How to use essential oils safely
Essential oils are highly concentrated, as you can deduce from the fact that it takes thousands of rose petals to produce a single drop of rose essential oil. This potency must be respected, and the way you handle and use essential oils is important. Following the guidelines given below will ensure that you use essential oils safely and effectively.
Because these oils are powerful and highly concentrated, they can be toxic if used incorrectly. However, if you handle the oils carefully and follow a few simple safety tips, they are safe and beneficial.
• As already mentioned, you should never take essential oils orally. Avoid all contact between essential oils and the delicate mouth area, and avoid placing them in or near your eyes.
• Some essential oils can cause irritation if they are applied undiluted to the skin, so this is recommended only occasionally and in specific circumstances with selected oils. Otherwise, apply only properly diluted essential oils to the skin, and follow the recipes and methods carefully. Do not increase the amount of essential oils used in the recipes.
• Certain essential oils, such as spices, may cause skin irritation on those with sensitive skin. Occasionally a slight redness or itchiness might occur from using these or other essential oils. If this happens, put some base cream or base oil, such as sweet almond oil, on the affected area and then apply a cold wet flannel until the redness or itchiness disappears.
• If you accidentally splash a drop of essential oil in your eyes, use a small amount of base oil to dilute the essential oil, and absorb this with a soft cloth, before rinsing your eyes with cold water. If there is a serious incident, seek medical attention.
• A few essential oils, such as bergamot and other citrus oils, are phototoxic. This means that they might cause skin discoloration in bright sunlight, even when diluted. It is therefore best to avoid using bergamot and other citrus oils on exposed skin if the weather is sunny.