“[Essential oils are] extracted from plants to capture their natural scent and flavor, and all their beneficial properties,” dermatologist Peterson Pierre tells Teen Vogue. “Each essential oil has unique ingredients that give it a characteristic essence.”
And while they may feel oily to the touch, essential oils aren’t exactly oils, as their composition differs vastly from animal and vegetable oils. In other words, instead of being primarily composed of fatty acids, the molecular structure of an essential oil depends on the plant from which it came–usually through distillation or a mechanical process known as cold-pressing, explained Pierre.
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