How to take care of your skin
Skin care means taking care of your skin on a daily basis. And to maintain healthy skin means to look good. Natural skin care is sort of an instrument which plays an important part in the process of becoming a personality. I admire women with personality who look strong and above age.
If one doesn’t simply cleanse and moisturise the skin every day, the sign of aging will appear early. Aging does not happen suddenly. It is a natural process that starts right after we stop growing. If we accept this, we can start working against the clock the natural way.
Bette Davis observed that growing old wasn't for sissies…
I agree with that but I also believe in creating a miracle with my own hands. I let myself go in a belief that I could predict and prevent premature appearing signs of aging. The best beauty advice I ever got was from my mother when I was 16 years old. She bought me my first facial moisturiser – baby cream. Together with baby soap it made up my skin care routine. Therefore, you would not hear me saying, "I wish someone told me when I was younger to start taking care of my skin."
Should every one of us see our ageing as inevitable, a personal affront instead of facing the age, ‘pick up the chin and reflect light in a better way’ and look like a woman?
There are a lot of wonderful women who are getting older and look fantastic. I want to be in that club. To me, aging gracefully is to let it happen gradually and accept it with a big smile. In my experience, fighting it always seems to backfire and make people look unrecognisable. I do enjoy looking at older women who have an enchanting smile and therefore appear sophisticated and youthful.
I love somebody’s saying ‘smile is the best facelift’! That’s what I try to do no matter what.
I think women should put less pressure on themselves! Skin care needs to make you look good, but also feel good. People of France and Italy put a pleasure principle everywhere. They eat at good restaurants; they take time to live; and when they eat, they don’t think about the time. I think we should live more by the pleasure principle and enjoy life more.
Scarlett Johansson admits she started her anti-ageing skin care regime in her twenties.
Yes, we are not celebrities but all of us need to, if not embrace, then accept that we will grow old - there's nothing more ageing than misery: it impedes our ability to feel content with who and what we are.
Skin care for Millennials
The market is offering different solutions for various conditions and age groups and the latest group Millennials is willing wisely ‘to go out and do the research and test things, find authorities to really trust, and do all the background work rather than just taking something for granted’. The unique thing about this generation is that they know exactly what they want - natural skin care. There are so many retailers and peer reviews available online. You can actually read about what’s effective, what’s not effective.
Part of me will always remain a child as I enjoy learning and finding out fascinating things which the world is full of. My more mature part always takes the newly learnt ideas into consideration and implements the knowledge into practice right away.
Here is what I learnt about skin care
People tend to improve things, try to achieve goals, acquire things and have no time to simply enjoy living. Why do we live? We live to live our life. To enjoy whatever we do.
While scientists spend decades exploring the dwarf planet Pluto, the fact, that human body consists of trillions of cells working intricately to maintain the organism’s every function, which to me, sounds just as impressive. It fascinates me and now in everything I do, I think about cells and what I can do to support them. I believe this is what we need to do – helping nature, not trying to change it.
Skin care is that extra hand that we give to our hard working cells. I call it a quality time when I cleanse and moisturise my face using the best natural products available. During all the years I have been testing different products looking for the ultimate solutions of looking groomed effortlessly and without major time consumption. I found it out eventually. That time is precious and always needed to explore life.
You can learn more here
Do you know what you need to look good?
Gradually it became clear that beauty has to do with the balance of physical and mental, nutrition and hydration, nature and art. I also believe, skin care is of paramount value and quality even more.
Aromatherapy is a perfect tool for maintaining a healthy environment for our body and mind. If we exclude harmful substances from our daily environment we already would do a lot in giving our body a helpful hand. Using potent aroma essences loaded with the power of nature will give our body the support it needs to stay healthy, our mind – happy, and the skin – radiant. I am sure now, more than ever, that nothing can beat the radiant skin and luscious hair. A simple daily routine of grooming is the step I follow to encourage my skin cells to do their best.
What is important to know about the skin?
Have you ever realised what our skin means for our body? The ultimate skin functions are protection - it wraps our body and provides physical boundary, and it helps with temperature regulation and provision of sensory information. Skin is an organ of elimination of wastes and it is a part of integumentary system (skin, hair, nails and oil glands).
Skin consists of three layers; these are the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. These layers protect the body from bacteria – as they contain secretions that can kill bacteria, and the layers also protect the body from chemicals and the temperature outside. It also contains the pigment melanin which provides a chemical defence against ultraviolet.
The stratum cornium is the outermost layer of the skin. It is composed of the remains of dead cells. They are the first line of protection. Skin is constantly dying off and replenishing itself. Some skin cells produce collagen and elastin to make skin stretch, recoil and resist tearing. Collagen is the protein which gives us form and shape.
What is skin care?
Knowing about skin functions will make us understand why skin care is vital. Skincare is an important part of aromatherapy. Our skin is a place to apply essential oils. Using essential oils and other natural substances, it is possible to provide a very wide range of treatments for every type of skin and skin disorders.
A typical aromatherapy facial treatment will usually consist of thorough cleansing of the face with a gentle cleansing cream, followed by a careful massage of the face, neck and shoulders, sometimes scalp, too. It is during the massage that the essential oils appropriate for the type of the skin will have the opportunity to penetrate the dead, outer layer of the skin and work on the living layers beneath. Next is to wipe the face and neck with rose water to restore the pH-balance and apply a very light film of oil or appropriate cream to protect the skin against the environment.
Of course, skin care is not confined to the facial skin, although our face is constantly exposed to the elements and heating and we attach some importance to our appearance in regards to our skin. Aromatherapy treatments can be applied with much benefit to the skin of the entire body. The whole process of being looked after, massaged, pampered and made to feel good is wonderfully relaxing and can be seen as valuable therapy in its own right.
I use pure replenishing body oils, which are full of love of nature, unrefined and pure, after shower instead of a conventional lotion.
What are the abrasive ingredients women should stay away from in terms of hair or skin?
I’m really against mineral oil. It’s derived from petrol chemicals and can clog your pores and make you break out. Plus, it’s easily replaced by plant oils. I don’t like sulphates because squeaky clean means removing the skin’s protective layer as well. I don’t like parabens either.
I think if you have the budget, you should invest in a serum of oils and a natural cleanser.
About skin types
Find out your skin type and how to take care of it!
To effectively evaluate your skin type here are some factors that need to be considered, because it's possible that your skin is simply reacting to influences that are easily isolated or are within your control. .
- Skin disorders
- Genetic predisposition
- Smoking & second hand smoke
- Skin-care routine
- Unprotected/prolonged sun exposure
In order to know for sure how your skin really behaves, you have to figure out if your products are to blame. Here are some frequent wrong doers found in all types of traditional skin-care products:
- Thick emollients
- Pore-clogging waxes
- Abrasive scrubbing agents
- Harsh/drying cleansing agents
- Irritants (organic & synthetic)
Before you look in your mirror closely, it is best to wash your face with a gentle cleanser apply a toner (with antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients like organic Rose water), then wait for two hours to see what your skin does without additional products or make-up.
Anyone's skin can have multiple types, and these types can change due to hormonal cycle, season, stress levels, etc..
Here are the skin types and products to use according to their texture
- Oily/Combination – gel, serum, light cream
- Acne or Blemish/Prone - gel, serum, light cream
- Dry Sensitive/Rosacea Eczema – cream, serum, gel
- Sun-Damaged Aging/Wrinkles - gel, serum, cream
- Normal - gel, serum, cream
The surface of the skin will appear dry, if the glands just beneath the surface do not produce enough of the natural lubricant, sebum, which protects the skin from extremes of cold and heat, wind and other elements. This type of skin is usually fine and beautiful in youth but deteriorating much more rapidly than an oily or balanced skin. The aromatherapy approach is to combine base oils with essential oils that gently stimulate the sebaceous glands to function more efficiently.
This kind of skin is also very delicate and sensitive, so gentle flower oils such as chamomile, jasmine, neroli or, best of all, rose are the most suitable. Oils which have a balancing effect on sebum production are also good. These include geranium, lavender, and sandalwood. Regular gentle massage will increase the circulation that feed the growing layer of the skin, and this in turn will improve the whole health of the skin. Nourishing creams made from pure plant oils, beeswax and essential oils should be used regularly, and especially before going out in damaging weather.
Normal or balanced skin, although looking healthy, needs some care as well. Regular moisturising with natural cream will delay the signs of aging considerably.
Excessive oiliness of the skin is caused by too much sebum being produced in tiny glands just under the surface of the skin. Too much sebum produces a greasy appearance of the skin which is often associated with spots, blackheads and tendency towards acne. Sebum production is linked to the activity of the whole endocrine system. In adolescence when the skin is too oily it is comforting to know that it will age far more slowly than one which is dry.
Essential oils can help these problems directly by reducing the amount of sebum produced, and indirectly by controlling the bacteria on the surface of an oily skin. Several oils are obviously effective: cedarwood, cypress, geranium, grapefruit and sandalwood. Some people are puzzled by the idea of using oils to treat oily skin, but of course essential oils are non-greasy by nature, and all traces of carrier oil can be carefully wiped off after a treatment.
Dehydrated skin lacks moisture as well as dry skin lacks natural oils. Though a shortage of oils may contribute to dehydration, since the surface layer of sebum helps to conserve whatever moisture is present in the skin. Dehydrated skin wrinkles easily. Gentle oils to soothe the surface of the skin are chamomile, neroli and rose.
Oils for skin
Essential oils have a molecular structure which is relatively small and simple, and they pass through the skin easily. A second factor which enables oils to be absorbed by the skin is the fact that they dissolve easily in fatty substances. The skin produces sebum and essential oils can dissolve in this, making their absorption by the skin even easier.
The molecule of jojoba is the same size as a hair follicle and so it absorbs deep into the skin. Other oils, like almond oil, have larger molecules that cover the skin’s surface. That’s why you can apply jojoba and the outer layer of skin will still feel dry. The extraordinary benefits of grape-seed oil polyphenols are a great option for a flawless complexion.
You may choose a blend of carrier oils that will moisturise deeply while also leaving the skin feeling emollient.
Finding a wellness formula that has a fragrance you like is made easier by the array of oils. Some — lavender, sweet orange, and frankincense, to name a few —have distinct scent and almost always, one will speak to you specifically.
All essential oils have a grounding (low), medium or uplifting (high) note. Citruses like lemon, lime, and grapefruit are invigorating and found to relieve depression. Lavender helps with anxiety. Cedarwood and vetivert are grounding and calming. Rose and ylang-ylang are aphrodisiacs. Frankincense, known for cell regeneration, is even thought to help fight skin cancer. Each essential oil carries a benefit, and when combined with others, synergises to bring overall balance and wellness.
Gleaming skin and healthy mind
Thanks to the power of scent, I found healing for my occasional problems. Just because I am using essential oils on daily basis while working with them, I feel calmer and happier. Essential oils create my own balance of mind. On the other hand, using essential oils for my regular massage sessions with an aroma therapist caused my whole body to detox: after the first session I felt drained and exhausted, the following sessions I felt better each time experiencing lightness in my limbs and calmness in my head.
To become a skin care and product expert, I immersed myself in “understanding what the skin really needs.” I started studying aromatherapy as at this point I believed in the life changing power of aromatherapy. I transform myself and my ideas about personal grooming constantly on this journey. Essential oils calm me down, alleviate stress, and give me confidence. Aromatherapy can definitely help people in healing definite mental conditions. Aromatherapy becomes acknowledged in different areas. Can you imagine that military use essential oils in their experiments to help combat veterans?
The practice of aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes. The practice goes back to a number of ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
The inhaled aroma from these essential oils and aromatic compounds is widely believed to stimulate brain function, alters one's mood as well as promote cognitive and psychological wellbeing. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing.
Cosmetics and natural oils
Oils, both base and essential, are experiencing their second birth right now. The reason is not just lovely aroma of the essential oils and lovely texture of the base oils but their properties which are extremely beneficial for skin and hair.
Some think that oil will make your skin and hair look oily. Essential oils, in spite of their title ‘oil’, are not oily by nature and will leave no stain on clothing. On the contrary essential oils penetrate the skin very quickly and work on the cellular level. Not all the essential oils are beneficial for the skin, but those that are, are blended with the base oils for special reasons: blended with the base oil/s the essential oil/s will be carried through the skin smoothly.
Essential oils work on the skin cell regeneration level while base oils work on the upper level of the skin making it look radiant and soft. Oils protect the skin and regulate the production of sebum. You really need a little of the oil blend to smooth into your skin to make it work. Besides, oils can produce much looked after healthy glow naturally without any help of the conventional beauty products. Oils will also address the minor skin conditions.
Rose water, jojoba, grapeseed, argan and almond oil are used in the products for skin and hair to keep them nourished, moisturised and soft as well as protected from the elements. Oils can be helpful after sun exposure, epilation and shower. As a bonus oils contain anti-aging antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body against the kind of damage linked to increased risk for conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
After sun care for the skin
The skin gets rid of toxins thanks to a natural powerful antioxidant and looks healthy and glowing. The oil activates the cells protective mechanisms which is vital in the heat. Oils can be added to a daily skin care or to a massage to stimulate the process of detoxing and relieve the cells from the accumulated toxins. The oil mask will help to restore its protection against elements.
Why skin cleansing is so important
Pollution adds up to the development of lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It may also contribute to the development of skin diseases. That’s why it is so important to cleanse - to remove the impurities from your pores. If you do not wash your face properly before bed, you are not allowing skin’s natural repair process to take place. You may wake up to dull complexion, no elasticity and even breakouts.
My heart goes to the cleansers that act as make-up remover and toner in one. The AromeSense creamy cleanser has droplets of oil suspended in it to help to grab on to dirt and make-up debris and wash it away. It contains no soap or irritants, can be applied to dry skin and wiped off with a cotton cloth, making it ideal for sensitive, dry or ageing complexions.
Warm a bean-size bit of cleanser in your hands, gently massage it in, and then remove it with a damp cloth for gentle exfoliation.
Argan Oil as a cleanser is also a good choice, especially for sensitive skin. Applying cleanser to completely dry skin will help it bind to dirt. Then in the shower the steam opens pores and makes deep cleaning more effective.
Why should you use a night cream?
What are the benefits of using night creams?
Are night creams different than day creams?
There can be a good reason to use a different face cream at night.
We know that our skin is exposed to harmful environment during the day: the sun, pollution, heat, stress, etc. A night cream is created to help the skin to restore during the night rest which includes stimulation of new skin cells growing and replacing older ones. This cell growth can help diminish the appearance of age spots and fine lines and wrinkles. Yes, our skin starts aging at the beginning of our twenties. So it makes sense to start taking care of it as early as possible.
Skin sensitivity can increase when exposed to UV rays. It means that in addition to applying sun protection during the day time, we need to use a rich replenishing night cream to restore our skin normal function after the day exposure.
Other benefits of a night cream are moisturising or hydrating, nourishing and replenishing. Night cream contains higher levels of emollients making it more moisturising than a daytime cream. Therefore, if you feel that your skin is drier at the end of the day you may want to use a richer cream at night. We know well that day creams we prefer to use are lighter and their purpose is to keep the skin moisturised during the day. A night cream may contain higher levels of active ingredients since they are specifically intended to be worn at night to minimise irritation from UV exposure and therefore to slow down the ageing.
A hydrating night cream as rich and intensive moisturiser works on the skin at night. Pure essential oils, the essences of the plants, are known for their protective and restorative properties and are rich on vitamins. Especially beneficial oils are carrot seed, frankincense, neroli, patchouli, sandalwood and rosehip.
Skin care advice from Lena
At the end of the day the skin feels dry and tired. To give your skin a relief try this: mix some grapeseed, argan or any unrefined base oil of your preference with your face wash and place it in your palms and gently massage it into the skin of the face. Wash it off with low warm water or wipe it off with a wet cloth and enjoy the look of fresher skin.
Add a few drops of rosehip or avocado oil to your night cream and gently massage it into your skin. Your skin will feel refreshed and invigorated. I always say that the amount of the cream and oil you put on your skin depends on the needs of your skin. Start with a few drops and see what happens. You might need some more or nothing at all. You might use a soft tissue to blot out the remnants of oil from your face before going to bed.
Less is more.
Do not forget that oils are very potent and loaded with natural goodness.