Scar Care with Essential Oil Blends – Before and After, So Far…

Last month a cabinet of heavy perfume bottles tipped onto my head and left me with two cuts on my forehead.

The following pictures show the stages of the wounds healing during the first week, until the scab fell off the lower cut (which happened naturally over night, I did not pick it*):

images shows the stages of healing during the first week  First week of healing

I’ve been making bespoke blends with essential oils for clients for many years to help them take care of their scars after a variety of operations including mastectomy, caesarean & broken bones. The experience of caring for my own scar has given me a deeper appreciation for the preciousness of what I offer & how supportive it can be.

Day 2, still in shock a little.

I felt quite tearful & vulnerable just after it happened, especially when I looked at the cuts on my face. I went away for 4 days straight after it happened so I swiftly made my usual blend (recipe below) to take care of it – knowing I was able to do this with effective quality ingredients made me feel better – I use rosehip oil, calendula macerated in olive oil and essential oils of myrrh, lavender, chamomile and rose.

Initially I only dabbed it very gently around the wound as it was sore and did so twice a day. At this stage it is important not to apply it directly onto the wound, as it prevents it drying out & the scab from forming but since the oils absorb into the skin, it is still effective.
When the scab fell off and I could see that the skin had closed completely underneath, I continued to apply twice a day directly onto the scar and spent more time gently massaging it in as it was not so sore.

After the first week I made a balm which is easier to apply than an oil blend – made with the same ingredients, just with added butter & wax to make it a solid consistency.
These pictures are taken from the 2nd to 4th week after the incident:

 

What I noticed is how much the redness faded and how the skin was raised around the scar and has flattened out now. 

Day 19, feeling a lot more myself.

I didn’t appreciate that much had changed each day until I put the pictures together, I had a few thoughts that it wasn’t doing much and a few moments where I only just remembered to apply, but the pictures show a gradual improvement and that’s after only one month. It really makes a difference to be consistent with your care and you can continue to care for a scar for as long as you want, years even and also begin to care for old scars and still see an improvement.

 

The images below show the scars healing between 2 and 3 months, they are closer up than the previous images and I actually have wrinkles more prominent than the scars. I will continue to use the scar care balm as each time I compare previous pictures, I can see an obvious continuation in improvement, but I also notice that I’m less dedicated to applying the balm twice daily as they don’t show so much now, but again, the when I see the difference, I’m inspired to keep going…

 

If you would like to try a scar care balm, for any type of scar including mastectomy, caesarean, old injuries, even acne scars, please get in touch Laura@essentialoilsandyou.co.uk or use the recipes below to make your own.

There is plenty of research to support that massage itself helps scars to heal, so the combination of ingredients in the blend and the act of massage helps the scar to heal as best as possible, although everyone will do so in their own way and time. It’s important not to make it about the end result, but supporting yourself as best you can through what can be a very vulnerable time… I also made an effort to support my body to heal from the inside too, I took Vitamin C powder each day and avoided all unhealthy inflammatory foods.

  • Scar Care – 20ml Oil Blend Recipe (5% max strength blend used first week)
  • rosehip oil, 10ml
  • calendula macerated in olive oil, 10ml
  • myrrh essential oil (not suitable in pregnancy), 10 drops
  • lavender essential oil, 7 drops
  • chamomile essential oil, 2 drops
  • rose otto essential oil, 1 drop

 

*Do not pick the scab however tempting it may be, the skin is reforming underneath and if you pull the scab you’re likely to tear away some new skin and delay the healing or even make the scar worse.

Essential Oil Diffusing Jewellery

Introducing OYL’E London – Essential Oil Diffusing Jewellery.

OYL’E London Pendant – ROSE GOLD £109.99

Last year I met Sumera Shamim at one of my natural perfumery workshops and she shared her plan to make essential oil diffusing jewellery. I could tell immediately that what she would design was going to be exquisite and would reflect her own beautiful style.

When she got in touch to let me know her range of jewellery was ready I was not disappointed, every detail has been carefully considered and the design so elegant and delicate.

The collection is made from 925 Sterling Silver and Rhodium plated allowing durability. The OYL’E pendant is designed to open with ease, but not accidentally, and holds a bespoke 100% pure wool bead perfectly. The vents that make up the pendant are constructed specifically to slowly diffuse your chosen essential oil & aroma throughout the day. The chains are adjustable, allowing them to be worn quickly and easily.

OYL’E London Pendant – SILVER £109.99

I have been wearing my bracelets and pendants for a couple of months now, and the initial captivation has not worn off, in fact it has deepened as the real magic of the product comes into play. Each morning I decide between the rose gold and the silver jewellery and then I decide which scent I want to wear.

The essential oils are sprinkled onto a little ball of organic washable wool and then encapsulated in the sphere. I currently have a few balls with different combinations of oils on. Every now and then they need refreshing and sometimes a new oil is added to the mix.

It’s a lovely moment in my morning ritual that I am then reminded of through out my day. Often I take the pendant to my nose and enjoy the perfume, and sometimes if I bend down and the pendant swings I notice the scent. I have a different blend inside the bracelet and so get to enjoy two smells.

OYL’E London Bracelet – ROSE GOLD £94.99

This really is a beautiful way to use essential oils, some of my clients use them to support their health, one made a blend to help with a cold, one for feelings of anxiety and one for morning sickness.

At the moment I have rose, neroli & pink pepper in my pendant, and sandalwood, myrrh & black pepper in my bracelet…

 

Click here to view & purchase OYL’E London jewellery.

Click here for essential oils to sprinkle into your jewellery.

Essential Oils for Cold Sores

Essential oils are a very effective treatment for cold sores, also know as herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or oral herpes. They can help with the healing process, ease the symptoms, including pain, inflammation and soreness, and even help to prevent blisters forming if used as soon as warning signs are noticed, such as tingling sensations.

I make a very soft balm to apply to the affected area, as it can be painful, sore and blistered, so you don’t want to apply anything that needs rubbing in. This is soft enough to just dab around the area, if the skin is broken or damaged, then applying around the area is just as effective and will not stop it from drying out.

Cold Sore Balm Recipe – 30g

  • Beeswax, 2g – to protect.
  • Shea butter, 3g – for creaminess.
  • Olive oil  25g – (if you have calendula or rosehip oil, these would be beneficial as they also support the skin to heal, you can replace or blend these, but keep the total amount of oil 25g).
  • Melissa (lemon balm) 1 drop – for anti viral properties.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 1 drop – for pain relief and general skin healing.
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) 1 drop – for healing skin (very good for hard to heal wounds).
  • Chamomile (Roman) 1 drop – soothing, calming and anti-inflammatory.

Instructions: Melt the beeswax and shea butter in a bain-marie, add the olive oil while still on the heat and ensure all ingredients are melted. Pour into a pot and add essential oils, stir with a chop stick and leave until it sets before lid application. Click here for full instructions on how to make a balm.

Important note: Do not to contaminate the balm when you use it, if you dip your finger into the pot and apply it to the cold sore, then do not put it back into the pot as your finger has been in contact with the virus! This is called double dipping : )

TOP TIP: Cold sores often appear when someone is stressed, so it’s worth observing what happens leading up to its appearance, for example, were you tired, doing too much, eating certain foods that don’t support the body?  Is it possible the cold sore is a signal from your body, asking you to slow down & make more loving choices to support yourself? Simple changes to your self care routine can make a difference.

Essential Oil Safety – Is it OK to use lavender essential oil undiluted on your skin?

When I trained 10 years ago, I was taught that it was generally accepted to be safe to use lavender and tea tree essential oils undiluted on the skin. A drop applied neat to a specific area such as a spot, cut, burn, insect bite or a graze was considered appropriate as an anti-septic, to ease pain & inflammation and help the area to heal more effectively and efficiently. It’s something that I’ve practised myself and also advised clients to do so, but after investigating essential oil safety more deeply recently, my view on this has now changed.

The safe use of essential oils is a hot topic in the world of professional aromatherapy right now because there is a huge amount of unsafe use promoted on the internet, mainly by MLM (multi-level marketing) companies, especially with regards to using oils internally and undiluted on the skin, with severe outcomes.

You should never use essential oils internally without professional support from someone experienced in using oils in this way – it is worth noting that it would be quite rare that it would be recommended, and should definitely not be used for boosting general health.

You should never use essential oils undiluted internally; drinking a few drops of essential oil in a glass of water would expose the delicate lining of your digestive system to a neat oil, (since essential oils do not mix with water) it could burn and cause serious damage.

Mayfield Lavender Farm

If you consider how much plant material is needed to make such a tiny bottle of oil, you get an idea of how concentrated it is; 250 pounds of lavender for just 1 pound of lavender oil, 1200 rose flowers for just 20 drops of rose oil.

I had never had a ‘reaction’ to an essential oil (apart from a few I’ve disliked the scent of), but a few months ago during a course making an alcohol perfume, my skin responded in this way (see image below) after dropping an essential oil mixed with alcohol on it, it passed after about 20 minutes and may have been due to the alcohol. I have handled essential oils pretty much every day for 10 years without problems but this goes to show that you can never be sure and should always be careful.

Reaction to a blend of essential oil & alcohol.

If you do happen to get an essential oil on your skin and have a ‘reaction (which could include burning, itching, a rash or hives) then you can apply olive oil or another base product to the area as this will help to dilute it. Even if you have used lavender neat on your skin without any initial reactions or irritation it could still cause ‘sensitisation’. which can occur after over use of a product.

What does sensitisation mean?

  • it’s an immune response to using an oil regularly over a period of time,
  • symptoms could include a rash, hives, blisters, sores, burning, cracked skin & shortness of breath,
  • it could mean that you can never use that oil again.

If, like me, you use lavender for a myriad of reasons, it would be a real shame to one day find you can’t use it all, so it’s wise to take precautions.

Using essential oils is not a case of the more you use the better the effect, so you do not miss out by diluting the oil, in fact it is usually more beneficial to be used in a carrier product.

Advantages of diluting essential oils:

  • base oils are nourishing to the skin,
  • you use a lot less oil which reduces the demand which means less impact on the environment,
  • you use less and therefore spend less.

I now have a bottle of ready to use lavender essential oil blended in olive oil in the house for all those moments when I need it. If you want to make a ready to use blend you can either add 5 drops to 10ml of base oil (or 2 drops in 10ml for children & sensitive skin), or if you have a different sized container, click here to refer to the blending chart to check how many drops to use.

Click for How to Use Essential Oils in the Bath

Do not dilute essential oil when using in a diffuser or burner, in an inhaler stick, if you sprinkle lavender on your pillow at night, or use it in your ironing water. None of these are going directly on your skin and using a base oil would stain sheets or damage diffusers.

Since lavender is one of the safest essential oils to use, all other essential oils should also be diluted before use on the skin, including in the bath.

How to use Essential Oils in Pregnancy

Can you use essential oils in pregnancy?

Essential Oils can actually be very supportive in pregnancy, many women naturally become more connected to their body and more considerate and caring of themselves at this time – so using essential oils can be a lovely way to nurture and support through out this precious cycle.

There are important cautions to be observed when using essential oils anyway and a few more during pregnancy so I have written this blog to ensure you use them safely and confidently.

Professionals are advised not to treat during the first tri-mester in training, I’m sure this is because miscarriage is so common during this period and because there are cautions with using essential oils, therefore it may be simpler and safer to take them out of the equation. I suspect most people are exposed to millions more harmful products than essential oils through out their day but I would still err on the side of caution and avoid them in the initial stages unless you have support from an experienced professional and feel 100% confident.

Below are the most useful ways I have used essential oils with clients… (use the links at the end for instructions on how to make balms, creams, massage blends & roller ball blends).

  • Which Essential Oils?

Some essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy and should not be used. Those mentioned in this blog are safe to use but you should ensure you use a trustworthy source*. Those that are suitable must be used at a much lower dilution as they are absorbed through the skin and as with most things you do during pregnancy, can have an affect on the baby too

  • Dilution

Essential Oils should always be diluted before skin application. In pregnancy I usually go with 0.25-0.5% but 1% is the maximum dilution I would use. The scent may be quite delicate but this is more than enough to be effective. Click to view a chart showing how many drops to use.

  • Nausea & Morning Sickness

Essential Oils: I use a blend of cardamom, spearmint & neroli – you could use a mix of these or on their own depending on which scents you like, many women become hypersensitive to smell during pregnancy. All three are soothing & calming to the digestive system & their scent not too intense.

Use: A roller ball bottle is most practical for this blend as you can carry it around and apply it whenever you feel to, whether it is to avoid the feeling of sickness or to soothe it when you do feel it.

  • Stretch Marks

Essential Oils: Lavender, roman chamomile and mandarin with a base of rosehip and calendula carrier oils. The essential oils are all great for skin care but remember to ensure you get pure Lavender Oil with the Latin name Lavandula angustifolia*.

Use: A massage oil, balm or cream would work best in this case, I would suggest which ever you like the feel of most because consistency is key in nourishing your skin at this time – if you love using it you’re more likely to do so everyday.

  • Back Ache

Essential Oils: Back pain and ache is common especially during the later stages of pregnancy along with various other aching body parts so using a massage oil or balm with lavender and chamomile essential oil would help to ease this.

Use: It is not usually appropriate or comfortable to lie on your tummy to receive a back massage, I have done them with a client lying on their side, or seated –which ever is most comfortable for you. ‘Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. Sleeping on the left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys.’ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep-during-pregnancy.html

  • Tired Feet

A foot massage with a cooling aloe gel mixed with spearmint (not peppermint as it is much stronger so avoid this) or lavender to ease and refresh tired weary feet (Lavandula angustifolia).

  • Oedema/ Water Retention

Essential Oil: Geranium essential oil can help with water retention.

Use: In a cream, balm or massage oil to apply to the affected area can be supportive.

  • Moods

Essential Oil: Geranium essential oil has a balancing effect on the endocrine system so can be very supportive through out pregnancy.

Use: See blog on How to Use Geranium Essential Oil to Support Women’s Health.

  • Inducing Labour

Many people ask me about using essential oils to help induce labour. Although I would advise letting things unfold naturally, myrrh oil is a uterine tonic and so can be used to prepare for the birth but not during the rest of the pregnancy. I would wait for the due date to pass and use in a massage oil around your bump.

  • Labour

Something practical and easy to use is a floral water, you can spritz this on your face and across your body – it’s very gentle – much more so than essential oils and has a refreshing and calming effect – rose water is my favourite but you could use lavender or neroli. It also has the added benefit of calming others in the room and cleansing the atmosphere which is desirable, especially if you are in a hospital setting.

  • *Lavender Oil in Pregnancy

When it comes to lavender there is some concern about its use, but ‘Lavandula angustifolia‘ is safe to use –some other types of lavender oil have a higher camphor content. It’s important to use a trustworthy source of essential oil because some can be adulterated and mixed with synthetic products or mixed with cheaper lavender oils which are higher in camphor.

All of the products mentioned can be purchased as bespoke blends made especially for you. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or queries or would like personal support and remember to continue to care and nurture yourself just as much as your baby.

How to get through December and still smell Divine… with the most Delicious Essential Oils!

The lead up to the end of the year can often feel a little fretful rather than festive, so here are some recommendations for essential oils to support you as the ‘silly season‘ takes over:

Image by Jane Torvaney

Orange & Clove for a warming, comforting scent that has a powerful cleansing & anti-microbial action, a perfect combination for using in a burner or diffuser* to scent your home and ward off winter bugs. You can get a similar effect by piercing cloves into the peel of an orange which releases their essential oils – as well as smelling delicious it will sanitise the atmosphere. Place them around your home, especially close to the fire as the heat will encourage more essential oils to be released.

Fir & Pine for supporting the immune system & respiratory conditions during vulnerable times. Use these Christmas tree oils on a tissue and inhale throughout the day, or blend them into a balm* to massage across your chest – you can use them in this way if you have come down with a cold, flu or virus and also if you want to avoid them.

Cardamom & Grapefruit to help soothe, digest & detox – these would be lovely made into a blend* if you happen to have over indulged over the Christmas period. Find a comfortable place to lay down, massage the ‘digestive blend’ around your tummy in gentle anti-clockwise circles, begin just under your ribcage and massage around the centre of your tummy covering the small intestine, gradually moving down towards the start of the ascending colon, follow this up the right side of your body, as it becomes the transverse colon across the body under the ribs and then onto the descending colon down the left side of your body. Finish with a few large anti-clockwise circles and take a moment to rest.

Frankincense & Myrrh – these two oils come with extremely precious qualities, they support moments to stop, breathe gently and come back to yourself – especially useful during times of stress and overwhelm. I like to use them in a roll-on perfume blend* to keep in my pocket and apply when ever I feel to.

You can use all of the recommended blends in a burner or diffuser* to scent your home, or dilute in a carrier oil to massage into your skin and add to a bath*.

Any oil you choose to use with the intention to truly nurture and take care of yourself will support on some level, so enjoy experimenting and feel free to get in touch if you would like assistance.

*Useful Links: How to make a balm.
How to make a body and bath oil blend.
How to make a roll on perfume blend.

How to Use Geranium Essential Oil to Support Women’s Health

The key reason I use geranium essential oil is for its balancing effect on the endocrine system. When you consider how much the endocrine system and our hormones play a key role in every part of running our bodies, geranium oil becomes a useful tool to support health and wellbeing, especially with regards to a woman’s health and her cycle.

Geranium Essential Oil – Pelargonium graveolens flower oil

It’s important to actually see and feel how, as women, we are constantly in a cycle, whether it be our monthly menstrual cycle, which goes through various phases as shown in the video below by UnimedLiving, or our life cycle as a woman and the way we move from beginning our periods as a girl or young woman to menopause and beyond… I like to think of it as the way a rose begins to bud and bloom, continuing to open until each petal eventually falls. Even when all the petals have fallen the cycle is not over, it is then that rose hips begin to form, a stage as gorgeous as the flowering… Just as with women, when our  monthly bleed ceases, there is much to appreciate and enjoy as a woman enters her elder years.

Geranium is an oil you can use to support you, your connection to your cycle and your body at any stage in life. The key is to use the oil to support the whole cycle, rather than as a quick fix when you feel tension (and all the other possible symptoms such as moods, exhaustion, hot flushes, period pain, bloating, breakouts, cravings etc.) – although it can still help at these more intense times, it would be more effective to make it a regular ritual.

For example you could use geranium essential oil in the following ways:

How ever you decide to use geranium oil, make sure it feels lovely, that you enjoy it and that it doesn’t become a chore. If you find a way that you really adore, you are more likely to make it a part of your natural rhythm. It’s worth noting that if you don’t enjoy the scent of geranium, then you could replace it with rose essential oil, which has a deeply nurturing quality; or lavender essential oil, which is very clearing (in fact, all three together would make a great blend). Alternatively, you could blend a small amount of geranium oil with other essential oils that make the scent more appealing. You could also look at making a blend of essential oils that can address other symptoms you may experience, such as period pain, back ache, nausea, hot flushes, tiredness, dizziness, etc.

The endocrine system is a very delicate, subtle system in the body, and although geranium oil has this balancing effect on it, once you find a way to bring essential oils into your day-to-day life, you will naturally be building more of a connection and awareness to your body. This connection and awareness is key as you then have an opportunity to respond in a more nurturing, loving way, something that can continue to grow and deepen as you move through your cycle.

For more support with women’s health wether it be how to prepare for your first period or support with going through menopause, there are some amazing articles on the following sites:

www.esotericwomenshealth.com
www.unimedliving.com – women’s health