Due to their high potency, essential oils have been an integral part of skin care routines the world over. These oils have even found a place in your skincare products to increase their effectiveness. However, recently, essential oils have been receiving a lot of backlash, questioning their purity and efficiency. Before tossing away all the skincare products with essential oils, let’s delve a little deeper to find if these claims are true.
What are essential oils?
Oils that are extracted from the roots, flowers, barks, leaves or fruits of plants in their purest form through a distillation process are called essential oils. These highly concentrated oils are used in aromatherapy mainly because of their calming and soothing fragrances.
How did essential oils end up in skincare products?
Essential oils have been used for their medicinal and skincare benefits for several centuries now. Today, they are added for fragrance and also because most people associate this inclusion with the products being natural. Some essential oils have been clinically proven to offer antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Tea tree oil helps treat acne by killing the bacteria causing it. There is no problem in these oils being infused in your skin care products, however, you should also know that there is no restriction on the extraction or quality of the oil, which makes this essential oil infused skincare product blend a little questionable.
Does that mean essential oils are bad?
There is no direct answer to this question because a variety of factors are responsible when it comes to deciding whether essential oils are good or bad for the skin. Factors such as potency, extraction method and quality influence the effect of essential oils on skin. When applied topically in high concentrations, essential oils can cause more harm than good, therefore they should always be diluted or added to skincare products in tiny amounts. Allergies and skin sensitivities are other factors that will determine how your skin reacts to essential oils.
So, what's the bottom line
Yes certain essential oils can cause skin irritation but when you think about it, any acid or skincare ingredients (in higher concentrations or when not manufactured properly), can lead to a skin reaction or irritation. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your skin type, its needs and how it reacts to certain products and ingredients.