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The Info You’re After

Is it safe to use essential oil “neat” (undiluted) on the skin?

Essential oils are concentrated substances, and because of this we do not recommend using them without diluting them first. Add essential oils to a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, almond, or others, before using. Diluting them in this way provides a measure of protection from skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even sensitization. A general rule of thumb for diluting is to use a 1% dilution for children (aged 6 years and older); pregnant women; elderly adults; those with compromised immune systems, sensitive skin, or other serious health issues. A 2% dilution is acceptable for the average adult with no health issues. Higher dilutions can be used, depending on the situation and the health of the person they will be applied on. We recommend that you use the lowest dilution possible that provides effective results. Note: A 1% dilution would be adding 3 drops of essential oil per tablespoon carrier.

General Safety Guidelines (Storage, Dilutions, How Used)?

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and should always be diluted before applying them to skin. It is important to be aware of the chemistry and the quality of the oils being used. Use only high-quality oils from reputable sources. Store oils in a cool, dark place. Dosage is another important factor in aromatherapy. Too much of certain oils can irritate the skin or cause other side effects. Essential oils are always applied to the skin in combination with vegetable and nuts oils, gels, lotions, butters, salts or other herbal ingredients. Always lower the dosage for children, the elderly, pregnant women or anyone with serious health conditions.

General Safety Precautions and practices.

  • Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.

  • Do not use or recommend the use of photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun. Recommend that the client stays out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after treatment if photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin.

  • Avoid prolonged use of the same essential oils.

  • Avoid the use of essential oils you know nothing about on your clients. Research and get to know the oil prior to using it on others.

  • Avoid the use of undiluted essential oils on the skin, unless otherwise indicated.

  • If you suspect your client may be sensitive to specific essential oils or if your client has known allergies or sensitivities, it may be wise to perform a skin patch test.

  • Know the safety data on each essential oil and place it into the context of use and knowledge.

  • Use caution when treating a female client who suspects she is pregnant or has been trying to become pregnant.

  • Keep essential oils away from the eyes.

  • Essential oils are highly flammable substances and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles, fire, matches, cigarettes, and gas cookers.

  • Make sure your treatment room has good ventilation.

  • Do not use essential oils internally unless properly trained in the safety issues of doing so.

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