Common Mistakes when using Essential Oils

Following our article on general guidelines and precautions when using essential oils, we’d like to touch on some common mistakes that people make when using essential oils. It is human nature and part of like to make mistakes, and we can learn from it to prevent the same thing from happening again.

One of the most major and common mistakes when using essential oils is using too much. It’s very easy to overuse essential oils because of the idea that “essential oils are natural, therefore harmless”. That is absolutely not the case. Given their potency, you most likely only need to use 1 or 2 drops at most for topical application. Learn more about the right way to apply essential oils.

Speaking of topical application, many people still make the mistake of using it undiluted. This is a big no-no unless you want contact dermatitis and other forms of skin irritation. Even if the product claims to be safe enough to be used without any prior dilution, it is still strongly advisable to play safe and dilute it with carrier oil or even lotion.

Another common and very dangerous mistake is consuming them. Some brands and their salespeople claim that their essential oils are safe for ingestion and can even give a “natural detoxifying effect”. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy also strongly advises users not to ingest essential oils.

It is also fairly easy to store them incorrectly. Essential oils must be stored in a dark cool place away from direct heat and sunlight, as this may cause the essential oils to oxidise, altering the chemical constituents of the essential oils to make them ineffective and irritating when using topically.

Speaking of heat and sunlight, it is not uncommon to use essential oils during the day as natural perfume. While floral and other scents are okay to use, using citrus in the day will lead you to getting a sunburn and/or rash. This is citrus essential oils are phototoxic and although not all citrus oils have this issue, it’s better to avoid them altogether during daytime.

It is important to take precaution and measures when using essential oils but this is especially crucial when using them around expecting mothers, nursing mothers, pets, infants, young children under the age of 10 and individuals with certain medical conditions. You can get a second opinion from a medical professional or avoid them altogether.

To elaborate, diffusing citrus essential oils for pregnant women may help alleviate nausea and improve their mood but if there are pets, especially cats, will suffer. Topical applications of lavender essential oil for adults, if used properly, doesn’t affect us but for young children, it can cause a hormonal imbalance and can even cause breast growth in pubescent boys. It can sound alarming, even downright scary, reading all this and it is understandable if it is. Essential oils are not everyone’s cup of tea and there’s no harm in getting a second opinion from a qualified health professional if you’re on the fence. Used properly, essential oils can improve your general well being.