Essential Oils vs. Fragrance – what you absolutely need to know!

 

We all like to smell good, and most of us need a little extra help in this department. Too much of a good scent can actually be doing more damage than it’s worth, especially if you are loading it on every day with your shampoo, conditioner, after shave, perfume, hairspray….

 

Many of us are unaware of the hidden toxins in personal care products. Manufacturers use “fragrance” to sneak in all sorts of harmful ingredients, claiming the formula is “proprietary”.  One of the nastiest of these is phthalates – DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP, which helps the fragrance bind to the product and also extends the life of the fragrance. There are scientific studies linking these series of chemicals to abnormal sexual development in fetuses and other reproductive damage. The EPA has listed them as “probable carcinogens” and Europe initially banned them in 1999. These and other hidden chemicals in fragrance can cause a host of ailments including skin sensitivities, organ toxicity, and many bioaccumulate in our fat cells.

 

Plant essences offer a healthier way to get wonderful smells happening in your hair and skin products. Essential oils are the life blood of plants. If a plant is damaged, the essential oils will travel to affected area and seal it off, just as our blood creates a scab over a cut. These oils have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, allowing the plant to stave off infection and heal itself, just as blood begins the healing process in humans.

 

Essential oils also have aromatherapeutic benefits, calming properties that positively affect the centres of the brain that control mood and stress. These chemical compounds are called “sesquiterpenes” and they can be supportive to the immune system in protecting us from harmful microbes, acting as antioxidants, and assisting in cellular repair. Furthermore, there is some evidence that these constituents are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and assist with neurological health.   Around the time of Cleopatra, the Egyptians brought essential oils to a whole new level, crafting many uses for them from medicinal for healing, beauty for cosmetics and religious ceremonies which included mummification.

 

There are many ways to extract these powerful oils from plants, the most common being steam distillation, maceration and the use of solvents. It can take 2000 kilos of rose petals to produce 1 litre of essential oil, thus their costly nature. As the natural, organic product industry grows (54 billion US by 2027), so will the business of producing essential oils, which are becoming a more common sight in ingredient profiles. Because of their strength and intensity, these oils must always be diluted before use. Pregnant women should avoid using them and children and the elderly must use them with caution.

 

The WORLD Hair and Skin line has absolutely no fragrance, but some of the products are scented with essential oils.  The CLEAN Hair and Skin Cleanser, PROTECT Hair and Skin Moisturizer, REPAIR Deep Conditioner for Hair and the BUZZ Hair and Body Pomade contain no scent, so we created two gender-neutral essential oils blends, SEXY and YUM, that can be added to these products, just in case anyone feels the urge!   SEXY, the yin Blend, is floral and earthy, inspires confidence and calmness, and is perfect in cooler months to quiet and soothe hair and skin.  YUM, our universally loved citrus and mint Blend, is described by customers as euphoric. This yang Blend works well in spring and summer, when we need to open, deep clean and activate hair and skin. The WORLD BLENDS are the purest form of plant essences, they are therapeutic grade and will enhance the effectiveness of non-scented products in the WORLD line.

 

You can add YUM or SEXY directly to the CLEAN, PROTECT, REPAIR or BUZZ using the number of drops recommended on the label.  You may also add a drop or two to the product in your hand before applying to your hair or skin, but make sure to avoid contact with eyes and if you have a skin condition, check with your doctor before using.

 

For deep hair conditioning treatments, pick a blend of your choice, add to your REPAIR deep conditioner, heat for 20 minutes, and your hair and scalp will be rejuvenated.

 

To scent your BUZZ pomade, add a few pin pricks to the pomade and the essential oils will permeate nicely.

Don’t forget, you can add a few drops of YUM or SEXY to your aromatherapy burners and relax with your favourite book!

 

Finally, make sure to read ingredient labels carefully as some essential oils do include fragrance and chemicals that you want to avoid.  Embrace them, smell better and feel great about taking another step in removing toxins from your life!