Yesterday we discussed the very basics of essential oils (essential oils 101) - what they are and how long they have been used. Today, before we start looking at the different ways you can use them, I want to go over a few safety tips. Essential oils are wonderful things but you should always follow a few simple guidelines. Here are my essential oil safety tips.
Essential Oil Safety Tips
While it can be exciting to jump right into using essential oils, it's better to take a slower approach and build up your usage gradually. Your body can have a detox reaction to the use of too many oils and there are some essential oil safety tips you should follow. Here are a few important things to remember:
- Keep the oils away from eyes and ears
- If you do get oil in your eyes or ears, flush with a carrier oil (like olive oil), NOT water
- Always test a new oil before use (see below)
- For most applications, 1-3 drops is sufficient
- Dilution with a carrier oil is recommended
- Keep bottles closed and store them in a cool, dark location
- Keep oils out of reach of children
- Some oils are photosensitive and shouldn't be used on skin that will be exposed to sunlight
- Pregnant women should consult their physician before use
- Those who suffer from epilepsy or have high blood pressure should consult their physician before use
- Those with asthmatic conditions should take care with essential oil inhalation
- If adding oils to the bath, mix with bath salts or gel before adding to bath water
Testing an essential oil
It's important to skin test new oils before use, especially for those with allergies. Dilute a drop of oil in a little bit of carrier oil and apply to a small area of your forearm. You'll want to make sure that area is clean (no lotions or other products, which can cause a reaction). Sometimes a new oil can cause a localized reaction because of chemicals on your skin. If you experience any redness or skin irritation, clean your skin and reapply the oil. If that still doesn't help, try a different oil or blend.
Overuse & Sensitization
When you do find an oil that works for a particular need or issue, it's common to continue using that one oil. The problem is that continually using the same oil can irritate your skin. It's better to dilute well and rotate the oils you use for topical issues.
I'd like to add one last caution here at the end. There are lots of websites and images on Pinterest. Some are helpful and some are really not. For anything you find online (even here!) please do your own research. A reference guide is always a great tool to have on hand.