Many people who have undergone significant weight loss can find themselves facing the challenge of resultant loose, flaccid skin tone. Depending on how much loose skin is present, most people find that building up the levels of regular vigorous exercise, to improve muscle tone under-lying the skin, helps to improve the situation. Flushing the body with the correct nutrition, and perhaps supplements too, can also help the body to regenerate better, more toned skin condition.
Collagen (and elastin) production in the skin is important, as they are proteins found in the body’s connective tissue, bones, ligaments and skin. Basically, collagen provides healthy, spongy skin structure and elastin, gives the skin its elasticity. Aromatherapy can help improve skin tone and regeneration in a number of different ways. Certain essential oils help stimulate skin cell production, therefore strengthening skin integrity. Others help prevent sluggish, congested skin that results in poor complexion, by improving lymphatic flow and stimulating the circulation. By improving circulation, we then help increase oxygenation and nutrition to the dermis (the layer under the skin itself), improving the rate at which collagen is produced and the cells multiply. Some oils help to balance the sebum out-put, which helps maintain a healthy skin mantle, their antiseptic/antibacterial nature helps prevent spots and infection, and their anti-inflammatory nature helps ease sensitive /damaged skin.
Using essential oils in massage stimulates the pheripheral nerve endings, helping to relieve stress and tension that can increase the rate at which collagen and elastin are broken down. Many aromatherapists believe that some of the nutrients and proteins contained in essential oils also help to stimulate and protect the production of collagen and elastin.
As ever, a completely holistic approach is required to really improve the situation. A good exercise regime, drinking plenty of water, eating a protein rich diet that also contains plenty of Vitamin C, E, A, Zinc and the trace element Copper, is also important. BioCare Ltd can advise on supplementation if required, and their “Hair and Nails” Complex may be useful.
I would advise aromatherapy used to its fullest effect, with certain oils being used in massage, aromatic baths, skin scrubs and a regularly applied lotion or oil, according to preference. Taking particular note of the most nutritious base oils as well as the most appropriate essential oils, is also recommended. Your individual skin type is also important when choosing the correct essential oils – contact us for further information if you need it!
For a normal skin type, where the only issue is loose skin tone following weight loss, we recommend the following, although nothing can replace an individual consultation with a qualified aromatherapist who would look at the whole picture for you, and choose the oils accordingly.
Lotion/cream: Add 10 drops Lavender, 3 drops German Chamomile, 7 Rosemary, 5 Frankincense and 5 drops Lime essential oil to 100ml Moisturising Lotion or Cream. Apply regularly to areas affected.
Body Scrub: To help dead skin cell removal aiding skin tone and circulation: 2 tablespoons of Bath & Shower Gel, 2 tblsp Dead Sea Salt, 1 tblsp fine oatmeal, 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda, 5 drops Lime essential oil, 2 Lemon, 2 Rosemary, 2 Fennel, 2 Geranium. Mix well, use immediately. Apply in smooth circular rotations.
Hot/Cold: is very stimulating to the circulation /muscle/skin tone – try alternating your shower to hot/cold. Regular saunas/steam rooms with a cold shower /plunge pool is also highly recommended.
Note: For massage and applying lotion remember always apply in an upward motion on limbs (towards heart) to aid blood and lymphatic circulation, and in a clockwise motion on stomach to aid digestion.