Beauty of aromatherapy

Dr Blossom Kochchar speaks about holistic skincare and more

Her name is synonymous with all things beautiful. And no, she isn’t a movie star or a beauty pageant winner. But she is definitely the reason behind their beautiful glowing skin and lustrous hair. Dr Blossom Kochchar is a name to be reckoned with in the beauty industry.

Known for her holistic approach to beauty, Dr Kochchar revolutionised the industry by introducing aromatherapy in India and making essential oils an integral part of skin and hair regimen. Essential oils, which were once only a part of spa treatments, have now found a place in face washes, creams, lotions and several other beauty products. A pioneer in the use of aroma oils, Dr Kochchar believes a healthy body translates to healthy skin and hair.

A grooming expert for participants of Fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2018, Dr Kochchar enlightens us about essential oils, ideal skin regimen and more...

Can you tell us a little about aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy means healing through the sense of smell where we use essential oils derived from a plant’s leaves, flowers, stalks, bark, rind or roots which contain the prana or life force of the plant that can benefit our mind and body. It is a holistic therapy as well as the art and science of utilising naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonise and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.

Having been in the profession for so long, what is your take on Indian beauty habits?

Indian beauty habits have changed drastically over the years. Earlier, women had a lot of time to visit the salon and take care of their skin and hair. Whereas men were not aware of the beauty treatments at all! But today, people don’t have the time for an extensive regimen. Moreover, men have started using cosmetics and indulging in facials and other skin procedures. People want instant solutions to their beauty concerns. They prefer creams and lotions that can lighten the skin instantly. Express facials, haircuts are a rage now.

What are some of the aroma oils that are essential for skin and hair?

Bay, cedarwood, rosemary, sage, thyme and ylang-ylang oils can be used on hair. Essential oils like camphor, cedarwood, jasmine, sandalwood and ylang-ylang can do wonders for your skin.

What are the things that one needs to keep in mind while using essential oils?

Essential oils are not like regular oils that can be used directly on skin and hair. You need to keep a few things in mind while using them. Here are some safety measures for using essential oils:

  • Essential oils are extremely potent. Don’t use them directly onto your skin. Always dilute them with vegetable oils or water.
  • At no point in time should the oils be ingested. They are for external use only.
  • If an oil causes skin irritation or redness, wipe the area with a damp cloth and apply vegetable oils or soothing creams to counteract the irritation.
  • Never use the oils near your eyes, ears, mouth or any orifice as irritation may occur.
  • Children younger than the age of five should not be administered with aromatherapy.
  • Pregnant women and people with conditions such as epilepsy should consult their doctors before using any aromatic plant oils.
  • Some oils like citrus oils or terpenes, if used on the skin and directly exposed to the sun will cause pigmentation or skin discolouration.
  • Do not use more than the prescribed dosage of the oil at any time. Even if you love the smell, it is a good idea to stick to the prescribed dosage.

What was your motivation for starting your own beauty brand, Aroma Magic? What makes it stand out?

I wanted something that was more holistic and would cater to the needs of mind, body, emotions and spirit. I have managed to form a range that is natural. I believe that what you can eat is what you can put on your face. Aromatherapy is our USP. The products are made from nature-derived ingredients and pure essential oils which act as preservatives for the products.

Can you tell us a little about your personal beauty routine?

I believe that a stress-free life filled with gratitude is the key to healthy skin. When I wake up, the first thing I do is thank the universe that I have another beautiful day to look forward to. I meditate for 10 minutes every day, drink a lot of water, and these two things help my skin tremendously. I don’t use a face wash. I use the cleanser to take off my make-up. When I was younger, a simple under-eye gel worked, but as I got older, I felt the need to use an oxygenated gel. I always carry a non-alcoholic toner that I use on my skin at regular intervals to keep my make-up fresh. I also prefer gels to creams. Before I sleep, I moisturise and apply essential oils which have anti-ageing properties. An eight-hour sleep is a must to relax and rejuvenate the skin.

Skin ageing is a major concern for many today. How can one prevent or delay skin ageing?

Pure essential oils are extremely beneficial. I recommend frankincense, patchouli and jasmine oils to maintain youthful skin. Take a drop of each of these oils and mix them in a teaspoon of almond oil. Add a few drops of castor oil, carrot seed oil and wheat germ oil to the mixture. Apply this to your face and let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes. Do a hot towel compress and apply a moisturiser to make the skin soft and supple.

How would you define good skin and hair?

A good skin is always blemish-free, unpigmented, moist (with good elasticity) and glowing. Good hair equates to a clean, healthy dandruff-free scalp and lustrous locks.

Having been a part of beauty pageants over the years, who do you think has the perfect skin and hair?

For me, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had the most beautiful skin at the time. And Priyanka Chopra had the most gorgeous hair which was thick, lustrous and shiny.

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