jar of essential oil on table with flowers

Essential Oils: Hidden Dangers and What You Should Know

October 07, 2019

Essential Oils are all the rage lately.  People are hosting EO parties, much like Mary Kay, where well intentioned home crafters peddle their wares as miracle treatments for whatever ails you.  Typically with no medical knowledge or experience. 

So What are Essential Oils Anyway?

They are a concentrated extracts containing potent chemical compounds from plants.  There are several methods for extraction and typically require several pounds to produce one small bottle of oil.  EO have been used in aromatherapy throughout history for their therapeutic effect, but that is not where the potential problems lies.  It is when they are used medicinally on the skin or taken internally that we start to see issues.

Skin Application of Essential Oils

Remember we said that EO are very concentrated extracts from plants and as such are not intended to be used full strength on the skin.  Instead, one must use a "carrier oil".  That is a safe oil in which to dilute the EO into.  This is done by adding the carrier oil to a bottle, usually amber and then adding just a few drops of the essential oil.  Before using any EO You should research the oil and any contraindication for use.  Also read up on the common mistakes people make while using EO.   

Some safe carrier oils, just to name a few (the list is endless)

  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Jojoba Ol
  • Olive Oil

But be cautious, if you have tree nut allergies, you should avoid things like Almond Oil and Kuki Nut Oil.  Additionally certain oils can be comedogenic, that means they can clog your pores.  The greatly revered Coconut Oil falls into this category, which is as comedogenic as it gets!  Clogged pore city. 

In closing I will leave you with an actual patient experience.  The synopsis is that she came into contact with EO through a yoga instructor during a session, who touched her on the arms.  Later that day, as she went about her business,  the terrible eruption pictured below ensued.  This is known as a Phyto-Photo Dermatitis.  It is a reaction that occurs between the chemical compounds in certain plants that react with the sun, causing a burn like response.  

arm with area of contact dermatitis in the shape of a hand

After two years, we are still trying to heal the residual scarring from this event.

So what can you do to detoxify your skin care safely?

Look for a product line created by a skin care expert, not just a celebrity.  Our expert has close to 2 decades of experience treating all types of skin conditions. So each one of Theoderma's products is specially formulated using clean active ingredients and premium botanical blends to yield visible results for each skin type.  Browse our product line or answer a few simple questions to find your perfect fit.

Savy Guthrie has been a PA working in dermatology for 17 years and has worked in medicine for 20 years overall.  She has treated tens of thousands of patients, helping them achieve healthy, beautiful skin. 

Savy Guthrie is a dermatology PA with 17 years of patient care experience and is the founder of Theoderma Skin Care.

Savy with her dog

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