Essential oils : precautions for use

Essential oils are used for their range of beneficial effects (anti-infective, antiviral, and antiseptic, for example), as well their cosmetic properties. They contain highly effective and very fast-acting active substances. And this is why care should be taken when using them.

Diluting essential oils

Essential oils are not water-soluble: this means that they do not mix with water. When using essential oils in cosmetics, we always make sure to dilute them in:

For face care products, the maximum recommended dose is 0.5% of the product’s total weight (i.e. 100g of cream should contain no more than 0.5g of essential oils).

For body care products, you may add up to 1% of your mixture’s total weight.
Please note: if you have sensitive skin, limit essential oil content to 0.2% for face care products and 0.5% for body care products.

For example, when making a face cream for daytime use that contains essential oils :

Total weight of mixtureAmount of essential oil to addNumber of drops to add
50g0.5%x50g=0,25g or around 0.25ml7 drops*

*Remember : 1ml of essential oil is equal to around 30 drops (this may vary depending on the density of the essential oil)

Please note : if your recipe contains several essential oils, the stated number of drops is a total for all of the essential oils together.

Using and storing essential oils

Some essential oils are sensitive to light (mainly citruses). Do not expose them to sunlight when used. Do not apply pure essential oils to the skin.

Essential oils are volatile: make sure you properly close bottles and store them in a cool, dry place. If possible, store your mixtures in amber-coloured bottles to offer the best protection from light.  Keep out of reach of children in a locked or high cabinet.

Test on skin before use

Before you use a product containing essential oils for the first time, it is advisable to test it on the skin to make sure it does not cause irritation: apply the product containing essential oils to the crook of the elbow and wait 24 hours. Do not use the product if any reaction occurs (swelling, irritation, itching, etc.).

Do not apply essential oils to the eyes, ears. For external use only

Never use products containing essential oils on the eyes and ears, even when diluted. For the ears, when afflicted with otitis, for example, apply the product behind the ear lobe. Likewise, do not use essential oils inside the nose or any other internal location.

Consult a professional aromatherapist about any internal use of essential oils.

What to doe following improper use or dosage ?

If you apply too much essential oil to your skin or inside your body, remove the excess as quickly as possible and liberally apply vegetable oil to protect the skin.

If you ingest too much essential oil, immediately contact your poison control centre or contact emergency services (call 112).

If essential oils come into contact with your eyes, wash them as soon as possible to remove the excess oil with plenty of cold water. Consult your doctor or aromatherapist if pain persists.

Warnings against use of essential oils

Pregnant women : essential oils should not be used during the first trimester, unless prescribed by your doctor. Do not use abortifacient or neurotoxic essential oils at any point during pregnancy. Consult a professional aromatherapist before using essential oils during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding women : exercise caution as essential oils may enter your breastmilk. Permitted essential oils must be prescribed by a doctor or therapist. Seek the opinion of an informed aromatherapist before using essential oils during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Children : some essential oils may cause nerve disorders. They should not be used on children under 6 years old. The no longer pose any risk after this age. Consult a professional aromatherapist before using essential oils on children. Store bottles out of reach of children.

People receiving medical treatment : essential oils may also interact with certain drugs, whether prescribed or available over the counter. If you are receiving treatment, consult an aromatherapy specialist.

Essential oils should not be used by those suffering from mastitis or hormone-related cancers.

Essential oils are not for extended use, even at low doses. Never use an oil without learning about it from a therapist or reliable literature.


These properties, indications, and instructions are provided for information purposes only, and do not in any way constitute medical information, nor engage our liability.
Please consult your doctor before using essential oils to treat a condition.
Explore the Centifolia range of organic essential oils.