An Insight into Essential Oil Composition
On average, an essential oil can have from 20-200 organic compounds within them, most at percentages of less than 1%. Depending on the potency of the compound, even at these levels it could add additional therapeutic actions to the overall oil composition.
Notes and Evaportion
Essential oils are volatile, meaning they evaporate, slowly over time. There are different levels or what is known as notes of evaporation rates or times; top, top-middle, middle, middle-base and base, being the slowest evaporation rate of oils. Think about that the next time you are smelling a blend and how the aroma changes over time. It happens slowly so we don’t immediately notice the subtle changes but over time you’ll notice the slight change. It’s a beautiful trait of essential oils.
We always say essential oils and water do not mix. They have a small degree of solubility to water but not significant enough to being anywhere safe to ingest.
Essential oils are lipid-soluble substances meaning they can enter a cell by dissolving in the lipid portion of the membrane (enter in through our skin) and diffuse through it. The greater the lipid solubility, the more readily a molecule (essential oils are tiny molecules) will pass through the membrane. By diluting in a carrier substance it “fixes” the essential oils, allowing more of the essential oil to penetrate through the skin. This is accomplished by the essential oil binding to the carrier oil and this in turn slows the evaporation rate, allowing more to penetrate through the dermis (skin) before completely evaporating and at the same time protecting the skin. Many oils will cause an allergic type reaction, whereas the carrier oil, when used in accordance to proper dilution rate(s) per oil, will protect the skin.