October 26, 2011
Accidents happen; so it’s a good idea to be prepared ahead of time in case of an emergency. Everyone’s skin type is different, and essential oils are powerful; so if you use an essential oil that seems to irritate or burn your skin, you should dilute the oil by rubbing a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil…even vegetable oil) into the spot. This dilutes the oil. Don’t use water, as oil and water don’t mix. Once you’ve emulsified the oil this way, you can wash it away with soap and water; but always dilute it with a carrier oil first.
While some people have sensitive skin, everyone has sensitive eyes. So, what do you do if you get essential oils in your eyes? Since essential oils and water do not mix, you need a substance that is safe to use in your eyes and that will quickly emulsify the essential oil, allowing water to quickly flush it all away. The answer is milk or cream. If you get essential oils in your eyes, quickly flush the eye with milk or cream until it stop burning. This should happen almost immediately. At that point, you can flush the eyes with fresh water to remove the milk.
Some aromatherapy authors advise using a fixed oil in the eye, but while this is good on the skin, it doesn’t remove the essential oil quickly enough from the eye. And while it may not hurt, it’s not fun to have olive oil in your eye either.
We had the opportunity to see this work twice this past week in two different families. Both times, a child had accidentally gotten a hold of the peppermint oil and rubbed it into her eye. Both times, the milk worked immediately. During an emergency is not the time to look up what to do. Know what to do ahead of time!
Eyes: Milk or Cream
Sensitive Skin: Plain Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil