Essential oils have surged in popularity over the last few years. More than a handful of companies now sell these products or skincare items that include essential oils. The popularity is even more of a reason that individuals should do a little research on these products before adding them to a skincare regimen.
What are essential oils?
Chances are, you know the basics of what an essential oil does, even if you don't think about it that way, ever smell a rose? Or peppermint? It's the oils inside the rose, and in the peppermint leaf, that give off that smell.
It's important to understand though, that essential oils aren't technically oils at all- they lack the fatty acid required to be an oil. These substances are naturally occurring compounds from various parts of plants - leaves, stems, petals. They create a scent, and in some cases, have benefits that extend beyond the aromatic. That's why essential oils are so popular in facial oils and skincare products.
In plants, these compounds protect from predators and help with pollination. For humans, these compounds help to reduce stress, kill germs, and may even have some health benefits.
If you're looking for a guide to tell you what the best oils are for specific problems, you'll find plenty of resources online. Before you jump into essential oils in your skincare routine, it's important to understand which oils are safe for topical application and how to use them on your skin. You can't use most essential oils straight out of the bottle as part of your skincare routine.
Some are only to be used aromatically, while others can be mixed with a carrier to be used on the skin. Fractionated coconut oil, jojoba and almond oils are the most popular carrier oils for blending with essential oils.
Benefits of specific oils in skincare
Some oils have specific benefits that work for all skin types, and some are suited for oily skin. Here are a few popular oils and how they can improve a skincare routine when used in facial oils, moisturizers, or even cleansers.
Lavender: lavender essential oil helps the regeneration process. It can reduce the appearance of scars and age spots as it helps to calm the mind.
Frankincense: A popular, yet expensive oil, Frankincense has bacteria killing and anti-inflammatory properties. It's great for people with acne-prone skin. Pores often become less obvious, scars become less visible. It's great for all skin types.
Geranium: This one is said to help regulate oil production. It promotes circulation, reducing the visibility of dark circles and wrinkles. Because it helps to regulate oil production, it may help to reduce acne breakouts.
When you're looking to add essential oils to your beauty routine, the ones you want most are therapeutic grade. These are steam-distilled and are of the highest purity and quality possible, because they're not mixed with other substances meant to stretch the supply of the oil. Essential oils should rarely be used undiluted, because some are incredibly strong, and can cause burns or other problems.
Because they lack the fatty acid component of true oil, these substances known as essential oils cannot replace moisture on their own. They do smell fabulous though, and are all natural. That may be part of why they are used in skincare products, usually in moisturizers, bath salts and body washes. Find a product and let the scent take you away.