• Janus Chan

Aromatherapy for rosacea


We are now delving deeper into our previously mentioned beliefs about using aromatherapy as an effective treatment for rosacea. Please be aware that the following explanation could get slightly technical!

Aromatherapy works through two pathways: anti-inflammatory and psychological.

The Anti-inflammatory pathway typically involves:

1. Cells,

2. Cytokines (chemical messengers communicating messages between cells), and

3. Neutrophil

Papulopustular rosacea (PPR) is characterized by disruptions of healthy skin, including altered sebum composition, decrease in production of TSLP (a cytokine), profusion of inflammatory cells such as dendritic cells, T cells, macrophages, mast cells, neutrophils, etc., and disruption of previous noninflammatory conditions. Further, the development of IL-17/IFN-y-type ((other types of cytokines) inflammation may also hinder the growth of TSLP expression. All this could lead to a vicious circle.

There are essential oils (EOs) that could help reverse some of the above effects and thus diminish the symptoms of PPR.

Linoleic acid can help a growth in the TSLP expression. Fatty oils - safflower, poppyseed, passion fruit, etc. - are high in linoleic acid, and thus a good alternative for application by the PPR victims.

Coriander seed, sandalwood and turmeric are excellent options for help in decreasing the pro-inflammatory cytokines.

EOs, high in geraniol and citronellol, have been found to reduce the neutrophil activity that could worsen the inflammation in the case of chronic skin conditions when the inflammatory process becomes dysregulated.

Psychological pathway:

Psychological stress has been found to affect the skin barrier function which also plays a significant role in rosacea.

In previous blogs, we discussed the link between skin and mind, and explained how aromatherapy could provide simultaneous relief for both. We especially recommend the use of anti-inflammatory and calming essential oils for rosacea. These oils are high in sesquiterpene and alcohol (please note that this is not the 75% alcohol that is frequently used now). Various studies have shown that essential oils such as lavender, sandalwood, rose and copaiba can provide relief in skin problems caused by psychological stress, cortisol production and inflammation, abnormal differentiation and hyper-proliferation of keratinocytes, skin barrier dysfunction, etc.

Conclusion:

In aromatherapy, one size doesn’t fit all, since the effects will vary for each individual. This is the same philosophy behind Jan’s Aesthetics of Nature because we believe your skin is always your own, to do with as you alone wish.

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