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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Essential Oils in Products

Updated: Apr 4

picture showing natural plants that essential oils are derived from and a dropper applying an essential oil

Essential oils have been used for a long time for aromatherapy, personal care products, pet products and so many other applications. There are some great reasons to incorporate essential oils into your products.

Here are some of the advantages of essential oils:

  1. They Offer a Soothing and Pleasing Fragrance

  2. Essential Oils are Natural and Sustainable

  3. The Therapeutic Properties They Offer are Healthy and Beneficial

Soothing and Pleasing Fragrance

One of the main reasons for using essential oils in products, is the amazing scent that they offer! They tend to have a captivating aroma that is pleasing to our olfactory sense. They are known to offer aromatherapeutic benefits such as promoting relaxation, stress relief and emotional well-being. Who doesn't want those? A great scent combined with healthy benefits... sounds good so far.

Picture of lady smelling essential oil with smile and having it help calm her

Natural and Sustainable

Most of our customers inquire about essential oils, simply because they are naturally-derived. They are plant-based and derived from nature. So, there's a confidence in using them, due to how safe they are vs. chemical products. As the world turns farther away from chemicals, people look for natural alternatives and essential oils are... exactly that. Many manufacturers of essential oils use minimal procedures to produce essential oils, to ensure that they do not harm the beneficial ingredients in the plants. As a result, they use minimal processing which also makes them sustainable. That's appealing to those with a green agenda.

Therapeutic Properties

Nature can offer answers to our dilemmas... if we know where to look! Essential oils offer help to common problems we face. For instance, lavender oil can possess anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary oil is believed to have a stimulating effect on hair growth. Chamomile oil offers calming benefits for sensitive skin. Aloe Vera oil is used as an anti-irritant and moisturizer. You may have to watch the claims you make on your labels and ensure that you do not make a "drug claim" for your products you are selling. But, at least you can know that you are using healthy and beneficial ingredients in your product!

We use some essential oils in some of our personal care products, due to all of these benefits they offer!

If you would like to take a look at some of the beauty products we private label for spas and distributors, just click here:

The disadvantages of using Essential Oils in products:

While essential oils offer many benefits, they can also have some drawbacks, depending upon the products they are in and how they will be used. It's helpful to be aware of not only the advantages, but also the disadvantages of using them. Here are a few of the challenges with using essential oils in natural products:

  1. Allergic Reactions

  2. Possible Skin Irritations

  3. Potential Safety Issues to Pets

Allergic Reactions

One of the concerns to consider when using essential oils in pet products, and personal care products for humans, is the potential for allergic reactions.

Essential Oils are highly concentrated. It takes a lot of plant material to derive an oil from them. Since essential oils are concentrated oil derived from plants, there's a chance some people can experience allergic symptoms toward them. We can be allergic to all kinds of plants out in nature. So, even if a plant is natural and offers benefits, some people can still have allergies towards them.

Although they may smell pleasing, if you are prone to an allergic reaction from them, you can potentially experience some nasal congestion, coughing, etc. when inhaling them.

Picture shows a lady that is experiencing an allergic reaction to an essential oil

Skin Irritations

However, the allergic reactions you hear about most often, are typically skin irritations. Some essential oils can cause itching & general irritation. I ran into this personally once...

Years ago, I was at a coffee shop and went into their restroom and saw they were featuring a natural, liquid hand soap, made by a local entrepreneur. They had a flyer next to the hand soap that had a picture of the local owner of the soap and a write-up of how great the hand soap is... since it was 100% natural and made with natural essential oils. The flyer discussed how excited she was, to be making her own natural products locally. She went on to discuss the benefits of essential oils and raved about how safe and great natural products are. I used it and loved the smell of it myself! Well, my enthusiasm dissipated rather quickly, when I got back to my table and realized that my nose was itching continually. I kept scratching it with my hand which only seemed to make it worse and worse. It even had a slight burning sensation. It was a miserable experience for me that lasted for hours. I know it wasn't everyone's experience... but it sure made an impression on me.

More than likely, the owner of the liquid soap wasn't experienced with which oils to use, or didn't realize how much to put into her formula. Inexperienced and new entrepreneurs tend to make that mistake. They know that the more oil they use, the stronger the pleasant scent is to their customers. Not only that, but if they offer benefits, then why not use more in the formula? However, more isn't always better... and it's best to use appropriate amounts, when a product is being used on human skin.

So, it's something to keep in mind as you make products for humans and pets. We think it's helpful to talk through the advantages and disadvantages of each with our customers!

Potential Safety Issues With Pets

While essential oils can offer benefits to humans, there can be increased risks associated with using them for pets. Pets have a heightened sensitivity to certain essential oils.

For instance, oils should never be used for products associated with cats!

Some oils can pose risks for dogs too. For instance, oils containing phenols, such as tea tree oil and clove oil can be harmful to dogs.

Dogs have more sensitive skin than humans do... so it's important to use gentle formulas for products being used on dogs.

We private label natural dog grooming products for customers. So, we get requests for a number of different types of ingredients to be used in products we make for customers. Although essential oils can be used in low concentrations in certain formulas... as a rule, we tend to avoid them with our pet grooming products. We have found that our canine friends tend to be happier with the naturally-derived, light scents that we use in our formulas!

If you would like to see the naturally-derived pet grooming products that we private label for companies in the pet industry, you can see them by clicking on the picture below:

Are you looking for natural products to start a new business or expand your current brand?

We love helping customers grow their businesses through private labeling! We have a large offering of natural products in 6 different categories! In addition, we are always developing new products.

We are a natural products supplier that desires to understand the needs of our customers and how they want to go to market. So, we make efforts to get to know each and every customer and we try to figure out how to help them achieve their goals. We help them decide which products they want to start with and also give support on conveying the benefits of those products to their customers.

We even develop unique, complimentary packaging for them!

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