Aromatherapy oils may be Nature’s greatest de-ager, restoring suppleness and vitality to even the most tired skin. We love the effect they have on our wear complexions – and flagging spirits. Aromatherapy massage and essential oils can be extremely beneficial as part of a holistic anti-ageing program. They can be relaxing, detoxifying, stimulating and supportive to the immune system.
They help support and balance the body’s metabolic functions. And essential oils help balance the emotions, at the same time. And depending on the oil – or combination of oils – chosen, they can be tremendously beneficial for the skin. Beat that.
Anti-ageing Essential Oils
An excellent skin tonic, particularly valuable for mature, wrinkled skins. Useful for healing wounds. Working on the emotions, frankincense has an uplifting and clearing effect, giving a sense of rising above problems and clearing negativity.
Brightens dull skin and balances combination skin; antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Uplifting, it’s one of the best all-round tonics for mind and body.
Excellent first-aid remedy for cuts, bites, bruises and burns. The most useful and popular of all essential oils, lavender can help counter depression, anxiety, tension, shock and emotional distress.
Speeds up cell replacement so are extremely useful for rejuvenation and in the treatment of scars and stretch marks. Distilled from orange blossom, neroli has a calming, strengthening and euphoric effect – and is an excellent tonic for emotional exhaustion, depression, insomnia, shock, and stress.
Helps skin cell renewal so rejuvenating for mature or prematurely aged skins ‘turkey neck’ or on scar tissue; an effective antiseptic, it can be used on inflamed or infected conditioners such as weeping eczema, dermatitis, ulcers. It is relaxing yet reviving and also warming and stimulating oil.
Rose otto (Damask Rose)
Excellent for all skin types but particularly beneficial for sensitive, highly coloured or aging skins; it is also an extremely effective antiseptic. Strengthens fragile capillaries and so is particularly useful for rosacea. A spiritually uplifting and protecting oil.
A soothing, lubricating oil ideal for sensitive dry or neglected skin. Nourishes protect older, papery skin. Good for anxiety/insomnia caused by emotional distress.
The Base Oils
Before you apply them to the skin, essential oils should be diluted with ‘base’ oils. Use any of the following or a combination of the oils. The following oils are widely available and particularly recommended in anti-ageing formulations.
The Base Oils
Evening Primrose Oil
Regenerative and good for prematurely aged skins; using the contents of capsules- from health food stores – may be the most practical method
Penetrates well leaving a protective, non-stick, nourishing film; good for dry, sensitive skin and allergies.
Sweet Almond oil
Light and nourishing, with vitamin E and high in vitamin A, it helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness, and inflammation.
Featuring vitamin A and high in vitamin E; antioxidant. Good for dry, mature and prematurely aged skin and scar tissues.
For facial oils, use a 1-3% dilution, being sure to measure carefully. So to each 15ml of base oil, you add 3-9 drops of essential oils. Choose from any of the oils listed above – or blend two or three together, always staying within the dilution guidelines.
The Aromatherapy Massage
Cleanse and refresh the skin of the face and before you start.
1. Rub one drop of frankincense essential oil over the palms. Stary the massage on the head, to release tension.
2. Deeply massage the scalp all over with fingertips to release tension; really get the skin moving over the scalp.
The Aromatherapy Massage
3. Place the pads of your spread-out fingers just on the hairline and make deep ‘draining ‘ movements from the hairline to the crown, starting at the forehead and temples and moving backwards through the hair. Do the same from the base of the skull, trailing fingers through to the ends of the hair.
4. Pour about 5ml of blended oil into the palm of the hands. Rub hands together and apply the oil with both hands in long, sweeping movements, across the décolletage, round the shoulders, up the neck, across the cheeks, nose and forehead. Cover the whole area to be treated, circling the eyes lightly with ring fingers being careful not to get the oil close to the eyes. Repeat the movements until the oil is well spread and the skin is warmed.
5. With the fingers. of the right hand, knead the upper left arm, shoulder and up the back of the neck to behind the ear. Repeat on the right side with the left hand.
6. With the knuckles make circular, sweeping movements to the neck, shoulders, chest and upper arms. Do one side at a time.
7. With the fatty pads of your thumbs under the chin, apply pressure up against the jaw-bone from the point of the chin to the corner of the jaw-bone, moving the thumbs a short distance at a time. ‘When you find an area that’s sensitive or tender, just keep working on it gently, until it eases up.’ Repeat the procedure from chin to jaw-hinge.
8. Place the pads of your fingers just on the jawline, gently touching. Press, then move the fingers along slightly. Press again. Keep moving the fingers to the edge of the jaw; go back to the beginning and start again.
9. Using the pads of the fingers, which are now separated, make tiny, tiny circular pressures on the cheeks, in rows from the jaw-bone up to the top of the cheekbone. Your little fingers should end up under the middle of each eye.
10. Using the pads of the fingers, apply small circular pressures in the line across the forehead, starting at the centre and finishing at the temples.
11. With the tips of your ring fingers, circle around the eyes on the socket bone, inwards under the eyes towards the nose, up onto the eyebrows and outwards, to complete the circle.
12. Place the thumbs just underneath the inner brow bone and apply pressures upwards along the ridge of the eye socket, moving the thumbs slightly each time. Keep going till just about the midpoint of the brows. This technique is especially soothing for those who suffer from headaches and eyestrain.
13. Place the pads of the fingers on the lower ridge of the eye socket bone, and press. Then move the fingers slightly outwards and press again. Repeat.
14. Rub hands together vigorously and then cup the closed hands over the eyes. Take several deep breaths and sign out tension.