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COMPASS MAGAZINE June 2006

Tips on how to use and preserve aromatherapy oils

---By Lanna Chen (Saje Da Dun Branch Manager) Translated by Cara Steenstra

The use of aromatherapy has become very common in Taiwan and around the world. As a reslt, it is hoped that the following tips will help boost understanding about how to use and preserve aromatherapy oils, so that correct usage concepts will help achieve the best results.

Pure aromatherapy oils must be kept in dark-colored glass containers to protect them from light and damage from UV rays. They must never be placed in plastic containers, as these oils are easily damaged by the chemical contents of plastic containers. Aromatherapy oils are also highly volatile, oxidizing easily once exposed to air. Therefore, it is important to keep the oils completely airtight. Make it a habit to close container tops tightly after each use. It is best to keep the bottles in an upright position, placing them between 18? and 30? in a wooden box or drawer that will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Wood is best for maintaining temperature and humidity.

Different aromatherapy oils have different expiration dates and most can be kept for two to three years if not opened. However, once opened, it is best to finish using them in less than one year's time. Expired oils, or oils that look as if they have changed in quality, should not be used as they might cause skin reactions.
Authentic aromatherapy oils are 100-percent pure. Only tea tree oil and lavender oil can be used directly on human skin, although it is best not to use more than three drops each time. Other oils must be diluted before direct contact with skin, making base oils very important as well. Pregnant women should not use aromatherapy oils without careful consideration, as aromatherapy oil particles are very fine and can be rapidly absorbed by through the skin and into the blood system, which might stimulate the nervous system, liver and kidneys of pregnant women. In particular, it is best not to use any of these oils during the first three months of pregnancy.

Most base oils are made from vegetable oils for their stability as well as their skin-moisturizing qualities. The fine texture and high lubricity help make these a good choice for massage oils. Base oils also aid in balancing and stabilizing aromatherapy oils, which helps the skin absorb the aromatherapy oils more rapidly. Most commonly used base oils include jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and grape seed oil.

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