Precautions for the use of vegetable oils

If essential oils are powerful products to be handled with care, vegetable oils are much softer, and therefore much easier to use. This is why it is often recommended to dilute essential oils in a vegetable oil. The latter will soften the possible harmful effects of the former, while allowing it to develop its properties. Vegetable oils are therefore a "simple" gateway to aromatherapy. Less powerful than essential oils, they are less "dangerous", and the risks of overdosing are almost zero. It is nevertheless advisable to respect certain precautions of use and to be conscious of the associated risks. However, risk does not equal danger, if the advice of use is respected, there is no need to worry. The examples of vegetable oils given in this guide are not an exhaustive list.

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The different ways of using vegetable oils

Skin application.

All vegetable oils can be used in cutaneous application. Nevertheless, some are more powerful, it is necessary to use them in a mixture with other vegetable oils before any use. This is for example the case of certain vegetable oils such as Borage, Karanja or Mustard.


Many of the plant oils can also be used for ingestion for their nutritional benefits, but not only that! Plant oils are excellent carriers for safely ingesting essential oils. In addition, skin health can also be achieved through the ingestion of plant oils.

The Oily Macerates can only be used dermally, some can only be used orally under medical advice. Some special cases exist. For example, Broccoli oil should not be ingested because of its rich erucic acid composition, just like Mustard oil for that matter. It is not however on these that we would have bet on, then Warning.

A large number of vegetable oils can be ingested: Sweet Almond, Argan, Avocado, Baobab, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Borage, Camelina, Safflower, Hemp, Chia, Coconut, Wheat Germ, Sacha Inchi, Flaxseed, Macadamia, Black Seed, Hazelnut, Evening Primrose, Pumpkin Seed, Grapeseed, Perilla, Plum, Sesame, and Yellow Nuts.

Potential risks of certain vegetable oils


When used by skin, some aromatic molecules are the cause of reactions and redness in the skin if they are used before exposure to the sun, this is called photosensitization. It is therefore preferable to not expose yourself to the sun within 12 h following the application of a so-called photosensitizing vegetable oil.

Example of photosensitizing plant oil: St. John's wort


A hepatotoxic vegetable oil can cause adverse effects with prolonged oral use. These oils should therefore not be used in cases of liver pathology: cirrhosis, hepatitis, liver failure or intolerance to paracetamol. They should be used in low doses and for a short time.

Example of a hepatotoxic vegetable oil: Burrage


Some oils are said to be comedogenic, that is, they can promote the appearance of imperfections such as pimples or blackheads. It is therefore important to check the comedogenicity index and use an oil that is suitable for your skin type.

Examples of comedogenic vegetable oils: Coconut, Mushroom Rose, Carrot, Wheat Germ, Mustard, Monoi, Lin, Chia and Cocoa Butter


Vegetable oils contain more or less allergens. An allergenic vegetable oil should be used with caution and for a short time. It is best to perform an allergy test in the crook of the elbow before use over a larger area. Several factors can cause an allergy by the skin or oral route depending on the allergen: nuts, gluten, botanical family, substances contained in oils.

Here's a rundown of vegetable oils that may be allergenic:

Interactions and contraindications

If you are taking medication ...

If you are taking medication, be careful that the combined use with plant oils is not harmful to your health. In all cases, call your doctor or pharmacist for additional information.

Vegetable oils not recommended in cases:.

The users.

Some vegetable oils are not recommended for more sensitive users, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women and children. It is thus necessary to get precise information before use and not to hesitate to ask for a medical opinion.

Vegetable oils not recommended for:

Preservation of vegetable oils

The conservation of vegetable oils is an important step to consider for a safe use. Oils are more or less sensitive to oxidation or heat. It is therefore important to keep them away from heat and light, but also in a cool and dry place. It is essential to take care of the conservation of your vegetable oils in order to avoid that they degrade at the risk of ending up with a rancid and comedogenic oil.

More details: how to store your vegetable oils?