The practice of Aromatherapy uses essential oils for healing and repair. Aromatherapy and the usage of essential oils aim to heal the body and the mind by entering the body in three ways, applied to the skin, inhaled or ingested. Aromatherapy works to improve and help stress, anxiety, insomnia, chronic or acute pain relief, arthritis, and rheumatism (sub-acute phase), chronic muscular or joint aches and pain, reducing inflammation, aid in the treatment of sprains, and repetitive movement injuries, and much more.
Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy uses essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds with the aim to improve health and mind.
There are different application methods based on the essential oils usage, strength and contraction, the health issue, and the individual. For example, Aromatherapy essential oil blends can be applied topically using compresses for headaches or sprains, baths to relieve stress, or massaging them into the skin.
Integumentary System (Skin and its derivatives)
The Integumentary System is what the medical community refers to the skin and its derivatives, the nails, hair, and glands. The skin is our largest organ on our body and performs many functions from regulating temperature control, protecting our internal organs to removing toxins from our bodies.
Essential oils are considered to enter the skin in different ways including through the hair follicles and sweat ducts. Many factors affect absorption of an oil molecule. To increase the skin’s ability to absorb the oil, consider a massage, exercise or a vigorous walk. These activities improve the body’s rate of circulation, and the warmth of the skin is thereby increasing the blood flow to the surface and in return increasing the skin’s ability to absorb the oil.
Olfactory bulb (bulbus olfactorius)
Inhaling is the most efficient form of absorption. You can use a blended essential oil formula or use a single essential oil with a diffuser or in a steam bath. These oils evaporate into the air stimulating the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell.
Small and millions of smell receptors located at the top of the nasal cavity form part of the olfactory bulb, an organ connected to the Limbic System, which is responsible for emotions, memory and sexual arousal.
As you inhale, the molecules of the essential oils enter the bloodstream. Some research has shown that when used correctly, inhalation can provide aid from decongesting the lungs to creating positive emotions, feeling balanced and grounded to help with relieving stress and anxiety.
Why Use Essential Oils?
Most Essential oils contain potent medicinal and cosmetic properties providing a versatile and complimentary medicine cabinet and beauty regime.
The effectiveness of essential oils is due to their ability to easily penetrate the skin. Essential oils have a small and simple molecular structure, and when applied to the skin, they pass into the fluid surrounding the cells beneath the skin’s surface. From here the oil molecule passes through the dermis, into the capillaries, and the bloodstream. Caution! Essential Oils are very concentrated and may burn the skin! Please dilute before use or work with an experienced aromatherapist!
How To Select An Essential Oil
The essential oil that you choose will depend on what you need to achieve. Perhaps you want to relieve stress, reduce inflammation or create an anti-aging serum; there are a variety of blends available for your particular purpose. You just need to take the time to read and become well-informed on each essential oil, its contradictions, cautions, properties and best application methods.
It is important to dilute the essential oils and to do a patch test to ensure no adverse effects. Even with the more widely used essential oils, like Lavender, it is still best to do a check beforehand.
Diluting essential oils with a carrier oil is necessary. However, when creating your blend consider the viscosity of the carrier oil you are using as well as your skin type. For example, Sweet Almond and Grapeseed Oils are less viscous, lighter and will penetrate the skin more easily than an Olive oil. Here is a list of Carrier Oils broken down into levels of Comedogenic Rating, the ability to clog pores.
Comedogenic Rating Of Carrier Oils
This Comedogenic Rating listed below is not complete. Comedogenic means the tendency to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin and the Comedogenic Ratings breaks down the carrier oils on its ability to clog pores. For more information; please continue your search on carrier oils and their chemical breakdown, the combination of fatty acids, how this affects the skin and appropriate uses.
Comedogenic Ratings is from 0 to 5
0 – Will Not Clog Pores
1 – Low
2 – Moderately Low
3 – Moderate
4 – Fairly High
5 – High
Will Not Clog Pores – 0 Rating
- Argan Oil
- Hemp Seed Oil
- Shea Butter
- Safflower Oil (This is not the cooking oil)
Low Probability Of Clogging Pores – 1 Rating
- Calendula Oil
- Castor Oil
- Emu Oil
- Neem Oil
- Pomegranate Oil
- Rosehip Oil
- Sea Buckthorn Oil
Moderately Low of clogging pores – 2 Rating
- Almond Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Baobab Oil
- Borage Oil
- Camphor Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
- Hazelnut Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Mango Butter
- Olive Oil
- Peach Kernel Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Sandalwood Seed Oil (also knowns as Sandalwood Nut Oil, not the same as Sandalwood Essential Oil)
- Sesame Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Tamanu Oil
Moderate of Clogging Pores – 3 Rating
- Corn Oil
- Cotton Seed Oil
- Jojoba Oil Sulfated
- Mink Oil
- Soybean Oil
If you suffer from clogged pores, best to avoid the following oils rated 4 and 5. If you want to try these oils, consider adding them to your body lotion and hair care formulas.
Fairly-High Probability Of Clogging Pores – 4 Rating
- Cacao (Cocoa) Butter (an edible fat obtained from the cacao bean pod)
- Coconut Butter
- Coconut Oil (from the meat or kernel)
- Flax Seed Oil
- Linseed Oil
- Palm Oil
High Probability of Clogging Pores – 5 Rating
Use in small concentrations, mix with ligher oils or butters.
- Mineral Oil (derived from petroleum)
- Petrolatum (derived from petroleum, petroleum jelly)
- Wheat Germ Oil
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