Are You Making These 3 Mistakes with Your Essential Oils?
We always encourage our customers and students to have fun experimenting with their essential oils; it's the best way to learn! However, there a few major roadblocks that you will more than likely encounter along the way. Here's how to overcome them, so you can safely and effectively incorporate flower power into your life!
#1: Bamboozled by the Options
Obviously we’d love to just say “The Aromatherapist is THE BEST essential oil brand, you should only buy from us”. However, that would make this a pretty short (and meaningless) article.
We are going to go through this in an unbiased manner, because we feel creating properly informed consumers is the best way to encourage brand loyalty.
Here is what you should be looking for as you browse the shelves of an Aromatherapy Aisle:
A. Smell the Difference
Testers are there to be smelled. Your nose knows more than you think when it comes to the integrity of natural aromas. Compare the same oil from a few different brands, see what resonates with you.
B. Be Price Aware
Although many of us enjoy sniffing out a deal (pun intended), when it comes to high quality essential oils; cheap is a deal breaker. We know it’s tempting to believe that the 30 ml bottle selling for $10.00 is just as good as the 10 ml bottle selling for $15.00, but this is not the case. We aren’t saying price is the sole indicator of quality; many ‘cheap’ essential oils are priced like high quality ones. However a lower price point for a higher quantity of essential oil should be a red flag (if the smell wasn’t already).
C. Know How to Read the Label
We cannot stress this point enough, and it applies to many products besides essential oils. Unfortunately, today’s marketplace is flooded with ‘natural’ products that have no business calling themselves such. Labeling is a hot topic and this article explains all the fine details of understanding essential oil labels.
However, the main point is this; in North America, the labeling requirements for essential oils and essential oil products are ‘lax, to say the least. This leads to two main issues for the consumer:
- Very little needs to be disclosed. For example, ingredient does not need to be listed. Therefore anything could be in that bottle! When we talk about cheap, large quantities of oil, this is a big concern. The bottle could be 1% a cheap essential oil and 99% an undetectable chemical substance, and the label could just say ‘Lemon’. YIKES, right?
- Claims can be made without any foundation or truth. You'll often see terms like ‘Therapeutic Grade’, ‘100% Pure’, ‘Natural’ - these are simply words on a label, they have zero meaning. This is why Certification has become so necessary in the world of ‘natural’ products. Consumers cannot trust a company to ‘certify’ the quality of their own product, thus third party companies are used to certify that the information being claimed on the label is true (for example, our products are certified by Eco-Cert EU). If the information on an essential oil label is not being certified by a third party, you cannot trust it; this may sound cynical, but it’s the hard truth.
#2: Not Knowing How to Use Them
Okay, so you’ve gone through the trying task of picking out your essential oils, now what? What’s so special about this little bottle of liquid and how on earth do you apply those ‘special’ properties to yourself?
Unlike most products that you pick up in store, essential oils aren’t a ready-to-use type deal. It’s kind of like bringing home a head of garlic, or a jar of spices. You aren’t going to eat those straight, you’re going to add them to your meal at a pretty low dilution but they’re going to give it a lot of the flavour and health benefits.
There are two key points you should keep in mind when using essential oils:
A. They're strong
Assuming you made an informed decision when picking out your oils, you’ve brought home a little bottle of pure, plant action (or as we call it, flower power). The essential oil is a biochemical response the plant created to combat environmental and life cycle challenges. It is the plants defence system and survival technique; in other words, it is legit. This is why essential oils work, but it’s also why they should be used with extreme care. Essential oils should very, very rarely be used undiluted on the skin. When putting essential oils into bases (aka ‘carriers’) you should follow recipes to the drop; they are giving you the safe ratio of essential oil to base. Our Methods of Use page has a TON of recipes with the safe dilution ratio for each specific purpose.
B. Every essential oil is unique
They are not different varieties of the same thing, each essential oil has its own unique biochemical composition and safe use information. The plants that created two essential oils could be from the same botanical family or they could be worlds apart in every possible way! Research and understand each oil before using it; do not assume similarities and be critical of the source of your information. Our owner has been working in this field for over 30 years, she’s trained in both the internal and external use of essential oils, she personally wrote each of our product profiles - use them!
#3: Over-Using a Specific Essential Oil
We know how it is, you’ve found the essential oil that works perfectly for you; you love the smell, you’re happy with the results, you’re set for life right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, you can overuse an essential oil and this can lead to what’s called ‘sensitization’. If you’re using an essential oil topically on a daily basis, you should take intermittent breaks from that specific oil. We recommend rotating between 2 or 3 oils for the same use.
For example, we love using Geranium Rose in our body oils. However, in order for us to continue using Geranium Rose, we have to take it out of our routine every once in a while. We’ll incorporate Cypress, Lemon Petitgrain and maybe our Detox Blend for a few batches before returning to our love, Geranium Rose. This transition may seem hard at first, why break up when you’re in a perfect relationship? However, you may find it refreshing to change up your routine, and it is necessary for your skin to have a break from a specific essential oil.
There you have it friends, now you're prepped and ready to enjoy the flower power journey for yourselves!