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Neat Nation: Are You Using Essential Oils The Wrong Way?

As a wife and mother, I want the best health and wellness for my family. Applying essential oils topically is one way I’ve found to to maintain good health and treat every day ailments.

applying essential oils topically

When I look at modern medicine and the food industry I see amazing advances. I see plenty of failures and double standards too. I want natural foods and natural medicines for the every day administration (burns, scrapes, bruises and coughs are treated the most natural way possible before I reach for over the counter drugs or prescriptions.)

One of the tools in my toolbox is the amazing essential oil. I have several oils on hand and I just finished up my Essential Oil Travel Kit to take on vacation. As I’ve learned about oils over the past few years one thing is clear: there’s much to know and lots of misinformation available on the web. I believe the misinformation comes from two sources: those repeating unsubstantiated, anecdotal claims and those perpetuating the same claims.

Essential oils are potent, powerful substances that require our respect and deserve diligent understanding. Just because something worked one time with your cousin’s best friend’s daughter doesn’t mean it is proven nor does it mean it is safe. Nick Wallenda walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope….it can be done but that doesn’t mean everyone should do it.

One area of use that I see as a concern is applying essential oils topically.

Applying essential oils topically is a great way to get the benefits of the oils. but applying oils neat is a concern. Neat means apply an essential oil directly on the skin without prior dilution.

There are a few oils that are generally regarded as safe for Neat application but there’s really no reason not to dilute your oils. It’s safer all the way around.

One of the only oils that comes to mind as safe when used Neat is Lavender. Lavender essential oil is great on a burn or bug bite. It can relieve the sting of a burn rather quickly and reduce or prevent blistering. Good judgement is in order when using lavender neat. Consider the location and age of the individual and remember, irritation is always possible.

Dilution Ingredients

Dilution requires the use of a carrier. Carriers can be oils, butters or lotions. There are many choices and, besides absorption and therapeutic enhancement, you can use whatever carrier you like best. Here are a few carrier oils:

  • Avacado Oil – This oil has a mild aroma. It increases hydration in dry, wrinkled skin and can improve elasticity.
  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is so versatile. It’s really a must-have in every home for cooking, baking, skin care and essential oil use. Coconut oil will not clog pores and, unless it’s fractionated, it is a solid at room temperature which makes it great for traveling since it’s less likely to spill.
  • Jojoba Oil – Pronounced ho-ho-bah this oil is a great carrier since it is odorless.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil has a an odor but in a pinch olive oil is an excellent choice. It’s also economical because you probably have it on hand for cooking.
  • Shea Butter – shea butter is an excellent moisturizer.
  • Cocoa Butter – One the staple ingredients in my lip balm, cocoa butter has a antioxidant properties and, since it is a fat it creates a natural barrier on the skin that repels water.
  • Lotions – Any organic water-based lotion made with natural butters or oils makes a nice base when quick absorption is necessary.

Dilution Explained

Diluting your essential oils is not only safe and beneficial (it spreads the oil over a larger surface area of skin) but it is cost effective too. Here’s a quick guide to dilution ratios that I’m sure you’ll find handy.

  • 1% Dilution – 1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. Best for:
    • Children under age 6
    • Those with sensitive skin
    • Pregnant women, providing the oil is safe to use with pregnancy
  • 2% Dilution – 2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. Best for:
    • Most adults
    • Daily skin care
  • 3%-10% Dilution – follow same ratio as above depending on percentage desired. Best for:
    • Short-term use
    • Temporary issues like congestion, muscle injuries, colds
  • 25% Dilution – 25 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. Best for:
    • Severe pain
    • Severe bruising
    • Limited Usage

When given proper respect, essential oils are a great asset to your medicine cabinet. They provide natural relief to a variety of illnesses and injuries for you, your pets and on your homestead. Proper dilution is essential when applying essential oils topically. Always be sure to read up on proper usage and don’t use your children (or pet) as an experiment in oils.

If you want to learn more about essential oils I encourage you to check out the Essential Oil Revolution Summit. Right now, for 4 days only, the Essential Oil Revolution Summit is on sale for $47.  That’s an amazing deal considering there are over XYZ speakers and free resources available to you.

July 4th Special! 4 days only - $47

You can read more about my favorite parts of the Summit here.


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  1. […] ways and serve many purposes. For example, I use lavender straight from the bottle (referred to as NEAT) to treat minor burns. I also use lavender in a calming blend for my son and I if we’re restless […]

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