Essential oils for yacht crew
Last updated: 04/08/2016
Not all of us are able to relate, but we all know that becoming yacht crew isn’t quite as luxurious as it may sound: Small, shared cabins leave little room to store beauty products, and late nights and early startstake their toll on the hair and skin.
Yachting Pages spoke to Sothys Altea Italia S.r.l, who provided us with their tops tips for a quick beauty win, covering the benefits of essential oils for superyacht crew, including how and when best to use them.
A universal favourite in the hair and beauty industry, coconut oil is one of a few foods that can be classified as a ‘superfood’. So naturally, with all things super in mind, coconut oil is well placed on board a superyacht.
Coconut oil, has been scrutinised for its levels of saturated fat – not surprising when it is one of the richest sources of saturated fats on the planet! 90% of the fatty acids within coconut oil is in fact saturated.
However, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak – think about an avocado. The fatty acids within coconut oil actually go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source of energy, great if you’re currently half way through a 42-day charter. The fats are also turned into ketone bodies, which can have a therapeutic effect on the brain.
Referred to as ‘the skin’s best friend’, shea oil or butter, is an all-natural vitamin A substance, known for its moisturising properties and healing properties for the skin. Andrea Mellano, from Altea Italia S.r.l, explains more about why yacht crew should be using shea.
“As mentioned above, coconut oil is for sure one of the best vegetal oils to treat hair, but shea oil is perfect for restoring and is a deep regenerator of the hair fibre.
“I would recommend Sothys hair and body shimmering oil, a perfect synergy of shea oil and selected vegetable oils that creates a pleasant texture, velvety but not greasy. Sothys pumps the formula with essential amino acids and antioxidants in order to protect and restore the skin and hair fibres from the damages caused by the sun, the wind and the dried salt when at sea.
“The hair and body shimmering oil can be used in the morning on your hair and body to protect the skin from dehydration and to obtain a glamour touch, with added tropical scent. The oil can also be used during the day or the evening to give your body and hair a note of sensual brightness.”
Another popular favourite in the hair and beauty industry, argan oil is commonly used as a skin moisturiser to hydrate and soften skin. It has a high vitamin E and fatty acid content and therefore it is a great way to give sea-exposed hair and skin that extra boost without irritation.
So the sun may be giving you a few extra… Frown lines. Argan oil is also a great anti-aging agent, giving skin a youthful glow and reducing the effects of sun and sea damaged skin. Use before bed and simply massage into your face and neck.
Probably the most divine smelling oil, lavender oil has many many health benefits to take advantage of. Firstly, lavender oil can help ease sore or tense muscles, joint pain and rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago, just by massaging it into the affected area. Great for crew who have been on their feet all day, with very little time to themselves, this could be a fast fix of relaxation before settling down in your quarters.
Now, on the crude, but very serious side, lavender oil can help stimulate urine production- as if cruising on a massive stretch of ocean wasn’t a stimulate in itself, lavender oil can prevent cystitis and relieve cramps and other urinary disorders.
Tea tree oil
Great for skin conditions such as acne, fungal infections of the nail, lice, scabies (well you are living at sea), athlete’s foot and ringworm, tea tree oil can be used as a topical local antiseptic. The live bacteria in the oil can kill bacteria and reduce allergic skin reactions.
Peppermint may just be the most versatile of essential oils. With its cooling sensation, this oil can have a calming effect on the body- relieving sore muscles when used topically. It also has antimicrobial properties used to freshen bad breath – no one wants that – and soothe digestive issues.
If you suffer with sea-sickness, peppermint is recommended for its anti-nausea benefits and soothing effects on the gastric lining and colon for its ability to reduce muscle spasm. So if you’re too poorly to get on deck and concentrate on something static, get some peppermint oil in your life!
Lemon oil is best known for its ability to cleanse toxins from any part of the body, so if it was your day off and you had a heavy session the night before, lemon oil could make you feel human again.
One for the engineers, lemon oil is a great way of cleaning greasy hands from working in the engine room. A few drops of lemon oil, used with soap, can help break down stubborn oils and grease.
Widely used to stimulate lymph drainage, to rejuvenate energy, purify skin and act as a bug repellent, lemon oil has been given the unofficial name of ‘the most powerful anti-microbial agent of all the essential oils’. What’s not to love?
When you have had a toothache, have you ever been told to chew on a clove? Well, that’s due to its germicidal properties, making it effective for relieving dental pain, tooth ache, sore gums and mouth ulcers. Tooth ache isn’t the nicest at the best of times, let alone half way through your yacht’s trans-Atlantic crossing, therefore always ensure you have clove oil on board to save you raiding the chefs supplies.
Clove oil is also great for stress. It’s an aphrodisiac, and therefore serves as an excellent stress reliever and stimulant. It has a stimulating effect on the mind and removes mental exhaustion and fatigue. When ingested in appropriate amounts, it refreshes the mind and stimulates brain function. Be careful however, as clove oil can also induce sleep, not ideal during a busy schedule.
The eucalyptus tree, native to Australia, is packed full of nutrition and is the main food source for koala bears. The essential oils extracted from the leaves of this tree also have powerful medicinal properties.
Helping cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms, several drops of eucalyptus oil applied to a diffuser can help sooth cold and flu symptoms – alternatively, if you have the time, create a steam facial bath by pouring a cup of boiling water into a bowl, adding 10 drops of eucalyptus oil, placing a towel over your head and then inhale deeply for five-ten minutes.
As with other essential oils, eucalyptus is also great for hair nourishment, simply apply a few drops with some coconut oil and apply directly as a deep moisturiser – particularly useful in cases of dandruff or a sun damaged, itchy scalp, this is an all-round god send at sea.
When time is too precious to sit down and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea, just grab a clean piece of cloth, apply 2 to 3 drops of chamomile oil, and sniff! Chamomile oil is a fantastic way to relieve stress and will leave you feeling more relaxed instantly.
This essential oil is also known for being a natural antidepressant. The sweet aroma of the oil can lift emotions and create a rejuvenating type feeling. However, not one for a quick retreat during a mid-charter-shift, chamomile oil has tranquilising and sedating properties. When used with lemon grass oil, the nerve soothing properties can help an overactive mind, so we recommend using at the end of the shift.