If you don’t already have a shelf full of essential oils at home, you may still wonder about their safety. The answer is yes, they are safe—with a few caveats. When used correctly, essential oils are safe for adults but don’t start massaging them into your chakra points just yet. Before you invest in a variety of essential oils wholesale, make sure you know all of the precautions.
Essential Oil Safety Guidelines
Essential oils are natural and come from plants, but you wouldn’t ingest a plant you’re unfamiliar with or even rub it on your skin. When using essential oils, the same type of precautions apply. While they are generally safe, that safety can depend on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- Underlying health conditions
- Medications or supplements you take
- Purity of the oil
- Method of use
- Duration of use
If you’re using essential oils for the first time, there are definitely a few precautions to consider. The first rule is never to ingest essential oils unless you are working with a certified aromatherapy professional. Some essential oils are FDA-approved for culinary use, but specific protocols must be followed to ensure safety. You could make yourself, a friend, or a family member sick—don’t take the risk.
When purchasing essential oils wholesale online, take the time to read the product description and warnings. For example, wintergreen essential oil may seem like it should be perfectly safe. It’s everyone’s favorite Lifesaver flavor, after all. However, this oil comes with several precautions, including not using it on children or pregnant women.
Purchase essential oils wholesale from reputable sources that provide important health warning information about each of the oils they sell.
Making a Dilution
Most essential oils are not recommended for “neat” use. In other words, they should not be used straight out of the bottle. A few that are deemed safe for direct use include rose, sandalwood, tea tree (unoxidized), chamomile, and lavender. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is still a smart idea to dilute oils, especially if you’re using one for the first time.
For safest use, they should be diluted with a neutral carrier oil. Jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil are some of the most commonly used carriers. The general rule is to keep the concentration level below 5%. Five percent of one ounce is approximately 1.5 grams or around 30 drops of essential oil, depending on the viscosity.
When working with a new essential oil, add approximately six drops to an ounce of carrier oil to make a 1% concentrate. After you have completed a patch test and do not have any adverse reactions, slowly increase the concentration to the full 5% if you wish.
How to Do a Patch Test
A patch test gives you the opportunity to test new essential oils carefully. Follow the above instruction for creating a dilution then:
- Wash your forearm with unscented soap or plain water and pat dry
- Massage a few drops of the prepared dilution onto a small patch of skin on your forearm
- Cover the patch with a bandage
- Wait 24 hours, and remove the bandage
If your test area is itchy, red, inflamed, or blistering, discontinue the use of that essential oil. Wash the area with a gentle, unscented soap. If you experience any discomfort at any time after applying the oil, remove the bandage and wash the area. Any itching or irritation is a sign that you are sensitive to those particular plant terpenes and should not use that essential oil.
Essential Oils and Children
Many essential oils are considered unsafe for children because they are more vulnerable to toxic poison. Those that are viewed as safe should still be used with precaution. A safe dilution rate for children over two years old is 0.5% to 2.5%.
Other precautions for children include:
- Don’t add undiluted essential oils to the bath
- Avoid overuse, such as using a lotion with chamomile essential oil and then applying an essential oil
- Do not use peppermint oil on any child under 2.5 years old
- Do not get essential oils in the ears, eyes, or nose
- Always try a patch test first
If your child has sensitive skin or chronic health conditions, consult your health care expert before using essential oils.
Many essential oils are unsafe for pregnant women as well. If you’re expecting, check with your doctor before using them.
Essential Oils and Pets
Many essential oils are toxic to pets. However, essential oils can help calm anxious pets and repel fleas. Be sure to keep all of your essential oils out of reach of your pets. Ingesting an essential oil could cause fatal poisoning.
When diffusing pet-safe oils, do not place the diffuser close to your pet’s bed. Make sure there is plenty of open circulation, and never confine a pet in an area where a diffuser is being used. Use only diluted solutions to apply to your pet’s skin.
Are You Ready to Buy Essential Oils Wholesale?
Essential oils are compounds that can cause serious reactions–most of those reactions are wonderful! Yes, we want to smell good and feel energized by the naturally uplifting scent of bergamot oil or relax with a lavender-oil massage. As long as essential oils are used correctly with common sense, most are completely safe to enjoy and experiment with.