By Danielle Sade
To establish efficacy in an Aromatherapy skin care formulation, the focus should be on aligning with the skin’s 24-hour bio-chronological clock. Thus, protective and moisturizing ingredients should be used during the morning and day, and moisturizing and restorative ingredients should be used during the evening and night. In addition, taking advantage of Aromatherapy via inhalation can influence the reductions of sympathetic activity and promote a healthy sleep pattern, which leads to faster healing and rejuvenation, and prevents premature aging.
Essential oils in skin care
Essential oils are found in various aromatic plants. They are obtained from various parts of the plants such as leaves, flowers, fruit peels, seeds, rhizomes, roots, and barks. In general, they include antimicrobial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antioxidant properties (Andrade et al., 2021). The mechanism of action cannot be attributed to one thing, but to a series of reactions that occur when exposed to essential oils. This diversity provides a unique approach to skincare, which harnesses the mind and body.
Before beginning any Aromatherapy treatment, it is vital to examine the individual's personal skin care needs. The Aromatherapist must consider the skin type and present state. The method of application that will be employed. The dilution rate that is appropriate for the type of skin as well as the type of essential oil. Therefore it before using essential it is important to consult with a professional aromatherapist or become certified.
The following portion of this article discusses several essential oils, their involvement in biological processes on the skin, and how they influence the mind through olfaction.
Essential Oils to use during the day!
Citrus essential oils: The aroma of citrus oils has a positive effect on moods and emotions. d-limonene, a common constituent in citrus, was found to significantly increase parasympathetic nervous activities, decrease heart rate, and increase significant feelings of comfort (Joung et al., 2014; Berger, 2007). However, because d-limonene oxidizes quickly, essential oils with high levels of d-limonene should be stored in dark cool space, and an additional antioxidant, such as Vitamin E, should be added to formulations.
Citrus oils derived from cold expression are potentially phototoxic due to large non-volatile furocoumarin molecules. Citrus oils derived from cold expression are potentially phototoxic due to large non-volatile furocoumarin molecules (Tisserand, R., Young, R., & Williamson, E. 2014). Most citrus essential oils are potentially phototoxic due to furocoumarins. Therefore, caution must be taken when using them in personal care products. It is advisable to use coumarin-free citrus essential oils, such as Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis), bergapten-free bergamot (Citrus bergamia) also known as Bergamont FCF, or distilled citrus oils instead of cold pressed oils.
Bergaptene Free Bergamot (Citrus bergamia): This essential oil is found to be antimicrobial against acne-causing bacteria P. acnes and S. epidermis (Wongsukkasem et al., 2019). It also demonstrates antifungal activity against dermatophytosis (Forlot and Pevet, 2012). This essential oil is also reputable for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Recent studies have demonstrated that when Bergamot essential oil is inhaled, it can significantly reduce cortisol levels via the olfactory bulb (Watanabe et al., 2015).
Distilled Lime (Citrus aurantifolia): The therapeutic dynamics of lime essential oil is due to the chemical constituent of d-limonene, which is known for its slight anti-microbial activity (Berger, 2007). When d-limonene was applied to the skin of mice, it was not only found in the blood, but was also found in the brain and lungs after 20 minutes (Herman and Herman, 2014). Gamma-terpinene can contribute to antimicrobial activity (Mantil, 2015) Gamma terpinene also decreased the peroxidation of linoleic acid, a common fatty acid found in carrier oils (Berger, 2007). Such as, Sunflower seed (Helianthus annus) 61.5 percent, grapeseed (Vitus vinifera) 65-83 percent, and hempseed (Cannabis sativa) 51.96 percent are examples of common carrier oils high in linoleic acid. (Vaughn, A., Clark et al.,2017) Lime also contains traces of Myrcene that are anti-microbial, making this essential oil a particularly good choice for acne and oily skin (Liete et al., 2007).
Distilled Sweet Orange (Citrus x sinensis)
The essential oil's brilliant fragrance is a treat, particularly when used in personal care products to provide a refreshing and calming experience. Sweet orange possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties. (Lis-Balchin M. 2006). In controlled studies, inhaling orange essential oil was demonstrated to reduce anxiety. (Goes T, et al., 2012).
Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
The essential oil's aromatic experience arouses a young disposition and produces a delightful experience when applied. Like many citrus essential oils, it is uplifting and refreshing, and may help with stress and mood. The citrus aroma is generated from d-limonene, which is the primary component. D-limonene is well-known for its antibacterial properties. (Berger 2007). According to Bowels 2003, the presence of dimethyl anthranilate contributes to the fragrance's characteristic sweetness and uplifting effect. (Bowels 2003). Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) also consists of 17-23 percent of gamma terpinene. Gamma-terpinene can contribute to antimicrobial activity. (Mantil, 2015). And as noted in this article it is present in distilled Lime (Citrus aurantifolia). Gamma terpinene decreased the peroxidation of linoleic acid, a common fatty acid found in carrier oils. (Berger, R. 2007). Such as, Sunflower seed (Helianthus annus) 61.5 percent, grapeseed (Vitus vinifera) 65-83 percent, and hempseed (Cannabis sativa) 51.96 percent are examples of common carrier oils high in linoleic acid. (Vaughn, A. et al.,2017). Mandarin essential oil can be slightly photo-toxic, therefore, avoid using the essential oil prior 12-16 hrs exposure to UV light.
Essential Oils to use throughout the day, and subtly in the evening.
Rose (Rosa damascena): The scent of the rose touches the heart and soothes the soul. Rose damascena was found to be antimicrobial against acne-causing bacteria P. acnes and S. epidermidis (Wongsukkasem, 2018). The geraniol content in Rose oil contributes to the antifungal and antioxidant activity of the essential oil, creating a balanced skin tone and smoothing and preventing fine lines in mature skin (Džamić, 2014). A study conducted on 43 healthy individuals has demonstrated that through inhalation of Rose otto, the sympathetic activity and adrenalin levels were decreased (Sugawara et al., 1998). Inhalation of Rose otto was found to inhibit trans-epidermal water loss by reducing stress and cortisol (Fukada et al., 2011). In a recent study, it was found that inhaling a rose-scented cream increased positivity and reduced reactivity (David, 2019). Thus, using rose essential oil in personal care products will establish a “Mind and Beauty Effect.”
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara flos.): Neroli seems to capture many in its soft heavenly scent. In a five-day controlled study in postmenopausal women, it was found that a 1% dilution increased libido, reduced systolic blood pressure, and decreased cortisol levels, thus having a calming effect on the nervous system. In the same study at 5% dilution, the findings showed a slight increase in estrogen levels (Choi et al., 2014). The slight increase of estrogen may be why the Neroli essential oil has toning effects on mature skin. This essential oil has also demonstrated strong antibacterial and antifungal activity (Opdyke, 1979). Neroli essential oil is a prime candidate for all types of skin, especially skin that has been exposed to stress and inflammation.
Essential Oils In The Evening
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea): Its warm musky aroma captivates tranquility and clarity. This essential oil is active against Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, and S. xylosus making Clary Sage a potential and active natural antimicrobial agent (Sienkiewicz et al., 2015). Inhalation of Clary Sage was found to significantly reduce cortisol levels in postmenopausal women in depressed states (Lee et al., 2014).
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Its fresh herbaceous floral fragrance embodies a feeling of clean comfort. Lavender is reputed for its ability to soothe and treat insect bites, minor cuts, wounds, athlete’s foot, skin rashes, acne, and prevent scarring and blemishes (Lis-Balchin, 2006). Lavender was also found to rapidly improve wound healing times by replacing Type III collagen with Type I collagen (Mori et al., 2016). Lavender’s main chemical constituent, linalool, is readily absorbed into the skin and blood-brain barrier (Lis-Balchin, 2006). The benefits of Lavender essential oil inhalation in humans are associated with its effects on the autonomic nervous system of reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature and cortisol levels that initiate sleep (dos Reis Lucena, 2021). It is also found that inhalation of Lavender increases dopamine and noradrenaline neurotransmitters, which can encourage motivation and alertness (Yamanda et al., 2005). In a study done on mice, through inhalation, there was a reduction of aggression and increased social interaction (de Sousa et al., 2017).
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin): Its earthy herbaceous aroma brings forth the feeling of being grounded. Patchouli essential oils were found to be active against acne-causing bacteria, P. acnes and S. epidermidis (Wongsukkasem, 2019). It also has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, insecticidal, and wound healing properties, and exhibits anti-oxidative properties that prevent photoaging. Diluted Patchouli oil applied to the skin prevented collagen and elasticity decline by elevating enzyme activity to maintain collagen protection; this was attributed to the patchouli alcohol (Feng et al., 2014). This essential oil also calms and relaxes the mind by reducing sympathetic nervous system activity (Haze et al., 2002).
Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum): Sandalwood essential oil in natural skincare is a luxurious pleasure. It would be classified as one of the top essential oils for skin radiance. Alpha- and b-santalol are the major constituents in many Sandalwood species, and these constituents have been found to be anti-inflammatory (Sharma et al., 2013). Australian sandalwood has greater bactericidal effect on gram-positive bacteria and candida than Tea Tree, confirming that this essential oil is beneficial for acne and athlete’s foot. (Lis-Balchin, 2006). In a study conducted on East Indian Sandalwood with a range of 41%-66% when a-santalol was applied twice a day, it was found to reduce the moderate plaque psoriasis in adult subjects by suppressing inflammation caused by cytokine production (Sharma et al., 2014). Alpha-santalol is a major constituent in Santalum spicatum and Santalum album. In another study, it was found that a-santalol inhibited and was cytotoxic to various skin cancers (Kaur, 2004). Recent studies have demonstrated that a-santalol permeates into the skin lowering blood pressure and calming the nervous system (Heuberger et al., 2006). Therefore, Sandalwood essential oil is a good candidate for inflamed and mature skin conditions that needs an extra uplifting appearance.
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): The blue color of German Chamomile is attributed to the chamazulene content in the essential oil. Chamazulene was found to have anti-inflammatory and superior antioxidant properties, greater than that of Vitamin C (Capazzo et al., 2014). Alpha-bisabolol, a major constituent in German Chamomile, was found effective in depigmentation of the skin along with being anti-inflammatory (Kim et al., 2008). The deep scented notes of German Chamomile can be used as a fixative in formulations to achieve a grounding effect of the final product. Dweck (2017) mentions that German Chamomile provides peace of mind.
Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides): It has been indicated that Vetiver essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce T-cell proliferation, which causes reduction of inflammatory mediators (Han and Parker, 2017). At a 2% dilution, Vetiver can reactivate the sebum production that is drastically reduced in mature individuals (De Tollenaere et al., 2020). It also reduces anxiety and stress and acts as a sedative as it calms the nervous system and promotes sleep (Grover et al., 2021).
The understanding that we must use a dynamic hybrid approach to skin care incorporates a complete understanding of the skin's physiology and how it interacts with its internal and external environments. We must keep in mind that the skin is governed by its own physiology and biochronologically clock. Additionally, we must consider that the mechanism of action cannot be ascribed to a single factor, but rather to a cascade of reactions that occur when essential oils are applied. This diversity results in a truly unique approach to skincare that integrates the mind and body.
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