I discovered essential oils a few years ago. Now, I use them every single day. They are so versatile. They have potential health benefits. When I have a tension headache, I reach for my essential oils instead of over-the-counter pain medication. They give me instant relief, without potentially dangerous side effects.
Also I put essential oils into my DIY skincare products. I use homemade cosmetics instead of the bottled toxins I used to put on my face. I started making my own moisturizers after reading up on parabens. These chemical preservatives are found in a wide range of products. There’s increasing concern they’re one factor in the current breast cancer epidemic. That’s because they mimic estrogen. This hormone can potentially spur tumor growth.
Essential oils make great natural sleep remedies. In addition, I use essential oils for cleaning. They’re the aromatic powerhouses added to all natural cleaning products. However, since I have a fairly large collection of essential oils, it’s easy to make my own cleaners.
Needless to say, I use essential oils every day. But with a couple of caveats.
How Often Can You Use Essential Oils?
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I need to stress I’m not a doctor or a professional aromatherapist. I’m simply an avid essential oil user who’s done a lot of research, so I can pass along already published information to my readers. Also, I can share my personal experience with aromatherapy.
Essential oils are very safe when used as directed. This means not ingesting them, unless you’re working with a medical doctor who has special expertise with aromatics. Please ignore all the recipes on social media sites that encourage you to put your oils in a capsule and swallow them. Some people may get away with this. But others may develop a reaction. That’s why I encourage my readers to play it safe.
Also, we’re not supposed to put essential oils directly on our skin. One reason is that some of the “hot” oils can leave a burn. Also, we may increase the likelihood of developing a sensitivity to a particular aromatic. I’m not sure how common this is, or how much direct application increases our risk. But I don’t want to take that chance. A sensitivity would likely mean we can never use that oil again, and possibly other types of aromatics as well.
How Often Do You Apply Essential Oils?
I apply essential oils to my skin anywhere from once a day, to maybe three times a day, spaced out. (But I always try for the minimum necessary to do the job.) For instance, I may use a face cream that contains frankincense essential oil after I shower. Later, I may use a diluted aromatic pain recipe on my body. (I have chronic nerve pain. Fortunately I can control it with natural remedies and a careful diet.) At night, I may apply a lotion bar that contains tranquilizing oils to the inside of my wrist.
Some days, I don’t put essential oils directly on my skin. Instead, I use a cold air diffuser. Or I put them on a tissue and keep this nearby.
I’m not sure there’s a standard recommendation on how often to apply essential oils. But a good practice is to use them only when needed. For instance, if you use a tranquilizing aromatic to take the edge off, you can stop as soon as you feel relief. There’s no need to keep reapplying it. Plant Therapy is one of the places where I get my essential oils. I love the common sense advice on this company’s blog, about how often to diffuse your essential oils.
There’s one thing I’ve discovered about essential oils. They are amazing gifts. Sometimes I wonder if God has allowed us to have these soothing and wonderful smelling essential oils to counter the stressful times we’re living in. At no other time in history have we been able to so easily access aromatic plant extracts from all around the world.
Essential Oils Controversy
However, at the same time, I’ve noticed that there’s an incredible amount of controversy surrounding correct use of essential oils. Everyone seems to have their own opinion. Actually, essential oils are fairly simple. And there are right ways to use them. There are wrong ways as well. One mistake is to use them too liberally.
You need to keep in mind is that essential oils are very strong. So you need to use them judiciously, and make sure they’re well diluted before putting them on your skin. A safe suggested dilution is 1 percent for the face, or for large areas of your body. This ratio, or even less, is also recommended for children. Otherwise, you can use a 2 percent dilution, which is approximately 3 drops of aromatic oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil.
Carriers are oily oils that protect your skin. They also help to “carry” the aromatic compounds into your system. Fractionated coconut oil is a popular carrier. But there are a number of others. Two of my favorites are sweet almond oil and avocado oil, which you can see below.
Should You Rotate Essential Oils?
I like to rotate my essential oils. For this, this seems to make them work better. For instance, I use lavender essential oil to help me sleep. But I don’t use it every night. That’s because after a few nights in a row, it stops working. So I need to take a break and use something else. Two of my other sleep favorites are cedarwood essential oil and clary sage essential oil. (I need to rotate these as well.)
Essential Oil Sensitivity
Another reason I like to rotate my oils is to potentially reduce the risk of becoming sensitized to a particular oil. I don’t know how common this is. But I don’t want to take the chance. because I’d hate to think I’d have to permanently stop using one of my favorite oils, and possibly other related aromatics. Plant Therapy has also published an excellent article on essential oil sensitization. It contains tips on possibly reducing the likelihood of this happening. They include:
- Always follow the recommended dilution guidelines. This would be a 2 percent dilution in most cases. However, go for a 1 percent dilution on your face, or if you plan to use the oil on a larger area of your body.
- Be extremely careful if you have a history of allergic reactions. If so. you may want to avoid certain oils, such as lemon verbena, cassia, aniseseed, Peru balsam and spearmint.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.