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Archive for July, 2010

We were invited to a pool gathering over the weekend. Given that it’s halfway through the summer and despite our light complexion we didn’t get too crazy with sunscreen application. So, when we got home in the evening, we three girls all had some swimsuit lines and pink undertones to our skin. No problema! We’ve got Lavender!

Lavender essential oil is one of the most versatile oils and has been referred to as the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils.  If I were only allowed to carry one oil with me (which I practically am when I fly, and since I can no longer fly with an actual Swiss Army Knife) it would be lavender. It is relaxing, calming and balancing. It relieves headache, burns, cuts, scrapes and insect bites/stings. It is disinfecting, purifying and an antiseptic. And it is extremely balancing for the skin making it an excellent addition to your skin care regime for all skin types.

To treat a sunburn I use the following routine: Cool, repair and moisturize.  Cool the sunburn by spritzing the area with a lavender spritz made up of 15-25 drops lavender essential oil in a 2 ounce mister bottle filled to the top with distilled water. Repair the area by applying lavender essential oil directly to the skin. Pure lavender essential  oil is extremely gentle to the skin and I have always used it undiluted, however if you are concerned about applying oils neat (undiluted) then skip to the next step. Moisturize with 10-15 drops lavender oil in a 1 ounce treatment pump filled to the top with jojoba oil (this oil is in my opinion the best oil to put on human skin, but you may prefer to dilute in sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or another carrier oil of your choice).

By the morning our pink had mellowed to a healthy glow and we were ready for more summer fun!

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Welcome

Welcome to Scented Journeys!

As with most things, I suppose it makes sense to start from the beginning. My journey has always been tilted toward a holistic lifestyle, away from allopathic medicine and the pharmaceutical approach to health care. It’s just always made more sense to me to use plants, herbs, and foods as my front line to health, keeping the doctor and medicines for situations that require more intervention. So when my brother-in-law suggested that I might like experimenting with essential oils ten years ago, I gave them a try. I started with a seven oil collection which has now grown into a collection of over 50 oils!  In addition to the possibility of improving health, mental clarity and emotions they just simply smell fantastic! Of the five senses, smell is the one most likely to recall strong memories and emotions.

The modern perfume industry moved toward synthetics after the 1922 unveiling of the ever popular Chanel No. 5 the first perfume based entirely on a synthetic smell.  But recently there is a trend to return to the natural scents of essential oils. How many products are now on the store shelves claiming to be all natural? Are they really all natural? Do they contain synthetic chemicals? The cosmetics industry is not well regulated and a product label can claim “all natural” without having to back up that claim. There is no legal definition of the words “natural” “herbal” or “organic” in the cosmetics industry. Just because your shampoo or lotion or candle is called “lavender” that doesn’t mean there’s a drop of real lavender in it. Take a quick look at the ingredients. The terms “fragrance” or “parfum” equal synthetic chemicals. Look for specific plant essences, such as lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint or tea tree.

So for me, using essential oils to scent my bath salts or my facial moisturizer or my cleaning products is easier (than reading all those labels), cheaper (than buying a variety of products in hopes of finding the right one) and liberating to know that I am in this small way, self sufficient.

As we go along, I’ll share my recipes for using oils and encourage you to do the same or experiment with your own scent profile. It is a journey. Join me and start your own!

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