An Actually Relevant Guide to Essential Oils

Plus, how to choose one for every real-life situation.

Whether you’re working remotely or trying to keep your virtual-learning kids sane, most of us are feeling a bit out of our elements these days. Enter essential oils. These potent powerhouses may be the little moment of calm you need in your day. Get the lowdown on essential oils including how to fit them into your routine, whatever that may be right now.

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Essential Oil Basics

Before trying essential oils, it’s important to keep a few pointers in mind. They can be applied topically or inhaled directly from the bottle or a diffuser (a device that disperses essential oils into the air). Follow these tips for success:

  • Don’t apply directly to your skin: Never (ever!) apply essential oils directly to your skin. They are concentrated plant essences and can cause irritation particularly for those with sensitive skin.

  • Mix first: If you’re using them topically, always mix essential oils with another unscented plant-based oil (known as a carrier oil), like olive oil or coconut — about three to five drops of essential oil per one tablespoon of the carrier oil should do it.

  • Test it out: It’s always worth testing your essential oil blend on a small area of skin first to see how you react to it.

  • Take a whiff: If you want to reap the aromatherapy benefits without applying anything to the skin, try taking a quick whiff directly from the bottle.

Our Favorite Essential Oils

Essential oils are associated with a wide variety of functions like soothing stress, elevating mood, increasing alertness and enhancing your general well-being and relaxation. Check out these all-stars, plus our top scenarios for using them.

Check out our complete guide to essential oils opens in a new tab to learn more.

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

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