Stay safe buying and using essential oils



Aromatherapy is more than simply finding a nice scent and taking it home. Picking the best quality oil and using it correctly are key when it comes to improving your health. 

Be a savvy shopper and buy essential oils in dark bottles. The tinted glass helps to keep the oil from deteriorating. Check the label’s Latin name to make sure it matches what you’re looking for.

Several species of lavender exist — Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia, for example — and you want to get the oil best suited to your needs. Be sure you’re buying 100% pure essential oil by looking at the purity statement. And keep an eye out for a quality seal, such as GRAS-certified (generally recognized as safe) or USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia).

Be sure to keep the container tightly closed in a cool location to ward off heat, light, and oxygen.

Lots of people inhale essential oils by diffusing them in a room. Want to go the topical route? Follow these safety tips to avoid an allergic reaction.

  • Dilute with a carrier oil to protect your skin from irritation.

  • Test for an allergic reaction on a small patch of skin.

  • Never dab essential oils around your eyes or on broken skin.

  • Don’t apply to the same spot every day.

  • Skip putting citrus oils on your skin.

Check with your doctor before using essential oils because they can worsen symptoms of underlying health conditions and interact with some medications. And remember that essential oils can be toxic if swallowed.

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  • FC&A Staff Writer