Are essential oils truly good for you
Essential oils are extracts taken from various parts of plants, like flowers, bark, leaves, and roots. Furthermore, from which part of the plant the oil is taken depends upon the nature of the oil, as lavender and rose essential oil is taken from their flowers, and Sandalwood and cinnamon essential oils come from the bark of the plant or tree. They have various purposes, including skin care, massage, and aroma therapy. In this article, we will talk about their use in skincare, and aromatherapy some of their benefits, and potential harms.
Benefits of using essential oils
Different essential oils were used by different cultures for either cosmetic purposes or to treat an illness. Essential oils can benefit us in many ways, Some of the benefits are listed below but the list is by no means exhaustive. Uses can differ from person to person and might not be effective for all.
- Aromatherapy and Relaxation
- Improved Sleep
- Skin Care
- Natural Air Fresheners
- Pain Relief
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction
- Natural Insect Repellent
- Mood Upliftment
Who shouldn’t use essential oils
Most essential oils are usually safe to use for most people, but there are certain situations in which you shouldn’t use essential oils. Listed below are some of the major factors that you should consider before using essential oils. If the issue you are facing that you cannot find a reliable answer to, ask a healthcare professional.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
During pregnancy, our bodies change, and we become more sensitive to certain things on our skin, and some aromas can give us bad headaches. Certain chemicals in oils get absorbed into our skin and reach the bloodstream. They might not harm us, but they could undoubtedly harm the baby.
Children and infants
Infants and children have more sensitive skin than adults and teenagers. Plus, potency made for adults might be too much for them, which can cause skin irritation and redness. If any of their body parts come in contact with that, rinse it immediately, and if symptoms persist take them to the emergency as soon as possible.
People with sensitive or allergic skin
If you are allergic to certain things, you might be allergic to the essential oil you are about to use. Moreover, if you are unsure about being allergic to the oil you are about to use, you should do the patch test or ask a dermatologist for the kinds of oil you can use without any adverse effects.
Certain/specific medical conditions
Some people with specific medical conditions should always check what they are about to put on their skin and bodies before doing it, while sometimes it can result in horrible complications. To avoid these complications first do your research on the internet and then consult a specialist that knows about all the conditions that you have.
People with sun-sensitive skin
The interaction of sunlight with various essential oils makes them “phototoxic,” turning them toxic. If you are planning to go outside, check whether the oil you use is phototoxic.
Additionally, if you have skin sensitive to the sun, and even if the oil you use is not phototoxic, you can still get skin damage. Therefore, it is better to check if you have sun-sensitive skin.
Keep pets away and out of reach from essential oils. Most things that are toxic for humans are also toxic for pets like dogs and cats and other mammals, cats are more susceptible to even smaller amounts even than dogs. Keep your vials out of the reach of the pets that you have and consider putting the vials in another airtight jar to avoid their scent from reaching them.
Individuals with respiratory issues
Essential oils are no go-zone for people with respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis, and their aroma can irritate the lungs. So, keep your vials closed if you have respiratory problems or someone in your house. If you encounter their aroma by mistake, they might trigger a cough and irritate your lungs in that case keep your inhaler nearby.
Precautions to take if you decide to use them
Here are some precautions to take. If you haven’t used essential oils before. A patch test is an absolute must for everything you are trying for the first time. Then dilution is a must if you are using an essential oil that is very concentrated. Quality is something that must be researched before making the purchase whether you are buying online or from a shop.
Put a small amount of essential oil you want to use, apply a small amount on your arm, and leave for 10-15 min to check if it creates an adverse reaction like itches, irritation, or redness. If it starts to feel uncomfortable or shows any visible signs wash it with water immediately, and if the problem remains or expands consult a dermatologist.
Oils are pure extracts of plants, and if you have ever tried hot sauce and ketchup, you can tell the difference between the plant’s Flavors. Like taste, different plants leave different impacts on the skin, some are too potent for our skin, and we should dilute them in a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.
It is crucial to know the quality of the essential oil we are about to get by checking the details of the seller, their reviews, and any other information available online. If quality is not good, you might not see the desired results in the time you might expect them to work. In the worst case, you might get something else altogether.
Everybody has a different sensitivity to different things. In essential oils, we might be too sensitive to one but just fine to some other type. Plus, check if your is too sensitive to the sun. However, if you apply essentials and get some skin damage from the sun, it might make the situation worse.
Check if the oil you use is phototoxic; make sure it isn’t, or don’t use it if you plan to go outdoors. If you want to do it anyways put some sunscreen on it to avoid the damage. If have been affected by it consider consulting professional but phototoxic reactions are usually hard to treat and take some time to recover fully.
Some more tips to consider
Essential oils require dark and cold places to maintain their effectiveness. When essential oils are either heated or put into the light, they usually lose their effectiveness and become toxic.
Essential oils are good for our skin but not our eyes and cavities. So, handle them carefully to avoid accidents that might bring your eyes and nose in contact with the essential oils.
Children and pets are very curious and want to taste and smell everything. Some essential oils are toxic if ingested and we should ensure they never end up in their hands (or paws).
Here are some tips if you need help with what to do and how to use them properly.
Please consult a professional that knows about essential oils and can guide you about their usage and safety. Usually, dermatologists are the people you should see for all skin-related problems, and make a list of questions and concerns that you might have.
While using the oils, if you experience any irritation, adverse reactions, or headaches. Immediately, stop using them to avoid further discomfort and rinse parts of the body that you have applied the product. Try them later to check if they caused it. If they did, try some other blend.
Whether essential oils are good or not, depends upon various factors. Furthermore, these factors include your skin type, the type of oil you are using, skin sensitivity, etc. There are no black-and-white answers to using essential oils, and all that matters is that you test them for yourself. Their benefits however come with some drawbacks but, in most cases, they are inconsequential.