Beautiful Skin Made Easy with Simple Aromatherapy Blends

Jul 18 15:24 2006 Misty Rae Cech Print This Article

Looking for that perfect skin product? One that will keep your skin looking great, smells great, is appealing to apply, has actual 'therapeutic' effects, and doesn't break the bank? Look no further than aromatherapy. Creating a wonderful blend just for your skin type with the magic of potent natural botanicals is fun and rewarding in more ways than one. Essential oils are widely used in natural medicine, and some are well-known for their skin rejuvenating effects.

Using natural botanical skin care is a wonderful experience. With uplifting aromatic essential oils and other natural carrier ingredients,Guest Posting it is easy to nourish the skin in a very special way. While dramatic effects can sometimes be had using synthetically created products, natural botanical blends can bring about a lasting healthy glow free from the possibility of side-effects.

While some of the most highly regarded therapeutic grade oils may seem expensive at first, they are effective in such small concentrations as to really make them worthwhile. And their efficacy is well-known; that's why so many laboratory-made preparations use components of essential oils in their formulas. With a one or two ounce bottle to mix in, and an eye dropper, you can easily mix your own blend with the aroma and actions you desire most.

Several essential oils and carriers are held in high-esteem for their regenerative and nutritive properties. With only a small collection of oils, you can make highly-effective recipes applicable to particular skin conditions such as premature aging, UV and other damage, acne-prone skin and more.

These few primary skin care oils include the following: Helichrysum italicum – the oil of this flower is one of the most highly regarded in aromatherapy for it's great versatility. It has a pleasant aroma, it contains rare 'di-ketones' which stimulate the skin's natural metabolism, and is a powerful anti-inflammatory (all tissue damage and aging is associated with inflammation on a cellular level). Lavender oil – 'true' or 'French' Lavender is the most used oil in aromatherapy today because of it's great multitude of effects. Like Helichrysum, it contains regenerative ketones; it reduces inflammation; it speeds wound healing; AND it has an aroma very well known for its relaxing effects – easing tension while healing your skin – could you ask for more? Next up is Rosemary of the 'verbenone' type. It also contains ketones (that the cineol type does not) and is known as a circulatory and metabolism stimulant, increasing the flow of nutrients in, and waste products out, of your skin cells. Palmarosa essential oil is included in many blends for it's gentle cleansing and antiseptic properties. And last but not least, Carrot Seed oil is the premier oil for regenerating tired, lifeless skin – often a result from too much stress or high levels of pollutant exposure.

This is only a few of the many essential oils included in skin formulas, though these are considered among the most important for their broad range of effects. Almost any essential oil can be added to a blend in balanced quantities. In many cases, oils are added as much for their lovely aroma as their direct therapeutic benefits to skin tissue. Many aromatherapists, and natural health professionals for that matter, consider the overall mental and emotional condition to be of primary importance in creating an appearance of fitness and beauty. Many citrus and floral oils are used for this reason – Neroli, distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, is an often used example. Others are Jasmine, Sandalwood (very popular in Men's skin care), Geranium and Ylang Ylang.

There are several other oils with positive effects on the skin (some will be mentioned in the blends below), these just happen to be the most often used. With research, you can find essential oils that will address particular skin conditions that are not covered here. Further, there are in fact hundreds of essential oils available, each with it's own unique composition and aroma. Adding a little to your blends simply for their fragrance influence is highly recommended. A few drops of precious oils like Jasmine, Neroli, Sandalwood or Rose can create that aromatic combination you simply love, and will want to wear all the time.

Essential oils, be they for direct effects on skin metabolism, or for the overall state of wellness of the user, will be diluted in a carrier oil, sometimes known as a base oil. It is important to note that diluting the oils will often actually enhance their effects; essential oils are often too strong to be used directly, and many studies have shown increased efficacy in dilutions down to 1% or less of the total formula. The carrier oils serve several other functions as well; they "carry" the essential oils into the skin, increasing their total absorption. They also nourish the middle and lower layers of the skin with essential fatty acids or EFA's – compounds now considered critical to the health of all living tissues. Further, some carrier oils have vitamin analogs which assist in skin regeneration and repair.

Some of the more commonly used carrier oils in skin care are as follows: First is Hazelnut oil – pressed from, obviously, Hazelnuts. This is considered the most gentle of the carrier oils, suitable for all skin types. It often serves as the primary base oil in blends, making up a majority of the mixture. Next is Rosehip seed oil, pressed from Rosehip seeds grown in the mountains of South America. This well researched oil not only has a wealth of essential fatty acids, but contains trans-retinoic acid, a compound similar to the active ingredient of Retin-A (a well known wrinkle cream), but without the drying side effects. Lastly we'll mention Evening Primrose oil, often included in blends for aging skin and for eczema – it has one of the highest known concentrations of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid which may be crucial to optimal health.

Some of the carrier oils often found in skin formulations include Hazelnut, Rosehip seed, and Evening Primrose. Hazelnut is a very gentle oil with little aroma of it's own, and being suitable for virtually all skin types, it use used in a vast number of blends as the primary carrier. To this, Rosehip seed oil is added for it's concentration of triple-unsaturated fatty acids, and it's natural trans-retinoic acid; a vitamin-A compound similar in effects to Retin-A without drying side effects. Evening Primrose is often also included in lower concentrations for it's high levels of GLA or gamma-linolenic acid, and is considered important in cases of eczema and skin showing signs of premature aging.

Making your own blends with these ingredients is truly a fun and rewarding experience – you only need a bottle to mix them in, and some means of counting out drops of essential oil. An eye dropper works wonderfully, and graduated plastic pipettes are readily available. A basic blend to begin with, which is designed for overall health of the skin, is made thusly: to one ounce of Hazelnut Oil, add fifteen drops Thyme Linalool, fifteen drops Rosemary Verbenone, fifteen drops Neroli (or a high-quality Petitgrain if you prefer – it is much less expensive with many of the same properties), and fifteen drops Spike Lavender (a Lavender with strong antiseptic qualities – a little more 'medicinal' than the sweeter True lavender). This blend was originally formulated to clear up oily skin, but is now used to support normal skin in daily application.

For overly sensitive and damaged skin (from chemicals or other means) and for skin with weak capillaries (showing spider veins may be a symptom), start with a 5:1:

1 ratio of Hazelnut, Rosehip Seed and Evening Primrose oils (3/5 ounce Hazelnut, and 1/5th each of the other oils). Add fifteen drops each of German Chamomile, Helichrysum italicum, true Lavender, and Roman Chamomile. This blend will enhance the regenerative capability of the skin through the action of the Helichrysum and Rosehip seed, provides nutrients through in the Rosehip seed and Evening Primrose, and reduces the inflammation which accompanies any type of damage and aging. For clearing excessively oily and acne-prone skin, to one oz. of Hazelnut oil, add fifteen drops each of Myrtle essential oil (use the green, rather than red, variety), Eucalyptus Dives, Spike Lavender, and Rosemary verbenone. The Myrtle is special in that it dissolves the sebum clogging skin pores, and the Eucalyptus calms the output of the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands.

If your skin doesn't have particular damage to it, but appears lifeless due to exhaustion and/or exposure to significant amounts of pollution or environmental toxins, this is the blend for you. Use one part Rosehip Seed and 4 parts Hazelnut as the base. To each ounce, include fifteen drops Carrot Seed (also known as Wild Carrot or Queen Anne's Lace – a well known skin restorative), fifteen drops Lemon verbena (which enhances the removal of toxins from skin tissues), fifteen drops Niaouli (an all-around brilliant antiseptic oil with firming effects), and fifteen drops Rosemary verbenone (again, for it's regenerative and stimulating effects). If you are wishing to strengthen, tighten, and firm your skin, try this dilute mixture (the concentration of essential oils is relatively low here for use near the eyes) five ounces of Hazelnut oil and one ounce of Rosehip seed oil, fifteen drops of Green Myrtle, fifteen drops of Rock Rose (a plant grown in very sun-drenched areas, excellent for gently tightening the skin). If you like, add fifteen drops of Rosemary verbenone for it's regenerative properties, but omit if this causes sensitivity used near the eyes.

So there are a few tried-and-true aromatherapy skin care blends to use in your natural beauty regime. You can easily mix and match the oils described to create your own blend, and add any oils you really like the aroma of (be aware that a FEW essential oils are VERY strong, and should not be used on the skin – the more common of these include Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano, and Red Thyme – consult with a knowledgeable practitioner if you are unsure about the safety of any oil). A word about purchasing oils for your blends – do NOT use anything labeled as a 'fragrance oil' – these are synthetic reproductions of essential oils that will likely cause an allergic reaction. DO seek out a reputable source. And oils, like wine, do vary greatly from maker to maker. A higher price can mean a significantly nicer oil (though not always) – one that is sweeter, or more well-rounded – only a few oils should smell 'medicinal' – Spike Lavender is a little 'camphorus' in general – but a good Rosemary verbenone should have a very appealing scent . Despite the initial outlay, you are more likely to continue to use a blend that you really like the aroma of, and that has therapeutic effects. Though once you find the oils you adore, you're more than likely to continue the practice of making your own blends for some time to come.

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About Article Author

Misty Rae Cech
Misty Rae Cech

Eric V. Allen is a consultant for Ananda Integrative Wellness, makers of the Ananda Aromatherapy oils and blends. More resources can be found on essential oils and essential oil blends at their sites.

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