Essential oils or fragrance oils? Which to choose?

Essential oils or fragrance oils? Which to choose?
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Nowadays, aromatherapy and natural medicine are in vogue, which can support drug treatment of many diseases. You can buy essential oils in herbal stores, but they differ significantly in their price, compared to fragrance oils. Check if it is worth overpaying and which product to choose: essential oil or fragrance oil?

Essential oils vs. fragrance oils

An essential oil is mistakenly called an oil that has a specific scent. This is a big mistake. Essential oils are natural fragrances that are obtained by distillation from different parts of plants. They are contained in plants, giving them a unique scent and taste. They affect our senses, but also have a positive impact on our body. In natural processes, we obtain them from roots, flowers or leaves, as in the case of rosemary. Coniferous trees – cider, pine, among others – are very rich in essential oils. Today, essential oils are produced from over 200 types of plants.

Essential oils are completely natural and can have a positive effect on our body. Unlike fragrance oils, they are organic and have no additional ingredients. Fragrance oils can be a mixture of essential oils and synthetic substances artificially derived in a lab. They are not all-natural and in some cases can irritate the skin. They are often added to cleansers or cosmetics. Do not use them for aromatherapy as they can cause shortness of breath or allergies.

Only natural essential oils from known and reliable sources are suitable for aromatherapy. You can buy such, among others, in health food stores or from manufacturers. Essential oils differ significantly in price from fragrance oils. The cost of 100 ml of natural essential oil can be up to 100 zł. Essential oil of the same capacity is the cost of 20-30 zł.

What should you remember when buying essential oils?

Before buying an essential oil should be checked:

  • whether it has a short composition,
  • whether it has the appropriate certificate,
  • from which sources it comes,
  • whether it does not contain additional artificial substances and fillers,
  • what is its intended use.

Do not use essential oils without proper professional assistance. Use fragrance oils for external use only. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using a particular fragrance oil.

Some medical conditions such as bronchial asthma, hay fever, breathing problem, frequent migraine headaches prevent the use of aromatherapy. Before you start using oils for fireplaces, consult your doctor about whether this therapy is suitable for you.

Do not apply essential oils in undiluted form directly to the skin. Tea tree oil and lavender oil are exceptions. Before you apply them, do an allergy test – spread the oil on a small part of your skin and wait about 10 minutes. If there is no inflammation in this area, the skin is not red and itchy, it is a sign that you can use the oil on a larger part of the body.

If you want to use essential or fragrance oil directly on the skin, check whether it has an entry in the Register of Cosmetic Products of the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Lodz. Such cosmetics or fragrance oils have an application-use assessment, which guarantees the safety of the product.

How to use essential oils?

Natural essential oils can be used for:

  • inhalation,
  • baths and massage,
  • finnish sauna,
  • home-made cosmetics,
  • air humidifiers,
  • scented fireplaces,
  • aroma diffusers.

Certified fragrance oils will be suitable for home-made cosmetics, scented fireplaces, air diffusers and air humidifiers. They are not recommended for massage, sauna, bathing or aromatherapy.

Effects of essential oils

Each essential oil has its own unique effect. They can be used for health-promoting purposes, such as being suitable as a complement to inhalation or aromatherapy. Here are the effects of some of them:

  • tea tree oil – is suitable for inhalation and massage, dedicated to people suffering from cold or flu, has a calming and antiviral effect;
  • lavender oil – fights insomnia and is suitable for neurosis or people who are overtired; you can use it in baths – it is perfect for relieving muscle and joint pains, it also fights skin inflammations, it is anti-fungal and antibacterial
  • rose oil – quite rare, with a saturated scent, used in perfumes and eau de toilette, great for irritated skin, burns and wounds, can be used in the bath
  • eucalyptus oil – dedicated for aromatherapy and air humidifiers, especially for people who have breathing problems and asthma, relieves inflammation of the respiratory system, ideal for bronchitis and lung inhalation, is intense, so you should use it in small amounts.

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