Q.How Do Essential Oils Work?

Essential OilsEssential oils mainly work in three ways. They can be ingested, inhaled, or applied topically to the skin. If it’s topically applied, here’s how it works: The human skin is somewhat permeable. It can absorb the active chemicals found in essential oils. You can say that they work similarly to common pharmaceuticals such as nicotine patches and hormone replacement therapy cream.

Skin Application

The human skin is highly permeable. This makes it easy for the active chemicals in essential oils to be absorbed into the skin. Note that you have to follow directions for use even for essential oils that can be applied topically on your skin.

That is because different oils work differently. For example, some oils should be applied at specific locations near sweat gland concentration and hair follicles so as to increase absorption rate and expedite relief. Others can only be effective once you massage the targeted area before applying.


You can inhale essential oils such as eucalyptus through the nose or mouth. Once inhaled, the molecules in the essential oils are carried to the lungs where they get absorbed into the respiratory system. Relief can be instant depending on how effective the essential oil you choose to use is.


This is the least popular way of using essential oils. It should however be noted that essential oils meant for ingestion work just as the ones meant for skin application and inhalation do. The only thing that differs is the dosage. Again, that is why it is important to always read and stick to directions for use on any essential oil. They get absorbed fast once ingested and may affect the kidney or liver even with a slight overdose. With that in mind, avoid ingesting essential oils without your physician’s approval.