Skin Patch Test

Test for Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions

When using a new essential oil on the skin, it is recommended that you first do a sampling test to see if you have allergies or sensitivities to it.

Before you begin, check to be sure the label of the essential oil you’re using says that it’s 100% pure essential oil. If it doesn’t say it, chances are it is not and it should not be used on the skin or in aromatherapy applications.

To do a skin test:

  1. Dampen a cotton ball slightly with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or olive oil*
  2. Add a drop of the essential oil you’re wishing to test onto the cotton ball**
  3. Touch the moistened cotton bud to a small patch of skin on the inside of the elbow, back of the wrist, or under the arm
  4. Cover the spot with a bandaid and protect the area from water for 24 hours

If irritation occurs, generously apply olive oil or aloe vera gel to the area then wash it thoroughly with soap and water. If there is itching, redness, or other signs of an allergy or sensitivity to the sample testing, these are indications that you shouldn’t use that oil.

 * You may wish to test the carrier oil separately first if you have not used it topically before.

**Many references will suggest just applying a drop of the essential oil directly to the skin. Most essential oils should not be used undiluted -aka “neat”- on the skin and testing them in that manner shouldn’t be required to see if you have a reaction.

The use of essential oils is not recommended for the very young or aged, or pregnant/nursing women. It is the belief of this site that essential oils should not be used internally. A qualified aromatherapist will be able to guide you in the proper use of oils including how to dilute them properly before use. Consult a reputable and experienced aromatherapist for guidance. It is also recommended that you seek professional medical advice before using essential oils. The information provided on this site is for documentation purposes only and is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete.



Print article to PDFDownload PDF