Published on: 10-Sep-2018
Essential Oils Provide a Healthier Option
We can get very attached to the smell of our favorite lotion or body wash, but there’s often something lurking behind the scent that can harm your health. Many fragranced personal care products contain chemicals called “phthalates,” which help the scent cling to skin and hair. The term hardly ever actually appears on the labels, but instead may be one of the ingredients that make up “fragrance” or “parfum/perfume.”
According to the Environmental Working Group, studies have linked phthalates to testicular cell death as well as hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes, and thyroid irregularities. It’s best to avoid them altogether! The EWG’s Skin Deep database can help you discover the safest alternatives.
Essential Oils: A Safer Option
Essential oils have soared in popularity and are commonly found in people’s medicine cabinets, but can they be used as a replacement for the scents you love? When diluted properly, they often can. Essential oils are highly aromatic substances found in certain plants and used for protection from predators and to attract pollinators. After the distillation of a plant, the aromatic substance is referred to as an essential oil.
Safety, Dilution, & Storage
It takes a lot of plant material to make a small amount of essential oil—they are highly concentrated. For example, it takes 50-60 roses to produce one drop of rose essential oil! This means you only need a very small amount to achieve a desired effect. Very few, if any, essential oils should be ingested or applied directly to the skin. I recommend diluting essential oils into a carrier oil or substance. You do this by combining the oils with “carriers” (such as vegetable, seed, or nut oils) before applying them to your skin.
Because essential oils evaporate easily, it’s best to store them in dark, airtight, glass bottles. Exposure to light, oxygen, and heat will break down the oils and they can become “oxidized” and irritating to the skin. Purchasing unadulterated, organic 100% essential oils from reputable manufacturers helps ensure you are using the purest plant constituents while ensuring ethical and sustainable harvesting methods.
Popular Oils & Their Therapeutic Benefits
Here are a few of my favorite oils to diffuse, combine with carrier oils, and use in my homemade cleaning solutions:
To your good health,
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