Updated: Jun 18, 2018
AROMATHERAPY AND YOUR SKIN
📷Using essential oils by smelling, applying, or bathing in them has benefits that go far beyond their pleasant odor. For over 5,000 years, cultures all over the world have recognized the medicinal properties of essential oils and the role they play in skin healing and balance from within. The healing properties of these oils have been well documented for centuries and have been used by people to support physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The true practice of aromatherapy uses only unaltered essential oils taken from plants, fruits, barks, flowers, and seeds. It is not to be confused with the use of synthetic perfumes or fragrances found in common skincare and body products. These chemicals do not have therapeutic value and may even be toxic to the body.
So how does aromatherapy work? Our nose is connected to the part of the brain called the limbic system, which is responsible for mood, emotions, and memory. When we inhale 100% pure essential oils, the body sends signals to the brain to feel calm, happy, sleepy, or full of energy depending on the oil. These signals greatly influence mood and tell the brain to feel, calm, happy, sleepy, or full of energy depending on the oil. Essential oils can also be used topically to affect our hormones, muscles, organs, lungs, skin, and blood vessels.
So what does this all have to do with the skin? Because our skin often reflects our physical or emotional health, we can affect it by creating more balance using natural support methods such as essential oils. We can also utilize essential oils for their anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties needed for healthy skin and anti-aging.
Because our skin is tightly connected to our sex hormones, we can use essential oils known to encourage hormonal balance that will directly affect our skin as well. If our hormones are not in balance, we may experience acne, uneven skin color, dryness, and even wrinkles. Many women can even track their periods or swear they knew they were pregnant because of the condition of their skin. Because estrogen increases collagen production (which in turn keeps the skin moist, firm, and healthy), a lack of it can cause the skin to feel dry and wrinkled. This is extremely common in women going through peri-menapause or menopause. While a lack of estrogen can cause dryness, too much male hormone can cause excessive oil, acne, and hair growth.
Essential oils that may have a hormone balancing effect on the body such as clary sage can be used to ease skin conditions. Because essential oils contain phyto-hormones that are similar to our own, they may act as chemical messengers to bring about hormone balance when it is needed. Because essential oils can be so powerful in hormone balancing, it is advised that women stay away from certain oils when they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Stress is another major contributor to skin issues which can also be addressed with the use of essential oils. Many people experience breakouts and flare ups of Rosacea or other skin conditions under times of stress. When we are feeling tense, our body releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which can lead to excessive oiliness and acne. Because so many different essential oils such as geranium, sandalwood, and frankincense have a sedating effect on the body and influence the nervous system directly, we can use essential oils to keep ourselves in a state of calm. Our sense of smell is intimately connected to the part of the brain that manages mood, so we can influence our state of mind simply by inhaling an aroma that tells our body to feel calm and relaxed. These types of essential oils can reset the nervous system from a heightened place of anxiety to a restful state.
.Essential oils are easy and safe to use for most people. They can be used in so many different ways. Some people like to use essential oils in their bath salts while other like to dilute them in a vegetable carrier oil such as jojoba, sunflower, sweet almond, or safflower for topical application or massage. Essential oils that are undiluted can be used for burning, diffusing, and inhaling as well as to make aromatherapy sprays.
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