Essential Oil Recipe Journal

Essential Oils 101: Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils

Oils101By now you have heard many things about essential oils but are probably wondering ‘how the heck do I use them?!?” My goal today is to talk about 3 three ways essential oils can be used: topically, aromatically, and internally.

This post was shared on Serenity Now.

Each bottle of essential oil will say how it can be used (topically, aromatically, or internally). Some oils can be used in all 3 ways and others may only be safe to use in one form. ALWAYS be sure to check the bottle first! Read this essential oil Safety Guide to learn more!

Please note that many oils throughout ‘Painted Teacup’ say they are safe for dietary use. This is assuming you are using a very high grade of essential oils. Many brands of essential oils are not safe to be ingested… ALWAYS read the bottle before ingesting any oil!

So what exactly does topically, aromatically, and internally mean??


Essential oils are very concentrated meaning a little goes a long way! NOTE: If you have naturally sensitive skin, you may want to always consider diluting oils in a carrier oil first. Special attention must be paid when applying oils to children under 5 – oils must ALWAYS be diluted. Use 1-2 drops of oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Read Essential Oils for Children.

  • One of the best places to put oils is on the soles of your feet as the pores on your feet are quite large allowing the skin to absorb the oil faster than most other areas. Also the skin on the bottom of your feet is less sensitive than other areas of the body. Read Where Should I Apply My Essential Oils.
  • Oils can also be applied directly to the area of concern i.e. chest for respiratory issues, stomach for tummy troubles etc.
  • If applying oils to a large area of your body (i.e. soothing blend to your neck and shoulders) you should dilute the oil in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or grapeseed oil (available at local grocery store) to help the oil spread further.

If you are using multiple oils simply apply the first oil, wait a few seconds and then apply the next oil.


Aromatically this means you can receive the benefits of the essential oil by inhaling its aroma.

  • You can do this by adding 1-2 drops of oil onto your hands and then rub your hands together. Cup your hands over your nose- breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. NOTE: some oils can smell quite strong—you may want to dilute in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil before doing this.
  • The other option is to use a diffuser. There are many kinds of diffuser’s some diffuser’s need water in which case you would add 3-4 drops of oil into the water reservoir. The diffuser I use does not need water, instead you screw the bottle onto the diffuser and you can then set how many minutes you want the diffuser to run for and how often you can also set the output amount (how much oil is used). Originally I was nervous to use this diffuser as I was worried that it would use the oils quickly, but I soon learned the opposite was true. If I hadn’t smelt the aroma of the oils I would have questioned if the diffuser was even running as at the end of the day it looked as if the oil level in the bottle hadn’t dropped at all. Personally I really like this diffuser as it is compact, easy to move, and oil bottles can be switched quickly with no mess.



Oils that are safe to be used internally mean that they can enter into your system in ways other than skin absorption.

  • Add 1-3 drops of oil into your drinking water.
  • If you do not like the taste of the oils then you can put them in a veggie capsule. You can either take each oil individually or combine them in one capsule. To do this make sure you buy a glass dropper to easily get the oils into the capsule without waste. It is also important to note that you want to swallow the capsule in a timely matter as the capsule could dissolve quickly after the oils have been added.


Learn the different ways I use these 3 methods every day in my Daily Essential Oil Routine!

Which essential oil usage method do you use most often: topically, aromatically or internally? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

18 thoughts on “Essential Oils 101: Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils”

  1. I found you post on Pretty Pinterest Party today.

    I am new to essential oils and loving the many uses and I love reading the different uses and recipes. Just this morning I woke with a bad headache and used peppermint to massage on the ball of my feet, temples and back of the neck, my headache was gone in a short time.
    I have bookmarked your blog for future reference

    I would love to give you the opportunity to share some of your ideas, recipes or posts on my Oh My Heartsie Girl Friday Features Linkup. Hope you can stop by and share.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Karen,
      I am glad you are having success using essential oils, that is awesome! I will check out your link up for sure! I’m looking forward to seeing you again! I have a link up that opens Tuesday evenings, feel free to join!

  2. I seriously feel like my brain is going to explode of oil information–from all the research I just did over the past 24 hours–just trying to find basic information because I’m a newbie at all of this–this made it more clearer–however, i just bought a bunch of oils and a carrier oil on amazon–I guess my one question would be–I have the oils and then i have the carrier oil–and I am presuming I need either dropper bottles or something to put it in any other information/help would be awesome –because I know I could just buy a massage oil that is already made but I am trying to be adventurous and make my own-getting stressed out just doing research on all of this–what to buy what you need etc.

    • Hi Sarah, this is such a fantastic question, I am glad you are trying essential oils! If you would like to make your own blends then having roller bottles would be great. As you use your oils you will also have empty essential oil bottles eventually which you can use to store your blends in. In the meantime I recommend just mixing a little bit at a time right when you are going to use it. Example: put a few drops of carrier oil in your palm and then add 1-2 drops of the essential oil to your palm too. Then apply the blend to whatever area of your body. Does this make sense? You are welcome to email me at [email protected] with any further questions you may have!


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