Frankincense is a special sap from the Boswellia tree and it’s had a wide array of cultural applications for over 5000 years. Boswellia trees are hardy trees that yield the valuable resin when the bark is “striped”, or slashed open. It’s a process that’s done by hand to ensure the highest quality resin. Frankincense originated in Africa, India, and the Middle East, with most of the supply coming from the nation of Oman. Trade grew extensive and frankincense eventually became so prized that it was one of the three gifts presented in the Christian Nativity story.
Frankincense has been used in a myriad of ways and, in present times, it’s a popular ingredient in topical skin care products. In this article, we will explore some of the historical uses of this valuable resin, as well as its role in skin care. But first, let’s answer a simple question.
What Is Frankincense?
Frankincense is an aromatic, hardened tree resin. It contains several unique compounds, most importantly boswellic acid. The hard frankincense resin can be refined into an essential oil that offers remarkable health benefits, including boosting the immune system.The regional composition of frankincense is so distinctive that you can trace the source resin by analyzing the oil.
Traditional Uses of Frankincense and Frankincense Oil
Some of the most common uses for frankincense have been cultural or religious in nature. Because of its pleasant aroma, frankincense has been used as incense for centuries. The first recorded use of incense was in Fifth Dynasty Egypt (2345 – 2494 BC).Frankincense was also used in religious ceremonies in the Roman Empire and Ancient Greece. Eventually, its use spread to countries like China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Frankincense saw cultural use in Taoism, Buddhism, and Shinto.Frankincense became popular in Europe and its use was adopted by the Christian faith, particularly Catholicism.
Modern Uses of Frankincense
As the use of frankincense evolved, it became popular as an ingredient in many cosmetic and skin care products. In some areas, frankincense is found in deodorant and toothpaste. Frankincense is used to create natural household cleaning products and is one of the most common oils used in aromatherapy. You can find it in many cosmetic and skin care products as frankincense is frequently added to soaps, shampoos, lotions, and facial creams.
Its popularity is not simply because of its aroma; frankincense actually helps promote youthful, healthy skin. Mixing the essential oil with liquids (especially distilled water) can yield a fragrant, spray-on skin toner. You can combine frankincense oil can with other products to impart its health-supporting properties. Frankincense has a unique chemical composition and proven skin-strengthening abilities. That’s why, after thousands of years, it still remains an important part of natural skin care.
Let’s take a look at why this is so important.
Why Is Natural Skin Care Important?
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It is constantly exposed to the external environment and all its challenges. One of the primary responsibilities of your skin is to act as [thin] armor for your internal organs, muscles, skeleton, and more. It’s important to take care of your skin so it stays healthy. And, many of the best natural skin care products use frankincense to help achieve this goal.
Don’t underestimate the importance of using natural ingredients when it comes to skin care. If you wouldn’t put toxic substances in your mouth, why would you want to rub them on your skin? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what many people do, as lesser products contain toxic ingredients that can be absorbed through the skin.
8 Skin Care Product Ingredients to Avoid
Eight common skin ingredients that should be avoided include…
- Parabens: commonly used preservatives found in many cosmetic products.
- Triethanolamine: used in herbicides and petroleum demulsifiers.
- Butylene Glycol: humectant that has been traced to contact allergens.
- Diethanolamine: can lead to skin irritation but commonly found in soaps, shampoos, cleaners, polishers, and other cosmetics.
- DMDM Hydantoin: harsh chemical preservative.
- Ethanolamine: listed as a chemical hazard by American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: widely used synthetic detergent with known side effects.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate: shown to be a skin irritant.
This is by no means a complete list of harmful cosmetic additives. There are plenty more, and finding a safe skin care product may seem like an arduous task. That’s why choosing a product with natural ingredients, like frankincense, is so important.
How to Choose the Right Skin Care Product
Many people go out of their way to eat healthy, natural foods. That’s great! Unfortunately, not everyone puts the same thought into choosing the best skin care products. Your skin is not impermeable. Any substance you put on your skin could be absorbed into your bloodstream and dispersed throughout your body.
I suggest limiting yourself to skin care products made with natural ingredients like frankincense. Parfait Visage® is a premium, luxury face cream that was designed to help promote fresh, radiant skin. It’s made with all-natural ingredients, including organic Indian frankincense oil. It’s the perfect skin care product for keeping your face looking its best.
Do you have a creative way to use frankincense? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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