How Do Essential Oils Actually Work?

You already know they smell divine, but have you ever wondered how essential oils actually work? You’re not alone. As more of us demand clean beauty products, essential oils are increasingly being added in everything from cosmetics to intimate care products. But how do they work? An essential oil’s therapeutic benefits have a lot to do with plant biology, and that’s really just the beginning. One oil’s superiority over another is based on several factors, which makes a little education in the world of essential oil production a big asset. So let’s get started – here’s how essential oils actually work.

Plant Biology – A Primer

Aromatic plants are home to molecular compounds that play a critical role in whole body health. You guessed it – we’re talking about essential oils. These oils are found in the chlorophyll-bearing anatomy of the plant, and they have a similar texture to compounds found in our own blood and tissues. That similarity means essential oils are uniquely compatible with our physiology – a big key in how they actually work for us.

The plant itself benefits from essential oils in many of the same ways we do, which work to:

  • Fight infection
  • Deliver hormone-like messages
  • Initiate cellular regeneration
  • Operate as part of a chemical defense system to protect against disease

Essential oils are truly the liquid manifestation of nature’s power. But here’s the rub – not all essential oils you can buy are equal.

Purity from the Star

The process of purity begins long before harvest, starting with the earth itself. Plants use the nutrients and chemicals from the soil in which they grow, which means a truly organic environment is key. Seed selection is also an important consideration, since individual plant species can produce unique compounds with equally unique therapeutic benefits. To ensure each crop will deliver predictable and consistent benefits, they must all undergo rigorous botanical analysis.

And then there’s the matter of location. Everything from the minerals in the soil to the air and water will generate nutrient-dense oils on a given plant’s flowers, leaves, berries, rinds, or roots. And on the flipside, a change in climate, rainfall, or quality of soil can seriously stress a plant to the point of toxicity or resulting in oils that aren’t as potent and consistent, leading to unpredictable therapeutic benefits.

Harvesting

As powerful as essential oils can be, they must be distilled with understanding, patience and delicate precision. Anything less can destroy the quality and efficacy of an essential oil. Here at Arôms Natur Skincare, we source essential oils from across the globe. Certain regions of the world are known for their aromatic crops, with harvesting processes to match. Something as seemingly inconsequential as the time of day a crop is harvested can directly impact its botanical properties, which makes partnering with skilled and learned producers of the utmost importance.

Choosing Wisely

The process of creating whole essential oils is one of patience and precision. Only whole essential oils possess fully intact natural molecules in high concentration. That’s what sets one essential oil apart from another – and why the highest grade essential oils actually work.

Adulterated oils come in many forms. Sometimes they’re a blend of higher quality oil with a lower quality version of the same species. Sometimes it’s the addition of naturally or synthetically derived constituents or non-disclosed carrier oil dilution. In most cases, adulteration is driven by profit margins. But the result is unquestionably an essential oil of lower standard, and one that would most certainly not meet EOBBD certification. France’s Institut de Normalization Scientifique d’Aromatologie (INSA) created the Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined standard, a rigorous evaluation process that’s one of only two recognized protocols in the world for properly evaluating and differentiating between grades of essential oils. EOBBD is currently the world’s only protocol for determining therapeutic benefit, so you can be sure an essential oil of this standard actually works.

To earn EOBBD certification, an essential oil must pass a stringent sequence of evaluation conducted by third-party experts with professional training in botanical analysis. The test results verify the specific species of plant, growing conditions, and the chemical compounds of the essential oils generated. This certification isn’t just a strict test of a given oil’s potency, but a promise of purity and efficacy.

Every product sold by Arôms Natur Skincare contains essential oils that have earned EOBBD certification. It’s a promise of the highest quality essential oils in products that are effective yet gentle. And in an industry where labels don’t always mean much, that’s saying something.


Learning about the impact of plant biology in relation to our own bodies, plus the roles of both harvesting and distilling in creating whole essential oils, puts you well on the way to understanding how essential oils actually work. Your best bet is remembering that essential oils are at their best when they’re whole, pure, and potent, so the EOBBD certification is a good place to start. Essential oils of this standard actually work, and you can be sure of that.




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