Natural = Safe?
I don’t like to rant on this blog.
So I won’t do that here.
I need to get something off my chest.
There are a lot of products on Etsy that contain essential oils. Many different products by many different sellers -- balms, salves, lotions, sprays, soap, etc… People are leaning towards more natural ways of doing things these days. Our skin is our largest organ, and anything we put on our skin is absorbed directly into the blood stream. So the less synthetic and dangerous chemicals we put on our skin, the better.
Most of the shops selling these products really know their stuff. They’ve read books, or conducting research. They’ve questioned experts. They have a background in herbalism or aromatherapy. The products are labeled properly and carry instructions for proper use, as well as possible dangers and whom should or should not use the product.
Lately I’ve noticed some shops that don’t look like they’ve done their research. In these shops, essential oils are used freely and without warnings/guidelines about use on babies or young children. There are also no warnings about pregnancy, hypertension, sun sensitivity, epilepsy and medication interactions, just to name a few. The people making the products have no reference anywhere in their shop regarding their experience or qualifications in Aromatherapy.
Some of these products contain essential oils that are contraindicated if a person has any of the above-mentioned health issues. Some of these products contain essential oils that are on the Do Not Use list compiled by the International Federation of Aromatherapists. Some of these products can be downright dangerous if used by the wrong person.
Just because essential oils are “natural”, that does not mean that they are all safe and can be used without thought of the consequences.
Many of the body or room sprays are created by simply adding some essential oil to plain (or distilled) water. There are a few problems with that. For one, essential oils are not soluble in water. They will never properly mix. When the product is sprayed (even if it is shaken first), there may be a few minuscule droplets of EO here and there, or a large drop here and a small drop there, or there may be none at all.
Furthermore, water (even if it is distilled) is a breeding ground for bacteria. Unless the sprays are stored in the fridge, these products will be teeming with nasties and start to smell “off” in a few months. Essential oil sprays that are made with water require a solubilsor and a full-spectrum preservative.
Repeat after me: Any hydrous (aka – contains water) bath & beauty product must have a preservative! And Grapefruit seed, rosemary extract and vitamin E are NOT preservatives.
Yes, adding a synthetic preservative such as Germall Plus will make the product ‘unnatural’, but it will also keep it safe. E.Coli is also natural, but I don’t think any of us want to spray that around our bathrooms, or onto our children’s pillow cases.
Please, Buyers: Beware! If you have any questions about the safety of a product that contains essential oils, ask the shop owner. If he or she does not seem knowledgeable about the oils or the ingredients they use in their products, move on to another shop. I am always only an e-mail or Etsy convo away, so please do not hesitate to ask me any questions you have about any essential oil.
My offer to provide information about essential oils extends to sellers as well. My main priority as a professional Aromatherapist is promoting the healthy and safe use of essential oils, even if it means helping out my so-called “competition”.
Smell safely, everyone!
Reprinted with permission.
I agree with Heather in this article. We need to beware and learn all we can, especially where our children are concerned.