Updated: Feb 2
Essential oils come from the natural liquids found in trees, shrubs and plants, these liquids are components that defend the organism against its environment, insects, pollutants or disease allowing it to grow successfully in its natural surroundings. The essence of the plant is extracted from its flowers, roots, bark, seeds and leaves through processing such as steam distillation.
Essential oils are far more than just adding natural fragrance to a product, they can improve our skin health as well as boosting our wellbeing. One of the most powerful forms of ancient medicine and still plant extracts are often used as the basis for medicines today.
We use many essential oils within our products but I have put together a list of my 5 essential favourites for skin health boosting along with the names of their most common varieties and benefits.
As we are talking benefits for skin care I have also included the ORAC Value of each oil per 100ml (Oxygen Radical Absorbancy Capacity) this is the antioxidant value of the oil, how high a capacity it has for fighting against those pesky free radical scavengers.
It is important to remember that just the addition of an ingredient is not sufficient to make a product effective, this is especially true when it comes to essential oils, the quantity of each ingredient in a formulation is key, the balance of each ingredient and being sure that each ingredient complements the others. Much like a recipe for making a cake, add too much, not enough or mistake one ingredient for another and the end result is failure.
The source of the ingredient is also a consideration, a plant grown organically contains more benefits than a plant that has been treated with pesticides or been exposed to high levels of pollutants.
So here is my list of top essential oils for skin care;
Chamomile AKA Anthemis Noblis / Matricaria Chamomilla
Since ancient times the healing and calming properties of Chamomile have been well known and documented, extensive research is available validating it’s effectiveness for treating a range of ailments with it’s pharmacological therapeutic abilities including antispasmodic, antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, anti endemic and anti micotic.
It is listed for its medicinal benefits in 26 countries.
With approximately 140 active components it is a very versatile oil and often used even to treat small children and babies die to its calmative and sedative effect. It’s skin benefits are that it soothes and promotes healing, it is high up on my list of favourite skin care ingredients and plays an important role alongside other anti inflammatory plant extracts within Gentle Cleanse. German Chamomile has a huge ORAC value of 218.000 where as Roman Chamomile a more modest 240