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Many people are turning to more natural skincare through the use of essential oils. There is plenty of effective – and great smelling – options out there, but you need to know how to use them. Figuring out how to remove or neutralize essential oils from your skin is an important skill.
How to Remove or Neutralize Excessive Essential Oils from Skin: To remove or neutralize an essential oil, apply a carrier oil to the affected area. A rash may be a sign of detoxification. If this occurs, drink plenty of water to encourage the removal of toxins from your body. Toxins in regular products may trigger a reaction when you use the oils.
Many people rely on essential oils for healthy skin and healthy bodies, but there’s a lot to know about them. Keep reading, and I’ll try help you figure out how to use them safely.
People think that because they are derived mostly from plants that are safe to use but they can be poisonous when not used properly.
Removing or Neutralizing Essential Oils
There is a trick to using essential oils properly. If you don’t use them as directed, you may find your skin burning or even break out in a rash in the area you used the oil. If this happens, you need to remove or neutralize the excessive essential oil.
There are two main things you can do to remove or neutralize the oil:
- Apply a carrier oil to the affected area
- Drink plenty of water
Let’s take a look at how these two methods remove the excessive essential oil.
Apply a Carrier Oil
So, what is a carrier oil? If you’re new to essential oils, that is a very good question. A carrier is any vegetable oil that is used to dilute essential oils. Here are some of the most common examples of carrier oils:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Grapeseed oil
Most essential oil manufacturers also have their own carrier oil you can buy that is a combination of various oils.
Carrier oils do not affect the power of the essential oil, and they actually help prevent waste by limiting using too much of an essential oil.
Just as a head’s up, the following should never be used as a carrier:
- Vegetable shortening
- Mineral oil
- Baby oil
- Petroleum jelly
At the first sign of discomfort or irritation from applying an excessive amount of essential oil, apply a carrier oil. This helps dilute the oil that is on your skin.
Drink Plenty of Water
If a rash develops, it’s more likely a sign of detoxification than applying too much of an essential oil. Toxins in other non-natural products you use, such as soaps, skincare products, detergents, and perfumes can cause a detoxification reaction.
If this happens, drink plenty of water. Drinking water encourages the release of those toxins from your body. As your body releases the toxins, hopefully, your discomfort will improve.
Never Use Water
Whatever you do, don’t use water to ease the discomfort. Dousing yourself with water may be the first thing that pops into your mind when you have an excessive amount of essential oil on your skin, but this is one of the worst things you can do.
Water actually drives the essential oil into your skin and eyes, which, of course, is the last thing you want to do. Even if the oil is in your eye, flush your eye with a carrier oil as quickly as possible.
Perform a Patch Test
Always perform a patch test to see if you developed a negative reaction or allergic reaction to an essential oil, it’s very important to perform a patch test before applying or ingesting that oil again.
Here’s how to perform a patch test:
- Apply 1 to 2 drops of the essential oil to a patch of skin.
- Watch that area over the next 1 to 2 hours for any sort of reaction (although generally, reactions occur within 5-10 minutes).
- Add a carrier oil to the area as needed if the essential oil burns or you develop a rash.
Using Essential Oils Safely
There are some precautions to follow to ensure you’re using your essential oils safely and avoid having any uncomfortable reactions.
Here are some good tips to follow:
- Don’t apply essential oils to sensitive areas
- Use “hot oils” carefully
- Use caution with essential oils if pregnant or nursing
- Read labels
- Buy only pure oils
Here’s a closer look at why it’s important to follow these tips.
Don’t Apply Essential Oils to Sensitive Areas
You can avoid unnecessary discomfort by not applying essential oils to sensitive areas. These areas include your eyes, ears, genitals, and mucous membranes.
Some of this may seem like common sense, but when people are desperate to fix something, they’ll sometimes ignore the little voice that tells them not to. Listen to that voice.
If you choose to use essential oils on a sensitive area, dilute just one drop of oil with 5 to 10 drops of a carrier oil.
Use “Hot Oils” Carefully
A hot oil is any oil that may cause a hot or warming sensation when you apply it to your skin. If you’re using a hot oil, it’s best to perform a patch test first, which I described above.
Essential oils that qualify as a hot oil are usually labeled, sometimes as “dilute” or “sensitive” but here’s a look at some of the more common ones:
- Cinnamon bark
- Peppermint (sometimes because it has a cooling sensation)
Essential oil manufacturers may also have combination oils that are classified as a hot oil because they have one of the above ingredients.
It’s completely safe to use these oils but just keep the following tips in mind:
- Always dilute these oils at a ratio of one drop of oil to 10 drops of a carrier oil (children and more sensitive people may need additional dilution).
- Don’t add hot oils to bathwater.
- Don’t place hot oils directly on your tongue or in your mouth. Instead, you can put them in a veggie capsule (usually sold by the manufacturer) or into a recipe.
Use Caution with Essential Oils if Pregnant, Nursing or on Medication
As with most treatments or medications or when pregnant or nursing, it’s always best to first check with your physician before using any essential oils. before starting anything with these oils.
There just isn’t much clinical research on using essential oils while pregnant, mostly because there are ethical issues to testing pregnant mothers and their babies. Remember, it’s not uncommon for you to be more sensitive to essential oils when pregnant.
Which oils are best for you while pregnant varies, but here are some of the more common ones for a couple of issues:
- Nausea: Peppermint, Cardamom, Ginger, Spearmint
- Better sleep: Dill, Lavender, Sandalwood
On the flip side, here are a few essential oils that pregnant or nursing women often avoid or use sparingly:
- Clary sage
- Idaho Tansy
As with any new product, you should always read the labels.
As I just mentioned, “hot oils” are usually labeled. You’ll also find directions on the best carrier oil to essential oil ration on the label. Finally, you’ll find warnings if necessary.
For example, some essential oils contain natural molecules that can cause sensitivity to UV light. If you’re using these oils, you should avoid UV light for 12 to 48 hours after applying the oil. All of this important cautionary information can be found on the label.
Finally, less is better to start with. It’s much easier to add more essential oil if you need it rather than try to lessen the effect.
Buy Only Pure Oils
There are a lot of different brands of essential oils out there, many of them quite affordable. Affordable isn’t always the best, though. When you’re buying essential oils, you should stick to ones that are 100% pure.
There is no governing board or standard rating system for essential oils, so you really don’t know what you’re getting unless you buy 100% pure essential oils.
Essential Oils Background
Now, that you know how to safely use and remove essential oils if necessary, let’s go back to the beginning and talk about the background of essential oils.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for cosmetic, dietary, and medical purposes. As modern medicine, cosmetics, and supplements emerged, essential oils kind of fell into the background.
There came the point when some people got tired of the modern, possibly fewer natural options, and started manufacturing essential oils. They took off from there.
What do Essential Oils Do for the Plant?
Essential oils can be found in just about any area of the plant: the roots, seeds, flowers, and bark. Take a look at what essential oils do for the plant:
- Give the plant its scent
- Protect it from harmful environmental conditions
- Assist with pollination
How are Essential Oils Produced?
Essential oils are not manufactured in labs; they are carefully extracted from the plant. This is done through a few different extraction methods. Take a look at these methods:
- Steam distillation
- Solvent extraction
- CO2 extraction
- Cold Press Extraction
- Water Distillation
Going over each of these extraction methods would take a whole other post, but the most common method of those above is steam distillation. Let’s take a look at how that method extracts the essential oil.
- Steam is added to a large, stainless steel container called a still, which holds the plant material.
- Steam is injected through an opening in the still, which releases the plant’s aromatic molecules and turns them into vapor.
- The vapor travels to a condensation flask called a condenser. In this flask, hot water exits, and cold water enters to cool the vapor back into a liquid form.
- The liquid drops from the condenser into a receptacle called a separator underneath. Since water and oil don’t mix, the two separate, and the essential oil floats to the top. Or, the oil sinks to the bottom, if it’s an essential oil that heavier than water.
The plants for essential oils come from all over the world. The location of the plants and the extraction process varies depending on the plant.
How to Use Essential Oils
Now let’s take a look at how to use essential oils. There are a lot of oils out there and a few different ways to use them. It can feel overwhelming at first, but with a little reading and a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Essential oils are generally used in one of three ways. Take a look:
Let’s talk more in-depth about each area.
Aromatic Use of Essential Oils
If you’ve ever walked into a place and caught a whiff of peppermint or cinnamon, you’ve probably experienced the aromatic use of essential oils.
You can experience the aromatic benefits of essential oils through a diffuser. Most manufacturers sell diffusers, but you can also find them at Amazon. Here are a few well-rated diffusers I found at Amazon:
- InnoGear 200ml Essential Oil Diffuser
- OliveTech Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser, 400ml
- URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser
Once you have a diffuser, check the directions to find the appropriate ratio of water and essential oil. It will depend on the size of the diffuser.
If you don’t want to buy a diffuser, you can pick up a bag of cotton balls and still experience the aromatic benefit of essential oils. Simply put some essential oil on a cotton ball and put it in an area where you want the scent.
Finally, you can also just tip a few drops of an essential oil into the palm of your hand and cup your hands around your mouth and nose and inhale.
Topical Use of Essential Oils
Probably the most popular use of essential oils is topically, applying them to your skin. Which oil you apply and where you apply it depends on what you’re trying to do. It’s pretty easy to just search the Internet for what you’re trying to do to find the best application.
Here’s a look at some of the more common places to apply oils:
- Crown of your head
- Behind the ears
- On your neck
- On your temples
- Top of your feet
- Soles of your feet
Remember, it’s always a good idea to use a patch test first, especially with stronger oils. It’s also important to remember that adding a carrier oil to dilute the effect on your skin doesn’t affect the power of the essential oil, so add a carrier oil as needed.
Internal Use of Essential Oils
Finally, you can actually also see benefits from essential oils by ingesting them. Usually, manufacturers will have a specific line of oils designed for internal use.
Here are some ideas for ingesting essential oils through your normal diet:
- Add a couple of drops to your water to add some flavor
- Add a couple of drops to ice-cream
- Add a couple of drops of an oil, such as oregano or basil to your cooking
- Add flavor to other dishes by adding oils such as black pepper, lemongrass, or ginger.
Most likely, once you start using one essential oil one way, you’ll be hooked and start buying more essential oils to use in additional ways.
The Many Uses of Essential Oils
There are endless uses for essential oils. More and more people are moving away from manufactured products with questionable ingredients to all-natural products using essential oils.
Take a look at some of the more common uses for essential oils:
- Oral care
- Family wellness
Essential Oils for Oral Care
Essential oils have come such a long way that you’ll now find anything you need for you and your family’s oral care. From dental floss to toothpaste to mouthwash, you can find natural products for it all.
You’ll frequently find the following essential oils in oral care products because they are believed to be antimicrobial, which means they kill germs.
- Tea Tree
In addition to the standard oral care products, the following essential oils can help with bad breath. Just add a drop or two to some water or put it directly on your toothbrush.
- Tea Tree
Essential oils can add new flavor to your cooking without even having to hit the grocery store. It only takes a drop or two to add the flavors you need in your cooking.
There are plenty of essential oils to choose from when it comes to cooking, but here are some of the more common ones:
Keep in mind, don’t go overboard in adding essential oils to your cooking. They should not be consumed in large amounts.
Just like many other products, some consumers are turning to essential oils for cleaning around the house to avoid using cleaners that may have questionable chemicals.
There are essential oils for doing laundry, cleaning counters, cleaning bathrooms, and removing stains, among other uses.
If you’re interested in using essential oils around your home, check out these essential oils and their uses and benefits:
- Lavender: Naturally antibacterial
- Lemon: Antiviral and antibacterial
- Pine: Kills germs
- Tea Tree: Fights germs, bacteria, and viruses
- Rosemary: Antibacterialand antiseptic
- Wild Orange: Effective on grease
- Eucalyptus: Natural germicide
- Peppermint: Antibacterial
- Cinnamon: Antibacterial and antiseptic
- Thyme: Powerful against germs
If you or someone in your family has an ailment, there’s probably an essential oil to fix it. People use essential oils for scratchy throats, headaches, upset stomachs, insect bites, mental clarity, insomnia, anxiety, sunburns, removing warts; the list goes on.
You can use certain essential oils daily or use them when something comes up. Either way, a simple Internet search can lead you to the right essential oil for your issue.
Ten Common Essential Oils
If you don’t have much experience with essential oils and are just getting started, it can be overwhelming to figure out which oils to get with dozens of essential oils to choose from. The first two oils I owned were lavender and peppermint, and there’s a reason, they’re great beginner oils.
Take a look at the ten common essential oils, especially for beginners:
- Tea Tree
- Sweet Orange
We’ve already talked about a few areas you can use some of these oils in, but let’s learn a bit more about each one.
Lavender is great for a number of different uses. It also has an appealing floral scent and isn’t too overwhelming. Lavender is gentle enough that you don’t even need to dilute it before applying it to your skin.
Here’s a look at some ailments that lavender is useful for:
- Skin issues
- Speeds up healing
- Improves digestion
- Pain relief
- Reduces inflammation
I get my lavender out any time someone has a mosquito bite, scrape, or burn. It’s gentle and definitely helps with the healing.
Peppermint has a lovely, refreshing smell that will remind you of candy canes. Peppermint does have a bit of a cooling sensation, so test it on a small area first.
Peppermint helps boost energy and also is useful for the following:
- Helps lessen headaches
- Calms digestive issues like gas and heartburn
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Kills germ, especially in the mouth
- Freshens the air
- Cools and refreshes muscles after a long workout
- Removes redness and helps other irritating skin issues
- Helps congestion
Lemon is another refreshing essential oil with a fresh, clean smell. To make one 15 ml bottle of lemon oil requires 50 lemons. So as soon as you open that cap, you know you are going to smell a very powerful freshness.
Lemon is an oil where you’ll want to avoid sun exposure for a bit of time after using it. Take a look at some of the best uses for lemon essential oil:
- Freshens air
- Kills germs when used for cleaning
- Helps with digestion
- Reduces pain for ailments like arthritis and gout
- Heals skin
- Promotes immune health
- Increases energy
- Promotes healthy circulation
Eucalyptus has a bit of a more medicinal smell but mixed with mint and pine, so it’s still refreshing. Eucalyptus is a great essential oil to diffuse in the winter when millions of germs seem to attack every family.
Here are some other great uses for Eucalyptus:
- Reduces congestion and stuffy nose
- Fights germs, especially respiratory infections
- Stimulates mind and body
- Reduces fever
- Eliminates headaches
- Relieves muscle pain
- Insect repellant
- Improves immune system
Frankincense is a relatively expensive essential oil, compared to others you’ll find, but it mixes well with a number of other oils, which lessens the amount you have to use. It has a woody, clean scent.
Take a look at ailments Frankincense can help:
- Reduces stress
- Boosts immune system
- Kills germs and bacteria
- Heals skin
- Prevents signs of aging
- Improves mental clarity and memory
- Balances hormones
- Helps with digestion
- Promotes healthy sleep
- Reduces swelling, inflammation, and pain
Tea Tree is another essential oil with a more medicinal smell. You might also hear this essential oil referred to as “Melaleuca.”
Here’s a look at what Tea Tree oil is good for:
- Heals acne
- Cures athlete’s foot and other fungal infections
- Reduces dandruff
- Helps with bad breath and kills mouth germs
- Insect repellant
- Eases cough and congestion from colds
Chamomile is another essential oil with a pleasant, sweet, flowery scent. It’s a very mild smell that many people enjoy and is a great choice for a diffuser.
Here are issues when you want to use Chamomile:
- Helps with relaxation
- Encourages sleep
- Lifts mood and relieves depression
- Fights bacteria, especially sores, acne, and mouth issues
- Helps with digestive problems
- Promotes younger-looking skin and hair
If you’ve ever smelled a rosemary plant, you know it has a very distinct smell, and that’s what you’ll catch a whiff of with the Rosemary essential oil. If you’re not a fan of the smell, you can blend it with a bit of Peppermint or Citrus.
Take a look at where rosemary is helpful:
- Boosts memory and mental clarity
- Eases congestion
- Relieves sinus problems
- Reduces headaches
- Helps with muscle pain and cramps
- Combats depression and anxiety
- Heals skin problems
- Aids with digestion
Patchouli essential oil has a very distinct scent that many people are not a fan of. Although it comes from the same family of plants like Lavender, Mint, and Sage, it is definitely not as aromatic. It has a very earthy, pungent smell that was popular in the ’60s and ’70s.
Despite its smell, there are still a lot of useful uses for Patchouli oil. Take a look:
- Relieves anxiety
- Great for skincare
- Heals skin
- Reduces bloating
- Great for relaxation during a massage
- Fights depression
- Eases fatigue
- Balances hormones
Sweet Orange essential oils bring us back to appealing smelling essential oils. This one smells like a freshly peeled orange. It’s also a very affordable essential oil and a great choice for a beginner.
Take a look at some of the uses for Sweet Orange oil:
- Lifts mood
- Eases anxiety
- Boosts immune system
- Prevents infection
- Helps with cognitive function
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces hypertension
These ten essential oils are just the beginning and are the best choices to start with if you’re overwhelmed with all the options available.
There are plenty of resources available to help you figure out how to best use essential oils. So, you really need to do homework before so you fully understand the effect of these oils on your body. The most important tips, though, are to perform a patch test to see if you akin is sensitive to an essential oil. Know how to apply them, what to do to remove or neutralize them, and when to use them. With that info, you’re ready to get started.