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…”

The Cold Season & Essential Oils

First Posted November 2016

Autumn… The crisp air, the falling leaves, drinking tea in front of a roaring fire… 

canstockphoto23057311The reality is more like everyone is in the house because it is pouring rain outside, all of the windows are closed up tight and family members coughing and sneezing. And if you are like me, you are just trying to avoid everyone else’s germs… When you are fighting a cold, it is definitely the time for some self-care. Making sure you get some extra sleep, drinking lots of fluids, and eating your fresh fruits and veggies. And me, I’ll be wiping down every surface that everyone touches. Although now I use cleaners and room sprays… You guessed it, made from essential oils.  For more info on using essential oils for cleaning check out my May 2016 Blog.

Due to their different properties, essential oils are effective for inhalation or diffusing during the winter months & the cold season. They can ease your congestion, calm your coughs & used topically they can soothe a sore throat… Be sure to use the appropriate essential oils for children, elderly family members, pregnant women and people who have a  medical condition. (Essential oils don’t have to be strong smelling to be effective. Personally, I tend to use the milder, child-friendly essential oils).

Essential Oils for Adults: 

canstockphoto17250505

Diffuse one or two of these Essential Oils with Antibacterial and/or Antimicrobial properties in your home: Eucalyptus Radiata,  Lemongrass, Palmarosa, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Thyme.

If you’re Congested, try diffusing one of the following essential oils: Eucalyptus Radiata, Balsam Fir, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Myrrh, Pine.

For your Coughs, consider diffusing one of the following essential oils:  Sweet Basil, Cajeput, Cypress,  Eucalyptus Radiata, Ginger, Myrrh, Myrtle, Niaouli.

For a Sore Throat dilute one of the following essential oils & apply topically: Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Sandalwood, Tea Tree.

Continue reading “The Cold Season & Essential Oils”

Summertime & Essential Oils

First Posted August 2016

If you have read my blog, you know that I am passionate about Aromatherapy & summertimeEssential Oils. Let me re-phrase that, I’m passionate about the Safe & the Appropriate Use of Essential Oils. 
You also know that I love summer… going to the beach or the lake, enjoying my garden, BBQ’s & picnics, and having the time to relax.
What I could do without is the sleepless nights due to the heat, sore feet from my cute new sandals, bug bites, sunburn & dry skin from all of the swimming, oh, and snakes. I really don’t like snakes. And wolf spiders IN my house. (They belong outside). But other than that I love summer. And when using essential oils in the summertime there are a few things to remember…

cut grapefruitPhototoxicity: fresh & zesty Citrus Oils are the perfect summer scents. Try using them in a room spray or diffusing them in your home. Just use caution when using them on your body & going out into the sun as some citrus oils are phototoxic. A phototoxic reaction may be a severe sunburn, swelling and possible blistering of the skin. A good rule of thumb: don’t apply phototoxic essential oils to areas of your body that are exposed to the sun or if you are using a tanning bed. You may have a reaction up to 24 – 72 hours after using a citrus oil bergamot2on your skin, and the signs may be visible for up to a few weeks afterward. Photosensitive essential oils are Bergamot, cold-pressed  Lime,  Mandarin Leaf, Bitter Orange. Cold pressed Grapefruit & Lemon to a lesser degree (Other photosensitive essential oils are Angelica, Cumin, Cinnamon Bark & Rue.)
You have to be very careful of your dilutions (.04% – 1%), depending on the essential oil.

More ideas for using Essential Oils in the Summer…

Cool Off: If you are finding the heat a little too much make a mister out of Spearmint, or canstockphoto19623127Sweet Basil, Cypress & Geranium essential oils with Lavender Hydrosol & purified water. Keep one beside your bed, and mist the back of your neck & your chest You could also use Lavender & Spearmint Hydrosol blended with purified water.  Shake well before use. Use a dilution of 1 %.

Sunburn: Anyone who has had a sunburn, knows how much they hurt. After a  cool,sunburn baking soda bath, I like to use a blend of Roman Chamomile, Lavender & Peppermint or Spearmint essential oils mixed with Aloe Vera Gel, and Helichrysum Hydrosol.(The amount of Peppermint /Spearmint that I use depends on how bad the sunburn is.)  Use a dilution of 1 – 2 %.  Shake well before use. (You could also use a cooling blend of Lavender & Roman Chamomile Hydrosols in a mister). Continue reading “Summertime & Essential Oils”

Sleep Part 2 – What’s keeping you awake

First Posted July 2016

5635160When it comes to sleep or not sleeping, I’ve had years to figure out what does & doesn’t work for me… I’ve tried the herbal teas, the vitamins, meditation, the warm baths, Melatonin & almost every tablet in the health food store. Some work for awhile, & some don’t work at all.

I find what keeps me awake can change from night to night. Most of the time it is my busy brain that is keeping me up. But there are other things that can keep you awake too. It may be restless legs or leg cramps.  And then there’s the big one… SNORING!!! And in the morning have you ever woken up with a sore jaw from clenching or grinding your teeth?
Because essential oils have so many different properties, they are a big help when you find yourself sleepless wherever you are & for whatever reason…

When Using essential oils at bedtime, try using an electronic diffuser, a room spray or smelling salts for inhalation.These methods work well for insomnia. Also, have a few different types of essential oils on hand so you can switch them up because after awhile, you can get used to them and they aren’t as effective. And keep in mind, everyone responds differently to essential oils, so what works for me, may not work as well for you. That being said… Continue reading “Sleep Part 2 – What’s keeping you awake”