Aromatherapy is by definition the use of aromatic compounds extracted from plants, more commonly called Essential Oils, for therapeutic purposes. Not to be confused with phytotherapy which uses the plant in its entirety.
For millennia, aromatherapy and phytotherapy have formed the basis of the human pharmacopoeia. There are traces of extraction and distillation in China, India, and more recently in Egypt, Greece and Ancient Rome. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, for their antiseptic powers, in order to fight the epidemic of plague ...
(1881-1950) Gavete name, Aromatherapy, to this millennial tradition. He was doing research in perfumery, and was the victim of a laboratory explosion, which severely burned his hands. He had the idea of applying Lavender Essential Oil (HE) to his infected wounds, and was able to observe real antiseptic and healing properties. Hence the name assigned: aromatherapy - aroma therapy (essential oils). He then decided to devote some of his research to aromatherapy. It was then Dr. Jean Valnet (1920-1995) who took up this work and published one of the works of aromatherapy, in 1964: "Aromatherapy, Treatment of diseases by the essences of plants".
René-Maurice Gattefossé and Jean Valnet are considered the fathers of modern Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy and Cosmetics?
If plants have always been used as a remedy, it seems obvious that in its most concentrated form, its essence, the essential oil that comes from it brings demonstrated benefits. Bactericidal and antiseptic action is common to most essential oils. This offers many advantages in cosmetics, for damaged, problematic, acneic skins. But beyond the disinfecting properties, there are also, according to the plant, other stimulating, anti-oxidant, soothing, digestive, aphrodisiac properties ...
But what really makes the magic of aromatherapy in cosmetics, are the unique fragrances, which beyond being pleasant, can also play on the psychic. Like Rose, for example, which offers anti-stress properties.
Ultimately, aromatherapy is truly a wonderful alternative to industrial cosmetic products making use of synthetic chemicals, because it has demonstrated its effects, and because it is 100% natural, and 100% fun!
The difference between Essential Oil, Floral Water, Absolute and Extract?
There are several methods to extract the essence of a plant. If all the methods are not applicable to all the plants (some plants or flowers, for example, do not support the high temperatures), they do not offer all the same advantages, and the quality of the result will depend on it a lot ...
The distillation of essential oil
This method, the most classic, consists in placing the plant or the flower in a still, with water, and to bring to the boil the whole. The essential oil, lighter than water, will float and will be recovered in a distillation column. A clean, natural method without the use of chemicals. But this has the disadvantage of destroying certain active principles following the high temperature required.
It is a method that allows the extraction of concrete (a wax) from the plant mixed with solvents. This concrete is then washed with alcohol to give the absolute. This method has the advantage of being carried out at low temperature. But it has the enormous disadvantage of leaving traces of solvent and alcohol. A process to avoid, not ecological and non-organic. Reflet Nature does not market solvent-based products!
Extraction with supercritical CO2
The modern method par excellence. It consists in injecting an inert fluid (thus no chemical reaction with the plant), at high pressure, low temperature. This results in an Extract, with superior properties, because this method allows to catch many more active ingredients, and not to destroy them due to too high temperatures. Extraction with supercritical CO2 requires complex and expensive installations, which explains why it is not very widespread, despite the superior quality of the result. Reflet Nature markets products based on supercritical CO2 extraction
Good to know ... Vegetable oils are produced by pressing, cold. They are oily liquids. Nothing to do with the essential oils, coming from the distillation and which, unlike their name, are absolutely not fat.
Our aromatic plants and their benefits in Cosmetics
- Wellness: Soothing, balancing hormone. Anti-aging.
- Beauty: Healing, firming, regenerating, revitalizing. Whitens the skin, Tonic
- Well-being: Soothing, Relaxing, Tranquilizing.
- Beauty: Antiseptic, healing, Regenerating. Oily skin, mixed, sensitive.
- Well-being: Relaxing, tonic. Deodorant.
- Beauty: Regulating Sweating and Sebum Secretion. Oily skin. Mature skin.
- Well-being: Soothing, Relaxing, Soothing.
- Beauty: Anti Allergic, Anti Pruriginous. Acne skin, Redness and couperose, Rosaceae.
- Well-being: Soothing, Relaxing.
- Beauty: Anti-oxidant, Purifying. Flammable skin.
- Wellness: Calming, Sedative
- Beauty: Disinfectant. Anti-redness, Anti-dermis cutaneous
- Wellness: Astringent. Mattifying. Softening.
- Beauty: Soothes redness and blotchiness. Calms skin allergies
- Well-being: A pure, fresh and light fragrance.
- Beauty: Softening. bactericidal. Healing. Antioxidant.
- Well-being: Soothes nervous tension. Balanced. Tonus.
- Beauty: Moisturizing the skin. Congestion. Illuminates and brightens the complexion.