A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils – Everything You Need to Know to Start

Posted February 8, 2021 by Thirty-Something Angie in Clean Living / 0 Comments

New to essential oils and want to get started? Enjoy this beginner’s guide to essential oils (from someone who’s spent more than a decade learning)!

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. If you haven’t at least heard of essential oils by now, you must be living under a rock. Maybe you haven’t tried them, or know much about them, but all it takes is 5 minutes on the internet these days to know they exist.

But, what exactly are they? How do you use them? Where should you buy them? It’s hard to get to the bottom of this online with all the conflicting info available. I thought I’d share what I know, as someone who’s been using and learning about essential oils for the better part of a decade.

I’ve shared a lot about essential oils on the blog in the past, but I thought it would be helpful to have it all in one place. Want to know how to get started? Read on for all of my top advice and resources.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants. Depending on the oil, it can come from the root, leaves, sap, or flowers, and bring with it whatever properties the plant offers.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and take a lot of plant material to make one bottle. This makes them incredibly powerful, which is why it’s so important to only use a little bit at a time, and dilute it appropriately.

The science behind essential oils is pretty extensive, and way more than I can include in one post. If you’d like to get more in depth, I recommend checking out my post called Essential Oils: What the Heck Are They?!

You can also check out some further reading here and here.

Why Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils have so many uses. They might seem like the latest fad, but they’ve been used for thousands of years. It’s just that they’ve become more popular in recent years!

We use essential oils pretty regularly here. I put them in my favorite skincare DIYs, use them for immune support or respiratory support, and diffuse them to boost our mood or help my family relax in the evenings.

Once you know the basics of the oils you want to use, a whole world opens up to help you support your body naturally.

What’s my recommendation for anyone just getting started? Figure out what it is you want to use essential oils for the most, and then research the best oils for that purpose.

essential oil bottles on a shelf with plant

Where to Buy Essential Oils

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but the world of essential oils is very polarized. Everyone thinks “their” essential oil company is the best, so it can be hard to weed through the noise and figure out where to shop.

As someone who’s spent years learning about essential oils, let me just say this. There’s no industry regulating essential oils. Terms like “therapeutic grade,” “certified pure therapeutic grade,” and other terms along those lines are nothing but marketing terms.

It’s true that not all essential oils are created equal.

They’ll vary a lot based on how they’re grown and harvested, whether they’re tested, and whether the company allows additives in their oils.

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of companies. In the beginning, before I knew anything about them, I bought whatever oils were cheapest from the health food stores. Then, I learned about Young Living and was a pretty exclusive customer (and even rep) for years. Eventually, I left the company (you can read about why I did that right here), and now make it my mission to learn about and share many of the top brands available today.

My personal go-to brand of essential oils for most of our needs are Plant Therapy. You really can’t go wrong. They offer a quality product, with testing results available right on their product page, ship really fast, and have a great price. We really like their big line of oils that are safe for kids, too! You can check them out here!

You can also read more about other brands and check them out with these posts:

Essential oils in a bowl

Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils – What Oils Do I Need??

This is probably the second most common question I get from people. (The first being, “which brand of essential oils do you recommend?”) So, naturally, I had to include it in my beginner’s guide to essential oils.

Of course, you can ask around on Facebook, but it never fails. You ask this question in any group and the answer is always the same.

A starter kit full of oils you don’t know how to use and an expensive diffuser you don’t know what to do with.

And truly, that works for a lot of people. But, if the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on essential oils right off the bat turns you off, just know that’s not your only option.

Personally, I always recommend figuring out what you’d actually use (like I explained above), and going from there. If you want some help coming up with ideas, here are some posts I’ve written on the topic!

How do I Use Essential Oils?

There are two main ways to use essential oils in your daily life.

The first way is aromatically. This is the most common, especially for those newer to the practice.

When you use a diffuser, put drops of oil on jewelry, or make essential oil inhalers, you’re enjoying your oils aromatically.

The other way to use essential oils is topically. This means putting the oils on your skin. If you’re going to do this, it’s important that you always use proper dilution with a carrier oil (not water). Yes, even if your friend says it’s safe. Yes, even if you’ve used the oils neat before. Over time, you can become sensitized to oils, and that’s really no fun. Plus, diluting your oils in a carrier makes them last longer and go farther, which means you’re using less and saving money over time. Really, it’s a win-win.

You can use essential oils topically by putting them in a roller bottle, adding them to your favorite skincare DIYs, or by mixing them into these bubbling bath salts!

Want more ideas on how to use essential oils? Check out the posts below:

My Essential Oil Planner

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils – Final Thoughts

It’s been over a decade since I picked up my first bottle of essential oils. Over the years, I’ve dedicated so much time to learning about how to use oils safely, make DIY’s, and help others get started.

I hope this beginner’s guide to essential oils was helpful to you! Be sure to pin it to refer back to later, and share it with any friends who you think would find it helpful!

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Beginner's guide to essential oils - everything you need to know, without the gimmicks!

More on essential oils, wellness and clean living from Angie Cruise:

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