Some of us often ask the question – just what are the ingredients in the skin-care product we use and why are they in the bottle? It is fairly obvious that all sorts of chemicals are used in commercial preparations, and overuse of some of them, such as steroids, can cause serious problems. Others have such long chemicals names that it is difficult to ascertain just exactly what the ingredient is, why it is included in the formulation and importantly, what potential damage can it do if we apply it? After all, the skin is a thousand open mouths waiting to absorb what you put on it – so why put it at risk?
Age creeps up silently. Women and men (these days) carry on quite happily applying skin-care products, getting dressed, going out. Then one day, perhaps after a late night, we look in the mirror and we see a face that is no longer young. The shock of growing old has driven many of us in the search for the elixir of youth, but despite millions and millions of pounds being spent on so-called ‘miracle cures’ we are not one step nearer to finding something that is contrary to the laws of nature. In real terms, we are trying to re-engineer something that is God-given. So what’s the answer?
So many lotions and potions use words such as – amazing, astonishing, astounding, wonderful in their claims, yet in real terms, very little is categorically proven. However, advertising literature would have us believe that every word is the truth. In the process, fortunes have been made by those who claim to stave off the inevitable results of living and growing older. However, the truth is that many of us are living longer and so in an effort to help us along this sometimes arduous path, we will try in this newsletter to explain a little about skin and how we may be able to help it last a bit longer before it collapses into a mass of saggy skin and wrinkles.
Technically skin is an organ weighing about nine pounds which protects us from the outside world and regulates the body’s natural cooling and heating systems. There are a few differences between male and female skin. Testosterone causes a mans skin to be 25% thicker than a women’s, but a mans skin thins gradually with age, whereas a woman’s skin remains constant to about the age of 50. After menopause a woman’s skin will thin significantly and this continues as she ages. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin cells and the one we see, but it is a product of the lower level of skin called the basal layer, where new, plump, moist cells are produced. These travel upwards and outwards in their journey and they encounter various hazards such as losing moisture, making them leaner. It can take three to four months to reach the epidermis (the top layer) and if you are treating your skin with a new product, the results may not show for that length of time – rather than the more or less, ‘instant’ cures offered by some companies selling skincare products.
Damage done by eating the wrong foods, not enough natural vitamins and low immunity can show up on the skin – although it may take up to four months to do so. But in the end, the skin cells fall off and become our household dust. In a way our skin is a living and dying organ. A regenerating organ forever on the move. It is for this reason that we need to look after it. It is of vital importance to look after the connective tissues – collagen – and to a lesser degree elastin, both of which, determine whether or not the skin is spongy – and this is where the essential oils that we use in all of our products can play their part.
Essential oils work cosmetically and as anti-ageing agents in a number of ways. They stimulate skin cells into reproducing at a quicker rate, thus reducing the time lag between new skin growth and the elimination of old cells, and reversing the process of ageing in which the time span is extended. Skin treated with essential oils thus becomes more dynamic and stronger.
Essential oils can prevent the congestion of toxins that build up inside us and we can help in this by every day drinking more water. The combination of the oils and the water drinking also improves lymphatic flow. Lymph glands are found under the armpits, in the groin and behind the ears. They act as filters for the lymph fluid that prevents foreign particles from entering the bloodstream, but its a static system that needs to be stimulated by exercise – and helped by drinking water. Thus – the lesser the toxins in our body – the better the skin quality.
Essential oils improve oxygenation and energise the dermis by the rate that nutrients are fed to it – the reason why we need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Essential oils are bactericides neutralising unfriendly bacteria that helps prevent skin blemishes and acting as anti-inflammatories they calm sensitive and damaged skin. Most importantly, the essential oils that we use contain phytohormones – that in plants serve specific purpose like hibernation, fruit ripening etc, but in humans produce an equilibrium within our endocrine system (the control system in our bodies) while their action on the peripheral nerve endings helps to relieve stress and tension that so often lead directly to ageing skin – leaving you looking as worn out as you feel.
Cellular regeneration is the key to a youthful skin and thankfully this is where essential oils can play a part. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and were used by the Egyptians for all sorts of health-giving reasons and of course for embalming and probably the reason why the mummies remained in such good condition – until we opened the tombs to find them. Indeed there are records stating that jars of unopened essential oils were found in the burial chambers that when tested today were found to be just as effective as they were when first placed in the jars all those years ago. So, to stay ahead of the rejuvenation game is the key – and the reason why we have been so careful in choosing the oils that we incorporate as the active ingredients in our Rejuvenating Lotion.
The nutrients and proteins contained in the oils help to maintain the mattress-like bounciness of collagen, upon which the outer layers of our skin rest, and they encourage the regeneration of new cells, but essential oils also have circulation-stimulating properties that help oxygenate the blood which in turn energises cells, allowing regeneration to take place. Our focus in the oils in our Rejuvenating Lotion was to use oils that contain these hormonal-like properties, firming the skin and giving it a more youthful appearance.
Of course, while treating yourself with these anti-ageing oils, it will obviously speed things along if you don’t overload your skin with yet more toxins that the skin has to work hard to eliminate. Smoking is probably the worst of all culprits in this. Indeed we can look at some folks that we know and see that they look many years older than they really are. So, drink lots of water (from the tap is fine), eat fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish (especially those with oils of their own – herring, salmon and mackerel, etc) and take everything else in moderation. By doing this, you will cut out toxins that clog up your skin cells and your digestive system. Essential oils of course have the ability to reverse or slow the ageing process by acting as powerful antioxidants that protect tissues and organs from damaging stress and deterioration.
There is no getting away from the fact that from the very day we are born, we inexorably grow older every day after – but we can all do something about how we age. The Japanese have some of the longest-living people in the world and we have studied their methods to see what the solution is. In this, we can see that keeping stress out of your daily life has huge importance, but so does a good diet and incorporating essential oils in your every day life. Many researchers have focussed on the damage to our DNA as the cause of ageing. DNA is a nucleic acid that contains the blueprint for genetic instruction and cellular activity used in the growth function of all living organisms. Essential oils working at a microscopic level have the ability to do what drugs cannot – that is to pass the blood-brain barrier. They are the little soldiers that work very hard to keep us alive and healthy and working at a cellular level are the reason why we use them in all of our products in our daily life in so many ways. God-given, there simply is nothing like them. For this we have to be truly thankful.