Some questions aren’t that easy to answer and what women want in their personal products used for bath, body, hair, cosmetics or skin care is certainly one of them. Women have dynamic tastes (and rightfully so), and yet they are also loyal to their favorite brands. How can this be explained?
Well, nothing stays the same for anyone, and for many of us, a rut can be a very comfortable place. But deep down, we all nurse the desire to once in a while try something new; get a new look, fragrance or make-over, and hopefully with it, a new lease on life brought on by new and maybe even better attitudes.
The production of cosmetics, shampoos and soaps has undergone many changes over the course of the last two decades due largely to the endless scope of the Internet, which has transformed completely both consumer experiences and women’s preferences.
Essential Oils, Personal Care, Cosmetics and Growing Trends
Today’s personal care and cosmetics market is oriented towards health, wellness and anti-aging. The purchase of beauty products, such as lipsticks or moisturizers, is not impulsive or based on whimsy, as it might have been in the past. Consumers are buying cosmetics because they serve a particular purpose. Motives can be noble and lofty, such as saving the planet and improving sustainability, or they can indicate the epitome of research, as to which product containing which specific essential oils is best for the skin or will help with relaxation.
The use of essential oils in the personal care industry is becoming more and more prevalent. The fact that they are natural and often organic is also another plus. Many popular personal care and cosmetic brands even go so far as to claim their essential oil-infused products are of high quality and therefore more costly. Some of these personal care product types include: bath salts, hand creams, moisturizers, perfumes and lipsticks.
Higher priced personal care and cosmetic brands aren’t necessarily the best
Just as the debate between natural and synthetic fragrances boils down to a subjective purchasing decision, so does buying brand name personal care products that are higher priced and assuming they are better because they are more expensive. This can be considered either a boon or a significant challenge for retailers. Andrea Van Dam, CEO of Women’s Marketing warns: “Mass market brands that offer the same benefits as luxury products will be better perceived by the female consumer and more likely to get her attention.”
Personal care product manufacturers must address an increasingly knowledgeable female customer base
Female consumers in general are becoming more informed and knowledgeable about the personal care products they buy. They have legitimate concerns about ingredient safety, keeping up with the latest innovations in beauty care, and if anything, are burdened with far too many choices. Many are disappointed with beauty brands that for decades have promised that their creams, lotions and potions will work anti-aging miracles.
Women are no longer accepting these claims or these products, as evidenced by the performance of the anti-aging skincare sector, which is currently the weakest segment in the skin care industry. A recent survey revealed that 24% of women are often unhappy with the results of their skin care products and almost a third reported that they no longer use those they have already purchased and may have tried a few times.
The Internet and the Personal Care Industry
According once again to Andrea Van Dam, social media and the Internet have given women unprecedented access to global beauty trends. In her own words:
“You Tube influencers are giving women the same access to the latest innovations in make-up and skincare and driving demand in the U.S…There’s a growing and sustainable lifestyle movement in health and wellness that is affecting all verticals. Beauty is such an important category for women that it’s no surprise the impact of the trend will be tremendous. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for both brands and retailers to position themselves as leaders by responding to consumer demand.”
The intersection of essential oils and personal care products
Essential oils have been utilized in personal care products since ancient times. They are volatile compounds and their integrity can be compromised depending on extraction methods, growth conditions and the climate in which they are cultivated. Many personal care product manufacturers are exploring the value of adding essential oils to their many shampoos, soaps and cosmetic lines. Examples abound throughout the personal care industry with products ranging from patchouli hair powders and eucalyptus shaving foams to “tooth oils” made with peppermint and spearmint.
Essential Oils and proper skincare
Good quality essential oils can greatly improve many skin conditions including acne and oily skin. Effective results lie in the selection of skincare lotions and other products that will not leave the skin tight and dehydrated. It takes time and persistence, not to mention more than a few drops of patience, to discover the right oil combination for a healing serum, as each person’s skin is as unique as handwriting, and may react differently to certain essential oils. It is recommended to start with blends of extra virgin olive or other organic oils.
Heed these next few words of caution. Never mix essential oils with facial moisturizers or other creams. The problem can be a negative reaction to some synthetic ingredients, many of which are found in commercially produced moisturizers and other products.
Which are the best essential oils for skin care?
For oily skin problems, the essential oils that work best include: bergamot, cedar-wood, cypress, frankincense, lavender, lemon and sage. Ylang-ylang, lemon and peppermint can also be effective, and all except for lavender, which can safely be applied directly onto the skin, should be blended with a carrier oil before application. For acne, geranium, lavender chamomile, rosewood, sandalwood, eucalyptus or frankincense is effective, and they also need a carrier oil to transport the oil into the skin.
(See list in subsequent paragraph explaining the uses of 10 essential oils mentioned above.)
What is carrier oil and how does it affect skin care?
The term carrier oil derives solely from its purpose, which is to “carry” the essential oil onto the skin. Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic portions of a plant. They are known to evaporate and have a concentrated aroma. Carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant (seeds, nuts, kernels) and do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils. Natural lotions, creams, body oils, bath oils, lip balms and other moisturizing skin care products are also made using carrier oils, which are also known as vegetable or base oils. They are diluted before they are applied to the skin.
Some essential oils are more popular than others
It is usually aroma that will dictate an essential oil’s appeal when it comes to cosmetics and other personal care products. According to a European report from the Netherlands, “earthy woody and fresh scents appeal most to consumers, which are best delivered through 100 percent pure essential oils.” The following list covers eight of the best essential oils for personal care and cosmetic products and why they work well.
Bergamot: The oil is extracted from the rind or peel of the fruit and has a sweet but citrusy aroma. Often used in soaps and bath oils, it is an essential oil that is known for its purifying skin benefits. It is best applied while showering. Use with caution on sensitive skin.
Cedarwood: This essential oil works wonders for hair and skin care and its scent is strong and pleasant and woodsy. Apply 3-4 drops on a brush and rub it into the skin before showering. It leaves the skin smooth and silky and is often found in bath and shower gels, soaps, shampoos and other personal care products.
Cypress Oil: This essential oil is well known for its clean and energizing scent. Perhaps its most important component is its antiseptic qualities, which are due to an ingredient known as camphene. A 2014 study published in Complementary & Alternative Medicine revealed that cypress essential oil has potent anti-microbial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria. This essential oil is often found in soaps, bath gels and other bath-related products for this reason. Cypress oil is also used in deodorants, as the anti-bacterial properties can and do prevent the bacterial buildup that causes body odor.
Frankincense: This essential oil has an uplifting and earthy aroma that inspires mental clarity and is often used in skin care products because of its antiseptic qualities. Frankincense can be found in mouthwash, toothpaste and other oral hygiene personal care products. It is said to be effective in preventing tooth decay, cavities, oral infections and just plain bad breath. It is also found in lotions and skin-care items and serves as a powerful astringent that can help protect skin cells, reduce wrinkles and signs of aging.
Lavender: This essential oil is widely used in personal care products such as: bath gels, soaps, shampoos, skin care lotions and personal fragrance choices. As an essential oil that can be applied directly to the skin, it is particularly prized. This is because of the cleansing properties of lavender essential oil and its unique and pleasing fragrance.
Lemon: As an essential oil, lemon’s citrusy, invigorating scent renders a perception of cleanliness. When cold-pressed from the peel, lemon oil has antifungal, astringent, and antiseptic properties that make it a powerful ingredient in hair and skin care products. As an astringent, lemon oil constricts bodily tissues when applied topically, which makes it an ideal deep cleanser for oily skin types. It acts as a natural toner that reduces the amount of sebum, or oily substances, produced by the sebaceous glands. It is also very effective in personal care products, such as shampoos and hair gels, as a treatment for oily hair.
Sage: This essential oil has a wide range of functions. Within the personal care products industry it is often found in oily hair and skin care products. It can be applied topically via carrier oil, but must be used sparingly to avoid unwanted skin irritations. As a hair conditioner, it fights dandruff and oily hair and due to its cleansing properties, can be a good shampoo. It is often an ingredient in skin moisturizers and lotions because it can slow down the progression of wrinkles and aging skin. Sage is very fragrant and often incorporated into soaps, colognes and perfumes.
Peppermint: This essential oil is a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint. It is probably the most versatile of all, and its uses in personal care products are endless. Many mouthwashes, toothpastes, massage oils, shampoos, soaps, body washes and lotions contain this essential oil. Its antiseptic and anti-microbial properties cool the skin, prevent acne and help to eliminate dandruff.
The key in utilizing essential oils to their most advantageous capacities lies in education about their benefits and application. Women must make choices from a myriad of personal care product options, and by understanding what they need, they can focus on those items that contain the essentials oil that can help them most. An educated female consumer is a force that manufacturers of personal care products cannot dare to ignore if the wish is to improve their company’s bottom line.
Final Thoughts on Essential Oils:
A T-shirt reads: Currently Under the Influence of Essential Oils. ~ Pinterest