Derived from the heart of flowers, leaves, fruits, bark, seeds and roots of plants, these aromatic, fragrant and volatile concentrates are the most powerful natural active ingredients known.
- Collected using highly specialised methods (expression or steam distillation) so as not to adversely affect their benefits, Essential Oils contain certain active ingredients that are concentrated up to 100 times their natural strength.
- One million jasmine flowers are required to extract 1 litre of essential oil, and 100kg of orange blossom is used to produce just 100g of Neroli essential oil.
- Consisting of hundreds of active molecules working in synergy, the richness of each Essential Oil tells its own story, and has highly specific properties related to the properties of the plant it is taken from: calming, stimulating, softening, purifying or cleansing etc.
Rosemary oil, for example, contains 250 different substances, and it is the combination of all these molecules that results in its effectiveness.
Each essential oil used by Decléor undergoes numerous quality control checks, including chromatography to scientifically validate the chemical profile required.
Decléor researchers have been working with painstaking accuracy, rigour and passion for 35 years. The Decléor Research and Development laboratories provide a triple guarantee to ensure faultless excellence: namely, the purity, quality and effectiveness of essential oils.
- Plant quality
Decléor carefully checks the identity sheet of the plant by validating the botanical species, the part of the plant distilled, and the place and method of cultivation to certify its origins. We also guarantee the extraction method most appropriate to each species in order to preserve their active ingredients.
- Purity of the essential oil
Excellence is achieved by ensuring that oils are perfectly pure (non-diluted), natural (non-synthetic) and complete (all the molecules are preserved).
- Efficacy of the essential oil
Usually invisible to the naked eye, to the touch and sense of smell, what distinguishes an essential oil extracted from the same plant species is the amount of its active ingredients - this is what gives it its power as well as its rarity and price. We only use essential oils of the highest quality.
Unlike vegetable oils -which are extracted from seeds and pits and are very heavy- Essential oils are excessively light.
Essential oils are often compared to gases. Those gases have a specific property, which enable them to easily reach the different layers of the skin, to have a good miscibility, to fit with the skin lipids and penetrate it very easily and act as a very important vector of activation.
This is the main difference between an essential oil and a vegetable oil.
The study of essential oils shows that while being 100% natural, their composition involves advanced chemistry since oil can contain more than 200 different molecules.
Each molecule, even at a trace level in the oil, has an impact on the results regarding the tolerance, the smell and efficiency.
All our know how at Decléor stems from this knowledge.
Indeed, we do work on about 40 to 50 different essential oils. Thanks to a gas chromatography process, we have been able to identify the composition of each essential oil and according to the results we can relate an essential oil to a specific cosmetic use.
For instance, if the essential oil contains phenols, it will have a bactericidal action. By contrast, if it contains ketones it will have a more softness and soothing effect.
So, depending on the chemicals profiles of essentials oils we can attribute to oil a specific cosmetic use.
We will first make in vitro tests; id est. tests made with test tubes, then ex vivo tests, that is to say the study of essential oil effects on fragment of skin and finally, in vivo tests, which are tests on volunteers to validate all the tests realized previously.
Screening regularly a dozen of essential oils in relation to a certain type of action is a policy we have been carrying out for more than 10 years.
At Decléor, 20% of the R&D budget is devoted to fundamental studies on essential oils.
These studies will not have an immediate use for product development but will serve as a database on which we will work on for future development.
When looking for a new essential oil for further studies we make clear:
-the type of plant we need
-its Latin name to clearly identify the species
We first focus on the chemotype; for example, regarding the chamomile, there are blue chamomile, German chamomile and the Roman chamomile used by Decléor.
Then, we choose the place where the Roman chamomile is going to be grown because a same plant with the same chemotype grown in a different place, where the sun exposure is different, where the soil is different will have a different chemical profile and won’t have the same efficiency.
Hence, the importance of a precise knowledge of the type of plant you use and of its growing environment.
When I speak of chamomile is a plant that is relatively easy to find since it grows in Europe, and the Roman chamomile used by Decléor is from France.
But for an essential oil such as Ylang Ylang, we will look much further, for an essential oil of Melaleuca, we will look for it in Australia, for Ylang, we will look for it in the Comoro Islands and for Vanilla, we will look for it in Madagascar.
So Decléor is really focused on locating the best plants and thus the most efficient essential oils possible.