I see essential oils, as nature’s precious gift to us.
I have to admit that I love working with essential oils.
The creation of The Naked Chemist was partly due to my fascination with aromatherapy.
I’m qualified as a clinical aromatherapist and extremely passionate about the art of using essential oils. It never ceases to amaze me, how tiny plants can create such wonderful precious oils, I really love just how powerful aromatherapy is for our well being.
Properties of essential oils
They are highly volatile compounds and can be extracted from the roots, leaves, woods, petals, and resins of botanical flowers, fruits, and trees.
The most common form of extraction is steam distillation, the expression is a specific method that is also used, for extracting citrus oils.
Delicate materials such as Jasmine and Rose Absolute, are extracted by way of a solvent or CO2 extraction, this is due to the fact that the delicate oils can be very volatile and easily damaged by heat.
It is important to note that essential oils are very concentrated, using them neat or in high quantities can irritate the skin and they aren’t water-soluble, so you should never use them directly on your skin, as they can cause major irritation.
Essential oils and their use on the skin
Some components of essential oils are beneficial for the skin. Those rich in sources of potent antioxidants like caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, or that contain antibacterial ingredients like manuka oil found in SOS soothing complex, can protect against visible skin problems and acne inflammation.
However, many essential oils are not ideal for facial skin, many of my clients experience reactions on their faces, so I am really cautious about what essential oils I use in my facial products and in treatment if any.
An important fact to remember is that your skin is very good at hiding when it’s being irritated. So, even if you don’t see a reaction, the inflammation is still occurring beneath the surface, cumulatively it can lead to problems you will see later on. I believe that irritation and inflammation is ageing.
It’s also worth mentioning that we are obviously all metabolically different, so different amounts work for different people, our school of thought is ‘less is best’ when working on clients with essential oils, increasing my dose if required from there.
Using essential oils on the body
This will obviously differ depending on the application you are using your essential oils for.
- For massage oil, I recommend for every 100ml using 1 ml of essential oil. You can gradually build up from there, depending on the concern you are treating
- For shower gels and rinse-off products, I recommend using around 2-3ml
Pregnant mothers should avoid using essential oils if possible, as some can bring on menstruation; these oils are referred to as emmenagogue.
Most importantly have fun getting creative, and venturing into the wonderful world of aromatherapy, I can guarantee it won’t be long before you become addicted.