One of my coworkers has recently gotten interested in essential oils, a subject that’s always beckoned me. We’ll have conversations about the aphrodisiac effects of jasmine and the uplifting quality of bergamot–all while brainstorming ways to build her small natural beauty business. I must have thought about essential oils so much that I had a dream about one! Like a beacon of light emerging from the ether, clary sage oil appeared to me in a dream. (I’m giggling as I write this because it sounds so silly, but I promise it’s true!)
I woke up with the feeling that I needed to get my hands on some clary sage. Something told me that it would be a bit of a panacea for me. I asked my friend and resident essential oil expert about clary sage, and she confirmed that yes, it kind of does everything.
The aromatherapy and beauty benefits of clary sage oil abound!
And what is everything?
Most notably, clary sage can be used as an antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, deodorant, digestive aid, headache saviour, nerve soother, sebum regulator (!), sedative, stomach calmer, and tonic. Clary sage is non-toxic and non-irritating. (All information about clary sage oil has been obtained from The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.)
As you may imagine, I was especially interesting in learning about (and experiencing) clary sage oil’s beauty benefits. One of my personal beauty missions has been finding holistic ways to combat hormonal acne—and generally unhappy skin. Wouldn’t you know, clary sage can come to the rescue on this matter. Aside from regulating skin’s natural oil production, clary sage kills bacteria and cools inflammation, all helpful steps to calm and prevent the worsening of preexisting flare ups. It follows that clary sage could also help prevent problem spots from forming in the first place. To use, blend a few drops of clary sage oil into your moisturizer or dilute with a skin-loving carrier oil like almond or avocado oil. In my experience, the method is gentle enough to use daily.
Mix several drops of clary sage oil into a gentle carrier oil and enjoy it throughout the day.
If you’ve ever suffered from hormonal acne, however, you’re well aware that topical solutions are only part of the plan. A balanced, low-sugar, whole foods diet combined with regular exercise can really make a big difference. But even when we put forth our best efforts for a healthy lifestyle, daily stressors still enter our lives and tamper with our hormones. Cortisol, in particular, which is released in response to stress and imbalanced blood sugar, can wreak havoc on skin, making a preexisting acne condition worse.
Given that clary sage oil is a generally soothing fragrance and is effective in ameliorating depression, it may also help you relax and obtain more balanced cortisol levels. Apply it to pulse points before a meditation session or whenever you feel stressed. Alternatively, put a few drops in a hot bath.
Even if you don’t suffer from acne (lucky you!), you can still benefit from a little clary sage. The oil has been recommended for dandruff and hair loss. Mix four to five drops with a dollop of shampoo, and give your scalp a nice massage. Finally, since clary sage reduces inflammation of the skin, it can help treat premature aging. As with the clary sage acne treatment, mix a few drops with your favorite anti-aging serum.
More in essential oils: Using Chakra Oils for Meditation and Beauty
Photos: jacinta lluch valero via Flickr, Mary Hood