Friday, January 16, 2015

Do you use essential oils...?

Well sure... doesn't everyone these days. ;)  Then the next question is which brand do you use.  Do I have to choose one?  Because it seems to me I'll loose friends somewhere if I say which brand I'm buying. ;) ha  It's not like that...not totally.

So you're still wondering which brand I buy...?

Once upon a time long long ago... :)

I had my hair washed at an Aveda salon and I'll never forget how I fell in love with the smell of oils that day.  I visited the same salon later for a massage around Christmas and she used all these wonderful pepperminty Christmas smelling oils throughout the massage and it was simply bliss.  That was after I had Noah...so we're talking 11 years ago.  I was relaxed, and I felt like I could breath.  These are two very important things for a new mother.  So... I bought Aveda oils because that's where I fell in love with them.  The oils where for smelling and though I didn't know the difference at the time, they were quite diluted.  But they were not very expensive as a result, and that was a good thing.

My vintage bottles of not very therapeutic grade oils from back in the day ;)  Mmmmm they smelled good though... 

Fast forward a few years... I started buying oil to put in cleaning stuff.  So again, not good quality oils, I wanted good smells.  I grabbed some oils at Whole foods at one point to add to lotion for massage.  I also bought some citrus oils for cooking because citrus oils are pretty inexpensive.  I was very unconcerned about quality I guess because I would smell the oil, and if it smelled good to me that was all that mattered.

Fast forward a few more years.  Everyone and their brother start talking about the benefits of Young Living oils.  My mother-in-law gave me some from time to time for different things, mostly for the kiddos.  I cringe when I consider how much sacred frankincense I sloshed onto Christian without understanding how to dilute it properly.  I had no idea it how expensive it was.  I didn't know a lot of things about oils...come to think of it...I still don't know a lot about them. :)  I need to read more.

So now we are to present.  My sister-in-law is a rep for Young Living and works her tail off driving all over the place delivering chest rubs to sick babies and such at a moments notice.  It's quite inspiring really.  So I can get YL oils through her.  But I like to dabble with things.  Never quite content to let things be.  So I ordered some different brands of oils to see what the differences where.  I didn't want to just read about someone else's opinion on a blog or website...especially if they had links to oil brands that were sponsored (could they really be unbiased...?).  So if you are still reading, you are interested in oils enough to see what I found out with the limited supply I purchased so far. :)

When you start collecting oils...it's like a disease...you may need a box for all the little bottles you get your hands on.  For sanity sake.
 You'll also need some roll on bottles for your diluted oils for ease of use...not that it's a must, but it sure helps with not wasting oil that drips out too fast...or if you have other things to do besides dilute oil in the middle of the day.  I find if I don't dilute them...I just start applying oils "neat" which is a huge waste. The bottles I'm holding are good for so many uses and have maybe 40 drops of oil in them.  If you apply concentrated, you'll spill out about 3+ drops an application which is way much and hard to spread around.  If they are not tinted glass like these, they need to be out of the sun if possible ;)
But just to clarify again...these big bottles are mostly Jojoba oil and have only as much essential oil as that little bottle there to the right (which is a sample size). :)  So about a 3:1 ratio.  For babies it should be a much smaller ratio.... like .5% or less depending on the oil.  Like...if you want to use peppermint oil, you'll need a few drops to two tablespoons of oil at the most.  Don't be rubbing that stuff undiluted on your little one okay?  That being said, when Gi had the chicken pox, I rubbed a lot of lavender on her liberally dripped into lotion which is considered okay for babies and older individuals too-but that's an exception to the rule. :)
 Awwww, look how cute that little sample bottle is. Samples rock to figure out what you like and don't like. ;)  Comparison of Frankincense oil in three different brands yields there is a difference.  Now, I can't say if it's a quality difference for sure, but the smell is definitely less strong/clear in cheaper brands.  I'll still use what I bought of course, but good to know you get what you pay for on that one.
 So blue oil blends are the ones that are confidence boosting and seem to help with alignment issues in addition to other things.  I really like the smell of Valor which is YL blue oil (and I think is always out of stock).  Heritage Essential Oils (name changed to Hopewell Essential Oils)  is another brand I really like.  The quality is right up there with the expensive brands and their blue oil is mixed with a bit of Emu oil to reduce inflammation (not for diffusing).
 Lalala...diluting oils...lalala... why did I take this picture...? ;) 
 or this one....oooooooow...diluting oils is messy messy ;)  At least the mess smells good...
 Other fun things to do with oils.  You can pretty much adde them to anything.   I added little flowers (Heritage Ess oils- smells AMAZING) to my Argan oil for my face.  So now that ritual actually smells good.  Yay.  And I added an anti-break out oil to my night lotion for good measure.  It smells pretty fantabulous now too. :)
 Cheap knock off brand of Thieves.  NOT as good/strong.  I smelled both of them to try to describe the difference.  The cheap one smelled sort of similar but weak.  YL thieves... burned my lip in the process of smelling it.  So there you go... that's how they are different. ;)  That doesn't mean there isn't another brand out there that distills antiviral/anti-microbial oils properly...Edens Garden isn't it based on my humble opinion (if the price is too good to be true: $8 for 10ml...than it is probably too good to be true).  Another thing I noticed on the cheaper brands is that they are mostly cheaper to grow oils in the blends.  Like lavender or peppermint for example.  When frankincense is listed as an ingredient, I don't think they are flat out lying...but they probably only add a drop or two because they couldn't sell the bottles for $7 otherwise.
Inspired by Laura Lee to make an antibacterial spray that actually smells good and didn't have alcohol in it...I made some and labeled it "Germ death spray".  Good thing it's hard to read because it looks like I just wrote "death" only. :D  Might need a label revision on that.  (4 oz bottle, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 20 drops thieves oil, filtered water).  I don't know if that's what Laura used as a recipe as a little disclaimer.
 Forget the diffuser people... (well, not really if you like yours) if you spray this Thieves spray like 6 times in a room, it smells like a diffusers been on for an hour. :D  Mine may be a little concentrated, I was trying to get rid of the cheap brand and dumped some of that in there too for good measure.  

On diffusers, I got one that didn't use water and ended up returning it.  It was a glass globe style one that used air only with a motor in a wood base; it was pretty but I didn't feel like it spread the oil very far into the room.  Back to water based ones.
So there you have it...that's all I know about oils so far...
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18 comments:

emilykate said...

Fun post. I'm curious if you think Heritage really does compare in quality to YL. I keep doing YL - but really don't enjoy MLM companies so would love to switch but don't want to sacrifice quality.

Sandra said...

I'm probably one of the very few but I don't use essential oils. Never have, however this was interesting:). Guess when I decide to try them out I'll know a bit more info now!

Aubrey said...

I'm the same as Sandra - it seems incredibly daunting to me to dive into the world of EO and because I'm lazy, will probably never happen. But, your post (and so many people's rave reviews) make it tempting!!

L, Ann and boys said...

Emily, I've only ordered once from them so far, but was very pleased with what I received. I order a lot of samples so I got to experience a spread of what she offers. The most common YL ones I compared where her blue oil (Valor), her two strongest ant-viral (kind of like Thieves but hers don't smell like thieves...they have a clove smell but it's a different mix not a mimic blend) and her hormone balance blend. i can't compare that to Dragon Time as I've never tried that YL blend before. I think the quality of oils is every bit as good. They are naturally/organically grown and distilled correctly. Heritage oils bulk sources oils, so she doesn't grow them herself-I don't mind this as long as she's closely monitoring quality which I believe she does (based on notes online for certain blends not having an oil added full strength due to a weak/bad shipment she sent back). the owner of the company has a picture on the site of her family...they have like 8 kids i think and look mennonite maybe-not the kind of people that generally try to pull one over on you. ;) Or at least I would hope not for the worlds sake at large. The communication I had with the owner was great. She responded to my note I left on my oder the same day...so I assume if I ever had a problem or a bottle break in shipping she would respond quickly customer service wise.

This is getting long but some of the samples I ordered are my favorite smelling blends I've ever smelled. I would say she has a gift for mixing and matching her oils. And since I use essential oils so much for relaxation and massage, this is very important to me.

I hear you on the MLM systems. The reps I know work hard for what they are earning...so I'm not totally apposed to it. But I like having some healthy competition out there to keep the market fair. I hate it when everyone freaks out that there is no Valor left in the whole world and will pay anything to get their hands on it when there are other very good blue oils out there if you look for them. Fair market prevents that frenzy.

best wishes! :)

L, Ann and boys said...

Sandra-
I like essential oils the most for their constant reminder that my kids need my touch. i think me rubbing their chest and feet while they're sick is just as important as the oils I rubbing in, but it reminds me to do it. :) It also gives me something to do other than ring my hands when my kiddo is congested. :) That and warm bath + humidifier. ;)

L, Ann and boys said...

Aubrey-

If you don't want to dive in too deep, I would say get some good lavender oil. It's good for pretty much everything and is considered the first aid oil. You can't use too much, so no worries there and it's good for scraps, bruises and stings. It will make you feel like a hippy mama super hero to put it on before sticking on a bandaid. ;) ha If you find you're not using it and it's just sitting on a shelf, start dropping it in with bath time or add it to a bottle of lotion to bump up the soothing properties. I do think it helps sooth skin-I used it when Gisella got chicken pox and she has no scaring at all. Willem had them too (much worse blister wise) and I think it helped him a lot too. There are still two very light spots on his back that are still fading but they aren't dented in. I guess I'll never know if the oils helped prevent scaring because I didn't NOT treat one spot to find out. ;) ;) ha

It's generally pretty inexpensive to because lavender grows like crazy. I think it's pretty great that the oil that is used for everything is plentiful...it's like God organized the plant world and wanted us to figure it out. ;) haha

Kristi said...

I've been using Rocky Mountain Oils for about a year. They have a comparable blend chart on their website that is useful... clearly showing which of their blends are similar to YL and DoTerra.
I have been very satisfied with RM. They have great customer service and seem to be very particular in relation to their oils and their business.

Anonymous said...

I've been really happy with Native American Nutritionals. It's not an MLM, which is easier for me, and still a high quality essential oil.

Thanks for your thoughts on oils.
I find it difficult to discuss this topic because brand names can cause such heated debates :)

Julie B.

emilykate said...

Good to know - Heritage is the company I've been looking into. My plan has been to keep using YL for the oils I take in capsule form, but switch to Heritage for ones I apply topically or diffuse. Amy Gerst uses Heritage and has talked about meeting the owner, a great Christian woman and feels they are very high quality.

I love how valor smells, but can't say I've noticed tons of benefits from using it. I will say I've been doing capsules of YL oregano, thieves, and lemon and it's the only thing that is keeping my sinus issues under control.

I agree reps work hard. I just think most MLM companies have expensive products that most people can't afford unless they sell them. And since I hate selling anything...:)

J and A said...

Funny you posted this, because my sister was talking to me yesterday how it seems everyone she knows has been talking about EOs lately. Curious whether you have the ingredients to make your own Thieves knockoff oil. I've seen "recipes" for it around, and since I happen to have those ingredients, I thought about just making my own. I was gonna ask how they compared if you did. :)

Which water-based diffuser did you switch back to?

L, Ann and boys said...

Amber- :) I've nervier tried to make Theives. I'm sure if you rounded up really good quality ingredients, you could do it. I usually end up buying blends because I have too many bottles sitting around as is! ha It would be fun to mix though...just to experience it.

I have the lotus YL diffuser and I just got one for our bedroom that is black and looks like a small necked bottle basically. My sister uses that kind too and I liked the design. I don't think it works better than others, but it's pretty. ;)

L, Ann and boys said...

Emily,

I agree, I like valor a lot because of the smell. But I can't say it feels like it's fixing my lower spine curvature or making it less sore when I apply it. For that I have to do stretching-no short cuts. ;) I think it helps sooth kids with hyperactivity and that's why it sells out so fast depending on the demand and awareness...

L, Ann and boys said...

Amber...wait...it's the YL bamboo inspired diffuser...if it matters ;) ha, said the wrong one.

sarah.flyingkites said...

WOW, SO informative!! Thank you!!

(and I'm so jealous your baby had chicken pox. How did you pull that off? As I'm typing, I'm thinking we may have discussed this before)

Thanks again for this post. I have SO MUCH TO LEARN in this oil thing :)

Jon y Amy said...

This is great, I have stuck with my basic 10 but just thought about looking into balancing oils. Can you let me know your faves and also anything for acne?

I do love heritage and no, that woman would not take advantage of anyone. She and her family left the world and entered this different lifestyle (before we left for Ethiopia, we went to this homesteading training in Texas, I met her there, her family sold everything and have chosen a simple lifestyle). They left a successful business, she got into oils because she loves them and isn't in it for profits.

L, Ann and boys said...

I've only had three cycles to try out the balancing oils but based on that and another mom I talked to and her experience, I think it helps. I never get major cramps but just this year I noticed I get a head ache like clock work the night before day one. :P when I use the hormone balancing oils it's not so bad. Still get a very mild feeling in my head like I need to go to sleep, but nothing like I need to take pain killers for or anything. I used a cheap brand (Edens Gardens) and even that one helped. So I assume if I keep at it and remember to use it the week leading up to day one I'll see even more benefits with the Heritage oil blend as it's more pure. I got the "Tapestry" blend. If I see a major difference, I may do a post later on just that oil.

For ache, I got Heritage "free-n-clear" and also one that's just called complexion (smells like wintergreen). I've only used them for about a week so I can't really give a review. The best thing I've done for ache the last few years (which I think I would have much worse than I do if I didn't keep up with it) is using sacred clay and apple cider vinegar as a mask if I feel hormonal breakouts coming on. Baking soda with apple cider vinegar as a scrub at least weekly keeps my dead skin cells from clogging pores too and the vinegar seems to balance out my skins PH. For healing bumps (especially if I've picked at them making it worse) quickly I use argan oil products, oil cleansing and essential oils added to good moisturizers with spot treatment retinol (vit A) products. I don't spread retinol all over my face every night...I know that some aestheticians recommend it, but I only use it to heal trouble spots and leave it off the rest of my face so I don't get darkened spots on my checks from rapid cell turnover and sun exposure (retinols should only be used at night for that reason).

Hope that helps! :D

L, Ann and boys said...

cheeks not checks ;) ha

L, Ann and boys said...

Sarah-

All my kids got it...the ones vaccinated, the ones not. :) Willem got it the worst. Christian (not vaccinated for it) hardly had any symptoms at all and had like...three blisters on his mid-section (typical for his immune response which seems to react much sooner and intensely to anything...to the point of joint sorness :P ). Little Gi was of course the most worrisome since she was so small, but she didn't get a fever and had a very mild case thankfully. :) We were exposed at church by accident when Luke diagnosed a kiddo with "spots". :) Several people stopped in to have playdates during the episodes. :) I wish it had been like that for us because the kids got it in staggered cases meaning we were home bond for a little while. Oh well. ;)