Lately I’ve had a number of compliments about the aromas floating around my office. No it’s not a delectable lunch, it’s actually coming from a blend of aromatherapy scents I like to spritz throughout the day to re-energize and brighten the mood. Though it may smell lovely, there are specific rules to follow when incorporating aromatherapy and essential oils. Here are five tips to follow from certified aromatherapist Cristina Proano-Carrion, founder of Aromandina.
1. Never use an essential oil internally
Before you ingest anything, make sure your expert really is an expert. Find out where and how he was trained because it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
2. Never apply an undiluted essential oil to the skin
Always use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oils, so that they don’t burn the skin. Or, if you’re using your essential oils in the bathtub, you can get the same effect by mixing them with sea salts, Epsom salt, or milk first, so the oils won’t be able to float on the surface of the water and irritate your skin. (Avoid the following essential oils in the bath: basil, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, marjoram, oregano, thyme, peppermint, lemongrass, and orange.)
3. Always find out how long you can safely use and how to dilute a particular oil
Even after they’re diluted, some essential oils can only be used on the skin for a short period of time. In most cases, this applies to the spicy oils—like basil, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, marjoram, oregano, and thyme.
4. Never use phototoxic essential oils on the skin before sun exposure
Just because they’re all-natural doesn’t mean that your essential oils can’t react with the environmnet. For example, some essential oils—including, lemon, lime, grapefruit, cumin, and bergamot—can make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays.
5. Always use extra caution when it comes to children and pregnant women
Some essential oils—including birch, carrot seed, cinnamon bark, fennel, hyssop, myrrh, oregano, and sage—should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Also, little ones under two need extra dilution before any essential oils can be applied to their skin.
For more insight from Proano-Carrion, visit Aromandina.