Aromatherapy Safety: Tips for Using Essential Oils Responsibly

Aromatherapy Safety: Tips for Using Essential Oils Responsibly


Aromatherapy has been around for centuries! It’s the use of fragrant plant-derived oils to bring positivity to the body and soul. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so handle them with care. Knowing how to use these oils is key to getting desired results.

The most popular way to use them is through inhalation. This can be done by diffusing the oil or inhaling from a cotton swab or handkerchief. Another way is topical application. Use a few drops of essential oil on the skin. Remember, essential oils can irritate skin if not diluted. Do patch tests and keep away from eyes and mucous membranes.

When you know the basics, you can confidently use the oils for self-care or with a health team. Here are some tips:

  • Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba oil.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not ingest any essential oils.
  • Research the oil before use.
  • Do not use near open flames.

Essential Oil Basics

Essential oils are powerful! They can be used for many things, such as aromatherapy. But, they must be used safely and responsibly. To be safe, it’s crucial to understand the basics of essential oils. This section will explain everything you need to know. From what they are to how to use them safely.

Types of Essential Oils

Essential oils are from plants and are used for medical, therapeutic, and emotional health reasons. Different oils have different healing benefits, uses, and applications. Most oils come from trees, flowers, roots, herbs, and shrubs, but some come from citrus fruit peels.

Essential oils can be inhaled directly from the bottle, or applied to the skin. It’s important to never use them neat (without dilution) as they can cause skin irritation. You can safely apply diluted oils with tapered roll-ons, smelling salt in carrier oil mixtures, soap bars with essential oils, creams with organic butters, lotions with organic vegetable glycerin, and more.

There are 3 basic types of essential oils:

  • Single note oils (from single sources like lavender flowers).
  • Blended oils (combinations of single note oils).
  • Base note oils (slower evaporating oils that take longer to release their aroma). These base note oils are treasured for their ability to enhance therapeutic compound synergy when used in mixtures.

How Essential Oils Work

Essential oils are not the same as vegetable oils. They are compounds found in certain plants and trees. These compounds have healing agents like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals. These are extracted with steam, cold pressing, distillation, or solvent extraction methods.

Essential oils can be inhaled directly or added to a diffuser. To reduce skin sensitivity, oils may be diluted with carrier oils like almond, jojoba, or coconut oil. Topical use of essential oils can help absorption into the skin for quicker results.

Furthermore, essential oils provide emotional support through aromatherapy. Studies show its calming effects on mind and body. Research and aromatherapy are documenting this extensively.

Potential Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant substances. They contain antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic and antifungal properties. They are popularly used in alternative medicine. When used responsibly, they can be a great holistic remedy.

There is evidence from both anecdotes and research to suggest that essential oils can help treat skin issues such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. They can also provide relief from common respiratory issues like colds and flus. In addition to treating physical ailments, they can also bring emotional and psychological benefits. The aromas of essential oils can reduce anxiety and increase feelings of wellbeing by stimulating the limbic system – the area of the brain related to emotions – in a positive way.

Many people believe that essential oils have healing properties which aid overall wellness. They can combat fatigue caused by mental and physical exhaustion. Although there is limited scientific research to back these claims, proper use of essential oil treatments can have positive outcomes on people’s health and wellbeing.

Safety Considerations

Essential oils pack a powerful punch! When using them, bear in mind there are safety factors to consider. Diluting properly, keeping away from skin, and more – this section covers these tips. Handle these oils with care – even in small doses.

  • Dilute properly
  • Keep away from skin
  • Handle with care


It’s essential to use the right dilution when using essential oils. That means you need to use the right amount of essential oils with the suitable carrier or base substance. Too much oil or not understanding how to properly dilute it can cause irritation or toxicity, depending on the oil.

A 1% dilution ratio is safest. This way, you’ll get the benefits and avoid adverse reactions. To make a 1% dilution, mix 6-12 drops of essential oils into 4 ounces (120 ml) of a carrier, such as fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil.

Remember these things when creating your own dilutions:

  • Know your skin type and safe oils for it
  • Understand each oil’s properties and how they interact
  • Test on a small patch of skin before applying more
  • Never apply an undiluted oil to the skin
  • Be aware that children and older adults are sensitive to aromatherapy
  • Be careful when combining more than one oil in a blend, as this could cause an undesired interaction.

Skin Sensitivity

Essential oils can be absorbed through skin and can affect overall health. Start using small amounts and observe how you or your family respond. Some are labelled ‘skin safe’, but could still cause an allergic reaction – especially if you have sensitive skin. Exercise caution!

Always blend essential oils with a carrier oil, such as almond or jojoba oil, before applying to skin. This will help to reduce risk of skin irritation. Select mild essential oils for topical use. Citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit, tangerine and bergamot can be phototoxic – meaning when used on exposed skin it can increase UV ray sensitivity. Lavender and tea tree oils are good alternatives for topical use.

When blending multiple essential oils, use small amounts of each. Terpenes in the oils can sensitize when mixed together. Lastly, keep all essential oils out of reach of children. They may try to apply them directly onto their skin without diluting first.


Store essential oils in a cool, dark place. Sunlight weakens them and shortens their life. Sources vary, so check the expiration date. Put them in an air-tight container, like a glass bottle with a dropper or spray. Label the bottle with botanical name and type of oil. Keep away from children and pets; they can be dangerous if ingested or applied.

Interactions with Medications

Essential oils can react with medications. Avoid or use very diluted amounts for this reason. Check the ingredients of your medication and research any possible interactions with essential oils. Oils with ketones, such as peppermint and fennel, can have bad effects with some antihistamines, statins, and calcium channel blockers. Methyl salicylate (in birch and wintergreen) can mix with blood thinning medications like Warfarin.

Be careful with any product containing essential oils and medications, including over-the-counter products like cough medicine, cold remedies, and ointments. If you are worried about any interactions, talk to a healthcare provider before adding aromatherapy to your routine.

Guidelines for Use

Aromatherapy is a great way to utilize essential oils for improving your health! However, it is important to practice safe use of these oils. We’ll go over the guidelines for usage and how to gain the most benefits from this technique.

Research and Consultation

Do your research and talk to a reliable source before using any essential oil. Quality can vary, so only buy from reputable suppliers. Not everyone is safe to use all oils – some people may be sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients. Understand what type of oil and how it can affect you before using it.

Check your country’s laws before ordering and using aromatherapy products. Speak with a qualified aromatherapist to make educated decisions about when and how frequently to use specific oils. Get professional medical advice before starting an aromatherapy regimen if you have a medical condition or allergies. Consult a trusted health professional if discomfort occurs during or after using essential oils.

Use the Correct Dosage

When using essential oils, the amount is key. Too much can be a bad thing. Follow these guidelines:

  • Use the right amount of drops – usually a few. Depending on desired effect/scent adjust amount, but check with an aromatherapist first.
  • Dilute with a carrier oil or liquid to reduce scent intensity and spread it evenly. Check with an aromatherapist before adding anything.
  • Be aware of allergies/sensitivities – if any doubts, don’t use the oil. Especially with children.

Avoid Ingestion

Humans should not consume essential oils. Inhalation of pure oils is not suggested either as it can be toxic. Essential oils must be used carefully. Buy USDA certified organic products from a reliable vendor. Many sellers may propose ingestion of their products. Though this may be beneficial, it can be dangerous if misused or without proper guidance and knowledge of the side effects.

Before using essential oils internally, chat with your healthcare provider. Ask an experienced aromatherapist who understands safety and ingestion of essential oils. Research risks and potential interactivity with other medications or medical conditions before using them internally to avoid unexpected consequences or allergic reactions.

Avoid Use with Children and Pets

Essential oils can be great for us, but they are too strong for children and pets. Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin of babies, toddlers, or animals. Skin irritation can occur from these compounds.

Here are some safety tips for using essential oils with these groups:

  • Dilute the oil by adding 4-6 drops to one ounce of carrier oil before applying to the skin.
  • Consult your child’s pediatrician before using aromatherapy on children 12 and younger.
  • Keep out of reach from children and pets. If a pet comes into contact with undiluted oil, contact your veterinarian.
  • Don’t diffuse undiluted oils around pets. Diffuse 1-2 drops of diluted oils in a ventilated area when they are present, to avoid respiratory distress.

Follow these tips and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy without harming anyone in the home!


To wrap up, if done correctly, aromatherapy with essential oils is a secure and enjoyable type of treatment. Realizing the types and quality of the oils, being aware of their safety for different uses, and keeping them in check can help to make sure the best results with little risks.

Keeping these safety tips in mind, we wish you to find aromatherapy to be a safe, soothing and good smelling form of therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is aromatherapy?

A: Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Q: Are essential oils safe to use?

A: When used correctly, essential oils are safe. However, they can be harmful if used improperly.

Q: How should I use essential oils safely?

A: Always read and follow the label instructions. Essential oils should be diluted before use and never applied directly to the skin. They should also be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Q: Can essential oils be used during pregnancy?

A: Some essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy, but others are not recommended. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils during pregnancy.

Q: Is it safe to ingest essential oils?

A: Ingesting essential oils can be dangerous and is not recommended unless under the guidance of a certified aromatherapist or healthcare professional.

Q: What should I do if I experience an adverse reaction to an essential oil?

A: Stop using the essential oil immediately and seek medical attention if necessary. It’s important to note that some individuals may be more sensitive to certain essential oils than others.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

Related Articles