You’d think that all oils would be created equally right?
But as with most things in my industry, all is not quite what it seems.
I have to admit to love using 100% natural, plant derived oils in my formulas – that is the preserved unrefined oil, that has not been adulterated in any way.
Because just like homeopathy, when the plant is used in its whole form, only then is it able to truly deliver its healing properties to the skin.
MAKING SENSE OF PLANT OILS
Confusingly, these oils are often listed under different names:
- Plant oils
- Natural oils
- Botanical oils
- Vegetable oils
- Cold pressed seed oils
In holistic therapies, these oils are often referred to as a carrier oil, which simply means oil that is being used to carry a substance.
VEGETABLE OIL EXTRACTION
A number of processes are used to extract oil from plants, which can be both confusing and misleading.
This is where the whole, or part of the chemical structure of the oil, has been altered in some way.
Bleaching or changing the natural smell, is often a reason why oil may be refined or adulterated.
A chemical process is used to extract the oil.
This process is often used on delicate plant material that is difficult to extract, such as seeds or petals.
Once the solvent starts to evaporates, it leaves an oily residue behind.
This method can leave behind traces of solvent residue.
Cold-pressed oil is produced through grinding and pressing the seeds, fruits or nuts, with a stainless steel press.
The material is placed between horizontal plates which are pulled together by an ‘expeller’, a large rotating screw which extracts the oil.
Now I don’t want to disappoint you here.
Because I appreciate that cold pressed is used a lot in the industry, in a similar context to organic, clean and green.
But although it is called cold pressed, this term is a little ambiguous.
The reason a press is used to yield the oil which involves using both force and heat is because of the friction, which sits at around 40˚C.
In order to be marketed as cold-pressed, the temperature must stay below 49˚C.
The problem with HEAT; is that it ALTERS the CHEMICAL STRUCTURE of the OIL.
The delicate ingredients are not as fresh as once perceived, and many of their therapeutic properties are lost.
And there is also oxygen present during cold-pressing, which causes oils to oxidise immediately.
So they are rancid, before they have even left the shelf, never mind got to your face.
THE NAKED TRUTH
So what is the alternative?
If you do want to benefit from the therapeutic components of the botanical plant, then it should be CO2 extracted. This is a form of extraction that ensures the oil you are using, is delivering the active components of the plant.
At the Naked Chemist we use Super Critical CO2 Extraction, wherever more of our delicate ingredients are used during formulation.
This means your skin can take advantage of all the potent properties of the plant in its whole form, which is my preferred method of extraction, that you can read all about here.
Many of our CO2 extracted oils can be found in the following formulas: