Can Essential Oils be used Undiluted on Your Skin?

A drop of oil can be essential

A drop of oil can be essential

This question is one of the most commonly asked questions in regards to essential oils and essential oil safety.

I studied in Australia and although I don’t know exactly what other education institutions teach, I’m positive there is a general feeling about this subject.

Short Answer: NO

Do not use essential oils directly on your skin as a general rule.


Essential oils are concentrated volatile substances extracted from plants. A couple of important actions in some essential oils are classed as:


If you apply one of these oils  to your skin and go outside, the oil can cause a skin reaction when the suns hits you. It can be really bad, or mild, or you may not get a reaction at all. Oils to watch out for are bergamot and all the citrus oils.


Many oils can be classed as sensitising, meaning if you use to much, or in a strong dilution it may cause a skin reaction. Oils to watch out for are black pepper, cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, maybe oregano and thyme, and other oils which you wouldn’t be able to buy retail.


According to Essential Therapeutics “irritation” may occur with many different oils in very strong dilutions. However, most essential oils contain different molecules that could potentially cause irritations on the skin, but are not classified as toxic. It really depends on each person and how sensitive you are generally.

The most important thing is not to drink essential oils – this will cause poisoning and potentially harmful long term effects.

Use your common sense and dilute essential oils in the ratios listed in my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”.

skin reaction to Peru Balsam pic via

skin reaction to Peru Balsam pic via

If you are a very sensitive person then always patch test before using essential oils all over your skin – even if it is in the correct dilution.

I’m not going to say I don’t use essential oils directly on my skin, but I’m not going to say I do. I have 20 years of experience using essential oils with clients and various scenting projects so I feel confident about what I can do on my skin.

Anoint yourself with pure essential oils

Anoint yourself with pure essential oils diluted with a carrier oil

What about anointing with essential oils?

Once again the general rule is not to use essential oils directly on your skin. I recommend diluting with a carrier oil and then anointing.

What about perfume straight from the bottle?

Same as above. if you want a stronger effect, try putting a couple of drops of oil on a makeup pad in your bra or even your handbag.

PATCH TEST FIRST – especially if you are a person who is very sensitive! Just because essential oils are natural does not mean they are always safe.

Don’t use essential oils in strong dilutions, or neat on kids either. if a reaction does occur the only way to get the oils off the skin is with a carrier oil like olive or almond. Smooth it all over the area, wipe off and seek medical advice if necessary. See my article ‘“Aunty, something is biting my legs” – 10 things NOT to do when using Essential Oils” for more info on the general rules of using essential oils.

You are the expert on you

You are the expert on you

You are the expert on you, so use common sense, the information that is available to you and patch test first.

Enjoy the beautiful scents of nature and allow miracles through scent!

Aromatherapy Body Oil – It’s as Easy as 1 2 3

What’s as easy as 1, 2, 3?

Nourishing your body with an oil blend every day. I know it does kinda sound a little bit hard, but you can start simply and build your skills.

sneakily borrowed from

What You Will Need To Get Started

1 or more bottles of essential oil

carrier oil (almond oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil or anything else you can think of or that’s in your cupboard)

a teaspoon

a saucer or little ramekin

How to make a Blend for Your body

Put 7 drops of essential oil into your container

Pour in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil

That’s it. Mix it with your little finger (any finger really). Now go ahead and coat your body with your delicious formula.

your easy, beautiful body oil blend

I have used oil all over my body for many, many years and it’s kept my skin looking and feeling fantastic. Once I’ve had a shower and moisturise with an oil blend, I just put on a robe for about 10 minutes before dressing. This allows time for the oil to soak in and any excess to be absorbed into your robe. In that time I have breakfast or do whatever I’m doing to start the day.

For some people this is too time consuming. Others don’t like oil but prefer a cream. I understand every one’s preferences are different but to me there’s nothing more beautiful than starting the day with a formula you have made just for yourself that’s totally natural. No preservatives, no artificial fragrances or waxes, no cream that’s been made in massive vats full of yucky synthetics.

Just oils.


If you are just starting out you could try buying one new oil each month or every 2 weeks. As your library grows you will increase the amount of combinations you can create and as the time passes you will feel more comfortable with mixing. As a beginner it’s easy to make mistakes but if you just mix a little at a time then the wastage is minimized.

The next step is to find lovely glass bottles from a supplier – just have a look on the Internet, there are lots available. You must know how many mls your bottle is and then you’ll know how many drops of essential oils to put in. If you are in the USA and are not metric (!) you’ll have to convert these ratios:

10 mls carrier oil add 5 drops

20 mls carrier oil add 10 drops

25 mls carrier oil add 12 drops

30 mls carrier oil add 15 drops

40 mls carrier oil add 20 drops

50 mls carrier oil add 25 drops

100mls carrier oil add 50 drops

200 mls carrier oil add 100 drops.

******Always put the essential oil drops in first so they can have a get together, gel, mélange and synchronise before you add the carrier oil.

Voila. You are creating your day with Aromatherapy. It’s easy as 1,2,3.

Josie the dog and German Chamomile

Josie the beautiful dog

This is Josie. She is my friend’s dog and though she has visited me before she recently had her first sleep over by herself. As you can see she has very short hair and pink skin. She gets quite itchy and tends to bite and scratch a bit. Josie just couldn’t settle down when we got home and was bitey-bitey, scratchy-scratchy for quite a while. I thought it was nerves then realized she needed some help.

I had just used German Chamomile (among others) for a client and it jumped into my mind. This chamomile is blue in colour due to the ingredient called chamazulene. It’s a kind of bluey-green.

German chamomile looks a bit like this

As it is one of the more expensive oils it tends to be sold in a 3% jojoba blend like Rose, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Neroli. This means it is already diluted and ready to use.

I got the bottle, put 3 drops in my hand, and gently patted her skin and touched her paws. I didn’t even smooth it on – just lightly touched her – especially around her belly where her skin is exposed. She got on her mat, I completely covered her with a light blanket and IMMEDIATELY she chilled out, and didn’t move for a couple of hours.

Two things happened here with the oil. The presence of the oil on her skin helped cool and calm the irritation, and the scent went to work on her emotions, via her brain. We all know dogs and most animals have a very keen sense of smell, because they use it for information about their environment. It’s the action of the oil through her nose that was the most powerful. A few diluted drops was all she needed to give her a calming therapeutic treatment. It is really important not to use essential oils on pets if you are unsure, or if you don’t have the proper understanding of how they work and how sensitive animals are to odours.

Take note:

  • Be careful not to use pure oils on the skin of animals – a drop or two diluted might be fine, but always act with caution and intuition. Just because lavender works well on your skin doesn’t mean it will work for your cat, dog or guinea pig.
  • Animals will respond well to the scent of an oil, so the best way to treat will be to vapourise oils in the room they are in. You can also make a mist and mist around them, and on their beds. If you treat yourself, your pet will benefit too.
  • The smaller the animal the more sensitive they will be to any oil or chemical. One drop rubbed well into your own hands may be enough to soothe an animal when you pick them up.

Always check with a VET first if you are unsure, or don’t use any essential oils directly on them at all.

Treat yourself first and everyone will benefit – your partner, your kids and your pets.

It’s Easy to Make Your Own Body Scrub

Sneakily borrowed from

It IS easy. I recommend using sea salt as a base and adding ingredients to that. Use fine grade as the coarse grade will scratch your skin.

If you are a lover of essential oils then try adding about 5 drops (or a few more) of the oils you choose, into 2 cups of salt and slosh in some oil to make a gooey, grainy paste. It can be olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or anything you have in the cupboard. You could even try coconut milk or coconut cream to take you away on an island holiday in your mind.

Essential Oil Suggestions

Lemon – fresh wonderful scent, alpha hydroxyl acids to help get rid of dead skin

Orange – sweet and gorgeous and also has alpha hydroxyl acids to help get rid of dead skin

Lemongrass – invigorating

Lavender – an all purpose oil which helps skin regeneration and is fortify to the spirit

Peru balsam – great for the skin and has an amazing soft honey-like scent, similar benzoin in it’s healing ability

You can use any oil really so go with your intuition and your vibe. You will be giving yourself a skin scrub and an aromatherapy treatment to nurture your emotions and ease toxic thoughts.

The best way to do your body scrub is in a bath. After a 5 minute soak, stand up in the bath and scrub each part of your body with care. You are not trying to scrub oil off a baking pan so take it easy. The salt is the medium that will ease off old skin so don’t press too hard. After you have completed your ritual you can then soak in the treatment until your heart’s content – or until you get all pruney. If you only have a shower like me, wet yourself first, do the scrub, then shower off.

Get Creative


This is the fun part. There are so many things you probably have in the house that could turn your salt scrub into a tropical delight. Try:

A teaspoon of vanilla extract

A few tablespoons of almond meal will make the scrub a little milky and leave your skin feeling soft

Grated lemon rind – or the rind of any citrus fruit will really make your scrub zesty, natural and alive with energy.

A tablespoon of coffee – some claim it helps get rid of cellulite and while I’m not sure about that, it will stimulate your skin and your senses

Herbal tea – either grind up a loose leaf tea or rip open a teabag and use the contents

Go on give it a whirl at Spa You. You don’t have to travel very far and it wont cost a fortune. Good luck my friends, scrub on.

“Aunty, Something is Biting My Legs” – 10 Things NOT To Do When Using Essential Oils

Yes essential oils are natural so that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use caution when using them. If you haven’t had much practice follow these guidelines to help you gain a better understanding of what NOT to do.


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peppermint candy canes use real peppermint oil - which is mixed into a food safe flavouring

peppermint candy canes use real peppermint oil – which is mixed into a food safe flavouring


1. Don’t drink them

Many essential oils smell so beautiful and can sometimes taste great too, like peppermint oil & lemon oil, but please don’t drink them because you could suffer hideous consequences. If you do find a food recipe that uses essential oils – just use your intuition and add a little caution. Some companies like DO Terra advise putting a couple of drops into water and drinking it – but please don’t! Oil and water don’t mix and it could burn your oesophagus on the way down.



2. Don’t over expose yourself

Too much sniffing or smelling a particular  oil could cause a headache. I have suffered from a few bad headaches because I’ve overdosed when making aromatherapy products. Take it easy and use your intuition about what is the best for you. It is however, an easy way to get a change of focus, open the bottle of oil and take a whiff.



3. Don’t put neat essential oils all over your body

A few drops of oil as a perfume, or energetic anointing of the chakras and meridians is fine for some people but not for others – depending on how sensitive you are. However don’t cover your body in the pure stuff as your skin will burn. The oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil first.



It's all in the eyes!

It’s all in the eyes!


4. Don’t get them in your eyes

Sounds dumb but it’s easy to do. You mix a blend, get some on your fingers, then touch your eye……. I’ve seen people recommending that you put a few drops of lavender into your mascara! DON”T.



5. Don’t get them in your nether regions

I don’t think I need to explain this one.




Be careful when adding essential oils to your bath

Be careful when adding essential oils to your bath


6. Don’t put too much in a bath – especially for kids

Essential oils need to be mixed into an emulsifying agent to be able to mixed with water. Everyday things like milk, salt and vodka work to a certain extent but aren’t great. You can buy an emulsifier from the chemist if you like but why not use coconut cream? When oils are added to hot water they can really affect the skin, and kids will often say something is hurting them. My nephew once said “Aunty, something is biting my legs”. The only way to soothe the sting is to get them out of the bath, smooth a carrier oil (almond, olive, sunflower or anything in the cupboard) all over them to dilute the essential oils on the skin, and the burn will subside.

So when it comes to kids and babies DON”T add oils to the bath.



Morris the King 1994 - 2011

Morris the King 1994 – 2011

7. Don’t use oils directly on a pet’s skin

Essential oils are fantastic to use with pets but not directly on their skin. You could vapourise oils in the room to calm them down, make a mist with water and gently mist around your pet, or around their space, or on their bed. A little goes a long way.



8. Don’t try and cure anything

The best way to use oils is to support you in everyday life. While essential oils can do wonderful things like ease sore muscles, help with headaches, increase wound healing and nourish your skin, try to avoid assuming they will cure a disease or disorder. For example, many oils are wonderful for relieving stress and tension and helping with depression, but they wont “cure” a diagnosed condition. Do you get the difference?



Keep out of reach from children

Keep out of reach from children

9. Don’t let little kids get a hold of them

See #1 – Don’t drink them!

See#4 – Don’t get them in your eyes


sweet love

sweet love


10. Don’t use essential oils with condoms

Making a sexy gorgeous blend for a romantic evening is fabulous. Using them all over the body is divine. But don’t use essential oils in a blend as lube for condoms, as they’re too strong and can easily destroy the material – latex, polyurethane, and others. And you could both end up with an irritation – see #5.


Be cautious and use your intuition and intention. See my article about intention.

copryright SR Banks