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  • Why You Should Vary the Essential Oils You Use


    As an essential oil addict, I probably have far more oils than I can ever use before they go bad. I’m resigned to that fact, though, I’ve gotten smarter in recent years and started buying smaller bottles to reduce waste. I just can’t help trying new oils, and it seems that the ones that I don’t personally care for, my husband likes. Between the two of us, we haven’t met an essential oil that neither of us likes. While that may be kinda hard on the wallet, it’s actually a very good thing.

    Variety is the Spice of Life

    Turns out, it’s very important to have more than one oil for any purpose you might use essential oils for. It may cost more and require more storage space, but hey… you get to have more great smelling oils that way. So win-win!!

    There are several reasons for having multiple oils for the same purpose, but I’m going to focus on just two of them today.

    1. You can become sensitized to oils – Using the same oil repeatedly, even diluted, whether on your skin or in a diffuser, can cause you to become sensitized to it. This means that you may develop redness, itching, or other signs of irritation whenever you smell or come into contact with it. I personally know several massage therapists who used to place undiluted essential oils in their hands prior to applying them to their clients. They did this with every client. Some of them can no longer tolerate those oils on their skin, even if they’re diluted. The rest can’t even catch a whiff of their scent without becoming nauseous or getting a headache. Now, to be fair, I also know massage therapists (and others) who’ve been using the same few oils for years without any sign of sensitization… yet. They, and you, may never develop a sensitization to one or more oils, but then again, you might. There’s no way to tell. None. Even if you use a brand of essential oils that claims to be 100% pure therapeutic grade or more pure than any other, you can still become sensitized. Most of the people I know who’ve become sensitized have used the same brand of oils… one that claims theirs is the best and that you can’t possibly have any negative reaction to their oils. The others used brands that are high quality and generally only known in professional aromatherapy circles.
    2. Scent fatigue – If you’ve ever gagged on someone’s perfume vapor trail, you’ve probably wondered how in the world they aren’t positively choking on their own smell. The thing is, they can’t smell it, or not like everyone around them can anyway. That’s scent fatigue. If you smell the same smell long enough, or in high enough concentration, you’ll begin to grow accustomed to the scent so it won’t smell as strong to you as it does to those around you. Eventually, you may not be able to smell the scent at all. I know people that this has happened to and it’s incredibly sad and frustrating. It can result in multiple doctor visits in which nothing is found to be wrong with the nose, olfactory (smelling) nerves, or any other part of the body associated with detecting scent. So not only is “nothing wrong with you,” you still can’t smell your favorite scent.

    There are two simple ways to help prevent both sensitization and scent fatigue. One is to vary the essential oils that you use, and the other is to dilute the oils before using. It’s really very simple. If you hesitate to dilute the oils for fear they won’t work as well, remember this: With essential oils, less is more. In fact, some oils have the opposite effect if you use too much.

    If you currently only use a small handful of oils and need help figuring out some good alternatives, let me know. In the comments tell me which oil you want an alternative for, along with its current use (each oil has multiple properties), and I’ll give you a couple recommendations.

    And hey, if you feel so moved… why not spread the knowledge and share this with your peeps.