What is E.O. Free?
As I ramp up my skin care practices with products that have more nourishing ingredients and less hazardous chemical compounds (all products whether "clean" or conventional are comprised of chemical compositions), I find that I need to be mindful of applying products that do not have too many essential oils.
My melanin rich, reactive skin has always been prone to environmental breakouts, even at the age of 50. The arsenal of typical solutions I solely leaned on were geared toward the purpose of keeping my skin clear and blemish-free (reaching for healthy choice foods, drinking water, daily exercise and stretching were and continue to be equally beneficial).
What I didn’t realize is that some essential oils in facial cleansers, moisturizers, and serums are not compatible with my body chemistry. This discovery does not discount the efficacy of the many quality-rich brands in the marketplace. It has awakened me to recognize that like conventional skin care, matching the right ingredients with your skin type is important.
Additionally, not all essential oils are created equal. Scoping out product lines that have some history in the market and provide full transparency about their ingredients will support you in your purchasing and application decision making process. As a woman of color, I also want to know that mainstream clean beauty brands consider all of us (from the R&D stage to branding to market-facing promotions–more about this subject later).
So, what is E.O. free? Essential oil free products are just that–no inlcusion of essential oils that irritate sensitive skin and are formulated with alternative compounds. Equivalently natural and chock full of reparative ingredients, there are a number of brands that cater to reactive skin like mine. There are also a host of cleansers, moisturizers, and facial oils which contain a limited amount of essential oils that may work for you as well.
As consumers it’s important that we sample what works and doesn’t work, and speak to brands about what is effective and not useful. The road to better healthcare in skin care doesn’t have to be that complicated, and it is a learning process.
For more information about essential oils this link may be useful: essential oils.