Sunday, March 8, 2009

Surfactants & fragrances - essential oils

Essential oils can be an incredible addition to your hair and body products. They offer a great scent, and some have an effect on your skin and hair, so you need to know their properties before using them. A lot of people use essential oils instead of fragrance oils because they are "natural", but that does not mean they are always safe. Please know the safe levels of your chosen essential oil before using, and consider with whom you might be sharing your creations. (Yep, I'm going to say it again...know your ingredients!)

Here's a great post on the physical effects of some essential oils (from Therapeutic Effect) Check out the detailed list on this site for the do's and don't's of using essential oils!

The reason for these caveats have to do with the therapeutic properties of many essential oils. For instance, peppermint and spearmint are great at improving blood circulation and imparting a feeling of cooling, and both are fantastic in foot related products. Ginger and cinnamon can be great in a muscle relief spray or balm. I love the smell of key lime and vanilla in a sugar scrub or hand lotion, and the citrus essential oils are awesome degreasers.

Check out Jolie Chose's list of essential oil cautions! This is a great link with ideas for specific ailments or conditions, with information on which ones not to eat!

Snowdrift Farms has a wonderful page on blending essential oils for fragrances, as does Aussie Soap Supplies. We've tried many of the blends from Jolie Chose's website. Some great ideas here!

If you want to use essential oils in your creations, blend the oils in a separate container, check to see if you like the scent, then use the amount you need in the product. When I'm making the oily hair blend below, I mix the essential oils in a glass bottle (usually a 10 ml one with a good cap!), then I'll remove 2% (by weight) to add to my shampoo or conditioner. Although some may suggest it, I never use my essential oils neat on my skin; I always add them to a creation or dilute the essential oils with some kind of carrier oil (jojoba and fractionated coconut oil are great!)

Here are some great blends from Jolie Chose for relaxing, bug spray, and more!

Oily hair blend to add to shampoo or conditioner - equal parts lemon, cedarwood, rosemary, and sage.

Dry hair blend for shampoo or conditioner - equal parts geranium, lavender, and ylang ylang

Dandruff blend for shampoo or conditioner - equal parts cedarwood, patchouli, rosemary, sage, and tea tree
(some people add peppermint to this at small amounts - say 10% of this mixture)

Key Lime pie
3 parts Key lime essential oil
1 part Vanilla Select (Brambleberry) or Vanilla

Tangerine Dream
3 parts Tangerine essential oil
1 part Vanilla Select or Vanilla


HoneyLady said...

Hi, Susan! Following up on my 2015 Resolution to learn something new from you every day. Sorry to mention that as of today, 1-9-15, none of these links EXCEPT Jolie's Choice seem to be working. . . darn it! It's good info to have, too. If I find something useful elsewhere, I'll share it. Thanks from HoneyLady~

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi HoneyLady! Unfortunately, links die over time and I don't have time to update them all with something else. I have, since then, written many posts about essential oils, which you can find in the essential oils section of the blog. I don't know if these are helpful to you?

If you find some good links, let me know and I can put them on the blog!