An Honest Talk About Essential Oils VS Fragrance Oils

As a soap maker I wanted to talk about the differences between fragrance oils and essential oils in soap making.

The argument between the safety and efficiency  of natural oils vs fragrance oils can spark quite a reaction from many and as a soap maker who has chosen to only use essential oils and resins, I wanted to be able to go into detail about the pros and cons of both options.

As long as the person handling the oils is making sure to use skin safe oils, then both fragrance and essential oils are considered to be safe for most skin types which begs the question of what the difference between these two oils really is.

Fragrance Oils | First of all lets take a look at what fragrance oils are exactly.

Fragrance oils are a combination of various chemical components, some are natural, being extracted from plants and even animals occasionally as well as some synthetic components.

Pros | Fragrance oils are very cheap which means that anyone who uses them in their products will most likely be able to provide the most affordable options of products.

Fragrance oils often smell amazing and come in an endless variety of scents that do and do not come naturally in nature such as apples and lavender or sugar cookies and winter wonderland.

Most fragrance oils are much stronger in smaller quantities than essential oils are and also have a longer shelf life when it comes to scent fading.

Cons | Fragrance oils however, are not natural which not only exposes the user to more chemicals, whether they are considered bad or not, but also makes them more likely to be irritating to sensitive skin types or people with serious allergies.

Sellers of fragrance oils are not required to give out a full disclosure of the ingredients that are used in their fragrances which can not only gives the person making the soap less control over their product but also the customer. Someone who is allergic to specific things will most likely have to avoid products scented with fragrance oils since no one can be certain about the specific ingredients included.

 

Essential Oils | Essential oils are steam distilled plant extracts that come from the natural oils in plants such as cinnamon bark and orange rind.

Pros | Essential oils as you might have already guessed, are all natural and are considered by many to be the least harmful way of scenting products.

Essential oils not only scent soap but they also provide a number of natural health benefits that fragrance oils cannot provide such as tea tree which is anti-bacterial as well as many other oils that provide their own specific health benefits.

Much like the ability to provide health benefits, essential oils can also provide a variety of mental wellbeing and aromatherapy benefits that synthetic fragrance oils have yet to achieve. For example, a lavender fragrance oil has not yet been created with the same ability to relax and sooth like the origin lavender essential oil.

Cons | Since the extraction of essential oils is a lengthy process that provides a small amount of oil, they are more costly and so create more costly products.

Essential oils in their undiluted state are considered to be irritating to certain skin types which make the formulating and measuring of the oils very important for soap makers. Certain oils should be avoided by individuals who have a history of irritation but thankfully most soap makers will give a full ingredient list with no irritating oils hidden.

 

I hope that this list of pros and cons of fragrance oils vs essential oils has been found useful to some of you and has perhaps, helped you to better understand which oils you prefer.

 

Mindful Gift Ideas

We can all admit that we have at some point completely forgot to buy someone a gift for the holidays and if your reading this you might have as well.

I have put together a small arrangement of gift ideas that are a bit more personable and thoughtful and I hope that you will be able to find them useful for at least a few people this holiday season.

Scent | Most people can appreciate a nice scent such as a candle that you make yourself or purchase and there is a wide variety of handmade candles to choose from to make that certain someone feel special.

Essential oils are also an amazing gift idea for someone who has dabbled in them or has spoken about their interest in using essential oils.

Scents such as peppermint, lavender, and orange are a few great options for most people and are also really lovely when combined.

You could even consider gifting them an essential oil diffuser to further enjoy their essential oils with and to brighten up their home.

Taste | One thing that I know that I also appreciate in a gift, is something edible.

With food you can rarely go wrong especially when you have a good idea of what that person likes.

A fragrant tea or specialty coffee blend make a lovely gift especially when gifted in a mug and can be widely personalized to that person’s specific taste.

Baking treats for someone is also a wonderful way to show them your love or even just buying them some of their favorite chocolate or guilty pleasure. The art of creating a plate filled with a beautiful arrangement of cookies and fudges will never get old and will most certainly be appreciated.

Mind | Another option of gifts that requires a little more though is one that can stimulate their mind, whether that be a book that they might like or even a coloring book to help them relax and pass the time.

Maybe you could pay for an Audible subscription for them or subscribe for a monthly magazine to be delivered to their home.

Or  you could buy them a gift card to enjoy a spa day, get a massage, or take a trip to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant to promote their wellbeing and give them something to look forward to.

 

It is important to remember this time of the year that the holidays aren’t about getting presents or even giving extravagant gifts. It is about truly appreciating the people around you and taking an extra moment of time to let them know how special they are to you.

Gift giving is such a small part of that so remember to not just focus on the material side of things but to also give the gift of yourself and your time to the ones dearest to you.

Overnight Oil Hair Treatment

 

When it comes to taking care of myself my hair usually ends up falling to the bottom of the list since I prefer to throw it up into a bun and forget about it altogether.

Recently, however, I have been trying to make the extra effort to do a deep conditioning or an oil hair treatment a few nights out of the month.

They are fast and simple with only a few ingredients and a few spare minutes to apply then go to sleep and let the magic happen.

Recipe |

– 4 oz. Olive Oil

– 2 Drops Lavender Oil

– 3 Drops Peppermint Oil

 4 Drops Rosemary Oil

 

This amount of oil should last for many hair treatment and should be stored in a glass bottle since essential oils eat away at any plastic materials.

For this hair treatment I decided to reach for olive oil because of its heartiness as well as the fact that it is a kitchen staple for most.

As for the essential oils, rosemary is a very well know treatment for thick hair growth. Peppermint cleanses as well as promotes hair growth and gives the scalp a pleasant, tingling feeling. Lavender also promotes hair growth, as well as having a deep conditioning effect on both a dry and oily hair and scalp.

This hair treatment is incredibly moisturizing and helps with hair growth but most of all it smells amazing and is the perfect scent combination for a relaxing transition to nighttime.

Apply no more than one to two tablespoons to scalp and massage as well as disperse evenly through hair. Put your hair up and either cover your pillow or hair to avoid making a mess while sleeping and wash out thoroughly in the morning.

This oil can also be used to moisturize and smooth out hair by applying a few drops and massaging it through your hair as a daily hair serum.

If you are interested in researching further about natural hair care and ways to treat hair loss check out this resourceful article.

All Natural Mouth Care

One of the first things that I made when I began to use more natural skin care was my own toothpaste and mouth wash.

The idea of making your own mouth products might seem strange to most people but it is really such a cheap and affordable step towards a more natural lifestyle.

The realization that what I was putting in my mouth might not be the healthiest option for my teeth and gum health was when I really started to notice the ingredients in the toothpaste and mouth wash that I was using.

Both were usually riddled with unnatural dyes, sugar, and a hoard of long words that I thought, must surely be unnecessary.

The ingredients seemed to contradict the products purpose and besides it being highly manufactured, excessively packaged, and unhealthy, there was a much more natural and affordable option.

Toothpaste | The one recipe that I have stuck with through the years has been a very quick and simple one made up of only two ingredients. Coconut oil and baking soda.

Oil has a way of latching onto dirt and bacteria in a way that most other ingredients cannot do which means that it will stick to and pull out the build up on teeth and gums.

Coconut oil is also the perfect consistency to whip up by hand and has a pleasant taste and a soft feel to it.

Throw in a small portion of baking soda which is known for its cleaning capabilities as well as having a slight whitening affect and you will have a very simple, all natural toothpaste recipe to use as is or to build on.

If you are want a more uniquely made toothpaste then you can add in a small bit of stevia for sweetness, benonite clay for an extra cleaning toothpaste, or a small amount of essential oils for flavor.

Mouth Wash | Creating a mouth wash personalized for your dental needs can be a little more tricky then putting together toothpaste.

Being someone who has always suffered from sensitive, bleeding gums, I use a simple mouth wash of sea salt and water to promote healing and good bacteria.

You should always reasearch natural options for your personal needs, if you suffer from bad breath maybe a strong cinnamon tea would make a good mouth wash for you or another herbal tea could help with any other dental issues you may have.

Always make sure that what you are making is safe especially if it is going into your body and always stop using your products if they are causing any negative reactions.

 

Skin Care Basics | Essential Oils

Essential oils are very ‘in’ right now and though I’m not one to follow trends or fads, I do fully support the promotion of more natural living.

The addition of essential oils into my skin care routine has been a slow journey and a cautious one since essential oils are very potent oils that need to be handled with care.

They are fun and wonderful ingredients to introduce into your skin care routine and with enough education and a light hand, they can be utterly harmless.

Lavender | Though I tend to stay away from most floral oils because of personal preferences, I do always have a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand.

It’s fragrant and has the amazing ability of calming irritated skin as well as reducing redness. It is also a very moisturizing essential oil which makes it a perfect match for dry skin.

Chamomile | Chamomile just might be one of the most expensive essential oils to buy but if you are really interested in incorporating essential oils into your skin care here are a few reasons why it might be worth the expense.

We all know that chamomile tea is amazing at calming irritation whether that be internal or external, when you use chamomile essential oil you multiply that by ten.

It is very potent and fragrant with a brightening and lightening effect on the skin as well as calming any redness or irritation. It is a fantastic option for those who suffer from acne or skin conditions similar to eczema.

Tea Tree | I have saved the best for last because this essential oil is by far my most used and favorite oil.

As someone who has chronically red and inflamed skin, this oil is my go to almost everyday because of its antibacterial properties.

It has the amazing ability of reducing redness and healing cuts or irritated skin blemishes almost overnight. For those reasons it is very popular as a spot treatment.

As a word of caution, tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes.

Though I have only listed but a very few essential oil options, there are hundreds to choose from and experiment with but as always, you must do so with caution.

When you take charge of your own skin care you must also take charge of the safety measures. Never take essential oils internally unless you have properly researched the oil first and always be light handed with the amount you use even externally since anything can become irritating with too high of a dose.

Essential Oils: The Basics

Something that I’ve really gotten into lately is essential oils and how to incorporate them into my daily routines.

When I first began making my own beauty products years ago, it took me a while to buy my first essential oils. In my ignorance I only purchased the least expensive oils I could find and ultimately ended up wasting money.

It has taken quite a while for me to find the quality of essential oils that I am happy with but now that I have, I have been experimenting with blends and different uses for them.

I still have yet to really begin growing my collection but I have a pretty lovely group of oils that I use regularly and I wanted to share some of them.

Sweet Orange Oil

– I love any kind of citrus oil so sweet orange is one of my most reached for essential oils. I use this oil with a nighttime blend for most of my baths since it pairs nicely with just about any other scent.

Eucalyptus Oil

– Eucalyptus should be one of your first oils to buy if you want to start experimenting with essential oils. It is amazing in nasal steams for when you are sick or battling with seasonal allergies. Eucalyptus often makes an appearance in my essential oil diffuser blends as well.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil

– This essential oil was my first good quality essential oil and I still enjoy and use it quite regularly. I often put a few drops in my diffuser to make my space smell very much like christmas or I use it in the form of a diluted perfume.

Peppermint Oil

– Peppermint essential oil is another one of those oils that you should buy right away if your looking into essential oils. It’s uses are endless but some of the ways that I regularly use it are in facial steams, roll ons for headaches and overheating, and in my diffuser.

Earth and Wood Synergy Blend

– When I first received this essential oil blend I really didn’t like it at first since it was much more woody than I had expected but as I continued to use it, it really began to grow on me. It is made with a blend of cardamom, fir needle, patchouli, and sandalwood which I imagine would be a great scent for men.

I enjoy this blend the most in baths since the water dilutes the scent enough to mellow the earthiness out just enough.

Those are a handful of my most used and liked essential oils and I hope to soon share a post on my favorite essential oil blends for diffusing.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog post and let me know in the comments if any of you have essential oil suggestions.