You know how much I love my oils. I mean…I talk about them all the time. Ish calls me an “oil-vangelist” and I’m totally okay with that. Oils have done some crazy amazing things for my family, and they’re finally going mainstream!
Now, essential oils aren’t new. In fact, they’ve been around for centuries, but in recent years essential oils have been seriously gaining some major popularity. Oils are becoming more common in everyday households due to their natural properties and amazing benefits.
I mean, Kristin Cavallari (Laguna Beach, anyone?!) even launched an amazing oil-infused make up line with Young Living recently. Oils are are catching on, and not just because of their amazing natural properties and amazing benefits.
I fell in love with oils because they make an excellent alternative to the harmful chemicals that are found in so many products from household cleaners to personal care products. Oils are the all-natural therapeutic solution that is sourced directly from plants. Because of this, beginners often assume that oils come without risks. And y’all, that is just plain WRONG!
Essential oils are highly concentrated and have the potential to cause not only skin irritations but respiratory distress and liver failure. Seriously.
I don’t want to scare you! Essential oils offer many wonderful benefits (I use them every.single.day.) and when used properly they will easily become your favorite things on the planet, and an integral part of your daily routine.
Safety Tips for Essential Oils
Before you jump in and open that bottle of essential oils, I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the properties of the oils. Each oil has different benefits and different potential reactions and risks.
Essential oil safety should be on the top of the list for any oiler, so here are a few smart safety tips to get you started.
Use Only 100% Pure Essential Oils
There are many oil products out there that aren’t pure essential oil. In fact, to claim that an oil is pure it only needs to contain 5% essential oil…the rest can be synthetic chemicals and fragrances that can have a disastrous effect when ingested or applied to the skin.
To ensure you are getting actual essential oils that are high quality always read the label and check to make sure there have been no added ingredients. Or be like me and call the company. Simply request a list of ingredients.
Don’t be afraid to educate yourself on the process of extracting oils and ask questions.
I personally recommend Young Living Essential Oils because they are totally transparent about the process and I have confidence in the quality and performance of their oils.
They haven’t let me down yet.
You should always dilute your essential oils. Because they are highly concentrated, oils can irritate or burn the skin and some have been known to lead to allergic reactions.
Dilution not only extends the life of your oils, it allows the oils to absorb into the skin slowly and more effectively.
A good ratio to start with is 1 drop essential oil to 4 teaspoons of carrier oil. As you learn how your body responds to the specific oil, you can increase that ratio.
Photosensitivity causes a phototoxic reaction that mimics the symptoms you’d see with a severe sunburn.
Some essential oils are extremely photosensitive and can cause photosensitivity when you are exposed to the sun within 24-48 hours after use.
Citrus oils such as Lemon, Lime, Orange, and Grapefruit are the best known, however other essential oils can contribute too.
All of Young Living’s photosensitive essential oils are labeled accordingly, so check the label prior to exposing the skin to the sun.
If you are using photosensitive essential oils it’s best to apply at night and use the appropriate precautions.
Do Not Ingest
Unless an oil has been approved and labeled for ingestion, just don’t. Young Living came out with a line of oils called Vitality last year, and they’ve actually been approved for ingestion. This makes it so super easy to know if you should be adding them to your water or food.
That being said, many people use oils that are not specifically labeled for ingestion in recipes or diluted in water…but that scares me. I believe the risks far outweigh the benefits in these cases.
The safe bet is to simply NOT ingest unless you know the oil has been approved for ingestion. As an oil newbie, I recommended that you start experimenting with your oils slowly. Learn what you can about oils and see how they affect you personally before you ingest them.
Use Precautions Around Children
Essential oils must be diluted in an appropriate ratio for children and their weight. Additionally, it’s important to use essential oils deemed as ‘safe’ (such as Lavender oil) and avoid those that are known for sensitivities.
This list may seem scary, but really it’s just common sense. You read the labels on your food, your laundry detergent, and your sunscreen…why not your oils?
Essential oils are a wonderful addition to your household and bring to the table a wealth of benefits.
With the proper safety precautions and a little education, you can easily incorporate them into your life and enjoy the amazing benefits essential oils have to offer.
Is this the beginning of your research? Get the kit that started it all (at least for me):
Which safety tip was your favorite
(or do you have one to add)?