When I began Imani’s Secret Garden over three decades ago my goal was to create an experience that people would get used to and want again. I did then as I do now, keeping my product and information easily accessible to those interested in living a healthier existence. Maintaining a fair price with exceptional quality is key to seeing my customers again.
What are the differences between lotions, ointments and creams? Confusing isn’t it? The answer: it is the proportion of lipid (oil) to water. The lipid content is lowest in lotions, intermediate in creams and highest in ointments, balms and butters. As a general rule the higher the lipid content, the greasier and stickier it feels and the shinier it looks on the skin. An added bonus, the greasier and thick the emollient, the better and longer it works but requires effort to apply. Ointments/butters, creams and lotion can be used to deliver medication topically (applying on skin) to effected areas or for daily use too!
- Many people mix and match different moisturizing types to suit their needs and daily routine.
- Emollients should be applied by smoothing them into clean skin along the line of hair growth, rather than rubbing them in.
- Sensitivity develops based on preservatives in moisturizers, i.e. fragrances and additives.
- Apply moisture to the washed areas as soon as possible afterwards in addition to any other times that you use emollients.
- Apply as often as needed to keep the skin supple and moist. This varies from person to person and from time to time in the same person, depending on how bad the skin dryness has become.
- A good starting point is to apply 2-3 times a day but some people need to increase this to up to every hour if the skin is very dry.
- As a rule, butters/ointments need to be applied less often than creams or lotions for the same effect.
Remember the 2013 thriller Side Effects, directed by Steven Soderbergh? In the film a main character commits a murder under the influence of a prescribed mood stabilizer called an antidepressant. The actions are blamed as a side effect from the medication. Although the plot later reveals the extreme actions were feigned side effects the fact remains side effects can be deadly.
Exactly what are side effects? The answer is any reaction to a medication taken internally or used externally. They maybe an allergic reaction, or undesired consequences up to death. All drugs in the market place go through a vetting process called trials. Once the drug is determined to be effective against a disease through use with animals then humans the FDA provides approval. The true test of a new medication can only be completely known once approved. Multiple groups of the population have various reactions developing the blueprints for expected side effects.
Even an over the counter medication like aspirin can cause side effects. The most common side effects of oral meds are stomach upset. External use and internally ingested medications can also cause rashes. Still others include drowsiness to the more serious side effect of death. One might wonder, “should I really take a substance that has the effect of making me more acutely ill?”
The drug approval process is predicated on the benefit outweighing the risk. Well let’s see… the chance of my early demise pales in comparison to any benefit gained from a prescribed drug for me. How does one stay healthy and avoid side effects? The answer for me is described as alternative medicine. Essential oils are from botanical (plant life) origins, distilled, mainly as the method of extraction of the essence of the plant. Oddly these are the same source as medications in the initial phase of manufacturing.
My choice to adopt a lifestyle incorporating natural substances directly from the earth as a preferred method of wellness affords me the ability to avoid side effects associated with manufactured pharmaceuticals. Pills often contain fillers, and other chemical compounds minimizing the original botanical. The additional additives also increase the likelihood of allergic reactions to the drug. In contrast the most reported reaction to essential oils are minimal as skin irritation at the topical site of application. I certainly can live with that. The delivery methods are aroma therapy of the botanical essence via a diffuser for treatment of various conditions and related symptom control. Topical application is an additional method and can result in local skin irritation at site of application. These methods seem the more desirable if there exists a choice in the matter of treatment methods.
Essential oils harness the therapeutic essence of the botanical of their origin. Plants are potent and should be used under the supervision of a qualified aroma therapist in treating disease. The earth has all that we need. It is necessary to educate ourselves of all options for wellness. Make learning and wellness a lifetime endeavor.