Why does the word “essential” sound so lovely when the effects of the very word are detrimental when applied topically to the skin. Essentials, Essentials, I promise you does not have your skin’s best interest at heart. Known as volatile plant oils, essentials, meaning essence are natural oils extracted from plants and are used primarily as fragrant additives in topical personal care products. Further, because chemist may blend essential oils with alcohol, phenols, and other acids upon extraction, their fragrant compounds are proven to cause various forms of irritation including redness and sensitivity.
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, the use of topical essential oils has been known to cause sensitivity, phototoxicity, and other forms of dermal irritation. Likewise, both Ruth Winter and the National Cancer Institute agree that essential oils may induce skin redness when in contact with skin over long periods of time as well as sun sensitivity. Further, to emphasize the dangers of volatile plant oils, award-winning author Ruth Winter goes on to state that a teaspoon may cause serious illness in adults. Similarly, less than an ounce may cause death to a child.
Further, because many of us are pleased with our sense of smell, we continue to overlook and or ignore the hidden and proven dangers of topical essential oils. That is until we’re in our late 30s and wrinkles that were once invisible are now ever present on the skin, due to delayed, adverse side-effects of continuously applying topical essential oils. In other words, a reaction may not be seen immediately after use but continues to form beneath the skin. Initially, unseen with the naked eye, essential oils are proven to break down healthy collagen, destroy skin cells, and reduce the skin’s natural ability to heal when applied topically. The process of the prior three over time begins to appear on the skin’s top layer in turn causing us to look older than we are.
So why does the growth of these "senseless" oils continue to increase? Well, some may say it’s the smell but research and a growing beauty market, along with misleading information, are the primary reasons for the growth and development of essential oils. However, I cannot stress enough that you are the owner of your skin and you're the only person that can make the best judgment when making purchases.
Keep in mind, as I previously stated, essentials, essentials, I promise you does not have your skin's best interest at heart is not just a statement, it's the truth. Therefore, take the time to review the products you are currently using and the products that you plan to purchase. Keep in mind the negative consequences of using essential oils topically and steer clear of them. To help you get started, I've listed the most common essentials found in skincare products today.
Below is a list of common essential oils found in skincare today:
- Orange peel
- Peppermint & Spearmint
- Rose oil
- Ylang ylang
References: National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. (2014). Exploring aromatherapy. Retrieved from https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/. Winter, R. (2009). A consumer's dictionary of cosmetic ingredients (7th ed.). New York, NY: Three Rivers Press. National Cancer Institute. (2014). Aromatherapy and essential oils. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/aromatherapy/patient/page2.
Cheers to healthy and happy skin!
K.D. Gates \ celsaderm.com
P.S. Lotion, Cream, Gel, Serum or Liquid? Which one should you use? Find out here!