Your Basket

Shipping & taxes calculated at checkout

Checkout - Total:

6 min read / 21 February 2024 / yasmin sharp

How to Use Essential Oils

Discover the transformative power of essential oils for wellness, from aromatherapy to skin care, in our comprehensive guide.


From helping sleeping patterns and easing anxiety to treating skin conditions and keeping your home bacteria free, essential oils have a growing reputation for improving wellness.

Many people are already aware that they smell nice and work wonderfully in diffusers – although their potential extends far beyond adding a memorable fragrance to the room.

To explain how, we delve into the best ways to use essential oils to help you unlock a whole new level to your wellness experience.

What are essential oils used for?

The first step in learning how to use essential oils is gaining a clearer understanding of what they are used for.

Thanks to their versatility, there are several ways you can add their benefits to your day-to-day routine, with their natural properties offering support for your mind and body.

Some common uses of essential oils are:

  1. Aromatherapy
  2. Massage
  3. Bath
  4. Skincare
  5. Dry evaporation
  6. Soap and candle making

There is no right or wrong way to use essential oils, as it all comes down to how you feel comfortable integrating them into your lifestyle.

Overhead view of essential oil bottle tops with one 10ml lemon essential oil laid down and facing the camera

How to use essential oils

To give you more insight into how to use essential oils effectively, we go into more detail about each of the methods we listed above.

1. How to use essential oils in aromatherapy

This is one of the core uses of essential oils, with aromatherapy being the go-to option for many people who intend to use their oils on a regular basis.

A common delivery device is through a diffuser or oil burner, as this allows the oils to naturally disperse into the air, filling the room with mind cleansing aromas, helping you to relax, unwind and find a sense of calm.

As an example, diffusing lavender oil can act as a mild sedative, working to reduce stress and anxiety levels. 

Relaxing brain waves are also said to lower cortisol levels that are a key contributor to the stress hormone.

Clary sage essential oil is another popular option, and researchers have found that inhaling the oil can reduce cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women.

Separate studies have also shown that aromatherapy could work as a treatment for anything from sleep and pain, to dementia and alopecia.    

2. How to use essential oils as part of a massage

Many massage oils often come with a certain amount of essential oils already included in the formula, although you could gain more benefits by making your own at home.

When applying any essential oil to your skin it should always be diluted with a carrier like jojoba, coconut or sweet almond, as this makes them more palatable for absorption and reduces the risk of irritation.

It is also recommended that first-time users complete a patch test as this will give you a clearer indication of how compatible it is with your skin.

Not only can massaging with essential oils offer psychological benefits, but studies also suggest that it can help with the management of conditions such as dysmenorrhea and infantile colic.  

If you're not sure how to dilute your essential oils for a massage, take a look at our complete guide, which will tell you everything you need to know.

You might also find it helpful to look at our guides on the best essential oils for use in a massage as well as the best carrier oils to use for massage.

3. How to use essential oils in a bath

An easy way to experience the wellness benefits of essential oils is by adding a few drops to warm bath water, which works similarly to the aromatherapy method described above.

Before adding essential oils to bath water you should dilute with a carrier oil of choice, as it will be coming into contact with your skin.

Another option could be to add a few drops of an undiluted essential oil to the shower walls and inhale deeply as you shower.

You could also add a few drops directly to your body wash, shampoo or conditioner and use these products as usual.

Nikura essential oil diffuser

4. How to use essential oils on skin

When diluted correctly, the natural properties contained in essential oils can have a lot to offer your skin, from improving its elasticity to preventing oxidation.  

As we discussed with massages, when essential oils are coming into contact with skin, they should always be diluted to decrease their potency.

And similarly, if you are using a particular essential oil for the first time, always complete a patch test before applying it to large areas of skin.

Some essential oils, such as cedarwood, lemon and tea tree can be used to reduce the appearance of acne, and whilst more in-depth research is needed, some studies suggest that skin diseases could be treated with certain oils.  

If you want to try natural skincare, but are not sure where to begin, take a look at our recipe for how to make a cleansing skin tonic using geranium and neroli essential oils.

5. How to use essential oils for dry evaporation

If you do not have access to a diffuser and want to learn how to use essential oils via inhalation, then you may want to try the dry evaporation approach.

To start, find yourself a piece of dry fabric or a cotton ball. Add a few drops to the material and simply hold it underneath your nose and inhale, which will allow the scent to drift into your airwaves.

This also gives you more flexibility on how you use your essential oils, as you can carry the material with you outside of your home, which can be a great help if you are having a stressful day.

6. How to use essential oils in soap making and candle making

Essential oils are a key part of the soap and candle making process, as they combine brilliantly with all types of wax to produce strong and long-lasting scents.

Whilst fragrance oils are also commonly used in candle and soap recipes, because they are synthetically created scents, they are not able to offer the same therapeutic properties as essential oils.

All of our essential oils are suitable for candle making, soap making, and other similar creative projects.

To learn more, read our beginner's guides on how to use essential oils in candles, soaps and wax melts, which will teach you everything you need to know to get started.

Black and white botanical illustration

Hopefully our article on how to use essential oils gives you a better idea of the many ways they can be adapted to your lifestyle.

Aromatherapy and dry evaporation are ideal for inhaling the scents, and using the oils as part of a massage or skincare routine can help your mind and body.

Or you can add them to a nice relaxing bath or include the oils as part of a candle or soap recipe.

And remember, always dilute before applying an essential oil to your skin and carry out a patch test when using an oil for the first time.

You might also like to read

Gardening Naturally: How Essential Oils Can Help Your Garden

5 min read / 18 June 2024 / yasmin sharp

Gardening Naturally: How Essential Oils Can Help Your Garden

Discover eco-friendly gardening tips with essential oils to naturally repel pests, control weeds, and boost plant growth.

How to Choose the Right Waxes for Your Candles and Wax Melts

4 min read / 11 April 2024 / yasmin sharp

How to Choose the Right Waxes for Your Candles and Wax Melts

Learn how to select the ideal wax for your candle and wax melt projects, considering factors like type, eco-friendliness, and fragrance retention.

Is Paraffin Wax Vegan?

3 min read / 2 April 2024 / yasmin sharp

Is Paraffin Wax Vegan?

Discover whether paraffin wax and its candle derivatives align with vegan principles, alongside exploring alternative vegan-friendly candles.

How To Carry Out A Burn Test

4 min read / 29 March 2024 / yasmin sharp

How To Carry Out A Burn Test

Learn how to conduct a burn test on your homemade candles to ensure quality, safety, and optimal performance.

What Are Candle Wicks Made of?

3 min read / 22 March 2024 / yasmin sharp

What Are Candle Wicks Made of?

Discover the materials and science behind candle wicks, from wooden to speciality types, and their crucial role in candle burning.

Parents playing with their child.

5 min read / 20 March 2024 / yasmin sharp

Are Essential Oils Safe to Use Around Children?

Explore the safety of using essential oils around children, covering everything from dilution guidelines to the benefits and risks involved.

Pregnant woman holding her belly with both hands.

5 min read / 20 March 2024 / yasmin sharp

How to safely use essential oils whilst pregnant

Discover the safe way to use essential oils during pregnancy, alleviating common symptoms while ensuring your well-being.

How to Choose the Right Wick Size for Candle-Making

3 min read / 19 March 2024 / yasmin sharp

How to Choose the Right Wick Size for Candle-Making

Learn the essentials of selecting the right wick size for candle-making, focusing on diameter, wax type, and additives.

Do Essential Oils Have Phthalates?

4 min read / 12 March 2024 / yasmin sharp

Do Essential Oils Have Phthalates?

Explore the truth about phthalates in essential oils and how to choose safe, quality products.

Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

We use strictly necessary cookies to personalise your site experience. You can learn more here.