where do you purchase your ingredients from?
Items are purchased from a few different companies depending on what I need, what they have in stock and where they source their materials from. I currently use: Mountain Rose Herbs, Aromatics International, SKS bottling company, Eden's Garden and San Francisco Salt Co.
What advice do you have for support during the winter months with essential oils?
Each person is uniquely different so to pinpoint the absolute perfect answer, one will have to experiment and find the best solution to their issue. There are starting points which helps in finding the resolution sooner but it is likely to take a few tries in order to create the perfect blend. If you are interested in discussing what oils may work to solve your winter blues, sinus congestion, dry skin or other winter problems, fill out this form HERE and I will be happy to help you get there!
Tell me more about how you came to care about your skincare products.
On top of always having extremely dry skin that was easily irritated, working in a fiberglass company did not help. My skin became more irritated and I would have spells where drying off with a towel would feel as if I were pushing on bruises all over my body. It scared me. Soon after this started, a friend posted on social media about our skin being the largest organ of our bodies and the lightbulb turned on. I had been reading food labels for a few years by this time and never once thought to look at my skin care products. Once I started reading the labels, guidelines and restriction (or rather lack thereof) in the body care industry I became angry and that fueled the flame to find healthier alternatives.
What made you take the leap to getting your aromatherapy certification?
In my search for heathier body care alternatives I came across an interesting read about EO’s through Aromahead Institute. I signed up for a free online seminar to learn more about DIY body butters and Lavender essential oil for allergy relief. I was hooked instantly. The information was almost unbelievable but it made perfect sense to me. Suffering from seasonal allergies my entire life and being on medication for it, I thought it would be worth a shot to try. I never looked back. I signed up for more courses, completed those and decided to become certified. I’m currently working on another certification through School of Aromatic Studies to double up on info and I hope to complete the next phase of Aromahead’s certification by end of 2018.
What is the most shocking ingredient you've run into in products we put on our delicate skin?
Uugghghhghg soooo many but I do believe the one that shocked me the most was acrylic. It did so because it is one of those words I recognize from artist paints and most people would recognize it as an item we can purchase at Lowe’s. PLUS there is no hiding the name in our ingredients! Formaldehyde is a close second. For a more detailed explanation of toxic chemicals in out every day products, watch this informative workshop, Toxins 101.
Why should I care about the toxic ingredients in my everyday products?
These toxic ingredients in our products are affecting our largest organ in our body. That organ is trying so hard to fight off everything it is knows to reject then each and every day we keep slathering on products it isn’t quite sure how to handle. Those items are absorbed, ran through our blood stream leaving the other organs to fight and distinguish what to keep and what not to. Sometimes our body isn’t sure so it keeps it. Eventually enough builds up and interrupts our delicate systems and we can no longer heal the way we were intended to. It isn’t enough anymore to just eat healthy. You wouldn’t put gas in your car but never check the fluids or change the oil. (best analogy I can come up with right now)
What are your most common questions or products you deliver ?
I have various questions that range from “what would you use?” (because a co worker also uses EO’s) to “I have this issue...do you have anything that will help?” Currently my Cocoa Shea Body Butter and Facial Moisturizer are top sellers, with Allergy and Sinus inhalers a close third.
Why are your products so much more expensive than the shea butter I can order on Amazon?
There are a few factors in this. The more obvious may be that the one on Amazon is mass produced in a major facility where Naturally Simplified’s Simply Shea Body Butter is handmade in small batches by yours truly. That’d be me. The second factor is the ingredient list. In the presentation I will go into greater detail but this particular “shea butter” I used to use had 40 ingredients. Number 1: water. Number 2-5: some type of alcohol…then #14 was shea butter. I NEVER use water in products that are used directly on the body (butters, oils, scrubs, deo, etc) I only use organic witch hazel and aloe vera gel (in hand cleansers and facial toners) and my Shea butter ingredient list reads: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba, Beeswax. My products cost more because they actually contain 100% real ingredients, no fillers.
Who should be particularly cautious with body products and essential oils?
EVERYONE should be cautious with essential oils. They are not toys and used incorrectly, can cause more harm than good.
Specifically, pregnant women. In my studies I decided early that unless someone had already been using EO’s on a regular basis, leaving that regimen out during pregnancy and breastfeeding would be the best option. TOO many EO’s can cause issues with the pregnancy. It isn’t worth it. Babies, infants and toddlers are developing quite rapidly and their bodies are not yet capable of excreting materials the way older kids, teens and adults are.
Most of us should be cautious with regular body products too. Those products are not regulated and contain ingredients that are hazardous to the natural operation of our body’s many systems. You just never know what could be lurking at the bottom of your shampoo.
What is your very own favorite product?
Funny that this is one of the hardest questions I am asked. I have favorites for different reasons but if I HAD to pick one to be my “current” favorite, it would be my new formula facial moisturizer. Its triple action, light and airy, all to help protect restore and moisturize. Plus is smells FAB!
What are some ways to reduce toxins in our homes?
First, I highly recommend finding non-toxic cleaners that are effective in killing bacteria. I personally use a vinegar, hydrogen peroxide mix. There have been studies done on the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide by Dr. Annie Pryor. You can find those HERE.
Take the time to do some spring/winter cleaning. Changing air filters, cleaning vents, deep clean the vacuum cleaner. All of these will keep the air cleaner through the winter months when everything is all closed up.
Take advantage of those special present days that Mother Nature gives us throughout the winter. OPEN YOUR WINDOWS! Even if it is just for a few minutes to clear out the stale air and bring in new, you will be surprised at how well this works at freshening up your home.
Diffusers. Using diffusers and having some pre-made oils is key in my household. I have a mix for everyday use, one for needing to get stuff done, another for when I'm feeling down and out and yet another for when I hear a flu/cold bug is making it's way around town. Being conscious of the world around you and playing off your intuition helps stop the nasties before they start.
did you change your diet as well during the transition to better skin products?
I have changed my diet. It has been a slow transition over the past six years. Rewind six years, I ate horribly…Fast food multiple times a week, “junk food” with no nutritious value at all, candy, pop, suicide slushies (those were my favorite! But only if there was cherry AND blue raspberry LOL) Five years ago I started implementing healthier foods into my diet on a regular bases. Smoothies, packed lunches to work (instead of packaged food from the vending machines), veggies, etc. I still drank pop and was up to about three Full Throttle energy drinks a day…oh, and I smoked. Three years and I quite smoking…I’m pretty sure energy drinks stopped shortly after…they were my “beer that went with my cigarette” so after the energy drinks and a really nasty sinus infection, the smoking stopped too. Two years ago and I started educating myself on DIY healthier alternatives. Healthy food became my passion and since I love to cook and create and try new things, it was fun and exciting for me. Instead of just saving a pin on Pinterest, I actually started to make the foods that were healthier. Fast forward to now and I still love my Meeks Donuts, I slip up every once in awhile and eat a half dozen but for the most part, if someone catches me eating anything but veggies and fruit or a “weird” concoction of grains they will ask me if I’m okay!?
What is a certified aromatherapist?
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts from various plant parts for physiological and physical well-being. Being a Cerified Aromatherpaist means I have devoted over 265 hours to learning how to use these plant parts to help support our bodies natural healing process. It means I am recognized by the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapist) and the NAHA (National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy) which are two national organizations dedicated to the teachings of aromatic plants and essential oils. I am loyal to the continued learnings of such a vast amount of information. My constant research and studies are a symbol of that and I hope that it shows people I am serious about finding non-toxic, organic alternatives for our everyday needs.
What is the biggest misconception about essential oils?
- That because it is from a plant, it is safe to use however you want.
- That all essential oils are created equal – from brand to brand Peppermint is not the same. Batch to batch may even be slightly different. It’s in the testing reports (GC/MS) that you’ll find the information you need.
When did you start Naturally Simplified and why has it become a passion of yours?
Technically June of 2015 on a local level but it wasn’t until June of 2016 that I went online through Etsy. Naturally Simplified is about providing us all with non toxic, organic and wild crafted alternatives for our everyday needs. No hassle. No long list of ingredients to read. Plain and simple ONLY what you need when you need it. Whether you DIY or just want to purchase products it’s all here. I started Naturally Simplified because I was angry at the lack of options out there for people who, like me, wanted to make better choices and purchase high quality products from trustworthy sources.
What makes Naturally Simplified stand out from other COMPANIES with similar products?
It truly is what you see is what you get. I have NO, ZILCH, NOTTA desire to keep anything secret about my products. I create my own blends and I use product from sources that most people have yet to hear of. Having oils already mixed means that you do not get that special blend made perfect and just for you. I’d rather take a few minutes to get to know my customers and their issue so we can tackle it with minimal amount of ingredients necessary – hence the name “Naturally Simplified”.
What ways do you like to use essential oils?
I personal love using essential oils anyway I can get them into the air! LOL I use cool mist diffusers (four in my house). I use them with beeswax in wax warmers for the laundry room area (less evasive in the air becomes more of a freshener than any therapeutic measure when heated). I take them with me in my car diffuser which is also heat (I really want one of those nifty ultrasonic cool mist ones though). I travel with them in nasal diffusers that are a soaked cotton wick in a plastic shell (think Vicks vapor). My favorite is when I am mixing blends and I get some on my hands…it’s a small amount and not of skin irritant status so I just go around sniffing my hands. Picture Superstar and her “sometimes when I get nervous…” Yep, that’s me.
What if I don't want to buy from you, but want to know how to make my own stuff?
I am more than happy to discuss how to make items with any one. I’ve handed out my recipe blends to quite a few of my customers, even changed an ingredient or two to benefit them more.
Are there some DIY websites you typically approve of?
Wellness Mama, Camp Wander, Aromahead, Aromatics International and Mountain Rose Herbs are a few I reference. Each one for specific reasons. Pinterest and YouTube are great ways to find help with DIY also.
What is a non-toxic life and why is it important?
A non-toxic life is a conscious effort to reduce and eliminate toxic and potentially toxic chemicals/items from ones everyday life. Reducing and working to eradicate toxic elements out of our daily life is crucial for our well being. We know that toxic chemicals are harming our delicate systems and organs, causing multiple physical issues which in turn drain us emotionally. With so many outside conditions that are harmful, I feel focusing on what we can control is imperative to live our most prosperous life.
How do we know which ingredients are high risk vs. low risk?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that all chemicals natural, synthetic, toxic or non toxic do pose risks. We must know what we are using AND how to use it properly. Watch the workshop HERE for more detailed information of what products are safe and effective.