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Extracts vs. Essential Oils for Skin Care

    If you’ve been following the latest beauty trends, you’ve probably heard of the benefits of using essential oils and extracts as a remedy for a variety of issues, from anxiety relief to hair loss prevention. People have been raving about the benefits of adding them to their skincare regimen, guaranteeing their ability to reduce acne, improve the look of their skin, and better its overall health. It seems that there is little that these can’t do, but most of us aren’t educated on their uses and properties. We are often left wondering what they are, the difference between the two and, most importantly, if they live up to the hype.


    Essential oils have been around for many years, particularly for their medicinal properties and aromatherapy. They are concentrated products that carry a stronger aroma because they are distilled in a complex process used to extract oil from plant material (the stem, flower or leaves) to produce a more potent product. This process can be completed several ways, but the most common tend to be through a distillation process that requires special equipment to steam and extract the oil under pressure. Essential oils are also obtained by soaking and cold pressing parts of the plant, as it is commonly done with citrus oils. This results in a product in its purest form.

    Essential oils are recommended for the properties specific to the plant. For example, lavender is often used as an analgesic. Essential oils generally have to be mixed with other carrier oils before they are suitable to be placed on the skin. Many essential oils contain beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants. However, one must be careful to do appropriate research to determine what oil will work for you, where it can be placed and if it is safe to use on skin.


    An extract is a more diluted product created in a process that is less complicated than that of essential oils. It is generally acquired by soaking certain parts of a plant for a prolonged period of time to extract the fragrance or flavor. It is much more commonly used in foods, like the use of vanilla extract in baking, for example. Extracts are also used in aromatherapy and are also said to carry medicinal properties.

    Both essential oils and extracts have shown certain skincare benefits, and if diluted and mixed appropriately, they can change the look and feel of your skin for the better. Below are examples of some excellent essential oils you’ll definitely want to try.


    When it comes to benefits in essential oils, rosemary is one of the reigning queens. Used to treat everything from colds to hair growth, its most impressive benefit comes from what it can do for your skin. Often used to protect against the sun and UV damage, rosemary contains phytonutrients or chemicals found in plants that help protect them against the sun. It is commonly used in creams for its ability to firm up the skin, to reduce age spots and for its anti-inflammatory properties (making it a great addition if you suffer from inflammation from acne). Rosemary contains a high amount of antioxidants and is a natural disinfectant. You can use it to fight bacteria and keep your skin clean and free of blemishes. Why wouldn’t you want this on your skin?


    Peppermint oil is an incredibly soothing product with its soft cooling properties. It is useful in fighting breakouts, and reducing inflammation caused by acne. Like rosemary, it stops bacteria from growing on your skin, but peppermint is also often used to help balance and control the skins natural oils. It prevents future breakouts and leaves you with a healthy and radiant glow.


    Witch hazel is great to have around for those days that your skin is feeling irritated. Applying witch hazel helps heal insect bites, and infections. Extracted from a plant native to parts of Asia and North America, it contains tannin or a natural astringent that helps reduce the oil from your skin. It is a very natural, simple remedy for dull and lifeless skin and can be used as a moisturizer to improve its elasticity and durability. Witch Hazel has been a natural remedy for hundreds of years, I think it’s about time we try it out.


    Green Tea Extract has been found to fight against aging. It contains micronutrients called polyphenols that help to protect your skin from damage. It soothes, shrink’s pores, reduces access oils and may help eliminate under eye circles. Gently improving your complexion, it has been shown to reduce acne and blackheads and has even been used to help treat more serious skin disorders, like psoriasis.

    Extracts and essential oils are a great addition to your daily skincare routine. Before you jump on the bandwagon, it is necessary to be aware of what you are putting on your skin. So always make sure to consult an expert, that you are using high-quality products and that you’ve made sure oils are adequately diluted and safe to use. Remember, essential oils tend to be much harsher if not properly mixed with other oils. To make sure you are getting the best product, consider creating a custom skin cream at Organation, a company that will put together a safe and unique product with the ingredients that will fit your needs.