From safety tips to buying suggestions, here's what you need to know about essential oils. 

By Caylin Harris
Updated January 04, 2018

If you're a fan of Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably been hearing and seeing a ton of things on social media about essentials oils. While there are many ways people suggest using them, we spoke with Emily Perkins, a holistic health practitioner and licensed aesthetician at Love Living Holistics, about a few best practice tips before you get started.

Related Items

Always follow the package instructions.

“Read the labels or directions on any essential oils you buy. There can be variation by brand of how you’re able to use them. Some you can apply directly to your skin, others you might not want to, some you can ingest. It all depends, so pay attention,” she says.

Use caution when heating the oils.

“Anytime you heat anything, you’ll want to use caution, but again, follow the package instructions. Be incredibly cautious using a heated diffuser around kids and pets, too,” says Perkins. “Make sure to place them somewhere where they won’t be easily knocked over. If you’re adding essential oils to something like candles, check that the burn point for the essential oil is appropriate to use with candle wax.”

Use your allergies as a guide.

“If you’re allergic to a specific tree or plant, you’ll definitely want to avoid that or related essential oils. Essential oils are the most concentrated form of the plant,” she says.

Be cautious around pets.

“You definitely don’t want to leave essentials oils around for your pets to get into,” says Perkins. “Certain oils, again depending on the brand, can be used on pets like frankincense and lavender, but consult your vet beforehand. Oregano and peppermint oil should be avoided.”

Do a test spot first.

“We’re all different and our bodies will react differently to essential oils. Even if an oil is skin-safe per its instructions, it never hurts to do a test spot first on your jawline or your inner wrist,” she explains.

Different oils correspond with different bodily functions.

“Frankincense helps to reduce skin imperfections, offers immune support, and nervous/digestive system function,” says Perkins. “Orange and grapefruit oils are great for your metabolism. Tea tree and eucalyptus are anti-bacterial, and peppermint oil is great for digestion.”

Enjoy exploring the holistic benefits of essential oils!