Essential Oils are complex mixtures of volatile substances bio synthesized by aromatic Plants and also animals (civet, musk etc) and microorganisms. These volatile substances are chemically terpenoid or non-terpenoid origin existing in form of esters,acids,alcohols, aldehydes, Ketones, Sulphides, amines. They are not to be confused with Fixed oils or fatty oils which are naturally occurring mixture of lipids
|Essential oils are extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark, trunk and roots of various plants. There are three basic ways for extracting essential oils. 1)Cold pressed 2) Steam Distillation 3)Solvent extraction|
|Most of the essential oils marketed for skin and hair care are extracted by steam distillation and cold pressing. Oils extracted by solvent are usually of poor quality unless otherwise the method opted is Super critical Carbon dioxide extraction. The oils obtained by this method are of highest purity and expensive compared to those extracted by cold pressing and steam distillation.|
Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial ,anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties present in the active constituent of respective oils.
Below are few uses of essential oils:
Peppermint oil to feel more alert
Lavender, chamomile, and neroli to ease stress
Eucalyptus to stop sniffles and for sinusitis
Cedarwood oil for anti-inflammatory properties
Sandalwood oil as astringent, emollient, and has mild sedative effects
How to Use?
Steam inhalations: Place 3-7 drops of essential oil into boiling water. Some essential oils to consider include: Eucalyptus , Thyme , Lemon (Citrus limon), Peppermint. This is very effective for sinusitis ,respiratory infections, headaches.
- *Caution:prolonged inhalation of concentrated essential oils can cause headaches, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, and lethargy.
Aromatic baths: The oils that are generally considered mild and safe for bath are Lavender, rose, Geranium, Sandalwood Oil, Frankincense , Eucalyptus. Aromatic baths are excellent for skin problems, circulatory problems, respiratory symptoms, stress and nervous tension, insomnia, muscular, and menstrual pains.
Body Massage: Essential oils are very powerful, so start low and go slow. They are to be diluted before use. Usually a 2% dilution is preferred. A good rule of thumb when seeking to make a 2% dilution is to add 12 drops of essential oil to each fl. ounce (30 ml) of cold pressed carrier oil, lotion, vegetable butter or other natural lipid/moisturizer . Excessive use of essential oils may increase the risk for adverse reactions.
In my next Post I’l be reviewing the essential oils i have been using for quite sometime.
To read about Lavender Essential Oil (check the hyperlink)
Parabens are the chemical compounds used in cosmetics as preservatives. They are the esters of para benzoic acid possessing wide spectrum antimicrobial activity although most effective against yeast and moulds. In spite of concerns over them causing contact dermatitis their use as preservatives became ubiquitous in cosmetic and dermatological products.
Actual concerns over their usage started after study conducted in 2004 stated that Parabens mimic estrogen activity and also its findings in malignant breast cancer tissues. Nevertheless several exhaustive research conducted there after could not attribute Parabens as carcinogens. There by ruling out the possibility for imposing a ban on Paraben usage.
Since the past decade consumer demand for paraben free cosmetics is on rise. And with the latest EU Cosmetics Regulations coming under force it is sure to have a great boost to paraben free cosmetics. The latest regulation limits the maximum concentration of Propylparaben and Butylparaben, from currently allowed limit of 0.4% when used individually and 0.8% when mixed with other esters, to 0.14%, when used individually or together.
Most of us use makeup cosmetics on regular basis. Needless to say it is more or less like having a whole lot of chemicals on our skin at as stretch of 8-9 hrs. But we can do in the least is take necessary care with respect to our Skin and Personal care products.
What to do and to what extent we can?
The first thought that comes to my mind when i hear “Go organic..” is Paraben free products. Though I was aware of Paraben myths and facts I never cared to buy Paraben free cosmetics with fear of using products which may have substituted paraben with substandard preservatives .But ever since I read about the recently imposed regulations by EU commission I started having second thoughts.Though it is not completely possible to replace all the cosmetic products we use often with paraben free we can still make some efforts to be on safer side as much as we can especially for personal care products. So here we go and lets do this
- The first step to be taken immediately is to check your washroom closet and discard all deodorants and antiperspirants that have Paraben as its preservatives. And replace it with home made Essential oil deodorants. In choosing your own essential oils, make sure to use oils that are mild and non irritant to the skin as the underarm is a sensitive area. Suggestions include Lavender, Geranium, RoseHip, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Texas Cedarwood.
Make your own spray deodorant by combining 20 drops of essential oil for every 4 ounces of distilled water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle, gently shake it and apply it as necessary. Alternatively, if you also want to help absorb wetness, combine 10 drops of essential oil in a mixture of 4 tablespoons of coconut or jojoba oil, 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. Store the concoction in your fridge and apply it to your clean skin as needed
Not all companies sell pure biodegradable compounds as they claim . “Organic” ingredients are supposed to be plant-sourced ingredients that are cultivated without the use of synthetic chemicals, irradiation, or pesticides. However, given the lack of regulations, it is always a question as to whether or not these products actually are made according to the claims about their formulations .Adding to the confusion is the fact that even though lots of cosmetic products actually do contain organic ingredients, they also may contain synthetic ingredients, so the term “Organic” doesn’t apply to the entire formula.
READ INGREDIENT LABELS because the ingredient list on the back of products cannot deceive you – as the sellers legally HAVE TO list each and every ingredient in their product. Don’t go by the advertising saying “natural” or “organic”, go by the ingredients.
Here are a few companies that really do back up their claims of having “natural” or “organic” products and contain no synthetic chemicals of any kind.
-Aubrey Organics ( http://www.aubrey-organics.com )
-Terressentials ( http://www.terressentials.com )
-Suki ( http://www.sukisnaturals.com )