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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are basic guidelines for safety with essential oils. Some people question, "Are essential oils safe?" Yes - if used properly. Well, think about it... not knowing enough information about anything can be harmful. Please use common sense when using essential oils. Start out small and go one step at a time.

Before moving on I must add that the following guidelines are ONLY for use with therapeutic-grade Lavender Shades essential oils and aromatherapy products. Using Grade B or C oils can be dangerous. It is important to practice safety with essential oils. If you want to use essential oils for, aromatherapy, diffusing, or applying to your skin, you will want to use therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Please Note: The information on this page is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please see our full disclaimer. Any essential oil benefits that you receive are your responsibility. ;)

What is aromatherapy?.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils, or aromatherapy oils, are the fragrant essence of a plant. These highly concentrated liquid oils are the foundation of aromatherapy, which is based on the idea that the aromatic oil from a plant has healing properties. .

How are essential oils used in aromatherapy?

Essential oils are extracted one of two ways – either by steam distillation or expression, or pressing. Distillation is the most prominent method used to extract aromatherapy oils, however. This technique involves steaming the plant matter until it breaks down. The byproduct of this breakdown phase is the plant’s fragrant oil, which is cooled, separated from the water and finally filtered into its pure essential oil.

Are essential oils the same as perfume?

Essential oils should not be confused with perfumes or other fragrance oils. Essential oils are natural to the plant, whereas fragrance oils are chemically produced to mimic certain aromatic scents for perfumes, colognes, candles, etc.

Can essential oils be applied directly to my skin?

It is not generally recommended. In their pure form, essential oils are highly concentrated and can burn your skin, or some oils will even pass through the skin and into the bloodstream. It is suggested that you mix them with a base or carrier oil which decreases the possibility of skin irritation.

Can I use essential oils internally?

It is not recommended to use essential oils internally. Given their concentration levels, essential oils can be toxic if swallowed.

What is the best way to apply essential oils?

How you apply essential, or aromatherapy, oils has an impact on their healing capabilities. You will experience better results if you use small amounts of the oils  with a carrier oil or massage lotion.

How long can I keep essential oils?

RANCIDITY. Essential Oil Blends which have a carrier oil will last a few years when stored properly. Vegetable oils will go rancid after a long period of time. If it's been several years since you used a particular blend make sure it is still in good condition by simply taking a quick sniff - you'll know if it needs to be replaced. (I've never had an oil that long... I always use them!!) Please note: non-therapeutic-grade essential oils will go rancid within 3-6 months. Be safe - use Lavender Shades Aromatherapy Products

Can I use essential oils if I'm pregnant?

Yes, but do so with caution. We recommend avoiding the use of essential oils during the first trimester, and then light use (no more than 1% dilution) through term. Oils like geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, mandarin, neroli, tangerine, and ylang ylang are considered safe oils to use during pregnancy.

Which essential oils be used during pregnancy?

The safest oils to use during pregnancy are lavender,geranium, chamomile, rose, ylang ylang.
If you are pregnant there are oils that you should avoid and some you should use with caution.

Avoid: Basil, Birch, Calamus, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Wintergreen.

Use with Caution*: Angelica, Cassia, Celery Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus Dives, Fennel, Marjoram, Mugwort, Nutmeg, Peppermint.

How should I store my aromatherapy oils?

Essential oils are best kept in dark glass bottles with screw tops. They should be kept in a cool, dry space, preferably out of the direct sunlight.

 If the following three guidelines are followed, Lavender Shades Essential Oils will last for many, many years. Store them:

Out of the reach of Children

Tightly Closed

In a Cool Place

Away from Light, both natural & artificial

How do I know which essential oils do what, specifically, for the body?

Certain essential oils can trigger physical or emotional effects on their own. For instance, lavender is a widely known calming agent, whereas peppermint is a mood lifter. Other oils are blended to achieve a desired physiological or psychological effect. Blending ylang ylang with grapefruit relieves stress, for example. Each oil has its own special benefit. 

What is dilution?

Some essential oils should always be diluted (especially for sensitive skin) Only High Quality Vegetable Oils should be used to dilute essential oils. You will want to always have a bottle of pure vegetable oil available when using essential oils.

Recommended vegetable oils include:  Fractionated Coconut Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, and Tamanu Oil.

Oils highly recommended for dilution: Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Cumin, Hyssop, Lemongrass, Mountain Savory, Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, and Tsuga.

Many other oils could result in skin irritation, so you may want to dilute them prior to use. If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended.

Can I blend essential oils with water?

Essential oils are oil-soluble. Do NOT use water!! If you use an oil and your skin gets irritated, add vegetable oil to it. Water will make it worse. Think: safety with essential oils. And remember - it is better to dilute an essential oil with regular old Canola oil from the kitchen than do nothing when it's needed.

Can I use essential oils if I suffer from allergies?

People with skin allergies should do a test before extensive topical use of an oil. A good way is to put a small diluted amount on the inner side of the upper arm. The safest place to put essential oils is always the bottom of the feet.

Are essential oils flammable?

Some essential oils are flammable. Keep all essential oils away from fires, open flames, sparks, and electricity. Always remember to think of safety with essential oils.

How can I use essential oils in a bath?

All essential oils to be used in bath water should be mixed with a bath gel base or Epsom salts or milk  Do not add them directly to the water. They will float on top of the water and this may cause skin irritation. Always Keep safety in mind. However if you purchase Lavender Shades premixed bath blends you may add it to your bath without diluting.

Are essential oils safe to use near eyes?

All essential oils need to be kept away from the eyes. Do not even touch contact lenses. Be careful to not rub or touch your eyes when you have oils on your fingers. Essential oils will not do permanent damage to your eyes but will cause irritation - some may cause SEVERE irritation. Please be careful when using EO's.

Can essential oils be use in ears?

Do not drip essential oils into ears. Be very cautious when applying oils on the ear that they do not drip or run into the ear. Essential oils may safely be used on the exterior of the ear using the Auricular Probe Technique.

Do I need to wash my hand after using essential oils?

After using an essential oil, it will take approximately 20 minutes before all of the oil is absorbed into your skin. Please be careful with what you touch. You won't want to touch children, your face or other sensitive area, or go to the bathroom (especially MEN) within that time frame. Also be careful when touching objects - paint can be removed with essential oils and some plastics can begin to decompose. Just think about safety with essential oils first.

Are essential oils safe to use on babies and children ?

Some essential oils should never be used on children 18 months and younger. And some shouldn't be used on children under 5 years! Remember, the safest place to put any essential oil is the bottom of the feet. Think - Safety with Essential Oils!

Do NOT use on children under 18 months of age: Basil, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Citrus Hystrix (Combava or Limette), Lemongrass, Mountain Savory, Mugwort, Thyme.

Do NOT use on children under 5 years of age: Bergamot, Birch, Calamus, Idaho Tansy, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Tarragon, Wintergreen.

What is photosensitivity?

Some essential oils are photosensitive, which means sensitive to sunlight. When these oils are applied to the skin they can cause a rash or burn when exposed to sunlight. It is recommended that you simply stay out of the sun (or UV rays) for a few days. If you apply these oils to your feet or somewhere under clothing, you will be fine. Be extra safe - If you have very fair skin and usually burn in the sun you may want to double these times.

If I am taking anti-coagulant drugs which oils should I avoid?

These are the essential oils you should avoid: Birch, Clove, Ginger, Wintergreen.

If I am epileptic which oils should I avoid?

If you have epilepsy there are essential oils that you should avoid entirely and some you should use with caution.

Avoid: Basil, Birch, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Wintergreen, Harmony.

Use with Caution*: Dill, Fennel, Nutmeg.

I have high blood pressure , which oils would benefit me and which oils should I avoid?

If you have high blood pressure you should avoid some essential oils and use others with caution.

Avoid: Hyssop.

Use with Caution*: Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme.