Essential Oils in Handmade Soap
Essential oils are derived from various plants and nearly anything that can carry a scent. There are several ways to get the oils but we prefer steam distillation. Plants can also be crushed into a fatty substance, allowing the scent to attach to the fat. The less processing that has to be done to produce the oils, the more natural and pure the oil will be. Using less processing also reduces energy used reducing your carbon footprint.
Steam distillation is a simple process of applying steam to the plant. The oil attaches to the steam, and once the steam is cooled you have the oil.
We use several different oils in the making of Pure Purrfections Soaps. Although essential oils are natural, sensitivities can still arise. Certain oils are not recommended for use by pregnant women, or can cause sensitivity to sunlight.
Pure Purrfections has listed all of the essential oils used in our soaps on our site (coming soon). Anyone unfamiliar with oils should always read over the essential oils to see if a particular soap will work for you.
Patchouli Essential Oil
(INCI: Pogostemon cablin) a fixative is a substance that combines well with the other ingredients in a blend; slowing down the evaporation of the fragrance and making it last longer when applied as a personal essence. As the oil ages it mellows considerably, becoming sweeter and more balsamic. In aromatherapy patchouli is often used as a relaxant. The warmth and depth of its aroma make it comforting and relaxing. Patchouli's relaxing attributes, coupled with its rich and exotic nature, have led to its inclusion in sensual and amorous blends. An aromatherapy blend inspired by the traditional Chinese use can evoke a feeling of gentle clarity and inspire the harmonious flow of emotional energy. It uses oils with balancing and mildly energizing aromas.
Peppermint Essential Oil
(INCI: Mentha Piperita Oil) Flash point: 151°F. OK to ship via air or ocean. Peppermint, when applied topically, has a soothing and cooling effect on skin irritations caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak. Peppermint oil is used in Aromatherapy for stimulating the mind, which in turn enhances the focus. It is known for its anesthetic, antispasmodic and antiseptic therapeutic properties.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
(INCI: Melaleuca Alternifolia) Commonly used as a very effective first aid remedy and against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and skin spots etc. Tea tree oil is effective against nail fungus, ringworm, athlete's foot, dandruff, acne, blackheads and many types of infestations including lice, mites, scabies and mosquitoes etc (For humans and animals alike). Tea tree oil is not just soothing and disinfecting, it is capable of penetrating into the lower skin layers with its anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, analgesic (pain-killing) and cicatrizant (wound-healing) qualities.
Vitamin E Essential Oil
(INCI: tocopherols & tocotrienols). Vitamin E can act as a preservative in organic products. Vitamin E helps to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin and also provides the skin collagen, which assists with wrinkles and other signs of aging. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant, capable of reducing the harmful types of oxygen molecules (free radicals) in the body.
Back to Basics
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon Essential oil is peppery, earthy, spicy, bright and slightly woodsy. The essential oil has a somewhat different scent than”fragrance” oil. Cinnamon oil is not commonly used on skin; especially sensitive areas (and we don’t have any in our soaps) but we use this in our home in potpourris in blends with other oils. Cinnamon oil has been suggested for use as a digestive stimulant and to improve circulation. Cinnamon oil can be used as a preservative in oil blends.
Lavender Essential Oil
(INCI: Lavandula Angustifolia) Flash point: 156F Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues.
Neem Seed Essential Oil
(INCI-Azadirachta Indica Seed Oil) Neem seed oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of Neem, an evergreen tree. The oil has moisturizing and regenerative properties, contains Vitamin E, and has essential fatty acids. It is used to treat bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, boost the immune system, and for many specific health problems. It is also used to deter mosquitoes, fleas, flies, ticks, mites, and lice. Among other conditions, Neem Oil has been historically used to treat the following: acne, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, ringworm, chicken pox, lice, dandruff, burns, wounds, athlete’s foot, boils, ulcers, warts, herpes, cold sores, parasites, bed sores, rashes, gangrene, hives. Extracts from neem have shown incredible success with not only battling fungus problems but also many forms of root rot on plants.