Beauty: Safe Essential Oils for Pregnancy, by Kristen Ma

I’m frequently asked about which essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy. Something must be in the air, because lately this inquiry has flooded my inbox (wink). No, seriously, this is a great question. While I am a die-hard natural skincare devotee, this does not mean that all natural ingredients are good for all people. Actually, one concept of Eastern Medicine is that every substance can be used as a medicine or a poison depending on the person and preparation. These two factors apply strongly to pregnancy. Pregnant women must be careful about which essential oils they use in their beauty care as well as the dilution they use them in. Saying this, using essential oils in the right way can help wonderfully during pregnancy; they help alleviate swollen ankles, back ache, and hormonal breakouts.

So first off, mum-to-be, let’s talk about essential oils to avoid:
-Peppermint (can be used sometimes – ask your professional)

Here are some essential oils that are safe to use and are also therapeutic during pregnancy:
-Ylang ylang
-Chamomile (after six months)
-Geranium (after three months)

Now let’s talk about the preparations themselves. Some rules of thumb are:

– Use subtle dilutions of essential oils in your base oil, cream, lotion etc. This should be in a dilution of 1.5% or less, and I usually opt for 1% to be safe. This is not too hard to find; many lines like Pure + Simple and Holistic Vanity are especially light-handed with their essential oils in their sensitive skin lines. If you’re worried, I encourage you to ask, ask away!

– If you want to use essential oils therapeutically, start doing this after your first trimester. I would also advise not playing around on your own but to have the help of a natural beauty professional or aromatherapist.

I have worked with a number of pregnant women, and I understand what an exciting yet daunting experience navigating Do’s and Don’ts can be. So, I would recommend to ask a health professional for advice if you’re unsure or worried. Along with great info, they’ll help you put your mind at ease.

 Kristen Ma PhotoKristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure + Simple Inc., a group of Holistic Spas with its own line of Natural Skincare and Mineral Make-up.  She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner who has studied in Canada, the United States and India.  She is also a Certified Esthetician with eight years of practical experience, having worked in Canada as well as Australia.  Most recently, Kristen has authored “Beauty: Pure + Simple” which was published by Mc Arthur and Company.  Kristen has written on the subject of Holistic Beauty for Vitality Magazine, Blink and Jasmine.  She is also a regular contributor to B Magazine, Tonic and Sweat Equity Magazine. She blogs regularly at Holistic Vanity.