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Extracts vs Oils vs Essential Oils

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  • Extracts vs Oils vs Essential Oils

    I am looking into adding some scent to the unscented shampoo that I use with my bathing system. Does anyone use essential oils, etc?

    I have read that the difference between oils and extracts is that oils are more concentrated. How about essential oils? I saw no explanation of how essential oils differ from the others, other than the distillation process.

    I picked up a small bottle of pure peppermint extract in case I decide to try it. Dr Karen Becker recently blogged about adding peppermint oil (20 drops per gallon of water) to make a rinse, and said it got rid of the stink and yeast, and made the dog smell like a fresh piece of mint gum.

    What do you use?

  • #2
    I use essential oils- unadulterated- in my shampoos from time to time each day. Just a few (5 to 10 at most in a 32oz. dilution bottle ) drops of certain oils that I want to address certain issues with that dog. These oils WILL effect the cleansing ability and coat finish if they are overly added as will extracts, but it really doesn't take much of a good essential oil to add a scent or to help address skin & coat concerns. If you are just going for scent, you could look at many of the simple Young Living or Aveda oils, but stay away from the room freshening oils for anything except per the manufacturer specifications, and some of these aren't even healthy to be breathing in when they are heated, so buy carefully. Now extract oils- as those commonly seen used for baking, etc. such as almond, peppermint, spearmint, orange, cherry, lemon, etc.- they are safer for ingestion and have some scent, but not as clear and effective for inhalation other than the initial scent. With essentials, they are far more concentrated and actually have many undertones (and actual mental & physical benefits) and smell differently when they interact with an individual's skin chemistry or scent, so you'll get a far better "spread of scent" with essentials than extracts. Remember that essentials are actually often sold in a carrier oil or suspension, and the suspension oil is what will cause the hair tackiness and residue on the coat if overused or directly applied- the essentials within the oils can sometimes be a drier or lighter distillate, and can at times be nearly weightless and more like water depending on the process and the essence it is derived from. As with many things, with essentials, if they are cheaper, they are cheaper.
    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


    • #3
      Thanks for the info, Windy. I drove by a nice bulk foods store yesterday and picked up a bottle of extract that I am going to try today. I figured the extract was meant for internal use, so it must be gentle. The peppermint pretty much smells like mint mouthwash, so hopefully it will really freshen up the dogs.


      • #4
        Just a word of caution: many essential oils are toxic to cats so be very careful with them around cats!


        • #5
          I refuse to groom cats, so it's all good.


          • #6
            Some of those essential oils are toxic to dogs, too. Do some research before you use them. And don't forget, a dog's sense of smell is much better than yours is. Don't overwhelm them with the stuff.

            I know my own dogs can be pretty offended by some essential oils. Including peppermint.