It's easy to think of essential oils as safe as they're natural. They are common additives in natural skincare yet, despite their widespread use they are often used in ways that are far from safe.
Did you know that essential oils were some of our first known medicines? Made up as extremely potent, concentrated forms of herbs and flowers, they were used to treat common ailments and illnesses.
As they’re used so widely, they have become known as common triggers of eczema, heightened skin sensitivity and allergic reactions. And as most of the exposure is through inhalation, that leads them directly into the bloodstream.
Here are some things to remember when it comes to essential oils -
1: Remember the dose. The most important factor when it comes to how safe essential oils are is the concentration in which they are used. In general, they should never be used undiluted and if any skincare product using essential oils smells too strong, avoid!
2: Never ingest. Some essential oils can cause poisoning when inhaled or exposed to the skin, ingesting them exposes the body to an even greater concentration.
3: Never mix up your own. You wouldn’t mix up medicines, and the same should apply here. Essential oils are potent and should always be handled with care.
4: Babies, children and pregnant mothers should be especially careful. Most essential oils - but in particular eucalyptus and peppermint oils - must be avoided around children and those in pregnancy should avoid oils such as pennyroyal, camphor, cinnamon and clary sage which may induce labour.