Essential Oil Guidelines
Essential oils are an amazing tool to have in your toolkit of health as they can provide great relief from pain, help support our immune systems and are truly magnificent on our skin. They are derived from natural substances such as trees, fruits, leaves and flowers. However, just because they are derived from nature, it doesn’t mean that we can use them without some safety concerns. So, regardless of the brand you purchase, there are a few basic safety guidelines we need to follow.
Simple Essential Oil Guidelines:
- Essential oils are potent. Less is more when it comes to usage
- Keep your oils in a safe place – ensure that all bottles are tightly closed, stored in a cool area and away from direct sunlight.
- Essential oils do have a shelf life.
- Citrus, pine and spruce oils have a shelf life of approximately 2 years.
- Sandalwood, Patchouli and Vetiver have a longer shelf life – they age like fine wines. They generally have a shelf life of 4 to 8 years
- Most other essential oils have a shelf life of between 3 – 5 years if stored correctly
- Some essential oils are phototoxic meaning that they can cause irritation, inflammation, and redness when exposed to sunlight. The main oils that are phototoxic include: Bergamot, Lime, Angelica and Grapefruit. You will find that some people say that all citrus oils are phototoxic, and whilst this isn’t accurate, it might be a good place to start. If using a known phototoxic oil avoid exposing your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours.
- Do not place essential oils directly in the eyes, ears, nose or genitals.
- Do not drink your essential oils. Whist this is a popular practice, it can cause damage to the mucous membranes, the oesophagus and the liver.
- Do not pour the contents of your bottles directly onto the skin other than Lavender. It is important to dilute them with a carrier or base oil such as Sweet Almond, Jojoba or Apricot kernel oil.
- Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
- If you have chemical sensitivities, known allergies or are generally sensitive, it would be wise to perform a skin patch test.
- Essential oils are highly flammable substances and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles
Essential oils provide us with many and varied benefits and they can support us on an emotional, physical, and psychological level. Incorporating essential oils into your life doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. We just need to follow a few simple basic rules, use them effectively and sustainably, and remember that they are potent and powerful. There is always something more to learn when it comes to essential oils, so we encourage you to keep on learning.