Mistake 4: Forgetting some essential oils are “hot”
While you can apply many essential oils directly to the skin with minimal dilution, some are considered “hot” oils. For example, Peppermint feels great as part of a post-workout massage, but without proper dilution, the sensation can be very intense. The same holds true of other hot essential oils. Here are a few things to remember when tackling these trickier oils:
- We refer to some essential oils as hot oils because they cause a warming or intense sensation when applied topically.
- Peppermint is one example of a hot oil; Cinnamon Bark, Black Pepper and Oregano are others.
- You can dilute hot oils with a carrier oil like our V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex.
- Before using an oil topically, do a spot test on your forearm and watch for a reaction.
- Be sure to check the label of your essential oil to find out the correct dilution ratio.
- Slow and steady wins the race! Start with just a drop or two of essential oil and build from there.
Mistake 5: Ignoring the staining power of some essential oils
Essential oils are fantastically fragrant, so it’s a given we’d want to add them to our lotion, laundry and linen sprays. Who doesn’t love surrounding themselves with clean, cozy, comforting smells?
Unfortunately, some of those clean, cozy smells come from some very colourful oils that can stain skin and clothes. Good news—we’ve got your back! We want you to look as great as your essential oils smell, and Blue Tansy-hued hands paired with a Jasmine-spotted jumper is not going to cut it.
Want to sidestep unsightly stains on linens and laundry? Avoid doing the following when dealing with darker oils:
- Applying directly to the skin and getting dressed before the oil absorbs
- Adding directly to your laundry
- Spilling on clothes or other fabrics
YL tip: Although some essential oils stain, others help remove everyday stains.
Mistake 6: Soaking up the sun’s rays before checking if an oil causes photosensitivity
When we say “causes photosensitivity,” we’re not saying you’ll suddenly be selfie-shy. We’re talking about how some essential oils, especially citrus, contain compounds known as furanocoumarins—say that 10 times fast—that greatly increase UV sensitivity. And while most photosensitizing oils are citrus, others can contain compounds or mixes of compounds that have the same effect as furanocoumarins. Those aren’t sun safe either.
Venturing outside? Always check your oil bottle’s label before application. If it has a photosensitivity warning, it’s a no before you go. Here are some easy tips to help reduce the risk of reactions:
- Use photosensitive oils as part of your nightly routine.
- Cover the application area with your clothing or a wide-brimmed hat.
- Follow all label instructions.
- Seek medical advice immediately if the skin is painful or the reaction covers a substantial portion of the body.