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Beautiful Skin Naturally: Aromatherapy Skin Care Basics

Aug 1, 2008
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.

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 includes only a few of the more commonly used essential oils in skin care formulations. Many oils not listed here have properties which can be highly effective for particular skin conditions - further investigation with the specifics of your skin type will likely uncover these for you. Of course, other oils can be added to your blends simply for their pleasing scent; Neroli and Petitgrain, distilled from the flowers and leaves of the bitter orange tree, are often included for this reason.

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.

A few of the most important carrier oils include the following: Rosehip Seed Oil is highly regarded for it's regenerating effects for skin which has been over-exposed to the sun or has other damage. It includes a variety of Vitamin A which acts to increase cellular turnover, similar to Retin-A without the over-drying side effects. Numerous scientific studies have validated this oil's positive effects on damaged or prematurely aged skin. Next is Evening Primrose Oil, which has a significant quantities of gamma-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid. Evening Primrose oil has been used to support skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, and may help premature skin aging. Finally, Hazelnut oil is possibly the most commonly used base oil for skin care; it is gentle, has little aroma, and is suitable for all skin types. Often, small amounts of Rosehip seed and/or Evening Primrose oil will be included in a blend, with Hazelnut oil comprising the majority of the carrier mixture.

Here are several blends categorized by skin type to get you started. For normal skin, used at any time: In each ounce of Hazelnut Oil, add 15 drops Thyme Linalool, 15 drops Rosemary Verbenone, 15 drops Neroli, and 15 drops Spike Lavender; this blend can work well for acne with it's antiseptic properties, but is an excellent tonic for all skin types.

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.

If your skin is prone to acne, or has over-active sebaceous glands, the following blend can be of great assistance. It contains regenerative, antiseptic, and cleansing oils. Simply use Hazelnut as the base, and to each ounce include fifteen drops of Green Myrtle or Inula graveolens, fifteen drops Eucalyptus dives (because of the ketones in this oil, it should not be used if pregnant - or under 10 years of age - but is otherwise considered safe), fifteen drops Spike Lavender, and fifteen drops Rosemary verbenone.

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.

These are only a few aromatherapy skin care recipes for a woman's natural beauty medicine chest. There are many texts available to help you create more complex blends, or one's with your favorite aromatics. Blending your own facial and skin formulas is easy, rewarding, and in the long run, cost-effective. Using natural botanicals in a consistent, mindful manner can lead to long-lasting, noticeable natural health of your skin. Just remember with aromatherapy, essential oil concentrations should be kept low for best results - pay attention to how your own body reacts and you're sure to find the ingredients and measures most effective for you!
About the Author
The author has made available reports on specific oils such as dark patchouli and other therapeutic oils.
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