Essential Oils vs. Fragrance oils: Is Natural Really Better?

“Don’t ever buy bath products with chemical ingredients!” “Only 100% natural essential oils are safe!” “Synthetic scents are bad for your health!” Sound familiar? Maybe your friend was going on a rant, you saw a label at Whole Foods, or read it on some website you found, but I’m willing to bet that everyone has heard these claims before. Many people have come to the conclusion that natural equals good and synthetic equals bad. But is this really true? The short answer is no, but there’s a little more to it than that. Because Bubbles & Fizz uses both essential oils and fragrance oils, I’m going to explain the difference to clear up any confusion.

First, we have to understand what each one is. Essential oils are extracted from plant sources. They are natural because they come from plants, but it is important to know that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is perfectly fine and safe to use however you want. Remember, cyanide is also natural. Fragrance oils are commonly used in most bath products. They are synthetically made from chemical compounds that are not found in nature, so they aren’t natural, but that does not necessarily mean they are bad or unsafe. For example, the majority of medicine is man-made, and it is completely safe. I use both fragrance and essential oils in my bath bombs because they each serve different purposes. Essential oils are great for aromatherapy and earthy, woodsy, citrusy, and sometimes floral scents. Fragrance oils are used in place of plants that can’t have oils extracted from them, such as strawberry, watermelon, and apple, and also just for fun scents that aren’t found in nature, such as cupcake and gingerbread. 

So, why do so many people think that fragrance oils are bad because they are artificial? Well, the truth is that there are some bad fragrance oils out there that are cheaply made and aren’t great for you. But the problem is that people mistake the bad quality for being a result of “synthetic” instead of just being a cheap product. Products that contain harsh chemicals aren’t bad because they contain chemicals, they’re bad because the chemicals are harsh. To ensure the safety of my products, I always do extensive research on the fragrance oils I use. Even though not all Bubbles & Fizz bath bombs are all-natural, I always make sure that the ingredients are high-quality, vegan, and safe!