#1 ALWAYS DILUTE
What exactly is diluting an essential oil and why is it so important?
Diluting just means you are using an carrier oil to decrease sensitivities to the skin when using essential oils. These are lipid based substances. The most popular are pure vegetable based oils including: coconut oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil and almond oil.
Many people believe diluting an essential oil will make it less effective. But this isn’t true! When you dilute an essential oil it increases the surface area of absorption, enhances absorption through dry skin, and prevents sensitivities. It is extremely beneficial to dilute essential oils and decreases the chance of skin sensitization. It is never wrong to dilute, especially when using oils with a more potent chemistry and on kids.
I personally use fractionated coconut oil. It is non-aromatic so it doesn’t interfere with the aromatic benefits of using an essential oil, it’s stable at all temperatures and has a longer shelf life.
#2 NEVER PLACE IN EYES, EARS, OPEN WOUNDS
NEVER EVER NEVER (ever, promise ok?) use essential oils in your eyes, ears and in open wounds. There are so many other efficient places to use essential oils to get amazing effects. Keep essential oils out of these places.
#3 USE A
I can’t stress how important reference guides are to using essential oils.It isn’t about knowing all the answers, but knowing where to find them. Don’t let fear of something new keep you from learning and being empowered in your own home to be proactive in your health. Use the resources that professionals, doctors and researchers have already done to guide you in your use of essential oils.
#4 ALWAYS TEST FOR SENSITIVITIES
Sometimes people like to use essential oils NEAT. This just means straight on the skin with no dilution. While this isn’t always a bad idea, you need to be careful on where and how you are using it. Oils that are hot or have a more potent chemistry will irritate the skin if you put it on the skin straight. An example would be oregano. This oil is EXTREMELY hot. In fact my husband has used oregano to burn a skin blemish.
However, even if an oil is more mild, you may still be sensitive to it. So always test for sensitivities before using a new essential oils. An interesting way to test that I learn from an essential oil guru is to put just a little on the inside of your elbow pit. (Elbow pit? Is that a correct term? You get the idea) This skin is extremely thin and will be more sensitive You will be able to tell right away. If it is sensitive, use a vegetable based oil layers on top to soothe the skin. (NEVER water)
#5 FOLLOW THE LABELS ON THE BOTTLE
Some of only for aromatic use which means through smell. Some will have a dietary use on the back and can be use internally very carefully. Some will tell you right on the bottle that they are cut with other oils, and you should run the other way from these bottles. Make sure you are reading the labels of the essential oils you are using carefully to ensure you are using that specific oil correctly.
#6 LESS IS MORE
We live in a society of instant gratification. We think if less works, we should use more and it will work even faster! This just isn’t the case with essential oils. When we overload the body, we actually decrease the level of efficacy of that essential oils. Instead use the approach of using less of an essential oil more often. We can always apply more if we need it and it give our bodies a changes to absorb and use what it needs before applying more.
#7 KEEP OUT OF KIDS REACH
I learned this lesson the hard way at an essential oil class I was teaching once.
I was handing around a bottle of peppermint for the participants in the class to put a drop on their hand, rub their hands together and take a deep breath in to feel the amazing benefits of opening up their airways. As the bottle went around the circle, a participant with her children put a drop in her kids hands.
My momma alarm went off!!
I reminded them again, remember don’t touch your eyes. And sure enough within one minute I saw the precious little girl rubbing her eye and the burning and tears starting immediately! Luckily, there was coconut oil on hand and the burning went right away when we layered coconut oil around the eye, however it taught me an important lesson.
NEVER let a child put essential oils in their hands. It’s just too tempting and common for them to forget and rub their eyes. Plus, it’s a great bonding moment for mother and child when a caring momma helps ease a childs discomfort with essential oils. Never underestimate the power of touch.
#8 DON'T USE WATER
Science bonus questions. What happens when oil and water get together?
They repel each other.
So imagine if you have a skin sensitivity to an essential oil and put water on it. Yup, same response. They repel, which drives the oil deeper into the skin and makes it even more sensitive. Instead use an vegetable based oil if you find any sensitivities.