They smell great and are well-loved but there’s a certain way to use essential oils, to avoid bad burns and imbalances in your body.
Once you get used to them essential oils can feel, well, essential. They come in all types and fragrances, with promises of relaxing you, relieving arthritis pain, curing headaches, taking away indigestion and relieving skin irritations, to name a few benefits.
With the right mix, they can smell pretty wonderful and add an earthy ambiance to any environment. But are they safe?
A recent report of a woman who suffered second and third degree burns from applying essential oils directly to her skin, has some people reeling. Elise Nguyen detailed in a Facebook post how she applied Doterra essential oils to her neck and wrists, like you would a perfume, only to suffer from nasty chemical burns a few days later that went on for weeks.
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Nguyen applied the oil, did hot yoga and then went to a tanning session. She says she was preparing to attend a tropical wedding in a few weeks and didn’t want her skin to burn badly while at the celebration.
Little did she know how much she’d suffer before ever getting there. The essential oil on her skin reacted with the sunlight and the UV light of her tanning bed.
Something called phototoxicity took place. The oils on Nguyen’s skin absorbed and magnified the UV rays of the light she was exposed to before releasing them to her skin.
You can see in the Facebook photos she posted that she suffered tremendous burns all up and down her forearms and neck.
So, obviously combining essential oils with your skin isn’t a great idea. Are there other dangers to be aware of, too?
Experts say that if you’re pregnant or nursing, using essential oils might not be the best idea. Always check with your doctor for the best opinion. Some essential oils are known to affect your hormones and are said to possibly cause an imbalance during gestation.
Experts also recommend that you never use essential oils on the body of a baby or an animal, as it can prove to be toxic for both.
And as for ingesting the products and using them as massage oil, use extreme caution. It’s best not to ingest any essential oil at all, as it could possibly burn your esophagus or give you a dose of something your digestive tract can’t handle.
For a massage, it’s extremely important you dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, so that you’re actually using minute amounts of the scented oil, itself.
What’s the safest way to use them, then? Diffuse it into the air, add a few drops to the laundry with each load and to your vacuum bag, and clean with around the house with them.
Don’t use it in homemade sunscreen as some advise, or ingest it. The risk simply isn’t worth it.
(photo credits: www.pixabay.com)