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?”

Essentially Male…

canstockphoto8405954The majority of people that use essential oils are women. Research has shown that women have a better sense of smell so this may be the reason. This being said, essential oils with their many different properties would work well for men, at every stage of their life, for everything from skin & hair care to stress & insomnia.

Skin Care: a man’s skin is different from a woman’s skin mainly due to the hormone testosterone; a man’s skin is approx. 25% thicker, contains more collagen, produces more sebum & is much oilier.

Puberty: Up to 70% of all teens get some form of breakouts. During puberty, a boy’s skin produces a lot more oil & if you add in a buildup of dead skin-cells, it can lead to zits or acne. (Acne can appear on the face, chest or back.) Essential oils can be used as a spot treatment after you cleanse your face or wash your body; they can help dry up zits by reducing inflammation, controlling sebum production & helping to clear up any infection. Consider using Lavender, Juniper Berry, Niaouli, Sandalwood and/or Tea Tree. Dilute your essential oil(s) in Jojoba oil (which is actually a plant wax); it is suitable for oily skin & won’t clog your pores.

Shaving: Scraping a razor over your skin removes thecanstockphoto31945326 hair but can also over-exfoliate the skin, leading to irritation. (There is also some concern about the ingredients in shaving products too.) To soothe your skin, you can easily make your own Shaving Balm using: Shea Butter, Jojoba oil & essential oils like Tea Tree, Lavender or Chamomile. You can also make an aftershave using Witch Hazel, Lavender & Rosemary Hydrosol & Purified Water. Or try a moisturizing treatment using Jojoba oil, Calendula Infused Oil, and the essential oils of Sandalwood, Chamomile or Lavender & a drop of Tea Tree. Shake well before each use.

canstockphoto19966911Beards: Online or walking thru any mall, you will notice that beards & beard grooming products have made a comeback. If you choose, you can make your own conditioning beard oil using a blend of carrier & essential oils. Try carrier oils like Jojoba, Sweet Almond, Camellia Seed, or Coconut. Essential oils to consider are Rosemary, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Lavender or Sandalwood. These oils will condition facial skin as well as beard hair. Shake well before each use.

canstockphoto13661898Your Mid Life Skin: A Man’s skin is thicker than a woman’s & it tends to age differently. Signs of aging like under eye circles & wrinkles appear later in life. (Although, a man may notice some sun damage due to years of outdoor activities like running or golf.)  Continue reading “Essentially Male…”

Blue Christmas & Essential Oils

 

canstockphoto4430859With the Holiday Season fast approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of getting everything done; Being so busy, that you haven’t even thought about how you are feeling.
Some people really enjoy the holidays, while others find that the season isn’t so “Merry” and they are just trying to Make it thru December. It is important to be kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel your emotions, and most of all, not to judge them.

Self-care is essential at this busy time of year.
You may need a few strategies as you navigate this special, but sometimes stressful holiday season. A few things to try are:

  • lighten or create some flexibility in your schedule to allow for some down or alone time, so you can relax, unwind & breathe…
  • Only do things that are meaningful to you
  • Saying No when you need to
  • find yourself a support system, someone you can talk to, like a friend, a family member or maybe a qualified counselor or therapist
  • find small ways to make yourself feel nurtured, take a nap, light a candle, put on some music (Or not)
  •  maybe diffuse some essential oils.

Essential Oils have many different properties. Some are uplifting while other essential oils are more calming. Try diffusing some of the following essential oils if you are feeling:

Anger: try Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Lemon, Lavender, Patchouli, Rosemary or Spruce.

Anxiety: try  Cedarwood, Frankincense, Fir, Geranium, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Pine or Sweet Basil.

Depression: try Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Frankincense, Grapefruit,  Juniper Berry or Lavender.

Grief: try Bergamot, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lemon, Neroli, Rose or Tangerine.

Irritability: try Clary Sage, Chamomile (Roman), Frankincense, Lemongrass or Sweet Orange.

Sadness: try Bergamot, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Sweet Marjoram, or Rose.

This year I am taking my own advice, and I am adjusting my schedule to make time for some things that I “WANT” to do. I am:

  • making time for friends (There is always time for tea or lunch).
  • limiting extra shifts at work, (Sounds simple, right? Not if you are a recovering people pleaser).
  • Getting some extra rest.
  • Taking some time off from Aromatherapy. (My nose needs a break)

And I’ll be snuggling with my cat, Gambitt, on the couch, drinking Chai Tea and watching 12321547_10153772217379346_4659375759824016249_nsome of my favorite Christmas shows, like  “Elf” or “The 12 days of Krampas”  from Season 3 of Grimm or maybe “Pageantry” from Season 1 of Picket Fences.

But mostly, I will continue to try to find the balance & keep making the small changes as I move forward. It is the small changes that we make, that can make the most difference in how we are feeling…

Wishing you many moments of Self-Care & an Aromatic Holiday Season…   

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

  • If you are wanting to diffuse Hyssop, try the Decumbens Variety
  • If you think that you may be suffering from depression or anxiety, please consider seeing a medical professional.

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com

Blue Christmas tree:   canstockphoto.com/marish

The Holidays have come again…

No matter what is happening in your life, the holidays always come…  

When you were young or if you had small children it was easy to get excited about the canstockphoto6330148holiday season. Every day there was something new and fun to do… Baking cookies, decorating the tree, attending a school Christmas concert or going out to look at holidays lights & store window displays.

But as you & your children got older it seemed as if some, if not most of the magic & fun were gone. For me,  my children are grown and our family traditions have changed. What I finally realized is that I need to honor the part of me that still misses seeing those excited little faces at holiday time. Transition and change are a fact of life. and it is my attitude to those changes that will affect how I feel throughout the upcoming season.
If you are going thru a transition, or are simply overdoing it,  take a few moments for yourself each and every day to check in and see how you are feeling. Self-care is always important, and some days it is more important than others. Things that I like to do for myself especially at this time of year are actually very simple: a warm, relaxing bath, then having a cup of tea while curling up with a good book and of course diffusing some essential oils.
It depends on my mood which essential oil blend that I like to diffuse. At this time of year, I like to diffuse essential oils like Douglas Fir, Pine, Juniper or a citrus like Red Mandarin. I love to use Mandarin at this time of year. It takes me back to my childhood;  I remember my mom putting out a big bowl of Mandarin oranges on our coffee table as part of our holiday decorations.

Red Mandarin, Latin name Citrus Reticulata is native to southern China and was brought to canstockphoto8095059Europe around 1805. As Mandarins grew in popularity, they were soon “commercially cultivated” in southern Europe, northern Africa, and they were soon introduced to the Americas, South Africa, and Australia. Mandarin is a lightly scented, citrus oil that is good for easing stress and its calming and relaxing properties make it a good choice to use at bedtime. (It is mild enough to be used around young children & the elderly). It is said to useful for digestive upsets, muscular & joint pain as well as skin care.
(When properly diluted Mandarin is non-toxic, a non-irritant & non-sensitizing. If you are allergic to citrus fruit, it is best to avoid using this oil).

The older that I get, I find that I want the holidays to be a quieter, more introspective time. This year instead of overdoing, I think that I’m going to be under-doing. Less baking, less decorating, less gifting. Just Less! What I want more of is time; to reflect and just be. I also want more time to connect with the important people in my life. As I have been reminded lately, life is short, and all we really have is this moment…

I wish you many quiet moments & lots of  Self-Care this  Holiday Season…

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

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,    The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion,  an imprint  of   Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  •  Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/free-information/articles-archive/mandarin/
www.quinessence.com/blog/mandarin-essential-oil

Inhalation & your “Healing Heart”

First Posted September 2014
Inhalation and diffusing blends are wonderful things… Just a hint of a scent can make us reca100_6334ll a memory or an emotion before we are even aware of it. The sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is linked directly to the limbic portion of the brain, which controls our emotions.

It depends on the day, or the hour, which of my diffuser blends is my favorite. If I’m tired, I want an uplifting blend in the morning & a relaxing blend later in the day and so on…. Out of all of my blends, the De-Stressing blends are my go-to blends. I tend to come back to them time & time again, but for different reasons.

Healing Heart was the first blend that I ever made. It was done in about 20 minutes & I haven’t changed the recipe at all. I just knew how I wanted it to smell. I found that it was comforting if I was stressed or anxious, helped me sleep at night but was still fresh enough that I don’t get tired of it. I’m not a huge floral person, but I love the combination of Rose Geranium, Grapefruit & Lemongrass essential oil.

  •  Rose Geranium is a calming, comforting and balancing essential oil that is good for your heart chakra as you go thru all the changes in your life. It also balances hormones in the body, particularly for women. While there are some similarities, I find that I actually like the scent of Rose Geranium better than Rose essential oil. I think that it is the spicy undertones that I like.
  •  Grapefruit is a sunny, uplifting essential oil that really freshens up your blend & can lift your spirits if you are feeling low. I find Grapefruit essential oil good to use in your diffuser if you have a headache due to fatigue. (At least it is for me; remember that everyone reacts differently to the scents of essential oils).
  •  And what can I say about Lemongrass? For years, I couldn’t stand the smell. But now, I can’t get enough of it. It is so crisp & fresh. Lemongrass is useful during emotional transitions and being open to them. I find that I have the urge to add Lemongrass to everything I blend, but so far I’ve been able to restrain myself.

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

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • Davis Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  • Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002