Essential oils have been a thing for quite some time, but while a lot of fans are in on the calming benefits of using them, not everyone takes into consideration the right and safe way to use them. As much as these natural, plant-sourced products can lessen anxiety and even reduce body aches and pains, they can also cause allergic reactions and skin irritations.
To get the most out of them, here are things that you need to know:
1. Different oils work in different ways
As with everything that you smell or apply on your skin, you need to know exactly what your favorite essential oil does to make the most out of its benefits. While some experts note that data regarding the direct benefits are still inconclusive, there are some studies that show positive effects of several oils, including:
A study feature on NCBI revealed that lavender can calm anxiety and improve moods even in patients suffering from anxiety disorder and post-partum depression.
WebMD cites that peppermint oil vapor can help treat symptoms of cold and coughs.
According to another study on NCBI, inhaling rosemary oil vapors removed “feelings of boredom” and provided “fresh mental energy.” Experiment participants also showed “a significant enhancement in memory performance.”
2. Know when to stop diffusing your essential oils
If you enjoy a cozy-smelling home, then you’ve probably used a diffuser at some point. Diffusing essential oils is a great way to build a calm environment and help you relax. However, a feature on Reader’s Digest notes that “after 45 minutes, your body stops responding to the therapeutic benefit of the oils,” so you may want to turn your diffuser off by then. Moreover, it’s best not to diffuse essential oils when you have babies or toddlers in the room as oil vapors can be harmful to them.
3. Carrier oils and lotions are important
During the recent launch of Mia Maison Essentially Mia, a line of eight essential oils, it was stressed that it’s best to dilute them in carrier oils or lotions if you are to apply them to your skin, as they can be very potent on their own. While drops may vary from oil to oil, this general guide by Mia Maison is a good starting point:
- five drops of essential oil for every 250ml of lotion
- one drop of essential oil per four to five drops of unscented mineral oil
Going beyond the recommended number of drops for your specific essential oil, or directly applying it to your skin may cause adverse reactions.
Tip: Don't be afraid to experiment until you find your perfect fit. Mia Maision’s Essentially Mia Essential Oils Line includes essences from lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, patchouli, grapefruit, and lemon grass.
4. Talk to a dermatologist before using oils that you’ve mixed yourself
Whether or not you have sensitive skin, it’s important to consult a dermatologist about whether or not your DIY oil or lotion is good for you in the long run. This is especially important if you’re using oils to remedy acne or scars. Moreover, head straight to a doctor if an irritation occurs.
*This story originally appeared on Femalenetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.