Is it Rosacea?

canstockphoto40922798My recent blogs have been all about Skincare & Essential Oils. I found so much information, that I am continuing this month with a blog about Rosacea… 

This chronic skin condition affects women more than men, & is usually diagnosed between the ages of 30 – 50. Rosacea can be recognized by ongoing facial blushing across the cheeks & on the chin. Your skin may get dry or flaky, feel itchy, or sting. The symptoms of Rosacea have been broken up into 4 sub-categories; they are:

  1. Erythematelangiectatic Rosacea: flushing of the skin, visible or enlarged blood vessels
  2. Papulopustular Rosacea: Swelling & redness of the skin, acne-like breakouts (pimples and/or bumps on the skin, but not black or whiteheads).
  3. Phymatous Rosacea: a thickening or a rough, bumpy texture of the skin; (Men typically get this type of Rosacea, which also may include an enlargement of the nose, a condition known as rhinophyma.)  
  4. Ocular Rosacea: irritated or gritty eyes; eyelids may get red or swollen.

Causes of Rosacea:

The causes of Rosacea are not exactly known. While research is ongoing, what they have found were some common factors that many Rosacea sufferers share.

  • Genetics may be a factor. Some think that Rosacea may run in families.
  • The Rosacea may be caused by an over-reaction of the body’s immune system.
  • The microscopic “Demodex” mite that commonly lives on the skin may be a factor. Studies have shown that some Rosacea patients have a larger than the normal number of this mite on their skin.
  • The body’s reaction & ability to process to a protein called Cathelicidin, may cause the redness of the skin & “determine whether a person gets Rosacea.”  

Common Triggers: Our daily lifestyle choices may also trigger a Rosacea flare-up. These triggers can vary from person to person. These triggers are:

  • Weather conditions like cold & dry winters or hot, dry summers. Sun exposure is also a factor, causing irritation or redness… *** Protect your skin from extreme weather. Apply appropriate lotions to help with dryness & irritation; Sunscreens to protect your skin are highly recommended
  •  Stress may trigger some people’s Rosacea flare ups.  *** Managing your stress is so important in all aspects of our life. Check out my blog on Stress & Self-Care for more info.
  • Extreme exercise along with a lot of sweating may irritate the skin. *** Try less intense forms of exercise. Also, have a cool shower to reduce your temperature & wash the sweat off of your face & body as soon as possible after a workout. 
  • Your Diet may trigger Rosacea; this includes hot caffeinated drinks, spicy food & alcohol especially red wine. *** Keep a food diary to track of your diet, & your triggers. Then modify your diet as needed. This is an important step because everyone’s triggers are different.
  • Make-Up & Skincare may cause Rosacea flare ups. *** Check out the ingredients in your products & avoid abrasive exfoliators. Unfortunately, it is usually by trial & error to find the right products for you. (And you will need to be flexible because your skin triggers can change

When it comes to skincare you may also want to consider using Essential Oils that canstockphoto22894795have been diluted in a Carrier Oil. Like I mentioned in my blogs:  ” Love the “Skin” you’re in…” and  “Love your Skin Part 2 – Carrier Oil.”  Essential & Carrier Oils have different properties that are helpful for different types of skin & skin conditions, which also include Rosacea.

Continue reading “Is it Rosacea?”

Love the “Skin” you’re in…

First Posted June 2017

canstockphoto15433244As I have mentioned in my other blogs I have extremely sensitive skin. I have used a variety of commercial skin care products with varying degrees of success. Let’s just say that I know which stores have the best return policies. I have also been using my own essential oil products for years. I have a variety of blends that I use at different times, for different reasons.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body; the total area on an adult’s body is approx 20 sq feet and is made up of the:skin cell

  • Epidermis or the top layer of skin
  • Dermis which contains supportive tissue, hair follicles & sweat glands.
  • Hypodermis which contains connective tissue & fat.

Our skin protects our inner organs from damage & infections from microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, etc. It also helps to regulate body temperature, & the nerves in our skin allow us to feel physical sensations. The skin is sometimes referred to as our 3rd kidney because it helps the body remove up to 30% of the bodies “wastes” (like excess moisture & toxins) thru perspiration. Our skin is also a good gauge of how we live our lives. Stress, not enough sleep or an unbalanced lifestyle will show up on your skin in the form of dark circles under your eyes, dull skin, acne, rashes or hives.

Essential Oils & Hydrosols are wonderful to use for skin care. Hydrosols are the by-product of the steam distillation process of essential oils. They are much milder, have their own set of properties & work really well as toners. If you choose to use Essential Oils & Hydrosols as part of your skincare routine, be sure to use the appropriate ones for the age & health of the client or family member as well as the proper dilution.

Facial Skincare (Adult): Use a  2% dilution (12 drops of essential oil per 30 ml of a carrier oil, an unscented lotion or gel or an organic liquid soap)

Skincare for the Body (Adult): Use a 1% dilution when moisturizing or massaging your whole body. (6 drops of essential oil per 30 ml of a carrier oil or unscented lotion or gel)

Hydrosols for  Skincare (Adult): May be used undiluted for most skin types. (Can be used at a 50% dilution with distilled water for sensitive or irritated skin if need be)

Skincare for a child age 5 & up or the Elderly: Use a .05% –  1% dilution when moisturizing face & body. (3 up to 6 drops of essential oil per 30 ml of a carrier oil or unscented lotion or gel)

Hydrosols for  Skincare for a child age 5 & up or the Elderly: use at a  25% – 50% dilution (with distilled water)

Skincare for a child age 1 & up: Use a .25% – .05% dilution when moisturizing face & body. (1 -3 drops of essential oil per 30 ml of a carrier oil or unscented lotion)
Hydrosols for  Skincare for a child age 1 & up: use at a  10% – 25% dilution (with distilled water)

Skincare for a Baby age 3 mo & up: Use an appropriate Hydrosol at a 1% to a 5 % dilution depending on the purpose. For more info check out my blog about “Children & Essential Oils”.

When using Essential Oils & Hydrosols for skincare, it’s important to choose the appropriate ones for your skin type or skin condition.

Skin Types:

Normal or Combination Skin: Cedarwood (Atlas), Chamomile (Roman), Geranium, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Ylang Ylang essential oil. Hydrosols: Lavender, Neroli, Rose Geranium.

Dry Skin: Carrot Seed, Chamomile (Roman), Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Ho Wood, Jasmine, Mandarin, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang essential oils. Hydrosols: Rose, Neroli.

Mature Skin: Carrot Seed, Clary Sage, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium,     Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood essential oil.  Hydrosols: Carrot Seed, Helichrysum, Rose Geranium.

Oily Skin: Cedarwood (Atlas), Chamomile (Roman), Cypress, Frankincense, Juniper Berry,  Lavender, Lemon, Myrtle, Niaouli, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Tea Tree, Vetiver essential oil. Hydrosols: Clary Sage, Melissa, Rose Geranium.

Sensitive Skin: Carrot seed, Chamomile (German), Frankincense, Helichrysum, Jasmine,  Neroli,  Rose, essential oils  Hydrosols:  Chamomile, Rose, Yarrow. Continue reading “Love the “Skin” you’re in…”

Spring Cleaning & Essential Oils

First Posted May 2016

When looking out my window at the  Daffodils in my garden, the 1st thing I think of is canstockphoto19191185“Oh, so pretty!” And the 2nd thing that I think is, “Boy are my windows dirty!!!!!”
Due to my sensitivities, I like to clean my house with natural products. Some, I will admit are store bought, & some are homemade using Baking Soda, Sea Salt, White Vinegar, Castile Soap, Olive Oil,  & of course, Essential Oils.
I’ve been using some form of natural cleaners since the 1970’s… I know, I’m dating myself. Our neighbor, Mr. R, was a gentleman hippie, & a passionate environmentalist. He really inspired my mother, and she had us shopping at the health food store, recycling bottles, washing & flattening pet food cans long before it was an everyday thing to do. I also grew up using Baking Soda, Borax & White Vinegar as cleaning products, so what I am doing now has kind of evolved from that.
Being an aromatherapist, my 1st thought is always what blend to use for the chore at hand. For most cleaning, especially kitchen & bathroom counters, floors & fixtures, I like to make an all-purpose spray cleaner.

Some  essential oils to consider are:

Bactericidal or Antibacterial Oils: Coriander, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Niaouli, Palmarosa,  Pine, Tea Tree. Thyme

Antiseptic Oils: Cajeput, Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Fir, Grapefruit,  Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime,  Litsea Cubeba, Orange, Palmarosa, Peppermint, Pine, Tea Tree & Thyme.
( you can choose 3 or 4 of these oils or you can use an appropriate diffuser blend. I Like to use Purify Diffuser Blend at a 2% dilution. Shake well before use.(If you have natural stone counters or floors, depending on the finish, do a spot test first.)

Other ways to use essential oils:

canstockphoto7199800Washing Windows: Add 10 – 15  drops of Lemon essential oil, 2 tbsp of white vinegar in a 28 oz or 828 ml spray bottle, and fill with water. (If your windows are really dirty & you need a bit more cleaning power, add up to 2 more Tbsp of White Vinegar to the spray bottle) Shake well before use.

Washing Floors: Mix 5-10 drops of Essential oil (Try Lemon, Pine, Palmarosa, or Tea Tree, or a combination of oils) with 1 Tbsp of Castile soap and add to your bucket of wash water & mop away.

*If you have young a baby who is crawling you may want to use  1 or 2  tsp of Lavender Hydrosol added to your floor wash water instead of using the essential oils. For children age 2 – 5 years old, you will want to choose oils & lower dilutions that are more appropriate for their age. Essential oils to consider using are Lavender, Lemon, Grapefruit, & Palmarosa.  I will admit, I tend to err on the side of caution where children are concerned.

Cleaning wood furniture: Add 3 drops of Lemon or Orange essential oil to 60 ml of Olive or Jojoba oil. Buff with a soft cloth. Be sure to open some windows for ventilation. If you have concerns do a patch test on your furniture before using the essential oil. (Avoid getting essential oils on fabrics).

Clean your Microwave: Place a glass bowl, filled with 1 cups of water, & 5 drops of Lemon or Orange essential oil inside your microwave, run for 3 min on High. Let it sit for 5 more minutes. The steam will loosen any spilled or dried food.  Carefully remove the bowl, & wipe down your machine. Makes clean-up really easy.

Natural Sticker “Goo” Remover: Lemon essential oil works really well to remove the sticky residue from price tags & labels. Just a  drop or two on a cotton ball, & voila! (The essential oil breaks down the glue, & it wipes off of glass & most plastics.) Do a spot test first & be sure to wipe/wash off any residual essential oil.

Toilet Bombs: are made from Baking Soda, Citric Acid (A low strength acid that comes from Lemons and/or oranges), Antibacterial essential oils, & a spray or two of water. Really simple to make & use. And they smell amazing! (SAFETY TIP: Use gloves & a  mask when making this product) 

And don’t forget to clean your air with your ultrasonic diffuser or a room spray made from antibacterial essential oils; like comforting Lavender,  a crisp Citrus or fresh Spearmint. And the side benefit is how good these scents will make you feel…

Happy Cleaning & Happy Spring!!! And when you are done cleaning, you can get on with the fun stuff like gardening…

My Blog is for information only. Essential oils are for external use.

  • When using essential oils for cleaning be sure to wear gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • do a spot test first before using on your hard surfaces and use at your own risk.
  • Ventilation is always a good thing…
  • When making essential oil products, like Toilet Bombs, wear a mask & Gloves
  • Keep all of your essential oils & cleaning products away from children & pets.

References
Battaglia, SalvatoreThe Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003. Print.
Worwood, Valerie AnnThe Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1991. Print.
https://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/free-information/articles-archive/go-green-with-essential-oils/
https://www.naturesgift.com/aromatherapy-information/how-to-use-essential-oils/anti-bacterial/
https://healthyfocus.org/8-powerful-antibacterial-essential-oils/
http://www.mariasself.com/2013/08/diy-toilet-bombs-deodorize-kill.html
http://greatist.com/health/27-chemical-free-products-diy-spring-cleaning

Children & Essential Oils…

First Posted February 2016

canstockphoto18111574

When I think about Valentine’s Day, I don’t automatically think of romance… I tend to think about my children, writing out their Valentine cards, & bags of Sweet Tarts… and of course, essential oils. 

Essential oils are the results of the steam distillation or in some cases, the cold expression of plant material.  Simply put, it’s what’s left after the process; small amounts of highly concentrated therapeutic goodness.  And because essential oils are so concentrated, they should:

  • always be diluted before applying topically especially on your child’s skin.
  • never be ingested.

Essential oils have different properties, different chem types, and different contraindications.There are some essential oils that you need to avoid  & some that need to be used with caution especially when making essential oil blends for children. The systems in a child’s body are not fully developed and “some of the components found in some essential oils can be too much for young systems to handle and process”.

Here are some ideas when using Essential Oils and Hydrosols with Babies and Children: 

  • For topical use, always use at a low dilution .25% – 1% depending on the age  & the health of the child; it is best to use one essential oil at a time so you can watch out for skin irritation and possible allergies.
  • If you want to add essential oils to a child’s bath, dilute them first in a carrier oil or milk and then add them to the bathwater. Otherwise, the undiluted essential oils will just float on top of the bathwater, which may irritate their sensitive skin and mucous membranes. (If your child has sensitive skin add some Lavender Hydrosol to the bath water instead.)
  • Children are sensitive to scent, so when diffusing essential oils less is definitely better. Start with 1 -5 drops depending on the age and health of the child and diffuse only when needed  (for congestion or sleep issues. And only for approx       15 – 30 minutes).
  • ***Citrus oils are wonderful and calming but some are phototoxic to varying degrees, so don’t apply them to your child’s skin if you are going out into the sun as this may cause a bad sunburn and/or possible blistering. Reactions vary and may occur up to 2 days after sun exposure. So use caution and common sense.

canstockphoto1904225For Babies 2 months up to 6 months: 

Add Lavender or Roman Chamomile Hydrosol to the bath water. Diluted, these hydrosols can also be used to soothe any diaper rashes or skin irritation.
For Babies 6 months to 1 year:

Add  1-2 drops of essential oil to 60 ml or 4 Tbsp of carrier oil. Try Lavender, Roman or German Chamomile and/or *Mandarin essential oils, diluted with Sweet Almond or Olive oil; massage the baby after their bath or before bedtime.
Add 1  drop of a calming essential oil like  Lavender, Chamomile, Mandarin, Rose or Neroli to a diffuser in the babies room at nap or bedtime.

For Babies 1 year to 2 years:

You can also add  Dill & Palmarosa to your list of oils to use. Dilute up to 2 -3 drops in 45ml of carrier oil.
Add 2 drops of Lavender & *Tangerine essential oil to your diffuser during the cold season.
Children 2 years to 5 years:

You can use *Lemon,  Geranium &  small amounts of Ginger. You can dilute  3 – 5  drops of essential oil in 45 ml of carrier oil, but I prefer to use my diffuser. (Depending on the age of the child, add 2 – 3 drops of essential oils to your ultrasonic diffuser at bedtime or during the cold season.

Children 6 years to 8 years:

For this age, you can dilute  4 – 6 drops of essential oil in 30 ml of a carrier oil. Robert Tisserand says “You can add  .05 % of Peppermint and Eucalyptus Radiata, to a blend”. (See below)
Add up to 3 – 4 drops of essential oils to your diffuser at bedtime or during the cold season.

Children 9 years to 12 years:

At this age, you can dilute 6 -8 drops of essential oil in 30 ml of carrier oil.
Add  up to 4 – 6 drops of essential oils to your diffuser at bedtime or during cold season

Children Age 13  & Over:

Can use adult dosages of essential oils. (2 % dilution for everyday use,  3 % dilution for short term use for colds, congestion or pain, depending on the health of the child)

There is new information regarding topical use & diffusing Eucalyptus & Peppermint Essential Oil with Children:

robert tisserand kids euc pep

I tend to err on the side of caution so I wouldn’t apply these oils topically, like under the nose or on the chest of children under the age of  6.
For children, ages 2 & up, oils that I prefer to use for inhalation or diffusion are White Pine (Pinus strobus)  or Wild Black Spruce (Picea mariana). They are safe to use and are a lighter scent. Most children don’t like strong smells anyway.

There is a lot of contradictory information out there, so take the time to do a bit research before using essential oils, especially topically on young children. I would also recommend that you get your information from a  reputable source or an aromatherapist. For a place to start, I like the books of Salvatore Battaglia, Robert Tisserand, Valerie Ann Worwood or Patricia Davis or online Beverley Hawkins at WCIA. You can also check my page Essential Oil Safety on this website.

My Blog is for information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice.Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

***If you are using a candle diffuser, never leave it unattended

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • Caddy, Rosemary, Aromatherapy, The Essential Blending Guide, Amberwood Publishing, Rochester England, 3rd edition 2007
  • Catty, Suzanne, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, a division of Inner Trade International, 2001.
  • Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion,  an imprint  of   Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  • Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young,  Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, 2014
  • Worwood, Valerie Ann, Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child, First New World Library Printing, 2000

http://www.naturesgift.com/aromatherapy-information/how-to-use-essential-oils/aromatic-baby-care/
http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/free-information/articles-archive/aromatherapy-and-babies/
http://www.quinessence.com/essential_oils.htm
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/
http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/08/using-essential-oils-for-children/
​​

A is for April & Allergies?

 

First Posted April 2015

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz…  Anonymous  

(And people in my house are starting to sneeze…  A lot!!!)
100_4432I was actually planning on writing this blog closer to the summer when it is more traditionally allergy season, but with the way the weather has been, I felt that I had to move it up a few months. They are saying that due to the climate change, more and more people are suffering from seasonal allergies. The west coast of B.C has just experienced possibly the warmest winter on record. The ornamental Cherry trees were blooming in February, deciduous trees are budding out early, so there is a lot of pollen is in the air.
When it comes to allergies, there are many things that you can do to alleviate your symptoms. Allergies, simply put, are an overreaction of the immune system to substances that you come into contact with, such as pollen or pet dander.  Diffusing essential oils is one of the ways to find some relief from the symptoms of allergies & hay fever (Allergic Rhinitis).
There are many essential oils that you can choose from, depending on your scent preference, age, overall health and what your allergy symptoms are.
Try diffusing one or two of these essential oils …

Lavender2Lavender: The workhorse of essential oils, as it is useful for so many things. It is helpful for sneezing & sinus congestion;  Lavender is said to be helpful for boosting the immune system.

 

German Chamomile:  a gentle but effective essential oil & is reported to have anti-allergenic properties.

canstockphoto8353462Lemon:  its antiseptic & antimicrobial properties so it helps to clean the air of germs and bacteria when used in a diffuser or as a room spray. It is also said to help to support the immune system.

 

Roman Chamomile: like German Chamomile, it is a very gentle, effective essential oil. It is useful for sinus congestion.  Don’t use either variety of the Chamomiles if you have an allergy to Ragweed.

* Lavender, German & Roman Chamomile essential oils are:

  •  gentle enough to use for children over the age of 2  and for elderly people.
    (Lavender & Chamomile hydrosols are a better way to go with children under the age of 2 & can be used as room sprays)
  • Lavender, & both German & Roman Chamomile essential oils are generally safe to use after the 1st trimester of pregnancy but use caution as everyone responds differently to essential oils.  Diffusing & inhalation are always best during pregnancy.
  • *Lemon essential oil: is better for diffusing for children over the age of 2 & for pregnant women.
  • may cause skin irritation & is phototoxic

As always with essential oils, less is best & dilute before topical use.

Continue reading “A is for April & Allergies?”