Essential Oil Dilution Guide
You should always be aware of essential oil safety to avoid any unwanted reactions. This goes for us, kids, and pets!mDid you know that essential oils could be dangerous in the first place? I sure didn’t until recently. That’s why I created this essential oil safety guide. Read on to find out how everyone in your household could be negatively affected by essential oils, and how to avoid it!
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How Are Essential Oils Dangerous?
Essential oils are just concentrated plant matter, why could they be dangerous? You know the phrase “Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing?” That’s what makes essential oils potentially dangerous. Essential oils are so incredibly concentrated that they can quickly overload our senses. And I don’t just mean smell. Essential oils can cause a myriad of problems for the skin and internal organs.
Seriously, do a quick google search and you will see all kinds of horror stories of misinformed people who used essential oils without any kind of guideline. That’s why using this essential oil safety guide is so important. Their use has skyrocketed, but few know their proper use.
The World of Consumerism
Natural living has become more and more popular, which means that essential oils have also rose to fame. Because of this, big corporations have advertised essential oils as cure-all ingredients. The truth is, science hasn’t tested essential oils for very much yet.
With companies making essential oils into these amazing things with no warnings, it’s not wonder there are so many horror stories out there! One of the worst I found was from Stacy Haluka, who gave her account on WebMD. A friend recommended essential oils to her from an MLM company. The company told her that the oils were so pure, she could apply them however she wanted. A few months later, she landed in the emergency room with severe welts, blisters, swollen eyes, and severe toxic shock.
She writes that she can never be exposed to essential oils without breaking out in hives, because her body has become incredibly sensitized. This condition is literally called sensitization, and it can be very dangerous. Imagine having to go through life worried that you could go into toxic shock because someone was unknowingly diffusing some lavender! So please, educate yourself on essential oil safety! Just reading this post will do you a world of good.
Rocky Mountain Oils and Essential Oil Safety
Rocky Mountain Oils is one of the best essential oil companies on the market. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I always pitch Rocky Mountain Oils as a company that actually cares for their customers. Click here to read my in-depth review of Rocky Mountain Oils! They are not a multi-level marketing (MLM) company. Most well-known essential oil companies are MLM style, which can be a pain.
I don’t know about you, but MLM companies have never given me a good vibe. You’re only met with pushy salespeople who want to make their next sale. You don’t have to worry about that with Rocky Mountain Oils. They even have a section of their site devoted to education and essential oil safety!
They have a page dedicated to general knowledge on essential oils and how to get started, perfect for the beginner user. More importantly, essential oils are more hazardous around children under 12, so there is a page just for kid safety. Using essential oils on children can be especially risky, and Rocky Mountain Oils makes a whole line of oils just for kids. Click here to access all of Rocky Mountain Oil’s kid-safe oils!
The most important page to me, is the dilution rate page. It tells you exactly how much to use with a carrier oil, and what is best for what age. I had no idea that kids were at a much higher risk! The same goes for pets and the elderly. The rest of this essential oil safety guide will go over exactly what to do for every person (or furry friend) in your life.
How to Use Essential Oils Properly
If you’re going to remember anything from this post, these are the key rules you must always follow to ensure essential oil safety:
- Keep out of reach of children
- Keep all bottles in a cool place out of direct sunlight
- Keep all essential oils out of ears, eyes and nose
- Choose a high-quality essential oil, like Rocky Mountain Oils
The first rule is obvious, because children’s bodies cannot handle the potency of essential oils. There have been many reported hospitalization, and even a few deaths, related to children getting into their parent’s essential oil cabinet. I swear I’m trying not to scare you by mentioning death, but you deserve to be informed.
Keeping your oils in a dark place makes their potency last longer. Essential oils technically never expire, but they can lose their potency over time. The same general idea goes for choosing a high-quality essential oil. You want your oils to be pure and potent, without any unnecessary additives.
Lastly, you want to keep all essential oils away from any mucous membranes, like your ears, eyes and nose. You can easily disrupt those mucous membranes and cause irritation and inflammation that may involve a trip to the ER. But don’t worry too much, because we’ll go over what to do if that does happen in a minute.
The absolute safest way to use essential oils is to diffuse! Using oils on the skin is okay if you dilute, and ingesting essential oils is almost always discouraged unless a specific product is made for that purpose. Even then, the product (I hope!) should be heavily diluted. I use and love this diffuser kit almost every day.
Always Dilute Your Essential Oils!
Now that we have the most basic rules out of the way, we can get into the more nitty gritty. The key to proper essential oils safety is dilution! You can use any carrier oil to tone down the potency of your essential oil, and you’ll be fine. Some oils are more potent than others, and certain oils do better, say, diffused, than applied to the skin.
For example, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree are notorious for poisoning when ingested, but they do great on the skin or diffused. The easiest way to navigate this is to do some research on each individual oil before you buy them. And always consult with a licensed aromatherapist. I am not a professional! I just have knowledge and years of experience under my belt.
But there are some ways to avoid some common mistakes:
Use the Right Carrier Oils
This cannot be stressed enough when it comes to essential oil safety. Especially when applied to the skin. Take the edge off your essential oil’s potency with a nourishing carrier oil! This will act as a one-two punch for your skin’s health. Some common carrier oils include, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and avocado oil.
I love to use jojoba oil on my face! You can see it in action on my homemade lotion recipe. It’s one of my most popular posts, so it’s a good one. Sweet almond oil is amazing on skin in general, and I used it in my Decadent DIY Peppermint Mocha Sugar Scrub recipe. All of those great fatty acids can help keep your skin looking young while staying moisturized. Which is great to have for the winter time!
See how I use essential oils in a lot of my DIY’s? You also won’t fail to see some kind of carrier oil far behind because I would never give you a DIY that was unsafe. I even use them in my regular hair oil treatments! They’re that good for you, that I don’t see a reason not to use them!
Now you may be wondering how some of Rocky Mountain Oil’s blends say that you can use them on your skin. Nearly all of Rocky Mountain Oil’s blends are made with fractionated coconut oil because of its long shelf life. It also won’t turn into it’s hard form when it reaches room temperature. But you can always dilute your blends too, especially if you are using them on children.
Use the Right Dilution Rate
I know that dilution rates seem incredibly overwhelming when you first look at them. And it may be easier to simply ignore them and try your luck, but please don’t do this! I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but only with oils that weren’t terribly dangerous to begin with.
Check out my graphic below for the basics on dilution rates. This applies to children, adults, and the elderly. The fourth section also applies to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, those with a compromised immune system, or those with sensitive skin.
Be Careful with Oils that Have a High Phototoxicity
What’s this big word I just used? Phototoxicity is an oil’s ability to cause an averse on the skin when exposed to sunlight. This can include red spots and severe burns. Luckily, there are only a few popular essential oils that have high phototoxicity. They are:
- Grapefruit—Phototoxic after 24 drops
- Lemon—Phototoxic after 12 drops
- Lime—Phototoxic after 4 drops
- Bergamot—Phototoxic after 1 drop
I ordered this list from lowest to highest risk of phototoxicity. Grapefruit oil usually gets the worst rap for phototoxicity, but bergamot should be your number one oil to look out for. It goes great in a diffuser, and that’s about it! I would steer clear of using bergamot on your skin altogether.
All of these oils go great in DIY household cleaners! Their citrus power is great for killing germs while cutting through grease. You can use any of these oils in my DIY all-purpose cleaner or my DIY toilet cleaner. Don’t be completely afraid to use these essential oils, just use them in a smart way and you’ll be fine.
Other Oils to Be Wary Of
I thought I’d include a few more essential oils to be careful with if you decide to use them. The reasons being that they are so potent that they can cause burns to the skin. Or they have caused things ranging from seizures to diarrhea in children who have accidentally ingested them. Be extra careful you don’t get these in your eyes or nose! No bueno.
- Cinnamon essential oil
- Clove essential oil
- Oregano essential oil
- Wormwood essential oil—It’s so dangerous that Rocky Mountain Oils won’t carry it!
What to Do if You Get Essential Oils in Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth
I get it, life happens. I’ve seen and heard stories of even professionals getting an essential oil somewhere it shouldn’t be. And if it does happen, don’t freak out! I know I’m telling you all kinds of horror stories, but those are the absolute worst case scenario. What usually happens is some minor irritation or burning.
The first thing people think to do if they get essential oil in their eyes is to wash it out with water. Don’t do this! It will just spread the water across even more of those sensitive mucous membranes. Instead, you have to dilute the essential oil to bring down it’s potency.
Yes, I’m serious. You can prevent irritation by adding a carrier oil into the area that has been affected. Milk works great too. If you get a potentially dangerous essential oil in your eye, put a few drops of a carrier oil in there. Or if that idea freaks you out, flush out the area with some milk straight from the fridge. Milk works because the fat content helps to reduce the oil’s potency, so go for a full fat milk if you can.
Flush out the area as best you can with your weapon of choice, and give the area a few minutes to breath. If irritation or severe burns start to occur, seek medical help immediately. It’s okay if there’s some mild irritation. You did just run a couple foreign substances through the area. But if it doesn’t go away after 24 hours or worsens, a trip to the ER might be in order.
Final Thoughts on this Essential Oil Safety Guide
When using an essential oil for the first time, always do a small patch test. Just dilute a drop or two with some carrier oil, and dab it on the inside of your wrist. If nothing happens in 24 hours, then you don’t have any adverse reactions toward it.
If you do decide to diffuse an oil, always diffuse in 30 minute intervals in a well-ventilated area. Make sure that pets aren’t around, depending on which oil you use. If diffusing for children, only put two drops in the diffuser to avoid any averse reactions.
Unless specified by a professional, always dilute your essential oils! This is one of the key precautions to take when using essential oils. Even if you get it in your eye, just add a carrier oil to prevent irritation. You should find an essential oil brand you trust, like Rocky Mountain Oils. Just using these guidelines alone will help prevent trips to the E.R.
Do you have any tips for essential oil safety? Let me know in the comments below!
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