Spiral Spa @ Bloo,Padang Bai, Bali:
The Skin, Massage, Base- and Essential oil
In this Blog Spiral Spa @ Bloo,Padang Bai, Bali wants to give you a short overview about different Base or Carrier oils, Essential oils and how they become absorbed through the skin.
First of all we should have a look to the human skin and his structure. To keep it simple I just want to explain the three main layers and their function and just make short excursions in the sub layer you could divide them into.
The three main layer of the skin are the Epidermis, Dermis and Sub cutis.
Epidermis: As you can see at the picture on the left the Epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It forms the waterproof protective wrap over the body’s surface.
“Interesting: The Epidermis is water resistant, that means that it prevents water leaving the body, but it also prevents most substances from entering the body.”
The Epidermis contains no blood vessels, and cells in the deepest layers are nourished by diffusion from blood capillaries to the upper layers of the dermis. The Epidermis could be divided in to 5 different layers: stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum and stratum germinativum.
In between the the Epidermis we have now a small sheet of fibers called the basement membrane. The basement membrane controls the traffic of cells and molecules between the dermis and epidermis.
Dermis: The 2. Layer is the Dermis and directly beneath the epidermis. The Dermis is the layer of the skin that provides the skin strength and elasticity due to an special mix of collagen and elastic fibers. The Dermis again can be divided into 2 Layers, the Papillary and Reticular region.
The Papillary region extends fingerlike into the epidermic layer of the skin and creates here a much bigger joint surface, than a straight boundary would have.
The second layer, the Reticular region provides the Dermis his properties of strength, extensibility and elasticity. Further located in this region are the roots of the hair, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, receptors, nails and blood vessels.
That means that substances that crossed the Epidermis by diffusion now can be transported to the rest of the body by blood vessels.
Subcutis: To keep it simple you could say that the subcutis is mostly used for fat storage.
Conclusion: As we have seen the Epidermis prevents most substances( specially inorganic) from directly penetrating our body. Further this layer is hydrophobic , but allows lipophile substances to diffuse until reaching the Dermis, from where on they can be transported via blood vessels. That shows that we need carrier oils(our Base oils) for substances(Essential oils, Vitamin, Minerals etc) that should become absorbed through our skin during a massage.
There are so many different grades, qualities and brands of base or carrier oils that deciding which oil to use can be quite overwhelming. The general rule of thumb is that the less processing the oil has undergone the better the oil and potentially the higher in nutrients it will be especially as certain vitamins are heat intolerant and will be destroyed by heat. The more organic the seed, nut or plant, the darker the oil usually is and the stronger the odor. This can have a deleterious effect on the end product for creams and lotions if you are trying to achieve a certain color or scent.
Base oils should be pure and preferably cold pressed and, especially with olive oil, extra virgin. Oils that have been heat extracted or solvent extracted (usually with petroleum derivatives) have lost a lot of their vitamins and other nutrients as the heat and chemicals destroy these. Cold processing is where the nut or seed is crushed or pressed in temperatures below 80°C. Manufacturers found that heating the seeds and nuts to 100°C made the extraction of the oil easier and there was less waste. Solvent extraction started from the manufacturers desire to extract every amount of oil possible from the seeds and nuts. The solvent usually used is hexane which is a petroleum product. Another extraction method is using steam distillation for oils that are difficult to extract, such as grapeseed oil.
Mineral (or baby) oil is made from petroleum and is relatively useless because, although essential oils will dissolve in it, it has very low penetration power so you won't get the absorption for the essential oils into your skin. They are dead oils and diminish the positive effect of essential oils. Since the human body cannot cope with mineral oils when they are absorbed they are deposited in the tissues as toxins and can accumulate there and cause skin eruptions. For this reason it is important to read the labels of any commercially made product (especially if using the product on a baby) to ensure that it does not contain parafin or petroleum based mineral oils. That is as well the reason why Spiral Spa @ Bloo doesn’t use these oils and rather spends more money for quality.
The main purpose of using oil during a massage is to lubricate the massaged area, and then of course to supply the skin with vitamins, minerals if used different essential oils.
Popular Base oils used in Massage are: Sweet Almond oil, Apricot Kernel oil, Jojoba oil, Virgin Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, Avocado oil, Cocoa Butter, Grapeseed oil, Kukui Nut oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Shea butter, Wheat Germ oil or Soybean oil.
In other Blogs Spiral Spa @ Bloo want to introduce you more to each of this Base oils. Some of the criteria you should check now are for example odor, lubrication, how quick the oil is absorbed, how was it produced, does it still has Vitamins and minerals? And many more. Another very important point is as well the availability, so is Spiral Spa @ Bloo for example located in Padang Bai, Bali…and choosing for example Olive oil instead of virgin coconut oil, might be unnecessary production of CO2 Emissions.
3. Essential oils:
An essential oil is a hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also simply known as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. A oil is "essential" in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Essential oils do not form a distinctive category for any medical, pharmacological, or culinary purpose.
Essential oils are generally extracted by destillation.
Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, for that reason we dissolve them in Base oils and use them in massage.
It is important to know is that they not necessarily have to be a part of a massage oil, but of course can be interesting fragrant, be antiseptic, antibacterial and they can have stimulating or calming effects on the body.
It would go beyond the scope of the article to introduce all of the essential oils now, but in further blogs I want to introduce you more in detail with these fascinating substances.
Another thing you should consider is that essential oils should be avoided as part of massage oil or used in less quantity, when used for kids, old people or pregnant woman.
So should kids or older people use smaller quantities of essential oils as part of massage oils and infants, and pregnant woman should completely avoid them.
Another very important point is that you should not use undiluted essential oil, due to the fact that pure essential oil can in some cases cause skin irritations or depending where applied as well be able to cause dangerous cell damage, so for example some drops of certain essential oils applied to the eyes may cause irreparable damages.
Taken orally there could be the possibility of toxicity when taken in high quantities. You should not take any self experiments.
The safest way of using essential oil and to benefit from it is to use it in massage and to use it as a fragrance.
Spiral Spa @ Bloo, Padang Bai, Bali
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