You know the more I am learning about skincare, and what goes on the skin the more I learn that essential oils are really not as great as people and businesses claim they are.
Let's look at essential oils from a fresh new perspective. I want to go over this because at the moment its stuck in my brain and I need to get it out. I want to go over everything my mind is taking in because I feel this is going to be the new direction my small little business in Laveen is going.
Ok so what are essential oils? They are specific parts of a plant that is extracted through steam distillations, cold extraction and mechanical. The volatile parts of the plant that contain the aromatics go through these extraction methods producing an extremely strong compound. Why do plants have strong aroma's? From all my research it seems the main reasons plants contain certain aroma's are, reproduction and protection. Protection from what? From being eaten by herbivores. So their natural aromatic parts are used as a deterrant.
So when they go through the extraction methods, the aromatic defense portions are extracted, and highly concentrated. So highly concentrated that they can be downright dangerous in some instances. ***Blue Tansy essential oil pictured here***
So, what does all this mean? It means that essential oils offer absolutely no benefit to your skin, and they actually lead to cell breakdown of the skin which accelerates aging and triggers an anti-flammatory response, or even an allergic reaction. So, when you put any product with essential oils on your skin you are breaking down the cells in the skin. Trust me this is news to me, and I am as shocked and somewhat sad to hear this as the rest of you hearing it for the first time.
I'm going to link a great article at the bottom of this blog that can give good info pertaining to this topic. I may come back and link several more as I find them for learning purposes.
Our skin is one of our more important components and we really should be careful what we put on it. I use fragrance in my soap, synthetic phalate free fragrance, but understand that soap is a wash off product. The sodium hydroxide has saponified with the oils and fats and that include fragrance oils (see my other blog post about soap and skin). It's not sitting on your skin; it gets washed off quickly. I personally love nice smelling things. I want to be able to offer products that I love such as beautiful soaps that smell amazing. At the same token I want to offer amazing skincare products that really are beneficial. I am not opposed to using some synthetic fragrances in certain wash off products, but when it comes to something that is going to be sitting on my skin, I don't want anything synthetic.
This is not just essential oils on the skin but using them in a diffuser also can be dangerous. You are releasing the volatile aromatic highly concentrated oils from plants into the air and breathing them in. That can lead to major breathing issues. There's a reason why you don't diffuse or use essential oils around animals at all because it can kill them quickly.
At this point I cannot confidently recommend essential oils for any reason. I think we as a people need to reevaluate where we're getting our skincare products and info. I'd say the majority of skincare products have fragrance whether synthetic or essential oils, and we think because it says, "all natural", you're safe. Well think again. That term "all natural" is used loosely and not regulated by the FDA or any other governing body. Anyone can say something is all natural and its technically not.
When it comes to skincare that I create, I of course want everything to be whole, pure, and natural. I love tallow and exploring the uses I can make with it including natural infusions and botanical benefits. Rest assured I use everything for some time before I put it up in my shop. I can't lie and say that certain essential oils I have put specifically on my face haven't caused a small reaction. Because they did, which prompted this whole deep dive. The tallow I mixed with essential oils definitely gave me some mild redness and sensitivity. But of course, in my mind after hearing for the longest time that essential oils are all natural, and extremely beneficial I wrote it off and dismissed it.
We have to remember that just because some blogger like me, or some huge company that sells essentials oil, or the face of some brand touting all natural says that essential oils are good and has benefits doesn't make it true. People are paid to say what the producers of that company wants them to say so that you and I (the consumer) will believe them and buy their product.
Over the coming weeks I will be revamping my tallow skincare collection. I will only offer several different infusions as I decide exactly which plants and herbs I want to use for their benefits. I have several jojoba oil infusions that really are amazing. So even though I will be removing essential oils from my line there will still be some natural fragrance! Infusing things such as chamomile and basil releases an amazing aroma. Not an intense in your face aroma such as those from essential oils. The difference is there is so many benefits to using infused botanicals on your skin. You have the components of each part of the plant, the leaves, the flower, the resin and bark (in some cases). Its something our ancestors and people who before modern medicine used as a natural whole way of healing.
Stay tuned for a new season for Jentallow.
We will be doing another deeper dive into essential oils in the coming weeks so stay tuned for the next blog post. I will be going into more detail about the chemical components of essential oils, the extraction methods, and the claims/controversy surrounding them. Also be showing real life experiences where essential oils have majorly damaged peoples skin.
excellent article explaining the breakdown scientifically of essential oil what they are and what they never will be.