All photos of me are by: Sam J Bien Photography // @samjbien

Hair Credit: Sarah Stidham Beauty,  @sarahstidhambeauty, sarahstidhambeauty.com

Makeup Credit: Heather N Artistry, @heathernartistryheathernartistry.com.

Have you heard the news? I’ve been living a gluten free lifestyle since July 2019! This includes food, beauty products and household products. If you missed my post announcing this big change, click here to read. If you follow me on social media, @thefoxykat1 on Instagram and /thefoxykat on Facebook, then you’ve noticed my stories and posts about using essential oils from Young Living.

I learned about Young Living and essential oils in 2013 from my boss. Her and I were struggling with our thyroids and looking for a healthier and all-natural solution for wellness remedies. I purchased a starter kit in December 2013 that had a diffuser and about 10 different oils. I thought they all smelled great, but other than that I didn’t really understand how to use them. 

It wasn’t until I shared my health story this past July that an old friend, Courtney @anessentialmotherhood, reached out to me to check in on how I was doing. I enjoyed the tips and tricks that she shares on her Instagram and how she uses essential oils for various life hacks. She told me about an oil that is made up of natural ingredients from the earth that is proven to have positive impacts on the thyroid and hormones. I figured it was probably time to dust off the diffuser, oils and figure out how to use these to my benefit. Thankfully there’s no expiration date on essentials oils since it had been almost 6 years, but I was running low in my favorites so I decided to purchase a brand new starter kit. I received a second diffuser and a couple new oils I hadn’t tried before along with refills of my favorites at a much less cost than purchasing them on their own. Now it’s been 4 months later from that purchase and I’ve switched over all of my household products and made several sprays and rollerballs for various ailments and health benefits. 

Let me break down my TOP 5 reasons for using Young Living essential oils….

GLUTEN FREE INGREDIENTS & FACILITY

I quickly learned that not all “gluten free” products are created equal. Many beauty products, especially make-up like to claim that they are gluten free. The ingredients might be gluten free, but they become contaminated the second they are created on shared material as non-gluten free products. It’s super tricky to know what is truly gluten free unless you see a “certified gluten free” label on the packaging. Not all companies are paying for those certified gluten free facilities or the proper testing so they instead use shared facilities and aren’t sure if the end result is actually gluten free. For me, I need to be 100% gluten free. 99% gluten free just won’t cut it! Researching every product that I want to use is like a second job. If I can’t find the answers on their website or through my gluten finder app, then I have to email their customer service. Often times when I email customer service they don’t understand what I’m asking, or they only answer that the ingredients are gluten free but forget to share information about their facilities, so it creates a lot of back and forth, and waiting. 

With Young Living essential oils, they have a very strict “Seed to Seal” standard that the company and every partner follows. It ensures that all products meet their specifications in order to ensure that their essential oils will never be compromised by added synthetics, contaminants, cheap fillers or by using unethical practices. Being able to feel good about a product that I’m using and knowing that I don’t have to research every product to make sure that the ingredients and facilities are clean from gluten and other harmful products makes my stress, anxiety and worry go away. 

NO SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES

Typically when you read the ingredients on the back of a body wash bottle or really any beauty or household product and it says “Fragrance” it’s typically referring to synthetic fragrances and term that can hide a cocktail of more than 100 toxic ingredients. I didn’t realize this until recently. It seems as though the only way to differentiate synthetic fragrances from natural fragrances is if the ingredients actually says “natural fragrance”, “fragrance from essential oils”, or it lists out what plant the oils are coming from that is producing the fragrance. However I must warn you, there is no standard criteria for what the word “natural fragrance” means and if something says “unscented or “fragrance-free” the manufacturers could be using fragrances named something else in the ingredients list in order to mask the chemical smell.

To create a fragrance (I’m referring to a synthetic fragrance that is not created from essentials oils from a plant), is a highly toxic process containing things like allergens, hormone disruptors, asthma triggers, neurotoxins & carcinogens.  As well as chemicals containing phthalates to help the scent last longer. Health risks for phthalates include cancer, human reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects and respiratory problems, and are very hard to avoid because manufacturers are not required to list them on ingredient labels. If you search “why are fragrances bad”, a bunch of sources will pop-up for you to learn more, but the one that I found helpful is from Force of Nature.

Not only are Young Living essential oils straight from the earth, but they are powerful and strong scented because of how they are extracted. I often times use one drop or dilute my oils with a carrier oil before putting on to my skin in order to get the right amount of scent that I need. Mostly I’m using my oils for some other emotional, physical or purifying reason, but I do have a few that I like to use primarily as my daily fragrance.

FREE FROM CHEMICALS & EASY INGREDIENT LISTS

All Young Living products, not even just the essential oils, are free from the terrible chemicals that the US-FDA allows into our food and products. I didn’t realize the truth about the scary things that sneak into our grocery stores until I started researching the gluten free regulations that the FDA created for the United States, which again is very different and very lax compared to other countries. Getting too detailed in these chemicals will quickly get us down a fierce rabbit hole, but if you are interested at all about what those chemicals could be I highly suggest reading this article from The New York Times that talks about the foods that are banned in Europe, but not in the US. Another article, from GoodRx, talks about the lack of regulations when it comes to consumer drugs, which has you questioning how safe the ingredients in those drugs could be for you.

Something positive to share is how open Young Living is about the ingredients found in their oils and products along with the ingredients you’ll never find from them. Reading an ingredients list can be convoluted and it really shouldn’t be! I always heard that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you don’t know what it is or the Google results are sketchy then it definitely shouldn’t be something that. you’re putting in or on your body. Don’t forget that your skin is your bodies largest organ and a straight passageway to your blood stream.

DIY’ING IS SO MUCH FUN!

I had no idea how much fun it is to make your own products! There is literally no stress of not knowing what is in it, because you get to control the ingredients list. Plus, if you don’t like a certain essential oils scent or want a different oil that has slightly different benefits, you can easily make those changes. Also, you can COOK with your essential oils! More to come on this, but I eat a Mint Chip smoothie with peppermint essential oils all the time.

Amazon has so many great tools that support making your own diffuser mixes, rollerballs, spray bottles, etc. I have a Shopping List on my Amazon store that I keep adding my favorite supplies for DIY’ing essential oils

Young Living offers wholesale prices for their members, which again makes it so easy to create your own concoctions because you’re not spending a fortune on the main ingredient. Plus, Young Living has been around for 26 years, so there is a plethora of information about what you can make and how to make it.

If DIY’ing isn’t your thing, I have created an Etsy store so I can sell my creations, click here to view. I’ve never been a big DIY’er, but for some reason it’s very therapeutic for me. If it’s frustration for you, check out my store instead. 

THE YOUNG LIVING COMMUNITY 

I hope you’ve made it this far, because this really is one of the most important reasons that I chose Young Living and am exclusive to Young Living over any other essential oil brand. The Young Living community runs deep! Being a company since 1994, there are so many people who have used these oils for 20+ years and have seen tremendous benefits. I went to a seminar with a veterinarian who explained over 100 uses of essential oils that help animals and the only reason I learned about this was through the local Young Living community. If you’re in a rush, but need a remedy for a coughing baby, there are Facebook groups where you can literally search any phrase or word that will pull up tips from other moms who have used the same products. I’m not a mom, but trust me I have leaned on my community for so many answers already. This is what was missing from my experience in 2013. I didn’t understand how to use the oils on my own, but also didn’t take the time to learn. Joining through my friend Courtney has set me up for success because she’s connected me to her group. There are a ton of resources on Instagram too! Courtney and myself are sharing our tips openly, but through Brooke at @nestingwell, we are connected to her knowledge and her community to be able to talk to each other over video conferencing, chat through Facebook groups and share resources to help guide us through. I’m very thankful for the support, but you can get as involved as you want to be!

If you’re interested in learning more, you can always reach out to me directly through email, social media or comment below. I highly recommend starting your essential oils journey with a starter kit for the most successful outcome. Plus that sets you up with the same community that I’ve in and gets you wholesale pricing. Click here, oilwith.me/tfk, for the Young Living essential oils starter kit.

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