How Are Essential Oils Used?


 How Do You Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils are used in a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used singly or in complex blends depending on user experience and desired benefit. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically to the skin, and many of the doTERRA CPTG Essential Oils can be taken internally as a dietary supplement.

Essential oils are safe and have a few, if any, undesirable side effects when used as directed. However, they are powerfully concentrated and should be used with care and guidance, especially if you’re new to using these wonderful gifts of nature. Working with someone who has used essential oils before will assist any first-time users to have a more beneficial, effective and enjoyable experience. Be sure to use doTERRA CERTIFIED PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE Essential Oils and follow all labels and instructions carefully.

dōTERRA has specific guidance for each essential oil, as some of them are meant to used only Aromatically or Topically and not taken internally. Additionally, certain oils might require dilution with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil for people with sensitive skin. Some oils should always be diluted due to the strength of the essential oil.

dōTERRA provides a visual cue for essential oils regarding usages and dilution that looks like the chart on the left, and each essential oil is tagged with one of the usage/dilution assignments on the right:

How are doTERRA Essential Oils used?

So, for example, an essential oil that can be used both Aromatically and applied Topically and might require dilution for people with sensitive skin would be marked with A, T and S. An essential oil that can be used Aromatically, applied Topically or taken Internally (digested) and doesn’t require any dilution would be marked with A, T, I and N.

Please see the following sections regarding the various uses, dilutions and mixing of essential oils.

Essential Oil bottles with lavender flowers and a candle diffuser


Our sense of smell can influence us many different ways – emotionally it provides a powerful response and release. Aromatherapy is based on this powerful sense of smell and its ability to affect the olfactory stimuli and create a positive influence. When you diffuse these oils into the air, they have the ability to calm, soothe, rid the air of unwanted toxins and odors, and can have a powerful effect on your emotional mood. Diffusers are a must in every workplace and home. Using the oils aromatically is a powerful way to use them. Studies have shown that essential oils are detected in your blood stream after aromatically usage, especially with a good diffuser.


dōTERRA Essential Oils can easily and safely be absorbed through the skin and applied topically on our bodies. By using essential oils on specific areas, you can have an immediate effect on those areas for issues of concern or relief. Massage therapists have used essential oils for years because of their calming nature and restorative effects. They can also be used in many situations for relief of minor aches. Topical use is shown in studies to result in the essential oils being present in your bloodstream within less than a minute.

Hands applying Essential Oil to foot

Many oils can be applied to the bottom of the feet and absorbed into the body quickly to improve everything from your emotional mood to your physical wellness.

Woman poring Essential Oil onto a spoon for internal consumption


Several of the dōTERRA CPTG Essential Oils can be used as dietary supplements for a variety of issues, or simply for wonderful flavoring in drinks or foods. Check out our blog for essential oils that can be taken internally as well as recipes for cooking with essential oils!

Essential oils are relaxing, uplifting, distressing, cleansing, purifying, revitalizing, elevating, refreshing, rejuvenating, immune supporting, invigorating and have a powerful effect on the body. Many of the oils are safe for internal use – with increased benefits internally – although some should not be taken internally.  Make sure and check the usage indications for each essential oil and know which are safe for internal consumption and which are not!

Internal Consumption of Essential Oils:

Internal consumption of dōTERRA essential oils can occur through many ways. Some people might place a drop or two of certain oils directly on the tongue. Often you might dilute one or more essential oils in a glass of water. dōTERRA essential oils can used in culinary applications and provide wonderful flavors to drinks and foods – keep an eye on our blog for frequent recipes for cooking and flavoring with dōTERRA!

Another way of taking essential oils internally is by filling (either partially or completely) a vegetable capsule (commonly called a “veggie cap”) with one or more oils and swallowing that. This method allows for the oils (not all of them are tasty!) to enter your stomach and then the veggie cap dissolves and the oils are absorbed. dōTERRA as even made some of the more popular mixes of essential oils available for sale in capsules, lozenges and beadlets so you don’t have to mix and create your own.

Additionally, many essential oils are found on the FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list that approves essential oils for internal use as non-medical constituents. Essential oils do have usages and applications that extend far beyond these parameters; however, the GRAS list is still an accredited tool that contributes to confirming the safety of internal use of essential oils.


—Dr David K Hill, dōTERRA Chief Medical Officer


Essential oils can be mixed, and often are.  Many people experiment with mixing various essential oils in order to achieve a desired benefit.  dōTERRA has its own mixes – called Blends – that are very popular.  If you’re a DIY type of person, you can approach your own essential oil mixology either with a specific goal in mind – mixing an oil that might alleviate minor aches with one that might help soothe the skin – or you might want to simply create your own blend that has aromatic properties that are appealing to you.  There aren’t many rules in essential oil mixology, although you do want to keep in mind the general rules around usage (Aromatic, Topical, Internal) and dilution (Neat, Sensitive or Dilute).

Essential Oil bottles next to lavender flowers, other herbs and a crushing bowl

When people find a special mix of essential oils that works well for them, they will often share the “recipe” with others.  We have published several essential oil recipes on our blog and will continue to publish other recipes as we learn or them or create them ourselves.


Each dōTERRA essential oil has a dilution indicator, either N (for “Neat”) needing no dilution, S (for “Sensitive”) where dilution might be appropriate for those with sensitive skin or young children, or D (for “Dilute”) where dilution is recommended or required.

We strongly recommend diluting essential oils using only dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil.


For aromatic applications of essential oils, a good diffuser is essential. dōTERRA has many wonderful diffusers available, but there are many others on the 3rd party essential oil market that work well. Look for our coming review of diffusers, or ask if you want advice.

Of the many ways to use essential oils to support and uplift the body, internal use offers some of the most profound effects, and yet it is the least recognized. Find out how to ingest essential oils in a safe and effective way from a Team ŌLiO member. Contact us for a free class and samples!

—Maree Cottam