Long used in Chinese and Indian medicine, essential oils are experiencing a new resurgence of interest today. Their extraordinary anti-inflammatory, soothing, and anti-bacterial properties can be used for medicinal purposes and wellness — and even for beauty! Often misunderstood, essential oils have an impressive range of benefits, which can make it hard to know where to start. We’ll help you figure it out.
What is an essential oil?
Let’s start at the beginning: an essential oil is a concentrated aromatic extract that comes from the parts of a plant – flowering tops, petals, rootstock, branches, etc. It is obtained by steam distillation, which captures the aromatic molecules of the plant. Therefore, it is a perfectly pure product that should be used sparingly, for it is naturally powerful and packed with active ingredients.
To produce 1 liter of essential oil, you need 1 kg of cloves, 50 kg of lavandin, or 150 kg of lavender! Essential oils will have different properties depending on the plant, or even on which part of the plant, they come from.
What’s the difference between essential oils, plant oils, and floral water?
Essential oil differs from other types of plant extracts such as floral water (also called hydrolat) because of its concentration. Floral water comes from water that was used to distill essential oil. It contains less than 5% of aromatic molecules compared to essential oil, which is very powerful and concentrated at 100%. So, floral water is gentler than essential oil.
In fact, “essential oil” is a deceptive term. It is actually a concentrate of volatile substances, while plant oil is a true oil. It is produced by cold pressing using seeds, pulp, dried fruit, or flowers. Unlike plant oil and floral water, which have no particular contraindications, essential oils should be applied cautiously, respecting suggested dosages and use, in order to avoid risks.
Why use essential oils to take care of your skin?
We hear more about using essential oils to cure illnesses than to prevent wrinkles, and yet they have real benefits for the skin! With a powerful quantity of bioactive components, essential oils can target the skin’s needs. Essential oils cross the cutaneous barrier and are deeply absorbed, allowing active ingredients to penetrate and acting on the entire organism. This explains their use in the beauty field. Moreover, essential oils contain aromatic molecules, giving them a natural scent and thus avoiding any synthetic fragrance.
Our favorite essential oils for beauty right now
Immortelle essential oil
With anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, immortelle essential oil captures free radicals. A true booster of skin microcirculation, it is recognized to improve skin condition. Immortelle is a common flower of the Mediterranean and its name is said to come from its exceptional longevity.
Huile de Beauté Herbier contains the right dose of immortelle essential oil, from plants organically grown in the Drôme region of France, to offer your skin just what it needs. It strengthens urban skin’s immune defenses while improving skin texture. This infused oil with a dry, rich texture is produced without synthetic fragrance and leaves an intense, radiant scent of immortelle essential oil.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is known to soothe the skin and the mind. Its comforting fragrance is traditionally used to improve the quality of sleep and reduce anxiety. Containing anti-inflammatory properties and helping to rebalance the nervous system, lavender essential oil is also restorative and renewing, promoting the detoxification of the skin.
Give your skin a detox treatment with Crème Universelle Visage Herbier with organic lavender essential oil from the Vaucluse region of France. Its formula is appropriate for all skin types and soothes and hydrates the skin. Your complexion is luminous and your skin recovers its softness and comfort. Its natural floral fragrance enchants and relaxes the mind.
Thyme essential oil
Known for its stimulating and reinvigorating properties, thyme essential oil renews the skin and sharpens the mind. It tones the skin while improving blood circulation and firmness. Huile Corps Revitalisante Herbier with organic thyme essential oil from the Aveyron region of France is deeply detoxifying and revitalizing. Its highly nourishing formula leaves the skin soft and beautiful, while the mind is deeply relaxed. This oil has a rich texture that is perfect for massage and provides an experience of intense relaxation, enveloping the skin in the gentle citrus notes of thyme essential oil.
Rosemary essential oil
With draining properties, rosemary essential oil improves skin’s comfort and elasticity. Its composition allows for a transdermal effect, promoting the skin’s absorption of other active ingredients. Rosemary is traditionally used for physical and intellectual fatigue. Deeply relax your skin and muscles with Barre de Massage Nourrissante Visage et Corps Herbier with organic rosemary essential oil from Corsica. Its refreshing and draining effect provides an experience of absolute well-being. Naturally scented with the relaxing, fresh notes of rosemary essential oil, this massage bar melts upon contact with the skin.
These four essential oils help boost the skin’s defense system to eliminate toxins from the urban environment and other debris that accumulates on the skin, while providing a deep sense of well-being for the mind and the body.