If you are new to essential oils, you might be a bit confused when people talk about all the many uses of essential oils. After all, all you see is a little bottle with a tincture! How is this little thing used as an anesthetic? How do I make a lotion out of it? What kinds of proportions and considerations should I make when understanding how all of this works? Not to worry; the essential oil experts at Plant Therapy can help you learn the best ways to employ the essential oils of your choosing in order to get the very best out of your essential oils. Here are a few things that you need to know before diving into the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.
First, more often than not you cannot just drop a bit of an essential oil on your skin and call it a day. In fact, this can actually be quite dangerous. For example, cinnamon leaf oil must be diluted to 0.6% before use on the skin! So how do you use these essential oils? First, you can always work with an aromatherapy nebulizer or other kind of oil diffuser to employ the healing power of essential oils through aromatherapy. Second, you can work with what is known as a “carrier” oil or a driver oil that can help the primary essential oil absorb into the skin and penetrate more deeply for a fuller impact. The biggest thing you need to understand first is how the skin works.
There are three main layers to our skin: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis, most simply, is our waterproof layer that protects us from infection. The dermis is home to our hair follicles, sweat glands, and other items. The hypodermis is the fatty layer that lies underneath the skin and keeps us warm.
With this in mind, studies have shown that approximately 10% of an essential oil applied to the skin is absorbed fully into the blood stream, with variances depending on skin temperature, hydration, and other factors. So, how do you enhance these odds and make it easier for your body to absorb the essential oils you want to reap the benefits of? You must use enhancers! Enhancers, simply speaking, are substances that break down the skins barrier functions, making it easier for the essential oil to penetrate the skin and get into the blood stream faster. Think about medications like topical antihistamines. Without the cream as the carrier, your body would absorb significantly less of the antihistamine. The same goes for essential oils. When you use a water based cream or a lotion, the essential oil is given more flexibility in movement to reach and penetrate the skin to achieve the larger goals you have in mind. You could also make use of a fatty oil as the carrier, but this slows the penetration and controls it. For faster penetration you should use a water based cream or lotion.