Top 5 Reasons Essential Oil's Don't Work

Essential Oils Don't Work, Do Essential Oils Work? How do Essential Oils Work? Best Essential Oils Company, How to Use Essential Oils, doTERRA Essential Oils

Essential Oils Don't Work, Do Essential Oils Work? How do Essential Oils Work? Best Essential Oils Company, How to Use Essential Oils, doTERRA Essential Oils

In the past year that I’ve been working with people and coaching them with essential oils, there have been some times where essential oils don’t give them the results that they want to see.

Did you read that right? YES!

There ARE Times where essential oils do not work.

And it would be dishonest of me not to address this issue. I’ve gotten a few frustrated calls and emails from time-to-time asking, “what’s the deal?” 

These are the 5 most commons reasons essential oils do not work for everyone who tries them. 


Essential Oils Do Not Work if...


1. You're using the wrong method. 

Western society has conditioned us to believe that for the best results, we should take things by mouth. Sometimes the best course of action IS to take an essential oil internally (with proper direction), but not always.

In fact, most of the time, you’ll get the results you are looking for but using the two other methods first. In modern aromatherapy there are 3 primary ways that you can use genuine essential oils:

  • By applying them to your body (topical use)

  • By breathing them in (aromatic use)

  • By taking them internally (internal use)

I dive deeper into the specifics of  How to Use Essential Oils right here. 

The good news?! It’s much easier to know which way to use your oils if you have a good essential oils mentor to lead the way. (That's what I'm here for!) 

So if your results are a built “meh”, trying changing up your method and see if you get different results. Your essential oil mentor/guide will be able to point you in the right direction. 


2. You don't use them enough to see results. 

I remember when I first started using oils, I would read about an oil that I wanted to use for a symptom I was having. Then I would apply the oil, and my symptom(s) wouldn’t go away, and I would think, “Dang.  These oils don’t work.”

The problem was that I wasn’t using the oils often enough. When applied topically, it takes 2 – 3 minutes for an oil to reach the bloodstream, 20 minutes to affect every cell in the body, then metabolized within 2 ½ hours.  Did you read that?  They metabolize out of the body within 2 1/2 hours, so they need to be applied more often.   I usually apply my oils every 2 to 3 hours.

Traditional drugs you may find at the drug store that claim to last  "6-8+ hours" are filled with synthetic bs.  Not to mention the ridiculously long shelf-life of these drugs. I don't know about you, but I'll take applying oils more regularly, knowing they will leave my system, than take some pill that has a bagillion negative side effects. 

When I started applying my oils more frequently, it was a game changer.  I saw great results with my oils!

It is also important to know that there are three different ways to use the oils.  

And did you know that when you inhale, it takes 22 seconds for the oils to reach the brain?!!  The only way to reach the limbic system is through smell.  Medications cannot do that. 


3. You're not using the right oils for your goals.

Here is something else I didn’t know when I first started using oils….Every oil works differently with every individual.  Since all of our bodies are different, the oils may work differently in each of our bodies.  It’s kind of a trial and error process.  But it is SO worth it when you finally find the one that works best for you. 

So when I don’t know what oil to use, I often hop on to the Modern Essentials app on my phone: 

modern essentials.jpg

Then I click on the search bar, type in my symptoms, and allow the app to guide me to the oils that are right for me in each circumstance. 

Let’s say that I have anxiety.  Here is a screenshot of “anxiety.”


Usually, the first one or two I try works and helps me feel better, but if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a oil that can help me.  Believe me, there is!  This oils are amazing and are fiercely effective.


4. You're trying to Oil Your Way Out of An Unhealthy Lifestyle

No, you don’t have to be a health nut to benefit from essential oils. But a few clicks around the Environmental Working Group website says it all: we’ve got glyphosate in our food, radioactive tap water, endocrine disruptors in our personal care products…  We live in a toxic soup of chemicals. 

Yes, there is only so much we can do. However, we really must do what we can if we are going to maintain a level of good health.

Because oils are easy to use and effective, they are a wonderful gateway to healthier living. But we can’t continue to fill our homes and bodies with toxins and expect a few drops of magical oil to undo all the damage.  The good news is, essential oils can help us get the toxins out of our homes. We’ll get to that in a second.


EWG says this: “Phthalates, used to make fragrances last longer, are associated with damage to the male reproductive system, and artificial musks accumulate in our bodies and can be found in breast milk. Some artificial musks are even linked to cancer.”

Would you agree that it is counterproductive to use a drop of pure plant oil for good health and then slather your body with harmful synthetics? (Not so fun fact: the average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every day.) 

So we have a couple of options: making our own clean products with essential oils, or buying from a trusted source. DIY is not my thing, but I love doTERRA's pure and effective products, and since I get my oils from there too, it works out! 


  • Chuck the synthetic perfume (yes, even the expensive ones are harmful) and use essential oils instead.

  • Get rid of the toxic cleaners in your home. On Guard, Household Cleaner is the best thing I’ve found. It’s economical, smells amazing, and works wonderfully for just about everything.

  • Get curious about what you are putting into your shopping cart. Download the Think Dirty app and start checking the products you usually buy for endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic ingredients.

Wellness is a multi-faceted thing, but not poisoning yourself is an important first step in the right direction.  Use your oils and baby step your way to a healthier lifestyle.


5.  Your Oils Are Crappy. 

Yep. I said it. And I will start this out with a disclaimer: please do not buy your oils from the grocery store! Or even worse DO NOT BUY ESSENTIAL OILS ON SOME RANDOM WEBSITE ONLINE. (especially Amazon - read why not to buy doTERRA Oils on Amazon here...)

You can get “oils” pretty much anywhere nowadays, but not all are created equally. Unfortunately, the essential oil market is full of synthetic and adulterated oils.

  • Manufacturers often add propylene glycol, alcohol, or acetate to stretch the product.

  • Plants may have been treated with pesticides and distilled with chemical solvents.

  • Synthetic fragrances may have been added to make it smell more pleasing to the consumer.

The resulting “oils” are anything but beneficial to the body. Using them takes you right back to Reason #4. 

Say you have oils labeled as “Pure” or “Therapeutic Grade”, are you safe? Not so much. Those terms aren’t regulated in any way and there are no certification standards for them. It’s simply marketing. Any oil broker can slap them on a pretty label.


As we discussed, therapeutic doesn’t mean anything on labels, but in practice, it means that the oil does something besides just smell good.

As I mentioned, I use doTERRA essential oils. No, they aren’t the only place in the world to get quality essential oils. But with doTERRA I know I am getting the best of the best, and that’s what I want for my family. I also love the rest of their product line and the work they do with the Healing Hands Foundation, plus it's eco-friendly and fair work practices with Source to You. It’s a no-brainer for me. I trust you are capable and will do your own due diligence with whatever you choose for your family. 

I hope this post helped you figure out why oils might not have worked for you in the past, and how you can get the results you want from here on out.