Essential-oils

The Beauty Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

Move over coconut oil, a new beauty secret has us all talking this season and it’s grapeseed oil! Why? It’s good for cooking, skincare, beauty and even pain relief since it’s packed with high levels of vitamin E – a must-have for healthy skin!

RELATED: Essential Oils For Women’s Health

Hair growth

Massage grapeseed oil slowly through your roots to stimulate hair growth and awaken the follicle.

Serum

Apply it all over your face and neck as an evening skincare serum to deeply hydrate your skin. It’s ideal for all skin types and won’t make you break out!

Body scrub

Combine one part castor oil and two parts grapeseed oil to create a luxurious body scrub that will leave your skin looking glowing and vibrant.

Leave-in conditioner

Use it as a hair mask to repair split ends, give your hair some extra shine and make it look super-sleek and smooth. Rinse with shampoo and cold water for best results.

Sun burn

Spent a little too much time in the sun? Mix a few drops of grapeseed oil into your sunscreen for ultimate protection. It can also help to minimise the appearance of age spots after extended use.

Stretch marks

Skip the usual moisturiser in favour of natural grapeseed oil which can decrease the severity of stretch marks.

Muscle Rub

Create your own homemade muscle scrub by combining coconut oil, castor oil and grapeseed oil, and rubbing onto freshly washed skin.

Acne treatment

Apply grapeseed oil as a concentrated spot treatment for acne spots and existing scars. It helps to regulate your natural oil production and will prevent future breakouts.

Makeup remover

Just 2-3 drops of grapeseed oil onto a cotton pad will remove even waterproof mascara – without any leftover residue. The extremely concentrated formula means that a little goes a long way!

Image via Livestrong

The Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oils

Did you know that the humble frankincense oil can be used to treat more than 50 different skin conditions, as well as relaxing the entire body? If you said no, we are about to blow your mind so much that by the end of it, you’ll definitely be interested in getting your hands on a bottle for the medicine cabinet!

RELATED: Essential Oils For Women’s Health

What is frankincense oil?

Frankincense oil is made primarily from boswellia carteri, a type of plant which has been around since Biblical times. Tree resin is steamed down, pressed, and made into a handy little essential oil which we all know and love to this day as frankincense. It is well known for its antibacterial properties and other skin loving and relaxation elements.

Skin damage

If your skin has been left damaged by years of skin exposure or even a nasty burn, use twice a day to treat the area. Not only does it help to diminish the look of dark spots, it will help to naturally brighten the skin.

Fingernails

Suffering from a dry cuticle, or two? Apply frankincense oil before bed (it will soak better into your skin) to bring back the moisture in your fingernails.

Stress

Did you know that frankincense has been used for years to reduce stress? Apply a few drops onto the back of your neck, and try to sit back and relax. The sweet smell will soothe your body and mind, and help to increase your concentration.

Mosquito bites

Improve the look and feel of bug bites by applying a few drops of frankincense on the skin. Not only will it help to decrease the redness, but will also soothe the itchy feeling.

Acne

If you suffer from particularly dry or acne-prone skin, frankincense could really help to curb those future breakouts. Mix a few drops into your moisturiser and apply onto both the face and neck a few times a week.

Use frankincense as a deep cleansing mask and apply onto freshly washed skin. The antibacterial properties will help to remove any impurities and un-clog your skin.

Dry skin

Apply a few drops of frankincense oil onto dry patches to quickly hydrate and moisturise the entire area. This is a quick and easy trick if the cold weather hasn’t been kind to your skin, or similarly if it needs a bit of glow before heading out.

Image via Flickr

The Art Of Crafting Your Signature Scent

We hear about one celebrity after the other releasing their signature scent, but choosing your own fragrance can be frustrating when you’re trying to pick the best perfume out of hundreds of pre-made options. They all start smelling the same very soon and when you finally make a choice and bring it home, you find that once on your skin, the smell changes! You might even start to wonder if the signature scent is something reserved for those who can afford to create their personal brand of perfume.

RELATED: Are You Wearing The Right Perfume?

It’s not a surprise that our fascination with perfumes has been around for centuries. Not only can a good perfume make us feel great about ourselves, but it can also make us look more attractive. A 2014 study from the Monell Chemical Senses Centre revealed that pleasant or unpleasant smells can alter our visual perception of people we meet. And we all want to look good, right?

Here’s the good news: personalised perfumes are no longer the privilege of the rich and famous. You can get your own signature scent designed to suit your personality, lifestyle and emotions and it can be great for your health, too.

Enter the world of natural perfumery

Natural perfumes are crafted using essential oils, floral waters and hydrosols, with no artificial ingredients and they can have a very pleasant scent that lasts for hours. They may not be as durable as commercial fragrances, but they also come without the potential side effects in the form of skin irritations, allergies, anxieties, depression and headaches.

Julie Nelson, artisan natural perfumer at Aromatique Essentials, says that natural perfumes are not only a safe alternative to commercial perfumery, but the essential oils in them have beneficial emotional and psychological effects – oils can uplift our emotions, strengthen our nervous system and help us feel sensual and confident. To create her perfumes, Julie relies both on her deep knowledge of the oils and her intuition.

“When we resonate with a particular aroma, it brings a smile to our face with instant gratification,” Julie says. “We can feel uplifted, happy, bubbly, energised, motivated, serene, peaceful, grounded and connected. We connect with our feminine essence, masculine essence, our sensuality and sexuality.”

Julie says she loves the look on her client’s faces when they smell their signature scent for the first time. They take one breath in and their whole energy changes. It’s as if they’re transported to another place in time.

But is the signature scent a thing of the past, now that so many fragrances are widely available? Julie Nelson shares that more and more people are looking for personalised perfumes and a new definition of the signature scent is emerging. It is no longer the same scent that you always wear, but a perfume that is created specifically for you and reflects your personality, the aromas you like and the feelings you want to experience and evoke while wearing it. Some of us still stick to one signature scent, but many women these days have a collection of perfumes so that they can choose their scent depending on their mood and their emotional needs at that time.

How natural scents can influence your feelings

One of the main questions you need to answer to create your signature scent is: “How do you want to feel?” Here are some of the essential oils used in natural perfumery and how they can affect your emotions, as well as what you evoke in others while wearing your personalised perfume.

Floral essential oils – jasmine, rose, orange blossom

These oils are very popular, as they speak to our feminine essence and make us feel sensual and attractive. It’s no coincidence that the rose is the flower that represents love and passion – rose oil a well-known aphrodisiac that invokes romantic feelings.

Citrus essential oils

Citrus oils have uplifting qualities. They make us happier and for many of us they can bring blissful memories from our childhood when we may have had an orange or lemon tree in our backyard.

Sandal wood essential oil

This oil is known for its calming and grounding qualities and you’d choose it when you’re seeking a state of peace and serenity.

What if you’re hypersensitive to smells?

Some of us are unable to wear commercial perfumes because their strong smells overwhelm us. Yet, we want to be attractive too, so what’s the solution? Julie Nelson says it may be that you just haven’t found the right scent for you. With a personalised natural perfume you can choose a blend that is a perfect fit and you can also make your perfume very subtle, so that it doesn’t take over all your senses.

So if you’ve been struggling to pick a fragrance that you love and if you’re wondering whether you could possibly have your own signature scent, natural perfumery could be the answer you’re looking for.

Image via Aromatique Essentials

Benefits Of Foot Reflexology

Did you know that certain reflexes found in the foot can help to stabilise the entire body?

Used for centuries all over the world, foot reflexology is a popular way to de-stress and improve circulation. Whether you are suffering from a nasty headache, experiencing monthly back pain, or simply in need of a de-stressing exercise, here are a few ways foot reflexology can help you out.

RELATED: The Guide To Acupressure For Stress Relief

How does it work?

Most therapists focus on stimulating the solar plexus which stores all of our excess stress. Once this sacred area is relaxed, then the entire body enters a serene state which seeks to eliminate all forms for stress.

When pressure is applied onto certain areas of the foot such as the heels are lower arch, this has a significant effect on the solar plexus. You will start to notice that stress levels have decreased, and your heart rate is beating a slower, more consistent level.

Circulation

As with all massage techniques, applying a certain amount of pressure onto one area of the body can help to improve bad circulation. This will help to clear the path inside the blood stream, and will better support the proper function of healthy tissues and organs. Massaging the feet holds great health benefits since there are so many nerves linked into this central location.

Pain management

Did you know that applying more pressure to the feet can decrease the amount of pain the rest of your body can feel? A rush of endorphins are released which help to minimise pain signals to the brain, and as a result, brings about a relaxing sensation. Next time you are experiencing a bad cramp or stomach ache, try massaging the area just below the arch of your feet to relax the entire body.

Techniques

If you want to try a few of these stress relieving techniques at home, start with these simple exercises which will surely make you feel better:

Thumb walking

A popular technique which helps to a tense feeling in the entire body. Use both hands to relax the foot, and then simply rub your thumb down the inside of both feet. This should take place from the tip of the big toe, down the length of your foot until you hit the heel.

Stroke

To improve your overall circulation, stroke the bottom of your foot with each thumb. This should be a short, fluid action which firmly applies pressure on the base of your foot. Once you reach the toes, apply less pressure since the tendons around this area are more sensitive.

Tips

Before embarking on your own foot reflexology, make sure to review some of our beginners tips which will help make the process so much more effective.

  • Drink as much water as you can before and after each massage. This will help to remove any nasties from your system, and can improve circulation.
  • Use a light oil to make the massage feel better. Never massage dry feet since the exercises won’t feel as effective, and it will only make your feet feel dry! Coconut oil is a great choice since it’s inexpensive, and melts quickly between your fingers.
  • Start off slow by massaging the top and base of your feet. Don’t apply too much pressure to areas which you’re unsure about. Even just massaging your toes, heels, and arch are enough to relax your entire body.

Image via Acupressure

Must-Try Facial Yoga Techniques

While we already know to cleanse, exfoliate, and care for our skin on the outside, there is a way to give skin an extra boost from the inside. Face yoga has been around for a few years, and while it sounds a little extreme, is a perfect way to relax your face from all angles.

Sit back, relax, and try a few of these simple techniques the next time you want to unwind with a warm cup of tea.

RELATED: A Couple’s Guide To Erotic Massage

Prep

Start with dry skin which has been freshly washed and moisturised. Try using a light oil (rosehip or lavender) which will make the techniques much easier to administer. Just 2-3 drops will be enough for your face and neck – you can always add more later on.

Mapping

Ideal for: circulation

Start with the cheeks, and in circular motions buff the oil lightly into your skin. Do this 5-10 times and increase the size of the circles each time. Don’t press too hard on your skin, a light touch is always best. Always work in circles upwards, never down. A technique like this is great for skin which is feeling lacklustre, and is suffering from redness or irritation.

Glands

Ideal for: detoxifying

Use 2-3 drops of essential oil between your fingers, then warm the lymph node (this is located on the sides of the neck, just below the ear). Small circular motions are effective in detoxifying the glands, and assisting in future circulation. Once your neck feels a little warm, that’s when you know the massage is working.

Chin

Ideal for: draining

Drag your fingers from the chin, right through the end of the jaw-line. This technique removes all the toxins from the centre of your chin, and drains the glands in one fluid motion. Massage this area, then drag downwards into the neck; it should make one fluid circle.

Muscles

Ideal for: relaxation, de-stressing

Starting from the chin, gently massage the muscles in your face upwards. This should not only feel very relaxing, but will also complete your facial massage. By now, your face will feel warm and tender, and the muscles will be gently relaxed. Focus on creating small circles which will move the muscles, and not the skin.

Would you try this facial massage at home?

Image via Beauty Resource

Essential Oils For Women’s Health

Natural oils help a variety of health and skincare problems, and are suitable for men and women with even sensitive skin. Apply them onto your skin, add them into your tea and add a few drops into your meals. Here are just a few essential oils which could turn your health around.

Clary sage 

Antidepressant

Traditionally used to ease depression, and is largely calming to the central nervous system. Only use in small doses, since it could generate a headache especially when mixed with alcohol.

Lemon

Energising and destressing

Did you know that lemon oil is one of the best ways to clean toxins from almost any part of the body? Apply a few drops onto dry and cracked skin to repair and relieve the area.

Lavender

Calming

A perfect way to relax after a long and stressful day, lavender is a popular ingredient for candles, incense and even face serums. The sweet-smelling aroma is also used to aid sleep for both babies and adults.

Geranium

Balances oil

A sweet, floral fragrance which has been used for centuries to maintain healthy skin and nails. Geranium oil also has a calming effect – which is great for anyone going into a stressful situation.

Basil

Calming

Make your own homemade basil oil to treat nausea, morning sickness and respiratory problems. Basil is a high source of vitamin A, which helps the heart and lungs to work effectively.

Wild Orange

Balances oil

Wild orange oil has been used for years as an antidepressant since it has a very uplifting effect. Diffuse, apply directly onto the skin and even add a few drops into your cooking.

Oregano

Purifying

Use oil of oregano as a natural way to fight-off symptoms of a cold, soothe broken skin and even keep your digestive track healthy.

Tea tree

Antibacterial

Effective for a variety of skin conditions including dandruff, acne and eczema.

Frankincense 

Mood lifter

A popular ingredient traditionally used in cosmetics and incense, frankincense is also a natural antiseptic which quickly eliminates germs.

Ginger

Aids digestion

Apply a few drops of ginger oil to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting – especially in regards to pregnancy and indigestion.

Image via Craftberry Bush

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