03/15/2012 03:39 pm ET Updated May 15, 2012

Tips and Recipes for Safely Using Essential Oils

Natural, essential oils are a sound choice when using fragrance, body lotions and oils. Lavender, basil, cedar wood, rose... They sound luscious, they smell great, but beware! Essential oils must be used carefully, so follow these easy tips and recipes to safely enjoy the many blessings of essential oils!

  • Pure essential oils should never be used directly on the skin. Add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil to 1.5 tablespoons of sweet almond carrier oil. When applying essential oils, less is more! These oils are highly concentrated liquids, so use in moderation.
  • When using an essential oil for the first time, do a skin patch test. Dab the oil onto the inside of your arm. If the area turns red or if there is burning or itchiness, wash the area and do not use that product.
  • Avoid getting essential oils in your eyes, nose and ears. Lather up with soap and water and thoroughly wash your hands immediately after using essential oils.
  • Do not ingest essential oils. These flowery-sounding, great-smelling essential oils are not meant for human consumption.
  • Working with pure essential oils may cause skin irritations. To prevent itchy skin or inflammation, wear disposable latex gloves (or latex-free alternatives) when creating your lotions and potions.
  • Do your research! Each essential oil is unique, so check out the potential benefits and safety precautions before use. One resource is the Essential Oil Directory.
  • Before you use essential oils, check with your doctor. If you are pregnant or have certain health conditions, do not assume that all essential oils are safe to use.

  • Avoid drug-induced interactions or side effects. Consult your doctor before experimenting with essential oils. For example: Chamomile, lavender and lemon balm have relaxing and calming qualities, however, if you are taking sedatives or using sleeping pills, these oils may heighten the effect of your medication.
  • Work with essential oils in an area where you have good ventilation. It is fun to create blends for personal fragrance, lotions or candles, but overuse of essential oils can prompt a headache or even dizziness so take a break outdoors and remember to work near an open window.
  • Essential oils are flammable. Keep them away from electricity, sparks and flames to avoid any fire hazards.
  • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children and animals. Store your oils in dark glass bottles tightly sealed, in a safe place, far away from pets and young children.

EcoChi Recipe for a Warm Relaxing Bath
¼ cup of Sweet Almond carrier oil
3 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Frankincense
3 drops Rose

EcoChi Recipe for a Cool Invigorating Bath
¼ cup of Jojoba carrier oil
2 drops Peppermint
1 drop Pine
3 drops Rosemary