Skin Care

by Penny Keay

Dry Chapped Skin
Any time of year can be brutal to our skin. To help keep you skin soft and moist you must do several things.

1) Protect it as much as possible from extreme temperature changes. Exposure even for a few minutes to subnormal temperatures can cause damage.

2) Help prevent moisture loss by applying a good lotions or body oil. You don't necessarily need a lot, but you should try to apply something to help "lock" in the moisture.

3) Also, remember to drink plenty of liquids. Many folks forget to drink plenty of fluids in the cooler winter months. Did you know that in the winter, you can become dehydrated very fast? The best thing to drink? Plain water. Yeah I know you've been told it before, but Water really is the best!

Once the skin is dry and chapped, you will really need to protect it from further damage.

To help heal and encourage the growth of new skin cells you should apply a cream or oil that has one of two of the following oils added. Lavender, Carrotseed, Geranium, Neroli, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine, Rose, and Rosewood. A little Peppermint added to your lotions will help stimulate the skins own oil glands to produce more oil.

You may need to discontinue using soaps, or use a very mild soap. Did you know that any lotions can be used to remove makeup and also to clean the skin? Simply apply the lotion to your skin, massage lightly and then rinse off using tepid water. Try to avoid using lotions that have alcohols listed as an ingredient as they will continue to dry your skin.

To your lotions or cream add a little Rosehip seed oil. Both are known to help heal skin.

Remember to apply lotions or creams several times a day and especially at bedtime.

Cracked Skin
Cracked skin - sore, painful and sometimes even bleeding. We aren't just talking about dry skin, We are talking EXTREMELY dry skin, to the point where you barely move a finger and you end up with a deep fissure and very rough skin. It is sore and painful.

If possible you need to limit the use of soap and detergents. Try to stay away from drying agents and the skin sanitizers which have allot of alcohol in them. After washing your hands. Dry them gently and immediately apply a lotions or cream. Apply lotion and creams every few hours and especially at bedtime.

Prior to going to bed at night, some folks will benefit from a moisturizing hand soak, followed by applying a carrier oil or thick cream to their hands and then putting on a pair of cotton gloves.

One of the best oils is pure Virgin coconut oil. It has natural healing properties and a nice light scent of coconut. Expeller pressed Coconut oil and Fractionated coconut oils work too and are scent free.

Other good oils include Jojoba with a little Rosehipseed oil added.

Simply soak in tepid (not hot, not cold - just barely warm) for 10-15 minutes. You don't want to get "pruney" skin but you want to add moisture to the outer layers of the skin by soaking. Add a few drops of essential oils - Lavender is always good. After soaking immediately put lotions creams or oil on and put on those gloves.

Cracked skin can become infected so you may want to add some Lavender and Rose essential oils to the creams lotions or oils you are using to help heal more quickly.

Most important is to drink plenty of fresh water each day. Dry skin on the outside is often times a indication of not drinking enough water in the inside!! Notice I said water. Your body needs water. So many beverages are diuretics and will just cause further dehydration of your precious skin.

Try this blend to quickly heal fresh cracks.
1 ounce lotions
5 drops Neroli
5 drops Helichrysum
10 drops Lavender
Apply as often as necessary.
This blend had essential oils known to help regenerate new cells to rapidly heal those cracks.

Skin care for the Spring
Caring for your skin changes throughout the year as does the seasons.

The weather is in transition and this affects our skin the most.

Spring winds can cause damage to our skin.   Just like the sun, wind can dry out and literally burn the skin.

Your daily skin care routine may or may not change.   But you will need to consider the increased time you spend outdoors to help protect your skin from too much damage.

Be sure to cleanse your skin at the end of the day and apply moisturizers.

A great way to end the day after cleansing and toning is to apply a facial oil.   There are many combinations of essential oils for different skin types.

These oils should be mixed in 2 ounces of Jojoba . Jojoba is quickly absorbed into the skin and leaves no oily residue.   It is nourishing to you skin.

You can always add a little Rosehip seed oil to this blend for extra skin nourishment.   Some women prefer to use Camellia oil as their facial oil or a blend of Camellia and another oil.

The following recipes can be mixed ahead of time and have a long shelf life.   Use just enough to apply a thin layer.   It should absorb within 10 minutes and not leave any residue.   If it does, you have applied too much.

For Normal Skin
Lavender15 drops
Geranium - 8 drops
Rose - 4 drops
carrier oil or blend - 2 ounces

For Dry Skin
Sandalwood - 10 drops
Geranium - 7 drops
Ylang Ylang - 5 drops
Rosewood - 3 drops
carrier oil or blend - 2 ounces

For Oily Skin
Lemon - 15 drops
Cypress - 10 drops
carrier oil or blend 2 ounces

For Mature Skin
Lavender - 15 drops
Frankincense - 5 drops
Neroli - 5 drops
Carrot seed - 5 drops
carrier oil or blend - 2 ounces

Recipes adapted from Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care by Erich Keller

SUMMERTIME SKIN CARE
Skin care in the summertime can be just as much of a challenge as other times of the year. Not only do we need to replenish the moisture, we need to keep it there. Typically your skin has enough sebum to keep the moisture in and your skin nice and soft. During the summer months we are exposed to many elements that can remove or limit the amount of our natural oils our body has available.

Sunlight is very important to our health. It helps our bodies function properly by stimulating our metabolism, hormonal systems and of course to make Vitamin D, just to name a few of its many pluses.

Over exposure and getting a sunburn is not good and can actually do a lot of damage to your skin. Sunburn can cause mild redness, all the way to blisters. Repeated sunburns can lead to scarring, discolorations, wrinkled skin as we age and worse yet, skin cancer.

One way to protect your skin is to eat a very good diet high in Essential Fatty Acids - you know Omega 3's. Please note that Essential Fatty Acids and Essential oils are NOT the same!!

Now on to other ways to protect your skin. A good carrier oil for the summer months is Jojoba. It is the liquid wax that is most like our skins natural oil - sebum. Therefore, applying this after cleaning your skin is very important.

If you are a gardener or work outdoors, you know how many times your hands, knees, etc. get dirty in an hour and how many times you are washing your hands. (Okay, maybe you use gloves, unlike me that usually uses her bare hands!) Even if you do wear gloves your still have wear and tear on your skin. Applying a few drops to your clean hands before and after gardening will help preserve your skin.

Essential oils that may help to stimulate your bodies own production of sebum are Geranium, Lavender and Sandalwood. Adding a drop of two of each of these oils to your daily face or hand cream or lotion may be all you need to do.

Jasmine, Neroli and Rose Otto are great essential oils for skin care. These are good for all types of skin but especially for mature and aging skin.

Other oils good carrier oils for your skin are Hazelnut oil, Sesame oil , and the rich in Vitamin E High Oleic Sunflower Oil.

If you have spent too much time out in the sun and do get sunburned a quick and easy help is to simply mix 5-10 drops of Lavender in to 1 ounce of Body Spray Base . Lavender helps to lessen the pain and to quickly heal the skin.

Remember to drink plenty of water during the summer. Hot, windy days evaporate the moisture from our skin quickly and so we need to replace the inner moisture often.

After bathing and swimming be sure to apply a good moisturizing lotions or cream to lock in and hold your skin moisture.

A good summertime blend that is good to help your skin stimulate its own natural production of sebum. This blend can be used everyday. You only need a few drops for your entire face.
Roman Chamomile - 10 drops
Geranium - 10 drops
Lavender - 15 drops
Mix in Jojoba - 1 teaspoon
Hazelnut oil - 1 teaspoon
Rosehip seed oil - 1 teaspoon
Sunflower oil - 1 tablespoon

Blend this well. Apply to face and exposed skin to help keep it from drying when exposed to the sun and wind. You will only need a few drops of this blend. If you feel there is too much essential oils and it makes the scent too strong simply add another tablespoon of sunflower oil to dilute down, or cut the essential oils amounts in half.

© Penny Keay 2005, 2013

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