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When the heady smell of orange blossom wafts into my house, I know that this heralds the arrival of spring. Not far behind, will be the lime, lemon and calamondin trees, scenting the air with their fragrant blooms.
Citrus in all its different forms has been used for Face and Figure for centuries. Fossil records suggest that citrus dates back as much as 7 million years and is believed to have originated in the Himalayas before spreading to Asia, India and China. Now it is hard to imagine life without the healthy and uplifting benefits of citrus in our diet, in household products and of course the beautiful essential oils found in perfumes and skin care.
This spring month of September, the Face and Figure series pays homage to the vast uses and different varieties of these sun filled fruits.
For the body, ways of using citrus are many and varied from a simple mug of hot water with a squeeze of lemon in the morning to alkalize the body or kick start a slimming diet to decadent lemon meringue pie and everything in between. As well as known for its vitamin C content, citrus benefits not only the body on the inside but the essential oils also have numerous benefits for the skin that are perhaps not so well known and should be included in our beauty regime. One thing to remember, citrus oils can increase the photosensitivity of the skin and leave on preparations should be used at night. If used in the day they should be used in conjunction with a UV protector or refrain from going in the sun for 12 hours. Below is an overview of some of the oils and their uses.
Bergamot: Balances oily skin, reduces acne scars, lightens age spots and pigmented skin. Antifungal and antibacterial properties make it an excellent tonic for the scalp, helping to prevent dandruff and scalp infections.
Grapefruit: Antiseptic, antibacterial, subtle refreshing fragrance, helpful in cleansers for oily, clogged skin and acne
Lemon: This oil is the most versatile of the citrus oils and can be used for so many different applications. Its powerful anti-oxidant properties, are perfect for cleansing the skin and body of toxins, purifying the skin, stimulating lymphatic drainage and is used extensively in antiaging preparations. It cleanses oily hair and helps to stimulate hair growth.
Lime: Treats skin related issues and known to purify both skin and hair. The refreshing and stimulating scent affects our mood positively.
Mandarin: Is anti-aging and anti-inflammatory, it improves blood circulation, brightens the skin and maintains moisture balance. This is the only citrus oil that doesn’t cause photosensitivity.
Neroli: Is distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange. It tones and tightens sagging skin, improves the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes so is excellent for rejuvenating the skin. Neroli is a popular ingredient for perfume with its warming, sedative and aphrodisiac fragrance.
Orange (Sweet): Is high in antioxidants and Vitamin C (which promotes collagen production) so is excellent as part of your anti-aging regime but is also suitable to treat dry, irritated, acne prone skin. In aromatherapy, the fragrance is uplifting, promoting feelings of joy and happiness.
Petitgrain: Distilled from the green leaves and twigs of the bitter orange, it has a refreshing, floral and herbaceous fragrance which produces a calm, relaxed environment. As with many of the other citrus oils, it has a balancing and toning effect and reduces the size of clogged pores.
JINJA Skin Care uses a variety of citrus oils in the following products:
Orange Blossom Face and Body Wash features Orange, Mandarin and Neroli oils
Mandarin Sugar Scrub features Mandarin and Orange oils
Shea Souffle features Petitgrain oil
Fruit and Spice Air Freshener has Orange and Bergamot in the blend Citrus Twist Body Soap Has Lime and Orange oils in the blend
In skin care, citrus oils are beneficial for anti-aging, acne, oily skin, scars and stretch marks.
In the body, they support the immune system, fight colds and flu, aid digestion and there are even studies to suggest that they have cancer fighting properties.
In cleaning materials, they are sanitizing, cleansing and add a fresh, clean smell.
In aromatherapy they elevate mood, are calmative, aphrodisiac and are happy uplifting oils. Sunshine in a bottle!
Can you imagine not having citrus in at least one of its different forms to brighten up your life?