Aromatic Winter Wellness 5-Step Plan
Winter can be extremely challenging both physically and emotionally. The shorter days and long dark nights can have a depressing affect on our mood and energy levels and we are more susceptible to coughs, colds and flu. In addition to this, cold, dry air and central heating can suck precious moisture from our skin and hair, leaving us with a dull dry, flaky complexion and frizzy locks.
Feel like hibernating? Don’t despair, it’s not quite as bad as it might seem. As ever, aromatherapy can be a real saviour. Follow our tips below to help you sail effortlessly through winter, happy, healthy and with a radiant glow!
Essential oils to boost your immune system
Essential oils can strengthen and boost our immune response in two ways:
- By directly opposing the threatening bacteria or virus
- By increasing the activity of the organs and cells that fight them
Some essential oils such as Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Manuka, Ravensara and Tea Tree do both i.e. they help to fight the infection and stimulate immunity.
Incorporating these essential oils (and others) into your daily bathing, skincare and household routines can help build resistance to illness and help you recover more quickly if you do become ill.
To build your immunity try diffusing our Bug Buster pure essential oil blend with Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon, Myrrh, Plai and White Camphor. Or if you’re out and about a lot, pop a few drops on a tissue or in an aromatherapy inhaler and have a quick sniff whenever you can.
If you do fall ill, Bug Buster can be used in a steam inhalation to support your respiratory system and speed recovery. Our Breathe Easy blend is also recommended and can be used in inhalations, nasal inhalers and vaporubs to help ease the symptoms of coughs and colds
Essential oils to blitz the winter blues
The colder seasons can have a huge impact on some people’s mood and energy levels. Often called the winter blues, this is thought to be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. Symptoms can include low mood, irritability and feeling tired and sleepy.
If the darker days give you a touch of the winter blues try a cheery, zesty shower blend to kick-start your day. Mix 15ml of our Bath & Shower Gel with 2 drops Lime essential oil, 3 drops Geranium and 3 drops Bergamot for a natural lift.
Or, at the end of the day, enjoy a physically and emotionally soothing soak with 1 drop of Rose Otto essential oil, 2 drops of Bergamot and 4 drops of Lavender in 15ml of Bath Oil. Add to your bath once the water has run and swirl gently to disperse. This beautifully fragrant oil will also help to nourish your skin.
Our pure essential oil blends are also great if you want a ready-to-use option.
Note: If your symptoms are severe and you’re struggling to cope please speak to your GP as you could be suffering from the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a recognised mental health condition. Aromatherapy can of course help support you through this too.
Aromatherapy oils to nourish your skin
The cold temperatures, low humidity and central heating can play havoc with our skin in winter, leaving it dry, tight, red, itchy, irritated and even cracked. This is because the water in our skin evaporates more quickly in the cold, dry air. Here are out top tips for keeping your skin hydrated, soft and smooth all winter long.
- Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of ‘clean’ fluids. Hot water and fresh lemon, herbal teas or warm winter cordials are all ideal if you prefer warmer drinks in winter.
- Add more essential fatty acids to your diet to help keep your skin cells soft, plump and flexible (oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado are all good sources of EFAs).
- Eat plenty of Vitamin C rich fruit and vegetables to boost your body's production of collagen. These will also support your immune system.
- Try not to have the water too hot when you take a bath or shower, or soak for too long, as this can strip your skin of its natural protective oils.
- Use gentle, natural-based skincare products that are free of harsh chemicals that will further strip the skin.
- Always moisturise your skin after washing/bathing to seal in moisture.
- Reapply moisturising creams and lotions before going outside and try to wear hats, gloves, scarves etc to shield your skin from the elements.
For gentle winter cleansing try using Micellar Water, to lift dirt from your skin without the need for washing. Our Micellar Water with Aloe Vera and Chamomile will sweep away dirt and impurities to leave your skin feeling beautifully clean, soft and balanced. No scrubbing, harsh soap, face washes or hot water required!
For a 100% natural, gentle, hydrating skin toner try one of our pure hydrolats to nourish and tone the skin after cleansing.
Then, make up an aromatherapy facial oil with nourishing plant oils to maintain your skin’s natural moisturise balance and revitalise skin tone. Mix 40ml Apricot Kernel Oil, 10ml Evening Primrose Oil, 5ml Jojoba, 5ml Avocado Oil, 6 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil, 6 drops Geranium, 4 drops Frankincense, 4 drops Patchouli, 2 drops Neroli and 2 drops Rose. Massage in a few drops every night after cleansing and toning. Or, if you’re having a quick soak in the bath, apply a thin layer of oil to the face before getting in. The warmth from the bath water will open your pores and allow the oil to absorb more effectively. Gently wipe off any excess oil with a warm, damp flannel and splash your face with cold water to finish.
For a nourishing body oil mix up 20ml Jojoba, 10ml Avocado, 6 drops Rose, 4 drops Patchouli and 2 drop Geranium and massage liberally into your skin immediately after a bath or shower. Always massage in an upwards direction towards the heart.
If you don't want to make your own, try our pre-blended facial oils and body massage oils.
Kiss goodbye to chapped lips
Chapped lips can be unsightly, painful and may even result in cracks and bleeding. Unlike the rest of our skin, our lips do not contain oil glands, so they are much more prone to drying out. As per our skincare advice above try to drink plenty of clean fluids to stay hydrated, increase your intake of essential fatty acids and avoid products with harsh chemicals in. Try not to lick your lips. Saliva evaporates very quickly, so this can leave your lips drier than they were before. Use a nourishing, protective lip balm and cover your mouth with a scarf when out in the cold.
To soothe, condition and protect your lips from the cold (and cold sores) try making up this 100% natural lip balm. Melt 1 tsp of Beeswax, 1 tsp of Extra Virgin Coconut Butter and 70g of Cocoa Butter. Stir well and allow to cool slightly. Mix in 2 drops each of Tea Tree and Melissa essential oil and 8 drops of Mandarin. Pour into small, sterilised glass jars and leave to set. The lip balm should keep for 3 to 6 months.
Aromatherapy oils to fight the frizz
Unsurprisingly the winter weather can also cause our hair and scalp to dry out, leading to dull, dry, frizzy, brittle hair, flaky scalp, breakages, split-ends and static.
To help keep your locks looking lovely try to wash your hair less often with gentle SLS free shampoo, and remember, don’t have the water too hot. Try to let your hair dry naturally whenever possible and give it to a deep conditioning treatment once a week.
For an ultra-nourishing, conditioning hair mask mix 5ml of melted Extra Virgin Coconut Butter, 5ml Argan Oil, 2 drops Lavender and 2 drops Ylang Ylang. Brush your hair first to detangle, then massage the oil into the hair and scalp. Cover your hair in cling film or use a shower cap or plastic bag, then wrap your head in a towel and leave for 30 to 60 minutes or overnight. To remove, massage in some shampoo before wetting your hair, and then shampoo as normal. It may take a bit of washing to remove all the oil, but the end-result will be lovely, silky-soft, frizz-free locks.
In between weekly treatments you can use a little Argan Oil to smooth and protect your hair. Simply pop a few drops onto your hands and rub together before smoothing through.
We hope you've enjoyed the above tips and we wish you a very happy and healthy winter!