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The Fragrant way to Beauty - 2

Perspiration is a method of cooling us down, and so skin regulates our inner temperature.

Nerve-endings are scattered throughout the skin, some registering pressure, some pain. Skin can tell the difference betweens a lover's caress and the boss poking us on the shoulder with his finger!

Sebaceous glands are working away to lubticate the skin, and just how hard they are working determines whether you have a dry or oily skin. Skin is one big activity centre, with hairs growing from their follicles, nerves sending out messages, toxins being eliminated, temperature checks being taken and, through the capillaries, blood and lymph fluid travelling back and forth.

Of vital importance to us in this chapter are tthe connective tissues - collagen and, to a lesser degree, elastin. These determine how spongy the skin is, or is not. Essential oils work cosmetically and as anti-ageing agents in several ways. Thery stimulate skin cells into reproducing at a quiker rate, thus reducing the time-lag between new skin growth and the elmination of toxic debris by improving the lymphatic flow and general condition of the lymph glands.

They improve circulation which aids oxygenation and energise the dermis by the rate nutrients are fed to it. Some can balance the rate at which sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands, thereby stabilising a healthy skin condition. As bactericides they neutralise unwanted and unfriendly bacteria, preventing blemished conditions: and as anti-inflammatories, they calm sensitive and damaged skin.

Some essential oils contain phyto-hormones they create an equilibrium within our endocrine system which surpasses in effectiveness that produced by any other substance.

Their action on the peripherial nerve-endings helps to relieve the stress and tension that so often lead directly to ageing skin - you look as worn-out as you feel. Collagen and elastin are kept in good condition, and there is some basis to believe also that the nutrients and proteins contained in essential oils actually work as restorative building-blocks to these all-important tissue fibres.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of working with essential oils is that a patient who comes to me for treatment of a physical condition, a back ache for example, will after six weeks treatments look about ten years younger than he or she did at the beginning of treatment.

Partly this is due to the relief showing as the pain lifts. But there is more to it than that. The texture of the skin all over the body, sometimes so dramatic that it looks as if the person has had a face-lift.

This phenomenon never ceases to amaze me and I am, again and again, reminded of how comprehensive are the benefits of the essential oils. When treatment is designed specifically for the face, results can be nothing short of miraculous.

The most expensive skin preparations in the world contain essential oils and other natural ingredients as their principal active ingredients but, because the product must be able to endure a long shelf life, they contain chemical preservatives as well.

All sorts of chemicals are used in commercial cosmetic preparations and some of them, such as steroids, cause serious problems. In addition, dubious animal products are often included in commercial preparations, and with the seas now being so unhealthy that whole seal populations can be wiped out, it is true to say that when you put a shop-bought product on your face, you really don't know what effect it will have.

Besides bypassing all these unknown quantities, making and using your own home-made beauty products will save you a great deal of money. Advertising and packaging make shop-bought products very expensive, as does the need for the manufacturer and retail outlet to make their profit. But by following the recipes here, you and your skin will be the ones to profit.

Reference: The Fragrant Pharmacy: Valerie Ann Worwood

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