Project Description

Essential Oil Bath Safety - Tisserand Institute

Bath safety notice!

Do not put drops of essential oil directly into a bath and then step into it.

Seriously, don’t do it. This is a mistake very easily made, even by people who have been using essential oils for some time. If you want to add essential oils to your bathwater, mix them in a vegetable oil, or emulsify into an aqueous medium, using an emulsifying agent such as Solubol.

Essential oils do not mix with water, they float in tiny droplets on the surface, and you are about to sit on those droplets of undiluted essential oil. Whenever essential oils are ‘mixed’ with water without a dispersing agent, there is a high risk of irritation, since undiluted droplets of essential oil attach to the skin, often in sensitive areas. Because the oils are warmed up by the water, and also cannot evaporate, they often sting like crazy. This can happen with any essential oil, though it seems to be especially bad with citrus oils.

Adding a fatty oil to your bath does make for a more greasy bathing experience, and some argue that it can stain your bathtub. If this is your concern, you could try using less greasy fatty oil such as jojoba or fractionated coconut oil. Neither full-fat milk nor Epsom salts properly dissolve essential oils. This may shave a few % of the risk, but it’s really not recommended, especially for anyone who might be sensitive.

So, your choices are: thoroughly mix in a vegetable oil (you will get a floating bath oil), or emulsify the EOs into an aqueous medium such as water or a hydrosol using an emulsifying agent.

For more guidelines on safety, visit our Safety pages: