Frequently Asked Questions
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the vital fluids of a plant, shrub, root, herb, flower, seed or tree. Primarily extracted through careful steam distillation but also through cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted. Any time you hold a bottle of our powerful essential oils, you are holding nature’s pure essence.
The benefits of using essential oils include:
- Inspiring a positive emotional state;
- Enhancing physical wellness;
- Purifying your home; and
- Refining your beauty routine
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I’m new to essential oils. How are they used?
Young Living labels each bottle of Young Living essential oil with directions for how to use it; these directions vary based on your region. Please consult the product label for appropriate usage directions.
I see the term “carrier oil” used in several places. What is a carrier oil, what does it do, and why should I use it?
A carrier oil is a vegetable oil—such as coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil—that can be used to dilute essential oils. Young Living’s V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex is an excellent carrier oil for all applications.
Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable to the skin. Dilution with a carrier oil does not dilute the effect of the essential oil. In fact, it prevents waste due to excessive application. Look for dilution ratios on Young Living essential oil bottles.
Vegetable shortening, butter, margarine, or petroleum derivatives (such as mineral oil, baby oil, and petroleum jelly) should never be used as carrier oils.
What is a hot oil?
“Hot oils” are oils that can cause a hot or warming sensation when applied to the skin. Examples of hot oils and blends include Cinnamon, Clove, Lemongrass, Oregano, Thyme, Exodus II™, and Thieves®. For some people, Peppermint’s cooling sensation can be too intense.
Young Living recommends using a patch test procedure prior to first use. To perform a patch test, apply 1–2 drops of essential oil to a patch of skin such as the forearm. Observe that area of skin over the course of 1–2 hours for any noticeable reaction; however, reactions occur usually within 5–10 minutes. If you experience a hot or burning sensation or develop a rash, add V-6 or another carrier oil to the affected area as often as needed.
What if I experience skin discomfort or irritation?
If discomfort or irritation occurs, stop using the essential oil and apply V-6 or another carrier oil to the affected area. If a rash occurs, this may be a sign of detoxification. Drink adequate water to encourage the release and removal of toxins in your body. Toxins present in petrochemical-based soaps and skin care products, detergents, and perfumes may trigger some of the detoxification reactions. Consider discontinuing these agents if a reaction occurs. Before using the essential oil again, perform a patch test (see above under “What is a “hot oil?”) and dilute with a carrier oil as needed.
Be aware that some documents suggest diluting the oil with water, but water actually drives oil into the skin and eyes. Never use water in an attempt to flush the oil off of the skin, as this may increase discomfort. If essential oil gets in your eye, flush with V-6 or another carrier oil as quickly as possible to alleviate any discomfort. If eye discomfort does not subside within 5 minutes, seek medical attention.
Can essential oils be applied to sensitive areas?
Avoid contacting sensitive areas such as eyes, ears, genitals, and mucous membranes with essential oils. If you choose to use the oil in any sensitive area, dilute 1 drop of the essential oil with 5–10 drops of V-6 or another carrier oil.
How often can essential oils be applied? How much do I use?
Follow the proper usage instructions printed on each essential oil label. Essential oils are very powerful, so start low and go slow. Excessive use of essential oils may increase the risk for adverse reactions. In most cases, 1–2 drops are adequate, and using more may waste product. Depending on the essential oil, you can gradually build up to 3–4 uses per day, if desired.
Can essential oils be used during pregnancy or while nursing?
As with any medical condition, we strongly recommended that prior to using essential oils, you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained health care advisor who is experienced in essential oil usage. Some people choose to avoid overuse and excessive use of Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Sage (Salvia officinalis), Idaho Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), as well as the blends and supplements that contain these oils.
Can essential oils be used on children?
Many essential oils are appropriate for use on children but should be diluted with a carrier oil prior to use. Some Young Living products come prediluted with carrier oil, as indicated on product labels, and are intended for direct application on children. You can dilute 1–2 drops of essential oil such as SleepyIze™, RutaVaLa™, Gentle Baby™, and Peace & Calming® with a carrier oil and apply to the bottoms of the feet.
How does exposure to sun affect essential oil use?
Some essential oils, especially citrus oils, contain natural molecules that react with sunlight (UV light) and cause a sensitivity reaction. Young Living labels the essential oils and oil blends that contain these compounds with a warning to avoid sun/UV light for 12–48 hours after applying. Always use caution when starting to use a new oil. To reduce the risk of sensitivity, use patch testing (see above under “What is a “hot oil?”), dilute, and apply the oil to skin that will not be exposed to sun/UV light. Young Living formulates its beauty and cosmetic products to remove sun-sensitizing agents to reduce the risk of sun sensitivity.
What about the use of essential oils if I have a medical condition? Can essential oils interact with prescription medications?
If you have a disease or medical condition or are using a prescription medication, it is recommended that prior to using an essential oil, you consult with a health care advisor who has experience with essential oils. Seek the advice of the prescribing physician and a pharmacist about potential interactions between any medication and essential oils.
Are Young Living essential oils certified organic?
Young Living prides itself on offering the purest and most effective essential oils possible, and they are often asked if their oils are certified organic. The organic certification, while important, is far from the only standard of quality by which to judge essential oils. Young Living practices a unique Seed to Seal® quality process that goes beyond the current organic standard in many ways. At Young Living, they don’t just rely on others to verify the purity of their oils. Young Living works directly with their farms, growers, and distillers to ensure the quality, integrity, and authenticity of every product produced. Their passion and commitment is to produce 100-percent pure, unadulterated essential oils that retain all of the natural constituents and therapeutic properties nature intended. Young Living’s Seed to Seal process ensures the purest therapeutic-grade essential oils through careful monitoring of every step of essential oil production—from the time a seed is sourced until the oil is sealed in the bottle. Every batch of essential oils, whether cultivated on their own farms or by one of their carefully vetted partner growers, is rigorously tested and subjected to careful review through every step of production and meets or exceeds industry safety and purity standards. Young Living’s dedication to quality ensures that they provide pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils with the complete, optimal blend of plant constituents to provide maximum potency and results. As millions of satisfied members and customers across the globe can testify, Young Living sets the standard for purity and quality in the essential oil industry. While standards and guidelines can vary and be modified, Young Living’s dedication to providing the safest, most beneficial essential oils in the world will never change.
Does Young Living use pesticides?
Young Living does not use pesticides at their farms or their partner farms. Both Young Living’s farm practices and finished products are held to strict standards, and with the measures they have in place, Young Living feels confident that they offer their members the best, purest products available.
What tests does Young Living conduct on their essential oils?
Young Living uses its own internal labs and third-party facilities to verify that Young Living purity and potency standards are met. Each batch of essential oil is sent through six rigorous tests and must meet established quality benchmarks to pass through successfully.
- Mass Spectrometer—Identifies the names of each constituent (plant chemicals) in the oil.
- Gas Chromatograph—Measures the percentage of constituents in the oil.
- Refractive Index—Measures the density of the oil using a concentrated beam of light.
- Specific Gravity—Measures how heavy the oil is as compared to water.
- Flash Point—Ignites the oil and tests it against standard flash temperatures.
- Optical Rotation—Measures the molecular structure of the oil.
Once the tests are complete, the results are compared to the vast library of information Young Living has amassed over 20 years. This library of oil data is unmatched in the industry. If the incoming oils do not meet the established profile, they are rejected and not allowed to be bottled as a Young Living product.
What is the shelf life of Young Living oils?
Young Living’s essential oils do not expire and will maintain their integrity, efficacy, and beneficial properties virtually indefinitely, provided they are stored properly in a dark-glass bottle, upright and tightly sealed, out of sunlight, and in cool temperatures.
Can I store essential oils in plastic containers?
Young Living recommends that members store essential oils in their original containers. However, if you would like to store your oils in different containers, they recommend using dark-coloured glass. Young Living does not recommend storing undiluted essential oils in plastic containers because many essential oils are incompatible with plastic material.
Are essential oils safe for use on or around animals?
Many people successfully use Young Living products with their animals. They offer Animal Scents™ products that are designed for use with animals, including an Animal Scents oil collection.
Are Young Living essential oils distilled multiple times?
Each batch of Young Living essential oil is only processed/distilled from plants once before bottling.
How are Young Living essential oils created?
Essential oils are aromatic liquids distilled or extracted from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, fruit, and seeds. Most Young Living essential oils are extracted using steam distillation. Their food-grade stainless steel distillers are based on a state-of-the-art design that uses very low pressure and low temperature, which is critical for preserving all of the fragile therapeutic constituents of essential oils. Plants are steam distilled in small batches for extended periods using a special low-pressure, low-heat vertical steam technology. Young Living’s citrus oils are cold pressed from the rinds of their designated fruit, such as bergamot, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon. No solvents or synthetic chemicals of any kind are used or added in either method.
Is it possible to be allergic to essential oils?
Essential oils do not generally contain the proteins responsible for allergic reactions, which minimizes the likelihood of an allergic reaction. However, individual sensitivities do vary, and people can still experience sensitivities to essential oils. When using a new essential oil, dilution and a skin spot test is a good idea to ensure that you do not experience any sensitivity to that particular oil.
How many drops are in a 5-ml and 15-ml bottle of essential oil?
There are approximately 85 drops (1 teaspoon) in a 5-ml bottle and approximately 250 drops (1 tablespoon) in a 15-ml bottle.
Are essential oils still effective and safe to use if they have been left in the heat?
UV exposure will cause the greatest damage to the constituents of essential oils, and heat and light combined will affect them even more quickly. If a package is delivered and sitting on the porch for several hours (or even a few days), but the oils are not directly exposed to UV light, the efficacy of the oils will not be compromised. If the oil is hot, cool it before using. Prolonged exposure to light will cause the oil constituents to change or diminish.
Can essential oils be used neat (without dilution) on the skin?
Some essential oils can be used neat on the skin. All label instructions should be followed. Young Living’s labels indicate when an essential oil should be diluted. If it is an essential oil that you have never used, dilution and a skin spot test is a good idea to ensure that you do not experience any sensitivity to that particular essential oil.
Do essential oils contain the vitamins present in the plant?
Due to the distillation process, there are no appreciable amounts of vitamins in essential oils.
Does Young Living provide testing reports for its essential oils?
Every batch of Young Living essential oil goes through stringent GC/MS testing to ensure their strict standards are met. These reports are proprietary and regarded as trade secrets.
Does Young Living practice sustainable growing methods?
Yes, Young Living is committed to being responsible stewards of the environment and take great care to preserve and protect their planet’s natural resources. These core values are evident in their Seed to Seal® philosophy, which promotes sustainable farming and sourcing practices, while enabling them to produce the purest, most potent essential oils in the world.
What does Young Living do with the leftover material from oil distillation?
The remaining material from oil distillation is used in compost.
What is Young Living’s policy regarding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)?
Young Living takes pride in utilizing the highest quality botanicals for its essential oils and oil-infused products. Every effort is made to ensure that the ingredients in their products are the purest and most potent available. Young Living goes to great lengths to formulate and use non-GMO (genetically modified organism) sources for its products whenever they are both verifiable and available. Although in the majority of cases they are able to certify that Young Living product ingredients are non-GMO, there are instances when sourcing and manufacturing constraints require the use of botanicals and materials that are uncertified or untraceable back to a verifiable non-GMO source. In addition, there are no clear guidelines on unified labeling standards from U.S. government agencies regarding non-GMO labeling. Young Living reaffirms their commitment to offering safe, effective, and high-quality products to their customers and members around the world. They are continuously researching ways to provide the highest quality and most natural products for their members.
Are Young Living products tested on animals?
Young Living has a policy against testing the efficacy or safety of its products on animals. Young Living’s products are formulated to be safe for nearly all users, and animal testing is neither required nor performed in their product development process.
How does Young Living ensure that its products do not contain heavy metals?
All raw ingredients used in Young Living products are tested for contaminants, including heavy metals, and must meet strict specifications.