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I am no expert on essential oils. I am always learning more, as I expand my collection. And the more I learn, the more I understand that it is very important to know some of the essential oils basics.
So I was thinking, if someone needs to know the very basics of essential oils, what would that be?
1. Always use a carrier when putting on the skin.
If I am starting anywhere with essential oils education, I will start with safety. And using a carrier oil is both something that is SAFE and effective. A carrier oil, or base oil, is something like almond oil or grapeseed oil, that has no essential oils. You mix a few *drops* of essential oils with a bit of the carrier oil.
Add 2% of essential oils to a base oil – eg 40 drops of essential oil to 3.38fl.oz of Almond Oil
For one application: add 4-5 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of Almond Oil
Carrier oils are also more effective. They spread the essential oil out over a bigger surface area of the skin so that it can soak in and do the work.
2. Diffusing is the most effective and safest way to use essential oils.
Quick things to know about diffusing:
- Add water up to the water line and then add a few drops of essential oils – I like to use no more than 5.
- If it is on constantly (not intermittently) you only want to keep it on for a half hour at a time.
- There are some oils to not diffuse with children, babies, nursing mothers, or cats who can’t get away to another room. See more below!
- Rinse the diffuser out each time after using it or the smells get stuck there!
3. Some oils are not safe for kids. Or pets.
Please, please do your research. There are certain oils that are not safe for kids because their lungs are not as developed. (Of the top of my head these include peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus.) Also cats are not as able to metabolize the essential oils as humans are, so if you have a cat, please do your research there.
4. Some oils are phototoxic.
If you put some citrus oils on your skin and then go out into the sun, you will end up with nice sunburn. Ouch! So not worth it!
So how do you avoid this?
For example, with Bergamot you should avoid dilutions of over 0.5% if going into the sunlight within 12 hours.
5. Oils can be classified as energizing, relaxing, cleansing, uplifting, balancing.
I love that Neal’s Yard Remedies classifies their essential oils in this way. It makes it easy to know what sort of effect you will be getting with that particular essential oil.
6. Never stop researching.
There are so many things to know about essential oils and these that I have listed above are just a starting point. When learning about essential oils, the bottles should tell you a lot. The latin name, how it was produced, what type of oil it is. But you should also have a book or websites bookmarked to help you along too for reference. I really love my Neal’s Yard Remedies Essential Oils Book. It is a wealth of information!
I hope this tells you something about essential oils and gives you a jumping off point to do some research on your own or ask me any questions that you might have.
What is the next thing you are wondering about essential oils? Comment below or come join me in my group on Facebook!