With the exception of a daily shower, and a dose of sunscreen or

dealing with sunburn, little thought is given to our skin. Here is a something to ponder, your epidermis is the top part of your skin, and your skin is the body’s largest and fastest-growing organ. Healthy skin is key to maintaining optimum health. So, why do we subject our skin to harsh chemicals and agents that dry it, that leave it vulnerable to damage?  Our skin provides both a barrier to keep toxins and other foreign substances out of the body, and yet it allows the secretion of toxins from within.

Natural soaps are one way of keeping your skin healthy. Essential oils, especially here in the desert southwest are another. Both are our specialty at Meli Lips in historic Glendale, Arizona.

So, what exactly are essential oils, you may ask. In a nutshell essential oils are the highly concentrated version of those found in various plants. Distillation by steam, or water, is the most common process for extracting oils from roots, leaves, flowers, or bark. The extract will be a concentrated form of the aroma as well medicinal properties. Essential oils should not be confused with perfume or fragrance oils, which are sometimes referred to as aromatic oils or aroma oils. Usually perfume oils are artificially created.

Since the dawn of recorded history, in cultures throughout the world, essential oils have been an integral part of medicinal therapies. In fact there is historic evidence that humans have been using essential oils for more than 5,000 years as medicine, and for cosmetic and hygienic purposes. Increasingly studies are showing that there is validity to these ancient practices. As a result the holistic use of oils is moving from fringe to integration in main stream treatments. This has led to a revival in the use of oils for physical and psychological health. As an example lavender used in aromatherapy has been shown to alleviate stress, and reduce anxiety, irritability mental fatigue, and depression. There is evidence to indicate that when applied as an oil, it speeds the rate of healing from bruising. Peppermint can relieve symptoms of nausea and vertigo, and lessen the pain of headaches. Tea tree oil works well for as a disinfectant, and has been used to clear skin blemishes and acne. Basil and cedarwood have also been shown to help clear skin blemishes. A compress made with bergamot oil can promote the healing process of swollen, painful skin eruptions. Cedarwood and orange oil help balance the production of skin oils.

As an interesting side note, in many cultures essential oils are used for pest control. These traditional uses have gained credibility as numerous case studies have shown that certain oils deter some insects and arthropods. Another surprising use for oils to control shower mold. A sprinkle eucalyptus oil can clear mold or it can be applied with cotton swabs to grout.

Would you like more information about essential oils? Stop by Meli Lips in historic Glendale and talk with a certified essential oil coach.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America