Brenda Stansfield is a licensed massage therapist, certified clincial aromatherapist and the creator of the Clear My Head product line, sold in spas nationally at www.clearmyhead.com. She belives aromatherapy should be simple and easy to incorporate into a hectic lifestyle.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It protects you from infection, excretes waste products and excess salt from your body, regulates your temperature, synthesizes vitamin D and provides the sense of touch. Products that come into contact with skin are easily absorbed into your blood stream. Something to be mindful of when choosing personal products. Read your ingredient labels. Many contain toxins or synthetic ingredients that may block the solubility of necessary nutrients or vitamins essential for good health and well being. A prime example of an oil which destroys fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K & F as it metabolizes is baby oil (mineral oil). Most of us are aware of the carcinogenic risks of parabens and are actively avoiding those ingredients. However, natural skin care is easy and affordable and quite effective with some tried and true aromatherapy blends.
Aromatherapy is based upon the absorption of essential oils through the skin. When choosing your carrier oils for use in aromatherapy care, it is important to choose plant based, cold pressed oils for this reason. These oils (grapeseed, jojoba, almond etc.) also have the natural antioxidant vitamin E which may help rejuvenate your skin . Incorporating essential oils and cold pressed carrier oils are effective and natural ways to heal common ailment and improve the general condition of your skin.
Photo by epicnom/Courtesy Flickr
A Quick Tip Sheet For Three Common Ailments
1. Oil Blend For Shingles:
Excess oil, shingles, diaper rash and other conditions which cause redness and itching can often be alleviated with lavender and tea tree. Both will work well on bacterial, fungal, parasitic or viral systemic conditions. Although both lavender and tea tree are safe to use at full strength, it is recommended to dilute in oil, lotion or witch hazel for large areas of application. If in a day or two there isn't significant change and reduction of itching (especially indicated for shingles) add a few drops of frankincense to your blend.
• 1 ounce cold pressed carrier lotion or oil
• 4 drops lavender essential oil
• 2 drops tea tree essential oil
• 3 drops frankincense essential oil
1. Apply twice daily.
2. Cold Sore Remedy:
A common, but embarrassing, problem for many people is an eruption of a cold sore (Herpes Simplex Virus). These are easily controlled at the first sign of outbreak, usually a tingling sensation, with this formula:
• 8 drops tea tree essential oil
• 15 drops rose geranium essential oil
• 7 drops lavender essential oil
• 8 drops Roman OR German chamomile essential oil
• 6 drops melissa (lemon balm) essential oil
1. Apply at first sensation of outbreak at full strength or combine 4 drops blend in 1 teaspoon jojoba oils and apply directly to area. Keep moist with jojoba oil or a beeswax lip balm to avoid cracking.
3. Facial Toner For Acne Prone Skin:
Skin Care Basics: Many essential oils have the wonderful benefit of skin rejuvenating properties. Applying lavender to a wound not only disinfects the cut but also speeds the repair process of the epithelial tissue. Teens and adults who suffer from acne can help prevent breakouts with a simple solution of distilled water, witch hazel and essential oils of cedarwood, rosemary, lavender and German chamomile. Try the following treatment for a month and notice the difference it can make:
• 2 ounces witch hazel
• 1 ounce distilled water
• 6 drops lavender essential oil
• 3 drops lemon essential oil
• 2 drops German chamomile essential oil
1. Pour in a glass bottle, shake before each use.
2. Apply with cotton ball two to three times daily.
The main objective of any skin care routine is to stimulate and detoxify your pores. In order to maintain an appearance of youth and health, it is important to not only treat the surface area, but to penetrate the subcutaneous tissues - lucky for us, essential oils do that easily.
I prefer blending small quantities of skin care products as you need them. Once a blend is created, the process of deterioration can occur if stored incorrectly. Although it won't happen overnight, some carrier oils, such as grapeseed and sweet almond, have relatively short shelf lives (12 to 18 months). If you do decide to create blends in bulk, add 1/4 teaspoon benzoin oil to each cup of carrier oil, along with a teaspoon of vitamin E oil to help maintain it's freshness naturally.
Skin care doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Research your skin type and the essential oils best suited for you. Choose oils for your blends based upon your needs and your preferences. Experiment and have fun. Life is beautiful and so are you!