Essential Oils For Soap Making
Soap making is an ancient art that has been practiced for hundreds and even thousands of years in many cultures around the world. It was originally used to cleanse, moisturize, and beautify skin as well as help with a variety of ailments including arthritis, asthma, infections, colds, and more. In fact, it’s thought that some people still use soap made from animal fat (as opposed to vegetable oil) because of its ability to heal cuts, burns, scalds, rashes, abrasions, and other wounds.
There are many different ways to make your own soaps at home but one of the most popular methods uses liquid oils and fats called fatty acids. These can be obtained by extracting them from either natural or synthetic sources such as olive oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, castor oil, soybean oil, lard, tallow, and petroleum based products like kerosene, paraffin wax, and petrolatum.
Fatty Acids have a long history of being used in both commercial and domestic applications. They’re often used to add texture and color to cosmetics, hair care products, bath bombs, lip balms, candles, lotion bars, bath gels, body scrubs, shampoos, face masks and treatments, hand creams, moisturizers, sunscreens, and insect repellants. The reason they work so well is because they’re very effective emulsifiers which means they mix water and oil together to form stable emulsions. This allows these ingredients to spread easily across the skin while also providing hydration on top of their cleaning power.
The following essential oils have wonderful properties when added into soaps. Some will enhance the scent and others may act as preservatives. To find out what each type does you should consult a book or website dedicated to soapmaking. If you don’t know where to start then just try a few of these until you find something that works best for you.
Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender is a beautiful purple flower that grows wild throughout the Mediterranean regions of France, Spain, Greece, Italy, and North Africa. Its leaves contain antibacterial compounds that can relieve sore throats, fever, and aches and pains. According to Chinese medicine, lavender helps clear heat, dampness, and congestion. It aids digestion, tones the nervous system, relieves pain, reduces swelling, and eases muscle spasms. Traditionally, this herb has been used to treat eczema, psoriasis, acne, dandruff, ringworm, and styes.
It’s no wonder why lavender is one of the most popular essential oils to include in soap! It’s said to bring calmness, relaxation, comfort, healing, and happiness. It makes a great base note for all types of soaps and takes away any harsh smells. A drop or two per batch of soap adds fragrance without overwhelming the overall composition. You can combine it with citrus oils, herbs, and essential oils to create unique blends.
Rosemary Essential Oil. Rosemary is known as “the poor man’s cologne” due to its strong smell that fills the air when it’s freshly cut. It contains high amounts of antioxidants and essential oils that give it astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Used traditionally in cooking, rosemary acts as a powerful immune stimulant and detoxifier. It stimulates circulation, increases metabolism, and improves digestion. It clears mucus and lowers blood pressure. All of these benefits come from the plant’s volatile oil content.
Studies have shown that taking daily doses of rosemary extract can lower cholesterol levels, improve memory function, and reduce the risk of cancer. When combined with chamomile, black pepper, and ginger root essential oils, rosemary can be used to combat nausea, vomiting, heartburn, gas, diarrhea, and motion sickness.
Folded Lemon Essential Oil. Folding lemon essential oil gently over time releases citric acid, limonene, lemongrass, myrcene, pinene, phellandrene, terpenes, and vitamin C. Lemons contain flavanols, flavones, and polyphenols that aid in blood clotting and cardiovascular health. Their juice contains phytonutrients that strengthen bones and teeth.
In addition, they’ve been found to help fight lung inflammation and protect against UV damage. While lemons themselves aren’t acidic, their zest does contain citric acid and limonene which provide cleansing effects similar to those of vinegar. They can be used alone or in combination with other citrus oils for a fresh and uplifting aroma.
Cedarwood Essential Oil. Cedar wood brings a soothing effect to the environment and promotes mental clarity. It can be used to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, PMS symptoms, and menstrual cramps. Research shows that cedarwood has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.
When inhaled, cedarwood can ease muscle tension and stress. It’s often used as incense in aromatherapy treatments and can be burned continuously during massage therapy sessions. Combining it with cypress, clary sage, frankincense, and lavender oils can help induce sleepiness and promote relaxation.
Dark Patchouli Essential Oil. Dark patchouli is a rich, earthy, musky smelling oil that comes from the seeds of the patchouly tree which is native to India and Indonesia. Like sandalwood, patchouli is a highly fragrant evergreen oil and is considered to be among the five sacred aromatic plants in Ayurvedic medicine.
Patchouli essential oil offers relief for sinusitis, coughs, chest tightness, breathing disorders, respiratory problems, congestion, and allergies. It can also aid in digestive issues like flatulence, bloating, constipation, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and IBS. Studies show that dark patchouli has anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, patchouli can clear heat, dry damp conditions, and cool the liver. As a result of this, it’s commonly used to treat influenza virus infections, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tumors.
Sage Essential Oil. Sage essential oil has long been associated with peace, tranquility, and serenity. It’s believed to possess universal powers to balance the mind, spirit, emotions, and physical energy. Sage oil can be used to treat various illnesses and diseases including arthritis, bronchial irritation, colds, flu, hypertension, indigestion, kidney stones, neuralgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, and whooping cough.
Its constituents have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Additionally, studies show that sage essential oil has neuroprotective qualities that could potentially benefit sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Sage is typically used as a tonic to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines, backache, and muscle cramps.
Peppermint Essential Oil. Peppermint essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy to treat colds, flu, and upper respiratory tract infections. Not only does it have potent analgesic properties but it can also stimulate the flow of saliva, increase stomach acid secretion, and dilate the pupils.
Research suggests that peppermint essential oil can be beneficial for patients suffering from irritable bowel disorder, diabetes, gallbladder problems, migraines, and morning sickness.
Combining it with cardamom, coriander, geranium, and jasmine provides a calming effect. Just a few drops can be added to a carrier oil to create a perfect blend for topical application.
If you want to learn how to make your own soap recipes using essential oils, I suggest checking out these links below.
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