Essential Oils in Skincare - Are they necessary?

Essential Oils in Skincare - Are they necessary?

Apr 13, 2021Suzanne Smedley

Essential oils (EO) have rapidly gained popularity in recent years and for good reason! They are extremely versatile in how they can be used, often being utilised for tox free cleaning, emotional wellbeing, skincare, face & body treatments and additions to food. 

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are a concentrated liquid obtained from plants using various extraction methods (steam distillation (which is the most common), CO2, expression or maceration). This liquid is secreted from special glands within the plant and from different locations eg: roots, wood, leaves, fruits and petals. These extraction methods extract only the highly volatile constituents with a small molecular weight and then leave the heavier counterparts such as the plant matter behind. This very essence contains some wonderful health benefits unique to the plant itself. These benefits can be enjoyed through scent, topical application or ingestion.

Essential oils only represent around 2% or less of a plant and for this reason, this is what makes them different to herbal extracts or herbal preparations you may find through a Naturopath.

It is important to also note that not all plants produce essential oils and just because it is ‘natural’ does not mean it is safe. Some EO can be toxic and lethal if misused which is why it is important to understand doses and their safety limits in cosmetic preparations.

Just to put their concentration levels into perspective - rose petals for example - it takes approximately 10,000 roses to produce just 5ml of oil. You can see how pricing may vary depending on the production processes, its growing conditions and its overall rarity. Pure Rose essential oil is insanely expensive because you do need use so much of the plant to produce such little oil.

Hopefully this example can provide insight as to why EO can be toxic when misused and why eating the plant vs ingesting the EO alternative is not the same.


EO has a long list of benefits depending on how they are intended to be used. Considering we are talking about EO in skincare, let's stick with benefits of topical applications.

When formulated correctly and within regulatory safety limits, quality essential oils provide the skin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. This is helpful not only for skin health but the overall protection of the formula itself. Organic compounds are quite vulnerable and susceptible to oxidation (which is the break down of a product & its efficacy due to the exposure of oxygen) so to prevent this from happening, antioxidants are also used to protect the overall stability of a formula. Antioxidants can be used in the form of extracts, essential oils or in Bare Roots case - both.

It is important to note that the EO used in Bare Roots is used within the recommended safety limits. It is also used in very minute doses of below 1% to significantly reduce the risk of sensitivities. Our essential oils purely provide antioxidant activity to strengthen the products stability. They are also Australian certified organic which allows them hold a greater level of purity. Having a certified organic ingredient means there is no contact with synthetic irritants like pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals during its growth & production phase.

What EO are used in Bare Roots skincare?
Each product contains an EO and this was to provide the client with a delightful sensory experience.

Geranium: Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich properties, Geranium has been widely chosen for the treatment of sensitivity, ageing and dry skin. It has a slightly floral scent which when inhaled offers an immediate sense of calm. Found in the Vital Cream and Gentle Foaming Cleanser.

Comes from the wood and roots of the plant. It may help to reduce anxiety when inhaled and fun fact, there is research that claims skin cells contain olfactory receptors which heighten when sandalwood is present. This has then shown a mitigation of keratinocytes in the skin resulting in a more regenerated appearance. You can find sandalwood in the Gentle Foaming Cleanser and Omega Oil

Found only in the Curative Serum

Grapefruit Extract:
Found only in the gentle cleansing milk

At a dose of below 1% in each formula the risk of sensitivity is extremely low. It also does not cause photosensitivity at these levels so whilst we always encourage the use of spf daily for UV protection, there is no concern for our formulas further photosensitising the skin through the day.

Are they needed in skincare?
Simple answer is no they are not needed in skincare. Are they beneficial in skincare?absolutely! Can they enhance a skincare ritual? Most definitely! And can they contribute to stability & protection of a formula - 100%

Bare Roots uses & supports the use of certified organic EO in its skincare to provide an aromatic experience to its consumers and to further support stability in it’s formulas. They are used in less then 1% to maintain a mild aroma and to reduce the potential for skin sensitivity.

Bare Roots aims to break false stigma’s & provide transparent and informative education to the public. 


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