What is a Patch Test for essential oils?

Using essential oils for the first time? While they’re widely recognized as safe and effective, it’s possible for an oil to cause sensitization. A patch test allows you to see how your skin reacts to a substance before using it more widely.
If you plan to use essential oils topically, it’s best to do a quick test. Testing the oil on a small area of skin is known as a patch test, and is simple to do. Additionally, it will help you determine whether or not you’ll have a sensitivity or reaction to a particular essential oil, while reducing initial exposure to your skin.

To do a skin patch test:
Wash your forearm with mild, unscented soap, and pat the area dry.

• Combine 1-2 drops essential oil in a half teaspoon of carrier oil, like cold-pressed almond or olive oil.

• Using the inside of your arm, or elbow crease apply a few drops of the diluted oil to a bandage. Then apply to a small patch of skin on your arm where you are unlikely to accidentally wash or rub it away.

• Wait 24-48 hours. If during this time you get any irritation, discontinue use. Avoid using that oil (or a blend that contains that oil) directly on your skin.


No sensitivity? Now it’s time to get started. At All, we recommend using the least amount of essential oil to get the desired effect. Essential oils are strong, so begin with a conservative dose.


In the chart below, carrier oils are listed in 10 ml, and essential oils are listed in drops for Adults, Children and the Elderly. Essential oil safely is included.

If you are pregnant, read more about essential oil best practice during pregnancy here.


Remember: If you continually use the same essential oil on your skin, it’s possible you could develop a skin irritation. Also, if you apply an essential oil and then expose your skin to the sun, you could be more susceptible to burns. You should not expose your skin to the sun after applying a citrus oil, such as orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange or tangerine, as these oils increase photosensitivity.

If you see any signs of irritation, stop applying that oil on your skin, and don’t apply any other oils on the affected area.


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