Elise Nguyen applied some orange doTerra essential oil, to help calm her down before a yoga class. Thereafter, she went tanning in readiness for a wedding she was going to attend in Jamaica. 24 hours after enjoying the tanning, Elise started having what looked at the time like hives. But, the condition worsened, and by the time she saw her doctor, she had quite extensive chemical burns.

essential oils

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The cause? Orange doTerra essential oil. Or, as a matter of fact, it’s all essential oils and their reaction to sun exposure, or to be more precise, UV rays.

Essential oils are derived from plant extracts, and have very powerful healing properties. You can use them for the treatment of a variety of ailments, and for enhancing your general health and wellness. In essence, they are natural medicines. But, because they are potent, it’s best to use them after being diluted with other substances. Otherwise, they can cause more harm than good.

Understanding Essential Oils

Before you get too excited and apply or ingest any essential oil, there are a couple of things you need to understand about them. First of all, they are made up of highly concentrated elements, of the plant from which they are derived. A little essential oil is equivalent to many cups of herbal tea from the same plant. So, while the tea may have an effect on you, the oil will have a greater effect on your body, as it’s more potent. Let’s take a practical example. A single drop of peppermint oil is the same as 28 cups of peppermint tea. This clearly shows just how strong essential oils are.

The fact that essential oils are potent doesn’t mean they are unsafe to use. All you need to do is practice caution and use them in the correct amounts, and diluted properly. Secondly, you need to understand how certain essential oils interact with other elements, so as to prevent causing harm during use.

Essential Oils And Sun Exposure

When essential oils contain 5 methoxypsolaren or bergapten in concentrations greater than 0.000075%, they are said to be photosensitising. What this means is that they are considered unsafe for use prior to exposure to the sun.

Ideally, you should never apply undiluted essential oils before exposure in the sun, or before getting exposed to UV radiation, in places like tanning machines and sun beds. Sometimes, people think that the essential oils can help you tan faster, but the opposite is true. Depending on the concentration levels and the kind of essential oil you’ve applied, after sun exposure, you could experience swelling, pain, blistering and other severe damages to the skin.

Should you use essential oils on your skin, it is recommended that you wait at least four hours before stepping out into the sun. You could also dilute the essential oil with other oils, such as coconut, before applying, so as to minimize the potency of the essential oil.

Practicing Caution

In the case of Elise, she found out later that the instructions on her orange doTerra essential oil bottle were clear. There was a warning against exposure to the sun after application, but she had never paid attention to the instructions. When you buy an essential oil, read the instructions for use. They are there to protect you and keep you safe.

These Painful Photos Show Why You Shouldn’t Mix Essential Oils And Sun
Risks and Uses of Essential Oils
Essential Oil Safety- Rule 3: Never Apply Photosensitising Oils Before Going Out into the Sun
Image Source Facebook Elise Nguyen