Have a new essential oil or carrier oil to try? Before you apply it to a large area of your body, you may want to try an essential oil skin test first. While it may sound complicated, it is actually very simple.
Good quality essential oils that are pure and all natural are generally safe to use on skin but skin irritations, sensitivities, and allergies can still occur.
Should I Do An Essential Oil Skin Test?
Testing an essential oil on a small area of skin is known as a skin patch test. Doing a skin test is much easier than using a new product on you skin and having to deal with a major breakout.
If you are allergic to a certain plant, you may be allergic to that botanical's essential oil. Same goes with carrier oils, if you are allergic to almonds, you may be allergic to sweet almond oil.
A skin patch test can be a good way to see how your skin will react.
Is it a requirement before using essential oils? No, it isn't. Doing it is a personal choice and one you have to decide for yourself. I think it is an important step for people with sensitive skin or someone with known allergies and sensitivities.
I have not had any problems using diluted essential oils on my skin and I do not have any allergies, so I do not worry about patch testing for myself.
My son on the other hand, has psoriasis and his skin is sensitive. We have to be very cautious about what he puts on because he can get major skin rashes so I do test his skin. I also dilute essential oils to 1% (1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil) before I apply them to his skin.
How Do I Diluting Essential Oils
When using essential oils topically, the best way to avoid any skin irritations and undesirable effects is to always dilute prior to applying to skin.
There are many more benefits of using carrier oils with essential oils, you can read more here.
Diluting with a carrier oil also makes application easier without lessening the effects of the oil. For healthy teens and adults 2% dilution is a good starting point. For everyone else, it is best to start at 1% and see how you respond.
What does 2% look like? 12 drops of essential oil in 1 oz of carrier oil. Check out this chart to help you determine how many drops are needed for the difference amounts of carrier oils. Get a free printable PDF at the bottom of the post.
Another thing to do is to use the smallest amount of drops necessary to obtain the desired benefit. No reason to use more oils than you need, it is wasteful to the environment as well as you pocket book.
How Do I Perform a Skin Patch Test
Step 1: Place a couple drops of diluted essential oil on your inner elbow. You can mix one teaspoon of jojoba oil with 1-2 drops of essential oil.
Step 2: Cover area with a bandage or gauze. Do not get this area wet during the test.
Step 3: If you feel any skin irritation or if any reaction occurs, remove the bandage and wash the area with soap and water. If no irritation occurs after 48 hours, the diluted essential oil should be safe for you to use on your skin.
*Please note that even with a negative test, it is not a guarantee that skin irritation, sensitization, or allergy to the oil will not develop in the future.
More Oily FAQ
- Fragrance Oil vs Essential Oil - What is the Difference?
- What To Do When Essential Oils Don't Work
- What are CO2 Extracted Essential Oils?
- How Long Should I Diffuse Essential Oils?
- What Is Distilled Lime Essential Oil?
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