NATURAL BEAUTY

Beauty Tips, From our Director

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEALTH

Throughout history, herbal medicine in the form of herbs, plant aromas and essential oils have been revered as sacred — both for treating ailments and disease, as well as providing life-enhancing benefits. In most ancient cultures, people believed plants to be magical, and for thousands of years herbs were used as much for ritual as they were for medicine and food.

Essential oils have an effect that is more than just a pleasant scent. Essential oils have the ability to trigger emotions and memories, and are therefore very powerful when it comes to wellbeing, on a physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual level. Every time that you hold a bottle of essential oil, you are holding the pure “essence” of botanicals (hence the term “essential” oils). It can be said that essential oils are the “soul” of a plant.

Pure essential oils are powerful. They are about 70 times more concentrated than the whole plant, and work more deeply than dry herbs, delivering potentially very fast and effective results for holistic health and wellbeing. From scientific studies, we know that essential oils comprise a powerful blend of antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties, just to name a few. But they also vibrate at particular frequencies that may effect energy and activate certain altered states of wellbeing and consciousness.



How Essential Oils work

Whilst an aromatherapy massage or bath can be a beautiful once-off treatment, essential oil “aromatherapy” can be integrated into your daily lifestyle in a holistic way, for ongoing wellbeing of mind, body and soul. 

Oils enter the body via three delivery systems:

1. Through aroma, following the olfactory nerve pathways from the sinuses into the central glands of the brain (the Amygdala and Hippocampus), which control emotional, neurological, hormonal and and immunological functions. Bypassing the reasoning brain altogether, the smell is processed according to emotion, memory and learning.

2. By massaging them into the skin, which allow the oils to become absorbed into the bloodstream dermally via the hair follicles, and to have a systemic effect.

3. Through the respiratory system as you inhale the aroma, which has a direct effect on the sinuses, throat, and lungs. 



Passing the Blood / Brain Barrier

The blood brain barrier — the barrier membrane between the circulating blood and the brain — is very selective as to which substances it allows to pass through it. Essential oil compounds are extraordinarily small, making them uniquely suited to cross the blood brain barrier, and postively impact the brain and overall health. Once crossed, essential oils can rapidly absorb and interact with receptors in the central nervous system to help support healing and normalisation of stressed or dysfunctional cells.



Aromatherapy as Vibrational Medicine

Each essential oil has its own frequency — and since our bodies vibrate at certain frequencies — if our bodies are out of balance, then essential oils are a modality that can help us to regain homeostasis. Some research claims that, of any natural material, essential oils have the highest measurable frequencies —which are measured in Hertz, a measure of cycles per second — creating an environment where disease, bacterial, virus, and fungus cannot live. The average frequency of a human body that is healthy will measure a frequency of 62 to 68 MHz whilst essential oils have been measured at the following high frequencies:

Rose (Rosa damascene).....................320 MHz

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)........118 MHz
Blue Chamomile (Matricaria recutita).....105 MHz
Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma)............98 MHz
Peppermint (Mentha peperita)..............78 MHz

The higher ranges are said to affect spirit and emotions while the lower frequencies have more effect on all areas of the physical body. It is theorised that a stronger frequency will entrain a weaker frequency, and this is how essential oils work as vibrational medicine: their harmonious high-frequencies overcome or neutralize imbalances and dis-ease in our beings – physical and otherwise.


Quality & Organics

The quality of your essential oils is important. Oils need to be chosen for being extracted through careful steam distillation and cold pressing, which preserves the integrity and power of the extracts.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and enter the body quickly, therefore look for a trusted producer that makes quality, pure oils without anything added. You’re more likely to have an allergic reaction to oils that are of lower quality or have synthetic enhancement added.

If pesticides have been used in plant production there may be concentrated residue in your product, which will enter the body at the same time. Essential oils — as with other products applied to the skin — are ingested by the body like a food. And like foods, 100% organic certified products or ingredients are worth the higher price if you care about truly safe, natural products.

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How to use Essential Oils safely

For daily use, oils can be diffused, inhaled, applied topically (chakra points, behind the ears, the neck, wrists or directly on to an area of concern) and incorporated into massage. Or you might simply carry them with you as you would a crystal.

Essential oils are usually lipophilic ("oil-loving") compounds that are not miscible with water. The most common way to safely dilute essential oils for topical use is in a carrier oil. This can be a quality vegetable oil such as jojoba, coconut, wheat germ, or olive.

Its important to note that just because it is derived from a plant, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to rub on your skin, or breathe, or drink, even if pure or organic. Natural substances can still be irritating, toxic, or cause allergic reactions. Like anything else you put on your skin, it’s best to test a little bit on a small area and see how your skin responds.

Always use oils on the skin in a dilution of 1-3%, versus applying the neat oil to the skin or hands. That means if you have one teaspoon of carrier, you would add 1 drop of pure essential oil to make a 1% solution. Young children and the elderly may be more sensitive to essential oils, so you may need to dilute them more. Alternatively, find an aromatherapy roll on or body oil that has been pre-blended in the right quantity. In baths, add a little milk to help disperse the oils through the water, otherwise they can end up sticking to your skin.

Taken by mouth, many essential oils can be dangerous so be sure to seek the medical advice of a qualified aromatherapist or integrated medical professional before ingesting oils. Pregnant women should seek specific medical advice before using any oils, topically or internally. Avoid direct sun exposure or use on a non-exposed area with all essential oil concentrates and dilutions as some oils may be photosensitising.



Summary

Aromatherapy is holistic and enjoyable, with benefits for body, mind and soul. It is the art and science of using botanical extracts and their physical, energetic and vibrational properties to create and maintain emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. When used correctly, essential oils are a beautiful addition to daily life and mood.

MISS FOX has created a collection of 7 high vibration, skin-safe oils based on the Chakras that makes working these wellness wonders into our daily routines impossibly easy. Available from November 1 at MISS FOX Melbourne. To pre-order email us at enquiries@missfox.com.au


References:

Battaglia, Salvadore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, The International Centre for Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003

Lee, Myeong Soo; Choi, Jiae Choi (2012). "Aromatherapy for health care: an overview of systematic reviews". Maturitas. 3 (71): 257–260.

Keville, Kathy, Aromatherapy for Dummies, Wiley Publishing, 1999

Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, 1991

Ryman, Daniele (1984). The Aromatherapy Handbook: The Secret Healing Power Of Essential Oils. Century Publishing CO. Ltd. pp. Chapter 3. ISBN 9780852072158.


 


From our Director

PRETTY BOTTLES, UGLY INGREDIENTS: ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE AND YOUR WELLBEING

Take a bottle from your bathroom cabinet, from your laundry, or take a look at the ingredients on your expensive scented candle.  “Fragrance” or “parfum” on an ingredient list represents a trade-secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of hundreds of synthetic chemicals. What is in those air fresheners being auto-sprayed on us in a restroom? What gives that pervasive air diffuser it’s “forest fresh” scent? And what effect do the consumption of these fragrances though the skin, nose and mouth have on our health and wellbeing?

Fragrance was originally derived from flowers, leaves, fruits, resins and barks, captured in a precious glass bottle and used sparingly. Ancient texts and archaeological excavations show the use of perfumes in some of the earliest human civilizations. But post World War II, scientists found a way to synthesise natural aromas that was much cheaper and more commercially viable than the natural version. This was the birth of “Modern Perfumery”, and thousands of hidden chemicals and artificial substances being added to not only perfume and cosmetics, but room fragrances, cleaners and countless other common household and luxury lifestyle products.

 
THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE
 

Chemicals and Health
I personally became interested in this topic after rapidly becoming sensitive to the chemical fragrances in my home, which were frequently setting off migraines. Today, most perfumes and fragrances contain synthesized odorants or “nature-identical” synthetic copies. Synthetics can also provide fragrances which are not found in plants, for instance, mimicking a sea breeze or cotton candy. Whilst synthetic fragrances can smell delicious, they also might be causing you ill health.

Whilst most of us grow up associating perfume with elegance and beauty, the self-regulated fragrance industry selects from over 5000 synthetic chemicals to concoct fragrances, most of which have never been tested for their health and wellbeing impacts. Because the formulas are a ‘trade secret’ they are not required to disclose those ingredients. 

Over the past 2 decades, an array of studies have been published worldwide on the negative health effects of some chemicals used in fragrance, including allergic sensitisation, and confirming some are carcinogens. A recent study published by the University of Melbourne on “Health and Societal effects from Exposure to Fragranced Consumer Products” was based on a national survey where 33% of respondents reported adverse effects such as headaches, migraines, nausea and asthsma attacks from exposure to fragranced products, from air fresheners and deodorisers to cleaning products. Other reports link artificial fragrance with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption due to the presence of toxins, endocrine disruptors and phthalates.

 
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Fragrance in the new “second-hand smoke”
Workplaces, restaurants and public transport are now all spaces where we have the right to be free from breathing someone else’s cigarette smoke. However few rules apply when it comes to strong fragrances that can aggravate the senses. For those who do suffer from the effects, like headache and asthma and allergies, being forced to breathe in fragrance fumes from a co-worker or a public area is a vertiable invasion of personal space. In Europe, the USA and Canada, “fragrance free” workplaces are becoming more common post a few landmark court decisions. 

The purpose of manufacturer’s use of perfume or fragrance compositions is to affect consumers through their sense of smell and entice them into purchasing their perfume or perfumed product. Synthetics are pleasant in smell and relatively inexpensive, as such they are often employed in large quantities to cover the unpleasant scent of laundry detergents and many personal beauty products.

Despite the known effects of artificial fragrances, the vast majority of Australian consumer products contain them. Today, our society is suffering from over-saturation of synthetic fragrance in almost everything we use, from our beauty lotions (even those very expensive department store ones), designer perfumes, cleaning and laundry products, and countless other home and lifestyle products from luxury candles to toilet paper, panty and bin liners. Even washing clothes in detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrances releases toxic chemicals onto the skin and into the air all day long, and as you sleep.

 

Mindful Fragrance

It is only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive ones from our environments. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a beautiful fragrance, if it is a genuine and authentic plant-derived, unadulterated essential oil, or an organic, wildcrafted scent oil.

Although the areas are under active research, much remains to be learned about the effects of synthetic fragrance on human health and the environment. In today’s world we are already exposed to so many chemicals, so it is therefore vitally important to be mindful of the types of products we use on our skin and in our homes. Our body absorbs what we put on it as well as the airborne molecules from the environments we frequent. 

The Case Against Artificial Fragrance

The words “fragrance” “perfume” or “parfum” on any product indicates it contains a compound or addition to create the scent. Almost all of these are 100% synthetic, with a rare few high-end brands including trace amount of natural extracts. Reduce or avoid products with “Fragrance”. Invest in fragrance-free non toxic products and when working with essential oils, chose organic or wild crafted that have not been grown or extracted with pesticides or chemicals.

Practice self care by being ruthless about the quality of your products and environment, and enjoy a breath of fresh air and peace of mind.

We’re proud that MISS FOX has always been a “fragrance-free” workplace as specified on our recruitment policies, and our spa has a gentle, pleasant smell due to our strict standards of chemical-free cleaning methods and certified organic essential oil diffusions. We continue to seek ways to offer services that are botanically-based and organic, or with reduced chemicals. At this time, our entire skincare, makeup and spa ranges are artificial fragrance free. All tanning and nail services offer fragrance-free options, please ask your therapist. We welcome your comments and feedback to management@missfox.com.au

Article Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726844/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/children-chemicals-fragrences-cosmetics-pthalate-attention-deficit-womb/

http://www.national-toxic-encephalopathy-foundation.org/fragsmoke.pdf

https://branchbasics.com/blog/fragrance-is-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/toxic-perfumes-and-colognes/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-s-epstein/toxic-chemicals_b_625648.html

https://www.mamavation.com/featured/toxic-perfume-chemicals.html

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/the-case-against-fragrance-review-kate-grenville-raises-a-stink-about-scent-20170216-guelwq.html