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Skin Care Secrets: Taking Care of Your Largest Organ

Did you know your largest organ is your skin? Our skin protects us against environmental threats such as toxins and sun damage. I have to be honest here...I have always had a pretty simple skin care routine. So simple, in fact, that washing my face in the morning was, well, secondary. That was until I read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis where I learned that even that basic action could make a huge impact. I am digressing a bit, but the point I’m trying to make is that there are simple and easy ways to care for your skin. And doing so will provide added benefits of feeling better about yourself and life. Essential oils can be multi-tasking powerhouses supporting a wonderful and healthy way of life.

 

To understand why skin care is so important, it is helpful to understand exactly what our skin does for us. This miracle protector boasts about 300 million skin cells. Our skin is constantly rejuvenating itself by shedding dead skin cells and making healthy new ones. This is why it’s so important for us to support our skin with healthy routines. One of the easiest ways to do this is using essential oils. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune caring for your skin, even if you choose to do so naturally. Certified Therapeutic Grade essential oils are safe for topical use on your skin, which is just one way you can use them for maximum benefits!* Now let’s focus on three main areas where these oils and a healthy routine can come in handy.

Cleanse Your Skin

Washing your face is essential to keeping it healthy and free of toxins and threats. One wonderful oil for your skin is melaleuca oil, popularly known as tea tree oil. Its purifying qualities aid this oil in being a wonderful cleanser for your skin. You can add 1-2 drops to your regular face wash or moisturizer to help purify and support healthy skin.

 

Another wonderful way to support your skin is by adding 1-2 drops to your favorite body wash. If you are feeling daring, you can also make your own body wash using this wonderful oil. The main takeaway here is to keep your skin nice and clean so that those harsh environmental toxins can’t get into your body. A wonderful bonus is that by using a plant-based skin care regimen, you are providing your entire body with the love and support it needs.

 

Pro Tip: Washing your face everyday will not only help your skin, but will also give you a refreshing emotional boost.

Hydrate Your Skin

Just like with your body, your skin needs to stay moisturized and well-nourished. Two great oils for this task are Clary Sage and YarrowPom oils. Clary Sage dates all the way back to the Middle Ages and its soothing properties help rejuvenate the skin. YarrowPom is a blend of yarrow essential oil and pomegranate seed oil. Remember when pomegranate was all the rage? Well...it still is! This dynamic duo activates proteins that protect your skin, making it a true powerhouse in supporting aging skin cells. A great way to use this blend is to dilute 1-2 drops with some fractionated coconut oil and massage into skin after a shower or bath. It helps support skin hydration and will make you feel like the true diva you are! 

 

Pro Tip: Experiment with different oils and then alternate every few weeks to keep your skin fresh and maximize the benefits of the different oils.

Support Your Skin

There are several ways you can work on supporting your skin. In addition to lifestyle changes, such as drinking enough water there are a few other ways to really support your skin in a natural and effective way.

Anti-WHAT?

Your skin needs antioxidants to help protect it against damage from free radicals and other threats. Many Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential oils provide antioxidant support. One example of this oil is Oregano oil. This oil is considered a “hot” oil so it is highly recommended that you dilute this oil in a carrier oil before topical use. You can use 1-2 drops in food recipes or apply diluted oil to the bottoms of your feet. You can also apply diluted to skin irritations. Ylang Ylang oil is another that provides antioxidant support. Massage 1-2 drops into your skin twice per day. 

 

Pro Tip: Add 1-3 drops of citrus oils (lemon, lime, orange, bergamot) into your water throughout the day for maximum skin hydration.

Supplement Savvy

Don’t overlook certified therapeutic grade supplements for skin support and health. These, along with consistently applying the oils, can help you to truly enjoy the outdoors and keep your skin feeling healthy. For example, if you find you have spent too much time in the sun and need some help, you can help relieve skin irritations with soothing Lavender oil or the Purify Blend oil blend. These can be applied directly to your skin. Both of these oils can also be used to help soothe irritations from bug bites or stings. Patchouli oil is another great one. This oil helps reduce the appearance of blemishes on your skin. The bottom line here is that adding certified therapeutic grade supplements to your skin care routine will only deepen the support you are providing your skin with oils and lifestyle changes.

 

Pro Tip: As you use different supplements and oils, keep a journal of how each one made you feel and impacted your day.

Stay Well-Oiled

A couple more essential oils for skin health and care include Ylang Ylang and Frankincense oils. Ylang Ylang oil is another one that has been around for centuries and used to promote the appearance of healthy skin and hair. A bonus point for this oil is that it also may have a calming effect on your mood! Frankincense helps to promote cellular health and support. When our cellular health is optimal, our cells can do an even better job at performing all of the necessary functions to help our bodies run like well-oiled machines! We look healthier and feel our very best.

 

Pro Tip: Keep your oils with you everywhere you go! They are small enough to stash in your bag or purse. You can even take them on the plane since they are within the size regulations required by the TSA! And we all know how dry airplanes make our skin.

 

Check out The Herbal Cabinet Facebook Page for more helpful tips on how to use essential oils to support your health and wellness goals. You can also schedule a time to learn more about how to optimize your skin care routine using essential oils.

 

 

 

*You may need to dilute some essential oils with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil to prevent skin sensitivity or irritation. 

 

Featured Writer, 

Lynne DeAmelio-Rafferty M.S., M.Ed

 

CEO The Savvy Sentence

Enjoy the Outdoors this Summer with Your Essential Oils

It doesn’t matter where you live. There’s something magical about the start of the summer. The comforting warm air, the inviting smells of sand and sun, the flickering fireflies, the orange night sky, s’mores over a campfire. These comforts are universal. And as the sun begins to warm things up, there are suddenly endless opportunities for fun with family and friends that just were not there during the colder months.

The activities seem endless. Being outdoors is where we spend a majority of our time. Whether we are camping, enjoying a picnic, soaking in some sun at the beach, or whipping up some wonderful treat at the backyard BBQ, essential oils will only make things better! Incorporating therapeutic grade essential oils into your summer lifestyle will not only help you stay safe, pain-free, and cool, but they will also help you maintain that healthy lifestyle even during the “lazier” months.

Whether you are trying to deal with summer heat and staying hydrated, entertaining the kiddos, developing a sunburn despite using outdoor protection or treating a bug bite, there are many ways of enjoying summer with essential oils.  Check out the different scenarios below to see how essential oils can support your lifestyle throughout the dog days of summer!

First Things First

There a few things I like to keep in mind during the summer, especially when it comes to supporting my lifestyle with essential oils. First, it’s important to have a first aid kit handy for all adventures. I love making my own kit rather than buying a “pre-made commercial” kit. That’s just boring (and slightly expensive). Plus, you don’t even use half of the stuff in there! You can tailor your kit to your own needs. There are a few must haves in your first aid kit besides the basic Band-Aids, gauze and gloves.

The first is a quality sanitizer for your skin. An awesome DIY hand sanitizer is easy to make using 15 drops of OnGuard Blend, 1 tbsp of aloe Vera gel, and some distilled water. You can fill up a small 3 oz glass spray bottle to tuck into your kit. And certain oils have properties that fight against unwanted bacteria and pathogens. Keep these oils in your kit for when a small accident, scrape, bite, or cut occurs. For example, frankincense and lavender oils can be used to soothe skin irritations and since these oils also improve the appearance of skin imperfections, they may help skin cells regenerate and reduce skin imperfections. Melaleuca, commonly known as tea tree oil, is a great skin cleanser, too. It’s great to use to on rashes, bites, and skin irritations.

Pro Tip: Invest or create your own roller blends for your first aid kit to make application easy and mess-free.

Another super important thing to remember during the summer months is staying hydrated. Let’s be honest. We’ve all heard how important it is to stay hydrated, but after a while plain water can get boring. I love to boost my energy and support my internal systems by hydrating with my essential oils. Lemon oil is a great oil to add to your water to zip it up. As a matter of fact, other citrus oils including grapefruit, lime, wild orange, bergamot, and tangerine are other alternatives to keeping your water exciting and fresh. Citrus oils** help to support your immune system, boost energy, and support your lymphatic system. Adding grapefruit or Slim and Sassy are wonderful ways to support your health and weight loss goals while staying hydrated.

Pro Tip:  Grab your keychain kit  for an easy,  portable way to travel with your citrus oils. 

Conquer the Cookout

Typically, the cookout scene is well established with games, fun, drinks, and food. Sometimes there’s swimming and sunning or baseball and badminton. If you are the type that loves the party, but gets anxious in social situations, your lavender oil can help calm your anxious feelings. Simply rub a drop on the bottoms of your feet or roll behind your ears, on your lower back, and bottoms of your wrists. Frankincense and the Balance Blend are two great oils for connecting with others and a great choice for these types of summer gatherings.

If you are planning on bringing a dish to the fiesta or are hosting the BBQ bash, take some time to learn about which therapeutic grade essential oils you can use in different foods and treats. Since these oils are pure and highly concentrated, you will only need a tiny bit of the oil. Start with one or two drops at first since you can’t take your oils out after adding them so...add slowly and sparingly. Depending on what you are cooking you may have to adjust the recipe. For example, if you are cooking something on a grill over an open flame, more oil will burn off so you may want to use a bit more than you would on a dish that you would cook on the stove.

Other cookout conundrums include overeating. Everything looks so delicious and before you know it you are overly full and questioning your sanity. At times like this, a little peppermint oil will help calm the tummy or a couple of drops of DigestZen in a cup of water will help soothe your stomach and help your body digest the summertime feast.

Pro Tip: When adding oils to recipes, put the drops on a spoon and then stir in to help it disperse evenly throughout the dish. 

Find Peace at The Pool

You can find peace at the pool or bliss at the beach by being prepared with your essential oils. When at the beach or the pool during the summer, it can be hot and humid. Bugs can pester us, or we can wind up scorched despite our best efforts. So many types of skin irritations or rashes can plague us including burns, chafing or parched skin. Essential oils can be used to help in these areas. For example, lavender is great for clearing up and soothing chafed skin. You can also prepare for these situations by making your own natural baby powder. Throw this powder in your beach bag to use for when you change out of your wet clothing to help you feel cool and dry. Lavender is another useful oil to use after being out in the sun all day. There’s a handy after-sun skin soother that is super-easy to make! Just put 10-12 drops each of lavender and peppermint oils along with some aloe Vera in a small spray bottle. Relief is literally at your fingertips.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget your lips! Make sure to pack a lip balm to keep your lips from getting dry and cracked.

Prepare to Play

Don’t be that person...you know the one. That person is the one who sits out of all the rides because of motion sickness. I’ll admit it, I’m that person, but I don’t have to be anymore and neither do you!  Mint oils are amazing for motion sickness and easy to bring with you on adventures to amusement parks. Long drives to summer attractions can also benefit from mint oils. You can put them in rollers with fractionated coconut oil or drop oil directly into your hands and inhale. Then, rub on the back of your neck, behind your ears, on your feet, and the inside of your wrists. DigestZen is another helpful way to calm a queasy tummy. Simply mix 2-3 drops in some water and ingest or put a few drops into a veggie capsule and swallow with water. Ginger is another great way to help during motion sickness troubles.  

Another way that essential oil can help make your family fun day even safer is by using On Guard. You can make your own sanitizing mist. On Guard sanitizing mist also comes pre-made in a small spritzer bottle for those short on time. This is a great way to keep your hands from drying out while also keeping them safe from germs at amusement parks and playgrounds. One last way to use your essential oils by whipping up your own essential oil hand soap for a tough day of playing outdoors!

Pro Tip: Carry Purify Blend with your keychain oils in case you forget to pack your sanitizing spray. It not only gives a quick on-the-go clean of your hands, but it also helps if you have any minor skin irritations or you can’t get that smell of food off of your hands from lunch.

Conquer the Campground

Let’s face it...outdoor life is one that most of us love. It’s the mosquito bites and poison ivy that are not so pleasant. When we get outdoors, we strive to connect with nature and become more grounded. Essential oils can aid in these goals and keep us safe. The multi-purpose properties of essential oils make it a no-brainer to bring them on your hike or camping trip. The Breathe blend is a wonderful way to connect with nature. Put a couple of drops on your hands, rub together and take a several deep breaths.  If you are feeling off-balance and looking to nature to help regulate yourself, use the Balance Blend to help ground you. You can apply using a roller ball version or by putting a few drops in your hands and rubbing it on both hands and feet.   Lavender oil or the Serenity or Peace Blends can help you to relax and unwind.

After a refreshing summer hike, putting up that tent, or rowing that kayak, you may find your muscles to be sore. Deep Blue oil is a wonderful essential oil that can help with pain relief. Deep Blue is also found in many other products such as creams and soft gels that can help relieve pain in the body. Use with frankincense to support regeneration of healthy cells.  Another way to help incorporate essential oil into your summer fun is to make an “Owie Spray” for your family. (You can also toss this into your first aid kit, too!) Pack this helpful spray anytime you leave the house. Grab a spray bottle and simply mix 1 tsp of fractionated coconut oil and 10 drops each of frankincense, melaleuca, and lavender. Fill the remainder of the body with distilled or spring water. Spray on scratches and cuts for quick relief and soothing. You can also use on bug bites!

Pro Tip: Before going on a hike, take a few moments to breathe deeply and recite your favorite quote or affirmation. Inhale gratitude. 

Regardless of your summer plans or adventures, there are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors with your essential oils in tow. If you have already made oils a part of your lifestyle, try some new recipes or these helpful tips to enhance it even more. If you haven’t yet started using oils to live a happier, healthier and more amazing life, reach out today for more information!

**Warning About Citrus Oils: Citrus oils and blends that contain citrus are photosensitive when used on the skin. It’s important to give yourself 12 hours after application until you are safe for sun exposure.

Featured Writer, Lynne DeAmelio-Rafferty M.S., M.Ed, CEO The Savvy Sentence

How To Use Essential Oils to Improve Focus and Concentration

It’s 2 in the afternoon. The afternoon slump is on the horizon. A quick, sugary snack or a cup of coffee is appealing. You realize that won’t last long and you will crash again sooner than later. Maybe you are studying for an exam or working on a report for work. You seem to be focused more on the birds landing on your windowsill. Or you suddenly find yourself planning the next 5 years of your life in your mind’s eye. There are many ways and reasons that we become unfocused and scattered.

Learning how to improve focus and concentration is key to your productivity and quality of life. In fact, you can improve focus and enhance concentration by improving your overall health and wellness at the same time. Essential oil is a great alternative to help stimulate the brain, improve concentration and help you focus. The best part is that it’s inexpensive, super effective, and easy to incorporate into your life. There are many different types of oils and oil blends that can help bring about these benefits. 

How Do I Use Essential Oils?

First, it is important to know how to use the different types of essential oils for focus and energy. For your health and wellness, make sure to choose pure, certified therapeutic grade essential oils.  There are many varieties of oils available, but if you are not using the purest and most authentically derived oils you will fall short of your health and wellness goals. Essential oil benefits are abundant if you choose the right kind. 

There are three main ways that you can use essential oils to help improve focus and concentration. The first way is by diffusing it into the air. The second way is to apply it topically to your skin and the third way is to ingest it, using it as a dietary supplement in foods and drinks. It is important to note that not all essential oils are created equally. Therefore, you cannot ingest any essential oil you find. Make sure to do your research to keep yourself safe. 

 

 

What Are the Best Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration?

Supporting the central nervous system is essential. This system is in charge of how our body and mind work and interact with each other and the world around us. By supporting this system, we provide our entire being with improved mental function, increased energy, and a much better quality of life. So, it’s important to choose high quality, pure oils to stimulate the brain and help you focus and concentrate.  

     Lemon essential oil helps uplift, energize, and enhance your mood. You can diffuse lemon in the air or even add a couple of drops to your water for a healthy, energy boost.

     Wild orange essential oil not only helps to uplift the mind and body, but it supports healthy immune system functioning. This is another oil you can add to your water for an extra boost of energy and immunity. Diffusing it in the air is another great choice for this delicious, energizing oil. 

     Peppermint essential oil is a common oil with many healing and focusing properties. It promotes clear breathing by helping your cells receive oxygen and ultimately promoting energy, focus, and concentration. You can also use a blended oil to help open your airway and breathe easier. This, in turn, helps circulate oxygen even more throughout the body, helping each system to function even better. 

     Tangerine essential oil can help soothe anxiety and manage stress with its uplifting aroma and benefits. For a quick pick-me-up, put 1-2 drops in the palm of your hands, rub them together and then cup your hands over your nose. Then inhale slowly a few times. This instant energy boost will instantly help to improve focus and attention. 

     Clary sage essential oil improves circulation, is great for your skin, and relieves stress. Proper circulation is essential to bringing nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. When your body has everything it needs to function properly, you will experience increased energy, less anxiety and stress, and improved concentration. You can apply this directly to your skin when it is combined with fractionated coconut oil. You can also diffuse it right into the air or add a couple of drops to water or a smoothie.

     Eucalyptus essential oil is one that can promote clear airways and enhance deep breathing. It can promote feelings of relaxation while also helping you to feel revitalized and invigorated. What better way to help focus and concentrate than by feeling revitalized. A few drops in the shower or diffusing it into the air is a great way to reap the benefits of this versatile oil. 

  

Additional Ways to Improve Focus and Concentration

Essential oils are a great way to help you naturally feel uplifted, energetic, and focused.  Let’s not forget some of the other lifestyle choices below to help enhance the abundant benefits of pure essential oils.  

Rest Well

This may seem like a no-brainer, but proper rest is a necessity. Get 8-10 hours of quality sleep per night. Remember that it’s not simply the number of hours that you sleep, but the quality of those sleeping hours. Looking to relax more before bed? Relax with a light yoga and meditation routine. Then sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow or diffuse it in a humidifier to decrease tension and promote deeper sleep.

Improve Lighting

If you are trying to work in an area without adequate lighting, you will end up straining your eyes and tiring your brain. Improving your lighting is another natural way to help improve focus and concentration. Work in a room with adequate lighting and diffuse an uplifting essential oil, like grapefruit or tangerine for added benefits. 

Hydrate

Drink lots of water! Eight to ten glasses of water per day is a good way to make sure you stay hydrated and energized. Some essential oils can be added to your water for a boost of energy, hydration, and flavor. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to invigorate and hydrate!

Control Noise

Some people thrive on background noise. Others need complete silence for concentration, productivity, and focus. If the second example describes you, consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. These will help cancel out noise and you can use them in while diffusing your choice of essential oil or rolling on an amazing blend to help you think and focus.

Fuel Your Body

Proper nutrition cannot be underestimated. Think carefully about what you are putting into your body. Eat to fuel your body. Try to eat organic and whole foods to eliminate toxins in your food. Make sure to eat a protein-rich breakfast and lots of fruits and veggies. Many therapeutic grade essential oils can be taken internally and used in recipes to enhance flavor and nutrition.

Focus on Fitness

We all know that regular exercise helps keep our waistline from getting too wide. We also are aware that regular exercise helps us feel better emotionally. Fitness activities can help promote concentration and focus, sleep better, and feel happier. After a workout, use an essential-oil infused cream to help soothe achy muscles. 

With a few simple and inexpensive actions, your mind will be sharp and focused in no time. Your central nervous system (and your boss) will thank you as your productivity increases and your sense of accomplishment rises. 

Learn more about how essential oils can help improve concentration and focus today!

 

Featured Writer, Lynne DeAmelio-Rafferty M.S., M.Ed, CEO of The Savvy Sentence