A Guide to Sustainable Essential Oils


the nature of things essential oils flatlay.

Essential Oils are a must-have item in your sustainable toolkit. They offer us the chance to make homemade remedies in a sustainable and purse-friendly way but with increased demand, sustainability of the oils themselves is crucial for biodiversity on our already threatened planet.

Whether you are on a mission to eliminate toxic chemicals from your cleaning products or finding ways to introduce more natural ingredients into your skincare regime, they are natural, biodegradable, come in a highly concentrated form (so a little goes a long way) and they allow you to create hundreds of products at home in a simply way.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated volatile plant extracts, obtained from a natural raw material of plant origin by distillation. There are several different kinds of essential oil distillation methods including steam distillation, cold pressing and expeller pressing. The distillation method used depends on the type of plant species and material. Typically, it is the most aromatic part of the plant used, for example, rose oil comes from the petals of the rose, while citrus oils come from the rind.

Pure essential oils are all natural but they are extremely potent. On average, they are 75x more powerful than dried herbs and must be handled with care. A couple of drops go a long way and aside from very specific oils, essential oils should always be diluted (for example in carrier oil) properly before applying them directly to your skin.

How are Essential Oils made?

Most pure essential oils are extracted from plants through steam distillation. Freshly picked plants are suspended over boiling water, and the steam pulls the oils out of the plant. The steam rises, is captured in a vessel, and is pushed along tubing. Then the steam is rapidly cooled, causing it to condense back into water. Since water and essential oils do not mix, the two separate, and the essential oil is collected.

Did you know? A byproduct of this distillation is the remaining water. Some plants contain aromatic compounds that are so water soluble, they remain in the water that is left over after distillation. Such waters are very fragrant and are prized by aromatherapists, who refer to them as hydrosols (or toners). In aromatherapy, hydrosols are used mostly in cosmetics to moisturize skin.

picked flowers flat lay

Benefits of essential oils

Essential oils are prized for their therapeutic effects on the body. They are renowned for easing muscular aches and pains, improving circulation and easing sinus congestion. They also have a positive effect on the skin; the oil molecules' ability to penetrate into deeper skin layers encourages cellular renewal, enhances blood circulation and helps with issues such as acne, sensitivity and eczema.

Essential oils can also be used in home cleaning products and for general well-being in the context of emotional support and the scent themselves.

Some of the most popular essential oils, like lavender and sweet orange, cross over into many categories and can be used effectively for many applications.

Although there's no doubt that essential oils boast a multitude of amazing uses, if you are pregnant you should consult your doctor before using them.

How to use Essential Oils?

Dilluting essential oils allows them to work better as when exposed to air along, the molecules of the pure essential oilstend to evaporate very quickly.

For skin care, in addition to avoiding a potential skin reaction, adding a few drops of the essential oil to a carrier substance better facilities the absorption of the oil by the body. Common carrier substances include neutral, plant based oils such as sweet almond, jojoba, olive and avocado oil.

The general rule of thumb is to aim for a 1-5% dilution. Ideally 1-3% for skincare and 3-5% for home and air care. A 1% dilution is 6 drops per 30ml.

If you want to find out how to create your own oil blend, see our blog post here.

Sustainably Sourced Essential Oils

Essential oils offer us the chance to make homemade remedies in a sustainable and purse-friendly way but with increased demand, sustainability of the oils themselves is crucial for biodiversity on our already threatened planet.

Aromatic plants contain anywhere from 0.005 to 10% essential oil so that's a lot of plant material being used to create essential oils (typically 1-2%). This accounts for the difference in essential oil prices per plant.

The essential oil industry is dependent on natural resources which has sparked concern over sustainable sourcing alongside worker's rights, climate conditions, pestilence, disease and civil unrest, however if sourced sustainably, essential oils are highly concentrated and if used properly, they can be both environmentally sustainable and economical.

Over-harvesting and threatened species

There are certain essential oils that continue to be unsustainably produced from dwindling resources such as Indian Sandalwood, Agarwood and Rosewood plus Frankincense and Myrhh which are in great demand but are collected from limited resources in areas of the world that tend to duffer from severe drought conditions. These five highly sought-after and valuable essential oils, in particular, are often subject to illegal poaching and trade.

over harvested sandalwood essential oil

Illegal logging of Sandalwood 

Workers rights

Much of the farming required to produce essential oils occurs in less developed countries where working standards are not necessarily well regulated. Looking for Fairtrade or choosing a brand that sources direct are your best options to ensure workers rights are protected and respected.

Organic essential oils certification vs sustainability

It is important also to remember that not all farmers who practice organic farming are necessarily certified so we do need to look beyond certifications sometimes. Some plants distilled into essential oils are not farmed but collected in the wild, especially in forests (so they are not eligible for organic certification which only covers farmed produce). The key for wild plants is to make sure the collection is managed and controlled in a way that allows for a healthy regeneration of the resource and at the long term impact on the environment, the communities and the viability of the activity. 

organic lavender field france

Why we have chosen to stock The Nature of Things Essential Oils

We have chosen to stock essential oils by The Nature Of Things based in Dublin, Ireland. With over 20 years of experience working in the world of sustainable essential oils, the founder Benoit Nicol noticed the market was flooded with underwhelming oils and wanted to use everything he had learnt, from the farmers, distillers and scientists to create a brand that celebrates the best quality natural oils and ensure every process of creating the end-product has a record of sustainable practices, finally presenting the products in beautiful packaging to encourage consumers to embrace essential oils as part of their 'sustainable toolkit'. All of the oils are imported from different parts of the worlds directly from producers and bottled in Dublin. Benoit has hand selected producers who have a genuine passion for distilling top quality oils and a proven record of sustainable practices. Their producers work hand in hand with their communities to protect the environment and support their local economies. 

"Our policy is that whenever possible, we will source essential oils that are organic certified and/or fair trade certified, whatever the cost. But quality and sustainability will come first as we are committed to offering the best essential oils from the most trusted suppliers."

 The Nature of Things are a 1% For The Planet member.

"Sourcing our ingredients and packaging from ethical suppliers is not enough, we also need as an organisation to play our part. As a business, we are committed to: 

  • Using packaging with the highest possible recycling rate, such as glass, aluminium and paper​
  • Limiting our operations footprint by reducing our energy and water usage
  • Compensating our people fairly and supporting their development 
  • Supporting organisations that help protect the environment and promote responsible business."

A few of our favourite essential oils

Lemon oil

Organic Lemon Essential Oil, 12ml, £6.80
  • Scent - Juicy, fresh and zesty
  • Mind - Energising, uplifting and ind boosting effects
  • Skin - Tonic, but avoid use before exposure to the sun
  • Health - Good for winter infections and anti-microbial
  • Home - Antiseptic and antibacterials in cleaning formulas and fresheners

the nature of things lemon essential oil.

Lavender oil

Lavender Essential Oil, 12ml, £13.00

  • Scent - Balance of aromatic, florl and sweet notes
  • Mind - Calming and relazing effect, promotes sleep
  • Skin - Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • Health - Helps healing light burns, wounds and insect bites
  • Home - Freshener and antimicrobial

the nature of things lavender essential oil.

Tea tree oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil, 12ml, £12

  • Scent - Medicinal, herbal
  • Mind - Head clearing and stimulating
  • Skin - Astringent for acneic skin, anti-inflammatory and regenerative for wounded skin
  • Hair - Revitalizing and good against lice
  • Health - Antiviral and antibacterial
  • Home - Antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits, freshener

the nature of things tea tree essential oil.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint Essential Oil, 12ml, £7.20

  • Scent - Strong fresh menthol scent
  • Mind - Energy and mind boosting effects
  • kin - Muscle pain and tension
  • Health - Headaches and colds
  • Home - Powerful antiseptic, freshener

the nature of things peppermint essential oil.

To see more of our top 10 best essential oils and how to use them in your health, beauty and cleaning routine, see our blog post here.

To find out how to blend essential oils, see our blog post here.

Safety caution
Note that these properties were compiled from books on aromatherapy and natural wellness. The Kind Store does not endorse health claims and always advises to use basic common sense when using the oils and seek advise from a qualified physician if you suffer from any illness.

The Kind Store team try and test all products that we stock, so you can be certain that what you are buying is high quality, works well and loved by us. We source all products using our ethos via our sustainable principles, so you can trust that what you are buying is kind to animals, people and planet. We stock items from UK independent makers and suppliers to ensure our products are eco-friendly. Discover hundreds of vegan, natural, sustainable and cruelty-free products.

feefo gold trusted service award winner.          living wage employer logo.

Other blog posts you might be interested in...



    Am so glad to be expressing my profound gratitude to a man that is so concerned about other people’s well being. I was suffering from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS TYPE II) The doctors keep telling me that there is no cure but i believe that there is a cure somewhere and they don’t want people to get cured. I tried searching online if i could see anything that will help me and a comment on YouTube on how Dr Osaro help to cure herpes with herbs and i also saw so many comments about him on many web pages on how he had helped and cured so many people suffering from HERPES 1$2, HPV, CANCER, HIV/AIDS, COLD SORE etc. So I contacted him through his email and I shared my problems with him and he sent me the herbs through UPS and gave me instructions on how to use it. It took me two weeks to finish the herbs and after I finished using it, he told me to go for a medical test, behold the result was negative, now I am HERPES VIRUS free. I just want to use this platform to thank Dr. Osaro for curing me from that horrible disease and also for exposing his herbal cure to the world at large, please you can as well contact Dr Osaro on his email below.

    Name: Dr. Osaro Enoma
    Email: natureroot.herbs@gmail.com
    PHONE/WHATS APP : +(2349029519146}

    Dr Osaro herbs is the perfect remedy for Herpes1&2, HPV, HIV and other diseases.

  • I am a very happy woman with the help of Dr Krish Spiritual who helped me restore my relationship with my ex husband. My name is Agnes Smith and I am from Alaska, USA. I met Dr Krish Spiritual through a testimony online and I never thought I would have my ex husband back after 4 years of separation. After my contact with his email, he told me not to worry and I would really be happy as I am now. Trusting in his words was the right decision for me. After 2 days, my ex husband called me saying that he wants to return back to me and live with me forever and I was very shocked. This made me believe that Dr Krish is really a very great spiritual man. Today, I am very happy to write this testimony about him and want others to testify to his power as I am currently happy in my restored marriage. Don’t waste time on that relationship problem. Contact Dr Krish Spiritual directly through his email at lordkrishshrine@gmail.com to help you solve that relationship problems in your marriage

    Agnes Smith

    Hello to you all, I want to share this testimony to all of you out there, seeking for treat for your illness, I had herpes, it was gradually killing me, I went to many hospital for treatment but each time i am treated it goes and then come back again, i was so worried until i met Dr.Osaro on the internet, he told me he could cure the herpes i did not believe him, but since i really needed help i decided to give him a try, he prepare some medicine ( herbs ) and sent to me, after drinking it for 17 days and applying the herbal ointment on the affected area, i went back for Lab text, it was gone, then i decided to wait for another 6 month, it is now 9 months, the herpes is no longer traceable in my blood, i have be completely treated and cure of Herpes,no more attacks, so i am using this chance to tell any one out there who has herpes or any other illness, to please contact Dr. Osaro, he also has the cure for HIV/AIDS, HERPES, CANCER, ALS AND Hepatitis,GENITAL WARTS and cure for many other Sexually Transmitted Decease STD. please contact him on

    Name: Dr. Osaro Enoma
    Email: natureroot.herbs@gmail.com
    Phone: +2349029519146.

    If you get treated please also tell others.
  • My name is Nina Williams, and I am divorced. I have three kids with my ex-husband, who messed up my credit report before we got divorced. This made my life with my kids a living hell, and I felt frustrated. However, I met a friend in church who recommended H A C K M A V E N S CREDIT SPECIALIST. I contacted them, and within 7 days, they fixed my credit and increased my score from 515 to 785. Now, I can take loans, own a house, and run a business. If you have any credit-related issues, you can reach out to them via EMAIL: H A C K M A V E N S 5 @ G M A I L. C O M or Call/Text/Whats-App: [+ 1 (2 0 9) 4 1 7 – 1 9 5 7].

    Nina Williams
  • DR. OSATO`S CURE FOR HERPES1&2 – A NATURAL WAY TO GET HERPES1&2 CURED. If you have been looking for ways to naturally get rid of the herpes simplex virus from your body totally, then you are welcome to read further. Let’s face reality here, you have tried so many counter drugs and you are confused, weak and angry because nothing seems to work. Good News For you my friend…. Yes, I came with good news that will liberate you from the pains and stress of herpes outbreak, you will get total cure from this virus using Dr. Osato Herbal Methodology. Who is Dr. Osato? You may ask. Dr. Osato is a herbalist and a naturalist. He researched and identified some herbs and established a unique methodology to healing the human body using Herbal medicine that was confidently entrenched in his over 30 years of experience. According to him, he has the cure for so many diseases/virus like GENITAL HERPES, HIV, DIABETES, CANCER, HPV, HSV1&2, GENITAL WART, SHINGLES, VAGINAL INFECTION and so many more. You can reach Dr Osato on his email: osatoherbalcure@gmail.com or WhatsApp +2347051705853. You can also contact him through his website: https://osatoherbalcure.wordpress.com  I am using this medium to inform everyone how to get treated of herpes using Dr Osato recommended Herbal methodology.

    Martha Jecorick

Leave a comment