Life a Decade After the Essential Oil Craze: What I Still Use, Wish I’d Never Bought, and Why

Over ten years ago I was introduced to essential oils. This introduction occurred shortly after the start of popular essential oil company doTerra, and many people in my community became affiliates in this multi-level marketing company.

I was intrigued at the safe and natural health benefit claims that I heard, and I made my first purchases of lavender, peppermint, and an informational book about essential oils.

Over the subsequent years, I expanded my essential oil collection and purchased many, many items. For budgetary reasons, I expanded my horizons and tried different brands of essential oils. To this day, I still have two wooden storage boxes containing a wide variety of essential oils- many of which I rarely, if ever, use.

Essential oils have various beneficial properties. Depending on the oil, it can be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, cooling or soothing to the skin, and even affect general mood. Due to the potency of essential oils, it is important that they be treated with a healthy respect. Despite all of the benefits attributed to essential oils, they can cause adverse reactions if used improperly.

There are three main ways to use an essential oil: diffused in the air, topical, or internal. All three of these methods have individuals in favor of, and in opposition of, using essential oils in these ways. Be sure to do your research about each method.

Diffusing essential oils in the air is a great way to add scent to a room with some added benefits of essential oils. My favorite scents contain cinnamon or citrus, such as a thieves blend or citrus bliss.

Using essentials topically is greatly for medicinal purposes. Typically the essential oil is mixed with a carrier oil, in a salve, or in a lotion. I have some great recipes for beard balm, arnica salve, and a basic salve that can be customized with a variety of essential oils.

Every essential oil is different, and some are dangerous for children, pets, when mixed with medications, or when used with specific health conditions. It is important to research the specific oil you’d like to use to ensure that it is being used safely and correctly.

All that being said, here are the oils I still use, and the ones I wish I’d never bought:


Essential Oils I Still Use

I have found that the basic oils are the ones I come back to time and again. Many essential oils share similar properties, and having just a few basic essential oils can meet most of the general needs of a household.

Lavender- Lavender oil is one that I keep in my kitchen. It is a great treatment for burns, and the sooner it is used on a burn the more beneficial it is. Lavender is also great to soothe or sanitize minor skin abrasions or irritants.

Lemon- Lemon is also an oil that I keep in my kitchen. A few drops down a drain or in a trash can will help neutralize stinky kitchen odors. Lemon oil can be used in cooking, however make sure it is a food-grade essential oil before using it in food or drink.

Peppermint- Peppermint can also be used as a deodorizer. It is cooling to the skin, so it can be used on a burn or to help with a fever or during hot weather. Peppermint is an anti-inflammatory oil, and it is great for use on muscle strain or sprains or for digestion issues.

Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint- This dynamic trio is commonly used for seasonal allergies (diffused) and can also be used for skin issues. I have personally used this combination on ingrown hairs with great success.

Thieves (Shield) Blend- This is one of my favorite blends to diffuse into the air. Many soaps or cleaners are used with this blend, and it can also be used topically to try and treat or prevent illness. Some essential oil companies make throat drops and capsules meant to be ingested to try and treat or prevent illness.

Ginger- Ginger oil has a warming sensation when applied topically, and can be used for digestion issues.

Digestion Blend- This blend contains a variety of essential oils meant to help aid in stomach or digestion issues. There is a company that makes capsules intended to be ingested, which I have used and continue to purchase.

Frankincense- Likely the most expensive oil on my list, the many benefits of frankincense oil justify the high cost. When used sparingly, a bottle can last quite a while. I have used this oil on a variety of ailments, including skin issues, sore or sprained muscles, and bruises.

Wintergreen- Although this oil has similar properties to peppermint, I continue to use this oil because I like the smell, and I like to use it on aches and pains.

Citronella- I have used this in homemade candles and bug sprays. Check out my recipes for insect repellent or citronella candles using this essential oil.

Orange- I appreciate the smell of diffused citrus oils, especially in the spring and summer. Orange oil can also be used to clean with.

Helichrysum- This oil is on the more expensive side, but it has great medicinal benefits and I enjoy the scent.

Melaleuca (Tea Tree)- This oil doesn’t smell the greatest, but is a great anti-fungal, anti-bacterial topical oil.


Essential Oils I Don’t Use

I wouldn’t recommend purchasing an oil unless it is for a specific purpose or scent. If it is for a specific purpose, double check to make sure an oil you already have on hand can’t be used in it’s place. This will help minimize your expenses and maximize the versatility of your current supply.

The following oils are just some in my stash that I rarely, if ever use:

Sandalwood, Basil, Bergamot, Blue Cypress, Clary Sage, Fir, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Pine, Rosemary, Spruce, Blue Tansy, Oregano, Cinnamon, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Copaiba, Vetiver, Black Pepper, Thyme

Many of these were purchased for salves or beard balms that I created, which didn’t require a lot of the oil. If you have a friend who also appreciates essential oils and you’re both interested in expanding your supplies, consider splitting bottles. Smaller empty essential oil bottles can easily be purchased, and you could each contribute to the cost of a larger bottle of an essential oil then split it accordingly.





***I am not a doctor. The essential oils and uses listed on this page are based on my own personal research and experience. Readers are encouraged to do their own research and consult a doctor with any questions before using any essential oil.***

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