Posted by Manuela on August 20, 2014
You don’t have to look too hard on the skinnyskinny organics website to find the phrase “scented naturally with essential oils, absolutely no perfumes ever.” In fact, we at skinnyskinny organics promise that none of our products are made with fragrances or perfumes. So what’s the big deal? What’s the difference between a “fragrance” or “perfume” and the rich complex scents that come from a skinnyskinny organics candle, or moisturizer? The answer is essential oils.
So without further ado, here is a handy guide to essential oils, impostors and what dangerous chemicals might be lurking in your favorite (non skinnyskinny) products:
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are naturally aromatic compounds that can be found in almost any part of plants. And here’s the tricky part, they aren’t technically oils meaning that although essential oils are fat soluble, they don’t contain fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils—which means, no, they are not going to clog your pores. An essential oil can be taken from any part of the plant- leaves, flowers, stems, roots, or bark.
For a little test at home, take a lemon, and start to peel the rind. Part of what makes up those super fragrant juices on your hand are essential oils. If you were to go through the process of extracting those essential oils, you would be left with a compound that is antibacterial, and aromatherapeutic- in this case improving concentration and uplifting the mind.
It may help to think of essential oils as the essence of a plant, or what makes it unique and gives it some of its most recognizable characteristics.
Essential oils are more than just a scent, they contain other attributes that can be very beneficial in face and body care, and also aromatherapy.
Essential oils are natural and come
from plants, this does mean that if you are allergic to a certain plant, don’t
use its essential oils because you will be allergic to that as well.
If essential oils are capable of so much, why don’t more companies use them?
Money! Essential oils can be very expensive to produce. Beyond the initial harvesting of a plant, the yield of oil from a plant varies. This means that production is limited. Fragrance oils (which we will define in the next section) were actually created in order to have a less expensive alternative. These synthetic concoctions can be mass-produced at a very low cost.
Beyond price, synthetic fragrances contain chemicals that can leave a scent lingering long after you applied it, which is an upside in selling a product, but can actually be harmful to your health depending on the chemicals involved.
It might help to think of paying more for a product with essential oils instead of synthetic perfumes as buying organic food instead of processed.
Essential oils typically cost more, but it’s a trade off: the cost of being healthy with clean products.
What are fragrances?
Fragrance oils, or perfumes, come from a lab not nature. Chemists study the plant and its essential oil, such as the lemon rind example from earlier, in order to copy it. These creations mimic the smell of the original, but have an entirely different structure. So despite claims companies may make, synthetic perfumes cannot be aromatherapeutic, and the body won’t absorb perfumes in the same way it does essential oils.
Although these products are made to mimic the real deal, they aren’t. These “Frankenstein Fragrances” are concocted using a number of chemicals, some that are safe and others that are far from. Since this doesn’t fall under the umbrella of the FDA, there aren’t regulations like there would be for food products. With your skin being your largest organ, wouldn’t you want to have the same standards for what you’re putting on your body as you do for what your putting in your body?
Most of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances derive from petroleum, benzene, aldehydes, and plenty of other dangerous toxins that are known to cause anything from cancer to birth defects to allergic reactions. Abnormal cell production doesn’t seem like a fair trade off for a less expensive product, even if it is one that has a stronger, longer lasting scent.
Anything labeled “fragrance”, “fragrance oil”, or “perfume” even with the word natural in front of it, is synthetic and doesn’t have the same properties as an essential oil beyond just imitating its scent.
Synthetic fragrances often contain hazardous ingredients that can build up in your body.
Always read labels, look out for crazy chemical names and look them up. We at skinnyskinny organics believe that you should be able to recognize or at least be able to find the original, natural source of every ingredient.
In case you haven’t been scared natural yet, here are some more facts about the amazing powers of essential oils!
Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. That means they are great for cleaning not only your house, but also purifying your skin.
Essential oils are extremely small in molecular size. That means that they are quickly and easily absorbed by the skin meaning effective healing of acne, nourishing of dry spots, or rebuilding of signs of aging. Although they are so quickly taken in by the body, they do not stick around and accumulate in the body. So after your skin gets the healing properties of the plant, the essential oil is gone. Have you ever used a product, such as a face scrub, that at first makes your skin soft and smooth, but over time it seems to stop working and your skin no longer has that glow, or even worse, has started to breakout? More than likely that’s from buildup!
Got a big interview coming up? There are scientific studies showing that rosemary essential oil helps brain performance, including memory recall.
Feeling down? Essential oils such as lavender, grapefruit and chamomile can actually improve your mood.
We here at skinnyskinny organics want you to have it all. Intoxicatingly good smells? Check. Complex plant products backed by science to give you your best possible skin and a balanced mind? Double check.
We want to hear from you! Comment with anything we may have missed on essential oils, or if you have more questions.
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