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Essential Oils

Oils and Eye Safety

Tabitha Helms

What to do when you get essential oils in your eye

Last night I was using peppermint on the back of my hand, and thoughtlessly tried to wipe a smudge of eyeliner up with my finger before I had cleaned up properly. I'm sure you've never done anything of the sort, so I'll enlighten you on the feelings that ensued.

My eye suddenly felt very cold--like a freezing wind was blowing full speed into my eye. It watered a little, and I thought it would go away once my eye "cried it out." No such luck. It continued for about 5 minutes this way, with me being unable to open my eye without getting that cold, windy feeling. I decided this was greatly hindering my life and the things I had to do, so I decided to try to dilute it with coconut oil and see what happened.

I put a drop of coconut oil on a Q-tip and ran the Q-tip along my bottom lash line. Immediately, the "wind" stopped. I was shocked. I didn't think it was really going to work that well. I thought I was going to have to wait it out. I did the Q-tip trick one more time, and the watering stopped as well. I could comfortably keep my eye open and go about my business.

Sometimes oils take a while to fully rid you of your symptoms, and other times, you get the blessing of seeing an immediate result like this one. After this occurrence however, I decided it would benefit me to do some homework on eye safety when using Essential Oils. Every article, post, and recommendation I read said the same thing:

Never directly apply oil to your eyes. If it gets in accidentally, dilute it with a vegetable oil, NOT with water. Water is a driving force for oils. Applying water will only drive the oil more into your eye. 

Only one rule! That's certainly easy to remember. Hopefully next time I'll also remember to clean off oil residue before tidying up up make-up. ;)

If irritation continues after several attempts to flush it out with vegetable oil, please contact your health care physician.