What are essential oils and why do we use them?
What’s the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? Many people will specifically purchase an item just because it smells great. However, there is a HUGE difference between fragrance oils and essential oils. We only use essential oils in our products as essential oils are 100% plant derived! We do not use fragrance oils as they are produced synthetically in a lab with a multitude of chemicals making up a single fragrance. In this post we’ll discuss what essential oils and fragrance oils are, why essential oils are beneficial for your hair and skin and why essential oils may not have that same potent fragrance in products like fragrance oils do.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are substances naturally derived from plant materials such as flowers, seeds, fruit, bark, resin, wood or leaves. The oils are extracted through either steam distillation or solvent extraction. Essential oils are extracted as a pure oil and are not mixed with any other carrier oil. The extraction process is very gentle so sensitive compounds like essential vitamins and minerals in the oil won’t break down and are passed onto the end product. Sometimes this extraction process is very difficult, meaning some essential oils can become very expensive to purchase. As well as the extraction process, the availability of certain essential oils can become compromised due to weather, season or growing conditions, so it’s important to do your research when purchasing.
(image: We use Orange Essential oil in our ACV Shampoo Bar to give it a mild fruity scent!)
What are fragrance oils?
Fragrance oils are artificially crafted scents, manufactured in a lab to mimic a certain natural scent like coffee or strawberries. Usually, fragrance oils are far cheaper than essential oils as they are made by using petrolatum by-products, making them last longer and creating more versatility. Fragrance oils, however, have no beneficial vitamins and minerals like essential oils and can contain up to 3000 different chemical compounds to make one fragrance.
(image: Synthetic fragrance oils are manufactured in labs to mimic certain natural scents and can contain up to 3000 different chemical compounds to make one single fragrance)
What are the benefits of using essential oils in our products?
In today’s current global climate, it is a little harder to source sustainable essential oils but the benefits of spending a little bit more time and money vastly outweigh fragrance oils in terms of benefits to hair and skin. Here are some reasons why we only use essential oils in our products:
- Most people with sensitivities to synthetic fragrances don’t have sensitivities to essential oils as they contain less irritating chemicals.
- Essential oils contain antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals benefiting hair and skin health.
- Essential oils have many therapeutic benefits to improve mood, concentration and alertness.
Why is the scent of essential oils not as strong as fragrance oils?