New Year - New complexion!!

New Year - New complexion!!

Cold weather, late nights, alcohol, and rich food over the festive season can leave your complexion looking a little worse for wear. The New Year is therefore the perfect time to treat your skin to a little extra TLC, to detoxify, re-hydrate and reveal healthier looking skin for the year ahead!

Healthy skin starts from within!

The nature of your complexion is reflective of your general state of health. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and nutritional deficiencies, stress, hormonal imbalance, and digestive congestion often show up in your skin, particularly on the face. To help your body (and your skin) recover from the recent festivities read our New Year's Diet and Detox Advice.

Detoxifying skin care

In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes you can also use aromatherapy to detoxify and naturally enhance your skin quality. Aromatherapy is an absolute essential if you are interested in natural skin care without chemical adulterants. The simple fact is many “normal” skincare products (and even ‘detoxifying’ ones too!!) are so high in chemicals that few of us would use them if we knew what they actually contained. Even more disturbing is that some chemicals and medications that have been in regular use and considered safe, have now actually been found to be deleterious to human health.

Aromatherapy essential oils and base oils are 100% natural and perfectly safe when used correctly. Their component molecular structure makes them genuinely effective for health and skincare, as certain elements are actually absorbed deep into the surface of the external epidermal layer. The same cannot be said for synthetic chemical combinations which often are not of a molecular structure that can truly penetrate the skin therefore their effect will often be superficial, limited and suppressant in action.

So, if you’re trying to detoxify your system and take better care of your skin it makes sense to use products that are as pure, natural and unadulterated as possible. Here are some ‘natural’ aromatherapy recipes to help get your skin back in tip top condition.

Cleansing and removal of dead skin cells

Facial scrub for delicate skin

1tsp Sea Buckthorn Oil, 1tsp Wheatgerm Oil, 1 tsp pinhead oatmeal, 1tsp Ultra Fine French Green Clay, 2 drops Geranium essential oil and 2 Cypress. Combine ingredients and use a little Rose Hydrolat to mix into a paste. Massage into face and neck in small circular movements. Leave for 5 minutes. Then mix up 2 tablespoons warm water with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Rub into the mask, and peel/flake off. This helps to stimulate the release of dead skin cells. Wash off well with warm water then splash face and neck with cold water to close the pores. Do this once or twice weekly.

Aromatic facial steam

Facial steaming softens dead skin cells, encourages dirt and impurities up to the surface, and stimulates the circulation and regeneration of new skin cells. Simply boil the kettle and pour the hot water into a bowl or sink. Add essential oils from the list below according to your skin type. Lean over the bowl and place a towel over your head to trap in the steam. Remember to cleanse your skin thoroughly first. 

Note: Do not use facial steaming if you have very sensitive skin or thread veins.

  • For oily combination skin: 2 drops Rosemary, Cypress, Juniper and Lemon
  • For Dry/Sensitive Skin: 2 drops Geranium, 2 Neroli and 1 Rose
  • For Mature Skin: 2 drops Benzoin, Frankincense and Geranium

Cleanse & refresh skin toner

Mix 50ml Witch Hazel Hydrolat, 50ml Orange Flower Hydrolat, 4 drops Cypress, Lemon and Geranium. Shake well, apply to a cotton wool pad and wipe over the T-zone after cleansing and before moisturising.

Nourishing the skin for a more youthful complexion

These recipes include Neroli, Rose, Benzoin, Frankincense, Geranium and Ylang Ylang essential oils which are renowned for their skin cell regenerating properties. These oils are ideal to use after your detoxifying/cleansing skin treatments and during the colder winter months!

Fruity face mask

Certain fruits are high in natural anti-wrinkle agents called “alpha hydroxy acids”, which help exfoliate skin and enhance its ability to absorb water – hence plumping up its appearance and helping to soften fine lines. Grate 1 small apple, add 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp Jojoba Oil, 1 tsp Wheatgerm Oil, and 1-2 tsp of Ultra Fine French Green Clay (depending on size of apple). Add 2 drops of Neroli Light, 2 Rose Light and 2 Ylang Ylang. Mix well and massage into face and neck. Leave on for 10 minutes, wash off and splash face with cold water to close the pores.

Rich moisture mask (good for dry/mature skin)

Mix 2 tbsp Aloe Vera & Rose Gel, 1 tsp Sea Buckthorn Oil, 1 tsp Avocado Oil, 2 drops Neroli, 4 French Lavender and 2 Benzoin. Apply to face and neck and leave on to allow nutrients and oils to sink in. Wipe off any excess with tissues and splash face with cold water before moisturising.

Rich moisturising cream 

This recipe is especially good in the cold winter weather to help maintain a youthful skin tone. Mix 150ml Organic Moisture Cream, 1 tsp Sea Buckthorn Oil, 1 tsp Jojoba Oil, 10 drops French Lavender, 4 Rose, 4 Frankincense and 8 Geranium.

Re-hydration mist

If your skin is really de-hydrated from all the cold wind, central heating and excess alcohol use our Rose or Orange Flower Hydrolat as a facial spray to keep your skin nourished and hydrated throughout the day.

Nourishing body butter

Don’t forget that your body (once scrubbed) also need nourishment – particularly the skin around the heels, elbows, knees and hands! Remember those oils that are hard at room temperature but so wonderful to use. Melt 100ml of Extra Virgin Coconut Butter, add 20ml Jojoba Oil, 10 drops French Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit. Stir well, pour into a jar and allow to set. Massage into areas of dry skin that need a little extra TLC. The oil will smooth into the skin, leave very little residue and smell wonderful.

Last but not least remember to stay properly hydrated as this has a huge impact on the condition of your skin. Aim to drink 2 litres of water (including herbal teas) per day!!

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

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