While all essential oils can be used aromatically, and some can be used internally, using essential oils topically on your skin requires some skill. Remember that our skin is the largest organ of our body; it covers every square inch, so it’s important that you use essential oils that are certified pure and safe for internal use, because if you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin.
Essential oils are literally the essence of a plant; an exceedingly intense concentration of the liquid distilled from different parts of a plant. Depending on a plant’s structure, its essence may be extracted from the flowers, leaves, skin, peels, bark, roots, seeds, stalks, bark, or resin. Consider, for instance, that lavender essential oil needs 50 pounds of lavender plants to create 8 ounces; half an ounce of an essential oil is incredibly potent. One of the keys to understanding how to really use essential oils is to understand and respect how strong they are; a few drops are an intense and powerful dosage.
Why Diluting Essential Oils Makes Them More Effective
When using a high quality ingestible essential oil, it is important to remember that they are pungent & powerful. A little bit goes a long way. In order to use essential oils most effectively many of them can be diluted in order to apply them for therapeutic purposes. It’s important to understand the process of dilution, however, because it’s exactly the opposite of what most people think when they hear the word diluting. Diluting an essential oil does not make it weaker, it actually makes it stronger and more effective.
This is because diluting an essential oil is the process of mixing it with a carrier oil. They are called carrier oils because that’s exactly what they do, they carry the essential oil onto the skin, and help to both hold it there, as well as spread it’s molecules over a larger surface area of the skin.
This is important because essential oils evaporate very quickly, and the molecules are so small they pass through the skin barrier and into the system almost immediately. Carrier oils keep the essential oil from evaporating immediately on contact, and spread the molecules more evenly over a larger area of skin, enabling the oil to permeate the skin more effectively.