What is an Essential Oil?

Before I begin to tell you what essential oils to use in your skincare regimen, it is important that you understand what an essential oil is, where it comes from and how it is made.  This way you understand why we use them. 

The fragrance of a flower, the smell of an orange or the scent of a pine tree, all serve specific purposes vital to a plants survival.  What our senses perceive as fragrances are actually volatile aromatic compounds (essential oils) tiny organic molecules that serve a variety of protective, reproductive and regenerative purposes.  These compounds help ward off unfriendly pests, attract friendly herbivores and insects and even help the plant heal from infection and physical injury.  There are over 3,000 identifying varieties of aromatic compounds, each with its own unique and functional chemical constituents that provide different aromas and benefits to the plants.  From the petals of a flower, to the leaves of a plant, the rind of a fruit or the resin of a tree, these volatile aromatic compounds are all around us. 

Distilled directly from their plant sources, essential oils are multifaceted agents that have seemingly endless applications to our health and can be used aromatically, topically or internally.   Insuring the maximum potency of beneficial properties of an essential oil are the result of maintaining the delicate ratio of aromatic constituents found in that essential oil, all of which can vary depending on the time of the day or part of the plant which is harvested, time of the year or life cycle when harvested, the geographic location, and weather where the plant was grown, or the method and even the duration of distillation.  For that reason, it is vital that essential oils come from a trusted source committed to not only producing unadulterated essential oils but to adhering to the strictest production protocols.  I source all of the essential oils used in my formulas directly from farmers dedicated to producing pure and high quality essential oils, or I use doTerraessential oils, a trusted company that has placed a strong emphasis on the research, development and production of their oils. 

There are no wasted efforts in nature, neither should there be in the skincare you provide for yourself and those you love. 

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss a few essential oils that you can use to treat skin conditions, such as acne, burns, wrinkles and dark spots!