Essential Oils are aromatic extracts from plants and are wonderful for skin care, especially when it comes to skin issues, such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, skin rashes & irritations. However, due to its highly concentrated nature, they can cause serious side effects if not used properly.
Through my 12 years of teaching and clinical experiences, I see very often the 4 biggest mistakes people make when using essential oils for skin care.
As essential oils have become more and more popular, they frequently are adulterated, especially exotic ones, such as Rose, Sandalwood & Neroli. I wrote an extensive post about how to make sure that the oils you purchase are authentic. Be sure that you read it here. You will be glad that you do. It will be worth your time and money!
As I mentioned before, essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be diluted properly to avoid the irritation and possible sensitization.
For skin care, start with 4-5 drops per ounce of carrier, gradually increase to no more than 10 drops. For spot treatment, up to 30 drops can be used. If you have sensitive skin, start with 1 drop. Less is more with essential oils!
Carriers can be skin nourishing oil, such as borage seed oil, sweet almond oil, or aloe vera gel, your favorite lotion and potion.
Below is a dilution chart I created for your reference.
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Oxidation causes irritation. Essential oils start degrading once extracted. Heat, air and light exposure causes essential oils to oxide and lose potency, therefore its therapeutic properties. AND essential oils have shelf life!
In general, citrus oils last 1-2 years, leaves & needles 3-5 years, floral 3-5 years, bark, resin, wood and roots 5-8 years. Refrigeration is not necessary as long as the oils are kept in a dark and cool place. However, it does extend the shelf life. Once oils are oxidized, they become irritants.
Due to its unique chemical compositions, each oil has different therapeutic properties. Some oils are considered “hot”, such as Cinnamon bark and Lemongrass should never be used on facial skin, while some oils such as Sandalwood and Geranium, are very beneficial for facial skin.
There you have it, the 4 biggest mistakes to avoid when using essential oils for skin care.
Have you used any oils that caused your skin to break out or skin rash?