Skin Absorption of Essential Oils

Skin is the largest organ of the body, weighing in at an average of 9 lbs. Our skin is a living, dying and rejuvenating organ, constantly on the move. Ill-treatment of the skin can take 3 to 4 months to have an effect and visa versa. Skin is the packaging that keeps us warm, stops our insides from falling out and keeps the rain out. It is our outer warning system, alerting our brain about the environment we encounter.

Skin is mostly waterproof, however it does allow substances with small molecular structures and low molecular weight to penetrate it. Molecules of essential oils pass through the skin's epidermis and are carried away by the capillary blood circulating in the dermis. They are then taken into the lymphatic and extra cellular fluids at which point the therapeutic ingredients of the essential oils are broken down and used by various regions of the body. After the essential oils perform healing functions they are metabolized and eliminated with the bodies other waste.

Skin is our largest elimination organ. It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 7 hours for skin to fully absorb essential oils, depending on body fat. Essential Oils are eliminated from our bodies within 3 to 26 hours through our saliva, urine, feces or sweat in a healthy adult. Essential Oils work as rubbish collectors, attaching themselves to toxins, free-radicals, cell debris, heavy metals, renegade cells, fungi, bacteria, viruses or other debris and taking them to the exits for disposal. Because of this, in an unhealthy adult, it can take up to 14 hours for the essential oils to pass through the body. The human body takes the most vital properties of essential oils and uses them to bring itself into balance and is left in a healthier state without side effects. 

It is easy to test the absorption of essential oils. If you were to smear lavender essential oil onto your cheek, you would taste the lavender inside your mouth. Garlic essential oil can be smeared onto your ankle and the aroma will soon appear in your breath. Components of essential oils can be found in a blood sample taken after an application of essential oils.

Essential oils can stimulate circulation to the surface skin cells, encourage cell regeneration and the formation of new skin cells. Some essential oils calm inflamed or irritated skin, release muscle spasms, soothe sore muscles and relieve muscular tension.

Many scientist believe that essential oils stimulate the body's own natural defense systems. The positive effect of essential oils on blood circulation is well known. Studies have found that basil, tea tree and thyme essential oils can encourage the production of white blood cells, boosting the immune system of the body.

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