Essential oi: great or avoid it?
Essential oils have gained popularity in personal care in recent years. These fragrant and concentrated oils are extracted from plants, flowers, trees and herbs, and are often known for their (aroma) therapeutic properties. While there are many benefits to using essential oils, it is important to understand when and how best to use them, as some of these oils contain allergens.
Why we love essential oils
Essential oils are pure and natural, derived from plants and herbs. This makes them ideal for those who like to use natural personal care products. Does it say tangerine and lemon on our deodorant? Then the fragrance is actually made from the peel of tangerine and lemon. What you smell is what you get, and we love that. Synthetic fragrance oils are nothing like it.
When to be careful with essential oil:
Essential oils contain natural compounds that can cause allergic reactions, especially in people with sensitive skin. It is advisable to always perform a patch test before applying any new product that contains essential oils to your skin.
What is a patch test?
Apply a small amount of an essential oil product on the inside of your elbow, you will usually see an allergic reaction appear within 1-2 minutes. Nothing happens? Then you can safely use the product. Should you still get an allergic reaction from the product, we then recommend that you stop using the product.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. Incorrect use can lead to irritation, redness and even burns. Dilution in a carrier oil is essential before applying them directly to the skin. So be careful with DIY recipes too and stick to the recommended amount of essential oil. You really should always test these homemade recipes thoroughly and patch-test them.
Pregnancy and Medical Conditions:
In pregnancy and certain medical conditions, it is advisable to exercise caution when using essential oils, as some oils can have negative effects. Always consult your doctor when in doubt.
Taking essential oils internally is controversial and generally not recommended without professional advice, as some oils can be toxic when taken internally. Plainly, do not try it.
Allergens in Essential Oils:
Many essential oils naturally contain allergens, which can cause skin irritation in sensitive skin. Some common allergens include:
Limonene: Found in citrus oils such as lemon, orange and bergamot. It can cause skin irritation.
Linalool: Found in lavender, bergamot, and some floral oils. It can induce allergic reactions.
Geraniol: Present in rose oil and other floral oils. It can cause skin sensitivity.
Citral: Found in citrus oils such as lemon, orange and bergamot. It can cause skin irritation.
The allergens in your product should be clearly stated on the packaging of all your personal care products.
Conclusion: No sensitivities to the allergens? Feel free to opt for essential oils.
Using essential oils in personal care can be fantastic, provided you are not sensitive to any of the allergens. They offer aromatherapy benefits, have properties that are good for the skin, and can even have a positive impact on our emotional state. However, caution is advised, especially when it comes to allergic reactions and the proper use of these powerful oils. It is always advisable to seek professional advice if you are unsure about using essential oils, and to conduct patch tests before applying them to large areas of your skin.