Our entire bodies are covered in skin, so it is, of course, one of the first things people see when they see us. During the warm months of the year we show even more of that skin as we don our swimsuits and enjoy the beaches, pools and summer sun. It is important to keep the skin on your face healthy, because this is seen all year round, but it is just important to take care of all of your skin, whether it is seen daily by other people or not. You should take care of your skin for you.
During the colder months skin tends to get dry. You may see more dandruff coming from your scalp, your dry elbows may be sticking to your long sleeved shirts and your legs may be looking flaky and getting itchy. Winter skin needs extra care and moisturizing to keep it healthy and smooth, but again, skin care should be something you concentrate on the whole year, not just when it seems like it needs some work. Prevention will help keep away dry chapped lips and dandruff.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils and scents to stimulate the brain and the body. It is somewhat combined with the use of herbal healing, as some of the oils used are of herbs. Using essential oils and aromatherapy in your yearly skin care routine can be extra beneficial to your skin, and you can avoid some of the harsh chemicals that may be found in skin care items bought from the store. If you are purchasing your skin care items it is wise to search out organic products that do not use chemicals, which will mean your skin will be safer and healthier in the long run.
Aromatherapy treatments for dry and sensitive skin include the use of chamomile water, rosewater and even lavender oil. Rosewater, which is something my mom loved when I was a child, is an infused water that is gentle and softening to the skin. You can use rosewater, or even chamomile water (just boil a couple of chamomile tea bags in a cup of water then let it cool) in a spritz that you can carry with you to moisten dry skin at any time. These also make good final rinses to your facial routine. Use lavender essential oil mixed into your favorite conditioner to help with dandruff or mixed in your favorite lotion to help with those dry legs and elbows.
Herbal treatments use fresh or dried herbs, and sometimes the oils of herbs, to treat almost any kind of illness, but here we are talking about skin. Herbs, just like essential oils, can be used in with shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. You just need to pick the right herb for what ails you. For skin, one of the most popular herbs is that of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, Tea Tree Oil. Tea Tree is used for preventing and dispelling acne, on the face or anywhere else. During the winter when we are wearing our comfy sweaters some of us tend to develop some back acne. This is easily treated with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil diluted in our lotion.
Herbs that can be mixed with your body lotion for best results on dry skin include Comfrey (which is healing and soothing to rough and dry skin, especially the hands and elbows), Marsh mallow (which is a root and is wonderful on wind chapped hands), and Borage (which is good for dry and sensitive skin). A simple beeswax lip balm with Aloe vera and Comfrey can fix chapped lips in no time.
These treatments are by no means strictly for the winter months. Anytime you are suffering from dry skin they can all be of use. Too much chlorinated pool water can cause a drying of the skin, so they are great for use in the summer. As well, riding a motorcycle can cause some dryness from wind burn, so a soothing chamomile spritz carried along for the ride can seem like a life saver. Skin care is important and using the right treatments can mean a world of difference for your skin and for your confidence!
“The Aromatherapy Bible”, Gill Farrer-Halls, 2005
“Herbs”, Lesley Bremness, 1990