Essential Oils Vs. Synthetic Fragrances: Which is Better?

The decisions you make about fragrances have an immense impact in a world full of aromas, from the candles that brighten up your home to the skin care products you apply to transform your skin texture. For years, people have been debating the pros and cons of natural vs synthetic oils. With a barrage of contradicting data, it becomes daunting to participate in this debate. Both are essential elements in bath bombs, candles, soap, perfume, and other fragrant crafts and luxury items. They are very close cousins and have many similar applications. Although it is up to you to decide what is best for you after conducting your research, you must acquaint yourself with all the facts to make an informed choice that suits your lifestyle, health, and well-being. 

What are Essential Oils? 

Essential oils are made solely of natural ingredients and have inherent smells. They are obtained through expression, which is pressing the natural oils out, or distillation, which requires heating plant extracts or other natural sources to separate the oils from all extraneous matter. They are usually derived from plants like:

  • Lavender
  • Roses
  • Cinnamon 

They have a strong concentration of the plant's natural essence and aroma. Additionally, they are widely used in aromatherapy, a therapeutic form of therapy intended to promote behavioural, emotional, and physical well-being. For example, individuals love using rosehip oil for massage purposes during these therapies, as it not only creates a relaxing effect but also improves skin overall appearance. 

They have been a part of international medical history for thousands of years, treating both physical and mental illnesses in an extensive array of societies and cultures. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, they are commonly found in a variety of skin care and hair care products made to soothe skin and revitalise hair respectively. 

What are Synthetic Fragrances? 

Aromatic compounds, which are produced through laboratory chemical procedures (often using petroleum), are found in synthetic fragrances. These are artificial fragrances made to either replicate natural scents or create an experience with a fragrance that isn't found in nature. They come from many different places and can be categorised into the following groups:

  • Synthetic, non-natural scent made by chemical procedures that produce a substance not found in nature.
  • Artificial scent that is just like the real thing, made or extracted by chemical methods to produce a substance that has the same chemical structure as things found in the natural world. 
  • Isolated substances that are natural and come from a chemical reaction using natural raw components. 

Why are Essential Oils Better than Synthetic Fragrances? 

Benefits of Essential Oils for Skin 

  • Natural Healing Properties 
  • Essential oils' anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities can help treat a variety of skin conditions when applied topically. Oils that have been proven to hasten wound healing, reduce signs of acne scars, and calm sensitive skin include lavender and jojoba oils. Their anti-aging characteristics can enhance skin suppleness and minimise the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. For example, a foaming facial cleanser composed of natural ingredients such as citric acid and rosehip oil contributes to accomplishing a radiant, glowing skin. 

  • Non-toxic Formulation et
  • Using premium, pure essential oils devoid of artificial additions, fillers, or contaminants is a need for creating non-toxic essential oil compositions. Without subjecting your skin to dangerous chemicals, you can take advantage of the skin-transforming capabilities of plants-based extracts. 

    Non-toxic essential oils are also better for sensitive skin types because they are less prone to irritate skin or trigger allergic reactions. Furthermore, they can improve the general health and wellbeing of skin while lowering the possibility of negative side effects when incorporated into skincare routines. 

  • Aromatherapy Benefits 
  • Since more than 6,000 years ago, aromatherapy has been promoting general wellness by utilising the natural fragrant substances contained in plants. With numerous essential oils demonstrating antiviral, nematicidal, antifungal, and insecticidal qualities, aromatherapy's antimicrobial action is one of its main advantages. 

    By stimulating the olfactory system and influencing the limbic system, which is in charge of emotions, these oils offer a wide range of psychological benefits. Essential oils like Moroccan pure oil are also used to treat symptoms like exhaustion, sadness, anxiety, stress, and body aches. 

    Benefits of Essential Oils for Hair 

  • Promote Hair Growth 
  • Promoting hair growth is one of the main benefits of using essential oils in hair care. Certain essential oils have been shown to stimulate hair follicles, boost blood circulation to the scalp, and promote healthy hair development. Shampoos made of natural ingredients like the revitalising shampoo includes coconut oil and sweet almond oil, which improves the overall health of the scalp and leads to enhanced hair growth. 

  • Enhance Scalp Health 
  • Keeping your scalp healthy might also benefit from essential oils. They boast antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities that can aid in the treatment of conditions like dandruff, irritation, and inflammation of the scalp. In particular, Moroccan oil in Moroccan shampoo is well-known for its cleansing properties, which can support scalp health by keeping the scalp free of bacteria and fungus.

  • Add Shine to Hair 
  • By improving texture and adding shine, essential oils can also help improve the appearance of hair. Certain essential oils, such as jojoba oil, can hydrate hair strands and increase their lustre when added to shampoos and conditioners or used in combination with carrier oils. 

  • Strengthen Hair
  • Essential oils have the ability to fortify hair strands in addition to encouraging growth and preserving the health of the scalp. Compounds in oils like lavender may boost the strength and resilience of hair, lowering breakage and raising the quality of hair. 

    Drawbacks of Synthetic Fragrances 

  • Effect on Human Health  
  • Many of the compounds in the concoction of artificial fragrances have been connected to a number of health problems. For instance, benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene, and other hazardous compounds found in these scents are associated with:

    • Cancer
    • Birth abnormalities
    • Nervous system disorders
    • Allergic reactions
    • Smell sensitivity

    Long-term exposure to these substances may cause weight gain, hormone disruption, libido disturbances, and other major health issues. Furthermore, for those who are allergic, synthetic fragrances may cause respiratory problems and allergies. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in them have the potential to be environmental toxicants, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and neurotoxins. Thus, they may make pre-existing sensitivities worse or trigger new ones in people who were previously asymptomatic. 

  • Environmental Impact 
  • The chemical constituents of synthetic scents and their interactions with ecosystems make them a primary environmental hazard. The production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a major source of air pollution. Ground-level ozone, which contributes to the buildup of smog and is detrimental to human health and plants, develops when VOCs combine with other pollutants in the atmosphere. 

    Phthalates, chemicals used to extend the longevity of scents, are included in a lot of artificial fragrances. After use, these chemicals may wash down the drain and end up in water bodies where they may accumulate in aquatic life and disturb ecosystems. Plus, aquatic species' hormone systems have been observed to be disrupted by phthalates, which has an impact on their growth and reproduction.

    Bottom Line 

    Essential oils are incredibly complex oils made up of dozens or even hundreds of different molecules that work together to give the oil its inherent aroma and skin and hair related benefits. In contrast, synthetic fragrances are artificially made and might consist of numerous chemicals that can be detrimental for your health as well as your surroundings. Hence, your ultimate choice should be incorporating skin care and hair care products composing essential oils into your routine to achieve a youthful glow and enhance your hair texture. 

    Our team at Uniquely Natural prioritises environmental sustainability and wellness of our clients. We have a broad collection of top-notch skin care and hair care products made of essential oils and natural ingredients, ranging from moisturising body lotions to Moroccan conditioners and Lavender shampoos

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