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Do You Think Eucalyptus Oil May Be Hazardous To The Wet Shaver?

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Eucalyptus oil is a well-known ingredient in the wet shaving world, used in some of the most popular shaving creams and soaps. But some new research has caused some concern in the scientific community over its use. Should you stop using shave products containing Eucalyptus? I did some digging.

Eucalyptus Properties

There are over 700 plants associated with the “Eucalyptus” genus (it’s actually in the Myrtle family). Most species of Eucalyptus are native to Australia.

Most Eucalyptus oil, with its benefits and cautions, usually comes from the Eucalyptus globulus (“E. globulus”) tree, commonly known as southern blue gum (or just blue gum), a tall evergreen tree native to southeastern Australia. The tree’s leaves are steam distilled to extract its oil. Other names you may see associated with Eucalypus oil are cineole and eucalyptol.

Eucalyptus oil is commonly used for cleaning, solvent, antiseptic, and deodorizing, and insect repellent applications. In much smaller quantities it is used in supplements like toothpaste, cough drops, sweets…and shaving creams and soaps.

The aromatherapy advocates promote the use of Eucalyptus oil aromatically to treat congestion and topically to reduce pain.

Eucalyptus oil consumed internally at low dosage as a flavoring component or in pharmaceutical products at the recommended rate is considered safe for adults. However, systemic toxicity can result from ingestion or topical application at higher than recommended doses.

(Eucalyptus oil has also been shown to be dangerous to domestic cats, causing an unstable walk, excessive drooling, and other symptoms.)

The Research

A group of Indian neurologists have found evidence suggesting the use of Eucalyptus oil may not be as safe as we previously assumed, after conducting the largest-ever case study of essential oil-related seizures in adults.

In a paper published March 26, 2021 in Epilepsy Research, Thomas Mathew, a professor and the head of the neurology department at St. John’s Medical College Hospital in Bengaluru, India, observed that he and his colleagues noticed an uptick of seizures that may have been caused by the patient using essential oils, in people both with and without a history of epilepsy. That led them to develop and conduct more formal research, specifically on Eucalyptus and Camphor oils.

Eucalyptus and Camphor essential oils are popular in many over-the-counter cold and pain relief balms and oils, particularly in India and parts of Africa.

The team analyzed 350 seizure cases that spanned a four-year period More than 15%–55 patients–may have had seizures induced by the inhalation, ingestion or topical use of essential oils like Eucalyptus. After advising the patients to discontinue their use of the oils, they found that most of those patients did not experience another seizure during a follow-up period.

Discussion And Conclusions (?)

According to the science the probable lethal dose of ingested pure eucalyptus oil for an adult is in the range of 0.05 mL to 0.5 mL/per kg of body weight (children are more vulnerable: severe poisoning has occurred in children after ingestion of 4 mL to 5 mL of eucalyptus oil).  The amount of Eucalyptus oil in the typical shave product is nowhere near that much.

We’re not discussing death here though, but seizures.

One of the interesting bits of data from the research paper I noticed was the wide percentage of Eucalyptus oil that was used in patients experiencing seizures: anywhere from less than one percent to almost 30% depending on preparation. That’s an awfully wide range. There is also no information regarding the production or quality-control of the products applied, either.

I am not a physician or health professional so this is strictly my opinion but right now I think it’s safe to say that if your news-junkie friend or family member brings up the topic you can safely say that it’s too early to tell if there is any concern.

If you are predisposed to seizures, however, it might be a good idea to discuss it with your physician.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

4 thoughts on “Do You Think Eucalyptus Oil May Be Hazardous To The Wet Shaver?”

  1. I’ve used Proraso Red, Blue, Green, and White in rotations with no apparent ill effects. Haven’t used them for a while, but I’ll take note if something changes

  2. I use C.O. BIGELOW made exclusively by Proraso for C.O. Bigelow shave cream with Eucaliptus Oil for years, and have no effects. This is great shave cream and cheap.

    Hope my health is not ag risk.

  3. I’m 59y/o and bought the Porasso sandlewood last year and my face broke horrible. Then bought the $25 jar of ‘The Art of shaving’ and had the same reaction. A few people told me that ” You never put essential oils on your face”. So you really cannot go by the name or price and think this is the greatest stuff on earth. I use the $3 ‘Williams’ and $5 ‘ Palmolive’ and have no problems. Thank you for this discussion.

  4. Jack - Long Beach MS

    I’ve only used the “green” tube for years. Never sick. Only thing I use. Make you sick if you eat it…but after Tide Pods…idiots…

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