- Before using essential oils on your skin, make sure you know if your skin is sensitive to them. A great way to test is by applying a drop of oil to an area of sensitive skin, like the inside of your upper arm. Apply the oil and wait 30 minutes to see if you’re sensitive before applying oils to the rest of the body.
- Keeping a bottle of a carrier oil, such as olive, almond, sesame, apricot, or coconut oil nearby when applying essential oils to the body is always a good idea, just in case too much essential oil spills out of the bottle or you realize that the oil you are using is causing a rash or sometimes dryness; the carrier oil can help mitigate any irritation.
- Always wash your hands after applying essential oils. I can’t tell you how many times I have accidentally wiped my eyes- even 30 minutes after using essential oils and all of a sudden my eyes start burning. Oops! Also, sometimes just handling the oil bottles can get essential oil on your hands. So just as a precaution always wash hands after handling or using essential oils.
- Obviously, putting essential oils directly into the eye or around the eye area is NEVER a good idea and neither is putting them into contacts. I’ve seen essential oils eat through plastic, so I can’t imagine them being good for the majority of contacts anyways. Also, never put essential oils INSIDE the ear canal.
- Citrus oils are great for reducing cellulite and water retention soooo I will apply them to my abs and thighs. In my early days of essential oiling, I had been applying grapefruit on my stomach at night and went to the beach with friends. I looked down and my stomach had turned ALL RED. And I am not a person who burns easily. I then learned to be careful when applying citrus oils and others like angelica or bergamot if I was going to be going out in the sun within 1-2 days. Besides rashes, essential oils can also turn skin pigment darker when exposed to the sun.
- If you decide to ingest any essential oils, first make sure that they are held to the highest therapeutic grade possible. Many essential oils on the market are sold for purely aromatherapy and may not even state that they are ingestible even though they use the word “therapeutic” and or “organic”. The Vitality series by Young Living are regarded as safe essential oils to ingest. However, even though they are regarded as safe, everyone is different. If it’s your first time ingesting a certain oil, just take one drop with a dime size amount of coconut or olive oil and see how you react. You can also use rice milk, agave or maple syrup if you prefer. These are all oil-soluble making it easier on your body to digest.
- If you are pregnant, always consult a healthcare provider before starting a new health regime. Essential oils that you should avoid, are sage, fennel, and hyssop. Unless you have been using essential oils before getting pregnant I would only consider peppermint oil and or Di-Gize for the nausea, lavender and peace and calming for relaxation, and thieves on the feet if you get sick and leave the rest for after the wee one is born. When women get pregnant, our sense of smell can be very fragile (along with everything else)- we like what we like and we hate what we hate and I wouldn’t force anything new period. Unless of course the doctor says it’s okay.
- People with epilepsy or high blood pressure also need to practice caution when using essential oils and need to ask their healthcare provider when using essential oils. Basil, rosemary, sage and tansy oils need to be avoided because of the high ketones in them. (EXPLAIN KETONE OILS)
- What’s the first thing we do when we are trying an essential oil for the first time? We smell them of course! For someone that has asthma, COPD, other lung or respiratory issues please sniff with caution on first inhale. If you decide to use essential oils start out slowly so you and your body can acclimate at an appropriate rate and to reduce the chances of any negative reactions.
- One last reminder, the effects of essential oils can occur up to 2-3 days after oral ingestion or topical application. Young children and people who have a condition listed above, need to practice more diligence than the average person.
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
Safety for the Kiddos
- Essential oils can smell beautiful and bring healing but they still need to be handled with care. Keeping them out of reach of children can help you and your young ones avoid any unnecessary harm to eyes or skin.
- If your child is sick and under the age of 18 months, please don’t use an oil that is rich in menthol, like peppermint, on their throat or neck. If they touch it and wipe their eyes you’ll have a very long day/night ahead of you cleansing and applying a carrier oil to reduce the menthol. Instead, when my little sister was sick, we used ONE drop of thieves and a carrier oil and applied it to her feet- one of the safest places to apply essential oils and ONE drop of R.C. or Raven and the carrier oil to their spine. Side note: Wintergreen is great for reducing fevers. But make sure their skin isn’t sensitive before applying and of course never substitute essential oils completely for Tylenol etc. Essential oils are to help support not cure.
How to Properly Store Your Essential Oils
Ever wonder why essential oils come in dark colored glass? It’s because they are photosensitive. Meaning they are sensitive to light and prolonged light and heat exposure can cause their constituents to change and lose potency. Keeping oils in a cool, dark place is the best practice for keeping their potency high for many years.
How I Store My Essential Oils
Personally, I have always kept my essential oils in a cabinet or a drawer. Cabinets are easier when accessible because you can get shelves like these and organize them so you can easily find oils when you need them. Or, if having a drawer is more for you, Young Living has labels that stick to the top of the oil bottles. I use these stickers on the oils that are in my bedside table and making it easier to find the oil I need without having to pick each one up and look at the actual label.