Friday, July 16, 2010
A note on essential oils
Mich always reminds us to check the safety of the essential oil before using it on pregnant or nursing women or on children, and I think this is very good advice.
Also, check for photo-sensitivity of the essential oil. A lot of the citrus based oils can make you more photo-sensitive, which can lead to sun burns! Although I love key lime essential oil, I won't use it in something like a body lotion, just in case the user might end up in the summer sun! So before you use orange, tangerine, bergamot, lime or key lime, grapefruit, or other citrus essential oils, check up on the safety regulations of said oil!
And consider where the user of your product might end up using your product and stay within the recommended amounts! A few examples for you...
I once had the brilliant idea for a Vicks like bath bomb - think about that for a moment...menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor in your bath water near tender mucous membranes. (Not one of my more brilliant ideas - I blame the NyQuiladas!)
This same blend was responsible for a tingling bum in a foot lotion - a lot of people curl their feet up when they're sitting down at the computer, and going over the 3% menthol amount can produce tingles in other locations!
Cinnamon, ginger, and clove in a sore muscle blend feel warm and tingly on your shoulders, but the massager really needs to wash her hands after application lest she touches her face or eyes at some point. Same goes for peppermint hand lotion at more than 2%.
Essential oils should be treated with respect and caution when we are formulating lest we induce tingly bums or burning eyes. Read up on your chosen essential oils and use them at recommended levels in your products at all times!