Always remember that essential oils are very powerful so please treat them as such.
Essential oils can be safely used to enhance well-being, as part of a healthy lifestyle. They are used by millions of people every day, most of them without incident. However, essential oils are powerful substances and can be harmful if not used with due care and diligence. The essential oil in a bottle is 50-100 times more concentrated than in the plant, and safety issues apply to essential oils that may not apply to the whole plant or herbal extract.
The purity of the essential oils you use is a major factor when working safely with your oils. Sometimes essential oils are altered by adding synthetic chemicals or other, similar smelling, essential oils or they are sometimes diluted with vegetable oil. It is not necessarily bad if the label indicates, for example, that the bottle contains 20% essential oil and 80% vegetable oil. This is sometimes done so that popular but expensive oils like rose or neroli can be made more affordable, but they are not pure essential oil. If you think you are starting with 100% essential oil and you are not, however, you may be disappointed with the results. On the other hand, if you are starting with professional quality essential oils, which are generally much more concentrated, you need to dilute them to be safe. I prefer using Young Living Essential Oils.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for dilution, but this is a guide to help you get started. Use a moisturising carrier oil such is Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Oil complex to nourish your baby’s tender skin and minimize irritation.
Other carrier oils:
Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil.
Number of drops of essential oil and their percentages
When you have 1 tsp of carrier oil and add 1 drop of essential oil it equals 1% dilution.
For irritated or sensitive skin use 0.25% or less
For facial cosmetics use 0.2% - 1.5%
For bath and body products use 3% – 5%
For specific problems (e.g. menstrual pain) use 4% - 10%
For localized pain (e.g. wrist pain), wounds, bites and stings use 5% - 20%
For hot and cold compresses use 4% - 10%
For foot baths add 3-6 drops essential oil to 1 Tbsp of either castile soap, shower gel, shampoo or V-6 Vegetable Oil complex and mix well before adding to your foot bath (1-3 drops for children and elderly)
For diffusers use 3-5 drops essential oil (added to the water). Add more essential oils if it is a large room.
For direct steam inhalation use 1-3 drops essential oil.
Using essential oils on your skin:
Ø In most cases essential oils should not be used undiluted on the skin.
Ø As a general rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oils.
Ø Undiluted use on the skin can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
Ø If you never use essential oils before, always do a patch test before you start using essential oils.
Using essential oils while pregnant:
Caution should always be taken when using essential oils while pregnant. Always do your research on the essential oils that you would like to use to make sure they will not be harmful to you or your unborn baby or talk to your healthcare provider knowledgeable in essential oils.
Never use essential oils during the first trimester. Most oils should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy, especially if you are at a high risk for miscarriage or early term labor.
Topical applications and diffusion are the safest methods of essential oil use for pregnant women.
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil beforehand. A rule of thumb is to never exceed a 1% dilution.
While practicing aromatherapy, only use the diffuser for about 10-15 minutes. Pregnant woman have more sensitive noses, and too much of the smell can be overpowering, and can induce headaches, nausea, and even vomiting.
Daily use of essential oils is not recommended for pregnancy. Only use oil therapy as needed.
Avoid solvent extracted oils. During pregnancy, only pure essential oils should be used. Anything else may contain traces of the harmful chemicals used during production.
Pregnancy is a time to use care in all things, including using essential oils. Stick to oils that have stood the test of time and avoid using large quantities of cautionary essential oils. There have been no reported of cautionary essential oils. There have been no reported problems from the overuse of Young Living oils, but it is wise to use only as needed. It is recommended to avoid any of the cautionary oils during your first trimester.
Using essential oils on Babies and Children:
Just like adults, children can benefit from aromatherapy through use in a diffuser or properly diluted topical application.
Use only the essential oils that have been studied and found to be safe and effective for use with children over the age of 3.
Essential oils should not be used on babies younger than 3 months old.
Always use extreme caution when using essential oils on children.
Use topically or aromatically. Pure essential oils are safe for use aromatically or topically on children.
In general, oils like lavender, chamomile, orange, lemon and frankincense are considered safe for diluted use on children, but always do a patch test first and/or check with your doctor.
Peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus and wintergreen should not be used around young children or babies. These herbs contain menthol and 1.8-cineole. These compounds can slow breathing.
Never give essential oils internally for your babies/children or undiluted on their skins.
You can use essential oils in your cleaning supplies around the home as they decrease your little one’s exposure to toxins.
Sun sensitivity (phototoxicity) and essential oils.
Sun sensitivity (phototoxicity) or otherwise also known as photosensitization occurs when an agent, in our case certain essential oils, are used and they cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight one would therefore burn and damage more easily.
The oils as such do not cause skin sensitivity, but when applied and the skin is exposed to ultra violet (UV) light, sun sensitivity may occur. Should phototoxic oil be used do not sun tan for at least 12 hours after use.
The main culprits causing phototoxicity are the oils from the citrus family, when they are extracted by direct expression and without distillation. There are however some oils, like lemon, which still remains phototoxic even after distillation.
Using hot oils.
“Hot oils” are oils that can cause a hot or warming sensation when applied to the skin. Examples of hot oils and blends include Cinnamon, Clove, Lemongrass, Oregano, Thyme and Thieves. For some people, Peppermint’s cooling sensation can be too intense.
We recommends using a patch test procedure prior to first use. To perform a patch test you can apply 1–2 drops of essential oil to a patch of skin such as the forearm. Observe that area of skin over the course of 1–2 hours for any noticeable reaction; however, reactions occur usually within 5–10 minutes. If you experience a hot or burning sensation or develop a rash, add V-6 or another carrier oil to the affected area as often as needed.
Experiencing skin discomfort or irritation.
If discomfort or irritation occurs, stop using the essential oil and apply V-6 or another carrier oil to the affected area. If a rash occurs, this may be a sign of detoxification. Drink adequate water to encourage the release and removal of toxins in your body. Toxins present in petrochemical-based soaps and skin care products, detergents, and perfumes may trigger some of the detoxification reactions. Consider discontinuing these agents if a reaction occurs. Before using the essential oil again, perform a patch test (see above under “What is a “hot oil?”) and dilute with a carrier oil as needed.
Be aware that some documents suggest diluting the oil with water, but water actually drives oil into the skin and eyes. Never use water in an attempt to flush the oil off of the skin, as this may increase discomfort. If essential oil gets in your eye, flush with V-6 or another carrier oil as quickly as possible to alleviate any discomfort. If eye discomfort does not subside within 5 minutes, seek medical attention.
Using essential oils when you have a medical condition. Can essential oils interact with prescription medications?
If you have a disease or medical condition or are using a prescription medication, it is recommended that prior to using an essential oil, you consult with a health care advisor who has experience with essential oils. Seek the advice of the prescribing physician and a pharmacist about potential interactions between any medication and essential oils.
Oilway is an online store, specializing in a wide range of essential oils, natural products and products to spoil yourself with. Many of our products have reported health benefits. However, we are not medical professionals. Please consult with your health care practitioner or doctor if you are seeking medical advice.
Oilway declines any responsibility in the event of an accident, injury or injuries suffered by anyone who performs self-medication based on the information contained in this site.