Body care products come in different packaging and formulas. Each manufacturer brags about their own specific formula and more specifically one unique ingredient that surpasses their competitors' products. Recently I spoke with an esthetician regarding this competitive edge that seems to be a commonality among most of these beauty manufacturers. Robina is from Norway and has trained extensively in her country on facial care. She owns a successful skincare clinic in Durango, Colorado. Her observations have led to one repetitive thread that weaves among body care companies; the decision which one unique ingredient would give them their edge and provide an exclusive beneficial formula which would place their products above and beyond their competitors.
Some of the "stars" of beauty include glycolic acid, vitamin C, seaweed, vitamins, retinol A, antioxidants and marine algae. These and other ingredients promise smoother, silkier almost wrinkle free skin. Confusing to the general consumer? You bet!
The skin is the largest organ and reflects how much or how little sleep we get, stress, accumulative sun damage, hormones, lack of exercise, pollutants while living in big cities, alcohol, acne, diet, pigmentation and many other 21st century challenges.
A few months ago, I was introduced to a brand new essential oil from the Northern Territory of Australia, which presents an exciting potential among beneficial skin benefits. Australian Blue Cypress Oil Callitris intratropicai takes on the appearance of a vivid aquamarine color when steam distilled. The color is dazzling which makes this oil unique within its self. The aroma is close to sandalwood and yet when a few drops are placed on the skin the scent takes on its own soft, woody scent.
The oil contains cuainene, selinenes, eudesmols and other compounds with important fragrance properties. The magnificent blue color comes from guaiazulene, identical in nature to the constituent of European Chamomile Oil chamazulene. This compound is known for its anti-inflammatory substance. Blue Cypress has a similar aroma to Oil of Guaiac Wood Bulnesia sarmienti, Vetiver Oil Vetiveria zizaniodes, and the Cedarwood Oil Juniperus virginiana.
Blue Cypress has some interesting anecdotal stories to add to its down under mystique. An application of the oil on warts, sunburns, stomach aches, insect bites and various other first aid uses reminds us of its native sister herb, tea tree oil. I find that Blue Cypress is more scent friendly among most people compared to the rather pungent aroma of tea tree. I placed a few drops on a persistent wart for 2 weeks. Not only has the wart disappeared, it hasn't grown back after 5 months. I was impressed!
How can Blue Cypress be integrated into beauty care? I believe that the oil has wonderfully effective skin softening and moisturizing effects for all skin types. A middle-aged man, who had been exposed to the elements from his surfing days, used a few drops on one side of his sun-damaged skin. Within 2 weeks, the skin appeared to be much smoother compared to the other side.
He continues using the oil and is fairly convinced his skin is in better condition and appears much less rough, scaly and sun damaged. My niece who is in her twenties is prone to skin eruptions. She applied the oil on her skin and saw remarkable results within 2 days!
A little of the oil goes a long way. It can be mixed with your own face and body moisturizers, bath and shampoo products. There is an emergence of new blue cypress products available, which also include baby products and Aromatherapy products including candles. Blue Cypress has been selected as the Essence of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the entire line of Aromatherapy products is being presented by Jurlique International of Australia.
To put it in the words of Jurlique's founder, Dr Jurgen Klein, "Jurlique is pleased to present the Blue Cypress Oil as an official fragrance for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Every athlete will have the chance to enjoy its fresh and unusual odor that will remind them of Australia many years later. Lots of healing properties with Blue Cypress Oil will be tested and Jurlique will either in its own health healing facilities or in hospitals test the Blue Cypress Oil as a topical substance and will supply scientific proof. During the Sydney 2000 Olympics there were hundreds and hundreds of athletes, trainers and press journalists who enjoyed a massage with Jurlique carrier oils and Blue Cypress Oils as well as other facial and body treatments". The man behind the discovery and development of this aqua colored essential oil is William McGilvray, Chairman of Australian Cypress Oil Pty, Ltd. His firm environmental stands and discerning eye led him to the discovery of the existence of Callitris intratropica located at the "top end" of the Northern Territory. The first plantings were conducted in the early 1960's on Melville Island. Presently, there are large-scale plantations, which provide employment and revenue for the Tiwi people on their native islands.
Matthew Wonaeamirri is Chairman of the Tiwi Land Council. He shared with me the following in a letter. "This is a good wood for making spears, and burning it helps to keep mosquitoes away. It smells good too and sometimes we take the bark off it and rub into a soap. It is good for skin sores and even for tummy problems if you rub it on your tummy�This beautiful tree has such valuable and lovely blue oil that we now know can be taken from the wood. For some years now we have been working with the Australian Cypress Company to develop markets to sell this beautiful oil. Sales are helping us build roads that we need and also housing and other needs for our communities."
One could ask as we baptize the new century what is ahead for the re-emergence of consumer interest and use in herbal medicines and essential oils? Professional organizations such as the American Medical Association have published over 80 articles about complementary medicine. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine increased their budget to $50 million providing more funds toward scientific testing and hopefully establishing pathways toward integrated health. In my estimation, Blue Cypress Oil Callitris intratropica has the potential to take its place as a leader in the essential oil field. As with any birth, I feel an expectancy of a wondrous new arrival with the Birth of the Blue.
- The Aboriginal Communities of Northern Territory of Australia. Traditional Bush Medicines, Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory.1993.
- Cooksley,Valerie Gennari. Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide to Healing With Essential Oils.Prentice Hall,Paramus,NJ.1996.
- McGilvray,William.(1998) ,Australian Blue Cypress Oil. From Proceedings of the Second Australiasian Aromatherapy Conference,Landmark Hotel,Sydney,March 20-22,Section 14,pp.1-5.
- Olsen,C.Birth of the Blue: Australian Blue Cypress Oil.Kali Press,Pagosa Springs,CO.2000.