Talking Aromatherapy with Rhiannon Lewis
Posted by PR Neom
Rhiannon Lewis is something of an aromatherapy maven, with countless clients under her belt and decades of experience. A trained nurse, Rhiannon has seen all kinds of treatments, therapies (and patients!) in her career, but it’s aromatherapy where she found her groove, first noticing it had made a difference in her own life and balance, and then realising she could apply the same tools and techniques to others. For talking all things essential oil she’s one of our absolute go-tos, and for adding to your toolkit or starting your journey with essential oils, her tips make brilliant inspiration.
“Essential oils are always built into my daily routine in low doses,” she says, “I use them when taking a bath or shower, in my skincare products and household cleaners.” This is a great way to start using (or increasing) the amount of essential oils in your day, as one small swap or addition soon turns into second nature, and before you know it you’re boosting your wellbeing in small steps without needing to give it a second thought. That’s the kind of routine we like!
Aside from the benefits you might be familiar with like natural vs chemical and wonderful, mood-boosting aromas, once you start tapping into the powerful properties of essential oils, there’s room for them in all areas of your life. “I use them most of all while travelling,” says Rhiannon, “to help me adjust to different time zones, give me a sense of familiarity when I am away from home as well as to help protect against infection and being bitten by mosquitos or bed bugs!” That sense of familiarity comes from the triggering of powerful memory recall, driven by your olfactory sensors. And travel can play havoc with your sleep and energy, so we’ll take all the help we can get.
When it comes to boosting that energy or feeling refreshed after a long journey (or just a long day!) Rhiannon favours “citrus and conifer essential oils. Yuzu (citrus junos) is a particular favourite from Japan with its fresh zesty aroma and sunny character. I also particularly appreciate red mandarin (citrus reticulata) and lime (citrus aurantifolia).” For that clarity-giving citrus zing look out for products containing lemon oil and grapefruit too. As for the conifers, these are the ones to give you a breath of fresh air and a boost - when you can’t actually pop to a mountain forest. Rhiannon loves Siberian fir (abies sibirica) and black spruce (pica mariana), and we also love adding a few drops of eucalyptus to the mix if you’re diffusing, as it actively detoxifies the air in your space.
But what about when it’s time to wind down? “Each person has their own individual preferences,” she says, “but I personally use Elemi (canarium luzonicom), copaiba (copaifera officinalis) and the beautiful high altitude true lavender oil (lavandula angustifolia) that grows on the mountains surrounding my home in Provence.” But everyone is personal, and when it comes down to taste, or how much you favour a floral, there are plenty of soothing options out there to try, and test till you find what works for you. On the earthier side, Rhiannon recommends patchouli and vetiver - both grassy, fresh and wonderful for a busy mind.
Diffusing or inhaling is just one part of your day with essential oils, as some of them are just as effective (or even more so) when absorbed through the skin, “Essential oils have a range of properties that confer direct benefits to the skin to help it to maintain its form, integrity, strength and elasticity,” says Rhiannon, “such as antioxidant/anti ageing, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and cicatrisant (helping with tissue repair).” If you’re looking for a boost in one of these areas, applying the oil directly to your skin (mixed with a carrier product) is the fastest way to get it where it needs to go. And the knock-on effects aren’t to be sniffed at either, with soothing scents relaxing you and boosting healing time.
When it comes to natural skincare it’s likely there’s a specific issue you want to focus on, but certain ingredients seem to crop up again and again, and be SO sought-after in essential oil blends, so chances are you’ll be familiar with lavender, rose and patchouli. Their popularity, Rhiannon says, is in part “due to the familiar and pleasant aromas that evoke positive memories of past experiences and associations with relaxation, self-nurturing and wellbeing.” That’s only half the story though, as not only are they particularly good at bringing up those powerful memories, but they have a real effect when applied to the skin. “Rose essential oil for example,” says Rhiannon, “is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and an elastase inhibitor; lavender is sedative, anti-inflammatory, cicactrisant and antioxidant; patchouli is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant…” the list goes on.
Whatever your wellbeing need, the best way to find the oils and blends that work for YOU is to focus on some ingredients you think will help, so if any of the above sounds like you (needing an energy boost, help relaxing and anti ageing skincare, erm YES), get trying them out, and let us know where you are in your wellbeing journey @neomorganics.