Essential oils are highly fragrant, volatile oils that are
extracted from the flowers, leaves and other parts of plants.
Essential oils generally go by the name of the plant from
which they were extracted. For instance, lavender essential
oil comes from lavender and sandalwood essential oil
comes from sandalwood. Essential oils have several
properties which make them extremely useful for hair and
skin care. For instance, grapefruit essential oil (scientific
name Citrus x paradisi) has been found to stimulate hair
growth, french lavender essential oil (scientific name
Lavandula angustifolia) has been found to help combat
dandruff, and tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
has been found to help clear up acne.
Essential oils are extremely potent. Having an essential oil
is like having a concentrated liquid form of that plant.
Because essential oils are so strong, you should be sure to
follow the following safety precautions before using them:
1)Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children. Some
essential oils can have harmful or fatal effects if ingested.
2)Don't apply any undiluted essential oil to your skin unless
you know that it is safe to do so. Some essential oils (such
as cloves and cinnamon) can be extremely irritating to the
3) If you are pregnant, or seeking to become so, check with
your doctor before experimenting with any essential oils.
4) Wait to go out in the sun if you plan to wear any product
that contains a citrus essential oil. The citrus oils
(bergamot, lemon, lime, sweet orange, mandarin,
tangerine, grapefruit, etc.) make the skin more sensitive to
ultraviolet light. They can cause rashes or a temporary
darkening of the skin, if they are on your skin and you are
exposed to strong sunlight.
5) If you are in a state of delicate health, consult your
physician before using essential oils.
If you follow these safety precautions, working with
essential oils will be a pleasant experience.
Copyright 2005, Ololade Franklin.
publishes Making Good Scents(TM), the newsletter of
handcrafted cosmetics, soaps and perfumes. For
information about Making Good Scents(TM) visit