Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils

Erin ChamerlikEssential Oils


It’s fun and rewarding to use essential oils, especially when you can passionately incorporate them into each day. We use them for our bodies, we use them in cleaning, and of course there’s a plethora of household uses like sticker removal, bug repellent or purposeful DIY sprays.

However, an equally important component of using essential oils is practicing safety and knowing what is okay and what is not. From how to use them around children or pets to knowing where and how to store them, there is a lot to know.  Read on to learn more!

And as always, thank you for being a part of my Young Living journey.
– Erin

03 - 101916 YL Safety Tips Chamerlik Paxson

Dilute with a carrier oil
Dilution with a carrier oil does not dilute the effect of the essential oil. In fact, it prevents excessive application. Look for dilution ratios on Young Living essential oil bottles.

Avoid using “Hot Oils” directly on the skin or without dilution.
A few examples of hot oils and blends include Cinnamon, Clove, Lemongrass, Oregano, Thyme, Thieves, and for some Peppermint may even feel too intense. I recommend testing new oils on your skin first.

What about using essential oils with children?
Many are appropriate and in fact encouraged for use on children! Before using an oil or blend on a child, they should be specially diluted with a carrier oil. Some Young Living products come prediluted and are intended for direct application on children.

And our four-legged friends?
As a rule of thumb, don’t use essential oils around kittens or puppies 8 weeks and under.  Animals are pretty sensitive to essential oils, so dilute heavily and use sparingly. If diffusing, always allow cats access to areas where they can avoid the diffused oil. With all animals, avoid using high-phenol oils—such as Oregano, Wintergreen, Clove, Mountain Savory, and Thyme, to name a few. This is especially important with cats.

Read my blog post about using essential oils with animals.

Sun exposure after using oils on the skin
Some essential oils, especially citrus oils, contain natural molecules that react with sunlight (UV light) and cause a sensitivity reaction. Young Living labels the essential oils and oil blends that contain these compounds with a warning to avoid sun/UV light for 12–48 hours after applying. Very important!

How should essential oils be stored?
Always avoid heat and direct sunlight when storing oils. All Young Living oils come in dark amber bottles for this exact reason! It’s best to keep them in a cool, dark place – such as a closet or drawer – and always avoid leaving them in your car. Essential oils are incredibly potent, which means that many oils will dissolve plastic. Wow! For this reason, keep your oils in glass bottles, especially for DIYs.

Can oils or blends stain my clothes?
Other than the exceptions listed below, pure essential oils do not stain. 
Oils that stain due to a natural dark color include Blue Tansy, Jasmine and German Chamomile. Oils that may stain due to a natural yellow color inlcude Patchouli, Vetiver, Myrhh and Tangerine.



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