What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are oils that are found in various parts of plants such as the leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, and fruits. The oils are considered the "essence" of the plants from which they are extracted.

They should never be applied directly to your skin. Essential oils must be diluted or mixed with a carrier oil first so that oils can be safely "carried" to your skin to minimize any unnecessary irritation.




Important Facts about Essential Oils
  • Essential Oils are highly volatile, which means they easily evaporate when exposed to air.

  • EO's must be properly diluted with other carrier (base) oils before applying directly to skin since they are highly concentrated. Dilution helps to minimize and eliminate any skin irritations that might occur.

  • Pregnant women should take extra precautions (as should people with sensitive skin) when handling or using EO's.

  • Keep Out of Children's Reach. Can be extremely harmful if swallowed.

  • EO's should be stored in a cool place. Preferrably in dark bottles to help minimize exposure to light. Too much exposure to heat will reduce the effectiveness of your oils.

  • Do not take EO's orally. Can be extremely harmful if swallowed.

If you think you many have sensitive skin, it would be in your best interest to perform a skin patch test before experimenting with essential oils. Use the following steps to perform a skin patch test as needed.

  1. Mix (1) drop of EO with about a teaspoon of carrier oil (i.e.jojoba, avocado,etc.)
  2. Apply a small amount of the mixture to the inside area of your elbow.
  3. After 24 hours, check to see if any redness, swelling or irritation has occurred. If no irritation occurs then you should be able to safely use EOs.



  4. Terms to Know
    • Carrier Oils - Vegetable oils also known as base oils that are used to dilute essential oils.

    • Fragrance Oils - Oils that are artificially created to provide a scent to products. They offer no additional benefits other that scenting.

    • Absolutes - Essential Oils that have been solvent extracted which causes them to be a more concentrated version of essential oils.

    • Hydrosols - Also called floral waters. Is the water that results from the steam distillation of essential oils.

    • Aromatherapy - Use of essential oils for physical & psychological well-being.





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    Essential Oils for Hair Care

     

    • Cedarwood - has good astringent properties which work well on oily skin. It is used as a fragrance and it also known to promote hair growth.

    • Chamomile - helps to protect dry skin and is good for all skin types.

    • Eucalyptus - mainly used for fragrance in cosmetics but also good for oily skin.

    • Jasmine - used as a fragrance in hair products, cosmetics, and perfumes.

    • Lavendar - used mainly to scent products. Has been known to promote hair growth.

    • Lemongrass - a good fragrance for products.

    • Patchouli - can be used as a fragrance. Also good for oily hair and skin.

    • Peppermint - helps to increase circulation and stimulates the scalps production of natural oils.

    • Rosemary - helps to stimulate scalp and prevent hair loss.

    • Sandalwood - can be used as a fragrance but is also good for dry skin.

    • Ylang Ylang - has been known to stimulate hair growth. Good for oily skin. Can also be used as a fragrance.

     

    Base Oils for Hair Care

     

    • Apricot Kernel - a great softening oil which is especially beneficial for sensitive skin.

    • Almond (Sweet) - used on hair for softness and has good lubricating & conditioning properties.

    • Avocado - great for dry and mature skin.

    • Canola - helps to soften hair and add sheen.

    • Castor - a good hair protectant.

    • Coconut - an excellent moisturizing & protective oil which helps hair retain moisture.

    • Evening Primrose - an excellent oil for dry hair.

    • Grapeseed - a good antioxidant which helps to protect sensitive skin.

    • Hemp Seed - has good regenerative properties and absorbs well.

    • Jojoba - helps hair retain moisture, protects, & softens. It is the oil most similar to our scalps natural oils.

    • Macadamia Nut - helps dry hair to retain moisture.

    • Neem - works well on dry hair, but has a very strong odor. Also has antibacterial properties as well.

    • Olive - an excellent all purpose oil which is a good conditioner for hair.

    • Safflower - has excellent moisturizing properties.

    • Sunflower - great for dry and damaged hair. Also works well as a conditioner.

    • Wheat Germ - used to condition hair. Great for dry skin and hair.