10 Things you must know before using essential oils
Any skin care product, including essential oils, must be researched and tested before applying to your skin. Essential oils have enormous benefits when applied correctly. In this article, we will discuss things you should know before using essential oils, including your skin type and precautions; like every other skin care product, essential oils can harm and damage your skin and even be lethal to you and your pets if ingested.
Precautions and Testing
Here are some precautions to take before using essential oils. These tips can be used for anything directly applied to the skin.
Perform a patch test on a small area of skin
The patch test is a must before using anything directly applied to our skin. Mark a tiny circle of your skin using a pen or lipstick either on your arm or leg and apply a small amount of the product you are trying to test. Leave it for 5-10 minutes or the recommended time from instructions.
Avoid using it on broken, wounded, or irritated skin
If you have a wound or damaged skin, do not apply essential oils on that spot, especially if you haven’t used a product before. It can cause severe reactions. Do not apply it to skin regions that are either irritated or can get irritated easily.
Check for allergies or known sensitivities
If someone is allergic to peanuts, they are undoubtedly allergic to peanut oil, and similar logic can be applied to using essential oils. If you are allergic to a particular fruit, flower, or tree, you are most likely allergic to its essential oil. Another thing to consider is your sensitivity to a specific aroma; intense aromas can trigger migraines.
How to know if you have sensitive skin?
You can take the patch test for things that are just fine for normal skin. Plus, here are some signs to make sure:
- Prone to irritation and severe reactions
- Redness and irritation due to weather and temperature changes
Know Your Skin and Needs
While using skin care products, you must consider your skin type, whether your skin is dry, oily, or acne-prone. Essential oils can help you in different situations, but you should consider your skin type before using them.
Reading labels sounds boring and seems tedious, but it is crucial to ensure you get the right product, understand what ingredients are in there, and if there is something that is not illegal to use but is harmful non the less.
Familiarize yourself with harmful substances to avoid
Reading labels inform you about the ingredients used in a product so you can ensure it contains the compounds you desire. However, most of the time, some things seem cryptic and that you might have never seen before. To avoid harmful ingredients, you must familiarize yourself with the general categories of harmful ingredients, like parabens, sulfates, and Hydroquinone.
Look for active ingredients that address your skin concerns
Ensure you have clarified what you are trying to get from essential oils. Checking labels helps you understand what active ingredients are there and if it contains what you are looking for.
What are some of the harmful ingredients in essential oils?
Usually, there are no additive harmful ingredients in essential oils, like parabens and sulfates. Still, there are some other factors to keep in mind, like concentration, quality, respiratory issues, and allergies.
Product Expiration and Storage
Every product has a shelf life, including essential oils. Most products have an expiration date, but sometimes it isn’t mentioned on the label. If there is an expiration date, make sure to read it.
Most skincare products, including essential oils, require a cold and dark place for storage where humidity is low. Check labels for any specific instructions for the brand you are using.
How to know if an essential oil has expired?
In most cases, an expiration date is mentioned on the label, but if it isn’t, here are some signs for you:
- The smell or aroma has changed and doesn’t smell like its kind.
- The color of the oil has been changed.
- It was left under the sun or stored in a high-temperature place.
- The consistency of the oil is changing.
V. Sun Protection
Some essential oils are phototoxic and require you to not expose them to the sunlight in the bottle or on your skin. If you want to apply essential oils and go out in the sun, consider using sunscreen over it in your routine to avoid phototoxicity.
Seek Professional Advice
If things applied to your skin usually give you irritation and severe reactions, you might have sensitive skin. To ensure what is the case or if there is another underlying problem, consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional to sort this out and find something that works for you.
Is it necessary to seek professional advice before using essential oils?
No, but you should consider it if you have susceptible skin, allergies, or other complications.
When using essential oils in your daily routine with other products. Beware that they may interact and cause a reaction that might not be possible when used individually. Therefore, whenever trying new products, do a patch test before adding them to your routine
Avoid ingredients that may clash or cause adverse reactions
Avoid using essential oils like peppermint, Cinnamon Bark Oil, or mint together. These oils have compounds that can cause burning and cooling sensation. They bind with some receptors to make us feel a burning or cooling sensation.
Set proper expectations for results
Understand that skin care products, including essential oils, require extended, consistent use for visible results. If you are considering using essential oils, research to find the realistic time and effects you can achieve using essential oils. Some conditions, like hyperpigmentation, can be caused or natural, but essential oils are unlikely to treat the natural ones.
Avoid excessive product use to prevent skin irritation
Use product sparingly to fasten up the process. “The more, the better” might not apply to essential oils due to their concentration and mode of action. They might cause some damage, like irritation and flaky skin (which causes hyperpigmentation).
How much time do essential oils take to show visible results?
It depends on what kind of results you are trying to achieve. It also depends on your skin type, purity and concentration of the product, and frequency of use.
Skin is a living organ that behaves differently when external changes happen, like seasonal changes. Your skin might dry in winter but not in summer or vice versa. Consider seasonal adjustments before using skin care products.
Skincare routines involving treatments like exfoliation and other procedures like Botox can make your skin too sensitive for essential oils if done frequently. In that case, find a very mild essential oil that gives you your desired results and doesn’t damage the skin simultaneously. Or reconsider your frequency based on your skin type and treatment potency.
There is a lot of information about essential oils some people recommend it, some say they are useless. Hence, you must do your own research to learn more about what suits and meets your needs. While somethings to keep in mind are to check labels for active ingredients, checking if they work for your skin type. Plus, make sure that you are buying from a source that ensures product quality that can be trusted.