It’s Not That Simple
As the essential oil trend continues to boom, so do worries about whether these highly concentrated plant extracts are bad for you. Many people are unaware that essential oils can be dangerous if abused or misused.
Generally speaking, essential oils are not bad for you. In fact, they can be extremely therapeutic if used correctly.
Here’s a statement that you might hear that has got to go:
“Essential Oils are natural, so you can use as much as you want all the time!”
Cinnamon is natural too, but as YouTube showed us over the last few years, you can have too much of anything.
Safety Factors to Consider
It’s always best to communicate with your doctor before using essential oils. Your doctor might have insights about your physiology that helps you know.
Whether or not a particular essential oil is safe for you depends on a number of factors, including your:
- underlying health conditions
- medication and supplement use
When it comes to the specific essential oil, consider these factors:
- purity and chemical composition
- method of usage
- duration of usage
Here you’ll learn how to safely use essential oils.
Some essential oils can even be poisonous if it is absorbed directly through the skin without dilution. Some oils like orange, lime, and lemon essential oil, can cause phototoxicity if applied before exposure to the sun.
Many essential oils require dilution to prevent adverse reactions. As a general rule, you should keep concentration levels of essential oils around 2 percent.
Diluting at 2% is approximately 6 drops of essential oil to every tablespoon of carrier oil.
You can easily dilute your essential oils by blending a few drops with a carrier oil. High-quality carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil carry the essential oil safely onto your skin and help you spread it over a large surface area.
Skin Patch test
Performing a skin patch test allows you to see how your skin reacts to a specific oil before you perform a full application.
To do this:
- Wash your forearm.
- Pat the area until dry.
- Rub a few drops of the diluted essential oil mix into a small patch of your forearm.
- Wait 24 hours.
If the skin patch that you targeted gets red, itchy, blistering, or swollen, that means you’ve had an adverse effect. It’s best to discontinue use of the essential oil at that point.
If you have some level of discomfort before the 24-hour period ends, immediately wash the area with soap and warm water.
Diffusing Essential Oils
Essential oils are commonly breathed in with the help of a diffuser. All essential oils should be diluted before topical use. Some essential oils are especially strong and might need to be used at fewer drops per ounce. Here are some popular essential oils that might need more dilution:
- cinnamon bark or leaf
- clove bud
- lemon verbena