Basic safety tips
There are safety guidelines that you need to be aware of when using essential oils.
Always read the labels. Pay attention to the caution warnings on your essential oil packaging and adhere to any recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Not all dōTERRA essential oils can be ingested, those that can have supplement facts on the label.
Sensitive areas to avoid. Never put essential oils into your nose, inner ears, or on the skin around your eyes, broken, damaged, or injured skin, and other sensitive areas. If you get essential oils too close to sensitive areas, rinse the area with a carrier oil or whole fat milk for relief.
Dilution. Use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil when applying essential oils topically to avoid skin sensitivity. Some other common carrier oils are avocado, walnut, macadamia, sweet almond, linseed, sunflower, and olive oil.
The recommended dilution ratio is 1 drop of essential oil to 5 drops of carrier oil. Always dilute essential oils when using it for the first time or applying it to sensitive skin. When using essential oils on children, I recommend increasing the dilution ratio due (increase the carrier oil amount) to their sensitive skin.
Know the strong (hot) oils. Some hot oils include Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Cumin, Oregano, and Thyme. You may want to increase the recommended dilution rate of 1 drop essential oil to 10 drops carrier oil when using hot oils.
If it starts to hurt or burn, skip the water! Essential oils don't mix with water, applying water to the area can drive the burn in deeper. Ouch! Apply a carrier oil or whole fat milk.
Be careful of sun sensitivity. Some essential oils can pose a risk for sun sensitivity, particularly citrus oils, and blends with citrus oils. Before applying essential oils topically, check the label for caution about UV ray warnings. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for a minimum of 12 hours following the use of these oils on the skin (this includes tanning beds) or the skin may burn.
Practice safe storage. Keep essential oils out of reach of children to prevent accidental ingestion. Recommended storing:
- Store essential oils in their original bottles at room temperature.
- Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures (hot car) and direct sunlight as they can alter the chemical properties of essential oil.
- Tightly secure bottle caps after each use. This will prevent oil evaporation and oxygen exposure.
- Prevent prolonged exposure to oxygen which can cause oxidation of the oil over time.
Supervise young children. Always supervise essential oil application with your children. Because children have more delicate skin, it’s a good idea to dilute oils before applying them topically. Try applying the oil to the bottom of a child’s feet before you try other areas. In addition to safe storage practices, you can also use Child Resistant Caps to ensure that your children don’t accidentally ingest oils on their own.
Talk to a healthcare professional. If you have specific health concerns or are pregnant, consult with your doctor before using essential oils.