When we think of oils… we normally think of vegetable or nut oils… olive, vegetable, coconut, etc. Essential oils are different from those types of oils. Rather than staying on top of your skin… essential oils can penetrate the skin, get into your cells… and some of the compounds in them can actually cross the blood-brain barrier.
In order to provide the most benefit, essential oils have 2 things going for them that other oils don’t:
1. The size of their molecules
For any substance we put on or in our body, to accomplish its purpose, the molecules that make up that substance have to be able to reach the area where it’s needed. Molecules heavier than 500 “Dalton” (the standard measurement of weight of an “atomic mass” unit) can’t get thru the top layer of the skin.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it… the molecules in lotions, make-up, sunscreens or whatever we’re putting on our skin are all much heavier than the 500 Dalton. So, they sit on our skin rather than penetrating it and offer no long term benefits.
That’s not an issue for essential oils. They’re comprised of molecules that weigh considerably less than 500 Dalton. In other words, they can easily go through the skins’ protective barrier.
2. The lipid (fat)… solubility of their molecules
In order for anything to effect the brain’s function in a positive or negative way, it has to get past the brain-blood barrier… which requires the molecules be less than 800 Dalton and be lipid/fat soluble.
Essential Oils Are BOTH!
The molecules are less than 500 Dalton in order to get thru the skin, AND far less than the 800 Dalton required to cross the blood-brain-barrier.
The brain… the fattest organ in our body is also fat soluble. Both being fat soluble allows the essential oil to not only pass thru the skin, but also pass the blood-brain barrier where it gets into your blood tissue and then is quickly diffused to wherever it’s needed.
I hope this helps!
Next – Essential Oil Quality