Essential oils are so hot right now… and for good reason. The essence of incredible worldly plants is extracted and placed into a bottle for us to create holistic topical skincare.
Whether you are just getting started with essential oils or have an ever-expanding apothecary at home, this message will resonate with importance.
Essential Oils are powerful plant-based medicines. A few drops of essential oil could be the equivalent to hundreds or even thousands of pounds of the plant part it is derived from. Some essential oils come from rare trees or plant parts that take years to regrow and others require thousands of petals to produce a single drop, like the beautiful jasmine essential oil. These exotic and rare essential oils are often in high demand and the most expensive. As a result, there are a lot of synthetic and diluted essential oils on the market. You may think you have a pure vanilla essential oil or rose essential oil, but if you got a “deal” on it (or bought it in India like I once did), it may very well be synthetic. Fun fact: pure vanilla essential oil is thick, brown, sticky and heavy.
We blend our vanilla EO into coconut oil before adding it to the Vanilla Body Oil in an attempt to emulsify the product, and this is the reason why we recommend you shake your body oil before each use! If you have clear vanilla essential oil, it is probably synthetic, meaning it is created in a lab.
We are blessed to have a supplier of essential oils who has been in this industry for decades. He knows how to source premium organic essential oils through long term relationships with suppliers, and has a deep understanding of when crops are harvested to get the freshest product, and how to read chemical profiles of the essential oils before purchasing.
Our Luminous Serum is the facial serum we developed for acne-prone skin types. The essential oil blend is only a fraction of this final recipe. However, the essential oils we chose are worth boasting about.
Our Top Essential Oil Contenders For Acne Prone Skin
Turmeric Essential Oil
Botanical name: Curcuma longa
Found in: Luminous Serum
Our source: India
Plant Part: Rhizome (Rootstalk)
Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and rich in antioxidants making it a perfect choice for reducing free-radical damage on the skin, promoting skin cell repair, healing acne scars, and supporting healthy skin which inhibits the growth of acne.
History: Turmeric has an ancient history in India and has been used for centuries as both an antiseptic as well as an anti-inflammatory for aches and pains.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Botanical name: Boswellia carterii
Our source: Ethiopia
Plant Part: Resin
Benefits: Astringent, anti-septic and highly anti-inflammatory. We LOVE using Frankincense in many of our products!
History: In ancient Egypt, frankincense was used as an offering to the Gods.
Geranium Essential Oil
Botanical name: Pelargonium graveolens
Our source: Egypt
Plant Part: Herb
Benefits: Astringent, anti-bacterial and helpful in the treatment of eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions.
History: Geraniums were planted around the house to keep evil spirits at bay.
Palma Rosa Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cymbopogon martinii
Found in: Luminous Serum
Our source: India
Plant Part: Grass
Benefits: Anti-viral, anti-microbial, hydrating and stimulating for the growth of new cells.
History: The grass is commonly added to culinary dishes to kill bacteria and facilitate healthy digestion.
Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula officinalis
Our Source: France
Plant Part: Flowers
Benefits: Anti-bacterial, anti-itch, somewhat anti-histamine with soothing and repairing qualities for skin tissues with a beautiful floral scent.
History: The word "lavare" means "to wash". The Romans added lavender to their bath water. We recommend trying it! Not only is lavender an excellent herb for the skin, but it's famous for its calming and uplifting effects.
Ones that didn’t make the cut
Below are two common essential oils used in acne related skin care products and the reason why we chose not to use them in our recipe development.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Why: Tea tree oil is widely known and used for skin conditions like acne and it is also one of the most common essential oils for cleaning. This ingredient is extremely effective for its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral characteristics and could be harsh on raw skin tissue depending on the skin state. Often people working through acne skin conditions also deal with rosacea, redness, inflammation and early symptoms of eczema. We want to create a product that promotes gentle healing and regeneration, which is why we chose Turmeric instead.
Tea Tree Essential oil is derived from a magnificent tree that takes years to grow before harvest. There are other essential oils made from highly regenerative herbs such as rosemary, basil, and oregano that have similar benefits and are a more sustainable choice.
Lemon Essential Oil
Why: Again, lemon is a known ingredient in natural cleaning and bleaching. It is antibacterial and has a beautiful aroma. When used topically, lemon can lead to photosensitivity of the skin, making you light-sensitive for 12 hours after use or at risk for more extreme irritations. We recommend using lemon in an aromatherapy diffuser and in your DIY cleaning recipes but we suggest avoiding it for the skin.
Other things to note
Sourcing, sustainability, and proper dilution
While the rising popularity of essential oils brings many benefits, it does draw a few concerns regarding ethical sourcing, sustainability, and proper use.
When sourcing high-quality oils, it's important to consider the place of origin. What do you know about the growing and processing of the oils? Is it organic? What condition was the soil in where it was grown? The more we know about the quality, the better! If you know your supplier personally, you can feel safe in knowing they are sourcing the best quality oils from around the world.
There is a lot of information regarding the safety of essential oils online. Although some companies suggest taking some oils internally, we do not recommend that. Essential oils are incredibly potent plant compounds, and using them for the best efficacy does not mean you have to ingest them, in fact taking essential oils internally can lead to toxicity, and can do more harm than good.
For external use of oils for skin conditions, it is important to dilute the oils in a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut, olive, or sunflower oil. We like to use a 1:10 ratio of essential oils to a carrier oil for best results.
Genie in a Bottle - Catalogue
Connie and Alan Higly - Reference Guide for Essential Oils
A Simple Guide to Living the Wellness Lifestyle - The Essential Life