Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils?

Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils?

Published by N-Essentials Team on 24th Sep 2020

As the essential oil industry continues to grow, so do concerns about whether these concentrated plant extracts are safe for everyone. Most essential oils are safe and free of potential risks when used properly. However, if administered improperly, it may cause adverse effects on the skin. Safety precautions should be followed before using. When choosing an oil, it’s important to consider the chemical composition, purity, method of use, duration of use, dosage and skin sensitivity.

First, it is important to mix with a carrier oil before applying directly onto the skin since essential oils are highly concentrated oils. Essential oil dilution is important to avoid skin reactions and further complications. You can easily mix your essential oils by blending a few drops with a carrier oil. Refined carrier oils are odourless whilst the range of odours from their unrefined versions can range from mild scents to pungent smells. Carrier oils don’t inhibit an essential oil’s chemical properties. 

In selecting a suitable carrier oil, there are certain things you should consider before choosing one. Think about the odour, absorption, skin type and shelf life. Some of the popular examples of carrier oils used in mixing with an essential oil are coconut oil, jojoba oil , apricot kernel oil , olive oil, sweet almond oil , argan oil, rosehip oil , grape seed oil , avocado oil , and sunflower oil .

Some believe that diluting essential oils into water during bath time is safe. Essential oils are not water soluble so pouring them directly into the bath water will have an outcome of a film of undiluted essential oil sitting on top of the water. Thus, adding essential oils to bath water is not enough – a carrier oil needs to be added as well.

Guidelines for safe concentrations vary mostly by age   

To mix, it is generally considered safe to use 2% essential oil dilution to carrier oil for topical application of essential oils on adults. For young children or elderly, use only 1% dilution.

Another thing is performing a patch test on a small area of skin since it will help determine whether or not a person has a sensitivity or reaction to a specific essential oil, while lessening initial vulnerability to your skin. To perform a skin patch test, using your inner forearm, add 1-2 drops of the diluted essential oil mix to the pad of a band aid and keep the bandage on the skin. After 48 hours, take out the bandage and monitor for irritation. If skin discomfort occurs before the 48 hours period, immediately wash the area with soap and warm water.

For safety guidelines in diffusing essential oils using a diffuser, it is recommended to do it intermittently meaning 30-60 minutes on, then 30-60 minutes off. The reason for this is that we don’t want to get acclimatised to the aromas. Make sure the place is a well-ventilated area. Proper dilution procedures should also still be followed. In diffusing, less is often more. Exceeding the recommended period of diffusion does not strengthen the benefits of the oil.

Always keep essential oils away from children   

Children, with their sensitive skin, might be more susceptible to adverse effects than adults, so it is important to use them with caution. For pregnant women, usage of the oils with caution should be taken into consideration. Whenever in doubt, consulting a knowledgeable healthcare provider or skincare specialist is the best recommendation.

Most of the essential oils are volatile, this means they are unstable. The temperature in which they will tend to ignite depends on their vapor pressure. It is advisable to keep essential oils away from open fires such as a gas cooker stove. Avoid using a candle flame in heating essential oils since the heat changes the chemical composition of the oil which may lead to the oil catching fire.

Essential oils aren't consistently regulated around the world so many people think they are harmless since they are mostly pure and natural, and have been used for a long time. There are exceptions to the rule. Being unaware of basic essential oil safety information can be one of the most treacherous mistakes to make. Some essential oils can cause skin reactions and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Each individual can have various reactions to essential oils so following the safety tips above before usage is a must. The more you are educated about this, the better outcomes will be.

N-essentials has a wide range of essential oils to choose from that are suitable for many varied purposes. Shop online today!

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