3 natural ways to beat stress
Last year a total of 11.7 million working days were lost due to stress, accounting for 45 per cent of all working days lost to ill health. When it all gets a bit much this festive season, take time for you and combat stress naturally with aromatherapy.
Essential oils help alleviate stress as well as providing real benefits for your skin. ‘The less stressed you are, the less likely you are to get breakouts and skin irritability,’ explains Jane Hibbert, founder and creative director of AromaWorks.
While it can be difficult to find the time to fit in an aromatherapy massage at your local salon, you can use essential oils effectively from the comfort of your own home. Here’s our expert advice for DIY aromatherapy:
In the bath
‘After a long, hard day, soaking in essential oils feels luxurious and eases emotional stress,’ explains Jennie Harding, in-house aromatherapist at essential oil masters Tisserand. Try her trick to disperse the oils evenly: mix 5-10 drops of your chosen essential oil into a teacup of full-fat milk and add it to the warm bath water – the cream in the milk helps the oils spread through the water. Hibbert recommends lavender oil, which helps treat insomnia and has the added benefit of soothing irritated skin on the body.
On the skin
Add one drop of essential oil to a carrier oil (Hibbert recommends coconut oil or moringa oil) for a stimulating facial massage. But be careful with your products – ‘some essential oils, such as rosemary and juniper, are too strong for the face,’ warns Harding, who suggests rose otto, neroli and frankincense. ‘Rose otto soothes dry skin and plumps cells, whereas frankincense increases cell turnover for a fresh-looking complexion.’
In the air
Essential oils can be placed in a traditional oil burner, or you could invest in an electric diffuser. ‘The fascinating thing with essential oils is that they go straight to the brain’s limbic system where we process our emotions and memory,’ says Hibbert. ‘This helps to balance mood, enhance the quality of your sleep and improve cognitive function.’