43 Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

43 Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

These days, essential oils are all the rage. These all-natural plant derivatives are known for their calming and restorative properties – they can also pack a punch. Experts estimate that, on average, essential oils are 75 times more potent than dried herbs, which means that they need to be used properly.

Essential oils offer many uses and benefits – so much, in fact, that it can be confusing for some. So, in this article, we’ve listed 43 of the most common uses for essential oils to get you started.

For your beauty routine

If you’re looking for a great addition to your beauty routine, look no further than essential oils. They have natural properties that help maintain healthy skin, hair, body, and nails.



1.      Essential oils treat minor skin problems and blemishes

Experiencing an acne breakout? Go for organic tea tree oil. It’s great for acne and skin irritation, thanks to its versatile properties. It is one of the only essential oils – together with lavender – that can be safely applied directly on your skin. Tea tree oil works similarly to benzoyl peroxide for treating acne. Although it takes more time, it causes fewer side effects, while being less drying than benzoyl peroxide. Additionally, it can remove minor blemishes on the skin, and relieve insect bites.

Other essential oils to assist with minor skin issues include bergamot, helichrysum, lavender, oregano, and rosemary.

How to use: For treating acne, dab a few drops of organic tea tree oil on the affected area or add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and apply to the acne to kill bacteria and soothe any redness. Repeat this for 10 days. You can also make a homemade face wash by combining 5 drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of raw manuka honey. Rub the mixture on the face and then rinse with water. Do this every day.

For removing and preventing minor scars, make a paste by mixing: 2 teaspoons of raw honey, 3 drops of organic lavender essential oil, 3 drops of organic tea tree oil, and 3 drops of organic frankincense essential oil. Wash and dry your face first before applying the paste. Let it sit for an hour and then rinse off.

2.      Essential oils soothe sunburns

Certain essential oils can soothe minor sunburn. Organic lavender, carrot, copaiba, and myrrh essential oils are best used for this purpose. Use organic jojoba or coconut oil as a carrier.

How to use: To soothe a sunburn, mix 2 drops of organic lavender essential oil and 2 drops of organic copaiba essential oil with a tablespoon of organic coconut oil. Apply the mixture directly or with a cotton ball to the sunburn. This will reduce redness and enhance skin health.

For sun lotion recipe, combine 1 drop each of organic myrrh and carrot essential oils with 2 drops of organic jojoba oil and then apply to your skin.

3.      Essential oils reduce the appearance of minor stretch marks

Combat stretch marks naturally with essential oils, such as frankincense, lavender, and patchouli. Organic frankincense and patchouli essential oils have antioxidant properties that make minor stretch marks less visible. Lavender essential oil supports healthy collagen production, which helps heal stretch marks (1).

How to use: Mix 5 drops each of organic frankincense and lavender essential oils with coconut oil. Massage into stretch marks for two minutes every day.

4.      Essential oils reduce wrinkles and fine lines

As you age, your skin loses its elasticity and breaks down, causing wrinkles and fine lines to appear on your face. With essential oils, you can reduce the appearance of aging. Organic lemon essential oil is a powerful antiaging oil that contains high amounts of D-limonene, a compound that reduces the appearance of wrinkles, as well as exhibits powerful skin-healing and antioxidant properties. Just avoid sun exposure for several hours after using lemon or any citrus essential oils as they make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Lavender essential oil also has antioxidant properties that decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

How to use: You can massage lemon or lavender essential oil directly into your skin.

5.      Essential oils eliminate minor pigmentations

Be it minor age spots, sunspots, or other minor pigmentations on your skin, essential oils can help. Frankincense oil is one of the best essential oils for removing minor pigmentations because of its ability to promote healthy skin turnover and strengthen the skin. Organic tea tree oil prevents and heals minor blemish wounds. It also kills external threats associated with a blemish or skin tear, which leads to faster healing, halting dark spots from developing.

How to use: You may apply organic frankincense essential oil directly on your skin with age spots or sunspots thrice a day for 30 days.  

6.      Essential oils whiten teeth

Essential oils also support optimal oral health. Certain essential oils, such as lemon essential oil, may be used to whiten your teeth.

How to use: Mix 3 drops each of organic lemon and coconut oils with fresh strawberries, and then rub the mixture on your teeth for two minutes and rinse. Repeat daily for 10 days.

7.      Essential oils freshen breath

Whether you’re suffering from bad breath or just want to freshen your breath, essential oils can help.

How to use: Put a drop of organic peppermint oil under your tongue.

8.      Essential oils relieve scalp itchiness

If you’re suffering from scalp itchiness, try organic rosemary essential oil. This oil is a gentle antioxidant-rich agent that relieves itchiness and reduces minor irritation.

How to use: Add 3 to 5 drops of rosemary, lavender, or other essential oil to your shampoo in the shower and then rinse. Include this in your routine until your scalp stops itching.

9.      Essential oils thicken hair

Strengthen your hair with organic essential oils, such as rosemary, burdock root, ginger, hops flower, lavender, thyme, and yarrow oils. These essential oils stimulate hair growth and naturally thicken hair.

How to use: Mix one of these essential oils with a carrier oil, then apply to your hair. You can also add 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, for example, to your shampoo. For best results, use regularly.

10.  Essential oils strengthen nails

Our nails can be brittle or dry at times. To make your fingernails and toenails strong and healthy, use essential oils like tea tree oil.

How to use: Mix 1 drop of organic tea tree oil with a quarter teaspoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture directly on your nails and massage in to strengthen them.

11.  Essential oils support healthy skin

Stress, pollution, processed foods, and product buildup all clog your skin and damage skin cells. Fortunately, organic essential oils like rosemary and juniper oils can support healthy, glowing skin.

How to use: Prepare a warm Epsom salt bath, infuse it with rosemary and juniper essential oils, and then soak your body.

Cosmetic Uses of Essential Oils


For healing and wellness

For centuries, essential oils have been used as natural medicines. Listed below are some of their potent healing and wellness benefits.

12.  Essential oils promote better sleep

If you have difficulty falling asleep, essential oils can help you. Because many essential oils have a calming and relaxing effect, they are often used to promote better sleep. A review assessed 15 studies on essential oils and sleep and found that inhaling the oils improved sleeping habits (3). Organic lavender oil is the most common essential oil used for this purpose. Studies found that smelling oil improves sleep quality. (45).

How to use: Fill your diffuser with water, then add 3 to 6 drops of lavender essential oil. Diffuse 30 minutes to one hour before going to bed. Additionally, you may use the oil as facial steam by adding a few drops of it to a pot of boiling water, and then sitting with your face over the pot and a towel over your head to form a tent effect. You can also add a few drops of the oil directly to your pillowcase tag. If you don’t have sensitive skin or allergies, you can massage a few drops of the oil on your chest, hands, forehead, neck, and the bottom of your feet. Otherwise, just avoid topical application or dilute it first with a carrier oil.

13.  Essential oils help you focus and concentrate

Feeling distracted? Try using organic sandalwood, peppermint, rosemary, grapefruit, helichrysum, basil, or spearmint essential oils. These oils help with focus, concentration, productivity, studying, and memory. A study revealed that inhaling rosemary can sharpen memory by 75%, while peppermint oil has also been linked to improved recall and sustained focus (6). Other studies reported that peppermint, basil, and helichrysum oils help with burnout and mental fatigue (7).

How to use: Add one of these oils to your diffuser or apply topically on your wrists or temples.

14.  Essential oils boost the effects of meditation

Meditation promotes peace of mind, and with essential oils, you can amplify that effect. Using essential oils during meditation can stimulate your senses, promote relaxation, and create an ambient space that will help you focus better. Organic clary sage, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, neroli, and sandalwood essential oils are commonly recommended for meditation.

How to use: Fill your diffuser halfway with water, then add 4 drops of any of the oils mentioned above. Sit or lie comfortably and breathe in the aroma.

15.  Essential oils ease anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious, try using essential oils. They have a calming and relaxing effect that can ease your anxiety. Bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile, lavender, and sweet orange essential oils are best used for anxiety relief. In a study, inhalation of sweet orange essential oil reduced anxiety, while topical application slowed down the participants’ pulse rates and breathing rates (8). Sandalwood essential oil also promotes relaxation and relieves anxiety, but it may also increase wakefulness and alertness (9).

How to use: You can add a few drops of one of these essential oils to your bath water or place in a diffuser. You can also massage an oil blend with calming scents into your temples.

16.  Essential oils relieve stress

Say goodbye to the day’s stresses with organic essential oils. One study found that using essential oils during a massage may help relieve stress (10). Essential oils that are commonly used for de-stressing include bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, lavender, lemon, marjoram, orange, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang-ylang.

How to use: Relieve your stress by adding a few drops of organic essential oil onto a scarf or handkerchief or massage a few drops (in a few drops of carrier oil) on your temples, wrists, or neck.

17.  Essential oils can uplift your mood

Essential oils are also mood enhancers. One of the best essential oils for improving your mood is a lemon essential oil. Chamomile, rose, orange and ylang-ylang essential oils are also used for this purpose.

How to use: Apply a drop of lemon essential oil to your wrist or add a few drops of one of the other oils to a diffuser.

18.  Essential oils boost energy and athletic performance

If you’ve already had too much coffee for the day and still need an energy boost, try using organic essential oils instead. Citrus essential oils, such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit, can boost your mood and energy, as well as reduce fatigue-inducing stress and anxiety, according to a study (13). Another study also suggested that peppermint oil can increase athletic performance (14).

How to use: Pour 2 to 3 drops of essential oil onto the palm of your hand; inhale and rub into your temple.

19.  Essential oils relieve minor headaches

You can relieve minor headaches with just a few drops of essential oil. Studies found that applying a mixture of peppermint oil and ethanol on the forehead and temples can assist with relieving tension headaches (1516). Chamomile, lavender, and eucalyptus oils can also relieve minor headaches (171819).

How to use:  You can mix 2 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender oil for every 6 drops of carrier oil, then massage onto your temples, behind your ears, on your forehead, under your nose, and on the back of your neck. You may also diffuse an essential oil for 30 minutes or until your headache is gone.

20.  Essential oils soothe sore muscles

Many essential oils can be used in treating muscle soreness, such as black pepper, cayenne, chamomile, eucalyptus, ginger, nutmeg, peppermint, rosemary, and wintergreen essential oils.

How to use: For soothing sore muscles, mix 2 drops of organic peppermint essential oil with a few drops of coconut oil or add 10 drops of organic peppermint oil to an ounce of sweet almond oil, then rub on the inflamed area. You can also add organic eucalyptus, sage, and basil oils to a warm Epsom salt bath.

21.  Essential oils relieve minor pain

Essential oils serve as natural pain relievers. Ginger, frankincense, and myrrh essential oils are used to provide fast relief to the muscles, joints, and tendons for minor pain.

How to use: Applying a mixture of the essential oil with a carrier oil on the affected area.

22.  Essential oils support healthy digestion

Organic peppermint oil is particularly effective in supporting healthy digestion.

How to use: Organic peppermint essential oil can be used in many ways: diffuse, add 3 drops to water or tea, put a drop under your tongue, or apply to a warm cloth and place on your stomach.

23.  Essential oils help unclog the sinuses and nose

Inhaling certain essential oils can ease a clogged nose. Organic peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils can open congested airways and unclog sinus passages. One study found that rosemary oil is a stimulant and can improve respiratory rate (23).

How to use: You can inhale your essential oil of choice directly, using a diffuser, or rub 2 to 3 drops into your temples.

24.  Essential oils can support a healthy immune system

Organic orange and lemon essential oils can be diffused to support a healthy immune system.

How to use: Inhale the vapor of diffused orange or lemon essential oil. You can also rub the mixture on your chest with a carrier oil before bed for better sleep.

25.  Essential oils ease nausea

Organic essential oils like lavender, peppermint, ylang-ylang, ginger, and nutmeg are great natural remedies for easing the feeling of nausea.

How to use: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cool compress and place it on your forehead. You may also rub a few drops of ginger or nutmeg oil on the soles of your feet.

26.  Essential oils loosen stiff joints

Loosen stiff joints with a couple of drops of wintergreen, juniper, or vetiver oil mixed with about a teaspoon of carrier oil. Gently massage into stiff joints.

27.  Essential oils support your skin’s natural ability to heal

Certain essentials oils like tea tree oil can be used as a natural remedy for small wounds, scrapes, and cuts.

How to use: Dilute the oil to a five percent concentration, which is about 14 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil.

For household use

Many essential oils can combat a wide range of external threats, which make them an excellent ingredient in natural household cleaners, insect repellents, and such. Here are several ways that you can use essential oils at home.

28.  Essential oils as natural mothballs

Store-bought mothballs are toxic and can be as dreadful as a moth infestation itself. Luckily, you can use essential oils to make your own natural mothballs. Not only will they protect your clothes and other fabrics from moth larvae, but also keep them smelling fresh.

How to use: Just put a few drops of lavender essential oil on cotton balls and place them in your closet and drawers.

29.  Essential oils as an insect repellent

Many commercial insect repellents contain dangerous chemical combinations. So why not make your own affordable and less harmful spray with essential oils? Peppermint, tea tree, lavender, cedar, citronella, and rosemary essential oils are often used to ward off spiders, ants, mosquitoes, and other insects.

How to use: Mix 15 drops of organic peppermint (or other) essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and then spray all-around your home, including the corners, rooms, baseboards, porches, doors, and windows. You can also make a mixture of white vinegar and a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil and wipe or spray down your shelves to keep insects out of your pantry.

30.  Essential oils as a rodent deterrent

Keep rodents away by spraying peppermint essential oil mixed with water around windows and doors.  Douse a cotton ball with peppermint oil and stuff into corners of windows where rodents may be able to enter.

31.  Essential oils as a natural air freshener

Keep your home smelling fresh and clean with essential oils. Many essential oils can disinfect and deodorize different parts of your house.

How to use: Add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil to a small spray bottle filled with water. Shake well and spray as desired.

32.  Essential oils keep your trashcan smelling fresh

Prevent your trashcan from having a bad odor using essential oils.

How to use: To keep your trashcan smelling fresh, add 2 drops of tea tree and lemon essential oils on a cotton ball and put the cotton ball at the bottom of your trashcan.

33.  Essential oils remove food odor

Food smells good right after cooking. However, food odor can linger, especially in small apartments. Using essential oils is a simple and inexpensive way to get rid of food odor. After cleaning out your fridge or freezer, freshen it with some essential oil.

How to use: Add a few drops of clove, cinnamon, or any citrus essential oil to pots of simmering water. You can also deodorize your fridge with lime, bergamot, lemongrass, or grapefruit oils. For freshening up your refrigerator, mix a few drops of lemon essential oil with water and apply it on the inside shelves and surface of your refrigerator.

34.  Essential oils remove lingering smoke odor

Smoke odor may be hard to get rid of. You can remove the smell of smoke with essential oils.

How to use: Fill a small spray bottle with water, then add several drops of tea tree, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. Shake the bottle before each use.

35.  Essential oils freshen stinky shoes

Sometimes, shoes can be stinky. But with essential oils and a cotton ball, you can get rid of that funky smell.

How to use: Add a few drops of lavender, lemon, or tea tree essential oils to two cotton balls. Place one cotton ball inside each shoe and leave it overnight. The odors should be gone in the morning. If not, repeat the procedure for several nights.

36.  Essential oils dissolve stubborn substances

Chewing gum, glue, wax, stickers, and oil can be hard to remove when they come into contact with surfaces or clothes. Avoid the struggle and use lemon essential oil, which can dissolve these stubborn substances.

How to use: Directly apply a drop or two of lemon essential oil to the stubborn substance.

37.  Essential oils for cleaning your microwave

Avoid the struggle of removing splatters, grease, and gunk on the inside of your microwave by using lemon essential oil.

How to use: Get a bowl; fill it with about a cup of equal parts water and equal parts white vinegar, then add 5 drops of lemon essential oil. Put it in the microwave and heat it for three minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave and wipe your microwave clean.

38.  Essential oils as a disinfectant

Essential oils like eucalyptus and lemon can safely and naturally disinfect your home

How to use: Fill a spray bottle with water and then add 7 to 9 drops of either eucalyptus or lemon essential oil. You may also add a bit of vinegar for good measure. Shake the bottle and spray on counters, doorknobs, toys, the sink, or on hard surfaces.

39. Essential oils for keeping your dishwasher clean

Essential oils, especially lemon essential oil, can disinfect and freshen your dishwasher.

How to use: Just add 2 drops of lemon essential oil to your dishwasher detergent. You can also disinfect your dish sponge by directly adding lemon essential oil between uses.

40. Essential oils remove stains on clothes

Lemon essential oil is also a great agent in removing stains on clothes.

How to use: Add 4 drops of lemon essential oil to 6 oz. of water. Mix and apply to stains on your clothing before washing. Check the clothes after washing to make sure that the stain is all gone. If a little stain remains, repeat the procedure with a few drops of lemon essential oil, rub in, and rewash before putting it in the dryer.

41.  Use essential oils when ironing

Make ironing easier and keep your clothes smelling fresh with lavender essential oil.

How to use: Add a drop of lavender essential oil or any of your favorite oils to a damp cloth. Then, place it on top of the clothing when ironing. This will infuse your ironed clothing and sheets with fragrance.

For your dogs

Even your pet dog can benefit from essential oils. Here are some tips on how to use essential oils on your dogs.

42.  Essential oils as flea remover

Fleas can be tricky to remove, but essential oils like lavender and cedar are great for getting rid of fleas.

How to use: Make a flea spray by mixing a cup of apple cider vinegar, 1-quart water, and 2 to 3 drops of cedar or lavender essential oil. Shake the bottle and mist your dog with the spray. Avoid spraying on their eyes, ears, and nose. You can also spray your pet’s bedding.

43.  Essential oils for dog’s anxiety

Lavender essential oil is also a great natural remedy for anxiety relief in dogs: It is very safe and gentle for them.

How to use: Calm and soothe your dog by gently rubbing the oil on your dog’s ear, fur and skin.

Essential oils have been around for centuries for a reason – they are potent substances that provide many uses and benefits. Do you have other tips on using essential oils? Comment down below.

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