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Health Tips The surprising reason why your essential oils might be screwing with your skin

Sometimes, all-natural isn't necessarily a good thing.

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Essential oils play

Essential oils

(Photograph by Getty Images)

The supply and demand for green beauty today is overwhelming—more than half of women want their skin care to be all-natural, according to a recent survey.

But as unaggressive as essential oils (a staple in these products) sound, they have become quite the modern skin aggressor.

"In my practice, I see at least two patients a week who are having reactions to essential oils," says Matthew Zirwas, M.D., director of the Ohio Contact Dermatitis Center.

According to a systematic review in The International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, and ylang-ylang oils are the most likely to cause an allergic reaction (though one Polish study showed adverse reactions to 35 different oils!).

FOR SERENITY NOW: Skip the essentials.

Always do a patch test on your forearm before using something new. In addition, look for natural potions made entirely without essential oils, like anything in new natural line Peet Rivko; the jojoba-infused Balancing Face Oil is particularly soothing.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

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