Geranium essential oil that has been commercially produced is a highly concentrated, volatile liquid extracted from the geranium plant typically through distillation or the use of chemical solvents. Homemade geranium essential oil usually is a much milder substance because of the simple and all-natural ingredients and methods used to produce it. All pure essential oils are described as the essence of plant life; they are the "life blood" of a plant and are responsible for its aroma and the carrying of its nutrients. Although they are called oils, they are not oily in texture but rather are watery, and they easily and quickly penetrate the skin. They are considered to be the therapeutic form of an herb, so geranium essential oil is the therapeutic form of the geranium plant, which has medicinal properties.
Natural beauty products, particularly those formulated to help alleviate conditions such as oily hair, often have geranium essential oil high on the list of ingredients. It might also be present in natural beauty creams or night creams that claim to help regulate oily or dry skin. Other benefits of geranium essential oil include its ability to help clear up acne, eliminate cellulite and kill lice, so it sometimes is added to hand or body lotions.
Aromatherapists make use of geranium essential oil in the many preparations they formulate. They do not always choose it as an ingredient in a treatment for medicinal purposes. It sometimes is chosen for the aroma of the geranium, which they believe can have a beneficial effect on one's mood. This oil also can be one of the ingredients in homemade, all-natural perfumes that do not trigger allergies in people prone to respiratory problems when exposed to chemically perfumed personal care products.
Although some essential oils can be used internally, it usually is not recommended because of the strength of these substances. This warning should be heeded in the case of the essential oil of geranium, which — if the commercial type is purchased — should not be used at full strength even externally because it can greatly irritate the skin and potentially damage the mucous membranes. Generally, a carrier such as olive oil is used so that the essential oil will be in a safely diluted form. Homemade geranium essential oil, as is usually the case with the therapeutic form of any oil, tends to be mild enough to use at full strength in small amounts. Those who choose to use this oil on children should not do so before consulting with a doctor.