In Essence what are Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are compounds extracted from the volatile, aromatic oils produced by plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavour, or “essence.” Unique aromatic compounds give each Essential Oil its characteristic “essence”.
Plants produce essential oils for a variety of reasons, sometimes as part of their defence strategy against micro-organisms or as part their reproductive process to attract pollinators or seed dispersers.
They contain the life force of the plant, which makes them extremely beneficial and powerful!
People have extracted essential oils from plants for centuries and found a multitude of successful applications for them: food, medicine, skincare and cosmetics, religious sacraments… the list goes on!
These oils are found either in the leaves (e.g., eucalyptus), berries (juniper), grasses (palmarosa), petals (rose), roots (angelica), rind (orange), resins (frankincense) or wood (cedar).
Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they can be combined with a carrier oil to create a product that’s ready for use in various other ways such as, for us at Dream Cream, skincare products.
With their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and soothing properties, essential oils can very effectively treat and benefit a variety of skin care concerns. While research into the efficacy of essential oils is ongoing, advocates say these oils can effectively treat dry, oily, and acne-prone skin, as well as slow skin aging and decline ageing skin.
The way these oils are made is important, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils. Essential oils are extremely complex and powerful and must be formulated professionally.
At Dream Cream we use only Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils* (true essential oils) mixed with specially selected carrier oils, butters, waxes etc., to produce safe and natural skincare products. We use Essential Oils in our skincare products for their natural fragrance as well as their skin beneficial and treatment properties.
* What is the Difference between Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil and Cosmetic Grade Oil?
Cosmetic grade oils are blended using natural essential oils, natural isolates and/or nature identical compounds, together to create an oil which has a fragrance almost identical to the pure essential oil.
They provide a more economical alternative to the more expensive oils, and also offer a more sustainable option for endangered oils like Rosewood. Cosmetic oils are used for fragrance purposes only and are not considered therapeutic.
How does a plant have therapeutic properties?
A typical essential oil contains more than a hundred different chemical compounds, each of which has a specific quality, for example, antiseptic. In fact, most compounds in essential oils have antiseptic properties. Other compounds may be antifungal, antiviral, or decongestant – to name but a few.
The distinctive smell and relaxing properties of Lavender, for example, come from the constituents of the essential oil contained in Lavender’s flowers.
How are essential oils extracted out of a plant?
Essential oils are obtained by putting the plant material through a specific extraction process. Depending on the plant, these include steam distillation, hydro-distillation, cold-pressing or Co2 extraction.