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What are essential oils?

by:Puraeo      2022-10-13

Essential oils are fragrant substances extracted from spice plants, usually from flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, barks, fruits and other parts of plants, and are extracted by steam distillation, cold compression, liposuction or solvent extraction. Comes out, with a high concentration of aroma and volatility.

Not all plants can extract essential oils, only those with balsam glands can produce essential oils.

Different plants have different storage sites for oil sacs, and when the oil sacs are stimulated, they will release aromatic molecules.

Essential oils are oily substances that look similar to the vegetable oils we usually cook with, but they are fundamentally different. Essential oils are composed of terpenes, aldehydes, esters, alcohols and other molecules, while the main components of vegetable oils are triglycerides and fatty acids. Essential oils, although called 'oils,' are not greasy at all and usually evaporate completely without leaving a greasy stain or residue.

Essential oils are lipophilic and easily soluble in oils, so base oils are usually used to adjust the concentration. Essential oils are small molecular substances with strong penetrating ability and easy volatilization, so they are generally stored in airtight, light-tight containers. Tighten the cap after each use and reduce the number of openings. High-concentration pure essential oils cannot be applied directly on the skin. They need to be fully diluted before use, otherwise they will irritate the skin and cause skin allergies.

Classification of essential oils

According to the composition, essential oils can be divided into two categories, namely single essential oils and compound essential oils.

Single essential oil: The essence extracted from a plant is of high purity and has a strong plant smell. The single essential oil must be fully diluted before it can be used on the skin. Essential oils are usually named after the plant, such as rose essential oil, lavender essential oil, etc.

Because a large amount of material can be used to extract a very small amount, the price of a single essential oil is more expensive. It is worth noting that 100% pure essential oils are dangerous, corrosive, and cannot be directly applied to the skin. Essential oil concentrations of 1-3% are generally considered safe.

Compound essential oil: It refers to the preparation of several unilateral essential oils in a good proportion, plus the base oil. This essential oil can be used immediately and can be used directly on the skin without diluting again. The general dilution ratio is: the total amount of single essential oil is 2.5%, and the base oil is 97.5%.

Base oil: It is the oil that dilutes the essential oil, which can effectively reduce the irritation of the essential oil and help the essential oil be absorbed by the skin. Commonly used base oils are grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, rosehip oil (ps: this is used with essential oils, not essential oils, but It is also an important material for essential oils.)

Fragrance and raw materials
Like the classification of perfume, according to the classification of fragrance and raw materials, essential oils can be roughly divided into several categories, namely:

1. Floral

This is an essential oil extracted from flowers, with a rich and sweet fragrance, recommended when you want to enhance femininity or create an elegant atmosphere. Representative essential oils are: rose, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang, etc.

2. Citrus

Primarily extracted from the peels of citrus fruits, these essential oils have a refreshing, sunny scent that lifts the spirits. Citrus scents are very highly accepted by people. Representative essential oils are: sweet orange, lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, bergamot, etc.

3. Herbs

The raw materials of these essential oils are mainly extracted from the stems, leaves or whole plants of herbs. Has a fresh herbal taste. This essential oil helps to refresh the mind. Representative essential oils are: clary sage, rosemary, marjoram, pepper, etc.

4. Trees

Essential oils extracted from trees have an enchanting woody fragrance, perfect for those who want to soothe tense emotions. Representative essential oils are: Cypress, Juniper, Eucalyptus, etc.

5. Resin

This is an essential oil extracted from resin and has a unique fragrance. Resin-based essential oils can also promote deep breathing and have skin care effects. Representative essential oils are: frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, etc.

6. Spices

These essential oils are extracted from spices, and the raw materials can be used to make dishes. They have the effect of boosting the mind, boosting energy, and warming the body. Representative essential oils are: ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, etc.

7. Camphor

Extracted from plants with volatile substances, it has a cool and refreshing taste, which can relieve nerve depression. It is a kind of woody fragrance with camphor aroma. Pregnant women should avoid using it. Representative essential oils are: peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, etc.

8. Soil

Extracted from completely dry botanical herbs, it has a thick and steady scent. Representative essential oils are: vetiver, patchouli and so on.

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