Essential oils are well-known by our society in 2020 due to their multiple virtues. Discovered in Ancient Egypt, this civilisation were cultivating plants for their oils and incorporating them into cosmetics and perfumes, whilst using them for healing and medicinal purposes too. Today, the popular benefits of pure essential oils are still recognised and they can be used for several matters like aromatherapy; fighting against stress, anxiety, depression, headaches or also topically on the skin; treating eczema, muscular pain or arthritis. (Please note that it’s very important never to use those oils directly on the skin without diluting it properly in a carrier oil, the steps to do are not in today’s blog but can be found easily online 🙂 ).
In this blog I’m going to explain how essential oils are made, how they differ from fragrance oils, and finally which essential oils we use here at Genie and why.
How is the essential oil made?
Essential oil are extracted directly from the plant through different methods, all adapted to the specific plant or flower. The most popular way to extract the oil is steam distillation (other methods include mechanical processing or dry distillation). To summarise this process, the steam is injected through the plant material which allows it to release its aromatic molecules – these become a vapor.
Then, a coller is used to condense this vapor into liquid, which is formed of the essential oil, and floral waters. Finally, these are separated (they do not mix together) and we’re left with the plant’s essential oil !
The difference between essential oil and fragrance oil
All fragrance oils are synthetically manufactured in a laboratory. These oils can imitate several scents that essential oils can’t be created for, like the popular ‘’Coconut’’ or ‘’Fresh linen’’ scents. Though they are popularly used in cosmetics because of their accessibility and lower cost, they don’t offer the same potential for health benefits as the essential oil. In Génie soaps, it’s important for us to use natural ingredients as much as possible so for that matter, we only use pure essential oil in our soap bar recipes.
In Génie soaps, it’s important for us to use natural ingredients as much as possible so for that matter, we only use pure essential oil in our soap bar recipes.
One of the other great benefits of having essential oils in our products is their antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. This means that they are a natural preservative of the soaps – so our products last longer and do no require the addition of other chemical preservatives which may irritate your skin or harm the environment.
But what about those health benefits ?
There’s many reason to use essential oil in our routine and different ways to do it. In Génie soaps, we use the oils for it’s aromatherapy benefits. The oils do more than just adding a delicate scent to the soaps, they promote the wellbeing of our mind and body by stimulating areas of our limbic system which play a role in emotions, behaviours and memory. Depending on the essential oil you choose, benefits can go from reducing stress, agitation, anxiety to improve the quality of sleep, help in treating headaches and help fight bacteria and viruses.
Essential oils used in Génie soaps bar so far and their properties.
Litsea : This essential oil has antioxidant properties and is thought to boost your level of energy. Because of its citric composition, it also helps get rid of the impurities on your skin.
Lemon : This is a “bad mood breaker”. Like the litsea, it’s going to re-energise your body and mind.
Lavender : This essential oil is the opposite of those above, it is used to relieve stress, put your mind to rest, relieve you from headache and help you to sleep.
Bergamot : It has power in reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue. It can also improve skin conditions like eczema.
Spearmint : With a minty and cooling effect, this oil is used to boost energy and leave your skin refreshed.
Orange sweet : This oil has a calming effect on the body and help with sleep issues related to stress. Also antibacterial, the oil itself helps fight bacteria and prevent infection. It also has a antioxidant power defending the skin from free radicals in the environment and helping boost collagen production.
So I hope this blog explained all you need to know about essential oils and why we use them in Genie products! If you’d like to read more, my references are below.