We Love the Premium Starter Kit Around Here, Ya'll.

We use each and every one of these oils regularly around here. Check out what each of the oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit are great at… 😍

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.20.32 PM.png
Samantha LeGassickComment
31 Days of Oils: An Oil A Day in January

How I use essential oils is probably the question I’m asked the most these day. I’ve always been something of a self-proclaimed products junkie and I LOVE trying out new things so I get a little fluttery whenever someone asks why I love a product. You can read a much more in-depth answer about how I got started using essential oils here but what I want to share in this post is how I’m using them now.

Since I couldn’t possibly narrow my favorites down, I’ve decided to take a little time each day in January to share how I use my 31 favorite oils. Check this post out for a featured oil each day in January. I’m sharing application/use tips and how each one has been part of my road to healing my body and eliminating harmful toxins. I hope you’ll be inspired to try out some options yourself!

Feel free to ask any questions and get in on the action on my Instastories too.

Just a note: Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop taking medications without prior consult with your Physician.

Just a note: Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop taking medications without prior consult with your Physician.

January 1: Peppermint

Why I’m obsessed: Peppermint was one of the first oils I bought and I’ve never been willing to run out ever since. The clean, fresh scent is one of my favorites and it’s energizing. I love adding it to my toothpaste in the morning or rubbing a drop between my hands and inhaling it for a sweet way to start the day. It’s also fantastic for settling digestion when added to tea or smoothies.

How I use it: I apply peppermint oil directly to my forehead and temples for headaches, to the inside of my ankles for minor menstrual cramps and add a few drops to my diffuser in the afternoons at work if I need a little pick me up!

How it’s helped: I’ve been on a quest to replace toxic substances as I’m working to eliminate inflammation from my body so I often use peppermint instead of over the counter medications (OTC’s) like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. OTC’s eliminate necessary stomach acid and damage stomach lining and can lead to leaky gut, which is a big reason folks struggle with chronic inflammation. I love that I have a natural alternative that helps soothe head and body aches and cramps without damaging my body.

January 2: Endoflex

Why I’m obsessed: First of all, Endoflex smells amazing. I have also noticed a true change in my energy levels when I use it and when I don’t. Check out what’s going on in this amazing little blend:

  • Spearmint: Helps increase metabolic rate and therefore burn fat

  • Myrtle: Normalizes thyroid and ovary function

  • German Chamomile: Protects the liver

  • Sage: Strengthens vital organs

  • Geranium: Stimulates the liver and pancreas

  • Nutmeg: Supports adrenal functions (energy, folks!)

  • Sesame seed oil: Carrier oil that helps drive all of this healing power into the body

How I use it: I apply 2 drops to the front of my neck (directly over my thyroid) every morning and often in the afternoons as well.

How it’s helped: I first tried this oil during a 30-day Endoflex challenge some friends were running. I must not have been paying close attention because I didn’t feel like I noticed a big change in energy at that point and got out of the routine of using it. Several months later, while complaining about how drained I felt, a friend encouraged me to try it again for a month and I noticed a HUGE difference within about a week. I also use this oil as support for my finicky liver and have noticed the symptoms I was battling relating to some slight damage to my liver (caused by a liver fluke... look that mother up…. ewwwwww) have calmed way down. Basically, this blend is a wonder.

January 3: Lavender

Why I’m obsessed: It smells like heaven, genuinely puts Erynn to sleep and is a great tool for anything going on that’s skin related.

How I use it: I add a drop or two to my skin care routine (usually with my facial moisturizing oil from Coco Kind- I use this one) and apply it topically whenever I have blemishes, rashes, burns or any kind of skin irritation.

How it’s helped: Lavender is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-so-many-yucky-things so I use it constantly. It’s a great tool for keeping away bad bacteria without destroying the good bacteria essential for staying healthy!

January 4: Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

Why I’m obsessed: Tea tree is a phenomenon. Folks have been using it topically for years and years to fight viral, fungal and bacterial infections and I’ve seen it take out some serious skin issues without batting an eyelash.

How I use it: Much like lavender, if I’ve got anything going on with my skin, I like adding a drop of tea tree oil straight to it (I often combine the two). Since this is a somewhat warming oil that can burn a bit on contact with open tissue, I dilute it with a teaspoon or so of carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.

How it’s helped: I rarely need antibiotic creams or ointments anymore because I use tea tree and lavender to treat most skin-related issues. As the name suggests, antibiotic ointments kill off the bacteria needed to fight common viruses and bacterial infections so I use small amounts of these fighting oils to kill off bad germs and support my body’s natural immune function.

January 5: Frankincense

Why I’m obsessed: THIS. OIL. DOES. EVERYTHING.

How I use it: I use my thumb to massage a drop into my soft palette (back of the roof of the mouth) for headaches, apply directly to scars and any kind of tissue trauma (cuts, scrapes, burns), add a couple of drops into a gelatin capsule and take internally for immune boosting and massage it into my face at night for glowing skin.

How it’s helped: Yet again, Frank has replaced OTC’s in my world for some of the harder hitting issues. It’s widely known for being a powerful oil that helps with inflammation and pain, stress and anxiety management. This is one of my most regularly used oils by far!

January 6: Lemon

Why I’m obsessed: It smells so fresh and is a long-lasting scent that we love in our home.

How I use it: Add 10-15 drops in a 16 oz glass bottle with equal parts white vinegar and filtered water for a seriously wonderful household cleaner.

How it’s helped: We’re ditching toxins in our home so we rely on the cleaning power of lemon oil in our home.

January 7: SclarEssence

Why I’m obsessed: How many times can I talk about how wonderful an oil smells? Get ready… SclarEssence has a woodsy, sweet smell that I think is more like perfume than a therapeutic treatment.

How I use it: I use 1 drop of SclarEssence with one drop of carrier oil on my chest in the morning to support my hormone health and, well, because I love the way it smells.

How it’s helped: SclarEssence is known for supporting energy balance and hormone health in women. As a woman who has struggled with chronic inflammation and auto-immune symptoms for most of my life, I have had tons of trouble related to my menstrual and hormone health. This oil is calming and has helped me a ton since I started using it about a year ago. Honestly, with ingredients like these, you just can’t go wrong.

  • Clary sage- Balances hormones

  • Peppermint- Soothing effect

  • Spanish Sage- Calming effect

  • Fennel- Balancing effect

January 8: Citrus Fresh

Why I’m obsessed: When you diffuse it, your home smells like Dreamcicles melted at an orange juice factory.

How I use it: We diffuse 3-5 drops of Citrus Fresh with Copaiba or Frankincense for a super light but lovely scent that fills our home.

How it’s helped: Citrus fresh is fantastic for cleaning and masking pet odors and provides a great pick-me-up when I diffuse a few drops in my office in the afternoon.

January 9: Valor

Why I’m obsessed: This is my perfume. Actually.

How I use it: I have the Valor roll-on by Young Living and wear it as a perfume by applying it to my wrists, neck and sometimes a bit on my chest.

How it’s helped: This oil has a ton of incredible benefits but my very favorite is the way it smells. It’s woodsy and a little sweet but doesn’t have the overwhelming perfume scent that lingers forever when you walk away. It’s also incredible for muscle tension, joint pain and it’ll relax a stiff neck and shoulders in no time.

January 10: Christmas Spirit

Why I’m obsessed: Despite the name, I like this scent for fall and winter in general. It has an oakey cinnamon thing going on and I’m into it.

How I use it: I diffuse 5-7 drops on it’s own or with some extra Cinnamon Bark or Nutmeg oil.

How it’s helped: It’s a great blend of homey spices that feels nostalgic and reminds me of all the reasons I love winter.

January 11: Eucalyptus

Why I’m obsessed: It reminds me of Vick’s Vaporub, minus the awful chemicals and goopiness.

How I use it: Eucalyptus is meant to be used with a carrier oil because it’s strong and somewhat warming so it can be irritating. However, I don’t have that reaction to it so I regularly drop a few drops on my chest while working or just before I get on stage to sing, pull up my collar and breathe in deep for a few seconds.

How it’s helped: It opens up nasal passages and can clear up congestion in seconds. I love to diffuse it next to me when I go to bed too if I’m feeling congested.

January 12: Stress Away

Why I’m obsessed: Stress away smells like lime and vanilla had a very cute baby.

How I use it: I have a little roller bottle thatI apply whenever I need to take my mind off of whatever I’m doing for a minute or two. I genuinely feel like it helps me calm my nerves a bit if I’m stressing about a project at work or have too much on my plate and I’ve come to love quick moments when I decompress with this oil.

How it’s helped: I love that I can apply this oil and take a few minutes to calm myself down and that when I do, I can get back to work with more direction and less struggle bussing. The oil supports a strategy I’m employing as I’m seeking to spend less of my day tense and overwhelmed and more at peace, taking things ones step at a time.

January 13: Thieves

Why I’m obsessed: Thieves changes lives, plain and simple.

How I use it: I gargle with a drop in salt water, add 3-4 drops to a veggie capsule with 3-4 drops Frankincense and take internally, apply 2 drops to the bottoms of my feet, add a drop to my toothpaste before I brush my teeth (watch the lips, this oil gets waaaarrrrmmm), add a drop or two to tea or my water bottle—- the sky is really the limit here.

How it’s helped: I have not had a cold or the flu even ONCE the last three seasons people. NOT EVEN ONCE. I know Thieves has everything to do with this delightful fact. While the world around me incessantly blow their noses, I apply more and more and more Thieves. That combined with a somewhat healthy diet and Resveratol have allowed me to avoid most seasonal viruses for a significant period of time. I am obsessed.

January 14: Deep Relief Roll-On

Why I’m obsessed: I notice my muscles relaxing within seconds of rolling this guy on, especially on my neck and shoulders!

How I use it: I love to roll deep relief on tight muscles, especially if I’ve recently had a massage or am in need of an adjustment.

How it’s helped: This oil feels like a lifesaver when I have little “hot spots” that just need a little cooling down. I have used products like icy hot for years but in my attempt to move away from products filled with harmful chemicals, I’ve looked for a natural alternative that has the same effect. This. Is. It.

January 15: Orange

Why I’m obsessed: This oil reminds me of the orange groves near my grandma’s place in Florida and if I inhale deeply enough, I can imagine I’m there for a second… 😂

How I use it: I add a drop of Orange Vitality to my water for a little extra kick or diffuse it with Cedarwood or Lavender.

How it’s helped: I just love the light scent. It’s fresh and is a little invigorating! One quick word of warning though- citrus oils can cause photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight) so use caution when you apply orange (or any other citrus) oil to your skin if you plan to spend time in the sun. You want to give yourself 30-60 minutes before heading into the sun and definitely avoid adding these oils to your sunblock…

January 16: Brain Power

Why I’m obsessed: IT SMELLS LIKE A DREAM!

How I use it: I diffuse Brain Power nearly every day at work and sometimes apply it to my wrists and inhale deeply if I’m working to focus on a specific task or project that is keeping me seated in front of a computer for more than a couple of hours.

How it’s helped: I’ve never been someone who is comfortable sitting at a desk all day and a friend told me this oil was really helping her focus when she just had to knock out computer work. I can tell the difference when I get this oil going in the diffuser on my desk, especially when I feel like I can’t possibly stare at a screen for one more second but absolutely have to.

January 17: Progessence Plus Serum

Why I’m obsessed: I don’t even know how to describe how many women I know who have been touched by this oil, myself included. Progessence Plus is derived from Wild Yam Root, which is a natural source of Progesterone.

How I use it: I have used this oil to support my natural hormone balance for nearly two years. I apply 2-3 drops to my forearms morning and evening. If you have specific questions about why I rave to every woman I know about this oil, feel free to get in touch. I have much more to share!

How it’s helped: This oil supports my natural hormone function, plain and simple. Again, if this intrigues you, let’s chat!

January 18: R.C.

Why I’m obsessed: If I’m even a little bit congested, a whiff of this guy gets things feeling clearer right away.

How I use it: I originally started using R.C. when my allergy to the VOG (volcanic ash junk) in Kona grew legs. I was bothered by it the second I landed in 2012 but by the time I moved back out to Kona in 2014, I could barely breathe when I would walk around too long.

How it’s helped: I started using R.C. by sniffing a few drops cupped in my hands and would notice relief pretty much immediately. I also feel like it energizes me a ton!

January 19: Breathe Again Roll-On

Why I’m obsessed: I think of Breathe Again like the Roll-On version of R.C. (see above for all the ways I love me some R.C.)

How I use it: I roll a bit of Breathe Again on my chest and spend at least 30-45 second practicing deep breathing if I’m feeling congested.

How it’s helped: As has been mentioned too many times at this point, I have chosen to make every effort to eliminate harmful toxins from my life and use Breathe Again as a replacement for some products that may have a similar effect, but contain chemicals I’m not comfortable using anymore.

January 20: Digize

Why I’m obsessed: This. This is the reason I moved from super-skeptic to essential oils user. As someone who has struggled with G.I. trouble my entire life, I use Digize to support my G.I. system, especially when I’m experiencing discomfort.

How I use it: I take a couple of drops of Digize Vitality internally in a gel capsule and/or apply a drop or two directly onto my belly.

How it’s helped: Everyday G.I. issues (every day for me at least) are no longer a consideration when I’m determining daily activities. I know I have what I need if I’m out & about and my body is struggling!

January 21: Geranium

Why I’m obsessed: Basically, diffusing Geranium is like stepping into a greenhouse.

How I use it: I diffuse a couple of drops with Copaiba or Frankincense (or both) for a sweet, floral scent in my bedroom.

How it’s helped: Geranium just makes me really happy. It’s a sweet, floral scent that I just enjoy!

January 22: Copaiba

Why I’m obsessed: This oil is a MAGNIFIER—- it magnifies the effects of other oils when mixed and is incredible for gums with teeth coming through ‘em (ya catching my drift?).

How I use it: I use copaiba along with some of my more expensive oils (frankincense being chief among those) because it’s genius little magnification effect helps extend my use of those pricier guys. I also use it to support my gut and skin health by applying it directly anywhere I’m noticing irritation.

How it’s helped: I have absolutely noticed a HUGE difference when I add a few drops to a capsule when my body isn’t feeling it’s best and have heard raving reviews from friends with littles whose gums could use some help feeling better.

January 23: Purification

Why I’m obsessed: This oil is fresh, fresh, fresh and keeps our home feeling and smelling that way, even with the consistent stank of kitty probs.

How I use it: Erynn (my wonderful roomie and delightful friend) diffuses purification like it’s going out of style. A few drops in a full diffuser left to run for a few hours will feel like a room just after the maids have left <—- this is not my life but I wouldn’t mind it.

How it’s helped: We’ve got two kitties who rule the roost in our 1,000 sqft apartment and they’re just fine with it smelling like it. Purification diffusing makes us feel much less like we live in a litter box. Plain and simple.

January 24: Cedarwood

Why I’m obsessed: Sleep. Hair growth. Woodsy scent. Sleep. Hair growth. Woodsy scent. Sleep…. shall I continue?

How I use it: I add cedar wood oil to my conditioner, slather it on the bottoms of my feet before bed, diffuse it with lavender and orange for the best sleepy blend ever and use it as a main ingredient in a hair/scalp mask I’ve come to love- 10 drops cedarwood, 5-7 drops rosemary, 3-5 drops tea tree and coconut oil applied to your scalp and combed through hair, leave it on 60-120 minutes and rinse. I rinse mine with ACV to remove buildup and so I don’t glow with coconut oil grease for several days.

How it’s helped: Cedarwood is a sleepy friend of mine and I credit some restless evenings turned tranquil to its application. Give it a try, maybe you’ll be best friends too.

January 25: Citronella

Why I’m obsessed: Have you ever used citronella candles or tiki torches for outdoor adventures in the summer where mosquitos are present? Well, imagine if you could leave the tiki boundary line. You can. Everything will really be ok. This is why I’m obsessed.

How I use it: One of my favorite things about Washington summers is going down to the river to play music with friends or just relax in the evenings. Unfortunately, mosquitos seem to really appreciate this pastime too. Since I don’t like the gigantic welts I get when I get mosquito bites, I apply citronella oil to my neck, wrists, ankles and crown of my head. Since using it, I have rarely if ever been bit! We also love to toss a few drops in with some olive oil and spray it around our patio and door frames to deter the little blood suckers from trying to get into our apartment.

How it’s helped: Less bites = happier me.

January 26: Vetiver

Why I’m obsessed: This is the powerhouse of sleepy oils.

How I use it: 1-2 drops on the bottoms of my feet with a carrier oil and I’m in a deep sleep. I love to mix a little in with my regular sleepy oils as a blend while I’m traveling (see the cedarwood post up a few days for more info on that).

How it’s helped: I have had some trouble with sleep ever since I was working nights in a trauma center. Talk about throwing off a circadian rhythm… Since sleep has evaded me in the past, I try my best to adhere to something of a nighttime routine (even if I still need the screen police to pop in from time to time) and sleep supporting oils have been at the center of the routine. I notice a difference when I miss this step and ain’t nobody got time for that.

January 27: Cinnamon Bark

Why I’m obsessed: Cinnamon is such a homey scent and boy is it helpful in keeping ones mouth nice and clean!

How I use it: I add a drop to my toothpaste whenever I’ve got anything happening in my mouth I’m not fond of (wouldn’t it be so much easier if I could just use the words I want to describe these things?). I also love a drop or two in a capsule for tummy trouble.

How it’s helped: Cinnamon has helped keep my gums clean and is a a dream for digestive discomfort.

January 28: Black Pepper

Why I’m obsessed: I had no idea what kinds of wild properties this oil has! It’s super helpful when muscles are aching and ya just need some relief.

How I use it: Rolling a bit of black pepper oil on my shoulders and neck has been a life saver on some long days recently,

How it’s helped: I use Black Pepper as my “big guns” when shoulder pain flairs up and nothing has been as effective for me!

January 29: Pine

Why I’m obsessed: Who doesn’t want it to smell like tress in their house during the winter? Ok, maybe a lot of people. But I’m not one of those people.

How I use it: Winter is the best time of year to toss a few drops of this guy in the diffuser. I love it with a little cedarwood and orange OR along with Valor.

How it’s helped: It’s a happy-maker.

January 30: Spearmint

Why I’m obsessed: Menthols on menthols on menthols- that’s what my muscles like and what I find invigorating when I’m tired and need a little pick-me-up (among a few other aforementioned friends).

How I use it: I love spearmint with lavender OR along with marjoram in the diffuser.

How it’s helped: I’ve been known to dip a toothpick in my bottle and suck on it when a toothbrush is too far away. If you’ve got junk mouth and need a refresher, a toothpick of spearmint is your pal.

January 31: Tangerine

Why I’m obsessed: It’s the perfect sweet scent to toss in with other fruity/citrusy oils!

How I use it: Tangerine’s light and sweet fragrance is one I love to add to my wrists with my Valor (ahem, perfume) or in my diffuser along with some citrus fresh OR marjoram OR peppermint.

How it’s helped: I’m all about the sweet, fresh scents when I’ve been cooped up in the house or office too long.

Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop taking medications without prior consult with your Physician.

Samantha LeGassickComment
Finding Rest: The Brave Practice of "No, Thank You."

You could say it's been an intense season around here. I have officially been back to life in Washington for a year and have experienced more transition than ever before. After relocating from Alaska to Washington, via a five week stint in California (more on that in a future blog), I was starving for routine and simplicity. 

My previous job role was based on six month "school year" cycles, which meant I could work remotely for part of the year. Although challenging in some respects, that cycle allowed me to push hard, working alongside our students, then work out my own schedule from anywhere in the country thereafter. Those several years taught me to hone in on the gift of self-motivation and afforded me the freedom to serve people I love and experience glimpses of life all over the world. 

Now that I find myself in Dolly Parton's nightmare (workin' 9-5, what a way to make a livin'...) and have a "desk-job" for the first time in my adult life, I'm realizing there are new roads that require navigation. It's easy to get caught up in the routine of the Monday - Friday and suddenly, a month has gone by. What I've found is it's really easy to load up on so many sweet things throughout the week, that I wind up just as tired as I was when I traveled regularly. 

My quest for rest began out of necessity, enveloped in the newness of a job I've begun from scratch and transition's best friend: the unknown. But this quest has become a beautiful journey, revealing my motivations and values.

IMG_0605.jpeg

There are days when grief lands and it's simply easier to busy myself than to stop and feel my feelings. There are weeks that pass, full of work and ministry and social events, but devoid of time to experience or process anything happening in or around me. While being busy isn't always a problem, busying myself to avoid most certainly is. 

Thus, the rest practice that's changing it all: bravely answering "no, but thank you very much." 

Saying 'no' is odd in the West. Instead of just declining, we pad our answer with excuses to make the person doing the inviting feel better. I've come to realize that an invitation is simply that. And just because something is being offered to me doesn't require my affirmative response. When I say 'no' (for any reason), I'm creating space for my "YES!" to carry more weight. I don't know about you but my life is chock full of opportunities to be with people, serve, work hard, shift priorities, venture out and experience life. But if I say yes to everything, nothing gets to feel special. I'm learning that too much of a good thing can be draining. I bet Jesus understood that when He graciously commanded that we take a dang Sabbath (my emphasis, not His). 

I've learned that I have to prioritize time to make my life work so I can be intentional. For me, these priorities are time with the Lord each day, meal prep, laundry/home organization, budgeting/bill pay, weekly counseling appointments, worship services/teaching, some margin in case of long work days, exercise, time for texting/phone communication, prep for worship-leading and time for the few ministry/community commitments I've made. I also need time on my own. I require time away from people to recharge my batteries so whether I take time out on my Sabbath day to be away from people (and phone free) or plan to take a night away a couple of times a year, I've learned I need to schedule this time in order to ensure I don't get too busy. If I take all of these pieces into account, I generally have two evenings and a morning or afternoon available for time with friends either in person or on the phone. Often, this does not feel like enough time, but the brave part is recognizing that being intentional in my relationships is the best way to keep them solid!

Ready to be brave? Consider these factors to understand where you could use some more margin in your life:

  • What would an ideal week look like in your world? Don't forget to include space for any of the above that apply to you too.

  • How do you recharge? Generally, people get filled up with people, away from people or some combination. Schedule in some time that specifically targets replenishment.

  • Determine your motivation. Ask yourself why you're doing everything you've got scheduled for the next week. Oftentimes, determining the motivation behind our actions is enough to help us make a different choice (for example, if you're only volunteering for something because you feel pressured).

  • Consider what a simple "no, thank you" would feel like to you. Is it acceptable to say no just because you know you're nearing capacity?

Although my weeks don't always go as planned and I often still feel as though I have too much going on, I'm moving in the right direction. I long to make the people in my life feel truly loved, valued and giving them the power of my 'yes' is the best way I know how to do that. When I commit to something, my people know they can count on me to show up with bells on. I'm not going to come to your house for dinner and shove my face in my phone because I have 16 things going on. I'll be present and engaged. I'll be tracking with you, free from the distraction of my to-do list. I'll do my best to love you intentionally. This kind of love is only possible if I take the time I need to rest. And so I journey on... resting intentionally so I can love more intentionally. 

Last weekend, I was gifted with a night in the beautiful little cabin pictured above. Located on Puget Sound and even cuter inside than it is outside, this place was a sight for sore eyes in the middle of a couple of extra full and wonderful weeks. It's amazing what a night away and some time set aside specifically for rest and time with Jesus did for me. I felt alive in a way I can hardly express after decompressing a little bit and have felt myself engaging more deeply ever since. I believe rest and Sabbath are a gift and if we choose to receive them, we get to experience life as it's meant to be enjoyed. I hope you'll take time to consider how the gift of rest could be just what you're needing. 

IMG_0686.jpeg
10 Products To Spice Up Your Fall Routine

I'm constantly on the lookout for clean products that are both affordable and effective. If you enjoy such things, check out what I've spent the summer obsessing over...

1. Cocokind Golden Elixir -- Hands down, my absolute favorite facial moisturizing oil ever. I've lived in several different climate zones throughout the last couple of years and have been pressed to find something my skin likes no matter if I'm in an extra dry location like California or Alaska or in humid Hawaii. This oil has surpassed all of my expectations by a landslide. It's naturally very lightly scented and absorbs ultra-quickly. Plus, it can be used anywhere on the body, even the hair. I like to use about half a squirt on my third or, ahem, sometimes fourth day post-wash along with the dry shampoo below (game changer!) to tame the frizz. One pump is plenty for me morning and night so a bottle ends up lasting me about four months.

2. Acure Facial Brightening Scrub -- (Think Dirty Rating: 3) I've used this exfoliating scrub twice a week, mostly during showers, for about three years and still love it. Acure remains one of my favorite clean product brands.

3. Young Living Digize Oil -- Can one be in love with an oil? My digestion has struggled to varying degrees for as long as I can remember and I'm so sad I didn't learn about this oil until a couple of years ago. A drop or two covers so much ground. Apply to skin on belly to help with indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and everything in between. Digize can also be safely ingested in either a veggie capsule or by putting 2-3 drops in 6-8oz. of water. You'll thank me, promise. 

4. Resveratol Capsules -- Resveratol is an immune boosting powerhouse. I take a form of it nearly every day, but especially when folks in my office are sick. So far, I've made it through nearly eight months of office life without so much as a sniffle and I attribute that to regular Resveratol usage and both Young Living's Thieves and Frankincense oils. *Note, the option I linked to is pricey and there are less expensive options. Just aim for one from a brand that prioritizes pure sourcing so you actually get the benefit!

5. Native Deodorant (My fav is the Sensitive Skin, Cotton & Lily) -- My roomie and I share a subscription to Native and we love it. I have extra sensitive skin under my arms as a result of trauma and am usually sensitive to anything with baking soda. Native uses such a small amount in their deodorant that my poor pits can handle it without any irritation and they have fun, seasonal scents. 

6. DIY Toner -- Did you know making your own toner is ridiculously simple? I didn't have any aloe on hand when I made mine so I improvised but I'm loving the one I made recently and may add some aloe in when it's time to top up. You can use this recipe as a starting point and add in some of your favorite clarifying or calming oils. I love adding Frankincense to my skincare routine so I add a drop on my cotton pad when I use this toner in the evenings to keep it concentrated. Mix in a glass jar and apply with a cotton pad or ball (shake before each use):

  • One part Apple Cider Vinegar (I love Braggs!)

  • One part Witch Hazel

  • One part Distilled Water

  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

  • 5-10 drops Melaleuca/Tea Tree Essential Oil

7. Young Living Lavender Volume Shampoo -- I'm such a big fan of this shampoo. It smells amazing but I've noticed it adds volume without drying out my curls. Unlike many natural shampoos, this one actually suds up a bit so you can tell where you've worked it in and rinses nice and clean. I also need so little that the bottle has lasted me three months and counting!

8. Cocokind Collective Sticks -- Now available at Whole Foods ya'll! These sticks do wonders for controlling breakouts and redness or adding a touch of color mid-day. I use the Tumeric stick directly on blemishes before bed (warning- a swipe or two is enough, especially if you plan to sleep soon after application so you don't end up with yellow patches on your pillowcases). The Matcha stick is amazing at controlling redness and is a divine lip moisturizer. My favorite of the trio is definitely the Macabeet. I use this tinted stick throughout the day as a lip moisturizer/tint and on my cheeks and eyelids for a little pick-me up, especially before meetings. 

9. DIY Dry Shampoo-- With a title like "How I Don't Wash My Hair," this blog post written by my lovely friend Grace Mendez was pretty much going to become a favorite. I have wavy-curly hair that borders on dry and frizzy depending on the day and thus, HATE to wash my hair. I've come to terms with that and have been using dry shampoo for years to lengthen the time between washes. Sadly, most dry shampoos are extremely toxic and since I'm moving away from such unnecessary complications, I knew I had to give up my beloved and convenient brunette aerosol. Enter Grace's recipe for an astonishingly effective option. Check out her blog for the instructions. I put mine in a handy little jar from Target. I'm pretty sure it's meant for parmesan cheese but I do what I want.

IMG_0335.JPG

10. W3ll People Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara -- (Think Dirty Rating: 1) I just recently came across the W3ll line via Twist of Lemons and am a big fan. It goes on fairly lightly so you need to apply 2-3 coats for standout lashes but it lasts well throughout the day and comes off easily. For me, that's a small price to pay to keep the goop out of my eyeballs.

I hope you're inspired to try out some of my favorites... happy shopping!

*Think Dirty ratings added as available

Samantha LeGassickComment
Dontcha Know That You're Toxic?

I'm a beauty product junkie. I remember asking for Neutrogena "Clean" Shampoo & Conditioner for my 13th birthday after Jennifer Love Hewitt's shiny hair captivated me in a Seventeen Magazine ad. I'm the reason marketing folks work so hard at product placement. They target me and suddenly, my hair is lackluster and basically keeping me from achieving all my life's ambitions.

I'd beg my mom to take me to Rite-Aid where I'd settled on the shampoo with the biggest promises and cutest labels. As I got older, I'd occasionally splurge on department store products, not because they were particularly good for me but because they were fancy. And when it comes to beauty products, your girl loves fancy.

I've never had particularly sensitive skin but after moving to a humid island, I developed cysts around my hairline and noticed my skin felt irritated when I put clothes on fresh out of the dryer. I found rashes and patches of dry skin that wouldn't go away and smelled awful all the time. I applied deodorant multiple times a the day and still felt like I was a walking B.O. parade. After months of trying different products to deal with the issues I was having to no avail, I began to research natural remedies. Suddenly I became aware that a lot of the issues I was dealing with were attributed to the products I had been using. 

It turns out every single product I was using on my body was toxic.

I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening in my body, so I hit the books and learned a few things about toxic overload. For the sake of simplicity, we'll refer to a toxin as any substance that's either unusable to the body or  presented in amounts in excess of what is useful to the body. Quick highlight reel on our body's processes for eliminating toxins:

  • A run of the mill moisturizer is applied to the skin. Within a couple of minutes, every ingredient in the moisturizer is absorbed via our largest organ and and enter the bloodstream. 
  • As unrecognizable/unusable ingredients make their way through various parts of the body, signals fire alerting the presence of an invader.
  • Inflammation is produced to protect vital structures from those invaders since our bodies aren't designed to use almost any of the chemicals present in most commonly used personal care products. 
  • Little note: many of the chemicals found in these products do things that are just plain awful. The most commonly used have been known to:
    • Kill the friendly bacteria in our gut
    • Block oxygen from binding to the red blood cells
    • Block the absorption of vital minerals and vitamins 
    • Block the enzymes the body needs for normal function
  • Toxins are are filtered out of the body as deemed harmful and/or unusable.
  • If the affected organs have been stressed by their interaction with these invaders, the inflammation that was designed to protect them has to stick around, AKA the inflammation becomes chronic. 
  • If this cycle continues on, enter much more serious chronic inflammation issues.

Depending on how long this has gone on, the body will increase the volume of it's message. These messages look like acne, eczema, cysts, dry/cracked skin, itchy and/or flaky skin. If ignored, you may also begin to see more serious sensitivities begin to pop up. I chocked these messages up to hormones, stress and what's "normal" in your teens & 20's but that is just not true. 

Looking back, I'm shocked it took so long for me to think about what products I was using in and on my body. Even after I discovered I needed to make a change, I was hesitant because it felt so overwhelming. And not to mention wildly expensive! I've been moving in the direction of chemical-free products for about two years and have seen an incredible change in my skin, hair, digestion, overall health, AND my wallet. 

If you've come this far, you're obviously ready for a change and I'm thrilled for you. There are so many great products out there that are effective, chemical-free, affordable annnnndddd haven't been found to significantly increase your risk of being diagnosed with cancer or decrease your likelihood of carrying healthy babies. 

SAY WHAT? 

Yeah. Ya heard me. The products we've grown up seeing on commercials are literally, actually, in every way truly causing us very real health crises and we're over here thinking we're not affected because we're not breaking out in hives. We may also be judging our natural product minded friends for acting like hippies.... 

Enter Think Dirty. (All. The. Praise. Hands.)

One of my very favorite apps since well, ever, this fancy-schmancy little search engine lets you scan the barcode of that leave-in conditioner you've been eyeing to find out if it'll do more to your life than tame the frizz. 

©️ThinkDirtyApp

©️ThinkDirtyApp

⬅️Check out the Think Dirty App rating system

So basically, green is clean and anything red or yellow should just be left to mellow (on the shelf, or somewhere else far away from you). The issue I had when I started using the app to scan all my wonderful products is a lot of the "natural" products I trusted didn't actually fare well on the rating system. In fact, several of them were 9's and 10's, which when we're considering carcinogenicity, *cough* cancer-causing, or reproductive system danger zone, I'm paying attention.

Check out Think Dirty's methodology to see how they come up with this stuff and why it's so dang real. 

Feeling curious? Grossed out? Excited? I'd encourage you to download ThinkDirty's free app and spend a few minutes scanning and taking note of your favorite products' ratings. I know it's not always easy to take the first step, so I created a free fill-in/printable guide to eliminating the most common personal product and household toxins over the course of a year. Think about it- you'll buy all kinds of new toiletries and household products within the next 12 months. Why not consider buying ones that may be just as effective without the dangers to your family's health?

It's tempting to toss away all of the products that don't meet the standard once you get going with all of this but unless you're made of money, re-buying everything you use every day can add up. Try using this guide to take baby steps and check off each product you eliminate as you're able. Speed up the year, slow it down, just take a step. The year is going to pass regardless and you could be on your way to a chemical-free home before you know it. 

Click here to download the free printable and tell us in the comments which product you're going to replace first! 

Samantha LeGassickComment