Essential oils seem to be a hot topic these days.
Why specifically are essential oils used in skincare?
And, what is the difference between essential oils and face oils?
Essential oils are very concentrated plant extracts. They contain the very life force of the plant.
Plants are made of structural materials and phytochemicals, and these phytochemicals offer great benefits to humans!
Essential oils are volatile, aromatic oily liquids extracted from different parts of the plant, for example, leaves, peels, barks, flowers, buds and seeds. They can be extracted from plant materials by several methods such as steam distillation and expression. Examples of common essential oils are tea tree, rose, geranium, lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang.
A huge amount of plant material is required to produce essential oils, which can make some of them expensive. It also means that it produces a powerful botanical compound.
- About 113kg of lavender flower make 0.45g of lavender essential oil.
- About 2267kg of rose petals or lemon balm make 0.45g of rose or lemon balm essential oil.
So why do we use essential oils in skincare products? Essential oils contain a vast array of unique healing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and skin-supporting benefits when applied topically to the skin.
Also, the closer the essential oils get to your face, the more they will have a positive effect on your health and wellbeing.
Essential oils evaporate into invisible vapours as soon as they are exposed to air. When you apply your product to your face, you breathe in the essential oil vapours. Your body, brain and lungs absorb these vapours very effectively and quickly. Inhaling an essential oil can change your mood and even improve physiological functions.
Essential oils have a tiny molecular structure. This is why traces of them can be found in blood and urine after using pure forms of these in specific quantities.
There are hundreds of verifiable, scientific studies proving the benefits of essential oils on the skin.
Like all natural ingredients, essential oils do contain potential allergens. Most people, however, will only find them extremely therapeutic when the pure version is incorporated into professionally formulated skincare products.
Essential oils should always be used at specific concentrations, should not be past their shelf life, and most of the time should be diluted with a carrier oil for topical application to the skin. Quality and formulation are key.
Many skincare and cosmetic products use essential oils in tiny trace amounts. These are blended with stabilising and cocooning ingredients, such as shea butter, that make them appropriate and safe for almost all skins.
Goodleaf carefully incorporates a variety of essential oils into all their skincare product formulations. Some of these are peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, pettigrain, patchouli, clary sage, and rose geranium. There are about ten oils that are most often used across all their skincare products, along with signature African botanical ingredients such as Baobab, and hydrating bases such as Shea Butter.
How do essential oils compare to face oils? Face oils may contain some essential oils, but facial oils are more often primarily composed of things like olive and almond oils, which are fatty and omega-rich, and so serve a function of hydrating, nourishing and smoothing the skin.
The Goodleaf Glow Soothing Face Oil contains olive, grapeseed and almond oils for a good base, and pettigrain, patchouli, rose geranium, and clary sage essential oils. Pettigrain is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Patchouli has anti-ageing benefits. Rose Geranium brightens and tightens, and Clary Sage calms and soothes. The perfect combo so that this oil can suit almost any skin type and be incorporated into any home skin care routine.
The therapeutic use of aromatic plants seems to be as old as human civilisation itself. Many texts from Asia to Ancient Egypt, and much of the Mediterranean area, describe the various procedures and rituals involved in the making of healing ointments and perfumes. The practice of using aromatic cleansing rituals to uplift the spirit and help cure diseases has also been used by the world's greatest civilisations throughout history.
We have long since seen and experienced the benefits of using these concentrated plant extracts. The impact of essential oils on health and skincare over the years is unparalleled.
I believe the properties of these minute plant compounds with such life force will never lose their place.