Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What should we consider when buying essential oils?

Are you buying fragrance oil or essential oils? You may know how to choose a good apple but you may not know how to choose an essential oil. You bought an essential oil for only 5 bucks. Could it be real?

Think about why you want to buy essential oils. You want to use it for mixing your facial mask? Aromatherapy purposes ? Alternatives to essential oils such as Hydrosols, Absolutes and Fragrance oils may achieve the needs you want.

For example, Hydrosols(eg: rose water) is essential oil diluted with water. It is always used in the case where dilution is not a problem such as for aromatherapy purposes.

Absolutes are generally highly concentrated essential oils which are extracted with solvents, usually from flowers for which steam distillation is impractical. It can be diluted for the same usage. Using Absolutes is the same as essential oils.

Fragrance oils also known as floral water are usually synthetic compounds which have an aroma similar to essential oils. They are cheaper than essential oils, but are not suitable for therapeutic or culinary uses. Use for soap making, oil burner etc.

These are some of the things that we should take note when buying essential oils:
1) Essential oils are always kept in dark or stainless steel and it should not be put near the sunlight or heat.
2) Beware of essential oils kept in clear glass or plastic.
3) If your essential oils indicate " Do not use neet", "Do not use internally", "Do not use undiluted". Please do not use it for massaging as that means they were petrochemically produced. It can only be used for fragrance purposes.
4)Lower price essential oil mean the oil is a second or third distillation of the plant material, in which case it will have far less therapeutic value.

How to test the purity of your essential oil?
Put a few sample drops of your oils on a blotting paper.Pure essential oils will not leave any residue once they have evaporated. Petroleum solvents will. If it does not leave any residue after it dry up, that means your essential oil is very pure.

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