Essential oil safety is important because each essential oil is pure and very potent. Some oils may increase sensitivity to sunlight and cause irritation (photosensitivity) so caution should be taken during summer months. When UV radiation, a form of radiation which makes up approximately 10% of sunlight, comes in contact with particular substances it can initiate a series of chemical and biological reactions. This immune reaction is known as photosensitization. Some essential oils contain organic compounds that make some people’s skin more sensitive to the effects of UV radiation. When photosensitive skin is exposed to UV radiation, it may cause damage to cellular membranes, organelles, and proteins. This may result in temporary darkening of skin pigment and irritation, much like a sunburn. More extreme exposure may cause hives or burns. Here are a few safety tips to keep your essential oil experiences positive this summer.
- Look at the labels and follow direction closely, especially if you are trying oils for the first time.
- Many oils need to be diluted with carrier oils like olive, coconut or jojoba.
- Essential Oils to be used with caution during the summer include: cinnamon bark, clove, citronella, cumin, lemongrass, lemon, oregano, bergamot and thyme.
- If you have applied phototoxic essential oils to your skin do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours
- Oils that are easily tolerated include; marjoram, frankincence, German chamomile, myrrh, thyme and lavender.
To practice essential oil safety it’s important to use oils in the appropriate way. Essential oils may be applied on the skin, inhaled, diffused or taken internally, but the best application depends on the specific oil. Come see Martina at Abaton Integrative Medicine for more information on how to include oils in your daily routine. Homemade Bug Spray Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup Witch hazel water
- 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 40 drops Essential Oils (Eucayptus, Lemongrass, Citronella, Lavendar or Tea Tree
- 8 oz glass spray bottle
- Mix witch hazel, apple cider vinegar and essential oils in the 8 ounce glass spray bottle.
- Spray over all portions of the body but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth.
Martina Tecic Microscopist