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Essential Oils Safety and Precautions: Topical Application - The Self Reliance Shepherd

Essential Oils Safety and Precautions: Topical Application

Applying Essential Oils Safely.

Essential oils, the magnificent gift from nature. They not only enhance your well-being, but can help with specific concerns like feeling anxious or stressed out.

But are they safe to use? The answer is an absolute YES!

However, like with all things, you need to exercise caution and common sense. Below I will take you through 5 safety tips to using essential oils topically. Topical application refers to applying the oils directly to your skin.

5 Tips for safe topical application of essential oils.

1. Quality

I could write an essay on the importance of quality Essential Oils, instead I wrote a blog post. The No. 1 tip is to make sure you are buying a good quality Essential Oil.

Oils mixed with chemical fillers or other nasties are going to cause you harm. I won’t go into too much detail regarding this as I was very thorough in this blog post.

I will say though, making sure you use a quality oil means your essential oils journey will be a safer and more pleasant one.

2. Dilute

Dilution means mixing the oils with a carrier oil. Fractionated coconut oil (it doesn’t solidify when it’s cold) is a popular choice, yet there are many available options, including almond, avocado, jojoba or olive oil.

A higher dilution rate is a safe starting point. A 1% dilution rate equates to 1 drop EO in 5ml/1 tsp of a carrier oil. Over time and using the rest of the tips below, the dilution rate can gradually increase.

Some oils should always be diluted, see tip no. 4.

3. Patch testPatch testing is one of five tips to safely using essential oils topically. The Self-Reliance Shepherd

Testing your skin for sensitivity is complete must. This is generally done by applying a diluted drop of EO on your inner forearm.  Make sure you don’t wet the area and observe your reaction over a 48hr period.

If you develop a reaction or sensitivity, then avoid using that oil in other areas of the body. Experiment by patch testing not only different oils, but dilution ratios too.

Bear in mind, if you are allergic to, let’s say tea tree, you are highly likely to be allergic to tea tree EO. Exercise the same caution to the EO as you would to the plant.

4. Phototoxicity

Some essential oils, generally your cold-pressed citrus EO, are phototoxic. It means that naturally occurring chemicals found in the oils react with sunlight or UV light. It results in an inflamed reaction, kind of like a horrible sunburn or blistering.

The easiest way to avoid this from happening is firstly, don’t apply phototoxic oils undiluted to your skin and secondly avoid direct sunlight or UV light exposure if you have.

The absolute best way to prevent harm is by following the next tip.

5. Education

When you go to the gym for the first time, you generally have a staff member go over how each machine works. They educate you so that you don’t injure yourself while using them. Knowing how to safely use gym equipment means you can get fit, tone your body and feel healthy.

Follow the same principle when using Essential Oils. Know your oils.

Know your oils, 1 of 5 tips to safely using essential oils topically. The Self-Reliance Shepherd

Just as an example, Bergamot is phototoxic and Wintergreen should not be ingested. Do a bit of research on the oil you are planning to use. Ignorance or misuse is what leads to injury and harm.

If you have a question you can also contact me. I’d be happy to provide you with information to safely use your oil of choice.

That is my 5 tips to safe topical application of essential oils.

Using essential oils should be enjoyable and enhance your life and well-being. Stay safe by exercising care.

For quality, therapeutic grade essential oils click your way to this page. doTERRA also offer fractionated coconut oil for easy and safe dilution.

Stay safe.

~ Allison.

5 tips to safely using essential oils topically. The Self-Reliance Shepherd

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  • Clair says:

    Thanks for writing this post. It answered questions I didn’t even know I had! I have a question about tea tree oil. I have always heard that it’s good to apply tea tree oil to a pimple to make it go away quickly. Is this safe?

    • Allison called Binney says:

      Hi Clair, my pleasure!
      Tea Tree EO is generally considered safe and can be used neat on the skin. BUT… two things to please bear in mind.
      1. Everyone’s skin is different, I highly recommend diluting and patch testing just to be on the safe side and
      2. Because of the way the industry is set up anyone can call anything an ‘essential oil’ Any of my recommendations are based on using doTERRA’s EO only and I I feel it would be wise to educate yourself on the brand before applying them to your skin.
      In all things use common sense and take care 🙂

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