The skin in adulthood can weigh almost 5 kg and cover an area about the size of a large dining room table. Although is so large, it can be as thin as ½ mm and yet is the only one solid protection we have against the environment.
The skin is our ultimate overcoat: is waterproof, regulates heat, it gives us protection from Physical trauma, bacterial invasion, dehydration, ultraviolet radiation, chemical and thermal damage.
Communication is another important role of the skin; your skin reflects the state of your health and your emotions.
We are born with soft, smooth skin with a thick layer of fat and only a thin layer of protective keratin. It is not a very effective barrier against harmful substances.
That is why is so important to reduce the toxic exposure of our children, and try to use as more natural solutions as possible.
As we grow our skin thickens and strengthen and by adulthood we have a strong skin that functions effectively in protecting us and regulating our body temperature.
And when we get older it thins again, both layers, that is why elder people has less resistance to very cold and very hot days, less protection against the sun and we lose the elasticity showing wrinkles.
Did you know your body only needs one hour per week of sunlight on the hands, arms and face to make vitamin D? That is less than 10 mins a day. So even if you are 10 mins a day exposing face, arms and hands you will be producing the vitamin D we all need to absorb calcium and promote bone growth, healthy teeth and muscles. So, if you have been out and about in summer you should have enough vitamin D in your body, take supplements during the next winter months, and enrich your diet with Fatty fish and seafood which are among the richest natural food sources of vitamin D, also mushrooms and free range eggs …. To keep it at good levels till the spring comes.
Elimination is another important role of the skin
The skin is a giant organ of elimination, getting rid of all the waste through the pores with the sweat. If the other organs of elimination: kidneys and colon are not working efficiently, a variety of skin dis-eases ranging from eczema, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, boils, may occur, because the body is trying to push out through the skin more toxins than the skin can effectively cope with.
So, what can we do about eczemas, dermatitis and acne?
When we suffer from Eczema, or Dermatitis, in almost all cases stress is involved, and kind of the big trigger really. The skin is communicating that stress and toxins are quite high and she is not coping.
Aromatherapy can help on the stress levels otherwise treatment on the skin is merely palliative. If it is a child with eczema, they may be reacting in fact to their parents’ tension. On top, there may be some intrinsic allergies, so those allergens should be avoided not to make the eczema even worse: soaps, laundry conditioners, household chemicals and disinfectants. Again, reducing the toxic load is key especially in houses with young children and elderly people.
So, first think is targeting the stress where aromatherapy helps in a natural way without generating drug dependency.
Second thing is detoxifying, to let all the toxins out and help the skin to have a break…helping the skin in this big role of elimination.
Juniper Berry is perhaps the most important essential oil to use in detoxifying, and it is significant that it is an emotional detoxifier too.
After helping with the stress levels, the cleansing and detoxification, Chamomile and Lavender can be used on the skin to improve appearance. Essential oils can contribute enormously to the health and appearance of the skin.
The skin produces its own protective layer called sebum. Because the sebum is an oily wax, essential oils applied to the skin will dissolve into this wax and make the absorption by the skin even easier.
In the case of Oily skin and acne, we need to reduce the amount of sebum produced and control the bacteria that thrives on the surface of an oily skin.
Bergamot reduces sebum production (astringent) and Lavender has a balancing effect and promotes the growth of new cells: both are antiseptic and control the bacteria on the surface of the skin, and after a week or two vary the blend with Cedar wood or Sandalwood.
The use of Jojoba is useful in the treatment of acne.
Most people will think: adding more oil to the skin? No! jojoba has a similar structure to sebum, it is actually a wax not an oil, and can control excessive sebum production & prevent the build-up. Also, useful in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, chapped skin and nappy rash. Acne can be successfully treated without the use of harmful chemicals.
Geranium and Sandalwood are also very effective. They have balancing effect on sebum production. And because they can balance the sebum production (reduce or increase) they are beneficial for oily or dry skin, as they reduce or increase the production of sebum as needed. Please, no Geranium for people with Eczema.
Pick a good, organic base cream, add Jojoba up to 20% of the mix and 3 drops of Juniper Berry every 10 grams. If it is for a child under 12 years of age or people with sensitive skin just one drop every 10 grams.
I also like to add Cedarwood and Cypress to help with cellulite, water retention and for skin re generation. Dry Brush gently before getting into the shower, and afterwards apply the detox body cream.