Essential oils are becoming more and more popular. You can find them in hair care, skin care and even oral supplements. But until recently, they were mainly used for aromatherapy, not beauty.
Break it to me, what’s the deal with essential oils?
Essential oils are natural oils distilled from herbs, fruits and other sources, which retain the fragrance of its sources — like lavender, lemon and bergamot orange. Ancient experts believed in their power. When archeologists discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb, they found jars of essential oils everywhere. Even the father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, was a fan.
So, it’s safe? I’d better start stocking up…
Hang on — some essential oils are toxic, and can do a lot of harm if applied directly to skin. Most need to be applied using a carrier, like jojoba or coconut oil, so you need to learn about how to use those, too. Remember that store-bought beauty products have been rigorously tested before they hit the shelves — home-made solutions haven’t.
Should I just forget about it?
It’d be wrong to write off essential oils completely. Used carefully, certain essential oils, like carrot seed and frankincense, are said to have rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory benefits when applied to skin. But learn about the science first. For example, oils can oxidize (science speak for “go bad”), creating irritants and allergens. Strange-smelling, thick or cloudy oils are probably out-of-date — and belong in the trashcan, not on your face.
So, what’s the final verdict?
If you’ve consulted your doctor, investigated the science and you’re sure the oils you’re using are pure and fresh, they can be beneficial. But if you can’t find the time to do your homework, don’t take the risk. Many affordable skin care products do the job just as well, if not better.