Essential Oil Safety

It's important to have an understanding of how to safely use essential oils before getting started.

Whether you're just learning how to use essential oils or you’ve been using them for a while, you’ll want to make sure you know all of the safety guidelines, so you can enjoy all of the wonderful benefits that essential oils have to offer.


When it comes to applying essential oils, there are three basic application methods—aromatic, topical, and internal.

  • Aromatic application refers to experiencing the aroma of essential oils through the air by inhaling or breathing in the oils, or using an essential oil diffuser.
  • Topical application is the use of essential oils on the skin.
  • Internal use of essential oils refers to ingesting essential oils by swallowing a veggie capsule that contains essential oils, applying essential oils directly into the mouth, or adding oils to a beverage and then swallowing.

    Before using essential oils internally, it is important to understand how much of an essential oil should be used, and more importantly, which essential oils are approved for internal use (not all essential oils are safe to use internally). A quick way to tell is to verify that the bottle has a "Supplement Facts" label.

For a more extensive guide, refer to the Skin Sensitivity and Application Chart

Supplement Facts

    Areas to Avoid

    When applying essential oils topically, it is wise to avoid application to areas like the eyes, ears, or nose, and to avoid putting essential oils on broken or damaged skin.


    Because essential oils are potent and powerful, only a small amount of oil will be necessary to achieve the desired effect. Below is a breakdown of daily dosage recommendations for essential oils.

    Dosage Chart

    Why are there no recommendations for Aromatic use? 

    • Aromatic application is simply the act of breathing in the essential oils. There are no known limits to the amount of essential oil one can breathe per day. 

    What does Oral, Internal and Dermal mean? 

    • "Internal” refers to swallowing and ingesting essential oils, like in a veggie capsule or drinking them with water.
    • “Oral” refers to placing essential oils in the mouth (for cleansing and freshening), typically under the tongue.
    • Dermal” application refers to topical use on the skin.


    When applying essential oils topically, not only is it important to follow the guidelines listed under the “Dermal” section in the chart above, but it will often be necessary to dilute the essential oil so that it is not too powerful for the skin. Because essential oils are so potent and many essential oils have a strong chemistry, sometimes you will need to dilute the oil before applying topically to ensure that you don’t experience any sensitivity.

    The best way to dilute an essential oil is with something called a carrier oil. Carrier oils are typically a pure vegetable oil that will literally “carry” the oil to the skin. While some worry that using a carrier oil will reduce the benefits of essential oils, it will actually help to increase absorption so that the oil stays on the skin for a longer period of time.

    The best carrier oil to use with doTERRA essential oils is the doTERRA Fractionated Coconut oil.

    Fractionated Coconut Oil

    Carrier oils are typically a pure vegetable oil that will literally “carry” the oil to the skin. While some worry that using a carrier oil will reduce the benefits of essential oils, it will actually help to increase absorption so that the oil stays on the skin for a longer period of time.

    The recommended ratio for dilution is typically 3 drops of the carrier oil per 1 drop of essential oil.

    Dilution Guide


    Essential oils should not be left out where small children can reach them, and bottles should always be sealed up with their lids after use.

    Keep the oils out of direct sunlight and away from heat, as light and heat can alter the chemical structure of the oils and lessen their efficacy. By storing your oils in a cool, dry place, you can preserve the delicate yet powerful properties they possess.


    Yes, essential oils are safe to use around your family and on children, however, there are a few extra precautions to take when it comes to using essential oils on your little ones. First, as mentioned above, it is important to keep essential oils out of reach of your children. Because kids don’t understand the potency of essential oils, they cannot properly apply them, and could use them improperly.

    It is also important to note that children have more delicate and sensitive skin than adults, so it is always necessary to dilute oils before applying them topically on your kids. The dosage chart includes child recommendations for internal usage—just keep in mind that the dosages for children will always be much less than that of an adult because they have smaller, more sensitive and developing bodies and require far less oil.

    Make sure to teach your children (and even teenagers) to only use essential oils under your supervision, and always set a good example of proper essential oil usage so that your family understands how important safety guidelines are.

    Personal Considerations

    If you have any specific health conditions or concerns, it is always a good idea to consult your healthcare professional before use. The same goes for your children—if you have any concerns about using essential oils on your children, consider talking to their pediatrician or primary care physician before starting essential oil use with your kids.

    It is possible to use essential oils safely in conjunction with healthy eating and exercise in order to promote a healthy lifestyle, but you must consider your own personal health status and any health concerns first. For example, women who are pregnant should always consult with their doctor before using oils.