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At RR, we want to remain completely transparent about the ingredients we use, and believe in minimal formulations that avoid harsh chemicals and synthetics. Our products are formulated with natural, plant-based oils that are safe even for sensitive skin types, but to those pregnant or breastfeeding their little ones, there are some ingredients that you might want to approach with caution.
For years, there has been a long running and highly controversial debate surrounding the usage of essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Due to the obviously unethical testing that would need to be done to know exactly which EO’s are harmful for pregnant and breastfeeding women, it’s generally best to err on the side of caution.
EO’s During Pregnancy
It’s widely agreed upon that expecting mothers should completely avoid topical usage of essential oils during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is a fragile time when the fetus is still developing and the mother may be susceptible to toxicity. Both medical and holistic practitioners warn that due to the molecules in EO’s being small enough to penetrate through the skin and into the placenta, there’s a chance that developmental issues can occur.
Once you’ve begun your second trimester, it’s recommended to use essential oils diluted to 1% or lower for topical application. Many holistic sources suggest avoiding EO’s like Clary Sage, Lemongrass or Litsea, diluted or otherwise, as they are believed to allegedly cause complications such as premature contractions. To stay on the safe side, during the first trimester or early stages of the pregnancy, we advise to avoid using products containing EOs completely.
EO’s During Breastfeeding
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As mentioned earlier, the molecular size of EO’s can be small enough to be absorbed through the skin, and thus, enter your breast milk. There’s conflicting claims about whether certain EO’s can increase risks of toxicity, affect the milk ducts, or even influence the amount of breast milk you produce. There are no clear cut answers on what is completely safe for you and your baby, so, we recommend consulting a doctor. If you still choose to use EO’s during this time, do stick to a 1% or lower dilution ratio.
Essential Oils vs Carrier Oils
By now, you might be wondering how we incorporate essential oils into our products in a safe way? The answer is, we dilute them with carrier oils! These nutrient-dense plant oils are safe to use on their own and are a great way to enjoy the active ingredients of an EO without the irritation. Dilution ratios can be hard to gauge exactly, but our products dilute EOs to 2% or lower.
Although we’ve covered essential oils before, here’s a quick breakdown to help explain the key differences between EO’s and carrier oils.
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- Usually distilled from the leaves, flowers, rinds, bark, and roots of a botanical, the resulting extraction is considered to be the “essence” of the plant.
Aromatic and often used in aromatherapy for stress relief and relaxation.
- Volatile (meaning that they evaporate easily into the air).
- Highly concentrated and can cause severe irritation to the skin when not diluted with water or a carrier oil.
- EO’s don’t go rancid, instead, they lose their potency through oxidation.
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- Extracted from fatty sources of plants, like nuts, seeds, and kernels.
- Thicker texture that deeply moisturises the skin layers.
- Safe to use undiluted, and often used as a base for diluting EO’s, especially in skincare
- Usually subtly scented, some varieties like Tamanu have a stronger “woody” aroma.
- Susceptible to going rancid, causing the oil to change in scent, texture, and potency.
Balance Is Key
Now, don’t get us wrong, essential oils are full of active ingredients that can effectively combat common skin concerns! However, they are potentially risky when used without proper safety measures, which is a particular concern for new and expecting mothers. EOs are extremely concentrated, in fact, a 15ml bottle of lemon essential oil can contain 60-75 lemons! EOs need to be diluted correctly to be used safely. Direct contact with the skin can cause severe rashes, burns, and irritation. When properly diluted, the nourishing qualities of EOs can work their magic without all that damage.
In our Turmeric & Lemon Eye Serum, you can enjoy the brightening effects of lemon EO, thanks to the moisturising base of Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, and Jojoba Oil!
Our Pure Oil range is one of the safest bets for new mums, as they can be used all on their own! While less concentrated than EO’s, these carrier oils are still incredibly nourishing and carry many of the antioxidants and active ingredients from their original plant source. For example, our Black Seed Pure Oil contains thymoquinone, which can help regulate melanin production and stimulate hair growth! For a natural anti-aging fix, you can try our Rosehip Pure Oil, as it’s naturally high in retinoic acids that can help fade fine lines.
RR Pure Oils are minimally processed with no added fragrance or fillers.
Which RR products are right for me?
These following products are what we recommend to be the safest choice for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding (they’re safe for babies too!):
We always encourage doing a patch test before committing to any new skincare products.
While our products that do contain EO’s are diluted to 2% or lower, we cannot guarantee the exact dilution ratio for all products (the safest range is 1% or lower). We recommend making an informed decision and consulting a doctor before trying any RR product listed below:
*The Turmeric & Lemon Eye Serum contains EO’s that are considered safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and has a confirmed dilution ratio of less than 1%. We still recommend avoiding any EO usage during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Now that you understand how to use EOs safely, be sure to take into consideration not just when purchasing RR products, but any skincare or aromatherapy products that use EOs.
There are tons of great RR options for all mums out there! DM us on Instagram or rootremedies.com and our Customer Happiness Officers will be happy to recommend a product tailored to your needs.