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The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumer

BeeyoutifulSkin pure mineral makeup powders


One of the first things we learn to do on the journey to becoming better informed consumers and making better choices is to simply read a product’s label. We’ve become accustomed to reading the ingredients, knowing that the claims plastered across the front of supposed healthy products may be way off base when they are stacked against the actual list of what’s inside. I have become a label reading machine over the past few years, both of food labels and skincare products intended for external use.

But I’ve learned over the past ten years as a business owner in the nutritional supplement industry that simple label reading is not enough. All a label tells me is what the company decided to put on that label, and isn’t necessarily a full explanation of what is actually in the product I’m considering.

From BeeyoutifulSkin.com- The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumerIS FULL DISCLOSURE REALLY SO UNUSUAL?

My husband Steve is a big fan of hot sauce, the hotter the better! He loves anything and everything that comes with a generous side of heat. When we learned that many hot sauce manufacturers add MSG to their products, we began to read labels carefully before we bought so that we could avoid that common additive.

On one grocery shopping trip, Steve excitedly pointed out the ingredient listing on a popular brand of hot sauce. “This one doesn’t say anything about MSG or natural flavors or anything else! It’s just got the basic simple ingredients!” He delightedly piled a few bottles into the cart and we brought them home, happy to have found a natural option for him.

Delighted with our discovery, we happily passed the news along to friends about this “clean ingredient hot sauce.” We mentioned it to a friend who had significantly more food sensitivities to contend with than we did, and who was also a more experienced veteran of seeking out healthy food options. She contacted the hot sauce manufacturer directly to ask if there were any other “unlisted” ingredients, and explained that she needed to know due to certain food sensitivities in her family.

The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumerThe company replied to our friend that they would require a note from her doctor before they would tell her what other ingredients were in their hot sauce! Steve sadly resigned himself to never buying another bottle of their product, since the company refused to offer even a basic level of transparency to their customers.

This is just one of many examples that we have run into through the years as consumers ourselves, and why we are committed to providing a different experience for our Beeyoutiful friends.

Many companies reveal only the largest quantities of ingredients, while glossing over those ingredients that make up a tiny fraction (usually 2% or less) of the total product. But what if, like our friend, you have a food sensitivity and need to avoid one of those sneaky ingredients, even in minuscule amounts?

We’re committed to telling you exactly what’s in our foods, supplements, and skin care in even the smallest concentrations so that you can make the best decision based on complete information.

THAT’S FOOD. WHAT ABOUT SKIN CARE?

The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumerA monumental undertaking for our company happened just a few years ago, inspired by one of our all-time favorite product formulators. She approached us with the idea of launching a full-disclosure, all-natural, safe line of cosmetics.

In my ignorance, I flatly turned her down. We do nutritional supplements and healing-focused skin care, I thought. Why on earth would I want to enter the ridiculously competitive world of makeup? She persisted, though, and I decided to spend a few days digging into my friend’s concerns about makeup.

I was stunned to discover how naïve I had been. I’ve been a consumer of makeup since my teens, and my faith in both the safety and ethics of most cosmetics was absolutely destroyed.

Shocking Non-Disclosure

The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumerYou may be as disturbed as I was to know that most skincare and cosmetic companies not only do not support full disclosure of product ingredients, but actually have policies that actively work against disclosure. The FDA does not have authority to approve or disapprove the labeling of cosmetic products before they are placed on the market. It’s up to the manufacturer and/or distributor to ensure their products are labeled appropriately.

This means that, unless someone blows the whistle for mislabeling in a big enough way to attract the FDA’s attention, many companies will go for years without their products being tested and reviewed. The small amount of accountability offered by the FDA for cosmetics is loose and randomly enforced, at best.

I can’t find the words to describe how disturbing it was for me to learn that some of these protected ingredients, used by almost every cosmetic company out there, can contain cells from placentas, tissue from circumcisions, and, most sickening of all to me, cloned cells from aborted babies. These components are used in everything from makeup, creams, toners, and moisturizers to body washes and shampoos. They tend to show up the most in products advertised as “anti-aging,” prized by the industry because of their skin-healing, regenerative properties. All those things we appreciate and marvel at in a baby’s beautiful skin make these ingredients valuable to this industry. 

The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumerDisclosing Beeyoutiful’s Disclosure

By now, you can probably guess Beeyoutiful’s practice regarding full disclosure. It is my absolute joy and pleasure to introduce makeup that is made from nothing but minerals—minerals that are tested to avoid cross-contamination with heavy metals and certified to be heavy metal free. We include no fillers, not even “natural” ones. You’ll find each and every ingredient listed on each and every one of our labels, no matter how small the quantity.

HOW TO SEEK FULL DISCLOSURE FROM OTHER COMPANIES

We’ve adopted a few simple policies for ourselves as consumers and encourage you to do the same.

1) Ask any company you do business with if they are a full disclosure company. If they don’t know what that means, clarify it for them. Simply ask, “Is each and every ingredient used in your formulations included on your label? If not, would you be willing to send me a complete ingredient list so I can make an informed decision about your product?” If they keep ingredient information secret due to either policy or proprietary formulations, then you know for sure that you are not dealing with a full disclosure company.

2) If there’s a company that you like that doesn’t have a full disclosure policy, make sure to communicate with them clearly that you will not be able to purchase from them until their policies change. Smart companies listen to their customers, and if honest labeling is what customers want and continually request, then they will be far more willing to adopt better labeling policies and earn your business back.

3) Support companies that respect your rights as a consumer and enable you to make informed decisions about what is in the products that you buy. Let them know that you appreciate this about them; they value your positive feedback tremendously! And share these wonderful product options with your friends.

The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumerWe are grateful for each and every Beeyoutiful friend that crosses our path, and we’re excited to be part of the grassroots activism and positive changes happening across the nation. The more consumers demand to be respected and fully informed, the more likely companies will be to accommodate, making the marketplace safer and happier for everyone.

We have had a lot of fun working with makeup that is, quite literally, made up by nature. But we haven’t stopped with absolute authenticity and full disclosure in the purity of the makeup: we also have a “No Photoshop” policy. The amazing women who have graciously paused from their regular lives to give our makeup the face it needs in our catalog, website, and user-friendly tutorial videos deserve to be presented to the world in their own glory. Whether our BeeyoutifulSkin models are aging with graceful beauty or still abloom with youthful glow, we love celebrating who they are from the inside out!

BeeyoutifulSkin Mineral Makeup was created by women, for women. Our wonderful BeeyoutifulSkin staff ladies work hard to create helpful information and user-friendly tips to make natural makeup as easy as possible to use. Whether you’re a casual dabbler or someone who loves to indulge in glamorous looks, we have the tools and colors for you!

Click here to join our blog community and see a new makeup tip every Monday from Rosanna, our very own makeup artist. And we’d love to send you a free full-color BeeyoutifulSkin makeup catalog. Shop our samples and find your perfect match here.

Wishing you truth and beauty,

Steph Tallent

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients found in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

Ambiguous labeling of cosmetics and skincare products in the United States creates a big problem for consumers. It’s an issue for those of us who want to not only know what is going on our skin (and thus into our bodies), but who also want to avoid known carcinogenic or otherwise harmful ingredients.

Because of loose labeling standards, companies aren’t legally required to disclose all of the ingredients used in their products. To further complicate things, words such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” can be misleading, and broad swaths of the skincare and cosmetics industry have taken an “innocent until proven guilty” approach to terminology and disclosure of ingredients.
Very few companies are committed to full disclosure, and sometimes even the limited ingredients that actually are listed on the label are disturbing enough to give a consumer pause about the substantial health risks they might pose.Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

There are five toxic ingredients that are very commonly found in skincare and cosmetic products. Some of them have even been banned in other countries, but are still in use in the US. Do you know what these ingredients are, and if you’re putting them on your skin?

Grab your current skincare products and carefully review the ingredients to make sure none of these toxins are lurking.Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

1. Synthetic colors sourced from coal tar

These are known carcinogens banned in the EU, but still used in many products here in the US. You’ll find them listed as a color plus number (for example: FD&C Red No. 6). They’re used in many skin care products, but especially dandruff shampoos and treatments for dry skin. In cosmetics, synthetic or artificial colors or dyes are used to make a desired shade cheaply, but the long term safety of adding these colors to products used on a daily basis is questionable.

There are currently seven dyes allowed by the FDA, despite the health concerns inherent in their use. Those against the use of such colors state that they are “that they are toxic, carcinogens and contributors to ADHD.”

Nature has provided so many safe, non-toxic answers for these artificial colors. Look for products without added colorings, or with colorings from plant sources. Consider personal care products whose ingredients you know are fully disclosed, even the ones used in tiny amounts!

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products? 2. Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES)ARE THESE 5 COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN YOUR COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is highly irritating and can produce a range of undesirable side effects ranging from severe allergic reactions to milder reactions such as dry and itchy skin that necessitates the overuse of moisturizing products. SLS is used as an emulsifier and detergent agent in cosmetics, toothpastes, and pharmaceuticals. It’s frequently referred to on labels by several other common names; click here to familiarize yourself with all of them.

With a little research, it’s easy to find SLS-free products these days. If you discovered SLS (or any of its other versions) in your skincare cabinet, take a few moments to seek out alternatives.

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products? 3. Formaldehyde

This is another ingredient that has been banned from use in the EU. Listed by the FDA as a known carcinogen and severe irritant, formaldehyde can be found in nail polishes, nail hardeners, eyelash glues, hair gels, soaps, makeup, shampoos, lotions, and deodorants, among other products.

In a survey of the FDA’s voluntary cosmetic disclosure database several years ago, it was found that 20% of the products on the market in the US contain formaldehyde in varying amounts. While there is a great deal of debate over just how much formaldehyde is TOO much, it is wise for consumers to factor in not just the exposure in the amount per use, but the cumulative effect over years of weekly or daily use of multiple products.

Building a relationship with companies like Beeyoutiful who refuse to use formaldehyde in any of their cosmetics is an easy step to ensure you won’t find yourself exposed on a regular basis to this highly toxic compound.

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?4. Lead (and other heavy metals)ARE THESE 5 COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN YOUR COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?

Another known carcinogen, lead is found in disturbingly high quantities in lipstick and hair dyes. You won’t find this toxin listed on a label, though, because it’s not an added ingredient but rather a contaminant allowed through by poor quality control. Even some “natural” mineral makeup products can have heavy metal contamination.

The FDA insists that the amount of lead found in US lipsticks is perfectly acceptable, but many consumer safety advocates vehemently disagree. They point out that what goes on the lips is also consumed internally, and with multiple applications per day, exposure can add up to quantities that can realistically pose a health risk, especially to individuals who struggle with detoxing heavy metals.

Ask your cosmetics company if per-batch heavy metal testing is done on their makeup so that the end product is safe from such toxins.

Want a heavy metal-free way to get gorgeous, kissable color on your lips? Click here for quick and easy tutorials on how to transform pure minerals into a luscious lip color in just a couple of seconds.

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?5. Phthalate-based synthetic fragrances

More and more individuals are becoming hyper-sensitized to synthetic fragrances to the point that even going out in public can pose a health hazard. One whiff of the wrong perfume or body spray from a passerby and crippling headaches, asthma attacks, or other serious symptoms can attack immediately.

Even for those who do not have immediate visible adverse reactions, synthetic fragrances have been shown to interfere with the immune system. These chemicals are considered potential neurotoxins and can be found in measurable amounts in the blood of frequent fragrance wearers.

Some fragrance chemicals are known as DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate), and DMP (dimethyl phthalate), although you will rarely (never?) see any of those names appear on a label.

Most of us now come in contact with phthalates on such a frequent basis that our babies are even being exposed to them in utero. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, and this heavy exposure load is bad news for hormonal health. Anything we can do to lower our exposure on both the food and skincare fronts will help to reduce overall toxicity, so avoiding synthetic fragrances in our perfumes, soaps, detergents, and household cleaners is a great strategy.

ARE THESE 5 COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN YOUR COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?Now that you’ve read all your labels…

Be careful about the products you put on your skin! The best thing we consumers can do is to seek out companies who are 100% committed to full disclosure in all labeling, and who refuse to take advantage of labeling loopholes available under the current regulations.

Beeyoutiful is dedicated to NEVER using synthetic colors, SLS, formaldehyde, and phthalates of any kind in our products, and we do per-batch testing for heavy metals in our mineral makeups to make sure they are pure and safe.

I’m a busy mom to three small children, and the task of reading labels, researching chemicals, and other scary ingredients can be overwhelming and sometimes even feel like it’s a losing battle. But, I’ve learned that baby steps towards better choices can be a lot less overwhelming than attempting to overhaul every aspect of life from top to bottom. Having the support and encouragement of a loving community of individuals along the way instead of going it alone also makes an enormous difference.

Our Beeyoutiful families have been on their personal journeys for years towards better health, better choices, and responsibly created products and are always willing to share resources and encouragement from our experiences. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! Together, we can not only make better choices for ourselves and our families, but also create a better world for our children.

Wishing you health and peace,

Steph Tallent

We read 50 books about Essential Oils. Here’s our top pick.

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness from Beeyoutiful.com

One of the hardest aspects of trying to be an informed consumer over the past few years has been attempting to determine good usage practices amongst the many (often conflicting) voices in the essential oil world.

Which applications are considered safe, which ones are risky, what oils are appropriate for which ages and in which contexts? How to mix, when to mix, where to slather, breathe, diffuse after they are mixed? Maybe it’s okay to use this or that essential oil, because my neighbor’s friend’s cousin’s daughter did, and it fixed her problem…

These questions (and so many more!) pop up on a daily basis for me, so I’ve spent years reading and researching. I have nearly 50 essential oil books, written by all sorts of experts in their respective areas. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness from Beeyoutiful.comI’ve read through them all, and followed many experts in social media and on blogs and websites. Out of my personal journey and experiences grew an article with the vital information that I wish someone had shared with me at the beginning of our family’s essential oil journey.

During my own discovery process, the world of essential oils has exploded into the mainstream. There are now many resources available to consumers who, like myself, want to be as informed as possible in how to use these powerful tools.

One of the absolute best of the library of resources I’ve come across in all my years of research is The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Burchon and Lora Cantele.

Combining high-level best practice safety guidelines with user-friendly information and age guidelines, this handy volume also has the bonus feature of more than 450 remedies and suggested uses for essential oils. As helpful as the proactive tips and excellent suggested usages are, the cautions section is just as important to give guidelines on which oils may not be the best choice in various situations.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you want to safely and knowledgeably use essential oils,The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness is a must-have. (As with any of our recommended books, if your budget won’t allow you to purchase it right now, we suggest that you request a copy it from your local library, or perhaps purchase with a friend and split the cost of the book.)

Eager for more recipes and tips on Essential Oil usage? Our email series 101 Uses for Essential Oils is packed with information you can put to use right away!

6 Crucial Things You Need to Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, Part 2

6 Crucial Things You Need To Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, from Beeyoutiful.com

Thanks for joining us for Part 2 of this article! Don’t miss the vital information and helpful graphic we shared in Part 1.

 In our last post, we talked about how important it is to put safety first and to respect the potency inherent in essential oils. Let’s continue our discussion with four more areas to consider before using these powerful tools.

3What is good for Peter may be bad for Paul

Especially if Paul is a young child! Appropriate and safe guidelines for use vary widely from one species of plant to another, and even more widely from adulthood to childhood. Please take the time to personally research each and every essential oil you use with your child or baby. There are very, very few infant-compatible essential oils, a few that are considered okay for toddlers, and then the list expands by several more for young childhood. Once a child reaches 10 years old, the list of oils considered safe expands significantly. (Here are a few oils that we carefully use with children in our own homes.)

I can hear it now: some of my fellow mamas are voicing exactly what went through my head when I first read some of these age-based safety guidelines. “Huh… well, I rubbed XYZ essential oil on my little one neat and not only were there no adverse reactions but it lowered her fever, so THERE. This sounds like a lot of paranoia to me!” Please understand this: just because you can use a particular oil on a young child with no noticeable adverse effects the first time (or even several times), that does not mean that it cannot happen at a later time. ​(Remember also that not all adverse effects are visible; for instance, you cannot tell from the outside whether your child’s tiny liver is stressed by trying to process the powerful compounds present in certain oils.)

4Reaction x2

There are two main types of reactions that can happen in response to external use of essential oils and it’s crucial for all users to understand them.

Skin irritation was the only type of potential reaction of which I was aware when I started with oils. This is the type of reaction that one is to test for before using any new essential oil externally. Skin irritations can occur in one individual and not in another, due to individual sensitivities. Skin irritation happens on the first exposure to the irritatant, the reaction is rapid, and the severity will depend on the concentration of the irritant present. The skin responds with an inflammatory reaction.

Skin sensitization is the second type of reaction and it took me years of learning to discover a thorough explanation of what it is. Skin sensitization is a type of allergic reaction. The oil will not produce any irritated reaction on the first patch test, but during later exposures, once the allergen has penetrated the skin, the body’s immune system reacts in an attempt to fight off what it views as an invader. This can result in a rash on the skin. Sensitization reactions can also take the form of inflammation, breathlessness, nausea or headache. It is possible to become sensitized to any essential oil, no matter how pure or safe the particular species or variety.

Sensitization to an essential oil happens most frequently through overuse of a specific oil. This is a good reminder that it is unwise to repeatedly use the same oil (or blend of oils) day in and day out. There is benefit to changing out our oils on a regular basis and making sure they are sufficiently diluted for external use. Both of these strategies will decrease the risk of sensitization over time.

5The Swiss Army Knife of natural tools

Essential oils are so incredibly multi-faceted. They can do it all, and do it with style. These are the primary ways they are suggested to be used.

Aromatherapy includes heat diffusion, cold nebulizing diffusion, steam inhalation, or simply smelling the oil from the bottle or applied on an item in the vicinity. It is generally agreed that aromatherapy is the safest way to use essential oils. But, even with aromatherapy, there are cautions to beware.

External use covers applying an oil directly to the skin, either neat or diluted. There is a wide range of opinion as to what constitutes safe external usage, recommended dilutions, and what health situations warrant external use.

Internal use is by far the most controversial form of essential oil usage, with well-diluted considered the safest form of essential oil internal use. Diluted or not, internal use requires the most research and expertise, and entails the highest amount of risks.

There is a range of risks and contraindications inherent in the available options of essential oil use. Understanding this is an important step in being an informed consumer and moving beyond the naive view that all oils are equally safe and viable options for everyone.

6Why a Company cannot create a well-informed Consumer

When I first began using essential oils, I was very careful to read everything I could that was published by or recommended by representatives of the company from which I bought them. After all, who better to trust than the source of the oil itself?

Now that I’ve read many more books, scientific studies, and articles written by certified aromatherapists, I feel a little betrayed by the narrow scope of information given by the company I placed my trust in as a fledgling essential oil consumer all those years ago. There was so very much that they didn’t say, and so much they did say that I found out later was not a reflection of what other experts considered good advice.

My perspective has changed and I no longer hold that company completely responsible for my ignorance as a consumer. I know now that the information a company publishes and shares about their essential oils, with recipes, dilution recommendations, cautions, warnings, and benefit suggestions will all be driven by that company’s philosophy, the personal way the individuals in that company use oils, and the training and personal knowledge of the people in the company. It will also likely be heavily filtered and carefully worded due to the legal restrictions placed upon alternative health businesses.

Through the years, Beeyoutiful’s essential oil descriptions have been revised multiple times. Many times, the edits were very frustrating for us to make because they meant removing information that could be very beneficial for consumers to know but that we are not allowed to share based on our best understanding of FDA guidelines. Other times, the edits were made to reflect new information as we learned it about specific essential oils. The most recent round of edits was intended to be more comprehensive of health, age, and pregnancy and nursing precautions.

We’ve shared how our oils are made, and we’re happy to answer your common questions about them. We are sharing, educating, and disclosing everything we can to the best of our ability, and even so our efforts, on their own, will never be enough to make you a truly informed consumer. No company selling essential oils will ever be able to educate you well enough because the restrictions are too great and our knowledge base is not comprehensive enough even if we could write what we wanted without restrictions. We will never be experts on your health history, or that of your children and your family. We will never be your personal healthcare provider. We are here to simply make available the tools we use with our own families, and do our very best to share helpful information along the way.

We carry books about essential oils and freely give reading recommendations for resources that we trust that will help fill in the gaps we know exist between where our product descriptions end and where knowledgable consumerism begins. Please take advantage of these resources! It is so worth it to have a broad understanding of how these marvelous essential oils work, and this knowledge will enable you to use essential oils for the rest of your life.

Missed the important information in Part 1 of this article? Read it here! If you found this information helpful, don’t keep it to yourself! Use the buttons below to share it with a friend, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram

6 Crucial Things You Need to Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, Part 1

6 Crucial Things You Need To Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, from Beeyoutiful.com

Over the past few years, essential oils have undergone a radical transformation. They went from being the best kept secrets of hippies, crunchy mamas, and alternative healthcare practitioners, and have now burst into the mainstream in a big way. Nowadays, most of us have at least one essential oil fan amongst our friends and family (depending on your social circles, maybe you know more than just a few!). I had no idea myself what essential oils were until several years ago. The few times they crossed my path, the cost and research involved was daunting. (This was before the days of ever-present social media filled with beautiful photographs and easy-to-find recipes, along with bloggers sharing post after post of their top 10 favorite oils and ways to use them!)

But, after a scary episode with our very young daughter having breathing troubles that nearly landed her in the hospital, we broke down and bought a diffuser and some basic oils. That was the start of our learning journey and we’ve been pursuing more experience with and knowledge of essential oils throughout the years since.

We’ve faced plenty of twists and turns on our road, and I want to share with my friends some tips that I wish someone had shared with me at the very beginning of our essential oil journey. These are particularly crucial points to understand if you are a parent making essential oil decisions for young children. 

6 Crucial Things You Need To Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, from Beeyoutiful.com

Safety First

Essential Oils are incredibly powerful. This is what makes them such marvelous and multifaceted tools, but it’s chilling for me to remember the lack of respect that I had for essential oils when we first began using them. I learned quickly that since essential oils possess highly concentrated amounts of active compounds and properties of the plants from which they are sourced, it is entirely possible to be allergic to an essential oil, or for an essential oil to exacerbate an underlying health condition, or simply be too much for an individual body to handle in specific situations.

Here’s the real deal about safety and essential oils. It’s tempting to think that because they are ​pure and natural​ that they are of course also ​safe and gentle​. This is not always the case! (Hemlock and cocaine are also ​pure​ but nobody would call them ​safe!). Unfortunately, there is enough conflicting and even flat-out dangerous information out there to sink a ship.

Personal responsibility as a consumer is a big deal. Here at Beeyoutiful, we advocate for informed consumerism in all of life. In some areas, the stakes are relatively low and the margins to live and learn are pretty generous. However, because of their sheer concentration and potency and how they can be so easily (even accidentally) misused, the stakes with essential oils are substantially higher.

2

Respect the “essential” part before the oil

A little part of me cringes when I think back on my early enthusiast days as I gleefully squealed to my friends that “I use my essential oils for EVERYTHING!” Because they are indeed so useful for oh so many things, there can be a huge temptation to get into the habit of thinking, “Oh I have an oil for that!” or “Hmm. Wonder what I should do for this situation… let’s try some oils first.”

It is crucial to take the time to be an informed consumer of essential oils. Essential by definition means (in this context) the purest, most concentrated extract possible. Find out the reasons that even some experts are hesitant to use them in any form except aromatherapy, and only with very select oils for children under 10, 6, and 2 years of age. Learn why some experts recommend a minimal dilution. Learn about each individual oil that interests you. If you understand the philosophies the experts use, you will be able to decide when you’ll want to apply caution, and in what situations you might personally be comfortable with a more aggressive approach.

Oils are amazing, incredible tools. We use them daily, if not multiple times per day in our household in a wide variety of ways. But I no longer reach for oils first when I face a health situation. Or even second. And often times not third or fourth either.

Why? Because they are the superstars, the power-houses, the strongest natural medicine available. Essential oils may possess the key component that could make all the difference in a serious situation, yet they are also a choice that can often represent the most potential risk. A lot of us essential oil enthusiasts are guilty of bringing our super-powerful oils to a situation where something a lot less potent would work just as effectively with less risk of complication or adverse reaction. (Ever hear it said of an overzealous person that “he brought a gun to a fistfight”? Don’t be that person!)

This chart is a helpful visual to represent the degrees of potency and risk of adverse effects available to those of us who prefer to use tools from nature to support health and healing. You might be surprised to see that essential oils are ranked right up at the top, just under over-the-counter mainstream medications.

Risk of Adverse Effects: Guide to Natural Remedies from Beeyoutiful.comContinue reading Part 2 where we consider four additional crucial things you need to know BEFORE using essential oils. Was this post helpful? Share it with a friend who needs to know this important information!

4 Natural Tools to Extinguish Pregnancy Heartburn

4 Natural Tools to Extinguish Heartburn

4 Natural Tools to Extinguish Heartburn Few things are more uncomfortable and dreaded in pregnancy than heartburn! I made this video when pregnant with our second, and these tips held true for me a year later through our third pregnancy.

Keep in mind that with heartburn, the motto “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true. Focusing primarily on the positive things you can do to prevent heartburn is better than trying to address it when you’re already miserable.

While my midwives were aware of my health history and were comfortable with me using these tools, please make sure to check with your pregnancy healthcare provider before making any dietary changes or adding supplements to your routine. Watch this 4-minute video and then read my summary below!

1)   Take Raw Apple Cider Vinegar on a daily basis. Use it in a salad dressing or drink it diluted in a glass of water. Kombucha or Water Kefir can also be helpful. Any raw, cultured foods can also make a huge difference as they add enzymes and good bacteria (probiotics), as well as other miscellaneous nutrients that support digestion.

2)    Digestive Enzymes. Chewables work well for some, but others benefit from more concentrated broad spectrum enzymes.

3)    Probiotics. Since the purpose in this context is not for gut rebuilding but to assist in keeping the stomach calm, make sure they are in a form that is accessible directly to the stomach and not prevented from this by enteric coating. If using Tummy Tuneup (or a similar enteric coated probiotic), be sure to put the powder directly in the mouth so it benefits the stomach.

4)    Activated Charcoal. This is not to be used as a preventative, but is useful as a tool to quickly quell a problem that may flare up despite preventative measures. This should NOT be taken on a daily basis for very long, as it will not only bind with the excess acid causing the heartburn but can also bind with minerals and other nutrients that you’d much rather stayed in your body.

With these tips, your chances of experiencing a heartburn-free pregnancy just went up!

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