Here’s the skinny…just because it’s natural, or all-natural, contains natural ingredients, or any other combination of naturalness doesn’t mean it can be used for anything and everything.
Nature is powerful. Caution needs to be used. Education and research is essential.
The list below provides basic information about a handful of essential oils, carrier oils, and herbs and WHY they are used in natural skin care, green beauty, and aromatherapy products.
This is by NO means an exhaustive list, but are the most commonly used ingredients for natural personal care products.
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The following list is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
What is an Essential Oil?
An essential oil is a liquid that is extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other plant elements by steam distillation or cold pressing. Aside from smelling lovely, essential oils are said to provide psychological and physical therapeutic benefits by either applying to the skin (diluted) or through inhalation. Essential oils are so strong and concentrated that the majority of our recipes contain a maximum of the 1% – 2% recommended amount.
What is a Carrier Oil?
A carrier oil is a base, usually a vegetable oil, that is used to dilute essential oils and they carry the EO into the skin (aptly named, yeah?). Essential oils are added to a carrier oil (or a blend of several carrier oils) to dilute the essential oils before being applied to the skin. You should never apply essential oils ‘neat’ (without diluting first). Carrier oils also have the added bonus of providing extra vitamins, moisture, and protection to your skin. Carrier oils plus natural butters and waxes (depending on the recipe) make up the other 98% – 99% of our recipes at Treesnail Natural Essentials.
Commonly Used Natural Ingredients & Essential Oils:
What they are and What they do
ANISE, STAR (ILLICIUM VERUM)
Star Anise Essential Oil is made from steam distilled seeds of Star Anise. Smells similar to black licorice, said to help digestion, bronchitis, and muscle aches.
APRICOT KERNEL OIL (PRUNUS ARMENIACA)
Apricot Kernel Oil is a carrier oil made from the seeds of apricots. A light oil that provides moisture to sensitive skin; spreads easily and quickly absorbed (great for babies and mature skin).
ARGAN OIL (ARGANIA SPINOSA)
Argan Oil is a rare oil pressed from the fruit kernels of the Moroccan argan tree. Argan oil is light and easily absorbed into the skin, making it a crucial ingredient in moisturizing skin and hair care products.
ARNICA (ARNICA MONTANA)
Arnica is an herb from the yellow flower heads of Arnica (in the sunflower family). Said to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation and bruising (poisonous if consumed internally, but great when applied topically!).
Warming Muscle Balm with Arnica
An essential arnica-infused lotion bar to have on hand, this SUPER moisturizing recipe is full of warming ingredients that soothe over-worked muscles, menstrual cramps, and surface bruises.
Basil Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and flowers/buds of a basil plant. Smells sweet and herbaceous, often used to help energize and stay focused. Antibacterial, anti-viral.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees. Locks in moisture and protects skin; said to aid in natural healing and cell development (added bonus: it’s high melting point keeps your lip balms from melting in the car).
Bergamot Essential Oil is most commonly cold pressed from the peel of a bergamot (a citrus fruit). Smells fresh and citrusy with a slight floral note. Said to be uplifting and is known to help treat acne.
Black Pepper Essential Oil is made from steam distilled peppercorns. Smells peppery, yet also slightly fresh and floral. Most commonly used to improve circulation and increase alertness.
Calendula is an herb made from dried petals of (nonornamental) marigold flowers. Soak calendula in various oils for weeks at a time to make a vitamin-rich oil infusion. This infused oil can then be used in products to reduce inflammation and minor skin abrasions.
Lanolin-Free Organic Nursing Balm
Free of lanolin and essential oils, this herbal-infused nursing balm will help to soothe tender skin during the first days of breastfeeding and onward.
CAMPHOR (CINNAMOMUM CAMPHORA)
Camphor Essential Oil is made from steam distilled wood from the camphor tree. Known to be a beneficial disinfectant and insecticide, as well as relieving menstrual cramps and itchiness due to insect bites.
Cardamom Essential Oil is made from steam distilled cardamom seeds. Smells spicy yet sweet at the same time. A rich scent that is uplifting and may help to combat stress, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Carrot Seed Essential Oil is made from steam distilled carrot seeds. A strong smelling oil that is generally blended with other essential and carrier oils which helps to level out the overpowering scent. Used in skin care recipes to nurture mature skin and increase water retention.
Castor Oil is a vegetable oil made from the seeds of the castor oil plant. A natural preservative, lubricant, and has emollient properties (adds that nice ‘slip’ to products so they glide onto skin easily).
Cedarwood Essential Oil is made from steam distilled cedarwood. A calming scent that smells woody and sweet. Most commonly used for dandruff, stress, and as a complement to masculine blends.
Sweet Dreams Aromatherapy Gift Set
An all-natural gift set that includes one aromatherapy roller and one organic shea butter lip balm. Scented lightly with a blend of four essential oils that are known sedatives, helping to make the most of your rest.
German Chamomile Essential Oil is made from steam distilled flowers and buds of a German Chamomile plant. Smells sweet, fruity, and herbaceous. German Chamomile is a deep blue due to the distillation process, and most often used in skin care formulations and muscle ailments.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil is made from steam distilled flowers and buds of a Roman Chamomile plant. Similar to German Chamomile, though a bit more ‘crisp’. Roman Chamomile is more commonly known (due to the popular chamomile tea) and is said to be calming and helpful in combating insomnia and irritability. One of the few oils that is agreed to be safe to use in recipes for babies and toddlers (when using proper dilution rates).
Cinnamon Essential Oil is made from steam distilled bark of the cinnamon tree. Smells spicy and earthy. Historically used to treat low blood pressure, exhaustion, and stress.
Clary Sage Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and flowers of clary sage. Smells bright, earthy, and floral. Commonly used to help relieve a cough and sore throat. Said to naturally induce childbirth and relieve discomfort during birthing.
Clove Bud Essential Oil is made from steam distilled clove buds. Smells rich, warm, and spicy. Most commonly used for toothaches, but also said to relieve pain in muscle sprains and strains.
Cocoa Butter is a vegetable fat made from the cocoa bean. High in antioxidants, emollient properties (and smells so yummy!).
Natural Cocoa Butter Belly Balm
While stretch marks tend to be hereditary, keeping skin deeply moisturized during your pregnancy can deter additional marks from appearing.
Coconut Oil is an oil made from the kernel (the white part) of mature coconuts. Skin moisturizer, slight SPF, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties (all-around awesome). Comes in various forms for different purposes. Fractionated Coconut Oil is a liquid carrier oil and 76℉ Coconut Oil is in a solid form until it reaches the low melting point of 76℉.
COFFEE (COFFEA ARABICA)
Coffee Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed coffee beans. Smells strong and rich, exactly like brewed coffee. Used in recipes for its scent only, as physical/psychological benefits have not been tested.
Espresso Bean Organic Lip Tint
Incredibly sheer for your ‘no makeup’ makeup look, this organic lip tint is our darkest brown shimmer for a little bit bolder natural look.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves of a eucalyptus plant. Smells fresh and earthy, somewhat medicinal. Eucalyptus is a common essential oil that is used for improving circulation, fighting colds and fever, and treating cold sores.
Evening Primrose Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose plant. A carrier oil said to relieve itching, redness, roughness, and aid in hormone balance.
Fennel Seed Essential Oil is made from steam distilled fennel seeds. Smells spicy and sweet. Fennel is said to improve water retention and remove toxins inside the body.
FIR (ABIES ALBA)
Fir Essential Oil is made from steam distilled fir needles. Smells fresh and woody (like a freshly cut Christmas tree). Fir has been noted to prevent infections, reduce pain, and increase metabolism.
Frankincense Essential Oil is made from steam distilled frankincense (a tree resin). Smells fresh, woody, balsamic, slightly spicy and fruity. Frankincense has astringent properties that may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and promotes the regeneration of healthy cells.
Organic Shea Butter Eye Cream
Specifically formulated for dry, tired skin, this SUPER moisturizing eye cream provides instant relief with natural ingredients for all types of skin.
Geranium Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves of the geranium plant. Very strong floral scent that is to be used sparingly. Well known for benefits in skin care applications, such as treating acne, oily skin, and dull skin.
Ginger Root Essential Oil is made from steam distilled ginger root. Smells spicy, earthy, and warm. Said to be useful in improving circulation. An energizing scent that is a great addition to more masculine formulas.
Vegetable Glycerin is a liquid extracted from plant oils (coconut, soy, or palm) that has a thick consistency similar to syrup. Glycerin attracts moisture to the skin, leaving skin hydrated and able to absorb more of the other ingredients in the recipe. Additionally, vegetable glycerin is a natural preservative that helps to extend the shelf life of natural products.
Grapefruit Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed grapefruit rinds. Smells tangy and sweet. An uplifting oil that is commonly used for brightening skin, increasing water retention, and detoxifying recipes.
Grapeseed Carrier Oil is pressed from the crushed seeds of grapes after they have been de-juiced in the wine making process. Can help regulate your natural oil production; a gentle and light oil on the skin that is easily absorbed.
Grapeseed Beard Oil
Small batch, natural beard oil that moisturizes those hard-earned hairs while also conditioning the skin underneath.
Helichrysum Essential Oil is made from the steam distilled flowers of helichrysum. Smells earthy and herbaceous. Used in many skin care recipes, especially those for treating irritated or mature skin.
Jasmine Essential Oil comes as a highly concentrated absolute extracted from jasmine blossoms. A very strong floral aroma that is warm and exotic. Known for being an aphrodisiac oil, but also used in skin care formulations to combat dry and sensitive skin.
Jojoba Carrier Oil is a liquid wax extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. This ‘oil’ is not greasy and non-allergenic, safely used around the eyes and on the skin. Incredibly similar to the oil our skin naturally produces so it is quickly and easily absorbed, making it a wonderful carrier for essential oils.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil is made from steam distilled berries of the juniper plant. Smells crisp and earthy. Juniper is calming without having sedative effects; a natural antiseptic, lending it well to skin care and detox recipes.
Lavender Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and buds of lavender. Smells floral, fresh, and somewhat camphorous. The most commonly known essential oil and is incredibly versatile (read: five million uses). Use for many personal care product recipes due to its anti-bacterial properties and its reputation to calm stress, promote sleep, reduce birthing discomfort, relieve itching, etc. etc. etc. Lavender is amongst the safest of essential oils and is able to be used in recipes for children (when properly diluted).
Lavender Lime Organic Lip Balm
Smooth, buttery, silky NATURAL lip care. Treesnail natural lip balms are made with organic butters and essential oils for non-drying, nontoxic, long-lasting moisture.
Lemon Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed lemon rinds. Smells tangy and sharp, like concentrated fresh lemons. An energizing oil that is antibacterial. Used most commonly in cleansers, both for the household and for skin care.
Lemongrass Essential Oil is made from steam distilled lemongrass. Smells similar to lemon, yet slightly toned-down and earthy. Lemongrass is antibacterial and energizing, just like lemon, though is used more frequently in insect repellents and formulations to treat muscle aches.
Odor-Neutralizing Kitchen Soap
An odor neutralizing, herbal kitchen bar that will remove stubborn scents caused by oily foods such as fish, onion and garlic without drying your hands out.
Lime Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed lime rinds. Smells tart and fresh. An uplifting oil that is antibacterial and often used in skin care recipes to treat acne and dull skin.
Mango Butter is a natural butter extracted from the seeds of the mango fruit. Keeps skin moisturized and promotes cell regeneration (similar to shea and cocoa butter, higher in fatty acids…ultra-soothing for pregnant bellies!).
Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and flowers of marjoram. Smells herbaceous, woody, and slightly medicinal. Most commonly used for aches, pains, and muscle cramps.
Menthol Crystals are simply the solid form of oil of mint. They are natural, cool and refreshing; used topically to relieve minor aches and pains in joints and muscles.
MICA (MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE AND/OR IRON DIOXIDE)
Mica is natural mineral dust used in makeup formulations. This gives mineral makeup and other green beauty products a (natural) pure pigment color without the use of (very unnatural) dyes and lakes.
Pink Shimmer Organic Lip Tint Set
Incredibly sheer for your ‘no makeup’ makeup look, this organic lip tint set provides just a small amount of fuschia, pastel pink, and colorless shimmer.
Nutmeg Essential Oil is made from steam distilled nutmeg seeds. Smells spicy and woody (even more fragrant than the cooking spice). Commonly used to improve circulation and digestion.
Oatmeal is made from hulled oat grains. Used to naturally exfoliate skin and ease discomfort of many skin ailments. Colloidal Oatmeal is simply ground up oatmeal that is a very fine powder.
Olive Oil is made from cold pressed olives. A natural moisturizer that includes strong antioxidants. These nutrients stimulate cells to become firmer and smoother.
Blood Orange Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed blood orange rinds. Smells similar to sweet orange, but a little more tart and complex. Blood orange is a variety of sweet orange, and has the same physical/psychological benefits – usage between the two is due to aromatic preferences only.
Sweet Orange Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed sweet orange rinds. Smells citrusy and sweet. An incredibly uplifting oil that is said to help combat stress, cold/flu symptoms, and is used in a variety of skin care recipes. Antibacterial and frequently used in natural cleaning products. One of the most popular essential oils, coming in close second to Lavender.
Moroccan Clay Facial Soap
Moroccan Clay (also known as Rhassoul clay) draws out impurities, leaving skin silky smooth and contains nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and sodium.
Patchouli Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves of the patchouli plant. Smell rich and earthy. Patchouli is calming and grounding. Said to reduce stress, repel insects, and treat a variety of skin irritations. A well-known aphrodisiac and is used in sensual blends.
Peppermint Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and buds of the peppermint plant. Smells minty and fresh and is very potent. This is a well-known stimulating oil and should be avoided in heavy concentrations before bedtime. Used most often for headaches and muscle ailments due to its cooling affect upon application.
PETITGRAIN (CITRUS AURANTIUM)
Petitgrain Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and twigs of the orange tree. Smells woody and slightly floral. Frequently used in skin care recipes to help combat acnes and oily skin. Also used to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Rose Essential Oil is made from steam distilled rose petals. Smells floral and sweet. A very popular oil to use (diluted) on mature skin and for a variety of female hormonal issues.
Peace Aromatherapy Roller
A fresh blend of balancing essential oils and pure carrier oils known to create an enhanced state of mind (naturally!).
Rosehip Seed Oil is made from cold pressed seeds of the wild rose bush. A delicate oil that is used in skin care recipes for mature or dry skin. Rosehip is easily soaked into the skin and does not leave a greasy residue.
Rosemary Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves of rosemary. Smells fresh and herbaceous. Said to improve circulation and increase memory retention.
Sage Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and flowers of the sage plant. Very potent scent that is herbaceous and camphorous. Used in recipes for its fragrance only, no known physical/psychological benefits.
Sage Organic Lip Balm
Smooth, buttery, silky NATURAL lip care. Treesnail natural lip balms are made with organic butters and essential oils for non-drying, nontoxic, long-lasting moisture.
Sandalwood Essential Oil is made from steam distilled sandalwood. Smells rich, woody, and sweet. A balancing oil that is used for many, many applications, including skin care (all types), sensual blends, and depression.
Shea Butter is a fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. Full of natural vitamins and fatty acids, this butter is nourishing and moisturizing for skin. Used in a large variety of solid personal care products.
Sunflower Oil is compressed oil from the seeds of sunflowers. Used in cosmetics and skin care as an emollient (softens/soothes the skin).
Sweet Almond Carrier Oil is extracted from the dry kernels of sweet (edible) almonds. Rich in Vitamin E, proteins, and numerous minerals and vitamins. This oil is easily absorbed and can be used on sensitive skin without blocking pores.
Tangerine Essential Oil is made from cold-pressed tangerine rinds. Smells sweet and tangy, similar to orange. An uplifting oil that is used to help manage stress and anxiety.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves of the tea tree. Smells medicinal and earthy, a scent that takes getting accustomed to for some. Tea Tree is used for a wide variety of skin irritations, skin care treatments, disinfecting purposes, athlete’s foot, and much more.
Combination Skin Face Serum
The best natural face serum for combination skin, balancing out skin tone and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Thyme Essential Oil is made from steam distilled leaves and buds of thyme. Smells fresh and herbaceous. Known for being a potent antibacterial and antiviral oil. Also commonly used for poor circulation, muscle aches, and insect bites.
VANILLA (VANILLA PLANIFOLIA)
Vanilla Essential Oil is extracted from the seeds and beans of the vanilla plant. Smells warm and sweet. Used for enhancing the fragrance of natural recipes; no known physical/psychological benefits.
Vitamin E is a natural liquid vitamin that is extracted from vegetable oils (usually soybean). A natural preservative that is in products to extend shelf life as well as to hydrate and protect skin from sun and pollution.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is steam distilled from the flowers of the ylang ylang plant. Smells floral, sweet, and exotic. A known aphrodisiac that is also used in recipes that help combat stress, anxiety, depression, and oily skin.
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