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Do’s and Don’ts for Trending Product

Essential oils, a product of growing popularity, remain a mystery to many people. The oils seem harmless enough: They smell great, they’re good for you, and they’re all natural. What could be bad about essential oils? But before you fall head-over-heels with this rising trend, you should know the benefits and dangers:

Do: Try essential oils in aromatherapy. Electronic diffusers heat up water with a few drops of an essential oil and push the thick aroma into the air, creating a long-lasting effect that will fill each corner of your space. Choose essential oils that are known to aid your ailment. If you’re just getting started, try peppermint for nausea, lavender for anxiety, or a eucalyptus blend to clear sinuses.

Don’t: Put essential oils straight onto your skin. When approaching natural skincare, it is essential that you know your skin and practice precaution in using oils. In most cases, essential oils should not touch your skin straight out of the bottle. When concentrated, these oils are powerful and sometimes dangerous. They can cause rashes, skin irritation and even penetrate your bloodstream. But when diluted with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, argon oil, etc.), essential oils like tea tree or lavender can be very useful for treating rashes, acne, and dry skin.

Do: Use essential oils for cleaning. A clean home is a happy home, and it all starts with smell. Cleaning solutions are easily made at home. If you choose to employ an essential oil in your blend, go with a citrus such as lemongrass, orange, or grapefruit. These are the essential oils that have the most antibacterial properties and are known to eliminate most household bacterial strains.

Don’t: Use essential oils on pets. There has recently been an uptick in pet poisoning as a result of owners attempting to use essential oils to treat rashes or fleas holistically. While certain essential oils are known to help prevent fleas and ticks, the oils do more harm than good, absorbing into an animal’s body and causing serious side effects.

Do: Be careful when purchasing. A majority of sellers are honest when processing and bottling essential oils, however, when opting for the cheaper choices, watch for the words “fragrance oil” or “perfume oil.” These substances are synthetic and, while suitable for perfumes, don’t work for aromatherapy, cleaning, or natural beauty products.

Purchasing essential oils for the first time? Try Bellingham online brand Bramble Berry (brambleberry.com), or Target (target.com) where you can purchase individual oils for low costs. You can’t go wrong with Bramble Berry’s Lavender 40/42, Orange 10X, or Tea Tree essential oils. Another local company, Living Earth Herbs (livingearthherbs.com), sells ethically-made oils at a brick-and-mortar storefront at 1411 Cornwall Ave. in Bellingham. For aromatherapy, my go-to is online company Edens Garden (edensgarden.com), which sells unparalleled blends at around $7.95 for 5 milliliters (about a teaspoon). A good starter kit might include these oils: Good Night, Balance, and Breathe Easier.

For more like this, be sure to check out our Wellbeing section here.

"They smell great, they’re good for you, and they’re all natural. What could be bad about essential oils?"