The Gift of Good Enough

Self

I have worked on this blog for weeks, re-reading & doing more edits. For some reason, I was hesitant to click the publish button. I finally realized that I was feeling a little insecure, & was worried that this Blog wasn’t good enough. Hmmm… I may still have some work to do on this topic.

If you have been reading my blogs, you will know that I am a big believer in the practice and the idea of Self-Care. I say this because, for me, Self-Care is an ongoing process and sometimes it’s a struggle to remember the tools that I have learned and to use them. I find that when I am especially busy or stressed, this is the time when I am most likely to revert to old and familiar habits. For me, it’s the inner critic in my head. How often have you heard your inner critic telling you that you screwed up? It’s time to turn off the voice of your ego and learn to be kind and to love ourselves. Author Brene Brown says “It’s hard to practice compassion when we’re struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthiness is off-balance.”

Being authentic is to:

  • Embrace all aspects of yourself. The light and the perceived dark sides.
  • Be who you really are, and not try to be who you think you should be.
  • Be aware of and consider releasing any people-pleasing tendencies (it’s not easy, but it is a choice).
  • Let go of the notion of being perfect; it simply isn’t attainable, and it is so exhausting to keep up the pretense.

When it comes to Self-Care, you will find that you have different needs at different times. You may just need to be who you are, right now, nothing more. Or you may feel that the time is right to look inward and to explore. Inner work is often emotional, time-consuming and can be a little messy. But it is so worth it. When doing inner work, I think that it is important to:

  • Take the time and allow things that are true for you to settle in. See how it feels. Slowly build a firm foundation so that any further inner work that you do won’t be built on shaky ground.
  • Go Gently, you really are doing the best you can.
  • Find simple tools that resonate with you, where you are right now.

Consider trying:

Continue reading “The Gift of Good Enough”

Love your Skin Part 2 – Carrier Oils.

 

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Jojoba Oil

Last month, I blogged about using essential oils & Hydrosols for Skincare, & this month I’m continuing with Carrier Oils.  Essential Oil Blends need to be diluted in a carrier oil like Grapeseed, Fractionated Coconut or Jojoba oil before topical use. This is to prevent any irritation, redness or sensitization to your skin. If you have sensitive skin, then you will know that choosing the right carrier oil is just as important as choosing your essential oils.

Carrier Oils have different properties, purposes & absorption rates. They work well in Skin Care,  & Bath Products. Carrier oils are vegetable oils that are defined as lipids & are largely composed of fatty acids. They derived from the fatty part of plants like the kernels, nuts or seeds.

Some Carrier Oils to Consider:canstockphoto21746238

Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus var dulcis): one of the earliest cultivated fruit trees, and are indigenous to the Middle East. Sweet Almond Oil cold-pressed from the nuts, is rich in protein, Vitamin. A, B1, 2 & 6, Vitamin E & minerals. Shelf Life: 1 yr. This emollient oil is good for all skin types, itching, burns & inflammation. Shelf Life: 6 mo – 1 yr. (keep refrigerated) (Avoid if you have nut allergies)

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis): it’s actually a plant wax & its chemical composition is similar to our skin’s sebum.  Jojoba oil contains protein, minerals, plant wax & myristic acid.  It is good for all skin types. Jojoba oil is useful easing irritation of eczema & psoriasis. It can be used at full strength or as an additive to your blend. Shelf Life: up to 5 yr.

Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus Armeniaca):  is cold -pressed from the kernel inside the pit of the apricot. Is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, & minerals, Vitamins & GLA.  Its light texture is good for dry, mature, sensitive and inflamed skin, as well as the itching of eczema. Shelf Life: 6 mo – 1 yr. (keep refrigerated). (Use Caution if you have Nut Allergies.)

Grapeseed Oil (Vitis vinifera): is heat extracted from the seeds. (In its natural state, it doesn’t smell great). The refined oil is almost odorless & contains vitamins, minerals protein, and linoleic acid.  May cause sensitivity for some skin types. Shelf Life: 6 mo -1 yr.

canstockphoto18192976Rosehip Oil (Rosa rubiginosa): an oil that is growing in popularity, it’s solvent extracted from the seeds of the rose bush. Try as an additive in an overnight moisturizing treatment for wrinkles, premature aging, burns & treating scars following surgery. Shelf Life: 6 mo. (keep refrigerated) Continue reading “Love your Skin Part 2 – Carrier Oils.”

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…”

Women of a Certain Age…

First Posted May 2017

canstockphoto2737319Women’s lives are full of transitions and Perimenopause is probably one of the biggest.  “It is a time in a woman’s life when physiological changes occur that begin the transition to menopause.” What they don’t mention, is that while you are going thru a lot of physical changes, perimenopause also changes how you see yourself & how you feel in your own skin.
During the perimenopause phase, the hormonal balance in a woman’s body is in flux. The process gradually starts to happen 8 – 10 years before the onset of menopause. What happens during perimenopause is:

  • The ovaries are starting to lose their ability to make estrogen and progesterone and you aren’t ovulating every month.
  • Your periods become irregular and start to taper off until they stop completely sometime around the age of 52.
  • By menopause, most women’s testosterone levels are a lot lower, which can lower their libido.
  • Usually, starts around 40 – 50, but can start in your 30’s or last until your 60’s. Every woman’s experience is different.

I would recommend being proactive and:

  • Get informed about perimenopause/menopause. If you are able, talk to your Mother and/or Grandmother to find out what they experienced. You may have a similar experience, but not always.
  • If your perimenopausal symptoms are impacting your life, talk to your Medical Professional or Naturopath. If you don’t have one, I would recommend finding one that you can really talk to.

There is a lot of talk in the media about different things that you can use to alleviate the physical symptoms of perimenopause. There are also alternatives in the health-food store that you may want to check out. As I mentioned in my “Wise Women” blog, essential oils can help ease PMS type symptoms & they are also useful for many of the physical & emotional symptoms of perimenopause… Continue reading “Women of a Certain Age…”

Heads Up!

First Posted April 2017

headacheI have had headaches & migraines since I was a young teenager. Each year approximately 45 million Americans suffer from headaches. (That is 1 in 6 people). One of the reasons I got interested in Aromatherapy was because I was taking a lot of OTC pain relievers to help with my headaches and they weren’t working all that well; I was also concerned about the long-term effects of pain reliever usage on my stomach. I decided then, that I wanted to go a different route, to manage the ongoing pain that I was experiencing.
With our busy lifestyles, our daily stress can cause a lot of different physical symptoms which can include, you guessed it…Headaches. (Other causes of headaches may include certain foods, air pressure as well as anxiety, lack of sleep, and dehydration). It is important to take the time to manage your stress and to understand your headache and/or migraine triggers.

There are different types of Headaches:

Tension Headaches:
With a tension headache, you tend to feel pain as well as the pressure across your forehead and at the back of your head. You may also find that your neck and shoulders muscles get really tight too.

Migraine Headaches:
If you have ever had a migraine, you know how painful they can be. The main symptoms are feeling the pain on one side of your head, seeing spots or having a sensitivity to light as well as nausea. The duration & symptoms may vary each time you experience one.
Migraines can be triggered by everyday things like stress, foods, too much or too little sleep, hormones, and certain smells.

Sinus Headaches:
If you have had a sinus headache, you will recognize how the symptoms differ from that of a tension headache. Usually, you have some form of sinus congestion, either from a cold, allergies or a sinus infection. While symptoms may vary (You may have a stuffy nose, a cough, or be sneezing) you will definitely feel some form of facial pain and/or pressure.

Hormonal Headaches:
A lot of women have experienced hormonal headaches at some point in their reproductive life. Women who experience PMS may have headaches as one of their symptoms. Dips in hormone levels (Especially estrogen) may be the cause. Hormone headaches can also happen during pregnancy as well as perimenopause & menopause.

TMJ Headaches:
You can get a headache if you clench your jaws either when you sleep, are stressed or if you grind your teeth. There may be pain in your jaw, the Temporomandibular joint, as well as the side of your head. ( Talk to your dentist to get more info.) Continue reading “Heads Up!”