Face Mask + Essential Oils?
Jun 12, 2020
With many people wearing masks for extended periods of time - I thought it timely to provide you with tips and cautions in using essential oils on masks.
There's actually quite an interesting history around wearing aromatics within a facemask during a pandemic - Plague Dr. History!
Below are my thoughts on the matter, guided by the best practices of aromatherapy. I broke it down into the most frequent questions I am asked, and welcome any follow-up questions in the comments below!
Disclaimer: essential oils do not prevent the spread of COVID-19 & this blog does not make statements of such.
Question 1: Which Oils Should I Use?
The first step to selecting the oil to use, is to ask “what is my goal?" Think of it as working backward from your goal to identify the essential oil or blend.
To become clear on the purpose ask - what type of action is needed? (see bullet points below)
Then, match the therapeutic actions of the oil or blend to your specific needs.
To Help Reduce Stress?
To Uplift Emotions: Pick from flowers or fruits like Lavender, Chamomile, Mandarin, or Pink Grapefruit!
For Grounding Chaotic Energy: Frankincense or Sandalwood!
Try a Combo in Our Blends: Calming, Anxiety Rescue, Namaste, Sunshine, or Refresh
Added Antimicrobial Support?
It may be helpful for a variety of reasons associated with mask-wearing, but no essential oils have been shown to treat COVID-19.
Try Single Oils of Tea Tree, Rosemary, or Spike Lavender.
Essential Oil Blends for antimicrobial support are Detox, Purification or Perk Up.
Hint: Blends smell better!
Relieve Congestion or Allergy Symptoms?
Having a stuffy nose while wearing a mask is not fun! If you are congested try our Breathe Clear Blend - or, eucalyptus radiata, rosemary ct. verbenone, or blue tansy 10%.
If you are suffering from sinus infections - try Sinus Remedy.
You will find these oils also have strong anti-microbial actions as well, helpful from a sanitary perspective with mask-wearing.
Question 2: How to Apply Essential Oils to my Mask?
Due to the wide variety of facial coverings being used, I can only address the common masks and facial covering methods being used today.
Place the sticky side of the patch to the inside of the mask or your scarf, in a location that will allow you to smell the oil, but not allowing the oils to be in direct contact with your face/skin. Try placing the patch on the inside of your mask, near the side of your nose, in the area before the mask touches your cheek.
Caution: Never apply undiluted essential oils to the skin - especially on your face!
Drop Essential Oils from Bottle
If your mask has a pocket that a filter has been inserted into, add the oils to the filter inside the pocket, use 1-2 drops on the filter.
Or - put 1-2 drops on a cotton ball and tape it inside your mask.
When to Use Diluted Essential Oils in a Mask
If the oils inside your mask might touch your skin – please dilute them first.
To dilute, use 1 drop of essential oil, to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, which gives you a 1% dilution. 2 drops will give you a 2% dilution and so on.
Use 2-3 of the diluted drops of the diluted essential oil onto the filter or mask.
Diluted oils are still incredibly effective for stress relief & respiratory support!
Note: If you need additional ideas, methods, or solutions, ask for guidance.
Email: [email protected]
Question 3: Surgical or PPE Masks + EO's
A concern I have with applying essential oils specifically to manufactured surgical masks & PPE - is the unknown of how Essential Oils interact with synthetic materials and chemicals that may be used in the manufacturing of PPE (surgical masks).
A good example is Orange Essential Oil - widely known for acting as a solvent to break down adhesives & often used in hand cleaning products. For this reason, I would not apply EO's directly to this type of material. It may break down the material, or interact with the chemical on the mask.
A few final thoughts as we adapt to wearing masks, and learning “mask basics”.
Oxygen & Wellness
As you know, wearing a mask can reduce your oxygen intake. Take breaks whenever possible and deeply breathe in the fresh air. Did you know that simply breathing more deeply & mindfully is scientifically proven to affect the brain, heart, nervous system, AND the immune system? Here's a great article from NPR about Breathing!
If you have any signs of minor skin irritation (itching, rash, redness) to the oils in your mask, stop! Wash the area with vegetable or nut oil to pull the essential oils off your skin, then wash with soap and water.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are working with various health conditions, have allergies, or need specific information for specialty populations (children, elderly, etc) I am available for Aromatherapy Consultations. Please click here to schedule an appointment!
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