Use Caution with Essential Oils

Essential oils are the very concentrated oils produced by plants. Always store these strong-scented oils away from children or pets. Some of these oils can cause mild, chemical-type burns if applied directly to the skin. Others might not bother the skin, but a drop not washed off a fingertip that is then used to rub one’s eye or touch another sensitive area can cause a painful reaction, sometimes even many hours later.

Before increasing amounts of essential oils in any product for use on clients or for sale, I strongly recommend reading Victoria Edwards’ book, The Aromatherapy Companion.

Most sources of pure essential oils sell them with dropper tops of one type or another. If the essential oils you buy do not come with dropper tops you might consider investing in a few eye-droppers. This way you can add essential oils to your lotions and oils without coming into direct contact with them.

Should you spill some undiluted essential oil on yourself or on the outside of the container, wash it off as soon as possible. This will reduce the possibility of accidentally transferring the oils to other surfaces or parts of your or your client’s body. Liquid castille soap is the best to use for this purpose, but any liquid hand soap or dish soap can be used.

I squeeze a small amount of undiluted soap right onto my skin or the container, work it around to absorb all the essential oil and then wash it off with lots of cool water. After drying my skin or the container, I check to make sure all the essential oil has been removed. The surface should no longer feel oily and the fragrance should be slight. If not, repeat the process with the liquid soap.

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