Alternative Medicine

Elise Nguyen Suffers Burns After Mixing Aromatherapy & Tanning

Elise Nguyen says she was badly burned after tanning with essesntial oils on her skin.

Elise Nguyen’s burns, which she says came from mixing aromatherapy oils with a tanning bed.

A woman named Elise Nguyen says that mixing aromatherapy and a tanning bed caused serious (and painful) chemical burns that are still not completely healed even weeks later.

Posting on Facebook, Nguyen says that she applied a popular brand of essential oil–and a brand that specifically touts its products as skin-safe, no less–then did a hot yoga class and spent a session in a tanning bed. A day later she began to notice some skin irritation and, later, “nasty blisters” that she says resulted from chemical burns.

While she admits that her essential oils were clearly labeled with a warning to avoid UV rays after application, Nguyen says that no professional she has spoken to seemed to know of this kind of potential reaction. She says she shared her experience to save others from sharing a similar misery.

Is Elise Nguyen’s Story Actually True?

I am always on the lookout for hoaxes around “alternative” medicines and a few things caught my attention here.

But whether the story is completely authentic, partly true or a hoax, I do believe it serves as a powerful reminder that “natural” does not guarantee safety. Reactions like the one Nguyen says she experienced are well-known in the scientific literature and one that any seller of volatile organics should be, in my opinion, warning clients about.