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Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, however you should never ingest them (take them orally).The safest way to use them is simply to put a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale, taking care not to hold the tissue or cotton ball too close to your nose. They can be very strong!
If they are to be used on the skin, you should always dilute them in a carrier oil -- a maximum of five drops per ounce of oil. (They really go a long way!) You should patch-test any new oil on your skin before using more broadly. And you should do enough research to know which essential oils should not be used on the skin, which cause your skin to sunburn easily, which should not be used during pregnancy, which should not be used with various health issues, and which should not be used on small children. (See more cautions below.)
If you're looking for a source for high-quality, organic essential oils, I highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs (The link will take you to the Mountain Rose Herbs website, where you can buy essential oils. If you do, I get a small commission, which helps me keep this website going. I really like this company for their high quality, good selection, and strong commitment to "green" principles.)
I also really like New Directions Aromatics.
Personally, I like jojoba oil best. Although it’s a little pricey and can usually only be found at health food stores, it’s great for the skin, absorbs quickly, and never goes rancid. It also helps to preserve any eos that you mix with it.
My next favorite carrier oil is grapeseed oil. It’s a light oil that can usually be found at the grocery store. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, where it’s very inexpensive.
Photo by Itineranttrader (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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