Essential Oils 101: All the Basics You Need to Know!

Essential Oils 101: All the Basics You Need to Know!

The power of essential oils (EO’s) is real - have YOU made them part of your everyday life yet?

We’re going to lay out all of the basics so you can get on this one bandwagon that’s here for the long haul. And when you learn about the history of EO’s, you’ll know that they’re not even new. In fact, EO’s have been around for centuries!

Some essential oils come from seeds while many others are extracted from the leaves of the plant. Because EO’s are so highly concentrated, it takes a tremendous amount of plant to produce just one ounce of oil.

Due to this level of concentration, essential oils are incredibly powerful, so a little bit goes a long way!

Some “essential” terms you should know:


Essential oils are basically the natural aromatic compounds extracted from seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Diffusion is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils.


This refers to a lipid- or fat-based liquid used to dilute EO’s. Olive, coconut, almond, jojoba and argan oils are the most common ones.


The process of extracting essential oil from plant material.

Steam distillation is the most common distillation method that uses low-heat pressurized steam to circulate through plant parts and extract oils.

Cold press distillation uses a mechanical press to squeeze essential oils from plant parts, and is the most commonly used method for obtaining citrus oils - a classic ingredient in DIY household cleaning products. This is to preserve their aromatic bounty!

Historic Essential Oils

Despite being suddenly catapulted into popularity, essential oils are not a new thing.

The ancient Egyptians were among the first to use aromatic essential oils for daily life, and pure EO’s were prized and saved for priests and royals. Other ancient societies, such as those in China, Greece and Rome used EO’s for aromatherapy, illness, and personal hygiene.

Essential oil starter kit:

Are you a newbie to EO’s?

Here are 4 of the most popular ones to try first, and a few suggested uses. They make great staples in your medicine cabinet too!

TEA TREE OIL (Melaleuca): Soothing, cleansing & healing

● Combine 1–2 drops with your preferred facial cleanser (or moisturizer) for added cleansing properties

● Mix 1-2 drops with pure aloe vera gel and apply to skin after shaving

● Use diluted with water and/or vinegar as a surface cleaner - see recipe!

● Add a few drops to shampoo and massage into the scalp - use in your conditioner too

● Add a drop to toothpaste or swish with water for a quick and easy mouth rinse - but do not swallow or ingest

LAVENDER: Soothing & calming

● Add a few drops to your pillow or bottoms of your feet for a restful night’s sleep - or use in a diffuser near your bed

● Apply topically to help heal pimples, skin inflammation and irritation - be sure to test a drop on your skin to test for sensitivity; dilution may be required

● Soak away stress! Add a few drops to a warm bath

LEMON: Cleansing, revitalizing & uplifting

● Use to remove gum, glue, or any other sticky residues from surfaces

● Use in a diffuser to purify the air, creating an uplifting & refreshing aroma

● Add to a spray bottle full of water to clean tables, countertops, and other surfaces - recipe!

PEPPERMINT: Cooling & energizing

● Apply a few drops directly to the skin of the back of your neck to cool off

● For a refreshing aroma, diffuse at night by your bedside

● Feeling tense? Rub on head and neck for a soothing, calming sensation

● Add to shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating & invigorating scalp massage

● Use as a natural bug repellent