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Safety Basics

- The following essential oils should not be used with anyone suspected of being vulnerable to epilepsy or other seizure disorders: Camphor, Fennel, Hyssop, Rosemary, Lavandin, Sage, Spike Lavender, Peppermint and Thuja.

- Essential oils should be used very cautiously during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Essential oils should be used during these times only under the guidance of a Professional Aromatherapist and/or medical professional knowledgeable about essential oils. Oils are to be used at a 1% dilution only during pregnancy.

- People with high blood pressure should not use Hyssop essential oil.

-Always dilute essential oils in carrier oils before applying them to the skin. Use a total of 5-18 drops of essential oils in 1 oz of carrier oil. If undiluted essential oil contacts your skin, you may experience tingling or burning sensations. Immediately apply carrier oil to the affected area.

- For children, elders, pregnant women and those with serious health conditions, essential oils need to be diluted to a maximum of 1%, (a total of 5-6 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil).

- Do not use essential oils directly on the fur or skin of animals, if you use essential oils be sure they are highly diluted. Use hydrosols instead.

- As a general rule, many citrus oils (including Bergamot), as well as Cumin, Opoponax, Angelica Root, Rue, Lemon Verbena, and Tagetes are photosensitizing. Sunlight or tanning bed rays must be avoided for at least 12 hours after application. These oils applied to the skin at any dilution will likely increase the chance of severe burns from ultraviolet light.

- Do not put essential oils in or around the eyes or near other orifices. If essential oil does contact these areas, immediately flush with carrier oil and wipe off excess. If irritation persists, seek medical advice.

- Persons who have allergies to perfumes or who have asthma should proceed cautiously with oils.

- Persons on certain medications should proceed with caution until drug interactions are researched.

Essential oils should never be used internally without medical guidance.

Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children; they can be poisonous if swallowed.


Phototoxicity is a light-induced reaction to a photoactive substance. You won't have a phototoxic reaction unless you're exposed to a photoactive substance and sunlight (or UV light). In simpler terms, phototoxicity is a reaction to sunlight, which can cause burning, blistering, and discoloration (abnormally dark patches and red areas) on the skin. Some essential oils are termed “phototoxic,” since they increase the likelihood of a phototoxic reaction.

If you apply a phototoxic essential oil to your skin and are then exposed to sunlight, phototoxic results can occur. Variables include dose, dilution, and the amount of time between application and sun exposure.

Phototoxic reactions can occur up to 18 hours after the oil is applied to the skin.

Signs of phototoxic reaction:

1. The most common reaction is exaggerated sunburn and blisters.

2. Serious erythema (reddening of skin) may appear.

3. More intense erythema and edema (swelling) with marked pigmentation changes may also occur.

4. Pigmentation changes may be permanent or resolve slowly over time.

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