Mistakes to Avoid with Essential Oils
Julie Falcoz - Madame Figaro
Essential oils have names that suggest natural, home remedy, and this is indeed the case (Fine lavender, citronella, geranium, etc.). However, while using these products, certain precautions should be taken, since they are very concentrated, "with hundreds of active molecules,” revealed Jean-Charles Sommerard, perfumer and aromatologist, author of a dozen books in collaboration with Michel Faucon, Doctor of Pharmacy and aromatologist.
“For example, it takes 100 kilos of thyme for 150 to 200 grams of essential oils, and 100 kilos of lavender for 700 grams,” he explained.
Therefore, you have to be careful for a positive experience. Here are the seven mistakes to avoid making with essential oils.
Picking up a book and following the instructions are not enough for a perfect use of essential oils. It is preferable to refer to a professional, aromatherapist doctor, pharmacist or aromatologist. "It is better take advice from “people in the field”, who have some experience, and follow the prescribed doses," mentioned the eco-perfumer.
Applying them in a wrong way
Certain precautions must be respected. It is not forbidden to apply a pure drop on the skin - as it is the case to relieve a mosquito bite. However, it is necessary to be vigilant. Thus, people with allergic tendencies should do a test by applying a drop on the forearm, to observe the reaction of the skin. If nothing happens after fifteen minutes, they can continue. "Some essential oils, such as cinnamon, clove, laurel or oregano, can be allergenic or even dermo-caustic. Therefore, it is necessary to dilute them with a vegetable oil or a fatty substance. Olive oil can do the trick,” advised Jean-Charles Sommerard. The professional even recommended to "get acquainted" with the essential oil by breathing a drop on a handkerchief, "to awaken the senses". Without forgetting to wash your hands after each manipulation.
Exposure to the sun after application
Some oils, from the citrus family to be precise, are photo-sensitizing. After application, exposure to the sun should be avoided. "In case of clear skins, I would not even take any risk," warned the specialist.
Anointing yourself during pregnancy
"Avoid baths and massages with essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Throughout these periods of increased sensitivity, floral waters and aromatic hydrolats are more appropriate because they are gentler. In this case, water accompanies the essential oil during the distillation process, the liquid is thus less concentrated with only 0.05 to 0.10% of active ingredients," clarified Jean-Charles Sommerard.