Essential oils are incredibly popular. But everyone seems to have a different opinion on the best way to use them.
There’s little definitive information available. I couldn’t find any scientific studies addressing proper use of essential oils and how to avoid sensitization.
I did find literature from various aromatherapy experts that talk about essential oil sensitization. This is just another term for allergic reaction.
One way to possibly avoid such a reaction is not to use the same essential oil too many days in a row.
This is something I do myself. I do it as prevention. I like using essential oils. So I’d hate to think an allergic reaction could stop me from using them.
Also, I’ve noticed that my oils work better when I don’t use them too often. Or at least for too long without a break in between. (Actually, I notice the same thing with my herbal and homeopathic remedies as well.)
For instance, I use lavender essential oil to help me sleep. It works great for a few nights. After that, it stops working. This means I need to use another aromatic scent instead, such as clary sage essential oil. (I can then return to lavender oil after a break.)
Actually, for me, natural remedies work best when used judiciously. This means using the smallest amount necessary to do the job. Then putting the remedy on the shelf once the job is done. Here, you can read one of my earlier posts on How Often Can You Use Essential OIls?
Why You Need To Rotate Essential Oils
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I’ve heard it said not to use the same essential oil on your skin for more than two weeks. You can use it again. After a break. I don’t know how long this break should be though.
With me, I let my nose lead the way. I typically use a certain essential oil for only three or four days. After that, it begins to lose its appeal. I don’t want to smell it and I don’t like the idea of putting it on my skin. So I use something else instead.
What oil I use depends upon what I’m attracted to. For instance, right now, as I’m writing this, I’m inhaling the intoxicating aroma of lemon essential oil. Out of all the oils I own, this is the one I want to smell. I’ll probably use it for a day or two longer.
Developing a Sensitivity To Essential Oils
I’m not a professional aromatherapist or a medical doctor. I’m just a natural health blogger who likes to use essential oils. I share my personal experience with others, but don’t give medical advice. I can also pass along information on how I use essential oils in my daily life. But I encourage you to do your own research.
We’re all different. So what works best for one person may not work for another. I urge you to go beyond social media posts. Some of the advice I’ve seen on social media is dangerous. My best advice is to seek out a reputable source for essential oil information.
Most of the larger essential oil companies have good information on their websites. I have a couple of links at the bottom of this post that you may want to explore.
Essential Oil Sensitization
I’m not an expert on essential oil sensitization. But I know it happens. Apparently it can be caused by using the same kind of essential oil too many days in a row.
According to one site called The English Aromatherapist, sensitization can happen for a number of other reasons as well. A few of them include:
- Not diluting essential oils properly. This means putting them in a carrier oil before putting them on your skin. Carrier oils are oily oils that help protect your skin. A standard dilution ratio is about 2 percent of essential oil to the amount of carrier oil you use. This would be about 3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier.
- The English Aromatherapist also notes that sensitization can happen if you use the same oil too frequently.
- Some essential oils are more likely than others to cause sensitization. She points out that cinnamon bark is considered sensitizing. (This aromatic is found in many of the popular germ-fighting blends. So use it carefully.)
- Don’t use old oils. That’s because they can become oxidized, and, therefore, possibly more likely to cause sensitization. (I definitely stop using my oils when they start to smell funny.)
There’s more information on how to prevent sensitization on The English Aromatherapist’s website, so I encourage you to read it.
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.
For More Reading
Plant Therapy Blog Post On Essential Oil Sensitization