Ask An Aromatherapist: Certified Aromatherapists Answer Your Questions!

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Ask our Plant Therapy Certified Aromatherapists: How Often Can I Use My Oils, Which Oils We Love, and More

Welcome to our newest series on the Plant Therapy blog: Ask our Aromatherapists! Where you ask, and we answer your most burning oily questions.

Wondering who your Plant Therapy Aromatherapists are? You can get the full introduction to our whole team on our Meet Our Aromatherapists page! Because Plant Therapy is dedicated to being transparent, we knew we wanted to introduce you to the team behind answering your essential oil questions.

Without further ado, let’s see what you asked us this month:

How often can you use and diffuse your oils?

Plant Therapy NovaFuse diffuser on a table Ask an AromatherapistDebbie Schulkamp asks:

What are the guidelines for how frequently it’s safe to diffuse (every day? every night?) And how often you can repeat application of rollerballs and how often you can use inhalers.


There are a lot of things to consider when talking about diffusion and application guidelines and frequencies. For instance, the oils you use, the size of the room, the ages of the people in the room, and many other things can change the frequency you diffuse. Generally, we recommend diffusing for half an hour at a time, with at least a half an hour to an hour break in between. If you’re using stronger oils like cinnamon, clove, or other potentially irritating oils, we’d recommend cutting the diffusion time down.

If you’re following intermittent diffusion guidelines like above, it’s okay to diffuse every day or every night as needed. The keyword here is as needed. It’s important to diffuse with intention. For sleep-related problems, it’s okay to diffuse a sleep blend each night for a small amount of time. Does your living room smell a little stuffy? It would be okay to diffuse for half an hour off and on to improve the atmosphere of the room.

How often you can repeat topical application like roll-ons kind of relies on the same kind of information. It depends on the dilution and purpose of your oils. If your blend is 2% or under, it would be okay to apply as needed throughout the day. If it’s higher, like 5-10%, we recommend applying two-three times a day, only as needed.

It is good practice to occasionally switch up the oils and blends your using to avoid any potential negative reaction like sensitization. This is true for diffusion and topical application.

Similar therapeutic benefits? Here’s how to decide:

Using aromatherapy inhaler with essential oils Ask an AromatherapistTracey Johnston of SEOR asks:

When there are so many EO’s that have similar purposes, what is the deciding factor in the one that you decide to use in a blend?


This is what makes Aromatherapy so fun: It’s designed to be tailored to the individual! This is one of the most personal ways you can treat any ailment.

When you’re blending at home and have lots of different oils with similar benefits, the best way to choose oils for your blend is to choose the one that triggers the strongest response.

So, for me personally, my daughter really responds to citrus scents (she loves herself some Kumquat especially). When creating a blend for her diffuser to help her wake up in the mornings, obviously I chose citrus oils for their energizing properties, but when it came to deciding which citrus to use I let her choose the one that evoked the strongest positive response for her.

Basically, if you’re making a blend and you have multiple oils that have similar properties, you can pick ones that smell best or resonate strongly with you. Or you could also look at other properties of that oil and see if one oil helps more than the others. For instance, if there’s an oil that helps with respiratory issues, but also is antibacterial and antiviral, you pick that one!

Our Top Essential Oil Picks:

Ask an AromatherapistLeela Turek of SEOR said:

I would ask them [our Aromatherapists] to list the top 10 singles that address the most common issues everyday folks try to address in their day to day life. The top 10 oils should multitask and be able to blend to cover most issues like body ache, tummy problems, insomnia, stress, anxiety, tension, headache, congestion etc.


Great question Leela!

We actually just wrote a great blog post of the top 10 essential oils and how to use them, which everyone should check out for more great information. But we thought for fun some of our Aromatherapists would weight in with their own personal favorites:

Tyler Hagan:

Certified Aromatherapist and SEOR Supervisor

Blue Tansy Essential Oil on wooden slate with pink background Ask an AromatherapistBlue Tansy: You all know that Blue Tansy is my go-to oil for… well, everything. It’s perfect for supporting respiratory health all year long. Whether it be seasonal threats common in the spring, or in the winter, Blue Tansy will leave your sinuses feeling clear. It’s also perfect for minor body tension and alleviating stress caused by everyday life.

You can read more about how much (and why!) we love Blue Tansy on our Blog.

Cedarwood (all types): These oils are very uplifting and relaxing. After a long day at work, I love diffusing it with other oils like Bergamot and Vetiver. It can be very supportive of skin health and is perfect at helping promote circulation.

Spearmint: This oil is the greatest! It’s both energizing, uplifting, and also helps support the respiratory system. It’s great at helping to comfort upset tummies, and when properly diluted is gentle enough to use on kiddos. Use it topically to reduce stress and tension in the neck and other places on the body.

Katrina Scampini:

Certified Aromatherapist & Content Writer

bergamot essential oil Ask an AromatherapistNeroli: If I was stranded on a deserted island and only had ONE essential oil, Neroli would be it. I love its unique, complex floral aroma, and how emotionally supportive it is. Not only does it calm and soothe the mind, but it’s a great support for inflammation and when you’re feeling under the weather.

Frankincense Frereana: Easily my favorite variety of Frankincense. It has a sweet aroma on top of a deep earthiness, which I love during meditation and yoga. I add it to some Jojoba in the evenings after washing my face to keep my skin moisturized and healthy.  

Bergamot: This is my go-to for emotional issues, especially when dealing with worry and nervous tension. I love how its gorgeous aroma compliments just about every other essential oil, making it a great choice to blend with. It was the first essential oil I had ever smelled and holds a special place in my heart!

Recently Bergamot was our Essential Oil Spotlight of the Week, be sure to check out our blog for even more info on how to use this oil!

Lavandin: Lots of the same great benefits of Lavender, but with an aroma that, to me, is a bit less sharp than Lavender. I love adding a few drops to my body wash and using it in the shower after exercising to help calm my mind and body down.

Kristin Lail:

Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

Lavender essential oil Ask an AromatherapistBlue Tansy: This is my go-to oil for soothing sinus troubles caused by seasonal threats. Additionally, it is calming and makes me feel relaxed. It is supportive of the immune system, reduces twitchy muscles and helps with the discomfort. It’s an oil that is good for many different purposes and is one I would never be without.

Lavender: This oil has many therapeutic properties. It’s great for supporting the immune system, is helpful for discomfort, even nerve discomfort. It helps reduce stress and feelings of anxiousness so our body can function more efficiently.

Be sure to check out these 17 DIYs you can make using Lavender!

Bergamot: Bergamot is helpful for reducing discomfort and twitchy muscles. It can help reduce anxiety, is relaxing and helps with uplifting the mood. It is also supportive of the immune system.

Jessica Cobb:

Certified Aromatherapist & Content Manager

Tea Tree essential oil from plant therapy Ask an AromatherapistTea Tree: Known for its strong scent and anti-microbial properties, this oil is the very first EO I bought and used. And it’s still in my cabinet! I use it in the shower to help clear my sinuses and my husband loves a couple of drops added to his shampoo. It’s also great to use on your laundry to help get rid of pesky smells!

Clear Again Blend: My son has chronic asthma, and we go through Clear Again like it’s going out of style (we’re talking a 30 mL bottle every couple of months). I diffuse this blend at night in his room to help him breath more easily and ease some of his allergy symptoms in the spring.

Kumquat: Like I said in my answer to the question above, Kumquat essential oil is my daughters favorite and a great choice for helping her wake up in the morning by increasing feelings of energy and alertness. And everyone loves it when their kids get up in the morning without being drug out of bed!

Kumquat was our Oil of the Month for March of 2018! Be sure to check out everything you need to know about Kumquat on our blog and read up on why you might love this oil too.

If you have questions for our Certified Aromatherapy team, head on over to our Safe Essential Oil Facebook Group and watch for our monthly post for your chance to get featured and have your questions answered!


58 thoughts on “Ask our Plant Therapy Certified Aromatherapists: How Often Can I Use My Oils, Which Oils We Love, and More”

  • Between german chamomile essential oil and roman chamomile essential oil, which is better for hair lightening?

    Thank you very much.

    1. We haven’t tried Chamomile for lightening hair, so we can’t speak to which one might be better or if it would even work. Sorry we don’t have more info for you!

    1. Lavender and Lavandin have very similar therapeutic qualities, but their main difference lies with their chemical constituents. For instance, while both are high in linalol and linalyl acetate, Lavandin also contains a significant amount of Camphor, meaning it may be more beneficial for respiratory concerns than Lavender. The camphor content also gives Lavandin a slightly more medicinal smell, which I personally enjoy 🙂

  • Very helpful info for people just starting with oils! Thank you for all of the advice and knowledge.

  • Loved having specifics about how often to use essential oils, and I am always interested in what the aromatherapists and using. Great insights into what different people use and why. Thanks for all the great info and additional links: now I’m off to read “17 DIYs you can make using Lavender”!

  • Love these types of posts where several aromatherapists share their favorites. More blog posts like this please!

  • Thank you for such a helpful article! I have always worried about how often to use rollers, but I am way under safe guidelines, so yay!

  • Great information! I’ve really been wondering about how often you can diffuse issue and how often you can use roll ons and this has really helped. Now I feel better about wanting to order a few more oils for both those reasons.

  • Just in time!
    Just this morning after I made my 5% skin care blend I wanted the answer about how many times I could use it. And now I know that I am OK to apply it 2-3x a day. Thank you, Tyler! I am also thankful for pointing out the key words- only as needed!
    BTW, I would recommend for a little stuffy smelling room to first of all air it out really well, being in the new fresh energy (or chi if you will) and only then starting to diffuse to improve the atmosphere there.

  • I’ve got to try Blue Tansy. I’m afraid I’m going to hate it. Thank you for this information and it’s great to hear what other people’s go to oils are!

  • Love this information. It is great to know new things about how to properly use essential oils!

  • I love this idea for a blog post. My question for the Aromatherapists: what are the top 5 essential oil/Aromatherapy books you would recommend for the budding DIYer?

    1. Kathy, five books?! You are quite an ambitious lady! In case we don’t get to this question on our next aromatherapist blog, I’ll give you my list right now. As an avid reader, I’m so excited you asked this question! These aren’t in order, just ones I love and I think oil enthusiasts may enjoy: Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay, Listening to Scent by Jennifer Peace Rhind, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood, The Heart of Aromatherapy: An Easy-To-Use Guide for Essential Oils by Andrea Butje, and Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty. Happy reading!

  • Thank you for this post, it answered one of my top questions. I’ve been wondering more specifically about diffusing and applying oils (especially applying as I use oils to help control my chronic pain).

  • What a fantastic article. It was really nice to hear the personal favorites of the aroma therapists.

  • I would have to have 1 of my 3 cases of oils if stranded on a deserted island. I have way too many faves. Some I didn’t even realize were faves until I had to replace an empty jar

  • Lots of useful information . Neroli is my favorite stranded on a deserted Island oil’as well

  • RE: Clear Again (Jessica Cobb’s list), May I ask for tips in diffusing or using in an inhaler for kids over 5 but younger than 12?

  • This post is really informative. I’ve wondered for so long about the first topic since every source I saw said different things. So glad plant therapy is so thorough with their information.

  • I’m so glad the first question was posted here as I wondered about that for a while as well and think many others probably do too!

  • Thanks for the wonderful article. I am glad that I have most of the “essential” essential oils mentioned.

    Just wondering, for someone with a weak digestive system what are two best single oils u will recommend? I am prone to bloating and to stomach upset

    1. I often recommend Peppermint for stomach issues, but we also have a couple great blends you’ll want to look into; DiGiZen and Tummy Aid are great when you need some digestive support 🙂

  • Thank you. This is helpful. I had no idea we could ask questions of an aromatherapist. Thank you for this.

  • Thanks for all the tips! Plus the oil recommendations confirmed to me that I need to try some bergamot (which I had already suspected after reading the bergamot blog, but now I’m super sure).

  • Thanks for sharing your favorite oils! It was fun to read how different everyone’s favorites are. Bergamot is one I plan on getting soon; I just hear so many great things about it.

  • wow so nice to hear everyones uses and how much they like them thanks to plant therapy for all the information and giving us above and beyond the help needed

  • That is exactly what I was waiting for!!! Great series idea!!! Like I have a quesyion in my mind: what essential oils are to be avoided if you have low blood pressure? I have to email an aromatherapist!!

  • I love this post I was so curious to know more of your favorite oils. I’ve beem on the fence about cedarwood now I want to go get it. I still don’t know which one, and I have read the thing on how to choose. I really wish I could smell them. Oh how i wish I lived near a store

  • Thank you so much for this series!!!! I’m new to EO and I have so many questions. In fact, you answered questions I didn’t even realize I had! (the one about how often to diffuse, or use topically)

  • Wow, great read. I feel so humbled and honored that my question was chosen and answered by so many aromatherapist. Thank you, I love it.

  • This is a great series. Looking forward to learning more. I love when you post each CA’s fave oils and why. I’m most in tune with Katrina. Gotta love that Neroli, Frankincense Frereana and Bergamot!

  • Thank you so much! I’ve been looking forward to this blog series. So wonderful to have this all in one place! It’s like an FAQ!

  • I love the wonderful insight and suggestions from each of the aromatherapists! What a helpful blog entry!

  • I especially loved reading about which essential oils all the aromatherapists live and why! It helps to educate those of us who have only dabbled in a few essential oils to expand our collection and explore their therapeutic uses! Thanks for sharing!

  • Fantastic to know your favorite oils and why you use them the most. I’m going to have to check out Clear again! Thank you for sharing. I’m loving these articles!!

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