Saturday, April 3, 2010

SkinJunkie's Favorite Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is the art of using Essential Oils from plants as treatment for improving physical and mental health as well as beauty. It is believed to originate from Egypt, over 6,000 years ago. The main use of essential oils in North America today, is to treat specific conditions. Fragrance is secondary even though most essential oil scents are quite pleasing.

Essential oils are great for moisturizing, stimulating, healing, soothing and more. Some are also known to reduce inflammation and can be antiseptic. I want to share my favorite essential oils with you and tell you why I love them so much.

My all time favorite is Neroli ~ it has a rich, citrus and orange scent. It's soothing and the therapeutic qualities include antimicrobial, antiseptic and has been known to increase circulation. It's most common use in the spa is for treating acneic and oily skin.

Ahhh, Patchouli! ~ it has an exotic, warm, musky scent. It's amazing ability to moisturize is why it's commonly used in spa treatments. It is also known as a natural insect repellent. Great for summer use.

Third on my list is Rosewood ~ it's a very sweet, floral, woody fragrance with a hint of spice. Best for use with mature, dry or sun-damaged skin. Therapeutic qualities include stimulating, healing and is also known to relieve headaches and tension in muscles. Popular with athletes.

Time for Tarragon ~ it's licorice-like scent also teases you with sweet herbaceous. Known as a diuretic and for it's stimulating properties. Used in several spa treatments and best at reducing water retention.

La! La! La! Lavender ~ with it's light, floral, Camphorous scent it's a natural antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties. Well known to help individuals relax and aid in sleeping. Used in the spa for hair, body and facials.

Evening Primrose ~ with it's gentle, floral scent, anyone with dry or irritated skin would benefit from this healing and moisturizing essential oil.

Benzoin ~ has a sweet scent, much like vanilla, and works wonders on oily/acne-prone skin. Very soothing and it's therapeutic qualities include antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent.

Last but not least is the powerful Lemongrass (a.k.a. Cymbopogon) ~ it has a smoky, orange scent that is known for it's stimulating properties. Excellent for treating acne and oily skin but in 2006, it's use to kill cancer cells was discovered.

Though essential oils are very beneficial and popular, they must be used with great care. Almost all essential oils should be diluted before use on the skin. Using a carrier oil will help you to avoid severe irritation. A carrier oil is a neutral oil used to dilute an essential oil for safe use. When used carefully during a spa treatment, the aroma of an essential oil can influence an individuals emotional well-being. Once inhaled, the compounds of the essential oils are believed to pass into the bloodstream and nervous system, where they effect the brain's limbic system. This is the area of the brain linked to emotions, instinctive behavior and controls hormones.

Aromatherapy is the perfect spa treatment for anyone who wants/needs to relax. Always seek the professional advice of a licensed Esthetician or Physician before the use of any essential oil.
NOTE: Most essential oils are not safe to use on pregnant women or children.

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