Why Young People Are Choosing Natural Alternatives to Chemical Products: A Look Inside the Essential Oil Industry

Natural ingredients for skin care

Today’s young people are savvy shoppers and consumers. With the explosion of information available online and through social media, people today are armed with knowledge when making choices about everything from what to eat, how to take care of themselves, and even what beauty products to use. They recognize that beauty and personal care products are some of the least regulated products available to consumers on the market. This is why so many are shunning chemical laden products and turning to alternatives such as essential oils. In fact, the essential oil industry has seen record growth in recent years.

What Are Essential Oils?

These oils are the volatile aromatic compounds that can be found in various parts of a plant such as the roots, flowers, bark, stems or seeds. They have a very distinctive smell. Their purpose for a plant is typically to help protect it or pollinate it. Why are they called volatile? Because they can change from either a solid or liquid state to a gas state very quickly. This ability to change states quickly makes them ideal for use in aromatherapy, using an essential oil diffuser, or other application.

Some essential oils bottles

To extract the oils from the plant, they are generally distilled by using steam. The way this works is that the raw plant material is placed into a distilling apparatus over water. When the water is heated, the steam vaporizes the volatile aromatic compounds in the plant material. These vaporized compounds flow through a coil in the distilling apparatus and then condense back into liquid form, which is collected. There are other forms of extraction as well including cold pressing, resin tapping, solvent extraction, and absolute oil extraction. These additional methods may be used when distillation is not the most effective method for that particular plant material.

Documented essential oil usage dates back to the 12th century. For much of their history, they have been used for medicinal purposes. However, today, with increased knowledge of just how versatile and effective they are, these oils are now used for many reasons. You can find them in health and beauty products, household cleaning products, and even as flavoring in food and drinks. They can be ingested, used topically, or inhaled through use of an essential oil diffuser. It is no wonder so many people are turning to these natural oils as a safe alternative to chemical products.

The Benefits of Using Essential Oils

Why are so many people replacing their chemical-laden products for essential oils? First of all, we are finding out more each day just how bad different chemical products can be. These products can cause respiratory problems including asthma, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity, and even cancer. The more of these products you can eliminate from your life, the better.

With so many natural products available today, why are so many people choosing essential oils over other alternatives? These oils have so many uses. They can be used for aromatherapy, household cleaning products, and even personal beauty care. They have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Scandal’s leading lady, Kerry Washington and supermodel Gisele Bündchen all include them in their beauty routines.

How are people using these oils? There are so many ways. For household cleaning, lemon oil or tea tree oil diluted with water makes a natural disinfectant. Drop cinnamon oil into an essential oil diffuser and its antimicrobial properties can clean the air in any room. Different oils can also be used to eliminate pests, kill mold, freshen the bathroom and even clean the dishes.

These oils can also be utilized for health benefits and relaxation. Lavender oil in an essential oil diffuser aids in a better night’s sleep. Eucalyptus oil in a bowl of warm water soothes aching feet. And rose oil can be used to help boost your mood. Add an essential oil to your beauty regimen by making a natural perfume or body spray with a favorite scent. You can also use them to naturally whiten teeth, reduce stretch marks and wrinkles, and tone your skin. The more you experiment with these oils, the more uses you will find for them.

The Impact of Essential Oils on the Lifestyle Industry

According to a recent report by Grand View Research, Inc., the essential oil market will likely reach USD 13.94 billion by 2024. Because of the increasing demand by consumers to purchase natural products over synthetic ones, essential oils are used as key ingredients in a variety of products. The growth trend for use of these oils shows no signs of slowing down. It has permeated the food and beverage industry, medical industry, spa and relaxation, and of course, the lifestyle industry.

Of the many oil options, orange oil has emerged as the one in most demand. This oil, alone, generated USD 1,356.2 million in 2015. Other oils in high demand include lemon, lime, citronella, peppermint, and eucalyptus. The spa and relaxation sector accounted for 29% of this market share. This is in part due to the increasing popularity of aromatherapy. Placing a few drops of a favorite oil in an essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy purposes has many health benefits.

The demand for essential oils is expected to continue to grow and consumers continue to demand natural alternatives to chemical products. Why choose these oils over other products? They are extracted directly from plant materials and are of the purest form. In the lifestyle industry alone, these oils can be used for anti-aging, hair care, oral care, body care, and even life balance. And they can be used without the harsh chemicals or concerns associated with synthetic products. Considering how little the beauty and cosmetic industries are regulated, using products infused with essential oil is a safe and healthy alternative.

Making the Transition from Chemical to Natural Products

If you have not begun to make the transition from use of chemical products to natural ones already, it is time to start. You can begin this transition slowly. Start by evaluating what products you currently use and as they run low, replace them with essential oil products. Or test the waters with a few new products and see what you like. Experiment with aromatherapy by purchasing an essential oil diffuser along with your oils. Use a reputable company that provides high-quality essential oils. Be mindful when you shop and soon you will find that you have replaced your health and beauty regimen with a much safer and healthier supply of products.

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