An essential oil is an oily compound obtained mainly from flowers, roots, fruits, plant barks and seeds. There are several methods to obtain essential oils, the most used is steam distillation (in future posts we will talk more in detail about this process and others). Many think that only mashing these sources is a method that can be used to obtain an essential oil, but this is false. From the maceration process with another vegetable oil we would obtain an Oleate, which is a much less concentrated and pure natural product. The power of an essential oil is so high, that it should not be used directly on the skin, since, being highly concentrated, it could cause irritations, while the Oleates could be applied directly to the skin.
The complexity of the components in essential oils is so high that it is very difficult for scientists to synthesize a similar oil. That's why a synthetic substance can never equal the benefits of a 100% natural essential oil. In the complex molecular structure of an essential oil there are millions of years of evolution of mother nature, something that for the moment man has not been able to match.
The benefits provided by essential oils when incorporated into creams, gels, ointments, serums or any other cosmetic and personal care product are innumerable and change depending on their origin. For example, a lemon essential oil has astringent, revitalizing, disinfectant and deodorant properties, so it is used particularly in personal hygiene products. On the contrary, marigold oil has moisturizing, softening and soothing properties, which is why it is widely used in regenerating and moisturizing creams. In future posts we will explain in detail the main benefits of the essential oils most used in natural cosmetics.
To obtain a cosmetic or personal care product based on an essential oil, it must be combined with other products such as hydrolates (aqueous phase), surfactants (which allow the union between the oil and water phase), and preservatives (minimizing the deterioration of the product due to the passage of time). The latter can make the difference between a 100% natural product and another that is not. Conventional cosmetics generally use preservatives such as parabens or other synthetic compounds, which in the long term can cause problems in our health, while a natural and organic product uses preservatives extracted from nature.
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