One pillar of BC Fragrance’s business is EDUCATION. Our founder, @thefragrancespecialist, is currently on her way as a Certified Aromatherapist and with the rising (though usually unreported) cases of skin irritations, burns, and other reactions due to essential oils, we would like our customers like you to learn more about essential oils before using them in your homes or products.
Please read our guidelines below to ensure proper and safe use of essential oils for you and your clients, including kids, pets, and pregnant women.
Disclaimer & Safety
The information provided by BC Fragrance on our ecommerce site (www.bcfragrance.com) and through other Social Media Channels such as Facebook and Instagram is for personal information and interest only. It is not intended to offer professional medical advice or treatment for any condition. You should not use our site or advice within to treat health conditions or to self-diagnose. We recommend that you consult your General Practitioner if you have any health concerns whatsoever.
All of our advice has been provided on the basis that there are no known contra-indications to treatment. If you have any health problems or are taking any medication you should seek advice from your healthcare provider prior to using aromatherapy. We would also advise that you make an appointment with a local aromatherapist who will be able to take a full case history and offer you tailored treatment advice.
Please note that BC Fragrance accepts no liability for misuse of essential oils or any other products it manufactures, packages or suppliers or for any reliance on the information provided by us via our ecommerce site or other Social Media channels.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and powerful gifts of nature. Their potency must be respected and they can be toxic if used incorrectly. The way you handle and use essential oils is very important. Please read the following advice to help ensure that you use essential oils safely and effectively. Please note that this list does not constitute a complete safety reference. If you are unsure please contact us or a qualified local aromatherapist for more advice.
Below is the dilution chart we follow from Aromatics International :
- Certain essential oils are flammable liquids.
- Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
- If you have a medical condition and are taking any medication or undergoing any type of medical treatment you should check with your doctor and a qualified aromatherapist to ensure that it is safe to use aromatherapy in conjunction with your prescribed treatment.
- Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy (see below).
- Always consult a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils with babies and children.
- Never take essential oils orally and avoid all contact with the mouth area and eyes.
- Essential oils should never be applied undiluted to the skin as they can cause irritation (there are only a couple of exceptions to this rule i.e. Lavender and Tea Tree). Follow all recipes and methods carefully and do not increase the amount of essential oil quoted.
- Certain essential oils (i.e. spices) can cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin we recommend performing a small patch test prior to using any new oil or product.
- A few essential oils such as Bergamot and other citrus oils are phototoxic which means they can cause skin sensitisation and skin discolouration in bright sunlight. These oils should be not be applied to the skin before direct exposure to sunlight.
- Certain essential oils should be avoided at all times
If you would like any further information or advice please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to assist you.
More Information on Safe Use of Essential Oils
Many essential oils are flammable, so never use or put your bottles of essential oil near a naked flame, fire, or any source of ignition.
Undiluted essential oils
Do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin except in an emergency; for example to cuts, burns or insect bites. A single drop of undiluted Lavender, Tea Tree or Chamomile Roman oil can be used to soothe and protect from infection – but you should only apply them neat once or twice. Some individuals can become sensitised to the oil if it is applied repeatedly.
Never use undiluted oils on children under the age of 6. Their under-developed and delicate organs cannot excrete the oils or deal with their metabolites efficiently.
If you are pregnant you should seek the advice of a medical practitioner, mid-wife or aromatherapist before using any essential oils. Once the use of essential oils has been endorsed by the medical practitioner, midwife or aromatherapist then they should be used only after the first trimester, and at a 1% concentration only, being half the normal strength.
It is a good idea to seek the advice of your supplier or aromatherapist to ensure that the essential oils you are thinking of using are not contraindicated during pregnancy. There is a lot of misinformation about precisely which essential oils should not be used and some aromatherapy books produce a huge list of contraindicated oils that are completely out of proportion to the facts.
Much of this misinformation is based on the internal use of the plant in herbal preparations, and this is certainly not the same as the external use of a diluted essential oil in massage. Most essential oil experts argue that since many contraindicated essential oils are used as food additives they can hardly be considered dangerous.
If you have a history of miscarriage do not use any essential oils at any time during your pregnancy.
Essential oils best avoided throughout your pregnancy include:
- Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
- Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis)
- Savin oil (Juniperus sabina) – Never use in aromatherapy
We also recommend reviewing our simple guidelines for using essential oils with pregnant or lactating women by reading this blog entry from Aromatics International, Essential oils & pregnancy: What you need to know.
Babies, infants and young children
As already stated, never use any essential oils undiluted on babies up to 3 years old. Essential oils should be used at a fraction of the usual concentration, and the correct procedure is to calculate the amount of essential oil to be used by the body-weight of the infant. Please refer to this topical dilution guide for your reference. There are other dilution guides for salts, sprays, inhalers. Please research accordingly.
We never recommend taking essential oils internally, unless under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist who has received the necessary training in this very specialised mode of administration. Most aromatherapists have not had this training, so be sure to check this out first.
You may read articles in magazines and books extolling the virtues of taking essential oils internally, but you should absolutely never attempt this without expert guidance. And no, your MLM upline are not experts if they are not Certified specifically for this training. Pinterest is not considered an expert resource guide for this, too.
Irritants and sensitisers
Some essential oils can irritate the skin if used in too high a concentration or for a long period of time. We do not carry any of these oils but we’ve listed the most common ones below for your reference:
- Bay Leaf oil (Pimenta racemosa)
- Cinnamon bark oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
- Clove oils (stem, leaf, bud) Syzygium aromaticum
- Litsea Cubeba aka May Chang oil (Litsea cubeba)
- Origanum oil (Origanum vulgar)
- Tagette oil (Tagetes minuta)
- Thyme white and red oil (Thymus vulgaris)
- Use no more than 3 or 4 drops of citrus oils in the bath since some may irritate sensitive skin.
Photosensitivity, also known as photoirritation or phototoxicity, is a chemically induced skin irritation that can occur when you topically apply certain essential oils and expose your skin to UV light too soon.
Some examples of the irritation you can experience are:
- Skin discoloration
Certain essential oils contain furocoumarins. Furocoumarins are naturally occurring organic chemical compounds produced by specific plants. These chemical compounds are a defense mechanism that the plant uses to ward off small animals or bugs in nature. Some of the most common furocoumarins are Oxypeucedanin and Bergapten, which are found in many citrus and cold-pressed essential oils. Some essential oils are mildly photosensitising and should be either avoided or used at a low level prior to sunbathing or using a sunbed. The main photosensitising oils used in aromatherapy include:
- Angelica root oil (Angelica archangelica)
- Bergamot oil expressed (Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia)
- Bitter Orange oil (Citrus aurantium)
- Cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum)
- Lemon oil cold pressed (Citrus limonum)
- Lime oil expressed (Citrus aurantifolia)
- Grapefruit oil (Citrus paradisi)
- Tagette oil (Tagetes minuta)
If you love Bergamot essential oil and want to go out into the sunshine, be sure to use Bergamot FCF which has had the photosensitising components removed.
To reduce the effects of photosensitivity users should avoid the sun, tanning beds, or any UV light for 12 – 18 hours after you apply the oil to exposed skin.
Oils that must be avoided altogether
Some essential oils should not be used in aromatherapy at all due to the danger of toxicity, severe irritation, sensitisation or other serious health risk. Most responsible aromatherapy suppliers do not offer such oils, but those listed below do find their way onto the market and should only ever be used by those have have undergone the necessary specialist training.
- Parsley herb oil (Petroselenium crispum)
- Pennyroyal oil (Mentha pulegium)
- Savin oil (Juniperus sabina)
- Tansy oil (Tanacetum vulgare)
- Wintergreen oil (Gaultheria procumbens)
- Wormwood oil (Artemisia absinthium)
Information Source: Aromatherapy Trade Council, Article July 10, 2011, Author Geoff Lyth.
The following links have been provided as further sources of information on the safe use of essential oils:
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 …
Essential Oil Safety – E-Book: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
101 Uses of Essential Oils: A Safe Guide to Aromatherapy in Everyday …
Essential Oils For Cats: Essential Oil Recipes, Usage, And Safety …
Essential Oil Use & Safety Guide: Safe & Practical Use Information …
Essential Oils in Food Preservation, Flavor and Safety
Essential Oils for Children: 40 Essential Oil Recipes for Your Kids’ …
Dilution Guidelines for Essential Oil Safety
Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition, United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014)