At Botanic Organic we use only organic, cold pressed or expeller pressed oils for our skincare recipes. Why does this matter? All creams, lotions and oils that are applied to the skin are absorbed into the tissues, which then move through the capillaries into the blood stream. When poisons (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) are used by agribusiness to grow seed, nut and vegetable oil crops, the molecules of those poisons show up in the extracted oil. This is the prime reason to choose an organic oil over a conventional one.
Chemical or solvent extraction is the method used by the cheaper brands of oil (most regular commercial brands) to extract the oil. A description of how the majority of oils are processed, or refined, is sobering. The oil is separated from its food source with hexane or other petroleum solvents and then boiled to drive off the toxic solvents. The oil is next refined, bleached, and deodorized, which involves heating it to over 400 degrees F. The oil extracted this way still contains some undesirable solvent residues, while the amounts of many key nutrients (especially vitamin E) are significantly reduced. Antioxidants or preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) or BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are then frequently added. The resulting product lacks flavor, aroma, pigments, and nutrients. All that can be said for such an oil is that it has an extended shelf life, a clear, uniform color, and an oily texture.
Expeller pressing is a method of natural, mechanical extraction and processing of oils where a small amount of heat is produced simply through the frictional heat created by hydraulic presses. This is usually around 120-200 degrees Fahrenheit and makes the oil suitable and economical as a base for cosmetics because of its fairly undisturbed molecular state.
Cold pressing oils is a method of mechanical extraction where heat is reduced and minimized throughout the batching of the raw material. This helps the oil maintain its original state, constituents, and depth. Temperatures are rigorously controlled to ensure that it does not exceed 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although not a practical method of extraction for all vegetable oils on the market it is highly regarded as the extraction method of choice.
Commercial oils used as the base oils of skin care lotions and creams bring whatever poisonous molecules are in the oils to the user. These are in trace amounts but they are nonetheless poison to the body. The liver will extract some to be excreted as waste, but some will be stored in the body tissues. These stored poisons do not go away. Of course, this same advice holds true of vegetable oils that you use for cooking and probably to an even greater degree. And one last point, regardless of refinement, it’s best to store all oils in the refrigerator. Different oils have different lengths of shelf life, so pay attention to the information you’re given when you buy your organic, cold pressed or expeller pressed oils.