Essential oils have gained popularity with the general population in recent years. People are using them for aromatherapy or to make their own lotions and creams. Essential oils are wonderful, and can have amazing benefits when use properly. However, when used incorrectly they can be potentially dangerous. Below I have outlined some guidelines to help you use essential oils safely.
- First and foremost, if you are pregnant or nursing speak with your doctor before using essential oils. There are several oils that could potentially pose risks to pregnant or nursing women.
- Do not ingest essential oils. I have seen sources suggest that it can be done, but this is not something that I am at all comfortable with recommending. If you choose to ingest essential oils do it only under the supervision of a doctor!
- Children may be more likely to have adverse reactions to essential oils. Their skin is more sensitive. The small amounts within a bar of soap should not pose a problem, although it might be a good idea to use unscented soaps on infants and toddlers. If you are using essential oils make sure you test it on a small area of skin before regular use.
- Never apply undiluted essential oils directly to your skin. The essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil. Undiluted essential oils can cause burns or other skin irritation. Test your diluted essential oil on a small area of skin before you apply it to larger areas.
- Some people may have more sensitivity to a particular essential oil than others. Always test essential oils (whether it be topically or with aromatherapy) before putting them into regular use.
- Some essential oils are phototoxic and will cause irritations or burns if exposed to UV ray. Citrus oils fall into this category. Here is a list of phototoxic essential oils.
- Never allow children to handle essential oils on their own and make sure the oils are kept out of their reach.
Essential oils can be a lot of fun to use and may provide you some benefits if used properly. Always use caution and follow any directions on your essential oil labels.