My Journey into Essential Oils
My journey into essential oils first started with my deodorant. Yup…deodorant gave me the initiative to start detoxing the products in my life. After buying my trusty purple bottled Lady’s Speed Stick out of habit my entire adult life, I decided to turn it over one day and actually read the back of it. I saw that the #1 ingredient in it was Aluminum. I was shocked. Aluminum was the last thing I expected to see and this raised a lot of concerns within me about what other ingredients were in the other products I was using.
I obsessively started reading ingredients on everything I owned or had planned to buy at that point forward. Most of the ingredients I read I couldn’t pronounce or even take a wild guess on what they were. I became more and more concerned with every product I started to research and found that a lot of the ingredients in my products were extremely unnatural.
Fragrance and perfume kept showing up in almost every product I owned and while I just assumed I knew what they were, my researched screamed otherwise. A study I read by National Academy of Sciences advised that 95% of the chemicals used in these synthetic fragrances were derived from petroleum. They include carcinogens, aldehydes, toluene and many other toxic chemicals linked to cancer, allergies and birth defects. I also found that these large companies are not required by the FDA to release the exact ingredients of the chemicals they generically label as fragrance or perfume because they have protection under their proprietary rights.
Breastcancer.org advised that parabens and phthalates are high on the list to avoid as they have been found in breast cancer tissue. Scarily it is followed by these chemicals are commonly used as preservatives in many cosmetic products including makeup, moisturizers, hair care, and shaving products. Those chemicals enter the bloodstream by way of being absorbed through the skin…our largest organ in our body! They advised that these chemicals can be included in the generically labeled ingredients of fragrance and perfume.
I also read that we encounter over 300 chemicals daily in a typical day and for women…80 of those are before breakfast! LADIES… think about your morning routine. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, hair product, perfume, moisturizer, deodorant, foundation, mascara, blush, eye shadow, lipstick, toothpaste…and I consider myself a minimalist in the beauty product category.
My eyes were now wide open and I saw clearly that our government is allowing billion dollar companies to hide harmful ingredients so they can increase profits. What is clear thought is that we all need to look out for ourselves and make no assumptions on anything we purchase. Turn it over and read it. Be informed about what you are buying. They are getting your hard-earned money after all. Make them earn it by giving you natural ingredients.
Think Dirty about Clean products
A friend of mine who was already on the journey to detoxing her life told me about a free app called “Think Dirty.” After giggling immaturely regarding the name, I downloaded it immediately. The app allows you to scan your household and beauty products and helps you decipher what ingredients (or should I actually say chemicals) are in the products approved by the FDA that are on every shelf at all the major retailers.
In addition to breaking the ingredients down on what the product is made of, it ranks the products on the “Dirty scale.” 0 is as natural as it can get and 10 is TOXIC. The app also gives you additional information on what the ingredient’s purpose is, what else it is commonly used in and lastly what side effects or major illnesses, if any, they have been linked to.
Switch and Ditch…it’s definitely a process.
Upon my discovery of the suspect ingredients in my products, an overwhelming feeling ran over me because I have so many products in my home. I then decided I was going to have a slow journey and committed to focus on each product as we ran out it. By doing so I would have more time to do research with the goal of switching to something all natural and ditching those toxic or suspect products. Not to mention my wallet couldn’t afford to replace all the products in my home at one time.
Judgment Free Zone
I want to express that this is judgment free zone. No one is calling you a horrible parent because you have not researched the shampoo you have been using on your baby or what you clean your kitchen with. I too never questioned anything for most of my life as I thought I didn’t need to. At the start of my journey I felt concerned and worried what harm I already unintentionally caused myself or others by my choices. But all that is in the past and there is nothing I can do to change that but I can start today. Before my changes, I barely had time to go shopping let alone think about my choices I was putting in my cart. I was just trying to get by each day and these products were part of my normal routine. I’m still just as busy but now I’m choosing to make this a priority so I promise that you can find the extra time to slowly start implementing change into your routine as well. I hope you find my blog a huge resource for you and know that when I say I’ve researched something…the lawyer in me has! Knowledge is power and you have the power of where and how you spend your hard earned dollar.
Why Young Living
As I started to move toward making my home non-toxic, I heard some of my friends talk about essential oils. I read their testimonies online and they started to peak my curiosity. I began researching the companies that sold the oils because I wanted to make sure they were authentically organic. (Thank you Amanda Fite and Sherri Vonlobstein for being incredible resources during our journey.)
Essential oils are plant extracts that plants produce when they are experiencing environmental distress. The oil they produce helps repair the plant, heal it and restore it and our bodies respond similarly.
Young Living was the brand that stood out the most. Their essential oils are not like any oils you will find in the stores. The biggest differences are that these oils are 100% therapeutic grade and have the Seed to Seal Promise. Their promise is that they monitor and control the entire process of the production of the oil from the soil the seed is planted in up until it is sealed in the bottle. Young Living has complete control over the farming process promising that they were grown in true organic soil (a 20+ year process) and that no harmful pesticides were used. No other company can promise that. They also have a complete open door policy… proving nothing to hide.
(Please be cautious of the other brands as many are filled with synthetic filler, perfume or fragrance additives or farmed with harmful pesticides defeating the entire purpose. The FDA only requires the oil be 5% pure to label them therapeutic grade.)
I also really respected the fact that they allow their products to be sold by independent distributors. I know a lot of friends and families that live off one income while the other parent focuses on raising children, pursuing an education or has medical restriction that can limit full time employment. These products could be an easy sell at a large chain retailer but the founder of Young Living really saw the purpose behind this product not only helping families improve their health by removing the toxins but also can help move their family’s financial situation toward a positive direction.
Around the time of researching essential oils, my husband ruptured his Achilles tendon playing soccer. He had emergency surgery in which they were required to in simple terms trim off the frayed portions of his tendon to reattach it. That meant his tendon was pulled even tighter than before. After focusing on his therapy, he was still having a severe case of tendonitis. Upon discussing this with the doctor, they advised him that he could potentially have sever tendonitis his entire life. Their solution was to offer yet another refill of pain medication, even though he had not even filled the last one they gave him. (This was right before the opioid crackdown took place and thankfully things are more restricted now.) As a couple, we discussed his options and agreed that a life of extremely addictive pain medications was not the route for him. Thankfully, he was open to trying other options so essential oils were at the top of the list.
Panaway was his unicorn oil. That’s the magical oil that makes you a believer. No more scary pain pills, no more ibuprofen. Just the natural oils from the wintergreen, helichrysum, clove and peppermint plants. We also paired Panaway with Lemongrass, another oil that has qualities that help restore tendons and ligaments. After about 6 months of using the oils, he was back to playing soccer. Last year, about 4 years after the injury, he was leading scorer in the TN State championship for the men’s over 30 league. I’m extremely proud of his recovery journey and his openness to trying alternative medicine. I cringe to think if his recovery would have been as successful if we followed the traditional medicine path suggested by his doctor.
About a month after Jason’s injury, I started law school. That was a huge adjustment for me because I was still working full time during the day, and now tasked with driving my husband to and from doctor’s appointments and then attending law school 2-3 nights per week. I saw how much success Jason was already having with essential oils so I started to check into some for my own needs.
I then found Stress Away. That is my unicorn oil and in part an inspiration for the namesake of this blog. I think I would have lost my mind during this time of my life if I had not found this magical oil right when I needed it the most.
During law school, I used a variety of oils to help me concentrate, increase my energy and focus or give me the courage I needed when I had to argue my first mock trial case. I also made my own mix I called “Genius Juice” which I feel was a factor for my success in passing the bar exam.
Today we use oils every day and in multiple ways. 75% of the products in our home are essential oil based. We use them in our daily hygiene and beauty routine, before and after workouts, for emotional support, a complete replacement of our medicine cabinet and the ONLY product we use to clean our home. Yes we use plant oils to clean our home and it works well! Young Living also has a line of essential oils safe for our four legged babies, called Animal Scents.
Join me on my journey
If you are interested in using essential oils, I highly suggest buying a starter kit. This kit was a game changer for me. The kits come with a variety of oils to cover a magnitude of your needs along with a high quality diffuser. For only $165, you get 12 oils that will cover your everyday needs. The savings is substantial when purchased the kit as everything purchased individually would cost over $420. Lavender, Panaway, Valor (aka Chiropractor in a bottle) and the diffuser would all cost the price of the kit if purchased at retail. Upon purchasing a kit, you become an official Young Living member which give you the wholesale price for future purchases.
I understand the sticker shock some might have when seeing the price of these oils outside of the kit. Each drop within the oil bottles are just pennies and the bottles will last you a long time. I still have many bottles with the old labels that were changed right when I started over 4 years ago. These items are more cost effective than you think especially when compared to the OTC replacements. For example: Peppermint is only 7 cents a drop and one to two drops is all you need to relieve your sever brain throb.
I am considered a distributor for Young Living (all members basically are but it is your preference if you want to engage others or not) and if you do plan to use essential oils, I’d love to be your point person to help answer your questions and help get you on your way. I know it can be very overwhelming to try something completely new. My main intention is to educate my dear friends and loved ones that there are better choices out there. I have done all the legwork and research so please use me as a resource. My Young Living team is extensive so I am sure one of us have encountered whatever issue you may be looking for a natural alternative for.
If you purchase a kit though me, I offer a Welcome Kit so you know how to use the oils in you purchased. A few resources I share are suggestions on how to make over your medicine cabinet only with essential oils and my favorite ways to use the starter kit. I also offer a few freebies of must haves to get you on your way. You know I love saving money so I can also help teach you ways to get free oils from Young Living so you can continue to grow your collection.
To get your Premium Starter Kit or to find out more about Young Living, check out their site here.
My sponsor and enroller number are the same: 2229702.
Unsure about jumping all in, send me a message via my Contact Me page and I’ll send you a sample or two. Let me know if you have any questions or want to chat more about it. I’d love to share my knowledge.