This article first appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of NewBeauty. Click here to subscribe.


At just 12 years old, Josh Rosebrook would read product
labels, test the lotions and potions in his bathroom, and painstakingly compile
results. His curiosity about the connection between natural extracts from
plants and herbs and true health and beauty led him to create his own products
using what he calls “the greatest lab ever created: Mother Nature.” Here, he
celebrates one of nature’s greatest gifts and skin care’s prized ingredients:
essential oils.

THE POWER OF PLANTS
“Considered the ‘spirit’ of the plant by many wellness
aficionados, essential oils are a complex mixture of plant chemicals that are
physically isolated from plants’ leaves, seeds, peels, stems and flowers by
either steam distilling, cold-pressing/expression or CO2 extraction,” says
Rosebrook. “This mixture contains therapeutic and aromatic benefits that have
been used for thousands of years, and science is finally catching up.”

AROMATHERAPY FIX
Inhaling essential oils in the practice of aromatherapy can
provide one of many moodhacking effects, from anxiety relief to an energy
boost. “Lavender, rose, lavandin, mandarin, bergamot and frankincense have all
been proven to reduce stress,” says Rosebrook, who’s working on his own
anti-stress blend to launch next year. “Essential oils are volatile, so if
sprayed, they evaporate. Studies show that when inhaled from a cloth or tissue,
the oils are most effective because the vapors move quickly into the brain and
lungs. This can change your mood, as well as lower anxiety and cortisol in the
bloodstream.”

Rosebrook recommends storing your oils in a cool, dark area,
as exposure to heat accelerates oxidation, which can cause them to lose their
therapeutic ability.

TOPICAL BENEFITS
When used on the skin and scalp, essential oils “should be
pure, organic and not past their shelf life, which is generally three to five
years,” Rosebrook says. They’re also extremely concentrated and must be diluted
with a carrier oil—often jojoba or coconut oil—and used in exact
concentrations: 20 to 30 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil. “Store essential
oils in a cool, dark area—exposure to heat accelerates oxidation, which can
cause them to lose their therapeutic ability,” says Rosebrook.

“Applying essential oils without diluting them—referred to
as ‘neat’—like applying tea tree to a pimple for example, should only be done
after consulting a professional, and should be limited to one drop,” adds
Rosebrook. As far as which oils are best for which concerns, Rosebrook has it
down to a science. Have sensitive skin? Neroli and sandalwood can help soothe.
Worried about environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution? Blue tansy
is a powerful antioxidant.

If acne is the issue, rose, geranium and clary sage offer
anti-inflammatory, blemish-busting benefits: Rosebrook notes that “rose oil has
been found to act as an incredibly effective moisturizing acne treatment due to
its antimicrobial properties.” To promote a healthy scalp and hair growth, try
oregano, thyme, tea tree, rosemary, or citrus essential oils.

NOT ALL OILS ARE EQUAL
“Hundreds of studies validate that essential oils are
extremely beneficial for the skin and scalp, but when they are used in too high
of a concentration, or if they’re impure, oxidized or fake, they can be
sensitizing and damaging,” says Rosebrook. “This is part of a huge problem that
continually affects public opinion of essential oils.” A reason for this, Rosebrook
explains, is that inexperienced brands sometimes increase the amount of
essential oils to cover the natural nut and seed aromas, often making the
concentration too high for topical therapeutic benefits. To avoid an allergic
reaction, do a patch test on your inner arm 24 hours before using a new
product.

JOSH ROSEBROOK VITAL BALM CREAM, $85

“It’s a protective, skin barrier–reinforcing balm with botanical hyaluronic
acid that finishes like a cream. Blue tansy, lavender and ylang-ylang calm my
senses and lift my spirit. I truly don’t know what I’d do without it.”

H. GILLERMAN ORGANICS MUSCLE REMEDY, $48
“Hope Gillerman is a passionate pro, and this lavender,
basil and spearmint blend is truly effective at relieving sore muscles,
especially when my neck is sore. It assuages the pain instantly.”

OSMIA ORGANICS RECOVERY SALT BATH, $29
“I melt away from the world when I bathe with these salts.
Juniper makes me feel so invigorated, and marjoram soothes my spirit. The aroma
is perfection and truly rejuvenates my skin and muscles.”

28 LITSEA TOP NOTE WILD CITRUS BODY OIL, $22
“This body oil is a proprietary citrus essential oil blend
using the highest-quality oils that absorb instantly. The invigorating mix of
hypnotic wild orange and litsea cubeba leaves me breathless!”

MEOW MEOW TWEET LEMON ROSE CLEANSING OIL, $25
“I adore rose, but it needs to be blended with the right
essential oil counterparts for me to really appreciate it. This oil is the
ultimate in simplicity and a purifying treat. I love it!”

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