It's no secret that wellness is on the rise—and spas are positioned perfectly to capitalize on this staying trend. Adding essential oils and aromatherapy to a spa treatment is one way to customize an appointment, creating a more effective experience for clients.
Before incorporating essential oils into the treatment menu, there are a few things you should know. Skin Inc. chatted with founder and CEO of Organic Infusions, Rose Heart, a certified master aromatherapist and herbalist, for an expert's perspective on utilizing essential oils in the treatment room.
Skin Inc.: What exactly are essential oils?
Rose Heart: Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic extracts derived from plants through steam distillation from a variety of plant material. Essential oils can also be derived via cold press or CO2 extraction methods.
Organic essential oils can be extracted from the following plant material: grass, leaves, flowers, needles, twigs, fruit peels, wood and roots.
Essential oils are derived naturally while perfume and fragranced oils are created in labs using chemicals.
SI: What is the difference between certified organic and synthetic oils?
R.H.: Synthetic aromatherapy products are artificially created in labs ... certified organic oils are created from organic plant matter and are minimally processed in accordance with USDA National Organic Program standards and guidelines. They are grown and cultivated in the wild and are pure by nature.
SI: What are the best oils to use during spa sessions?
R.H.: Essential oils: certified organic lavender, certified organic Cedar Atlas and certified organic peppermint.
Hydrosols: certified organic neroli-orange blossom, certified organic rose and certified organic yarrow.
SI: What are hydrosols?
R.H.: Hydrosols are the pure natural 100% non-alcohol-based distillate that is produced during the distillation process of essential oils. Hydrosol simply means water solution.
Hydrosols are powerful aromatic extracts that are produced when plants are steam distilled with pristine purified water by master and artisan distillers.
As steam opens up the cellular pockets of plant material, a wondrous aromatic essence is released from these organically grown, freshly harvested plants. As a result, these therapeutic waters are infused with beneficial herbal elements and micromolecules of essential oils.
SI: How do you dilute essential oils? Why is it necessary?
R.H.: It’s very important to remember that essential oils are highly concentrated plant extract. Due to their potent nature and concentration, essential oils should not be used directly on the skin.
To benefit from essential oils’ therapeutic elements it is important to remember that safe application guarantees best results. Diluting essential oils in carrier oils is simple and quick. For every 1 fl. oz. of carrier oil, add five drops of essential oil.
Carrier oils are known as massage oils or are commonly referred to as base oils and are widely used by spa, skin care and massage professionals.
The most popular carrier oils are:
- Organic golden jojoba;
- Carrot seed;
- Apricot kernel; and
SI: In what forms can spa professionals purchase essential oils?
R.H.: Spa professionals purchase certified organic essential oils in three basic ways:
1. In bulk—to create their own signature aromatics scents for their treatments;
2. In retail-ready turnkey packaging—which encourages clients to continue using organic aromatherapy in their homes; and as
3. Spa diffusers—these delivery devices introduce organic aromatherapy during spa treatment and deliver soothing and relaxing experience with easy set-up.
SI: What characteristics and qualities should spa professionals look for when purchasing?
R.H.: Spa professionals should select the highest quality, certified organic, therapeutic oils. Pure organic essential oils deliver an unmatched experience for the client and staff.
SI: What are the most commonly used essential oils and their benefits?
- Organic lavender oil—soothing and calming;
- Organic peppermint oil—cooling and energizing;
- Organic sandalwood—grounding and balancing;
- Organic ylang-ylang—uplifting and calming; and
- Organic blood orange—purifying and uplifting.