Don’t you think it’s time for a chuckle? I’ve been using Young Living’s essential oils since September 1998, and in that time I’ve had the most wonderful, miraculous, uplifting experiences. But on very rare occasions, I’ve also done things I shouldn’t have done with oils.
Sometimes that’s happened out of ignorance (ie. I wasn’t told about safety applications when I first started, so I learned the hard way). And sometimes it was pure accident, when things didn’t go to plan.
So now, whenever I teach a class about essential oils, I always cover some important safety tips.
But before I share our Bloopers for today, let me explain about what should be done in these situations.
Keep it Safe
Essential oils are amazing substances. They work intelligently and holistically on our body, working where they need to work. They comprise hundreds of natural plant chemicals (called “constituents”)…..and it’s this unique combination of constituents that gives each oil its special aroma, and its unique action.
Some of these natural plant chemicals are especially potent. After all, they’re what keeps the plant healthy in the wild…and some of them can irritate sensitive skin, especially “phenols”. This is especially the case with “hot” oils like Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Cassia, Ocotea and even Peppermint.
Safety Tip #1 – Keep vegetable oil handy!
Life being life, and people being people, accidents do happen. Sometimes an oil ends up somewhere that it shouldn’t. So a good rule of thumb is to always dilute your essential oil first, if it’s going to be put onto sensitive skin (such as the face), because the majority of oils will irritate sensitive skin.
And these hotter oils have the potential to irritate any skin, no matter where we place it. So if you put an essential oil onto your skin and it feels irritated or hot, dilute with some good quality vegetable oil like coconut or olive oil, or with Young Living’s V6 Enhanced Vegetable Complex (which is a combination of beautiful vegetable oils, making it the perfect massage oil base).
Essential oils are “Lipophilic”, meaning they love fats and fatty oils, and are diluted by anything fatty. This means that if they irritate your skin, using a good quality vegetable oil will dilute them and reduce any irritation within minutes if not seconds.
Water and oils do not mix, so if you wash the area with water, you drive the essential oil in deeper and cause it to feel even hotter and more irritating. That’s why vegetable oil is the key.
Now let’s check out some of these bloopers, to show you the many times you may want to be running for your V6 or vegetable oil!
Safety Tip #2 – Photosensitivity
Another important safety tip is around Photosensitivity and oils. All citrus oils are photosensitive (ie. Orange, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Jade Lemon, etc.), and so are a few other oils like Ginger and Angelica. This will also apply to blends containing these photosensitive oils, such as Citrus Fresh and Joy.
These oils make the skin more sensitive to UV light, so wherever they are placed on the skin, the skin then needs to be covered and protected from sunlight and UV light for a period of 24 hours.
In my early days of using the Young Living oils, I was in such awe of the power of essential oils, and was using them for anything and everything….but I didn’t read the safety literature. I just dived right in and began using my oils. This was back in 1998. I began with the Essential 7 kit (which was our Starter Bundle back then), and it contained Joy oil.
One day, I noticed a small discoloured patch of skin, the size of a 10 cent piece…in my cleavage. Hmmm – that’s strange. I thought I must have been bitten by something.
Next, a friend rang me. She’d been lathering Joy oil over her throat, and had been going out into the hot Queensland sun. The whole of her throat had turned a red-brown colour like a birth mark.
That’s when I learned about photosensitivity…..and my friend learned it the hard way, because when our skin gets discoloured as a result of a photosensitive response, it needs to grow out. This can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to disappear, and in the most severe situations the discolouration can be permanent.
So always make sure you cover that area with clothing if you are going into sunlight or UV light within 24 hours of applying a photosensitive oil. It can actually cause skin damage, so this is a really important safety tip.
Check your catalogue and/or Young Living’s website to discover which oils are photosensitive.
Safety Tip #3 – Start with 1 drop, & build up to taste
On that topic of oils being very potent, Young Living have a beautiful range of culinary essential oils (these are called “Plus Oils” in Europe/UK, and “Vitality Oils” in the US). These are safe to use as flavouring agents for our food and beverages. In fact, they are compliant with Food Standards Australia & New Zealand for use in food and beverages…so they can even be promoted to chefs and cafes. That’s why Chef Kate (aka “Chef to the Movie Stars”) is one of Young Living AU/NZ’s Ambassadors.
Remembering that essential oils are extremely potent, you will be amazed at how powerfully that aroma travels through your dish of food.
When using essential oils in your food or beverages, always start with 1 drop and build up to taste. You can easily destroy a whole dish of food by adding too many drops of essential oil to it. And sometimes, if you are just having a single cup of “something” with an essential oil added into it, you may need to just use a toothpick dipped in essential oil to flavour the dish.
OK…so now that you know our safety tips, let’s check out some real life bloopers…
NEVER have oils on your hands when you go to the toilet!!!
Kylie B. writes: I’ve told so many people this story in my classes, so I’m sure Glenn won’t mind me telling it here.
We were fairly new oilers, and Glenn had a hamstring injury so he was applying some Lemongrass oil to help, and then went to the toilet with Lemongrass oil still on his hands. As you can imagine, that caused quite a bit of discomfort!!!
He went dashing into the kitchen nude to grab a bottle of olive oil. This was a good organic bottle I had purchased from the markets for dipping with Dukkah, so it wasn’t cheap! Of course, I complained he was wasting it trying to dilute the essential oil. And he explained, “You don’t understand the pain!!!” I’m a woman, so no I don’t.
Jenni C. writes: I lent my friend a bottle of Peppermint oil to place a drop somewhere under her clothing. I don’t recall the reason I did this, but I’ll never forget what happened next.
We were at choir. She’d been gone a while, so I went to check on her in the bathroom to make sure all was well. It turns out she’d decided to also take the moment to “spend a penny”, and she’s a folder (of toilet paper), if you know what I mean!!
OMG I had to laugh. It still makes me giggle. She survived, but definitely treated oils with caution after that!!
Nicole Y. writes: When I first got my oils, my husband used Peppermint oil then went to the bathroom….and all I could hear was “AHHHHHHH”, and I instantly thought, “Oh, I forgot to tell him to wash his hands first!!!”
When you pick up a shower steamer thinking it’s soap!
Bec C. writes: We received our Easy Breeze Shower Steamers as a bonus with our Essential Rewards order.
I followed the instructions on the packet, and put one on the FLOOR of the shower.
A little later when my partner was in the shower, I had the thought “Should I tell him that they’re steamers, not soap?…” But then I thought, “Surely he won’t pick it up off the floor and think it’s soap….”
Anyway, he came into the lounge room smelling very fresh, and said, “That thing in the shower isn’t a soap is it?”
In fits of giggles I explained what it was…. Then he said, “My butt is on fire. Lucky I didn’t start with washing the front!!!”
Hot oils and Sweat/Steam/Heat DON’T mix!
Adam J. writes: My blooper experience is with Panaway. I realised Panaway essential oil is AMAZING for tired and aching muscles. The bottle took pride of place in my gym bag.
However I quickly learned that “time and place” was paramount for this powerful potion, and it was best NOT to apply on my lower back just before going into the gym steam room!
Without being TOO graphic, I’ll simply mention a famous Johnny Cash song, “Ring of Fire”!
Oregano on the lips – NOT recommended as a lip filler!
Nat G writes: One of my ‘oily’ friends (I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing this situation) messaged me one night asking about Oregano for lip enhancements. As you can imagine my reply was, “What?????”
She explained she had read somewhere that Oregano was good for the lips, so she mixed some with a carrier oil, and applied it to her lips.
Suffice to say that it was cheaper and better than any lip filler she had seen (ie. it created a lot of swelling), but wowsers did it hurt!!! Years later she still carries on that there has to be a magic mix to put on your lips.
Beady K. writes: When I learned about the amazing effects of Oregano oil as a food flavouring, I thought I’d put a couple of drops directly on my tongue to bring a lovely fresh Oregano aroma to my breath. After all, how bad could it be?
Believe me when I say that my head exploded, and I haven’t been quite the same since!
Do NOT put hot oils onto your daughter’s bracelet
Amelia W. writes: Over the holidays my daughter (16 at the time) really loved the Christmas Spirit oil blend. Without thinking, we added a few drops to her lava rock bracelet. Within minutes, her skin was fully broken out in a rash.
Thankfully, I knew what to do. I applied some V6 vegetable oil complex over the top, and all was right again.
I tried to scrub the lava rock bracelet that had been her favourite, but she is still apprehensive about wearing it again. Looks like I’ll need to get her a new one.
Artemis’ TIP: Try soaking the lava rock bracelet in some V6. That should do the trick. I’m not sure if it will affect the lava rock, but it will certainly reduce any chance of irritation.
Always remember to label your DIY blends!
Grace B. writes: I had made up a couple of blends. One was an eye serum to apply underneath my eyes. I can’t recall what the other one contained – either the label had come off, or I’d forgotten to label it. Regardless, they were in very similar bottles.
I picked up what I thought was the eye serum, but it was the other that turned out had hot oils in it. Ouchedy ouch ouch!!!
Another was when I received my very first order, and I put Peppermint oil undiluted onto my temples and crown. OMG did you know your eyes can breathe!!! It was intense to say the least!
How to destroy a whole meal with just one drop of oil
Lou C. writes: I was making a Frittata using one of Chef Kate’s recipes and it called for one drop of Oregano oil. Thinking, “that can’t possibly be enough”, I added two drops.
Needless to say, I was left to eat the whole frittata by myself!
Check your labels so you choose the right oil!
Margaret J. writes: My friend Bara borrowed some Shutran oil from her husband’s oil collection in the bedroom, to let someone try it.
He has several oils on his bedside table besides Shutran, and another one is Thieves. So this particular evening when going to bed, he grabbed his oil which looked very much like Shutran, and he put several drops in his palms snd started rubbing it over his face and chest, and all the way down to his inner thighs. He soon realised that the feel of the oil was completely different from what it was supposed to be. Oh No!!!
After this, Bara never forgets to return the Shutran back to where it belongs. Her husband’s scream is unforgettable. I think he said something like, “What have you DONE, woman!!!”. Of course, she rushed out and got the V6 massage oil, and he soon calmed down.
Angela B writes: One day when I was driving to a job interview I realised I had forgotten to put deodorant on. I thought, not a problem I’ll just find an oil in my hand bag and put that under my arms.
Unfortunately the oil I grabbed blindly from my hand bag was Thieves. I very quickly realised my mistake when my armpits felt like they were on fire! I didn’t have any carrier oil to put under my arms but did use some water from my water bottle to dilute it. I never made that mistake again!
TIP from Artemis: Remember – essential oils are diluted with vegetable oil, not water. Just like chilli, if you use water it will drive the essential oil in deeper, and make it feel like it’s burning even more! Always use vegetable oil to dilute your essential oil. Some people like to fill an empty Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier bottle with some V6 oil, and carry that in their handbag or car for those situations where vegetable oil is needed.
Wendy J. writes: I was needing a little pep-up and freshen my breath, so I put half a drop of Peppermint oil on the back of my hand and licked it off.
Normally this works a treat…except this time I hadn’t grabbed the Peppermint bottle – I’d grabbed Pine oil by mistake.
Zero points – I definitely would not recommend this to a friend. Read your labels!!!
Jenni C. writes: I went to grab my favourite oil from the kitchen cupboard (I like a few drops in my Ningxia Red every day), but accidentally grabbed another oil with a similar coloured label. It turns out it was my Ylang Ylang oil. Hmmm. Interesting flavour profile. I tasted flowers all throughout the day!!
Kristyn H. writes: I made my “Red Drink”, with 30ml of NingXia Red, then I added the Sulfurzyme and Lime oil (or so I thought). I was about to top it up with 750ml of water when I realised I’d added Stress Away, not Lime oil. I could not drink that one!
Jo A. writes: I went to put a drop of Peppermint oil onto the back of my hand to lick off, in order to freshen my breath. But it turned out to be Northern Lights Black Spruce – it’s the same colour bottle when it is dark.
I burped trees for the rest of the day!
Artemis adds: Ylang Ylang, Pine, Stress Away and Northern Lights Black Spruce oil are not part of our Australian culinary oil range, so take heed from these experiences – always make sure you check the label on the bottle before use!!!
Karen B. writes: We were on holidays and I had Lemongrass and Frankincense oils (both with red labels) in the bathroom.
I took my glasses off and put Lemongrass instead of Frankincense on my face. The Lemongrass really stung, and I had to place a cold flannel on my face to cool it down.
Artemis adds: Just a reminder – vegetable oil over the top will settle down the sting usually within 30 seconds. You can use olive or coconut oil, or Young Living’s V6 enhanced vegetable oil complex. It’s AMAZING. That’s why I keep my V6 in the fridge, exactly where I can put my hands on it at an instant’s notice. It’s not that it needs to be refrigerated – it’s just that I know precisely where it is.
Make sure your Dripolator is still in the bottle!!!
Asha S. writes: I took the little dripolater (plastic stopper) out of my Lavender oil bottle. I have no idea why, I must have been having trouble getting it out. I completely forgot to put it back on, and poured half a bottle of Lavender Oil into the diffuser. I kept putting water in to the diffuser to dilute it for a couple of weeks, lol.
Beady K. writes: I was putting some Abundance oil into my diffuser without realising that the dripolator (dropper orifice) got stuck in the lid. So the entire contents of the bottle ended up in my diffuser!
1 drop of Peppermint oil = 28 cups of Peppermint tea!!!
Chiara S. writes: Let’s just say…..ALWAYS wash your hands after using Peppermint oil to make sure that it doesn’t end up on some very sensitive areas of the body!!
Elmerien H. writes: My husband used to use a mint body wash, so I made him some with Peppermint oil in. I used it and forgot I put Peppermint oil in. What a refreshing experience!!!
Marjaneh B. writes: My blooper – I have no idea what possessed me to try a drop of Peppermint oil under my tongue, straight from the bottle. I thought I was going to die for the first few seconds! It was all good after that, but I won’t try that again I am sure.
Artemis adds: A great idea is to put a drop of Peppermint oil onto the back of your hand, then tilt your hand and let the drop run. Then just lick the corner of the drop off – that way you’re getting a lot less than one drop, in order to freshen your breath….and it’s ending up on top of your tongue, not underneath it. The saliva under the tongue acts like water to drive the oil in deeper, so it definitely feels hotter that way.
Be careful when you are refilling bottles
Sue M. writes: I filled a tiny, yes tiny sample bottle with Joy oil, only to have also made a Joyous layer in the kitchen sink. We had over a week of beautiful Joy aroma in the kitchen.
NOTE TO SELF: Be more watchful of what you are doing so you don’t overfill a sample bottle!!!
Reminder – always use vegetable oil to dilute essential oil
Amanda C. writes: I was taught the safety rules of putting vegetable oil into your eyes if you ever got an essential oil in your eye. It sounded weird to me. I started teaching classes a year later and would make sure to mention this tip.
One night I was visiting my Mum, and picked up Dream Catcher oil blend. I decided to lay down in bed and drop it onto my third eye (centre of my forehead). I’m not quite sure how it happened, but somehow I got Dream Catcher in my eye!!!
It was late at night, everyone was asleep and I was fumbling around Mum’s house in the dark, trying to find her olive oil to put in my eye. I finally found it, and it was very soothing.
Artemis writes: I remember doing something similar to Amanda and Barbara. I was bending down to fill my diffuser, and the droplet of essential oil hit the water and bounced back into my eye.
On another occasion, I was putting a few drops of Lavender oil on my crown, and it ran down my part line into my eyes. I was in a hotel room at the time. I had to make an urgent call to concierge for some olive oil to pop into my eye. Fortunately, as soon as I did this, it settled the burning down in a matter of seconds, and my eye was happy again…albeit a bit “gluggy” for the next 24 hours.
Barbara M. writes: I was putting some Cedarwood oil on my chakras, starting with my crown. I was holding the bottle above my head and didn’t feel it drop, so I looked up to see if the drops were on the way, and YES, it was, straight into my eye.
Got my organic olive oil out and saved the day! I haven’t done that one again.
Kym H. writes: I put some Thyme oil on my big toe when I went to bed at night, but it dripped between my toes and burnt like crazy. Lesson learnt. Never use Thyme oil without diluting!!!
Jodie C. writes: Not long after I joined Young Living, I put a drop of Lemon oil into my ear. It burned like crazy for many hours….and I did not know the safety tips then, so instead of adding olive oil to dilute, I tried to wash it out with water.
Artemis adds: One of the key safety tips with essential oils is that they must never be put into ears or eyes (not deliberately, at least). We don’t want them running down the ear canal and burning the ear drum.