Breathe in Cedar Wood, Breathe Out Stress

The aroma of essential oils has been investigated to improve wellness in a work environment.

Mentality is not the only target of stress, however. According to Katerina Steventon, Ph.D., FaceWorkshops LLC East Yorkshire, U.K., skin is sensitive to psychological stress and its appearance is affected by health and well-being.

A Whiff of Inspection

A recent study examined the effects Japanese cedar wood essential oil (Cryptomeria japonica) has on salivary dehydroe­piandrosterone sulfate levels after tedious work. ScienceDirect highlighted that the salivary markers may therefore serve as a tool to detect the effects of aroma perception.

The experiment consisted of one room with diffusion of the essential oil and one room without it. The study had participants sit facing a wall and fill out a questionnaire for an understanding of their odor assessment. Participants’ saliva were collected before and four times after they had performed arithmetic work.

Sniffing Out a Solution

The study found inhaling air with volatile compounds of Japanese cedar wood essential oil increased the secretion of dehydroe­piandrosterone sulfate. Therefore, this essential oil is proven to improve the mental health and stress responses of employees. With improved mental health, skin's health improves as well.

Fragrance plays a role in brain activity and the sympathetic and parasymp­athetic nervous system in addition to the neuroend­ocrine system, neurotra­nsmitters and neuromod­ulators, said Steventon. This influences psychological behavior and body function. “… the olfactory system plays a role in central nervous system function beyond that of smell, influencing stress biomarkers, oxidative stress, estradiol, dopamine, skin barrier function, sebum secretion and skin immune system,” explained Steventon.

Sources: Skin Inc., Transparency Market Research, Multidis­ciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, Cosmetics & Toiletries, and ScienceDirect

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