Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Essential oils aren't magical!
You don't want to heat them as they are volatile, meaning they will evaporate in the heat, but you can add them to the cool down phase at 45˚C easily.
They can be irritating and you can have reactions to them. I've had people write to me in complete shock that they would have some kind of reaction to an essential oil. They aren't inert. You can have reactions to the components in essential oils as much as you can have reactions to fragrances and other ingredients. For instance, citrus essential oils can be phototoxic. And the "...the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety identified a total of 54 individual fragrance substances and 28 natural extracts (essential oils) as ‘established contact allergens in humans’" (From this paper...) I'm not saying essential oils aren't lovely and nice and wonderful, but be aware that they can be potential causes of problems, too.
I can't stand earthy essential oils, like patchouli. I can't have them in the workshop, even in bags, and if your soap stand has a strong waft of an earthy EO like sandalwood, I have to go the other way! I really can't stand those fragrances!
I get asked all the time why I don't use essential oils in my facial products. The long answer is that essential oils can have strong fragrances and I don't like to have the smell of something - anything! even chocolate! - under my nose all day long. There are loads of lovely reasons to use an essential oil in a facial product, but the idea of smelling tea tree all day long keeps me from using it in my face cleanser.
Just a few thoughts for a slightly sunny Tuesday!
Essential oils section of the blog