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The Benefits of essential oils and the associated allergens

Natural Pure Soap is rightfully obliged by European law to label products with the relevant information regarding the 26 identified allergens in natural essential oils and synthetic fragrance oils above a certain limit, which in soap is 0.01% of the finished product. 16 of these possible allergens are natural and are found in some essential oils. The 16 plus the rest are in synthetic fragrance oils.  These materials have been listed by the EU as ‘sensitisers’ - meaning that a minority of people could well show reactions to them such as rash’s or breathing problems. I only use essential oils, not synthetic fragrance oils

Natural Pure Soap uses essential oils in five of the soaps:

Activated Charcoal - May Chang, Sweet Orange, Patchouli & Peppermint - this blend naturally contains Linalool, Limonene & Citral

French Red Clay - Star Anise & Rosewood - this blend naturally contains Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol & Benzyl benzoate

Dead Sea Mud & Witch Hazel - Lavender & Patchouli - this blend naturally contains Linalool

French Green Clay & Poppy Seed - Star Anise & Peppermint -  this blend naturally contains D-limonene

Charcoal, Red & Bentonite Clays - May Chang, Lemongrass & Ginger - this blend naturally contains Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol, Citronella & Citral

Shown below are the reputed benefits of the individual essential oils:

May Chang - Because it has antifungal and antibacterial properties, May Chang is said to help treat acne, eczema and other skin conditions.

Sweet Orange - Orange essential oil is said to promote the production of collagen as well as increase the blood flow to the skin. It is helpful at soothing dry, irritated skin as well as acne-prone skin.

Patchouli  - has no sensitisers and is said to tighten and tone sagging skin. Because of patchouli’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can help to calm skin problems such as sunburn, acne, eczema and other forms of dermatitis.

Peppermint is used to address a variety of skin issues.  It gives a strong healing effect to the skin.

Star Anise - This oil helps provide relief from spots, acne and damaged skin. It is said to help your skin become soft, smooth and glowing.

Rosewood essential oil has balancing qualities beneficial to use on dry, oily or combination skin because it helps tone and is said to slow the aging process by increasing the regeneration of skin tissues.

Lavender oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can fight the bacteria causing acne infections, thus reducing the swelling and redness. It also boosts the circulatory system, thus increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. The anti-inflammatory effects come from the linalool.  Linalool has also been studied for it’s anti cancer properties.

Lemongrass - The main compounds of lemongrass oil are known to have antifungal, antiseptic, insecticidal, and counterirritant properties. Citral is known for its antimicrobial effects, and can help kill or suppress the growth of bacteria and fungi. Another beneficial compound in lemongrass is limonene, which helps reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.

Ginger - Being a powerful antiseptic and cleansing agent, ginger helps to keep the skin clean, smooth and free of blemishes. It is also said to be one of the best natural acne fighting weapons as it minimizes the rate of acne formation and eruption by killing and clearing the acne causing bacteria.

If you’re not sure whether you have a sensitivity to any element in essential oils do a patch test on the inside of your arm first.  

The potential identified allergens in essential oils have their benefits too, we just get to hear the negatives of them for some reason.  I believe everything from nature has uses for health - even arsenic was in the news last year for cutting the breast cancer mortality rate in a region of Chile by up to 70%.  Naturally given enough arsenic it will no doubt do what it’s famous for.  But then you can overdose on common salt too. The poison is in the dose - but not in all things, it’s the things that accumulate over time that are of concern.

I found a thought provoking ariticle which puts a good case forward for there being no allergens in essential oils at all, they’re calling it a “detox reaction” - who knows?  We only know what we’re told or read about. I can see where this article is coming from but, as with most things of this nature, nobody really seems to know for sure. I know my daughter gets a very short lived red patch on her arm if she uses peppermint essential oil - whether that’s a detox reaction, as stated in the article above, or a sensitivity to peppermint oil or not I’ve no idea, it doesn’t bother her and it doesn’t worry me. If that’s the only soap in the shower she’ll still use it. The French Green Clay with Peppermint & Star Anise essential oils is my third favourite, I use it on my face with no illl-effect - it certainly has a “wake up” value to it which I like.

If you do have a problem with essential oils please try the unscented soaps, or just try a different essential oil blend.

I’ve found many conflicting reports about using essential oils during pregnancy. The lists of what not to use are not consistent so please check for yourself before using a product containing essential oils (double check before using a product with synthetic fragrance oils). There are vague references to ginger (used neat) and peppermint (used topically while breast feeding, it’s said to possibly inhibit the flow of milk). Some reports read like old wives tales that have lingered and finding definitive evidence based studies that aren’t contradicted by another “expert” seems impossible. Of the oils that are best avoided while pregnant, those that appear most consistently in the lists, none are in the soaps that are available on this site.

Most people turn to natural products because they have got problems with commercial products, or they’re becoming more aware of the true nature of some man-made chemicals on themselves and the environment. I haven’t found anybody yet who isn’t pleased that they changed to natural products. It feels better on many levels.

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