Essential oils and safety

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Debs

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Hi - I am a little confused over how much EO i can safely and legally use in the event i sell any of them. I have read that 0.5 - 0.7 oz Per pound of oils + SH is good however i know that some oils are more 'potent' than others, clove for eg i believe should be used in smaller quantities. As I eventually want to sell my soaps i want to experiment with the correct amounts so i can try them and smell them myself...is there an official place to go to find out??? i want to know what % of each EO i could use safely/legally???
thanks in advance!!
 

shunt2011

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Check out the Brambleberry calculator. It will tell you how much to use total for your batch. A lot of them are no more than .50 ppo. Many are much less like cinnamon and clove. I don't use a lot of EO but those I do use I use the calculator.
 

lsg

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There are some essential oils that pregnant women and people with certain conditions should not use. Always check a reliable source for caution information.
 

dixiedragon

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Brambleberry is in the US and I wonder if they'd be considered "correct" by UK rules and regs? I think you may need to see if some of our UK and European members have more info.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would speak with a safety assessor and see if they can point you in the right direction. Not sure if you have seen anything around the portal for registering products or in the actual EU directives about it. As you're not selling, safe amounts are easy to find. When it comes to selling, your safety assessor will be able to help with the actual legal limits.

Please also bear in mind that when it comes to that, the beginner section has a rule about no business related posts, so you need to put business questions in to the Business section when you have enough posts to do so.
 

Susie

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You EU folks have to have each recipe (including fragrance and essential oils) approved by a safety assessor before selling, right? So that person is to whom I would direct this question.
 

Debs

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Thanks for all the replies and sorry about this being considered a business Q - that is way way in the future! I just wondered if there was a generic % considered safe that i could practice with and it appears not. Do any of you use EO and if so what % do you add them in. I have used the Brambleberry farm calculator but it will only let me put in one EO at a time and if i want to combine the EO and use 2 it doesn't help.....or am i reading it wrong?!!!

Susie - that is a good suggestion i will take that on board and go to the business forum to ask about this more!!
 

dixiedragon

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Apparently the BB calculator is messed up right now? Hopefully it will go back to normal soon! Here's one at Majestic Mountain Sage:
https://www.thesage.com/calcs/FragCalc.html

If you want to use a blend, first you need to decide what proportions you want to use. For example, I made lip balm with 1/2 lemongrass EO and 1/2 Peppermint EO. (If you want to experiment with proportions, you can put drops of fragrance on a cotton ball and let it sit for a while to decide if you like it.)

The calculator doesn't have an option for lip balm, so I use the lotion option. I tell it I am making 300 grams and choose Lemongrass EO. Since lemongrass is 1/2 of the EO I am using, I use 1/2 half of the recommended amount. Then I do the same for Peppermint. This is sort of inconvenient, but I don't know of an EO calculator that lets you do more than 1 EO.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Thanks for all the replies and sorry about this being considered a business Q - that is way way in the future! I just wondered if there was a generic % considered safe that i could practice with and it appears not. Do any of you use EO and if so what % do you add them in. I have used the Brambleberry farm calculator but it will only let me put in one EO at a time and if i want to combine the EO and use 2 it doesn't help.....or am i reading it wrong?!!!

Susie - that is a good suggestion i will take that on board and go to the business forum to ask about this more!!
What do you currently use with your soaps if you're not currently scenting with EOs? FOs? If so, what rates are you using for them?

I aim for a total of 5% oil weight with my EOs, taking in to account safe rates for certain things - so if I can use 0.5% clove, I still need to find 4.5% of other things to make that 5% total.
 

green soap

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Each EO has a different safety limit. We use lavender 'neat' for burns, so that one would be 100%. Crazy, of course, in soap just use as much as you like for scenting, and how much you can afford. Beyond a certain point it is also going to make the soap too soft. I was using lavender (before i ran out) at 3% in CP soap, but a stronger scent would have been OK too.

I have been using menthol crystals because of a spousal request. For that, 1.5% is plenty 'tingly' enough for the both of us. If you are using another EO that is also 'tingly', or a possible skin sensitizer, then I would include them in such a way that they do not exceed 1.5% together. This is what works for us, other people could probably tolerate 2.5-3%, I am just suggesting 1.5% to start, and adjust from there.

As far as clove oil, and cinnamon bark oil, less is more. They are skin sensitizers and they also cause acceleration. I use them at less than 0.5%. Cinnamon leaf EO on the other hand, has a much lesser irritating effect on the skin, and still gives the lovely cinnamon scent in soap. Cannot give you a number there, start at 1% and see what they do to your trace, since that is a factor too.

So yes, EOs need to be examined one by one. Certain essential oils are toxic, so 0% for those. The best is to research and study all essential oils used in the products you make, even if you are not selling. It is very interesting too.

What specific EOs are you using? I might be able to give you pointers for a few more, besides the examples above.
 

jules92207

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Soap Queen (Brambleberry) posted an article once about blending and determining usage rates in a blend. It was a good article when I was getting my feet wet with eo's.

You could probably find the article in the archives but to summarize it had you find the usage rate for each eo individually first then divide by the percentage of the eo you are using in your blend. For example if you are blending spearmint, peppermint, and lavender in equal parts, you would calculate each eo to your batch, then divide by three (since its only 1/3 of the blend) and that's the safe usage rate for that eo.

I'm sorry if that was confusing...I would definitely look for the article titled "Lori Nova's Top Ten Essential Oils". It was posted April 2009.
 

Debs

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For what it's worth, here are a couple of links to some threads/posts by our Lindy (a certified clinical aromatherapist) regarding EO-safety in our products:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=499918&postcount=8

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=23653


IrishLass :)
An appreciated link thank you Irish lass and also for the other suggested web links. It seems from what i have read that 3% would be considered safe to use as there wouldn't be enough of the oil in the soap to be considered therapeutic, which would need 5%. I think i am possibly biting off more than i can chew as i had this big plan to try several different base recipes adding different oils to see the affects and adding different EO in to check smells at the same time....but, it appears that the EO themselves may affect the speed of the trace so i wouldn't know what went wrong the base recipe or the addition of the EO!!!! maybe i will just try my different base recipes and add lavender and lemongrass like i did on my soap making course or sandalwood and neroli to each batch and go from there. i am so eager and excited but the more i read the more i realise i need to know!!

green soap
if you are able to give me pointers on sandalwood and neroli that would be great?!

Thanks for all the advice and help it is soooooooooooooo appreciated.
Debs
 

green soap

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LOL! sandalwood and neroli EOs? I have not been able to afford either one, even though I splurge more with the leave on products. If you are to use these for soap are you sure they are not FOs?
 

joy.

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It's a pretty tedious process, but if you really want to be within safe levels, here's how I calculate for EOs:

1. Get the MSDS sheet from the manufacturer of your oil. It will list the main constituents of the oil you have. Constituents vary, so don't rely on what someone else is using or says is safe - get the sheet for the specific oil you're using.
2. Look up the constituents in the IFRA library: http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/standards-library
3. Calculate your safe EO amount based on the max. amount for each constituent in your oil blend.

So, for example, the Cassia essential oil I have contains 85% Cinnamic aldehyde - this is what makes it smell like cinnamon. (You can find that info on the MSDS under section 3 - https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/msds/MSDS_CassiaEssentialOil.pdf) When I type Cinnamic aldehyde into the search box on the IFRA site and then click on it, a box pops up with recommended max. for each category of product. Category 9 is soap, so that means I should not use more than .05% Cinnamic aldehyde in my finished soap. In the interest of not making my head explode doing math, I just assume my Cassia oil is 100% Cinnamic aldehyde and use .05%. It doesn't seem like a lot, but I get plenty of cinnamon scent coming through.
 

penelopejane

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. It seems from what i have read that 3% would be considered safe to use as there wouldn't be enough of the oil in the soap to be considered therapeutic, which would need 5%. i had this big plan to try several different base recipes adding different oils to see the affects and adding different EO in to check smells at the same time..



Thanks for all the advice and help it is soooooooooooooo appreciated.

Debs

The problem with Self testing EOs and some other additives is that what may work for your skin may not work for other people.

Some people are allergic to all EOs some to FOs and some just object for some other reason.

It's all about striking a balance between what suits you and what suits your family/friends/customers. And what is safe which is a good first step it seems.
 
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jules92207

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It's a pretty tedious process, but if you really want to be within safe levels, here's how I calculate for EOs:

1. Get the MSDS sheet from the manufacturer of your oil. It will list the main constituents of the oil you have. Constituents vary, so don't rely on what someone else is using or says is safe - get the sheet for the specific oil you're using.
2. Look up the constituents in the IFRA library: http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/standards-library
3. Calculate your safe EO amount based on the max. amount for each constituent in your oil blend.

So, for example, the Cassia essential oil I have contains 85% Cinnamic aldehyde - this is what makes it smell like cinnamon. (You can find that info on the MSDS under section 3 - https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/msds/MSDS_CassiaEssentialOil.pdf) When I type Cinnamic aldehyde into the search box on the IFRA site and then click on it, a box pops up with recommended max. for each category of product. Category 9 is soap, so that means I should not use more than .05% Cinnamic aldehyde in my finished soap. In the interest of not making my head explode doing math, I just assume my Cassia oil is 100% Cinnamic aldehyde and use .05%. It doesn't seem like a lot, but I get plenty of cinnamon scent coming through.
I know this is sort of an old thread but this is really good explanation on determining usage. I just looked at my bottle of cinnamon bark and realized it has the name of cassia under it, so is it cassia or cinnamon bark? I'm confused.

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