Essential Oil Safety Sheet
To ensure the safest use of essential oils, the following are some basic safety guidelines:
- Only use therapeutic genuine and authentic essential oils; avoid those with synthetics added (a very low price is a good indicator).
- Keep all essential oils out of reach of children.
- Keep away from light and heat sources (i.e. sitting in the sun or in a hot car).
- Do not take orally.
- Do not use essential oils undiluted on the skin! Always dilute in a carrier oil (i.e. almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, etc) before putting on the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin. You can do a skin patch test if prone to sensitivities (put a drop of oil on cotton ball and wipe on inside of arm; wait 15 minutes to see if any redness or irritation occur). If redness occurs, discontinue or lower the number of drops (see dilution chart below).
- Avoid getting essential oil on sensitive mucous membranes such as the eyes and nose. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the membranes of the skin or eye and increase the burning sensation. If you get essential oil in the eye or it is irritating to the skin, use a carrier oil to dilute the effect, NOT WATER. Applying a carrier oil (i.e. a drop of olive oil on a tissue and apply to corner of eye) will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. Avoid getting any essential oil on contact lenses.
- Skin is most sensitive to essential oils high in phenols such as Anise, Basil, Bay, Birch, Cassia, Cinnamon Leaf & Bark, Citronella, Clove, Cumin, Fennel, Lemongrass, Oregano, Tagetes, Tarragon and Thyme ct thymol. Dilute appropriately and avoid sensitive areas such as the face and throat. Use extra care on broken or damaged skin.
- Skin sensitization may also occur which is different from a skin sensitivity. Sensitization is an allergic reaction of the immune system, and the reaction may be noticed in places other than where you applied the oil (i.e you used it on your arm and you have a rash on your face). Reactions might be raised, bumpy, itchy skin, eczema, or a rash. Discontinue use of the oil and/or carrier if sensitization occurs.
- Avoid applying undiluted phototoxic oils to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight or to tanning beds (UV light) for at least 12 hours. Phototoxic oils include: Angelica Root, Anise, Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Caraway, Cassia, Cumin, Fennel, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemon Verbena, Lime (expressed), Melissa, Opoponax, Petitgrain and Rue. Citrus oils that are NOT photoxic: Distilled Lime, Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis), Mandarin and Tangerine.
- If pregnant or nursing, talk to your medical doctor about essential oils that are safe to use. Essential oils that should be avoided if pregnant include, but are not exclusive to, are: Aniseed, Armois, Basil, Birch, Cornmint, Fennel, Hyssop, Lavender stoechas, Lavender cotton, Marjoram, Myrrh, Oregano, Pimenta racemose, Plecanthrus, Star anise, and Tarragon.
- Use oils suitable for the age, appropriately diluted when a need calls for it. Keep essential oils out of the reach of children and anyone mentally challenged. Do not apply undiluted oils on or near the face of an infant or young child. Be especially careful with Eucalyptus and Peppermint (the 1,8-cineole and menthol can cause breathing issues). For elderly, a low dilution of 1% or less is recommended.
- Essential oils are flammable and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles, fire, matches, cigarettes and gas cookers.
- Please click here for a dilution table that is recommended for safe use of essential oils