Aromatherapy oils are pretty much useless unless you know what to do with them, and deciphering which ones are suitable for you is not always an easy task. The good news is, like fashion, essential oils can move with the seasons.
From the clothes we wear to the activities we do, the seasons remain a driving force, one we can never avoid. No matter who we are, the seasons are our common denominator. Regardless of the spectrum of conditions and record-breaking weather reports, we do adapt – we change our needs, wants, and activities, but there are inevitable trends. For example, in the Autumn/Winter we have shorter days, colder temperatures, and spend our spare time indoors. In the Spring/Summer, the opposite is prevalent and with the clocks changing this weekend, summer’s imminent arrival is a welcome treat!
So how does aromatherapy come into all of this? Well, from getting into the right frame of mind to the right frame of body, essential oils are a powerful force in making sure you feel your very best and enjoy the summer months in all their glory … here are a few examples of what to use and when!
Get in the Mood
Flowers and fruits are joyous products of the summer, and the scents encourage us to reminisce about romance and picnics in the park with Pimms. Combined with the general increase in the happy hormone, serotonin, that the extended daylight brings, and the long-forgotten sunshine on our skin, anything seems possible! Citrus oils are ideal either in skincare products or in oil diffusers at home to enhance those feelings. Just be careful to use ones that are furanocoumarin (FCF) free on your skin as they can make the skin sensitive when exposed to sunlight – which sort of defeats the point.
Get the Feeling
Petals from rose and orange blossom are genuinely God’s gift for toning the skin. So if you ever feel the need to ditch the make-up for the day (let’s face it, swimming or hot weather has never been make-up’s best friend), then rose or orange blossom based products will even the tone and feed the skin, whilst smelling delightful. Orange blossom oil aka neroli oil has a masculine resonance and some of the first commercial colognes (notably the fragrance No.4711) use neroli as a top note. Matricarin and bisabolol in German chamomile soothes the skin, making it useful after a day out in the sun. The matricarin converts into chamazulene when the essential oil is produced, which gives the oil a blue hue. The combination of these anti-inflammatory properties also makes the essential oil good for easing muscular-pain too. Unlike Roman chamomile, the smell of German chamomile is quite pungent, but small amounts blended with floral or grassy essences gives it a sweeter edge.
So you’ve had a lazy day in the sun reading Fifty Shades of Grey, Alan Titchmarsh’s My Secret Garden, or your favourite magazine, and then you decide that you want to channel your inner Andy Murray. First of all, you may be perspiring a little due to the warm weather, and by the time you’ve finished tennis you won’t be any drier. Now the unpleasant (by nature) topic of body odor comes into play. Body odour needs three things to exist: heat, bacteria, and moisture and you may well have ticked all of those boxes at this stage. Essential oils are not all about smell; many have bacteriostatic as well as antibacterial properties. The former stops bacteria from multiplying and the latter kills it. Coincidentally many of the useful oils also smell nice (which is a relief); cedar wood, petitgrain, lavender, and geranium oils are generous, functional deodorants. Tea tree is great for killing bacteria in some of the more challenging environments like trainers, while its drying effect on the skin also makes it a valuable natural antiperspirant to help you through the game, set, and match!
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