In the last few years, essential oils have received their fair share of bad press. This hasn’t been helped by influencers and ambassadors promoting dangerous misinformation around oils, which is something we explored in our previous blog post.
For many people who want to start using essential oils, it can be difficult to find trustworthy information on how to do so safely. And sure, the topic isn’t sexy, but when you use essential oils safely the results of holistic healing can be amazing.
Here are our most useful essential oil safety tips.
Never leave your diffuser unattended
If your daily ritual involves running a diffuser, you’re not alone. In 2019, the global diffuser market was estimated at 1.59 billion dollars, and essential oils have been gaining popularity across the world. But when you press play on a diffusing cycle, do you leave the room while it’s on?
In recent years, diffusers have become more advanced. Many of them no longer use heat, opting for cool steam instead, which makes them relatively safe to be around. However, if you have children or pets they should never be left alone with a diffuser running.
Certain essential oils can be poisonous to young children and pets, and as we’ve previously discussed, accidental ingestion can be life-threatening. Ideally, a diffuser should never be left running in one room while you’re outside of it.
Talk with a licensed aromatherapist
If you’re new to essential oils and struggling to find reliable information on them, speaking with a licensed aromatherapist can put those concerns to rest. The International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) is a great place to start searching for one, and they have plenty of useful resources to help you get started.
We’ve been working with essential oils for over two decades, and put lots of time and energy into research too. Our blog is packed full of information on essential oils, from how to blend your own fragrances to which carrier oil you should dilute your pure oils with.
Build up concentration gradually
Using an oil topically for the first time? Always start with a 1% concentration, diluted in your favourite carrier oil. Pure essential oils applied to the skin can cause allergic reactions and chemical burns. By diluting the oils, you’re reducing the risk of these nasty side effects.
Over time, you might discover you can build up to 5% concentration. If you’re going to increase the amount of essential oil you’re using, be sure to do so gradually, and continue to dilute with a carrier oil.
Double-check use-by date
While you probably use certain essential oils every day, others may sit at the back of the cupboard for occasional use. This is totally fine, we all have our favourites. But it’s easy to forget when the oils were first opened, and contrary to widespread belief, essential oils do have a use-by date.
After a certain period of time essential oils degrade, which means their properties change. Essential oils that are past their best can grow mould and cause allergic reactions.
Reputable essential oils should have a batch number and use-by date on the label. If this is something you’re likely to forget, make sure you keep note of when you purchased your oils. How can you ensure your oils stay at their best? Always buy them in dark glass or aluminium bottles, and store in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.
Be aware of drug interactions
If you’re using medication, be aware that essential oils could interact with certain treatments. While there isn’t a huge amount of research on drug interactions with essential oils, this is something you can check with your GP ahead of starting a new treatment plan.
It’s important to remember essential oils are not a miracle cure. While they can form an integral part of recovery for many people, it’s important to have realistic expectations, and follow your GP’s advice.
What are your best essential oil safety tips? Is there something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section, or reach out on Facebook and Instagram.