A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL OILS


Hi, this is Roshni from SourcEEZ International – Beauty & Wellness Division. We are exporters of entire range of Essential Oils, Cosmetics, Attars, Henna, Herbal Powders and other beauty and wellness products.

Today, let’s discuss about Essential Oils. This article would give you an overview about essential oils, how they are derived, its popular uses, quality of essential oils, applications and cautions while using essential oils and opportunities in essential oil segment.

What are Essential Oils?

The world of essential oils is vast, intriguing, and if you are not familiar with them, it is also a bit confusing. Let me just simplify it for you.

Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile plant extracts that are obtained from fruits, seeds, roots, flowers, barks, stems, leaves or other parts of a plant.

How are they derived?

The history of essential oils in different forms can be traced back to several centuries and its use for medicine and cosmetic purposes can be found in ancient Indian and Egyptian texts. The process of essential oil extraction has evolved since then, and today most of the essential oils are extracted using Distillation, Cold Press Extraction, Solvent Extraction, Maceration, Enfleurage etc depending upon the part of plant being used. Due to the cost effectiveness and technical advantages, distillation is the process which is used for extraction of the majority of essential oils. However, please note that the distillation process is not suitable for every variant. Let’s go through a few processes in brief:

1. Steam distillation: In this method, steam is directed through the botanical material. The steam vaporizes the volatile compounds contained within the plant material. The steam is then condensed through a cooling process. This process generates two products: the essential oil, which contains oil-soluble molecules, and a hydrolat or hydrosol, which contains water-soluble molecules. Apart from essential oils, even the hydrosols are also a commercially sold commodity. One of the best examples of hydrosol is Rose water which is widely used in the cosmetic segment.

2. Solvent extraction: This method is used to extract Essential Oils from plants that cannot withstand the conditions required for steam distillation and expression. The most common example is jasmine flowers whose petals are too delicate. Solvent extraction is a multi-step process where raw plant material is macerated under vacuum into a solvent. After this, the solvent is removed through evaporation and what is left behind is called ‘concrete ‘. It is semi-solid to solid and extremely fragrant with a large amount of pigment and waxes. Further, concrete is melted by warming and diluted with alcohol, the mixture is then steam distilled under reduced pressure to separate alcohol and the aromatic substance. This aromatic substance is called ‘absolute’. Absolute is highly concentrated with the true aroma of the plant. However, technically and also in commercial terminology, the absolute thus obtained is not an essential oil.

3. Cold Press Extraction: This is the traditional method of oil extraction from seeds, fruits and flowers wherein no external heat is used to expel the oil. This method is also called Expression and does not involve heat in the process. In this process, oil is extracted from the product (rind, nuts, fruits etc) under mechanical pressure and forcing out the oil. This process releases the essential oils, which are then collected, bottled, and used in its pure form or added to other products, especially carrier oils like jojoba or argan oil.

Essential Oil Benefits and Uses -

The essential oils have been used for beauty, wellness and health applications since 1000’s of years in different ancient civilizations. Essential oils have traditionally been used for treating physical ailments, balancing emotions, and are said to help insomnia, anxiety and other stress related disorders.

Before we take you to the numerous health benefits associated with essential oils, we would like to clearly mention that essential oils should not be considered as a substitute to any ongoing medicines/treatment. In case of any doubt whatsoever, please consult your physician/health care professional prior to using these products.

Essential oils therapeutically work not only by relaxing the symptoms of ailments but also addressing the root cause which produces them. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain. To summarize and put it in a simpler way, essential oils cannot be literally termed as medicines but they can rather be categorized as very effective holistic tools towards management of a healthy lifestyle.

Based on the symptoms and ailments there are many essential oils which can be used individually or in combination for example:

Essential oils for relaxation: rose, clary sage, frankincense, lavender, bergamot, marjoram, ylang-ylang, lemon, geranium, orange, sandalwood, chamomile, vetiver etc

Essential oils that help induce sleep: lavender, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, chamomile, neroli, marjoram, cedar, bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, rose etc

Essential oils for energy: lemon, orange, grapefruit, eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, rosemary, spearmint, black pepper, jasmine etc

Essential oils for inflammation:

Acne and skin irritations: tea tree oil, lavender, oregano, bergamot, rosemary, helichrysum etc

Muscle inflammation: peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, chamomile, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne, rosemary, black pepper etc

Essential oils for migraines and headaches: lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, grapefruit, marjoram, rosemary, rosewood, thyme etc

Essential oils for respiratory disorders: basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, ginger, lemon, tea tree, sage, rosemary etc

Essential oils for stress related disorders: ylang ylang, vetiver, basil, bergamot, lavender, neroli, patchouli, palmarosa, jasmine, chamomile, rose etc

Essential oils for nausea, indigestion and other GI disorders: ginger, peppermint, spearmint, cardamom, fennel, clove, lemon, rosemary, orange etc

Essential oils for skin: lavender, sandalwood, chamomile, geranium, frankincense, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, patchouli, carrot seed, ylang ylang, lemongrass etc.

Essential oils for hair: rosemary, sage, thyme, lemongrass, tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, vetiver, ylang ylang, bergamot, peppermint etc.

Essential oils for perfumery: jasmine, patchouli, neroli, rose, sandalwood, lavender, orange, lemon, grapefruit, lemongrass, cinnamon, vanilla etc

Essential oils for food and beverages: lemon, clove, thyme, cinnamon, peppermint, vanilla, basil, fennel, thyme, oregano, peppermint etc.

Quality of Essential Oils

The best essential oil is one that has been grown in its indigenous area, is harvested at its peak time, extracted using appropriate method and not tampered or altered with in any way. True essential oils aren’t just labelled as 100% pure but are truly in their purest form, with no adulteration or additives.

If you are using it for therapeutic applications such as health, beauty and wellness or aromatic applications, we strongly recommend to go for organic or 100% natural essential oils only so that you can derive its maximum benefits.

Applications of Essential Oils and Safety Guidelines for Therapeutic Use

Therapeutic usage of essential oils involves primarily three modes of applications

Aromatic Use​: The easiest method to use essential oils aromatically is to simply open a bottle of pure essential oil and take a good whiff a few times. The second method is diffusing the essential oils in air. A diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils into the air. Based on the mechanism the essential oil diffusers can be categorized as follows:

1. Nebulizing diffusers - Nebulizing diffusers does not require water or heat for diffusion. This works by forcing a stream of air at high pressure through small tubes that contain essential oil. This stream of air turns the oil into a fine mist and distributes it around the room.

2. Evaporative diffusers - Evaporative diffusers are a more advanced form of the simplest method of essential oil diffusion. A small fan is used to blow on the oils. The blowing air from the fan causes the oils to evaporate faster than they would normally and disperses the scent into the room.

Reed Diffusers are also considered evaporative diffusers, and use capillary action to draw oils up and out in the air.

3. Ultrasonic diffusers - Ultrasonic diffusers have a dual purpose. Ultrasonic vibrations break up the oil and water into tiny molecules to create a fine mist to spread the scent, also adding moisture to the air.

4. Heat diffusers - Heat diffusers use heat elements to help the essential oil gradually evaporate into the air. Sometimes heat essential oil diffusers use the oil mixed with water. As these diffusers use heat, sometimes the properties of the oil are changed during the warming process.

Cautions for Aromatic Use of Essential Oils - Essential oils are highly concentrated. They should not be continuously diffused. Be sure you are diffusing in a well-ventilated space. Do not exceed the amount of essential oil recommended for your particular diffuser. It is also not advisable to directly and intensively inhale essential oils for longer than 15-20 minutes.

Topical Use: As essential oils are highly concentrated in nature, please exercise cautions and follow suitable guidelines for safe usage. The topical application of essential oils involves three methods:

  1. Diluting the Essential Oil using suitable carrier oils/medium (recommended by majority of aromatherapists)

  2. Direct application of certain essential oils to the skin in an undiluted form (please refer to the caution section below as this method is not recommended by many aromatherapists)

3. Putting a few drops of essential oil to cleanser, moisturizer, lotions etc and massaging into your skin until fully absorbed.

Cautions for Topical Use of Essential Oils: Aromatherapists have different and contradictory views about undiluted topical application of essential oils. Some of them are of the opinion that none of the essential oils should be used directly on the skin without diluting it with carrier oils and some of them say that a few essential oils can be used topically like lavender and tea tree. However, we strongly recommend that a patch test should be done before using essential oil in undiluted form even if it is categorised as safe for direct use because skin sensitivities vary from person to person. Diluting essential oils when you use them topically can prevent both short-term and long-term negative dermal reactions. Usually, a few drops of essential oil are mixed with a small amount of carrier oil for dilution. To perform a patch test, dilute an essential oil and rub one drop onto the forearm or inside the elbow, then keep the area dry. If there is any reaction within the first 24 hours, wash the affected area with soap and water and do not use the essential oil or blend.

Phototoxicity Cautions: Photosensitive, or phototoxic essential oils have constituents which cause them to interact with ultraviolet (UV) light in such a way that they can cause discoloration and burns on the skin. If you know you will be in the sun, avoid them in products that are designed to stay on the skin, like body lotions or creams.

Essential Oils that may cause Phototoxic or Photosensitive Reactions:

· Bergamot

· Grapefruit

· Lemon

· Lime

· Bitter Orange

· Cumin

Avoid using 8-12 hours before sun exposure.


Internal Consumption: It is never recommended to internally consume any essential oil in an undiluted form (please read the caution section). However, many essential oils are being used for their dietary benefits and as flavouring element by adding them in appropriate quantities in food & beverages.

Cautions for Internal Use of Essential Oils: Internal use of essential oil in undiluted form is a highly debatable topic. Most of the essential oils are clearly labelled “Not for internal use” due to the fact that they’re highly concentrated. Hence, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND it to be used internally. However, some experts do suggest internal usage of a few essential oils by diluting it appropriately in the right ratio along with right diluting medium such as a carrier oil. Even here sensitivity of the person should be taken into consideration before using it and it should be done strictly under expert supervision.


Even for ingestion we strongly recommend to avoid any kind of internal use of essential oils.


Essential oils are highly concentrated and should be used with great care, particularly with children, pregnant women, or those with medical conditions.


Essential oil storage - Essential oils are volatile. They can be damaged by exposure to heat, oxygen and sunlight. A good quality oil comes in a dark glass bottle, either black, brown or cobalt blue. After use, the cap should be securely fastened, and the bottle stored in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children. Many essential oils come with a dropper insert in the bottle, allowing you to dispense one drop at a time. This makes blending more accurate and prevents spills. When properly cared for, most essential oils have a shelf life of two to five years. Citrus oils oxidize easily so they have a much shorter shelf life.


Private Labelling of Essential Oils

As per the analysis of many of the leading trade experts, the essential oil market is expected to grow at a significant rate of 7.5 to 10 % to reach a market value of USD12-13 billion by the end of 2024. Growing demand for essential oils in cosmetics, food & beverages, aromatherapy, pharmaceuticals, air care, and other end-use industries is boosting the market growth of essential oils globally. If you are considering launching your own brand of essential oils, this might actually be the best time to do so. And if you are looking for a reliable partner for your entire procurement needs of your essential oils, SourcEEZ International would be the right choice.

Some of the many reasons why SourcEEZ is the right choice to be your Indian partners are as follows:

· Authentic Products – Whether you are looking for a 100% natural variant or a pure organic variant, SourcEEZ ensures that the product which you are getting is authentic. Our vendor screening process is very stringent and every batch is subjected to thorough QC checks thereby ensuring that you can be carefree about the quality aspects of essential oils and focus more on the marketing side of it.

· Low MOQ – We understand the challenges associated with starting a brand and blocking investments in a bigger inventory is not a good idea. At SourcEEZ, we support brands by facilitating small batch sizes. Our MOQ’s are as follows:

- Number of variants – Based on your geographical location our team will also help you select the best 12 variants to start with.

- Number of units per variant – 200 units (you may choose 10ml/15ml/25ml/30ml pack size as per your requirements)

· Bespoke Packaging – The factors that need to be taken into consideration while designing the packaging of essential oil are; colour and quality of the glass bottle, colour and type of cap, selecting the material of box and its opening mechanism, graphic design theme of the packaging, printing and post printing effects etc. At Sourceez, we ensure that none of the aspects go unaddressed and the packaging of your product gets the attention it deserves.

Our growth depends on your and so we take no chance in ensuring that the product you get is flawless in every aspect.

Keep in touch for our upcoming articles on essential oils and other beauty and wellness products.

Stay healthy stay safe!

Bye

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Website: www.cosmeticexporter.com

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