Love your skin

Our skin is our largest organ. No matter the height, weight, gender, nationality, age…this statement is true.  Not only does skin cover the entire outside of the body; it also covers the insides of the mouth, throat, and ears. AND it is the largest conduit for absorbing external substances into our bodies.

This photo is one of my favorites of me and my husband, Johnny. Holding hands with him and knowing that he can occasionally join me away from home are two of my greatest joys in life. A few years ago, he did not look like this and could not even get out of bed without great effort and discomfort. What does this have to do with skin? Much more than you might imagine.

In the spring of 2014, he came home from major spine surgery still not sure if he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. I had just started using essential oils and oil-infused products while he was in rehab and was eager to see how they could help him during the coming months of recovery. Needless to say, using a diffuser for emotional aromatherapy was a huge help in keeping him positive and calm when discouragement fought to take control.

But the physical discomfort (often 6 or more on a scale of 10) was always there. He decided to start using doTERRA Deep Blue Soothing Blend in both liquid and rub forms and was so grateful that he could get real relief. I would rub the oils into his body (and still do) over joint and muscle areas as needed. He appreciated the pure, natural aromas as well as the gentle but powerful comfort he received. He compared the labels on the oil blend rub and the commercial pain rub prescribed by his PCP and remarked that the plant names were the same but the commercial tube had many additional ingredients, had an unpleasant aroma, and definitely did not work as well.

Over the following months, we fine tuned the specific oils we applied to different areas for different kinds of relief as well as the amount of essential oils that we mixed with carrier oils before each application. I was glad that – because of my doTERRA community – we had many resources to help with choosing the right oils for each challenge. His skin is sensitive, so we always added a carrier oil before massaging essential oils into his skin.

  • Unlike essential oils, carrier oils are non-volatile and support topical delivery in many ways:
    Keep essential oils from flashing off (applied beforehand, they delay the onset of the therapeutic effect and make it “time release”; applied afterwards, they Enhance the therapeutic onset)
    Extend and balance the therapeutic effect of the essential oils
    Ease the process of spreading essential oils across an area of skin
    Do not decrease the therapeutic effect of essential oils despite allowing coverage of a larger area
    Allow variations in dilution for different age groups and solutions (ask me if you’d like guidance on dilution ratios)
  • There are many carrier oils that offer their own therapeutic effects and textures. Here are some of my favorites:
    Fractionated coconut oil/FCO (colorless, odorless, very long lasting, and non greasy)
    Solid raw, virgin coconut oil
    Jojoba oil
    Grapeseed oil (my #2 after FCO, especially for those who cannot use nut oils)
    Sweet almond oil
    Avocado oil
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Argan oil
    Pomegranate oil (now also available blended with Yarrow essential oil from doTERRA)
    doTERRA also offers an unscented hand and body lotion that can be customized with essential oils of your choice

Several months after Johnny came home, I took the opportunity to be certified in the AromaTouch therapeutic technique (https://www.aromatouch.com/#/). This is a way of applying essential oils to the hands or feet alone or to the head, upper body, legs, and feet. The oil drops are massaged into the surface of the skin so that they can be absorbed through the various layers of skin and enter the bloodstream, ultimately reaching every cell in the body with the desired therapeutic effect. Specific oils are applied in a certain order and with specific techniques to support relaxation, soothing of discomforts and imbalances, and re-energizing. It feels like a massage to the receiver, but it is actually powerful plant therapy reaching deep into systems and organs. All by simple touch and oils. The AromaTouch method takes advantage of reflex points on the feet and hands. By extension, oils can be applied therapeutically to similar points on the ears. Let me know if you’d like more information on reflex points!

Here are some additional topical application tips to make your oils and efforts work even better:

  • To magnify the effect of other oils, layer with Frankincense (layering means that you apply one oil or blend, wait several seconds, and then apply another oil or blend)
  • To drive the oil effect down deeper, layer with Peppermint or apply diluted oils and cover with warm heat such as a rice bag or moist cloth compress
  • To allow more efficient absorption in a localized area, massage the skin with a roller or fingers before or during the oil application (this brings bloodflow to the area)
  • To give your whole body a deeply refreshing topical and aromatic oil treatment, add oils to your soaking bath! Be sure to mix drops with bath salts or Epsom salt before adding to running water to keep the oils from floating on top of the water rather than dispersing throughout the bath.

Ready to love your skin in new and fragrant ways? Try topical application of essential oils. I’d love to help you explore. Just comment here, and I promise to respond!

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