· Essential Oils · 7 Things You Need To Know To Use Essential Oils Safely

7 Things You Need To Know To Use Essential Oils Safely

Essential Oil Mistakes

Essential oils are very powerful tools, and with great power comes great responsibility. In order to use essential oils responsibly, it’s just as important to understand the risks they pose as it is to know their benefits.

So in order to help us all become more responsible essential oil users, today I’ll be sharing 7 common mistakes that people make when using essential oils. Avoiding these 7 essential oil mistakes can go a long way toward ensuring your personal safety, and the safety of the people and animals you live with! :-)

A Quick Note About Safety & Essentials by Jillee Products

Safety and purity were two of my top priorities when creating my Essentials by Jillee oils and oil blends. That’s why each product page for my oils and oil blends features warnings (as applicable) about hot oils, phototoxic oils, and more. Warnings like these make it easier to avoid making many of the mistakes you’ll see listed below.

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Essential Oils

Essential Oil Mistakes

1. Using Photosensitive Oils In The Sun

Some essential oils are photosensitive, which means they have a chemical reaction to sunlight. If you apply photosensitive oils to your skin and then expose your skin to sunlight, that chemical reaction can produce redness, irritation, itching, and in severe cases, actual blisters and burns.

Take care to avoid applying photosensitive oils (including cold-pressed citrus oils like lemon, lime, grapefruit, bitter orange, and bergamot oils) before spending time in the sun. Instead, apply these oils or blends containing these oils in the evening to avoid any phototoxic reactions.

Essential Oil Mistakes

2. Diffusing Too Much

Diffusing essential oils is generally quite safe as long as you don’t overdo it. For standard diffusers, it’s a good idea to limit each “session” to 30-60 minutes. You could also use a diffuser that cycles on and off at regular intervals, which is a convenient “set it and forget it” option.

Another thing to keep in mind when diffusing essential oils is ventilation. You want to make sure the space is well-ventilated, especially if there are pets around. Pets should always have the option to leave the room when you’re running a diffuser.

Essential Oil Mistakes

3. Storing Oils Incorrectly

Ever wondered why essential oils come in dark-colored glass bottles? The dark coloring of the bottles help protect oils from sun exposure, which can cause them to degrade over time. And the bottles are made of glass because glass isn’t reactive, unlike plastic, steel, and other materials.

So whenever you are storing something that contains essential oils, choosing a dark-colored glass container is always your best bet.

Essential Oil Mistakes

4. Buying Oils With Additives

Purity should be one of your top priorities when shopping for essential oils. Avoid essential oils that contain filler ingredients or synthetic additives. Look for the phrase “100% pure essential oils” to be certain that you’re getting the real deal.

Additionally, avoid products whose labels have descriptions like “fragrance,” “perfume,” and “nature identical oil.” These red flags indicate that the product likely has added ingredients.

Essential Oil Mistakes

5. Failing To Dilute

Essential oils are highly concentrated, and many of them can irritate skin if they’re applied “neat” (or without being diluted). Diluting essential oils with a carrier oil is an easy way to reduce the risk of irritation.

A good rule of thumb for diluting is to add 12 drops of essential oils per 1 ounce of carrier oil. To learn more about carrier oils and their individual properties, check out my post about carrier oils at the link below!

Related: The Best Carrier Oils For Your DIY Health & Beauty Products

Essential Oil Mistakes

6. Handling Oils Carelessly

Always use caution when you’re handling essential oils. Spills are a HUGE mess to clean up, and it can be especially hazardous if you happen to spill them on yourself. Don’t leave uncovered essential oils unattended, and if you do happen to spill oils on your skin, “rinse” them with a carrier oil instead of water.

Essential Oil Mistakes

7. Recommending Oils To Everyone

Essential oils can be useful for many people, but they can pose more of a risk for certain people and animals. Here are some safety recommendations that are important to keep in mind:

  • Pregnant women should avoid essential oils for the first trimester of their pregnancy. After that, certain essential oils can be used with caution. This article from Parents.com has some great information about essential oil use during pregnancy.
  • Use caution when using essential oils around babies and small children. Proper dilution is critical when using essential oils on small children. Get more detailed information about essential oil safety relating to children by reading this article at NOW Foods.
  • Consider the safety of your pets when using essential oils. Certain oils are toxic to pets, and even using oils in a diffuser may overwhelm their sensitive noses. For more on using essential oils safely around pets, check out this article from Wirecutter.

Disclaimer: The content displayed on One Good Thing by Jillee is intended for entertainment and educational purposes only. My content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online.

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Essential Oils

  • Thank you for this very important and timely information! One thing I would add is please be careful how much oil you put on. Even if you love the smell,not everyone can tolerate the strong scents. Whether it’s allergies or just preferences, it’s too easy to lose track of how much you wear as you become desentized over time. Please be considerate of those around you!

  • I have a recipe for mosquito repellent..it called for lemon …had to leave it out and just used the other oils, coz I would have been in the sun doing yardwork.

  • The total lack of essential oil safety–including almost everything I see from EO bloggers–makes me nuts! If you have pets, for example, you have to know which essential oils are toxic to pets. Otherwise, you might diffuse one and accidentally kill Fluffy. EOs can cause serious chemical burns (because yes, “natural” products are made of chemicals, just like everything else in the world) and permanent damage to your health. Thank you for encouraging people to do their research and be responsible.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I’m an amateur aromatherapist myself and it frustrates me to no end the complete disregard for EO safety all over the internet!

  • I am guilty of #7; I have recommended eucalyptus oil to several people. Use a few (2 or 3) drops in the toilet and it will mask the smell of your business. A big bottle lasts me approximately 10-12 months because I am single. Save your money on those sprays.

  • I got into doTerra several years ago, still using up my supply! I keep it all in my fridge. I mix some in a spray bottle with a bottle of fractionated coconut oil and use it to moisturize my back. I’ve bought some oils from Amazon and Costco, looking for a less expensive source.

  • In my study of essential oils, I have learned that only two can be used neat, or straight out of the bottle: lavender and tea tree.

    • Everyone is different. I use peppermint oil neat on my neck and shoulders when I’m getting a headache and it helps, and I’ve had no adverse reactions, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that to everyone. I seem to tolerate oils really well topically. I use lavender by itself like you and also haven’t had issues there. :)

      • I use peppermint neat for migraines but it always gives me a rash that lasts days or a week. It’s usually worth it though to get that little bit of migraine relief

    • She included a link to an article about pet safety that was a pretty good read. They list a lot of the oils that are toxic to cats and dogs – crazy to see how many more there are for cats vs dogs!

    • Actually. Most indicted a majority so over 50% but I. Reality there are hundreds of plants that can be and are made into essential oils. The percentage of those oils that are toxic to cats is actually very very small in comparison. Yes, some oils are toxic to cats, but so are many plants that are common around the house. And just like there are plants thanks oil that are bad for cats, there are many more that are beneficial to them. Example, did you know you can get catnip essential oil?

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