Essential oils are amazing little gifts from the earth. Their potent and powerful properties work wonders in the human body, relaxing, calming and healing the mind. But just like any good thing they can be misused or improperly handled resulting in skin irritations and other bodily discomforts.
Here are a few precautions that you should take into consideration when using essential oils.
Not all oils that claim to be essential oils are %100 pure. Many times the word “fragrance” is used. Fragrances are not the same as essential oils, they may have fillers and imitation oils or they may come from hybrid plants that do not give the same health and healing properties you are looking for. You may find oils the say they are natural but are an oil blend. You want to look for %100 pure therapeutic grade essential oils. Organic is better to ensure that you are not getting pesticides in your oil. Look for the Latin or scientific plant name on each bottle you buy. Check to see if the country of origin is listed on the bottle and packaging.
While many oils may be used on the skin safely there are some oils that should not be applied if you are going to be immediately exposed to sun after applying to skin. These oils interact with the sun and can cause burning and or irritation. This is also known as Photosensitization (photocontact dermatitis) a reaction to a substance applied to the skin that occurs only in the presence of UV light in the UVA range, it may be either phototoxic or photo allergenic. (source) Always remember essential oils are very strong and highly concentrated these need to be mixed with a carrier oil before topically applying them to the skin as they may cause burning and damage to the skin. If you have sensitive skin you should also be careful even with oils that are considered generally safe for the skin. If you find that you have any irritation in the area that you are using oils stop using immediately . Also when dealing with children and the elderly use caution, their skin is often very sensitive.
Do not use in high sun exposure
- Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica)
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia, Citrus aurantium)
- Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)
- Lemon – cold pressed (Citrus x limon, Citrus limonum)
- Lime – cold pressed (Citrus x aurantifolia, Citrus x latifolia)
- Mandarin Leaf (Citrus reticulata, Citrus nobilis)
- Orange, Bitter (Citrus x aurantium)
- Rue (Ruta graveolens, Ruta montana)
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Argan Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Grapeseed oil
Oils like lavender, chamomile, and frankincense are generally considered safe to use on skin with a carrier oil. Some people can use these without diluting the oil. But you have to remember that while these are considered safe, each person’s sensitivity level is different. Thoroughly research all oils and herbs before using.
I use essential oils in one way or another every day. I keep note of how the oil affect my skin, body, mind and mood. Remember essential oils are natural medicines and should be treated as such. Keep all essential oils and herbs out of reach of pets and children.