The start of a New Year is a perfect time to take on new habits!
The frenzied buying at the beauty counter is not without consequences:
At the ecological level:
The environment is the first victim of our compulsive buying because it suffers at every step:
- At the production level as it requires an important quantity of raw material (often originating from the polluting petrochemical area)
- At the level of transport (pollution, packaging)
- By the waste generated by the consumer
At the health level:
What happens if you consume about ten different cosmetics every day for an entire life time? Little is known of the effects of cumulating all these products for a long period of time.
Some ingredients that recur in all conventional cosmetics could have detrimental effects on the endocrine system or be the cause of cancers.
By changing your choice of cosmetics all the time, because you are told the latest one is better than the one you are using, you can never be sure that you are using THE right one.
And for your purse:
It is tempting to always wanting to try the latest product, that, if we think about it, we may not necessarily need. In addition to the waste and the filling up of cupboards in the bathroom, our buying power takes a blow…
A few suggestions to change your consumer’s attitude and tilt towards a natural, more ecologically friendly healthcare.
- Buy less but better: with one and only little bottle you can look after several daily needs.
- Pay the right price: a cheaper EO may be synonymous with a lower concentration, a doubtful source, a bad extraction, or even a poor mixture.
Check the label. You should find:
- The English name + the Latin name of the EO
- The part of the plant that has been distilled
- The origin of the plant
- The quality (organic or conventional)
- Use organic essential oils with ingredients that are 100% natural: an organic EO contains no pesticides
- Take car of your EO: you can keep them for a long time, 2 to 5 years, sometimes longer because some improve with time! Therefore, you need to:
– keep them away from light, heat and humidity
– close the top with care after use because evaporation happens quickly and oxygen and light may affect them.
– don’t ever leave EO in reach of children
- Adopt a simple routine but one that is adapted to your needs: with raw products that have multiple uses, to get rid of the superfluous (polemic ingredients, bottles, expenses…) and favour quality and the product itself, obtained if possible through an artisanal fashion, respecting nature and the humans who produce it.
Skin and hair have simple and universal needs. These can easily been achieved with few ingredients that
- are at once noble and accessible,
- you can be use in several ways by combining them or by adding a few basic ingredients from your kitchen (sugar, honey, lemon… ).
To take up your new beauty routine, you will need:
- Find out what your skin type is (see article here) and the products you will need for that skin type
- Become aware of the necessary products for a natural beauty:
- Vegetable oils
- Essential oils
- Clay and aloe vera gel
- Think seriously about how and where you buy your products: you will do better by choosing a small producer and by buying locally.
A little reminder about MLM:
MLM (Multi Level Marketing), the best example of which, known to most of us, is the brand Tupperware.
It’s a structure within which the people selling the product can sponsor new vendors, and as a result being partly remunerated by a commission calculated on the percentage of sales and the number of recruits. It is the word of mouth invented by people who wish to develop this type of activity to promote the business.
In general, the advisers are often people that you know, your neighbour or a member of your family for example. They will sell you these products and make personalised recommendations. These people have a vested interest in convincing you that the sale of EOs in the brand X is absolutely fabulous because these people sell on commission, and recruiting also brings financial benefits.
Multi Level Marketing is not a problem as such. It is the mixture of MLM and the sale of essential oils that is problematic.
Indeed, there is no level of training required or standardised in order to become an adviser. All you need is to enroll with a MLM business and to pay your membership fees!
Although some advisers have had some training and offer an excellent service, the door remains open to people who are not qualified to sell essential oils and who are susceptible of make recommendations that are potentially dangerous to clients who have total faith in them. Given that a type of training is not required to become an adviser, it is hard to make sure that they offer a quality service. It is a concern because in general, in areas of health care, a professional training is always required.
It will never be stressed enough that EOs are not harmless and that great care needs to be take in their use. Some are abortive, neurotoxic, photo-sensitive and dermo-caustic. Some EOs can also interact with specific health issues (ex: epilepsy) or with certain medication. There is also the danger of contamination, especially with essential oils of poor quality. You should ask for professionals advice when using essential oils internally, or with young children as well as with pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Some of these MLM companies recommend the use of pure EOs, without dilution, in addition to recommending internal use. Except some specific oils (such as lavender for example), essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted. This is the recommendation of most experts who are cited and referenced in the aromatherapy world, as is clearly explained by Tisserand. The use of essential oils internally has to be done under the supervision of an aromatherapist. Furthermore, these advisers have no knowledge of your medical history nor do they know about possible interactions between EOs and the medications you take.
Another warning to heed: the false usage of the term: “therapeutic grade”.
Therapeutic grade does not exist.
Why? Because, for a certification to be legitimately accepted, it has to be managed by a neutral and external jurisdiction. It also has to be accessible to any enterprise wishing to conform to it. Such as ‘EcoCert’ for organic products.
There is no governmental or neutral organisation that certifies EOs as being of a therapeutic grade, neither here, nor in Canada, nor in the United States. However, some MLM companies describe their essential oils as being of “therapeutic grade” and display them as certifications.
These certifications are in fact commercial brands and are therefore only accessible to the company that created it. Conclusion: they are not accessible to all and have not been recognised by a neutral jurisdiction.
This reminder is not aimed at doubting the quality of essential oils sold by MLM companies or to minimise the work of their advisers. It is totally legitimate to want to earn a living, be it through MLM companies or any other means.
It is just something to keep in mind, that it is a marketing strategy that could make you believe that all other EOs on the market or not of a “therapeutic grade”.
Conclusion: when buying EOs, do it consciously and seriously. Essential oils are more than a little bottle with a lovely scent!