Using Essential Oils Safely
Before You Start
Young Living essential oils are a terrific option for those seeking to enhance the quality of life in a more natural way. But if you have been using chemical laden products there are some cautions you will want to take so that the chemicals can begin leaving your body. Each body is different and no one rule or set of guidelines applies to everybody, please use common sense.
- Always skin test an essential oil before using it. Each person’s body is different, so apply oils to a small area first. Apply one oil or blend at a time. When layering oils that are new to you, allow enough time (3 to 5 minutes) for the body to respond before applying a second oil.
- Exercise caution when applying essential oils to skin that has been exposed to cosmetics, personal care products, soaps, and cleansers containing synthetic chemicals. Some of them—especially petroleum-based chemicals—can penetrate and remain in the skin and fatty tissues for days or even weeks after use. Essential oils may react with such chemicals and cause skin irritation, nausea, headaches or other uncomfortable effects.
- Essential oils can also react with toxins built up in the body from chemicals in food, water and work environment. If you experience a reaction to essential oils, it may be wise to temporarily discontinue their use and start an internal cleansing program before resuming regular use of essential oils. In addition, double your water intake while using essential oils.
- If skin irritation or other uncomfortable side effects persist, discontinue using the oil(s).
- If your body pH is low (4.0 to 5.0), you also could have a negative reaction to the oils.
Those who use commercial products which contain chemicals could have skin sensitivities when using essential oils. This is usually because essential oils try to break-down chemicals. Thus, you may want to avoid using commercial products that contain chemicals to eliminate potential problems:
- Cosmetics, deodorants, and skin care products containing aluminum, petrochemicals, or other synthetic ingredients.
- Perms, hair colors or dyes, hair sprays or gels containing synthetic chemicals.
- Avoid shampoos, toothpastes, mouthwash, and soaps containing synthetic chemicals such as sodium laurel sulfate, propylene glycol, or lead acetate.
- Chemical garden sprays, paints, detergents, and cleansers containing toxic chemicals and solvents.
Essential oils may sting if applied in or around the eyes. Some oils may be painful on mucous membranes unless diluted properly. Immediate dilution is strongly recommended if skin becomes painfully irritated or if oil accidentally gets into eyes.
Flushing the area with a vegetable oil should minimize discomfort almost immediately.
DO NOT flush with water! Essential oils are oil soluble, not water-soluble.
Water will only spread the oils over a larger surface, possibly exacerbating the problem.
Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and only apply to children under skilled supervision.
If a child or infant swallows an essential oil - administer a quality vegetable oil, such as: V-6, olive oil, or a mixture of milk, cream, yogurt, or another safe, oil-soluble liquid. Call a Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention if necessary.
Guidelines for Safe Use
- Always keep a bottle of Young Living's V-6 Massage Oil (or a pure vegetable oil) handy as a carrier oil whenever using essential oils. Vegetable oils dilute essential oils if they cause discomfort or skin irritation.
- Keep bottles of essential oils tightly closed and store them in a cool location away from light. If stored properly, Young Living essential oils will maintain their potency for many years.
- Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Treat them as you would any product for therapeutic use.
- Essential oils rich in menthol (such as peppermint) should not be used on the throat or neck area of children under 30 months of age.
- Angelica, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and other citrus oils are photosensitive and may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to direct sunlight or UV rays within 3 to 4 days after application. Note; ingesting citrus oils does NOT cause photosensitivity.
- Keep essential oils away from the eye area and never put them directly into ears or directly into the nasal cavity. Do not handle contact lenses or rub eyes with essential oils on your fingers. Oils with high phenol content—oregano, cinnamon, thyme, clove, lemongrass, and bergamot—may damage contacts and will irritate eyes.
- Pregnant women should consult a health care professional when starting any type of health program.
- Epileptics and those with high blood pressure should consult their health care professional before using essential oils. Use caution with hyssop, fennel, basil, wintergreen, nutmeg, rosemary, peppermint, sage, tarragon, and Idaho tansy oils.
- People with high blood pressure should avoid using sage and rosemary.
- People with allergies should test a small amount of oil on an area of sensitive skin, such as the inside of the upper arm, before applying the oil on other areas. The bottom of the feet is one of the safest, most effective places to use essential oils.
- Before taking GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) essential oils internally, dilute one drop of essential oil in one teaspoon of an oil-soluble liquid like Blue Agave nectar, honey, olive oil, V-6, or milk. Never consume more than a few drops of diluted essential oil per day without the advice of a physician.
- Do not add undiluted essential oils directly to bath water. Using Young Living's Bath Gel Base or a Sea Salt for all oils applied to your bath is an excellent way to disperse the oils into the bath water. When essential oils are put directly into bath water without a dispersing agent, they can cause serious discomfort on sensitive skin because the essential oils float, undiluted, on top of the water.
- Keep essential oils away from open flames, sparks, or electricity. Some essential oils, including orange, fir, pine, and peppermint are potentially flammable.
- Do not use peppermint essential on open wounds.
- No list of do’s and don’ts can ever replace common sense.
- Start gradually, and find what works best for you and your family. It is foolish to dive headlong into a pond when you don’t know the depth of the water. The same is true when using essential oils.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information found here is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or substitute for professional medical assistance. It is provided as information only for your better understanding of holistic health. Always apply common sense and careful handling practices when using essential oils. In case of medical need, please consult an appropriate licensed professional.