Essential Oils: How Much Do You Know About These Incredibly Potent Oils
From everyday body care to home care and more, essential oils sure offer a wide range of benefits. I have written lots of articles here showing the beneficial effects of different herbs and oils. I think it’s just the right time we also talk about essential oils and their amazing benefits.
For centuries, essential oils have been used as a form of alternative medicine to benefit and support general health and well-being. But when it comes to their skincare potentials, there has been some sort of controversy.
In this post, I have decided to share some useful tips about the benefits of essential oils for your skin and general health. If you have been considering using essential oils in your skincare routine but not sure if it is a good decision for you, this post will definitely help motivate your decision.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants to capture their scents, flavors, or essence. There are several types of essential oils and each of them has unique aromatic compounds that give them their unique characteristic essence. Essential oils were considered essential when discovered in the middle ages, hence they took the name “essential oils”.
How Are Essential Oils Collected?
Essential oils are obtained through mechanical methods such as cold pressing or through distillation – whether via water or steam. The aromatic compounds are extracted from different parts of plants such as flowers, tree trunks, grasses and shrubs. Once extracted, they are volatile, meaning that they can evaporate easily, therefore it is a good idea to keep them in sealed bottles and only use them as needed.
The collection method of essential oil matters a lot. Essential oils obtained via chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils have a history of being mostly used in aromatherapy where they are being inhaled through various methods. The chemical compounds found in essential oils can interact with your body in a variety of ways. When applied to your skin, some plant chemicals present in the oils can be absorbed into the skin to benefit it.
However, essential oils are not meant to be swallowed. Talking about how essential oils work: when their aromas are inhaled, they have the ability to stimulate a part of the brain called the limbic system. That is the part of the brain that plays a role in behaviors, emotions, sense of smell, and long-term memory.
That part of the brain also plays a role in controlling some unconscious physiological functions like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. Also, essential oils can exert certain physical effects on the body.
Uses and Benefits of Essential Oils
Apart from their amazing benefits to the skin, especially when used in aromatherapy, essential oils have other incredible health benefits which are all responsible for their fame today. Essential oils have some health benefits, including helping with headache, stress and anxiety, insomnia, and also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Many use them to scent their homes or freshen up things like laundry. They are sometimes used as mosquito repellents and also serve as a natural scent in homemade cosmetics and high-quality natural products.
There are different types of essential oils and each of them has its own unique uses and benefits. Below are some of them.
What Are The Types Of Essential Oils?
There are several types of essential oils, but I will mention a few of them here, including their uses and what benefits they could offer you.
#1: Frankincense essential oil
This has been extensively used for thousands of years in incense and fine perfumes. Frankincense essential oil is known for its resinous aroma which has the ability to bring calming benefit to body care.
Benefits: calming, meditative, and grounding
Uses: massage oils, body oils, perfumes, room mists, yoga mists, and body mists.
You can find sweet orange oil in our FranChouliPom Serum and Body Oil
#2: Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is the most popular oil – thanks to its versatility and herbal aroma. The oil can be used in a variety of ways to inspire calm and relaxation.
Benefits: relaxing, calming
Uses: massage oils, lotions, body oils, cleansers, shampoos, hair masks, conditioners, room mists, etc.
#3: Eucalyptus essential oil
This essential oil is distilled from the leaves of eucalyptus tree and it’s great for body care products like rubs and salves. It has a forest-like or medicinal aroma.
Uses: massage oils. Body oils, salves, diffusions, and room mists.
You can find sweet orange oil in our Yoga&Sports Body Oil
#4: Tea Tree essential oil
Tea tree essential oil is popular for its cleansing and purifying benefits. It is also great for a variety of body and home care products. Tea tree essential oil has a spicy and herbal aroma.
Benefits: Cleansing, purifying
Uses: body oils, cleansing sprays, cleansers, cleaning wipes, and diffusions.
You can find sweet orange oil in our Herbs&Trees Balancing Serum
#5: Patchouli essential oil
Patchouli essential oil offers an earthy, floral aroma and grounding benefits to diffusion blends, body care products, and more.
Benefits: relaxing, grounding
Uses: creams, body oils, lotions, cleansers, scrubs, perfumes, soaks, meditation roll-ons, yoga mists, etc.
You can find sweet orange oil in our FranChouliPom Serum and Body Oil
#6: Sweet orange essential oil
Sweet orange essential oil has a citrusy aroma that brings uplifting, refreshing and balancing benefits to a variety of home and body care products.
Benefits: balancing, uplifting, refreshing
Uses: body oils, scrubs, lotions, cleansers, perfumes, soaks, cleansing sprays, and room mists.
You can find sweet orange oil in our FranChouliPom Serum and Body Oil, in our Masks, and the ArganShea Multitasking Cream
Are Essential Oils Good For Your Body?
Plants and herbal products contain different bioactive compounds that could cause harmful health effects and essential oils aren’t an exception. However, when inhaled or combined with a base oil for use on skin, most essential oils are considered safe.
What Is The Best Way To Use Essential Oils?
The most common way to use essential oils is to inhale them, either directly out of the bottle or by using a diffuser or humidifier. You can also dilute essential oils with a carrier oil and apply it directly to your skin. Or you can get creative and add the mixture to a body wash, shampoo, or bath. Concentration of essential oils for topical use should not be more than 1% to keep them safe, and some essential oils are best of avoided.
Are Essential Oils Safe For Face?
The effects of essential oils most times depend on the application method. While an essential oil might be safe when used in a certain way, it may not when used in another way. Some essential oils are considered safe when inhaled, but when applied to the skin in concentrations as low as 3-5% could cause irritation to the skin. Some examples of such oils include oregano, thyme, clove, and cinnamon bark essential oils.
So when considering if your chosen essential oil is safe for your face, you need to research the type of essential oil it is and if it’s safe for topical use (and at what concentration).
How Often Should You Use Essential Oils?
The risk for adverse effects may increase with excessive use. So, in most cases, 1-2 drops of the essential oil may be adequate, and using more could result in waste. Depending on what type of essential oil it is, you can gradually build up to 2-3 uses per day, if you want.
Essential oils are generally considered safe to inhale and apply on the skin if they have been combined with a base oil at a low percentage (less than 1%). The oils are loaded with several benefits and could be used in a variety of ways. But essential oils are not to be taken orally.
Despite the several benefits essential oils offer, there could also be some side effects like rashes, irritation, headaches, and allergic reactions. When you notice any negative reactions following the use of an essential oil, it is advisable you discontinue the use of such an oil and consult your doctor.
Remember that essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil before you apply them to your skin.
We use essential oils in our formulations at concentrations that are safe, but strong enough to help certain conditions that our products have been formulated to help tackle, such as dry and ageing skin, acne-prone and oily skin, muscle aches, etc. Browse our collection to see which essential oils we are using and why.