If you assume that essential oils cannot be misused because they are a natural substance, this assumption is not only wrong, it is dangerous! Improper use of oils can lead to some unpleasant physical side effects as well as increased exposure to toxins. Whether you are new or experienced in essential oils, you MUST read this list to make sure you aren’t making these mistakes….
I have found that the primary dangers associated with using essential oils is rooted in the lack of education in proper use. Most people would not take a dose of medicine, operate machinery, or cook a meal without first learning proper use of the tools at hand. Somehow, because essential oils are “natural” it is thought that they can be used carelessly with no ill effects, and that is a gross misconception!
Essential oils are so highly concentrated that they are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs. Just one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. Due to their potency, educated use is essential.
The Top Essential Oil Mistakes (be sure to read them all!)
Oils are not a “one size fits all” substance and the amount of oil used will vary between adult and child. Learning how much to dilute for each specific situation and individual is key to using oils both safely and effectively. Some oils (like oregano) are very potent and can burn the skin if applied undiluted.
Can I say BURN???? Certain citrus oils should not be applied topically prior to sun exposure because the oils can increase light sensitivity and the skin will be more susceptible to sunburn. According to “Essential Oil Safety” by Robert Tisserand, bergamot, lemon, and lime essential oils should be avoided before sun exposure due to photosensitivity.
3. Rubbing oil into the eyes.
Ouch! Do not apply oils in or near the eyes or it will be extremely uncomfortable! If this occurs, see my suggestion below.
4. Trying to remove oil with water.
This is often in direct response the the above situation. Don’t flush your eyes with water if you accidentally get oil in them, also do not take a shower to remove oil from your skin. Apply a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc) or a fat such as whole milk and generously apply it to the affected area, wipe off, and reapply as needed until you experience relief.
Oil and water DO NOT MIX and if you drop oil directly into hot water, it will lay on the surface and could burn your skin. Please combine your oils with epsom salt and then sprinkle it into the bath right before you bathe.
6. Mixing or storing oils in a plastic container.
Only use glass, stainless steel, ceramic or PET grade containers. Avoid plastic, styrofoam or rubber. Citrus oils especially will break down petrachemicals and will literally eat through styrofoam and many man made materials.
7. Using oils experimentally.
Essential oils are a wonderful natural substance and can be an amazing tool to utilize, but please remember that they are very powerful and education in how to use them appropriately is key. I support creativity in many areas, but because oils are so powerful it is always wise to learn about each oil before using so that you can use is safely and effectively.
8. Using unreliable sources for oils education.
I love Pinterest, but if that is your means to learn about oils, recipes won’t take the place of science based and reputable oils training and education. If you are tired of trying to figure it all out on your own, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get plugged into a good oils team and the value of investing in an oils usage book. Learn about the She’s So Natural oils team here.
9. Using oils for everything.
Last but not least, once you discover the amazing power of essential oils you will wonder what you did without them and you will discover innumerable ways to use them in your home to simplify life and save money! I actually cheated because I don’t view this as a mistake but a blessing! 😉 Read my blog post Why I Use Essential Oils to learn how I integrate them into my home.
Have you made any of these mistakes? Are there any others that you would add to the list?
WAIT!!! Because I am such a believer in OILS EDUCATION, if you become a member of the She’s So Natural Oils Team and purchase $100 worth of oils, I will gift you an amazing oils reference book worth over $20 for FREE! Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details! You also will receive training and access to members only resources that are invaluable and will help you from making the mistakes 1-8 from my list! 😉
If you are using oils for kids, be sure to check out my blog post “Using Essential Oils on Babies & Children“
P.S. Want to learn more about essential oils? Become an email subscriber in the blue box below!