Using essentials oils on your skin, even when safely diluted, can lead to skin irritation. Everyone reacts differently to topical solutions, so before using oil, it is important to determine how your body will react. You might have an allergy you were unaware of or the particular brand of oil might be too strong for your skin. Understanding how to dilute oils and testing them before repeated use can help you avoid an uncomfortable reaction. A skin patch test will enable you to know what to expect when you use a certain oil on the regular basis. Remember, you should only test oils on your skin that are safe for direct application. If you doubt the safety of your oil, do your research in advance.
Begin your skin patch test by diluting the oil. Dilute your oil to a concentration of two percent. If you are not interested in being so exact, drop three drops of essential oil into a standard sized vial of carrier oil. If you find the mixture is too strong after completing the skin test, you can test different amounts of dilution to see if something works for you.
Place one or two drops of diluted oil on the skin on the inside of your elbow. Once the drops are applied, cover the area with a bandage. Do not get the area wet until you have completed the test.
If you begin to feel any irritation, remove the bandage and wash the oil form your skin. You have determined that you are going to react to the oil and you should not use it. Soap and water should be enough to relieve the irritation.
After 24 hours without unpleasant sensations, remove the bandage. If you see or feel no irritation, it is safe for you to use the oil on your skin. Remember essential oils cause different reactions in different people. If you test oil on your own skin without reaction, it could still create a reaction in someone else.