Body Oils and Lotions

Both essential oils and carrier (fixed) oils are widely used -- and play essential roles -- in creating luxurious body lotions. They work together to condition and nourish the skin and add delightful scents.

Essential Oils

β€’ Natural fragrance: Essential oils offer a natural alternative to synthetic fragrances, which can be irritating to the skin and contain harmful chemicals. Essential oils offer skin lotion formulators a vast array of aromas to suit any mood or preference. From refreshing citrus to relaxing lavender to invigorating peppermint to earthy sandalwood, the scent possibilities are endless. Inhaling the scent of essential oils while using the lotion can offer aromatherapy benefits, such as promoting relaxation or boosting energy levels.

β€’ Therapeutic Properties: Certain essential oils possess inherent properties that may benefit the skin. For example, some oils have astringent properties that can help tighten pores and minimize their appearance. Tea tree and lavender possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin and reduce acne, while chamomile's anti-inflammatory properties may soothe irritation.

β€’ Customization: Blending different essential oils allows product formulators to create lotions with unique and signature scents that cater to specific preferences and mood.

Safety Notes regarding topically-applied essential oils

o Essential oils are potent aromatic ingredients. Use carrier oils in your body lotion formulations to dilute the potency of the essential oils. Even with dilution, however, some essential oils, when topically applied, can cause skin irritation or provoke an allergic reaction on the skin of some persons. Furthermore, some essential oils, in particular some citrus oils, are photosensitive, meaning they can trigger a skin reaction in some people when exposed to sunlight or UV rays. 

o Formulators: Always research and choose carefully the specific essential oil you want to use in your Personal Care and Cosmetics formulations. Consult the standards published by the International Fragrance Trade Association (IFRA). The IFRA Standards are a set of guidelines developed by IFRA to ensure the safe use of fragrances. The standards are based on scientific research and risk assessments carried out by independent experts. The standards set out the maximum safe use levels for individual fragrance materials in different cosmetic product types, depending upon intended used – for example, in leave-in vs rinse-off products, proximity to eyes and mouth, etc.

o End users: If you are considering applying to your skin a product containing an essential oil you are not familiar with, it is recommended you first conduct a β€œpatch test” -- apply a small amount to a small area of your skin to test whether your skin suffers any irritation from the particular oil.

Carrier Oils:

β€’ Carrier oils act as diluting agents for the highly concentrated essential oils, some of which are too potent for direct skin contact and can cause irritation if applied to the skin without dilution. Carrier oils ensure the safe and effective use of essential oils in lotions.

β€’ Carrier Oils, rich in fatty acids and vitamins, not only dilute the aromatic essential oils in your body lotion formulations, they add their own skin conditioning properties to body lotions. Different carrier oils offer unique skin-loving benefits. For example, avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, making it great for dry and mature skin, while jojoba oil closely mimics the skin's sebum and is suitable for all skin types.

β€’ Carrier oils are skin moisturizers. They are gentle on the skin and easily absorbed. They provide deep hydration and nourishment, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. Popular choices for skin lotions include jojoba oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil.

β€’ The addition of carrier oils to your formulation can influence the texture of your lotion. Some, like jojoba oil, offer a lightweight feel, while others like shea butter, create a richer and thicker consistency.