Mint essential oil in small bottles, aromatherapy setting on wooden background.Selective focus
Image: Shutterstock/Lana_M

It’s rare to find someone who reads all directions for all products he or she uses on a daily basis. Even though we really should be making sure we’re using products correctly and to their fullest potential, sometimes that doesn’t always happen. Face masks get slapped on, teeth whitening products get overused, and old/dirty makeup products get applied when they probably shouldn’t.

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from potentially harmful products, and it all starts with staying informed. Girl to girl, we’ve got you covered.

Read the directions

This is the obvious answer to a lot of small problems. Reading the directions gives you the proper way to use products, and they usually tell you when to throw the product out. This is more important to pay attention to in certain products rather than others, like skincare and more chemical-based products.

One important example of this is Elise Nguyen’s story of accidentally misusing essential oils. Before attending a hot yoga class, Elise applied essential oils to her wrists and neck area, then later that day proceeded to lay in a tanning bed. Within the next few days, she noticed extreme skin irritation and the developing of painful blisters. They ended up being third degree burns, just from the oils. (Warning, these images are a bit graphic.)

Elise Nguyen burns essential oils
Image: Facebook

Turns out, in fine print it says that you should not be exposed to sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application of the oils. Here’s where reading the directions could have saved Elise, but really this could have happened to any of us.

Specifically when using essential oils, it’s important to know when to use a carrier oil when applying topically. Sometimes, the oils can be pretty potent and need to be diluted by a carrier oil. The most popular are coconut oil and olive oil, but you could also use a lotion if you want to apply it all over.

Something I love to do is apply some coconut oil under my eyes as an eye cream, and you could totally drop some essential oils into the mix as well for added benefits. Carrier oils even have their own skin healing properties, so why not?

Using beauty products correctly: Know the expiration dates

This goes for just about any product you use. Whether it’s essential oils, moisturizer or makeup, the products can basically spoil if you keep it for too long. Especially if you’re applying these products to your face, or any other sensitive area of the body, make sure it’s still good and safe to use. Click here for a helpful chart.

Basically, just make sure you’re conscious of the products you’re using. If you’re not sure, look at the label, look it up or throw it away. Being cautious about things you regularly use on your body could save you from a painful mishap.