ila’s founder Denise Leicester explains the importance of nourishing your heart and why Rose Damascena is the queen of feminine oils
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
Reading this you may think, “that’s all very well but how can a light in my heart help my wrinkles and skin tone?” I certainly wondered that – until my studies of yogic sciences and yogic healing helped me to realise the profound truth in Gibran’s statement. Here at ila, we are all about ‘Redefining Beauty’ (it is now our tagline), because we believe that what we put on our skin profoundly affects our entire being. Our concept of beauty is, in essence, about understanding the connection or relationship between our physical body and our mind and subtle mind, also known as the chakras.
The Yogis believe the subtle mind communicates first through the glands in our body, then through our senses, and through our senses to our cells. It is a complex structure with each part of our subtle mind directing specific glands and organs. The centre of our deepest emotions and emotional wellbeing is known as the heart centre or Anahata: this centre governs the thymus gland as well as the skin and the hands.The heart is believed to be the seat of ‘Ojas’ (literally ‘vigour’ in Sanskrit) – the subtle radiant essence that is responsible for beauty and youthfulness. It is also believed to be the centre of vitality for women. If we view the skin as an extension of our emotional wellbeing and balance, then it follows that what we apply to it needs to nourish our emotional wellbeing as well as the physical wellbeing of the cells. Indeed this is the underlying principle of everything we do at ila.
So, how can you integrate this principle into your every day life? In my experience, the single most precious plant for women’s beauty is Rosa Damascena. It produces the most complex and special of all essential oils – Rose Damascene Otto – which resonates powerfully with the heart as it nurtures and heals emotionally, uplifts spiritually, as well as rejuvenates and hydrates on a physical level. It stimulates and opens the Ojas radiant energy of the heart so the skin glows … as well as inspiring love, joy and empathy. The number of rose petals required to produce a single drop of oil further enhances its preciousness – its takes the petals of around 40 flowers to create just one drop of oil. This makes it one of the finest skincare oils out there – wonderful for dry, sensitive and mature skin.
The whole of our Glowing Radiance Skincare range majors in rose - and I cannot recommend this line more for anyone seeking a deliciously nourishing skincare routine. You can create a beautiful ‘Rose Immersion’ at home with our rose bath oil, mask and rose water eye pads, followed by a nurturing rose body cream, face oil and cooling rose petal tea (rose hydrolat, maple syrup and rose bud tea). As the pure scent and powerful properties wash over you, you will start to feel nurtured and reconnected – a loveliness that is further heightened by soft, radiant skin. Once you start connecting with rose and experiencing the beautiful lightness it brings to your heart, you’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without it.