I believe that much of my health is heavily influenced by what I eat and I know I eat far too much sugar. I attend a talk called “Natural Choices for Anti-Ageing” by Geraldine McColgan of The College of Naturopathic Medicine where I learned that sugar is more damaging than I thought. Going beyond tooth decay, diabetes risk and those awful energy highs and slumps, it also has a negative effect on collagen through a process called “glycation” which then affects the skin. So, sugar is ageing and I didn’t know that before. The way to deal with this is to follow a low GI diet. Stress also has the same effect as sugar so as well as checking what I eat, I’ll also need to book some yoga classes!
She also covered the damage caused by free radicals and you combat the effect of those with anti-oxidants. The best anti-oxidants have a high ORAC value. This is something I’ll need to look up but I managed to note that herbs, spices, raspberries, pecans and cocoa are high in anti-oxidants. So does this mean a fruity curry will do the trick?
She also covered inflammation and dry skin and I have dry skin so I will be changing what I eat. I took lots of notes!
After that I did some face yoga. Did you know the face muscles are attached directly to the skin (rather than via tendons)? I didn’t! I am a fan of yoga and I thought why not feel the benefits in my face as well as my body. Anne Crotty gave us a demonstration of the exercises in the 20 minute routine. With regular practice you get a natural facelift. Also, did you know face cream is supposed to be applied in sweeping up-and-out motions, following the lines of the muscles in your face? I thought I was doing enough just by using a cream!
I then stayed to listed to two talks on essential oils. The first was by Andrea Lawrence from the International Federation of Aromotherapists. Before I attend the Anti-Aging Show I knew that essential oils were powerful because pregnant women are told to avoid them. I wanted to find out more.
Andrea started off by saying that essential oils need to be used in a carrier oil so that essential oil can reach the bloodstream located in the dermis. Now I know why they are called carrier oils – they literally carry other oils. Essential oils:
- can regenerate skin cells
- are antioxidants to fight free radicals
- promote collagen and elastin production
- hydrate the skin by stimulating the sebaceous gland
- act as a natural SPF
Looks like essential oils can do it all! Collagen starts to deplete from our late 20s so I need to take care of the collagen I still have.
She then gave a quick guide to which essential oils can have positive effects on the skin. I’ll need to do more research on rose geranium which regulates sebum production, oregano and basil to fight free radicals, juniper which is an anti-oxidant and collagen strengthening and peppermint, lavender, tea tree and rose which can help protect the body against sun damage. Andrea recommends and SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis (in addition to the oils because their SPF is between 1 and 7) .
My skin reacts or should I say responds to essential oils. Maybe it is so used to other chemicals it struggles with natural products. I don’t think I’m allergic but I am conscious of the presence of the oils for a little while after I use them. I’ll need to find my perfect blend.
Andrea’s Toulou Organics range of products can be found here.
Another talk on essential oils followed from doTERRA.
One of the first pieces of advice was to make sure any essential oils you buy are pure – no fillers, artificial ingredients or fragrance.
The doTERRA talk focused on essential oils that you can ingest! I didn’t think you could do that but one drop can do a lot. I’m not sure I want to eat/drink essential oils but rather than completely write it off, I’m willing to find out more.
The oils I might try are sandalwood for a youthful glow, frankincense for a brain boost and rose to help me relax! Also, lemon oil is supposed to be mood lifting so it’s worth having some of that in the house.
doTERRA run classes on how to use the essential oils and mixes they produce.
Do you use essential oils? Comment below – I’d love to know what you use and how you use it!