Essential oils are amazing in their workings as they provide us with relief from anxiety, treat a cold or get used as a perfume. But these volatile oils should be used carefully. It doesn’t mean because it is a natural product that you can use as much as you like at any given time or in high dosages. Essential oil safety is key when dealing with oils.
Essential oil safety: Why should you take care when using them?
Some essential oils are exceptionally strong and can cause a chemical burn to the skin if applied neat.
Examples of essentials oils with high potency are cassia essential oil, cinnamon Bark essential oil, cinnamon leaf essential oil, clove essential oil and peppermint essential oil. These oils should be properly diluted before attempting to apply to skin.
Because the molecules of essential oils are so small, they readily gets absorbed through our skin into our bloodstream. All essential oils should be properly diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut, wheat germ, grape seed, olive or jojoba. Applying neat essential oils to your skin, raises the risk of contact dermatitis as well as losing the benefits of the essential oil.
When an essential oil is diluted in a carrier oil, the carrier oil acts as a barrier and protects your skin as well as the essential oil. Essential oils are very volatile and will start oxidising as soon as it comes into contact with light and air.
Essential oil safety and children
There are a couple of essential oils that are safe to use on children but these should be diluted properly and never applied neat to a child’s skin. Start with lavender essential oil to be on the safe side.
Dilution ratios greatly depend on how strong an essential oil is. A good rule of thumb is one to two drops of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil. Essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood, frankincense or orange are good to start with if you are a beginner.
Do not take internally
This is an important rule regarding essential oils. If the wrong essential oils are ingested, it can cause burns to the throat and diarrhoea. Only take internally if under supervision of a qualified and experienced aromatherapist.
Last but not least, do not put essential oils in eyes. Even if diluted, it can cause serious harm to the very sensitive composition of your eyes.