A Must-Read Fact-Sheet on Essential Oils

Words: Kuan Nee
Photos: Kyle Topping


Our friend Saferskin recently got together with certified aromatherapist at Havaroma to find out what makes an essential oil the real deal. Kuan Nee answered our questions and helped us demystify the subject of essential oils.

How are essential oils “made”?

Essential oils are “made” by the plants themselves! They are the scientists, harvesting the energy and light from the sun, thus creating these essential oils.

How do essential oils like lavender work? 

When we talk about the therapeutic properties of each essential oil, what we are really talking about is the chemical components that make up the essential oil. Linalol for example, is a chemical component prominently found in Lavandula angustifolia, Lavender, that is. Linalol has been widely researched in areas of helping with sleep, relaxing the nervous system and reduce anxiety. To know the therapeutic property of each essential oils is fundamentally to know the chemistry make up of each essential oil.

How do we know if an essential oil is of good quality?

We go by one and one thing only – GCMS reports. It is a report that we tells us the chemical components aka therapeutic properties of each essential oil, adulterated or not, pesticides used on the plants or not. It is a report that breaks down everything in the essential oil. Always ask for the updated report regardless of whether you understand it or not as it is your right to know and the responsibility of the company to provide. These reports change from batch to batch.

We teach you how to read some of the important things in a GCMS report in our aromatherapy workshops. This is truly important for people who are using essential oils to support their health.

What’s the risk in purchasing poor quality essential oils?

By poor quality oils, we are really talking about synthetic oils manufactured in the factory, adulterated essential oils and also essential oils that are harvested from plants that were not organically farmed – pesticides used in this case. These oils do not possess the therapeutic qualities as those from the plants and in most cases, these are allergens causing headaches, sneezing and such. Not only it does not support our health one bit, it increases the chemical overload in our body and it can bring detrimental effects to our health and well-being.

Where can people in Singapore buy good quality essential oils?

As long as a company is able to provide updated batch by batch GCMS reports, you are good. In havaroma, we have our updated GCMS reports published next to each essential oil so you can download them for your perusal.