Winter care for skin and soul
Not long and winter is just around the corner. The power of the sun is waning, life outside is getting quieter. Nature lets its liveliness and splendor of colors rest. It protects its life energy, a gift from the sun, from which it will be carried into spring. Humans too now intuitively feel a desire for retreat, deceleration and rest.
How do skin and psyche react to winter?
Winter time is a big challenge for our skin and it reacts in many different ways. For example, it loses its moisture due to the dry winter and heating air. The result is dry skin and feelings of tension. Our psyche is also affected by the seasonal changes. Shorter days and less sunlight can make us feel tired and lacking in energy. For some of us, these dark and cold months even cause a kind of "winter blues".
How can we help (ourselves)?
Rich and moisturizing creams, in which essential oils are processed, are therefore ideal companions to meet the challenges of winter. They care for the skin, improve moisture retention and help it to withstand external adversity. Its scent caresses the soul and invigorates the spirit. Essential oils can bring back the feeling of well-being of summer: Plants give us their summer life energy, bundled in their leaves, flowers, barks and roots. Distilled or pressed by steam, the essential oils extracted from it unfold their wonderful aromas. These oils are often used in aromatherapy - and for good reason, because they can increase our physical and mental well-being.
Aromatherapy and its application
In aromatherapy, essential oils are used to increase physical and mental well-being and to alleviate diseases. There are basically three different ways to use essential oils:
- The oils can be evaporated using a fragrance lamp or diffuser and appeal to your sense of smell. The message is forwarded directly to the center for feelings and emotions and can have a positive influence on your mood there.
- You can inhale the oils so that the active ingredients get into the bronchi and, for example, have an expectorant effect there.
- You can absorb the oils through the skin, for example through an aroma bath, over compresses or a body oil. Due to the molecular structure of the essential oils, absorption through the skin is particularly successful. Test each oil on a skin area beforehand and only use very diluted oils to minimize the risk of side effects.
With proper use and dosage, essential oils rarely trigger side effects. Therefore, be careful never to use the oils undiluted, because high a concentration can cause allergic reactions. Pure essential oils can actually be dangerous if they are not used properly - just because they are natural, they are not automatically safe to use.
Now I would like to introduce three of my absolute favorites among essential oils:
The eucalyptus tree is native to Tasmania and South Australia. Its aromatic-scented leaves are the koala's favorite dish and the Australian natives still use their trunk to make their popular wind instrument, the didgeridoo. The thick leather leaves of older eucalyptus trees are particularly rich in essential oil. The most important component of the oil is cineol, which exudes a refreshing, camphor-like fragrance and is known above all for its beneficial effects on colds.
In traditional medicine, eucalyptus oil is used externally, for example, to relieve respiratory problems and muscle pain, to clear the mind and to promote its performance. For skin care applications, the oil is very carefully composed with other essential oils.
The citrus fruit from Southeast Asia is reminiscent of the sun and just like this, the lemon is a real powerhouse. In the 18th century, it was even compared to the “golden apples of the Hesperides” from Greek mythology, which had the ability to impart eternal youth. Today we know that components of the lemon can protect the body very well against oxidation and thus against aging.
The lemon fruit is mainly used in the food and beverage industries. In addition, the essential oil of lemon is very popular in aromatherapy due to its sunny and serene note. The fragrance gives us a feeling of well-being and helps to raise our spirits. The essential oil is extracted from the peel of the lemon.
We know from history that the Romans already used lavender in the time around Christ to obtain fragrant bath additives. The plant is still extremely popular today and is used in a variety of therapeutic and cosmetic applications. All parts of the lavender plant contain the coveted lavender oil, but the plant's most precious oil is extracted from its flowers. A multitude of reports handed down is the reason why the oil is used today as a remedy for anxiety, as it is said to have a relaxing and balancing effect. Various studies have also shown that the oil can relieve pain. It seems as if the Romans had anticipated more than two thousand years ago what can now be proven gradually through research: the power of lavender.
Finally, a little tip: Use eucalyptus oil at home in an essential oil diffuser during the cold period. Some studies have shown antimicrobial effects against many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Now winter can come!