Are essential oils good for the skin?
The Truth About Essential Oils
The confusion over essential oils was beyond frustrating to me. Mixed messages claiming them to be pain relieving, anti inflammatory, tissue repairing, anti microbial, etc. and others saying they can cause neuro toxicity, allergic reactions, and sensitization. Can you relate?
So I took a course from a cosmetic chemist to find out once and for all the answers to my questions!
I learned that Essential Oils are not equal in terms of their chemical composition and atom structure. Oils differ bases on the plant they are sourced from! Some oils can be volatile with a small molecular weight and they will oxidize quickly. These oils can be irritating and sensitizing to the skin.
Essential oils are classified according to the functional family they sit in and the terpenes they are made up of. Once you understand how certain terpenes effect the skin, you can decipher which oils are safe.
What Essential Oils are safe for the skin?
Oils high in Monoterpenes, Phenols, Aldehydes, Ketones, Ethers, and Oxides are generally not recommended for use on skin. They are volatile and have a small molecular size. They also oxidize quickly when exposed to light or air. They can be irritating, sensitizing, and contain allergens. High quantities can cause neurotoxicity, especially in children.
Oils that are high in these terpenes are:
Pine, Rosemary, Blue Tansy, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Common Sage, Peppermint, Sweet Basil and the list goes on.
Terpene families that have a higher molecular weight and are less volatile include Sesquiterpenes, Monoterpenols, Sesquiterpenols, Aldehydes, and Esters. They are generally non irritating and non sensitizing.
EO’s high in these terpenes include:
Lavender, Geranium, Rose Otto, Patchouli, Carrot Seed Oil, Sandalwood.
However, some of these oils contain Linalool and Geraniol terpenes which can be potential allergens.
Even oils that are non sensitizing must be used within very specific limits in formulations. Usually less than 1%.
Why do I avoid Essential Oils in my products?
My goal is to create skincare with wholesome, soothing, and calming ingredients backed by science. Formulations gentle enough to use on your child’s tender skin. This led my to take a fragrance free approach.
Every single ingredient is carefully selected for its skin soothing and strengthening properties. I will always adapt my products when I learn that there is a better option to improve the health of your skin!
First pregnancies can be scary and the fear of birth paralyzing.
Instead of taking action, you’re overwhelmed. You can only hope that your healthcare provider will make the best decisions for you.
I wish I’d been better prepared but I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I felt like birth was just one of those miserable experiences women have to push through and endure.
Now that I’m in my third trimester expecting my second baby, I’m choosing to embrace birth with intention.
What I’m doing differently this time around:
Choosing a Natural Birth:
This felt scary at first, but I want a redemptive and peaceful birth. One where I have the autonomy to move my body into positions that support my baby’s efforts to enter the world.
Instead of letting fear take over, I’m absorbing as much information as possible. I’ve consulted with my midwife to craft my ideal birth plan. I’m also watching birth videos to get more comfortable with the experience.
I’m seeing a chiropractor to help me align my hips and back to help make the birth experience be more comfortable. I made sure to look for a chiropractor who is certified in the Webster technique to help ensure my baby is in optimal position for labor.
Pelvic Floor Specialist:
My pelvic floor specialist and I are preparing my body for birth. We’re doing exercises to learn how to relax certain muscles during delivery, strengthen my pelvic floor, and improve my postpartum recovery.
Postpartum Skin Care Products:
This time I’m not using the postpartum skin care products provided by the hospital. I didn’t know better the first time. I didn’t realize how many questionable ingredients were in those products that did nothing to support my healing process. Instead, I’ll be using my own products like the Boob Balm, Herbal Relief Body Mist, Lavender Soaking Salts, and Revitalize Postpartum Cream which I believe are the best postpartum skincare products. All of them can be found in my Postpartum Care Package.
I combine the stretching technique with the Baby Cheeks Barrier Oil to reduce my chances of tearing. The oils help the skin to become more elastic and the stretching helps the skin become more flexible. It also teaches you to release tension during intensity and allow your body to expand.
I’m incorporating strength workouts to reduce the aches and pains I felt during my first pregnancy. By working out at least twice a week I have almost completely eliminated back pain, sciatic pain, and abdominal pinching. I have been doing the Bodi Barre Prenatal workouts and absolutely love them!!
Pregnancy hormones like Relaxin cause the skin to be less firm and often lead to stretch marks and cellulite. I have been strengthening my skin’s elasticity throughout pregnancy with our postpartum belly cream: the Revitalize Postpartum Cream. It contains Lupin extract that produces type I Collagen and increases skin elasticity and firmness. I have no stretch marks. The cellulite on my legs that I had at the beginning of my pregnancy has all but disappeared.
Strengthening My Faith:
Even though I’m doing everything in my power to prepare my body and mind for birth, there is still a whisper of fear in me. I’m strengthening my connection with God to replace that fear with faith. Believing in the knowledge that I was built for birth and that I can trust in Him for strength.
Preparing and planning for birth has felt like an extra full-time job. But, I feel so excited.
I hope this empowers you to decide and take charge of your baby’s birth and motherhood journey.
I'd love to hear what you've been doing to prepare for your birth? Comment below!