How to Start Using Essential Oils

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In this beginner's guide to essential oils, I share all my tips on essential oils for beginners to help you get started using them.

Seven glass bottles of essential oil  beginner's guide to essential oils laying flat on a counter

Essential oils are all the rage right now. You have probably seen some friends posting about them in your feed, or better yet have received unsolicited messages from them trying to get you to sign up for a starter package 😉. But there's a good reason they're so popular.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extracted aromatic essences from plants which are then used in aromatherapy and a few other ways. They are either distilled or expressed from the plant, then separated from the water.

Plants produce essential oils to attract pollinators, to serve as defense, and for competition. They are bottled up and sold in small quantities, usually in dropper bottles.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and aroma to improve one's psychological and physical well-being. Essential oils are most commonly used in topical application, massage, inhalation, or water immersion.

There is not a lot of research on aromatherapy but the little research that has been done does show positive effects on mood which can then improve your overall health.

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Basic essential oils to have on hand

There are hundreds of amazing essential oils, but I will focus on a few based on their accessibility, affordability, and versatility to keep things simple.

  1. Lemon
  2. Peppermint
  3. Lavender
  4. Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
  5. Cedarwood
  6. Frankincense
  7. Sweet Orange
  8. Eucalyptus (Globulus)

How to incorporate essential oils into your daily life

The easiest and safest way to use aromatherapy is to diffuse essential oils. They no longer sell the diffuser I use but this one is very similar and affordable.

Here are some easy and affordable ways to use aromatherapy.

1. Mood-boosting – Most essential oils have some type of positive effect on your mood. You can use essential oils for meditation.

  • Uplifting: orange, peppermint, frankincense
  • Stress relief: frankincense, orange, lavender, cedarwood, eucalyptus
  • Energizing: orange, peppermint, lemon
  • Focus: frankincense, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus
  • Sleepy: lavender, cedarwood

You can diffuse one or more of these together, or apply a few drops to an oil like avocado and rub onto the body. Just research before using on babies and young children, as some oils are not safe for them.

2. Light cleaning: Use purifying oils to do light cleaning. Diffuse these oils to remove scents from the air. Add a few drops of one or a few of these oils to a spray bottle with some vinegar and water to wipe down surfaces or mop the floor. Add a few drops of peppermint and lemon to a stinky trash can or around the toilet.

Purifying oils: tea tree, peppermint, lemon

Five glass bottles of recommended oils for beginners

3. Skincare: There are many essential oils that have amazing effects when topically applied to the skin. However, I'll just stick to the properties of the oils already mentioned.

  • Frankincense – evens skin tone, fades marks
  • Orange – decongests skin, great for clogged pores, acne, dull or uneven skin, and dry skin
  • Lavender – soothes irritated skin
  • Tea tree – great for acne and oily skin
  • Lemon – also decongests skin and evens out skin tone, fades marks (***only use on skin at night)

Never use essential oils straight on the skin. Always dilute into an oil, NOT WATER, when applying to the body. 

Use these at about 2% or less, meaning 1-3 drops per ounce of liquid. You can add them into a bottled serum or oil, or add 1 drop when applying a cream. You can also add them to a clay mask in the same dilution.

4. Natural Remedies: Tea tree oil can be used for fungal infections, acne, lice, dandruff, and wounds. Peppermint can help soothe itches, aches, and pains, including headaches. Diffusing peppermint and eucalyptus also helps relieve the sinuses, and cedarwood can relieve a cough.

My favorite way to use peppermint is to add one drop to a palm full of body oil and apply to my legs after shaving. It stops the itch right away and gives a cooling sensation.

I also add a few drops of tea tree and lavender to a spray bottle with water and conditioner to spray my daughter's hair in the mornings to detangle and prevent lice.

As an immune boosting remedy, I diffuse lemon, frankincense, and lavender which is safe for everyone.

essential oils for beginners

Where to get essential oils

I always recommend Plant Therapy, because they are of high quality, affordable, and provide safe consumer education on their oils. You can buy them directly from their website or Amazon.

There are also popular MLM brands like Doterra and Young Living. These oils are also high quality, however, they are much more expensive.

The Now brand is a popular one on Amazon, but my experience is that their oils are of lower quality.

I hope you found my guide to essential oils for beginners helpful. Please pin and share!

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  1. I love essential oils and I’m so glad that their use has become more mainstream over the last few years. I’ve been using them as natural remedies for years and lately have started wearing lavender essential oil in place of perfume and body spray.

  2. I read this somewhere, and I love to do it: fill a small spritz bottle with a few drops of lavender oil and water. Shake it up and spritz your face whenever it feels a little dry for some soothing, aromatic relief! Works great on an airplane!

  3. Hi there! Saw ya on Instagram and wanted to leave a comment! It’s a great article you wrote! However essential oils can also be used internally as well. I know you don’t like MLM companies but dōTerra is different! Have a beautiful day. I would definitely suggest more oils than the ones you posted under the basic category!! I know you’re not asking but I think it’s vakuable information and important to have dōTerra’s top ten oils in your home. They will solve 80% of your everyday and acute healthcare needs at home without having to take an OTC or consult a doctor. ❤️💧 Marianna “Your Essential Oil Educator”

    1. Thanks for your comment Marianna. I agree that doTerra is great and I love their top 10 oils, however, some of them are just not very affordable which is why I chose the ones I did for this post.

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