For a long time, I had a lovely collection of essential oils that I’d use in my diffuser or in a luxurious bath.
I’ve lived abroad, and I’ve always been interested in the healing rituals of yoga, massage, and reflexology. I noticed a lot of wellness blogs suggesting that I use essential oils for massage, on my pressure points, or for skin care.
I’ve always been curious about how to use essential oils directly on my body, but I wasn’t sure how safe it would be.
Would essential oils irritate my skin?
Are essential oils even made to be used topically?
I wanted some answers so, I decided to do a bit of research on how to safely use essential oils topically.
After making sure it was safe, I’ve grown to love the positive effects of my topical use of essential oils.
Now, I put Peppermint behind my ear on while driving down a windy road or Eucalyptus on my chest when I used to use a store-bought vapor rub.
I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Here is a little guide I made to safely using essential oils on your body:
As you know, essential oils are highly concentrated versions of potent flowers, herbs, and spices we find in nature. Although, essential oils are natural, they’re concentrated form causes them to react differently to your body than if you encountered the essential oil ingredient by yourself. For example, one drop of lavender could contain the essences of over fifty lavender flowers.
This is why people will often dilute essential oils with a diffuser or a carrier oil. Carrier oils are vegetable based oils that you’re probably familiar with from cooking such as coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil.
Some carrier oils have neutral scents and others have quite strong smells. It’s useful to experiment and learn about different carrier oils while you experiment with the wonderful flavors of essential oils as well.
The best way to test how your skin will react to a particular essential oil is to test it out on a small patch of skin. A skin patch test is relatively simple to do and can directly help you see how your skin will react to a particular scent.
First you want to apply one to two drops of the essential oil of your choice and mix it with a carrier oil. Place the oil on the inside of your elbow and put a bandage over the area. Allow the bandage to sit for 24 hours and assess your skin’s reactivity to the oil after a day has passed.
If no irritation has occurred, this means the particular oil is safe to use on your skin. Keep in mind that everybody’s skin is different and every essential oil is different, so make sure to perform a skin patch test before you embark on a new ritual for essential oils.