These essential oils are for use diluted in a base or carrier oil for massage, baths, and conditioning treatments.
• Frankincense is great for toning, lifting, and antiwrinkle effects. It also helps to deepen breathing and enhance meditation.
• Lavender helps promote new cell growth.
• Camomile soothes dry, sensitive skin and helps reduce puffiness and broken capillaries; it also promotes elasticity and strength.
• Cypress combats puffiness caused by fluid retention.
• Neroli is good for broken veins, skin regeneration, and elasticity.
• Sandalwood soothes itchy skin and rebalances mature skins.
Invest in the best
Although costly, essential oil of rose is one of the most effective oils for soothing thinning, sensitive skin, especially after menopause. Rose oil also has an effect on the emotions— aromatherapists value it for lifting mood, releasing nervous tension, and making a woman feel more positively feminine. Beware cheaper brands, which may be adulterated.
Quick-penetrating rosehip oil is rich in omega fatty acids that promote skin elasticity and resilience. It is renowned for rejuvenating and repairing prematurely aged, sun-damaged, inflamed, or scarred skin.
Essential oil of myrrh has a long history of use as a skin preservative, being popular in mummification! It is used by aromatherapists to prevent tissue degeneration and tone the immune system. It helps lift feelings of weakness and is cooling for those who are overheating physically or emotionally. Burn in a room vaporizer and mix into bath and massage oils.
Enjoy the vine
A glass of red wine is naturally antiaging, but so too are grapes and oil extracted from their seeds and stems. These are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, potent antioxidant reservatol and wound-healing OPCs (oligo proanthocyanadins)— natural antiaging superstars, more protectively antioxidant than vitamins A, C, or E.
Combating city stress
Look for off-the-shelf skincare products containing extracts of the herb rhodiola if your skin is exposed to polluted cities or endures long and stressful working hours that can kickstart premature aging. This herb enhances the body’s ability to perform well during periods of physical exhaustion and recover from the negative effects of environmental stressors.
Research suggests the constituents of carrots—beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene—could reduce intensity of sunburn. Look for offthe- shelf products containing carrot seed oil to stimulate skin cell renewal and protect against freeradical damage. Aromatherapists rate this oil for its ability to reduce age spots and wrinkles and for toning while promoting elasticity.
Topical green tea
When green tea is applied topically after sun exposure, research has shown that it reduces the degree of sunburn as well as the extent of DNA damage. It also protects from the aging effects of exposure to environmental toxins. Use a cooled cup of green tea as a toner, to mix clay masks, or to throw into the bath.
White tea wonder
Richer even than green tea in antioxidants is white tea. Research suggests it can prevent oxidative cell damage that causes wrinkles and reduces immunity. Look for it especially in leave-on products applied over large areas of the body.
Track down honey
Packed with antioxidants, honey makes a gently effective cleanser that preserves the skin’s natural oils. Its humectant properties (drawing moisture to the skin) suit it to masks, too. For skin healing look for manuka honey. Living Nature’s manuka honey-based products especially suit mature skin. Or try preparations based on royal jelly. Fed to the queen bee and thought to be the reason she lives 40 times longer than the worker bees, this is one of nature’s most nutritive materials, containing no fewer than eight amino acids and nine vitamins. Try Burt’s Beeswax and Royal Jelly Eye Creme.
Thalassotherapy centers expound the benefits of bathing in bodytemperature sea water for maximum uptake of marine nutrients, and use unrefined salt crystals or sea salt mixed with antioxidant seaweed for body wraps. At home, sea salt is good for gentle skin buffing (ideal for mature skin), since it dissolves when it meets warm water.
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