Essential Oil Topical Application Safety

Essential oils have become very popular.

These oils can provide enormous health benefits and I have seen tremendous success incorporating oils into my practice and personal life.

One easy and common way to utilize essential oils is to apply them topically.

This method was the first way I began experimenting with these products and I found out there were some unpleasant side effects if not used properly!

Instead of diluting essential oils with a carrier oil, I often just rubbed them directly on my skin and discovered pungent oils like cinnamon, clove, and oregano cause intense burning and irritation if applied this way!

Due to the potency and various compounds extracted in essential oils, they need to be utilized in a safe manner.

Here are 3 important tips for safe topical application of essential oils:


  • Use an organic products to ensure the oil doesn’t contain chemical pesticides.


It takes an enormous amount of plant material to extract 5ml of essential oil. If that plant was sprayed with pesticides and herbicides then the oil product will have a concentrated amount of that chemical that you can then absorb into your body with its use.

One great company that produces high quality, organic essential oils is Veriditas Botanicals, which you can purchase through my office.



  • Dilute the oils in a carrier oil before applying to the skin.


Most essential oils will irritate the skin if applied “neat” or directly to the skin.

It’s best to dilute 5-10 drops of essential oil into 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Then test one small area of skin for reaction before applying to larger areas of the body.

  • Citrus oils and sunshine don’t mix!


Citrus oils are photosensitizing and can cause sunburns more easily.
Therefore, you want to avoid using orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime on areas of the body that will be exposed to the sun.

Keeping these tips in mind, here are a few of the most common ways I utilize essential oils topically:

  • Lavender: on my wrists and behind my ears before bed for restful sleep.
  • Frankincense or Lavender: on sore joints to reduce inflammation.
  • Eucalyptus: on my chest for immune support and reducing chest congestion.
  • Peppermint: or orange on my stomach of nausea.
  • Lavender: on bug bites, stings, or sunburns to reduce itching, pain, and inflammation.

If you are interested in learning more about the best ways to incorporate essential oils into your individual wellness program, you can call my office to schedule an appointment!

In vibrant wellness,
Dr. Sara