What Are Essential Oils?

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You may have heard of these potent potions called essential oils. Passionate fans have been incorporating these elixirs in every part of their routine since ancient times. First perceived as just a holistic item for spiritual people, they have since become a mainstream must-have for cleaning, wellness, insect repelling, skincare, haircare, and more!

It begs the question, what are essential oils and where do their magical properties come from? 

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils, sometimes referred to as botanical oils and plant essential oils, are the potent extracts derived from herbs and plants. This super powerful concentration contains a plethora of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential properties, like anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal properties, and more. You can see why they’re so useful! Especially when you get WOW Skin Science essential oils, which are 100% pure and therapeutic-grade to ensure you’re using the best quality products. 

Some of the most used essential oils are lavender, cedarwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and frankincense. Due to their potency, you should always dilute any essential oil in water for aromatherapy, or a carrier oil/cream to apply directly. Once you understand their benefits, it’s fun to create your own aromatherapist-inspired concoctions for your unique needs! WOW makes it easy for you with their professionally pre-mixed blends, like WOW Skin Science's Energizer Essential Oil Blend to help invigorate and improve mental clarity! 

Essential oils come in very concentrated formulas, typically in a glass dropper bottle that is easy to store and transport. The bottles are generally an amber or cobalt blue, as this protects the essential oils from deterioration caused by sunlight exposure - you’ll typically never see genuine essential oils stored or sold in clear glass bottles. Due to their potency, you rarely need more than 3 drops to feel their power.

Essential oils are most commonly used in diffusers, which dilute the essential oil in water and create an aromatherapy mist. The mist then permeates the space surrounding it, resulting in a pleasant scent and benefits like air purification. 

How Are They Made?

Essential oils are derived from nature, but how are they made? How do they get a power plant into a bottle? There are many methods of extracting the essential oils from various plants, including maceration, steam distillation, and solvent extraction. 

Maceration is simply the process of grinding or squeezing the plant with so much pressure that the oil will come out. Like when you squeeze the rind of a lemon, some essential oils come out. 

Steam extraction is the process of applying steam to the plants to release a vapor of their oils. The vapor is then funneled through cold pressing water to condense the oils and water. That is then separated into the pure oil you know them as! 

Solvent extraction is another common method, using a solvent like hexane or ethanol to separate the oil from the plant. The plant is treated with the solvent, the oil is then separated from the solvent and condensed, and the concentrated oil is created! 

There are other methods, but these three are the most common to extract essential oils from plants. It will vary depending on the different types of plants extracted, the shape of the plant, and if it is a low or high yield product. 


The History of Essential Oils

Essential oils are not a new fad. The use of essential oils dates back to ancient BC times. It is unsure if the history of essential oils started as medicinal use or in the household, but these natural products were used abundantly in various parts of the world.

For example, the Ancient Egyptians used these therapeutic-grade oils in their makeup and various salves, dating back to 4500 BC. One thousand years later, the Chinese and Indian cultures used these substances in medicine in 2000 to 3000 BC. Some of the specific ones they used were cinnamon, myrrh, and ginger. Thousands of years after that, the Greeks used essential oils too. Today we are still using essential oils in alternative medicine, aromatherapy, the beauty and wellness industry, and right at home.  


Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils have been shown to have many health benefits, and are most commonly used in aromatherapy. Large studies have proved that using essential oils can help relieve symptoms of health conditions like anxiety and depression, and increase the quality of sleep. This happens from stimulating the limbic system of the brain that is associated with emotions, to help you manage them and feel better. 

They are a naturally effective option that can be easily used at home, making it accessible to everyone. The potency is something to be careful with, especially if you have known allergies. It’s recommended to conduct a patch test by trying a drop of essential oil on your skin and waiting 24 hours to see a reaction. 


Ways to Use Essential Oils

Even though pure essential oils are one-note, that doesn’t mean their benefits are! Due to their various benefits, you can customize how to use it around your home, car, or body. 

Here are a few ways to enjoy WOW Skin Science essential oils!


Natural Perfume

The first thing you notice when using essential oils is their extremely pungent scent. Essential aromatic oils can be used as a natural perfume to boost your natural scent, and provide constant aromatherapy everywhere you go. No more having to worry about carrying your diffuser from room to room! There are a few ways to accomplish this. 

The first way is by diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or castor oil, and applying it directly to the skin (after conducting a patch test of course.) If you have more sensitive skin or want to switch up your fragrance throughout the day, reach for WOW Skin Science’s diffuser necklace. The stunning necklace includes a diffuser pad inside, which holds the essential oil of your choice. It doubles as a natural perfume and a beautiful piece of functional jewelry! You can even use multiple discs to have various scents on hand, so you can switch it up for every mood. 

Diffuse Your Home

Using a diffuser in your home is one of the most common ways to utilize your essential oils. Optimize your space by placing your diffuser in a spot with lots of ventilation, away from pets or kids, and near you so you can enjoy the benefits of the infused vapor! 

The wonderful thing about diffusers is using multipurpose essential oils that will give your home a great scent, set the mood, AND purify the air to keep you and your family safe. It is a conversation starter with the mesmerizing designs available, and mist coming from the top. Most of the diffusers also come with changing color lights or a solid white light, which can act as ambiance, a night light, or a beautiful centerpiece. With its night light feature, it is great for bedtime in a kid's room to soothe them to sleep, while keeping them feeling safe and comfortable with the perfect amount of light. 


Diffuse in Your Car

A place that you may not expect to have a diffuser is in your car. Your car takes you everywhere and is home to pent up frustration, road rage, or exhaustion after a long day. All of these situations bring stress that can impact your driving and ultimately your safety. Thankfully, there are special blends like WOW’s Stress Melt Essential Oil Blend that have been specifically crafted to combat stress. 

There are essential oil diffusers that are small enough to plug into the cigarette lighter charger in your car’s dashboard. They are small enough not to get in the way, and provide a subtle fragrance so as to not overwhelm your senses while driving. The essential oils can provide you the right amount of stress relief without causing you to be incapacitated to drive. It will simply enhance your drive and your ability to focus on the road ahead of you. 

***

Essential oils have been loved for centuries thanks to its many health benefits. With modern technology, we can apply these in ways that have never been done before. Since essential oils are so affordable and accessible, it is no wonder that they are this mainstream and popular. The convenience and natural benefits of essential oils make them a must for your daily routine!


Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5694587/#:~:text=History%20of%20Plant%20Essential%20Oils,-EOs%20have%20been&text=Ancient%20Egyptians%20have%20used%20aromatic,perfume%20or%20medicine%20%5B7%5D.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566

https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/articles/how-essential-oils-are-made.html

https://www.aromaweb.com/articles/storing.asp#:~:text=To%20avoid%20deterioration%20and%20protect,oils%20in%20clear%20glass%20bottles

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