Essential Oil Usage Safety Guide

Essential oils are natural treasures, rich in therapeutic properties that offer numerous benefits when used appropriately. As potent substances, they demand responsible and moderate usage to ensure safety and effectiveness. Below, you’ll find guidelines to help you use and enjoy your Harmony Naturals essential oils safely.

Essential oils are ONLY for external use:

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances, and many can be corrosive when undiluted.

Keep essential oils away from sensitive areas such as eyes, ears, and mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, flush the area with a carrier oil, not water, as water can drive the oil deeper into the tissue.

DO NOT INGEST ESSENTIAL OILS! Ingesting essential oils is not a recommended practice. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists do not endorse the indiscriminate or uneducated internal use of essential oils unless under the close supervision of a properly trained and licensed healthcare practitioner.

It’s crucial to note that consumers are often misled by enthusiastic sales representatives who claim that Young Living and doTERRA essential oils are superior and safe for ingestion, while other brands are inferior and not safe for internal use. This misleading marketing tactic is not only deceptive but also dangerous. Safety should always be the priority when using essential oils, regardless of the brand. No sales representative, even if trained by their company, is qualified to advise on internal use. All essential oils have the potential to be hazardous if not used with caution and care. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize safe usage practices at all times.

Dilution is Key:

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances and should always be diluted before use.

For topical application, dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil. A general guideline is to use 1–3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil for adults, and even more diluted for children and pets. You can find a detailed dilution guide at the bottom of ‘Blending Basics’.

Patch Test:

Before using any essential oil topically, perform a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivities.

Inhalation Safety:

When diffusing essential oils, ensure proper ventilation in the room.

Avoid inhaling essential oils directly from the bottle, as this can be overwhelming and potentially irritating to the respiratory system.

Pregnancy and Nursing:

Consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and nursing due to potential risks to the baby.

Keep Out of Reach of Children and Pets:

Essential oils should be stored securely out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion or spillage.

If ingested, contact poison control immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a medical professional.

Quality Matters:

There is no ‘grading’ of essential oils. Claims of ‘therapeutic grade’ are simply marketing gimmicks. Always choose high-quality, 100% pure essential oils from reputable brands to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Avoid synthetic fragrances or oils labeled as “fragrance oils,” as they do not offer the same therapeutic benefits and may contain harmful chemicals.

Sun Sensitivity:

Certain essential oils, especially expressed citrus oils, can contain potential photosensitizer constituents. Photosensitivity caused by essential oils occurs when certain chemical compounds within the oils react with ultraviolet (UV) light, making the skin more sensitive to sunlight. When these photosensitive essential oils are applied to the skin and then exposed to sunlight, they can cause a range of adverse reactions, including inflammation, reddening, blistering, and burning of the skin. This reaction is similar to a severe sunburn and can be quite uncomfortable and even painful for the individual affected. Avoid UV light exposure (sun or tanning beds) for at least 12 hours after applying photosensitive oils topically to prevent skin irritation or burns. Common photosensitive essential oils:

Angelica root
Bergamot (note: bergaptene-free is not phototoxic)

Cumin seed






Rue leaf

Tea Tree




And finally, listen to Your Body:

Pay attention to how your body reacts to essential oils. If you experience any adverse reactions such as skin irritation, headaches, or respiratory discomfort, discontinue use and seek medical advice if necessary.

Remember, while essential oils can offer various health benefits, safety should always come first. When in doubt, consult with a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare professional for personalized guidance.