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Safety & Storage

We take the issue of essential oil safety very seriously. Aqua Oleum led the way in providing safe usage information on our packaging and website. All our essential oils and products have specific safety data on the label. We are conscious that “natural” does not necessarily equal “safe”. Whilst most oils are safe to use, there are some oils that have potentially harmful effects and we choose not to stock a number of oils, such as pennyroyal. Others should be used in moderation only or should not be used in certain circumstances, such as when pregnant or suffering from a medical condition like high blood pressure.   Most oils should not be used neat on the skin.

Potentially, oils can cause sensitization in certain individuals and before using any oil we advise a patch test. Put a drop of the appropriately diluted oil on the back of the hand and leave for fifteen minutes to check if there is an adverse reaction.  If skin irritation occurs, bathe with cold water immediately. We therefore recommend that before using a new essential oil, you always check the specific safety information as provided on our website. If you are interested in finding out more about aromatherapy in general, we recommend you read the books written by Julia Lawless – see BOOKS. To get started using essential oils, you can also buy our booklet: ‘The Home Use of Essential Oils’.

Correct storage is another vital aspect of handling essential oils. When an oil arrives at our warehouse, an inspection is made immediately to make sure that the quality is the same as the sample. Each approved batch is then moved into our oil store, which is secure, dark and constantly cool. Certain absolutes are kept in a fridge. The quantity of oil we buy is determined by the shelf life and the amount we sell. Some oils like patchouli, rose and sandalwood improve with age whilst others deteriorate. Lemon for example, has a tendency to oxidise so we have regular deliveries of smaller amounts which we bottle immediately so it is not sitting around in a drum half full of oxygen. Records are kept of delivery dates, batches and production schedules to ensure appropriate stock rotation. We then put clear batch numbers and ‘best before’ dates on each bottle to ensure they reach our customers in optimum condition. Once bottled in our blue glass containers, our oils are boxed and stored in a cool warehouse ready for dispatch. Be wary of any company that sells their essential oils in plastic or clear glass containers as neither of these provide safe or suitable storage.

Please note that we are not permitted by law to offer medical or therapeutic advice. We cannot be held responsible for problems occurring from the inappropriate use or handling of essential oils or other products bought from this site.