Essential oils: Natural does not always mean safe
General principles of essential oils
Essential oils are potent, concentrated substances. Therefore, only a small amount is needed to create a big impact. They must be used with care. You only need a drop or two (not spoonfuls) for effect. It is important to note, however, that just because an oil is natural does not necessarily means it is safe. A concentrated oil – or any other hair product – can have negative consequences if misused or used incorrectly.
Like any substance, natural or otherwise, essential oils can trigger allergic reactions. Therefore, it is advisable to perform an initial skin test when using a new essential oil for the first time. A skin test may be performed at home by diluting the concentrated essential oil. To do this, mix one or two drops of the essential oil with a teaspoon of vegetable oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil. Next, add a drop of this mixture to a small area of your elbow and wait 24 to 48 hours. If you feel or see no reaction after this time, it is safe to use; however, if you notice signs of irritation such as redness, itchiness, or blistering, discontinue use immediately.
How to safely use essential oil
Never mix these concentrated substances with water or liquids containing lipophilic elements. We only recommend mixing them with a carrier oil, but never with water. And one more important point: only use high quality oil. Look for high quality oil – preferably 100% natural organic oil of biological origin (without pesticides). If you accidentally ingest or come into contact (eyes or skin) with a pure essential oil dilute it by adding vegetable oil immediately!
When stored correctly, essential oils can keep for a long time. To maintain the freshness of these oils keep them in an airtight sealed bottle to avoid exposure to air. It is also vital that these bottles are tinted and/or stored in a cool, dark place to prevent exposure to sunlight and to preserve their therapeutic virtues.
Be aware that citrus-based essential oils can only be stored for two to three years. These are not produced by distillation, but by mechanical pressure, therefore the risk of oxidation is higher. You can store them in a refrigerator to avoid damage caused by temperature variations.