What is Aromatherapy?
It's the use of essential oils for holistic healing to promote physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Often associated with massage; due in part to the fact that the English model of aromatherapy is often taught in North America. However, this is only part of the story, as there are multiple models. In countries such as France and Germany, clinical application is much more prominent.
The use of essential oils and hydrosols in the treatment of medical and skin conditions dates back thousands of years. Ancient Egypt, India and China used essential oils and hydrosols in beauty, healing and spiritual rituals dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. However, it was Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who coined the term in 1937. A French chemist, Rene was born into the perfume industry but discovered the benefits of lavender essential oil when he became badly burned in a laboratory accident. So he coined the term "aroma" meaning scent and "therapy" meaning treatment, to distinguish between the medical application and the perfumery application.
Rene formulated essential oil blends that helped save lives from staff infections and post-surgery wounds during the Spanish flu time. He went on to publish many studies and technical booklets on the medical applications of essential oils. In later years, he turned his attention to dermatology and developed products to treat skin conditions and diseases.
Aromatherapy and Skincare
You will find many opinions as to why you should or should not use essential oils in skincare. Most of the "should not's" are very broad-based and are not a result of actual testing; also this is typically North American-based. The fact is, utilizing essential oils and hydrosols in skincare to create aromatherapy products is highly beneficial. They contain anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that assist with a variety of skin conditions including acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
"The key to enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy in your skincare is formulating with the right type, amount and synergistic blends of oils and hydrosols. It's also very much in the delivery."
Using natural botanical oils, butters and extracts that are grown and produced with integrity and extracted without the use of chemicals (not refined, bleached or deodorized) are paramount.
Using aromatherapy skincare and bath and body products is indeed part of a holistic approach to health. Which considers each individual as a whole, in accordance with the WHO’s definition of health: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Implementing the use of essential oils and hydrosols plays a roll in this comprehensive approach.
How Do Essential Oils Work
Essential oils and their counterparts, hydrosols contain a plethora of beneficial constituents. They vary of course depending on the plant but here is a quick list just to name a few.
- Flavonoids - Anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and antivirals
- Tannins - Neutralize free radicals and stimulate the immune system
- Phenols & carotenoids - Help prevent pigmentation disorders and premature aging
- Nitrogen and sulphur compounds - Improve skin structure & overall appearance. Aid in wound healing, acne and rosacea.
- Fatty Acids - Support cellular regeneration and structure
- Vitamins - Including carotenoids vitamin C & E, essential to skin health
Imagine all of that and so much more are contained in a few drops of these beneficial organic compounds.
Because we believe in the healing intelligence of essential oils, hydrosols and botanicals, aromatherapy is at the root of all our formulations. Using whole oil or hydrosols as opposed to isolated components allows for a holistic and synergistic approach.
Nourish your body, balance your mind and ignite your spirit.