A Quick Guide to Eco-Friendly Essential Oils

What exactly are essential oils?

Essential oils are essentially compounds of plant origin. The oils capture the smell and flavor of the plant, or its “essence”. Each essential oil has a distinct aroma due to the presence of unique aromatic compounds.

The oils themselves are highly concentrated volatile plant extracts obtained by distillation from a natural raw material of plant origin. There are several methods of distilling essential oils, including steam distillation, cold pressing, and expeller pressing.

Which distillation method to choose depends on the plant species and the material (which part of the plant). Generally, the most aromatic part of the plant is used; for example, rose oil comes from rose petals, while citrus oils come from the bark.

Pictured: essential oil. Photo credit: Unsplash.

How are essential oils made?

The majority of pure essential oils are extracted from plants using steam distillation.

That’s how it’s done. First, the freshly harvested plants are suspended over boiling water and the steam extracts the oils from the plant. Then the vapor rises and is captured in a vessel before being pushed along a pipe. After the flux cools rapidly, it condenses back to water again. And because essential oils and water don’t mix, the two separate and the essential oil is collected.

Did you know ? The remaining water is a by-product of this distillation. Some plants contain water-soluble aromatic compounds that remain in the water that remains after distillation. Aromatherapists treasure these scented waters, which they call hydrosols (or toners). Hydrosols are mainly used in cosmetics to moisturize the skin in aromatherapy.

What are the benefits of essential oils?

These oils are known to medical propertiessuch as relieve muscle pain and pain, improvement blood flowand relieve sinus congestion. Also they have a positive effect on the skin; the ability of oil molecules to penetrate the deep layers of the skin promotes cell renewal, improves blood circulation and helps in the treatment of acne, sensitivity and eczema.

Moreover, they can also be used in household cleaning products also for general well-being as part of emotional support and fragrance.

Some of the most popular, such as Lavender and Sweet Orange, span multiple categories and can be used effectively in a variety of applications more than you might imagine.

Although essential oils have many amazing uses, if you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor before using them.

Pictured: Lip treatment with essential oil. Photo credit: Elsa Olofsson.

So why sustainable essential oils?

Since some essential oils continue to be produced unsustainably from dwindling resources, such as Indian sandalwood, agarwood, and rosewood, as well as frankincense and myrrh

These are in high demand but are collected from limited resources in areas of the world prone to severe drought conditions. These five high-value essential oils, to be precise, are often the target of poaching and illegal trade.

Much of the farming required to produce essential oils takes place in less developed countries where labor standards are not always strictly enforced. To ensure that workers’ rights are protected and respected, we must all look for Fairtrade or choose a brand that sources direct.

Moreover, with the increase in demand, the sustainability of the oils is essential for the biodiversity of our already threatened planet.

Aromatic plants everywhere contain 0.005 to 10% essential oil, which implies that a significant amount of plant material (usually 1 to 2%) is used to produce essential oils. This explains the disparity in the prices of essential oils per plant.

The essential oil industry relies primarily on natural resources, which has raised concerns about sustainable sourcing as well as workers’ rights, climatic conditions, pestilence, disease and civil unrest; however, if sustainably sourced, essential oils are highly concentrated and, when used correctly, can be both environmentally friendly and economical.

How to find eco-essential oils?

Now the big question: where exactly can we find sustainable oils? The answer is simply here on Impakter Eco Marketplace. With a variety of eco-friendly products and a 10% discount on verified sustainable European brands, covering a wide range of needs such as ethical beauty products, skin care and more.

Jojoba Essential Oil
Pictured: jojoba essential oil. Photo credit: Impakter Eco.

Here are some of our favorites

IIf you are looking for essential oils to keep your skin young and fresh. Try what we recommended, these following products are all certified by a well-known and reputable organization in Europe that ensures that every purchase not only benefits you, but also creates a beneficial impact on the people who produce them and supports transparency for a better world.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com— Featured photo: Essential oils. Photo credits: Christin Hume.

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