7 Essentials on Essential Oils
You may already be familiar with some of the benefits of essential oils. And if you’re a skincare aficionado, you probably already use a number of essential oils in your daily routine. However, with their growing popularity in the skincare and aromatherapy industries, you might be overwhelmed by information. Not only that, you may find it difficult to find reliable data.
We’re here to help. We’ve cut through the noise and conflicting opinions. We’ve identified 7 things you need to know about essential oils:
1 | Essential oils and fragrance oils are NOT the same
If you’ve used scented perfumes and products, you may have wondered if these products use essential oils. This is an excellent question, especially considering that many essential oils are used in aromatherapy or added to diffusers. However, the fragrances that go into most products are definitely not essential oils. While essential oils are steam-extracted from real plants, these fragrance oils are synthetic chemicals that share none of the health benefits of essential oils.
2 | A lot goes into them
Making essential oils takes more plant products than you might expect. A 1 oz bottle of rose oil, for example, takes about 7 million rose petals to produce. A 1 oz bottle of lavender oil contains material from 6 pounds of lavender. While this may seem like a lot, most producers grow and harvest these plants sustainably. Also, the process of making the oils concentrates the beneficial properties of the plant and increases the potency. And speaking of which…
3 | They last longer than you think
Because they’re considered more volatile than carrier oils, many people think essential oils have a short shelf life. But that’s not necessarily true! Most, when stored properly, will last for months or even years without losing potency. And since you only need a small amount of essential oil for most applications, both in skincare and aromatherapy, this means that one bottle of essential oil can provide long-term use and enjoyment.
4 | A Simple Test Identifies Purity
When buying and using essential oils, purity is a major consideration. We all want to ensure that the products we’re using to take care of our bodies are doing just that. You can easily make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when buying and using them with a simple test. Put a drop of essential oil on a piece of white construction paper or blotter paper. If it evaporates without leaving an oily residue, it’s pure essential oil.
5 | Essential oils aren’t really oils
Wait, what? Yep, you heard that right. Oils are defined by having fatty acids, which essential oils lack. This misnomer came about because, much like oils, essential oils are hydrophobic and relatively viscous, much like fatty oils. But unlike most oils, the majority of essential oils are extracted through distillation instead of cold- or expeller-pressing, which helps retain more benefits and a higher level of concentration.
6 | Expensive essential oils are not necessarily “better”
If you’re paying top dollar for essential oils, then you may be spending too much. While it’s okay to pay a little bit more for higher-quality ingredients, the top-shelf essential oils aren’t necessarily all that different, chemically and therapeutically speaking, from more affordable options. There are not that many oil distilleries in operation, so in many cases you could be paying for the exact same oil in a different bottle!
7 | You shouldn’t ingest them
If essential oils are healthy, natural, and plant-based, they must be safe to eat, right? Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common misconception. While there are a few essential oils that go into products like toothpaste (in a very diluted form), most essential oils are best used externally.
Build Your Knowledge
Hopefully this information clears up some of the most common myths and misconceptions that we’ve seen about these therapeutic oils. If you have more questions you’d like to see us cover here on the GiveBody blog, reach out via social media and let us know! You can also check out our About page to find out more about how we source and select our ingredients.