Of late we are receiving customers who are keen to apply essential oil themselves after reading the benefits in a DIY manual or the marketing claims of vendor companies of essential oils. Most essential oils are safe and free of adverse side effects when used properly. We would like to bring following guidelines before one proceeds further.
First, please make sure that the essential oil bought by you is not adulterated, or adulterated in right proportion, or is not counterfeit. (There are increasing number of cases of unduly adulterated essential oils or fake oils. Most of these are sourced from foreign or online suppliers.) (At Herbally Radiant, we use only USDA certified essential oils and ingredients.)
Second, never apply any essential oil directly on skin. Essential oils are strong and can cause allergy, irritation or other problems if applied directly, or if used in wrong proportion with other ingredients.
Third, right amount of dose is the most important factor in essential oil safety. Some essential oils used in the wrong doses or too high a concentration have been found (in animal and laboratory studies) to contribute to tumor development and other harmful changes in the body. Some essential oils can even be damaging to the skin, liver and other organs if used improperly.
Fourth, purity is equally important. Sometimes essential oils are altered by adding synthetic chemicals or other, similar smelling, essential oils or they are sometimes diluted with vegetable oil. Look for language indicating purity on the label. It is not necessarily bad if the label indicates, for example, that the bottle contains 20% essential oil and 80% vegetable oil. This is sometimes done so that popular but expensive oils like rose or neroli (that can cost over $100 per teaspoon when pure) can be made more affordable. If you are starting with more concentrated professional quality essential oils, you need to dilute them to be safe.
Fifth, please read the recommended application method, its concentration and intended use.
Sixth, application of some essential oils is not advised during pregnancy and in some allergy cases.
Seventh, to understand potential toxicity and lethal dosages of essential oils, please refer to useful book : ‘Essential Oil Safety’ by Tisserand and Balacs, 1955.
Eighth, please do a patch test first after you have done the right mixing of essential oils.