Your skin cells are increasing at an incredible rate to accommodate for your change in body shape. Moisturising and nourishing your skin with pure natural carrier oils will keep a healthy glow and allow the skin to be supple and stretch.
Pregnancy and Skin
Today’s busy lifestyle is very stressful at times and especially if you are pregnant. It is even more difficult in keeping your skin looking and feeling good,as amazing changes are taking place from your hair, nails and especially your skin. This is due to the pregnancy hormones and your growing baby. You will find looking after your body and especially your skin is so important for you, right up to the birth and after.
There is often confusion about carrier oils and essential oils.
- Essential oils
Essential oils are natural, concentrated, fragrant oils which have been extracted from plants. They have a complex chemistry and each with unique properties, that if used correctly can be used therapeutically. Due to their highly concentrated properties they are not used undiluted onto the skin, so essential oils need to be mixed with a carrier oil for massage.
Carrier oils are usually obtained from nuts and seeds, although there are some exceptions. They are used in aromatherapy massage, so the hands of the therapist can glide over the body and carry the essential oil into the body. Carrier oils have enormous health benefits of their own and shouldn’t be underestimated. The quality of a carrier oil is just as important as the quality of essential oil and can also be used without adding essential oils.
Each carrier oil (e.g. Jojoba, Apricot, avocado, coconut, Baobab) has their own unique chemistry of essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6, 9), vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, so can be chosen for their individual therapeutic properties. Specific carrier oils absorb into the skin very quickly making your skin feel smooth and soft – not greasy. Mixing these pure natural oils, you can get the best benefits out of them for specific skin problems. They are very effective in treating sensitive skin conditions e.g. psoriasis, eczema, also helping with scar tissue, wrinkles and stretch marks.
Unrefined oils – Refined oils
Using ‘nearest to nature oils’ from a reputable specialist supplier is a priority. Reputable suppliers who have an honest approach will give customers confidence in their product.
Some vegetable oils e.g. olive oil, sunflower etc. that you find on the shelves of supermarkets have been subjected to high temperatures, so vitamins have to be added to these refined oils. Removing many of the natural properties, such as anti-oxidants in refined oils reduces the health benefits for an aromatherapy massage.
Mineral oils – aromatherapy massage
Mineral oils, which are petroleum based, do not penetrate into the skin and are often used for babies bottoms, as a barrier for nappy rash. Because they do not absorb into the skin, they are not used for aromatherapy massage, as the essential oils wouldn’t be absorbed into the skin and the health benefits for pregnancy would be reduced.
Researchers have discovered how the key cells in touch have now been identified, which has given us the understanding how we feel fine textures.
Please inform the midwife or doctor, when you are using complementary therapies and don’t be tempted to mix your own oils. Seek out a qualified aromatherapist or use products that have been blended specifically for pregnancy and meet European cosmetic guidelines.
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By Jan Bastard BSc. (Hons) complementary therapy/aromatherapy, RN, RM, Anaesthetic Diploma, IAIM.