Although essential oils have many benefits when it comes to naturally supporting health & wellness, it is important to know that they are VERY potent. Did you know it takes it takes 30 pounds of lavender to create ONE 15ml bottle of doTERRA lavender essential oil?! Due to the potency levels it is extremely important that you are aware of essential oil safety tips and guidelines!
Essential Oil Safety Guide for Natural Health & Wellness
Essential Oil Safety for Topical Use
When using essential oils topically there are a number of important safety considerations that you should be aware of:
- Essential Oil Dilution
- Topical Essential Oil Use with Children
- Photosensitive Essential Oils
Essential Oil Dilution
Using a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil or jojoba oil helps to dilute essential oils. There are a number of reasons to dilute your oils:
Diluting Hot Oils
There are a number of oils that are considered ‘hot oils’. If you use these essential oils topically without diluting them first, they will actually cause a physical burn on your skin. When using oils such as oregano, cinnamon, cassia, thyme and more it’s important that you mix your essential oils with a carrier oil. I recommend using 1 drop of essential oil for every 2 teaspoons of carrier oil. The best way to dilute these oils is to either mix them in an empty essential oil bottle or create a roller bottle blend.
Using Essential Oils on a Large Area of Skin
If you are wanting to use essential oils across a larger area such as your shoulders or back, it is important that you use a carrier oil to help the oils spread further. Adding more essential oil to cover the space is not a wise idea. Instead, mix the essential oil with a carrier oil. You can learn more about how to use essential oils topically here!
Topical Use with Children
If you are using essential oils with children it is extremely important that you dilute the oils. The potency level undiluted is too strong for children.
For children age 6 months to 6 years you want to use a 0.5% dilution ratio. This means 2 teaspoons of carrier oil for every 1 drop of essential oil.
With children over age 6 mix 1 drop of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of essential oil.
It is important to know that not every essential oil is safe to use with children. You can learn more about which essential oils to learn with children here!
Essential oil safety tip for topical use with children: I recommend either applying the diluted oils to your child’s feet and cover with socks or apply to their chest (i.e. when use is for congestion) and then cover with a sleeper or undershirt. This will help to ensure that your child doesn’t get the oils on their hands and rub it on to their eyes.
NOTE: if you have any questions or concerns about using essential oils on your children then please consult with a medical professional first!
Understanding dilution ratios can be quite confusing! Read my dilution post to get a free essential oil dilution chart sent straight to your inbox!
Photosensitive Essential Oils
Some oils are light-sensitive which means you should avoid direct sunlight for 12-24 hours when using them. To get around this, I will often apply the oils to my feet and then put on a pair of socks. If these oils are in direct sunlight they could cause you to develop a burn on your skin. Photosensitive oils include lemon, lime, bergamot, and ginger. Also use caution when using cassia, fennel, grapefruit, and wild orange. You can learn more and get a full list of photosensitive essential oils here.
Additional Safety Tips of Topical Use of Essential Oils
Keep oils away from your eyes!
After using oils make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. Learn from my mistakes, I have on more than one occasion not washed my hands immediately after applying oils and then out of habit rubbed my eyes…. It is a very, very uncomfortable feeling! If this does happen, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and then apply fractionated coconut oil around the outside of your closed eye- this will help take the pain away in less than 30 seconds.
Apply oils AFTER using the washroom
I think this one explains itself…. Please, please, please learn from my husband’s unfortunate event which involved doTERRA’s deep blue oil, very high pitched screeching and a fan…. Oh and a wife who could have been more supportive instead of laughing HYSTERICALLY!!! Want the laughs to continue? Check out My Family’s Most Embarrassing and Painful Essential Oil Moments!
Essential Oil Safety for Internal Use
Some essential oil companies such as doTERRA, state that their oils are safe for internal consumption. That said not all of their oils can be taken internally.
Should You Ingest Essential Oils?
Ingesting essential oils this is a very controversial topic and there are many differing views on whether oils should be taken internally. That being said, children should NEVER ingest oils!
I have complied this post which shares both sides of the debate on ingesting essential oils, I would recommend that you read it and do your own research before choosing whether or not to ingest your oils!
How to Know If an Essential Oil is Safe for Internal Use
Read the Label
If the label states that it is safe for internal or dietary use then it means that the company states that this oil can be taken internally. If you do not see either one of these words then DO NOT ingest the oil as it is not safer to do so.
Use a Trusted Resource
I recommend using the Modern Essentials Book to learn about individual essential oils. This is a great reference to have and it will let you know if an oil can be taken internally and will also give you suggestions for how to use that oil internally.
Get my Chart
You can also grab a free essential oil application chart that I have created which lists the safe uses of doTERRA essential oils as indicated on the doTERRA website. If you would like to get a free copy of this chart sent straight to your inbox simply add your name & email below!
More Essential Oil Safety Information for General Use
Storing Your Essential Oils
Your essential oils should always be stored out of direct sunlight to help maintain the intergrity of the oil. You can learn more storage tips and check out storage solutions here!
Essential Oils & Plastic
If you choose to ingest oils, NEVER use a plastic, cup, pitcher or straw as oils have the ability to break the plastic particles down. Instead use mason jars, glasses, glass pitchers, and stainless steel straws. This also goes for making DIY essential oil recipes for home & beauty.
I know that was a lot of information about essential oil safety but it really is such an important topic! If you know someone else who would find this information helpful please use the buttons below the post to share on Facebook or Pinterest!