essential oil safety

Purity

Safety Guidelines


  • Always read and follow warning/caution labels.  These labels help guide users in using essential oils safely.  The FDA regulates essential oils as cosmetics, and each essential oil must be labeled with the following information:  company of purchase, scent, country of origin, botanical name, extraction method, company address and contact information, quantity (in fluid ounces and milliliters), and general warnings/cautions.  According to new 2015 FDA regulations, if this information is missing from the bottle, the essential oil has been mislabeled and should be returned to the seller immediately.


  • Keep oils tightly closed and out of reach of children. Essential oils are very powerful, and many are acutely toxic if ingested.  If you believe your child has ingested an essential oil, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
  • NEVER INGEST ESSENTIAL OILS.  Essential oils are very concentrated, and may cause serious harm if ingested.  NEVER INGEST AN ESSENTIAL OIL, DILUTED OR OTHERWISE.
  • ALWAYS dilute essential oils with a carrier oil. For topical applications, a safe dilution range for adults is 2 - 5%.  For children, this range is much lower (0.2 - 1%) because of their developing bodies and small size.  When diffusing essential oils into the air, follow the manufacturer's instructions on your diffuser unit to ensure proper dilution.  See our printable dilution charts at the bottom of this page.
  • Test essential oils prior to use.  Some people have allergic reactions to essential oils.  Check for allergic sensitivities by diluting an essential oil and performing a "patch test" on the inner part of your forearm.  Wait 24 hours to observe any adverse reaction (redness, irritation, itching, swelling, hives, etc.).  If redness or irritation occurs, discontinue use of the essential oil immediately.
  • Keep essential oils away from eyes, mucus membranes, and genitals.  These areas have skin that is more sensitive than other areas of the body, and may react poorly if in contact with essential oils.
  • Be aware of phototoxicity.  Some essential oils, especially citrus oils (Lime, Bitter Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin) react to UV light and make the skin more susceptible to sunburn.  Use caution if using these oils on exposed skin before going outside.
  • Less is More.  Many projects and DIY recipes call for essential oils to comprise 1-5% of the total recipe weight.  Though this amount seems small (measured in drops instead of teaspoons/fluid ounces), it is important to remember that essential oils are highly concentrated, and that too much in a recipe can be detrimental to your health.  When making your own home, bath, body, or cleaning products using essential oils, it is important to remember that it is easier to add than to subtract.

Essential Oils are highly concentrated, powerful liquids extracted from a plant via steam distillation or cold-pressing.  Depending on the essential oil, extraction can utilize the flowers, leaves, stems, bark, or root of the plant.  It takes a large amount of plant material to yield just a few teaspoons of essential oil, which is the reason essential oils are more expensive than their synthetically produced approximations (called Fragrance/Perfume Oils).  Because essential oils are so concentrated, it is important to treat their use with care and respect, and users are encouraged to educate themselves about an oil's properties prior to use.  


Purity.  


Purity refers to the natural constituents of an essential oil.  A "pure" essential oil means that an oil has not been adulterated (mixed) with another, lower-quality oil.  Because of limited supplies of plant material, unpredictable harvest yields due to climate change, and rising demand for essential oils, some essential oil suppliers/distilleries will mix high-quality oils with lesser-value or low-quality varieties.  Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis) Essential Oil, for example, has been known to be adulterated with Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia 'Emeric ex Loisel' or Lavandula hybrida), Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia), Spanish Sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia), or synthetic linaloool and linalyl acetate.  When an essential oil is adulterated, its therapeutic benefits are compromised and it is classified as poor quality.


At Centri Terra Natural Bath & Body Products, we are committed to the quality and purity of our essential oils.  We regularly inspect the chemical testing results of our suppliers to ensure that we do not sell adulterated oils.  If at any time you are curious or concerned about the quality of our oils, we welcome you to contact us and we will share our findings.