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July 20, 2016

The beauty benefits of essential oils

Most essential oils have cosmetic benefits in addition to their therapeutic properties.* They can be used in a variety of ways: in the bath, in massage oil or in beauty products. All you do is add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to some base oil or neutral cream. 

If not used properly, however, essential oils can do more harm than good. Since they are concentrated, it is best not to apply them directly to skin. Dilute them in a base first, following the recommended concentration. Just to be on the safe side, you might want to test it in the crook of your elbow, wait 24 hours and check for a reaction.


Five must-try essential oils

Here are some of the more popular and accessible essential oils and their cosmetic properties.  Just choose the one that best suits your needs and pick the scent you love most!

1- Ravintsara essential oil

Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) is a mild essential oil with benefits for all skin types. But don’t confuse it with ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), which has a different set of properties. Ravintsara is suitable for women who are more than 5 months pregnant and children 6 months and older. 

Beneficial properties for:

•    Skin infections (fungal infections, shingles, chickenpox, measles, psoriasis, etc.): in a mild oil
•    Tired skin: in vegetable oil
•    Problem skin (acne, scars, eczema, itchiness, etc.): in vegetable oil


2- Rosewood essential oil

Rosewood is a well-tolerated essential oil, making it a good option for topical application. It is suitable for use in children 3 months and over and by women who are more than 3 months pregnant. 

Beneficial properties for:

•    Acne and dermatosis: local application
•    Tired skin and wrinkle prevention: in cream 
•    Stretch marks (as a preventive treatment): applied to targeted area 

3- Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree essential oil is also recognized for being gentle on skin, even if it can have a slight drying effect. It can be used by women who are more than 5 months pregnant and children over the age of 3.

Beneficial properties for: 

•    Oily skin: in a day cream or mask 
•    Skin problems (acne, eczema, itchiness): in vegetable oil, lotion or cream, 2 to 3 times per day

4- Sweet orange essential oil

Sweet orange essential oil is a photosensitizer, which means it makes skin more reactive to sunlight. Avoid sun exposure after application. It is suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children starting at 12 months of age. Store it in a cool place and use within 3 years of its manufacturing date. 

Beneficial properties for:

•    Dull hair, oily hair and dandruff: mix with shampoo 
•    Tired, damaged skin: in cream, vegetable oil or a mask 
•    Oily skin (seborrhea): in cream, vegetable oil or a mask 
•    Blemishes (acne, furuncles, insect bites): apply a hint to the blemish 

5- Bergamot essential oil

Bergamot is another essential oil with a photosensitizing effect, so do not exposure your skin to the sun after use. It is suitable for children starting at age 6 and can be used with caution by women who are more than 5 months pregnant. 

Beneficial properties for:

•    Oily hair: add to shampoo
•    Dermatosis (psoriasis, eczema, etc.): diluted in vegetable oil 
•    Combination or oily skin: very diluted in cream 

How to store essential oils 

Most essential oils will last several years. Those extracted from citrus zest generally have a shelf life of 2 years. When you store them, make sure the cap is closed tightly, always keep the bottles upright and place them in a cool place away from sunlight.

Warning! 
Always keep essential oils out of the reach of children and pets!  

Safety precautions when using any essential oil 

•    If you plan on using essential oils for therapeutic purposes, be sure to consult an expert.
•    Some essential oils are toxic when ingested. They should not be taken internally without the advice of an expert. If ingestion occurs, contact the poison control centre at 1 800 463-5060. Keep the bottle of essential oil handy so you can answer the questions the nurse will ask you to evaluate the toxic risk and the need for treatment. 
•    Never apply essential oils to mucous membranes or to the eye contour area. In case of accidental contact, wash the affected area with a cotton ball heavily soaked in vegetable oil – not water!
•    Warning* :
           o    Not all essential oils are suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Seek medical attention before using. 
           o    Essential oils are not recommended for the following groups: 
                            People with a history of epilepsy or seizures 
                            People who have a known hypersensitivity to essential oils 
                            People with allergies or asthma 

Pharmacy services

If you have questions about essential oils or aromatherapy, ask your Uniprix beauty consultant. She can show you the selection of products available in-store or order the ones you need.

*This article is for information purposes only. Uniprix assumes no responsibility regarding the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes or any other purpose.

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