Essential Oils and Natural Cosmetics

Essential Oils and Natural CosmeticsNatural essential oils are widely used in cosmetics, perfumes and soaps due to their pleasant scent and a wide array of useful properties. Not all mass market products contain essential oils, but natural and especially organic cosmetics can hardly do without them. Why are these oils such a valuable cosmetic ingredient?

The term “essential oil” refers to a concentrated hydrophobic liquid that contains volatile aroma compounds from plants. These oils are called “essential” because they contain the essence of the plant's fragrance. Essential oils can be derived from different parts of plants such as bark, berries and fruit, flowers, leaves, peel, root, seeds, wood, stems. They can be extracted by distillation, expression, solvent extraction, cold pressing and other methods.

Many medicinal plants have a high content of essential oils, and this is not a coincidence. Most essential oils have bactericidal properties as one of their tasks is to protect plants from pathogenic bacteria. This property of natural essential oils is widely used in medicine and cosmetology for the treatment of various skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema. No wonder that essential oils are widely used in natural and organic skincare products.

What are the main functions of essential oils as cosmetic ingredients? First and foremost, they are used for their fragrance. With essential oils, cosmetic manufacturers don't have to use synthetic fragrances, many of which are potentially harmful for human health. Essential oils are safe (unless you are allergic to a particular oil), they give cosmetics a light, natural scent. Besides, they are believed to have an effect on our mood, cognitive and psychological well-being. Some essential oils give a mood boost, while others help to relax and relieve stress.

As we've already mentioned, essential oils have antimicrobial properties. This means that they can be used in cosmetics as natural preservatives. You shouldn't be afraid of the word “preservatives”, if does not necessarily mean aggressive chemicals. A preservative is a substance that prevents decomposition of products by microbial growth or oxidation. Honey, vinegar, alcohol, salt and sugar were the first products used as preservatives.

Cosmetic manufacturers cannot do without preservatives. A cosmetic product that does not contain any preserving agents would go bad in hours or even minutes. While most mass market products are made with cheap synthetic preservatives that might have harmful side effects, natural and organic cosmetics contain natural preservatives that are both effective and safe for human health. Quite often, they contain essential oils as preservatives due to their antimicrobial properties.

Skilled cosmetic industry specialists combine essential oils so that they enhance each other's antimicrobial effect. The matter is that none of the essential oils can protect from all kinds of bacteria. That is why it they are most often blended together to provide a better effect. And, of course, their scents should be compatible. Creating a perfect blend of essential oils is not an easy task, but it is feasible. That is why natural and organic cosmetics are so effective.

Natural essential oils are not only used as fragrances and preservatives. Almost every essential oil has a set of healing properties that help it to cope with common skin and hair problems and thus to enhance the effectiveness of natural and organic cosmetic products. For example, bergamot oil helps to regulate sebum secretion and prevents dandruff, citrus essential oils have a whitening effect on skin, tea tree oil is an effective remedy for acne, etc.

Virtually any essential oil has an impressive array of properties. Specialists who create blends of essential oils are well-versed in their properties and know whether particular essential oils can be combined or not (while some oils complement each other, others can clash). This kind of knowledge allows to create really effective natural and organic cosmetics infused with essential oils.

At our online shop, you can find a wide range of cosmetics which contain essential oils as well as pure essential oils for aromatherapy, skincare, and hair care. However, you should read the instructions carefully before using any essential oil because even natural products may have contraindications. You should also keep in mind that most essential oils are not suitable for internal use and should be diluted before application. Some oils (mainly citrus essential oils) temporarily increase photosensitivity.

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