It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out with essential oils or you’ve been using them for decades - If you’re guilty of committing any of these all-too-common mistakes, you may be doing more harm than good.
Even though essential oils may be used to help alleviate numerous ailments from the occasional allergies to heartburn, using them the wrong way or using too much of them can lead to negative reactions.
To help you avoid the same mistakes many people make and so you can take full advantage of the health benefits that high-quality essential oils can provide, we’ll show you everything you need to know in today’s guide.
We’ll start out with the most common and easily avoidable mistake on our list…
The #1 Biggest Mistake: Using a Low Quality Essential Oil
Don’t let the marketing jargon fool you.
Just because an essential oil says “Therapeutic Grade” or “100% Pure” doesn’t necessarily mean it really is. We’ve already talked about how to assess the quality of your essential oils, so we’ll only briefly touch on why it’s important here.
First, unlike high-quality oils, low-grade oils are packed with artificial fragrances and chemical fillers. These oils may be cheaply made or stretched thin, and usually are meant to attract buyers with their low price tags.
What’s more, the synthetic substances found in these low-quality oils are a cocktail of ingredients that can actually make you more sick. Headaches, nausea, and even skin irritations are possible side effects when you purchase a cheap substitute instead of the real thing.
Wondering how you can spot a fake?
See if you can answer the following questions when browsing the labels of the essential oils you’re looking to purchase:
- Is the Latin name of the plant on the bottle? Common names, such as Lavender, are not going to cut it. Look for the real Latin or scientific plant name on each bottle, and don’t settle for anything less.
- Is the country of origin listed? If not, you could be dealing with imposter, hybrid plants that aren’t local to the area they’re growing in. This can dilute or eliminate the oil’s therapeutic potency.
- Is there a purity standard in place? An oil’s purity should be tested by an unbiased third party, and there should be purity GC-MS test reports accessible before purchase –– No exceptions.
- Is the cost comparable? Beware of oils that are heavily discounted as these may contain artificial fillers.
- How many ingredients are listed? A high quality oil will only have one ingredient — 100% of the essential oil listed. Anything other than this isn’t worth your financial investment.
Don’t be afraid to walk away from oils that lack checks in each of these boxes and find ones that do (they exist - trust us!).
Spending the few extra minutes assessing the quality of any essential oils you’re looking to buy will save you headaches and unwanted side effects when you’re actually using them.
The next mistake on our list is also one that can produce harmful reactions if you’re not careful.
#2: Forgoing a Carrier Oil for Topical Use
Many essential oils are too volatile to be applied directly to your skin without being diluted first. For example, if you add a drop of eucalyptus essential oil to your skin, you unknowingly run the risk of causing severe irritation, or worse (as we’ll see in our next mistake).
To prevent this from happening, you must always use a high-quality carrier oil any time you plan to apply essential oils topically. This type of oil dilutes the volatility of the essential oil, making it a safer option to use on your skin. As an added bonus, most certain carrier oils also bring their own skin nourishing properties to the party.
While carrier oils create just enough of a shield to protect your skin from the essential oil, they also deposit a moisturizing layer that may help soothe rashes, irritations, and other skin conditions.
Fractionated coconut and sweet almond oil are our favorite carrier oils to use with essential oils.
One of the most serious mistakes you can make is using an essential oil topically without a carrier oil and then going out in the sun.
#3: Not Being Careful in the Sun
Applying essential oils directly to your skin is one thing. But doing that and going out in the sun is a huge mistake your body cannot afford to make.
You may have recently read in the news that one woman got sick with second and third degree burns after using essential oils. Her mistake:She had applied a photosensitive oil that couldn’t handle strong UV rays.
Because of this, the woman experienced severe burns and also upped her skin cancer risk without even realizing it.
While a trip to the beach may sound even better with a few drops of an energizing citrus essential oil, these are some of the worst offenders when it comes to skin burns.
Add these essential oils to your stay-out-of-the-sun list:
- Mandarin Leaf
- Angelic Root
And the final mistake that people make when using essential oils is perhaps the most common: going overboard.
#4: Using Too Much of an Essential Oil
There’s truth to the phrase “too much of a good thing” — and it certainly applies to essential oil use. See, a good, high-quality essential oil is highly concentrated. That means a little can go a long way.
If you get a little too generous with your oil application, the high concentration may cause headaches or other unwanted side effects.
For example, peppermint essential oil is one of the best natural remedies for acid reflux. Yet when you use essential oils for heartburn relief, too much peppermint can actually cause the heartburn to get worse.
So how can you tell how much is enough?
As long as you’re not committing the first mistake on our list and you’ve ensured that your essential oils are high quality, 1-3 drops is all you need to reap their therapeutic effects in most cases.
Some essential oils, especially the citrus oils, are extremely volatile, so you may need more drops to really smell the aromas since they tend to evaporate faster than other oils because they are so light.
And if you’re using a carrier oil, stick to this rule of thumb: Mix 1 essential oil drop per every 10 drops of carrier oil for the optimal balance.
Now that you know the worst mistakes when it comes to using essential oils, you’re ready to use them to help solve all your health woes responsibly.
Enjoy Essential Oils Without Committing These Mistakes
Ok, so be honest.
How many of today’s mistakes have you been guilty of committing? Fortunately, you don’t have to tell us.
Instead, we hope you’ll simply use the information in today’s guide to keep you and your family safe while taking advantage of all the health benefits that come with adding essential oils to your wellness routine.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family members who also use essential oils; they should be enjoying them safely without making these all-too-common mistakes, too.And remember that a good essential oil routine, whether you are using an essential oil diffuser or applying it topically, starts with a high-quality, 100% pure oil or blend. Browse our extensive collection of high-quality essential oils to find the right one for you and trust that you are receiving 100% pure, therapeutic-quality oil that can help you attain your optimal health.