Monday, April 5, 2010

Question: Including different rosemary products in our creations?

An anonymous commenter on this post asks...What is the difference between an EO, Extract or tea? (Besides how they are made) For example, if I was going to use Rosemary, which form would be the best to use in a shampoo or conditioner? Or is there not much of a difference between the effectiveness of Rosemary EO, extract or tea? I know each processes the "Rosemary" differently, but will it really make that big of a difference in which one I choose to use?

It's hard to tell you what's best for your hair care products as it depends upon what you want the rosemary to do, what you're creating, and how available the various ingredients are in your area.

An essential oil will contain the oil soluble polyphenols, phytosterols, terpenoids, and oil soluble vitamins found in the plant.

The extract generally contains the water soluble polyphenols and vitamins found in the plant.

A hydrosol generally contains the water soluble polyphenols (and some oil soluble ones) found in the plant.

I have no idea what the definition would be for a tea, but I wouldn't use something I brewed up at home in any product I made for fear of contamination.

So in the case of rosemary, if the properties you like are found in the extract (click here for the post) - like the film forming properties of ursolic acid or the anti-inflammatory properties - then you would add the extract to your product.

If you what you want is in the essential oil - for instance, the polyphenols that increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation or higher levels of anti-oxidizing power or high anti-microbial properties from the terpenoids - then you would use the essential oil.

If you wanted more astringency, then you'd choose the hydrosol because you can add higher levels.

So you can choose your ingredient based on what you want, but what product are you making with it? If you are making a water based product, the essential oil is right out because you need to emulsify it to keep it in the solution. Similarly, if you are making an oil based or anhydrous product, you can't use the hydrosol or extract without an emulsifier. If you are making something for your face, you might not want the rich smell of rosemary on your face, so the oil might not be an option.

For instance, when making a liquid conditioner, I include the extract, the hydrosol, and the essential oil because each brings something to the party. I include the extract because it offers the ursolic acid that will form a nice film on my hair and scalp to moisturize without including oils. I use the hydrosol because I want more astringency for my oily scalp. And I use the essential oil because the terpenoids will offer more anti-microbial features, which could be good for my scalp.


Marit said...

Es empfiehlt sich einfach, sowohl Ă–lauszug als auch Wasserauszug bzw. Hydrolat zu kombinieren. Ich mache das bei Beinwell, Ringelblume und Johanniskraut.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Translated through Google translate: It is appropriate simply to combine both oil extract and water extract and hydrosol. I do this with comfrey, calendula and St. John.

aesthete said...

Wow...that was a good question and a great answer!