Essential oil safety


The information provided by Subtle Aromatics in our workshops, on our website and on our social media channels is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or cure for any disease and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We recommend that you consult your GP if you have any health concerns.

It is also important to recognise that essential oils are not a substitute for conventional medical treatment and where symptoms exist and persist, a GP must be consulted.

They do, however, complement conventional treatments extremely well and are used to great effect to maintain and improve health in body mind and spirit.

Any and all of our advice is provided on the basis that there are no known contra-indications to treatment. If you have any health problems or are taking any medication you should seek advice from your GP prior to using aromatherapy.

Please note that Subtle Aromatics accepts no liability for misuse of essential oils or other products or for any reliance on the information provided by us via our website or social media channels.

Safety Advice

Essential oils are highly concentrated chemical compounds and potent liquids. They can be toxic if used incorrectly. The way you handle and use essential oils is very important. Please read the following advice to help you use essential oils safely and effectively. Please note this list is not a complete safety reference. If you are uncertain about any aspect of essential oil usage, please contact Subtle Aromatics or a qualified local aromatherapist for advice.

Key points

  • Essential oils are flammable.
  • Old or oxidised essential oils may cause skin irritation.
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pets
  • Store your oils in a cool, dark and dry place, ensuring that the caps are tightly closed.
  • Each essential oil has safety data and notes on any contraindications – check these before use.
  • If you have a medical condition, are taking any medication, or are undergoing any type of medical treatment you should check with your doctor and a qualified aromatherapist to ensure that it is safe to use aromatherapy in conjunction with your prescribed treatment.
  • Some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Please seek professional advice prior to using aromatherapy while you are pregnant.
  • Consult a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils with babies and children.
  • Do not take essential oils orally and avoid all contact with the mouth area and eyes.
  • Essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier. They should never be applied undiluted to the skin as they can cause irritation (there are only a few exceptions to this rule i.e. Lavender and Tea Tree). Follow any recipes and methods carefully and do not increase the amount of essential oil quoted. They only need to be used (and should only ever be used) in very small amounts eg 1% – 2.5% – their potency is high so a little goes a long way and the more you use the greater the risk of irritation/sensitivity.
  • Certain essential oils can cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend performing a small patch test on the inside of your elbow prior to using any new oil or blend.
  • Citrus oils essential oils such as Bergamot are phototoxic. This means that they can cause skin sensitisation and discolouration in bright sunlight. These oils should be avoided in sunny weather.

To conclude

Essential oils are a source from nature that possess extremely valuable therapeutic properties. These therapeutic properties help us to take responsibility for improving and maintaining our own health, wellness and vitality.

By using them not only do we get significant skincare benefits, but we also contribute to the health and wellness of the wider body,  mind and spirit. This is a holistic approach to health – the treatment of the whole – where the health and wellness of one affects the health and wellness of the whole.

Using essential oils can be a hugely empowering and rewarding process because many are inexpensive, easy to obtain and, when you know which ones to work with as well as how, they are also very easy to use. And they smell utterly divine!

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