Your Cart is Empty

April 19, 2020 2 min read

Do you have trouble telling the difference between an essential oil and a natural oil? Are you lost when you hear about lavender essential oil and lavender hydrosol? If so, the following details will help you figure it all out.


What natural oils are?

A natural oil is a fatty substance extracted by pressure from oleaginous plant organs, such as seeds (sweet almond, hemp), nuts (macadamia) or sometimes pulp (avocado, coconut). Several pressure methods can be used to obtain the oil, but to best preserve the fatty acids and vitamins that make up the oil, first cold pressure is the optimal choice. This method is applied by mechanical pressure at low temperature.


Macerated Oils: what does that mean?

Maceration is used for plants that offer health benefits but don’t produce oil. These include Arnica, Marigold (Calendula) or St. John's Wort flowers. The macerated oil is then simply obtained by macerating the plant organ in a basic natural oil. Sunflower or olive oils are most often used.


What are essential oils, and what are hydrosols?

Essential oils are essences extracted from certain parts of aromatic plants by steam distillation, i.e. leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, roots. Although they are qualified as oils, they are an essence and not a fatty substance.

Distillation produces two liquids:

  • a less dense liquid loaded with aromatic molecules that float on its surface; this is the essential oil.
  • a denser liquide. distilled water, which contains less than 5% of aromatic molecules. This produces the aromatic hydrosol, also called floral water. Simply put, the hydrosol is the water used to distill the essential oil and, although their virtues are complementary, they are used in different ways. The hydrosol can be used as a facial cleansing and toning lotion or simply as a refreshing fragrance water.

Note: citrus essences (lemon, sweet orange) are not obtained by steam distillation, but through mechanical pressure of the peel.


What to Remember:

Plant Extracts


Common Cosmetic Uses

Natural Oils (Face & Body Oils)

Fatty substance extracted from oleaginous plant organs by mechanical pressure

Massage, skin and hair care, cosmetic preparations

Macerated Oils

Plant flowers macerated in basic natural oil

Massage, skin and hair care, cosmetic preparations

Essential Oils

Essence extracted from an aromatic plant through steam distillation

Diluted in a natural oil for skin and hair care, atmospheric diffusion. Several precautions may be necessary before use

Hydrosols (Floral Waters)

Water used to distill the essential oil, which contains less than 5% of aromatic molecules

Facial cleansing and toning lotions, refreshing fragrance water

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.