Have you ever felt like everyone in the whole world knew more about a topic than you?
Like, even people who you thought would be utterly clueless – even they somehow knew more?
That’s how I feel about essential oils. I use them and I love them and research them too, but every time I click a link or read an article, I learn something new that makes me feel like I’m back to square one.
And I admit – it’s sometimes irritating. And a bit overwhelming.
I can get puffy in the chest thinking I know enough about an oil to do such-and-such and then BAM! I’m corrected and put back in my place.
So here I am to kinda sheepishly declare that I’m a essential oils beginner. I’m also a sponge, ready to learn and soak up as much as I can!
One of the first things I’ve learned about essential oils is that not everyone who claims to be an expert, is truly an expert. You have to dig into their semi-personal lives to see if they have real experience or training about essential oils, or if they’re just repeating the “common knowledge” that anyone can find with a search engine.
So when I find a source of great information, written by someone with actual credibility and authority in the niche, I’m over the moon (and so thankful)!!
Now I know I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg, but my mind is already blown away at how much there is to know about essential oils. Since I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in the “newbie” boat for oils, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far!
Note: I know there are a lot of essential oil companies out there and I’ve certainly tried my fair share of brands. But after testing and researching and more testing, only one is worth spending money on (in my opinion). For a couple years now I’ve been committed to Young Living oils, and you can read more about their oils and my decision HERE.
10 Essential Oil Tips for Beginners
(1) Essential oils break down quickly as they come in contact with air.
It’s best to make small batches of recipes containing essential oils whenever possible. It’s also not a good idea to leave open bottles unattended for a long period of time (so don’t get side tracked when you’re making recipes!).
(2) Store the oils in smaller, amber or blue glass jars as opposed to larger bottles.
Every time you open and close the bottle, you lose a little bit into the air. An easy way to get the most out of your investment is to a) not buy in bulk OR b) divide a larger bottle of oil into a few smaller bottles.
(3) Some essential oils can break down plastic.
Homemade recipes and DIY projects should be stored in glass. Save small glass jars that come into the kitchen, or invest in a few 4 oz glass canning jars, and store your recipes and projects in them.
For household and cleaning solutions, save the taller glass jars from maple syrup or vinegars (or store-bought kombucha!) and replace the lid with a spray cap.
You can also wash and reuse empty essential oil bottles caps and lids and reuse them to store your own perfume and diffuser blends. Here’s an easy way to remove those sticky labels too.
(4) Essential oils have a shelf life.
Oils that smell rancid should not be used on your skin or ingested. Use them for cleaning or discard them.
(5) Citrus essential oils should be stored in the fridge.
This goes for lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit and any combination or variation of these. Citrus essential oils tend to oxidize sooner than other essential oils, so storing them in the fridge prolongs their shelf life.
(6) Do not buy diluted oils.
Some venders dilute essential oils with carrier oils in order to reduce the cost. While they’re more affordable, the carrier oil can go rancid and thereby causing the entire bottle to go bad. Be sure you’re buying your oils through a reputable source!
(7) Do not put essential oils in a compost pile, a worm bin or down the drain.
While it’s the first place I think of to dispose liquids, the potency of oils can disturb the delicate balance of microbes in these environments. A better alternative is to scatter expired or rancid essential oils in a pathway or over wood chips. Remember that essential oils break down quickly when they come in contact with air, so strong scents will disappear quickly.
(8) Don’t use carrier oils that you would not ingest or are allergic to.
Sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, coconut oil and olive oil are great carrier oils, but if you can’t eat them, you shouldn’t put them on your skin either.
(9) One drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil is a 1% dilution.
5 drops would be a 5% dilution and 10 drops would be a 10% dilution. Also, 6 tsp = 2 Tbsp = 1 oz.
(10) Essential oils should not be used on young children and infants.
For children under 2 years old, you can achieve similar results by using the plant itself, rather than the essential oil. For example, adding eucalyptus leaves to a bath or making infused oil with eucalyptus, rather than applying eucalyptus essential oil.
Also consider that some variations of oils are better for kids than others, like cinnamon leaf essential oil isn’t as potent as cinnamon bark essential oil.