil blends to household paint (to eliminate fumes), craft paint, children’s play dough, etc.

Hopefully this has helped shed some light on how you can more effectively use essential oils in you and your families lives. As an extra help I made up this FREE PRINTABLE that you can keep with your oils for a quick reference. It lists the most common essential oils and how they can be used. So the next time you’re wondering….What oils should I use?  And, how should I use them? This chart will help ease your uncertainty!




EO Chart


One last thing….

If you are new to essential oils or have never even tried them…but would like to…purchasing a kit of some sort is a good way to get started.

Spark Naturals offers several very good starter kits that contain a nice variety of oils that can get you started on the path to improved overall health and wellness.


How to apply EOs

Back-to-School Kit

For a limited time SN is offering the Back To School Kit which includes two blends that will help you and your children to relax, stay healthy and remain focused during the coming school year! PLUS, as a bonus, it includes to stainless steel roller ball bottles for easy application.



How to apply EOs

Health and Wellness Kit

The Health and Wellness Kit is a comprehensive assortment of essential oils and essential oil blends that will help address emotional health as well as physical health.

Kit includes:

  • Lemon
  • Frankincense
  • Oregano
  • Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Amend (Soothing Blend)
  • Cold & Flu (Respiratory Blend)
  • Shield (Protective Blend)
  • Peppermint

(All oils are 5ml bottles)


How to apply EOs

Essentials Kit

The Essential Four Pack is perfect for the first-time essential oil user who just wants to get a feel for how they work. It contains four “workhorse” essential oils that can be used in a myriad of ways.

Oils included in the kit:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Melaleuca
  • Peppermint

(All oils are 5ml bottles)

Don’t forget to use the coupon code JILLEE to receive 10% off ANY Spark Naturals order!



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  1. Jean says

    Fairly new to essential oils. what ratio do you recommend when using a carrier oil? For example, if using something for headaches, how would I start? I’ve used essential oils in my bath and in my laundry but time to branch out. :) Do you recommend a particular site to become more knowledgeable on usage of EO?

  2. Pat says

    I had always heard or read that essential oils shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. Now I’m confused but that is normal for me. :-) I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on this. I’d be using eo’s more if I knew they were fine to be applied directly. Thank you.

    • says

      Pat, there are many schools of thought on the use of essential oils. There was a time in the early use of aromatherapy when essential oils were NOT pure, they were diluted or solvents had been added for use in the perfume and cosmetic industry. The US is a little late to the party, Europe has been using essential oils for medicinal properties for centuries – we (United States) embraced modern western medicine and lost touch with natural alternatives. Times are changing though!

      Spark Naturals and several other EO companies have brought to market PURE essential oils that are safe, non addictive and without side effects. With the myriad of beneficial properties found in PURE plant essence, you truly can have a natural medicine cabinet – replacing all of the OTC meds and in many cases, prescription meds.

      So, back to your original concern, if you’re using an essential oil that’s labeled “for external use” applying topically with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil is a good idea and these are NOT to be ingested. If you have a PURE essential oil labeled for dietary use, most are readily absorbed into the skin without irritation with a few exceptions. Hot oils such as Oregano, Birch, Cinnamon and Clove and, protective blends such as Shield (w/ cinnamon & clove) should be applied with a carrier.

      • Kelly says

        You mentioned Birch should not be applied neat as it is one of the “hot oils”. On the chart that Jillee posted above, it shows that Birch can be applied neat. Is it a misprint on the chart?

    • says

      With very few exceptions ALL ESSENTIAL OILS should be used with a carrier oil!!! The “purity” of the oil has nothing to do with it.
      Coconut oil is great, fractionated coconut oil (has been modified to remain liquid) is not.
      I use coconut almost exclusively for slaves, etc.

  3. mb says

    This is perfect, Jillee! I had just been thinking I should suggest a post like this, since I now have a starter collection of EO on my shelf (thanks to your advice!) But with only vague ideas of what to do with them! So helpful.

  4. Susie says

    Do you know of a SCHOLARLY resource telling about safety of different oils during pregnancy…like if they’re to be avoided entirely, are okay to diffuse, etc? I find a lot of conflicting information online, so I’m looking for a real, researched chart or something. I was so excited about the headache buster recipe and ordered the few oils I didn’t have only to find out that birch and wintergreen are big no-nos during pregnancy, at least according to one source I read.

    • Catherine Johnson says

      Hello Beth

      OnGuard is an essential oil blend sold by doTerra.

      Here is a copy of the oils description as provided by

      On Guard is doTERRA’s unique, proprietary blend formulated to support healthy immune function. Wild orange essential oil, combined with clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary offer a fragrant, natural and effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support. On Guard, with its unique aroma, is one of our most versatile blends. It is also safe to use on counter tops, as a non-toxic way to cleanse surfaces, or to purify the atmosphere by diffusing. On Guard is superb for eliminating and controlling pathogens due to the potency of its constituents. For aromatic, topical, or dietary use.

      Have a gentle weekend,

    • says

      Beth, On Guard is doTERRA’s protection blend, SHIELD is Spark Naturals Protection Blend, both are excellent to boost immunity and kill the cold and flu virus.

  5. Sue says

    I started using EO’s several years ago as I have major sinus & stress headaches. I use peppermint & eucalyptus with carrier oil. I apply to back of neck and over sinus areas on face using care to avoid getting any in my eyes. I apply just before bed (so I can keep my eyes closed) and within a few minutes I am able to breathe again & it helps relieve the pressure pain. This combination also is great for sore muscles.
    Peppermint for upset stomach is a wonder drug – no more antacids for me!

    • Agnes says

      What type of carrier oil do you use? Also, how much EO do you put in?
      I have a lots of sinus issues and very painful headaches too.

  6. Coco says

    Put a few drops of peppermint oil in facial lotion & apply to the sinus points works well to open blocked sinuses.

  7. Lisa Cotter says

    We bought some lavender essential oil from the Mother Earth Faire. The people that sold it to us said we could use it as a natural flea repellent. I’ve read several conflicting information of how to use the essential oil on our dogs. Could you help in me in figuring out how to use this to repel fleas?

    • Kathy says

      Repel fleas– I would think you could put a few drops in your palm, rub your hands together then wipe your hands on the dog’s fur, from the neck down to the tail. Avoid getting the oil near his ears and eyes. I have also used Young Living Purification oil to repel mosquito’s and flies from myself as well as my dog. If your dog already has fleas, I don’t know. Maybe somebody else has a good idea about how to use oils for that situation.