Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Tag: essential oils (page 1 of 2)

The Tejomaya Wellness: Essential Oil Academy Starts Monday

     Hey There, Well Beings!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything on this page, but it’s for a really exciting reason, I promise! My Essential Oil Academy, a dream a very long time coming, starts on Monday! I’ve been busy prepping videos and materials for what has been my biggest, scariest goal of the past few years. There’s something about the energy of 2018 that made my decide to face the fear and just do it anyway, so read on for all of the juicy details!

Those of you who have spent any time talking to me know that I am super passionate about essential oils and I have probably had conversations with you about the health benefits and uses of them over the past several years.

Many of you may already have oils in your home and some may be curious if they would be a good fit for your lifestyle.

In order to better serve you, I have created an exclusive Facebook group where I will be teaching about the practical and daily uses of doTERRA’s essential oils and supplements to support a variety of different health/wellness concerns.

The cool thing about the group is you can absorb the education at your own pace so there is no obligation to login or watch videos live. There will also be giveaway opportunities for members of the group to win oils, accessories, and more!

My group is geared towards breaking down essential oil use in a way that is simple, easy and applicable to your daily routine!

This time of year, many people start thinking about bettering their health, and creating habits that support their physical and emotional well-being in the year ahead.

If you are interested in learning additional tips for using your oils or are brand new and excited to learn and start using oils, I would love to have you join!

The group starts Monday! Comment below if you would like to be added and I’ll get you all set up!

Meditation for Beginners: The 4-7-8 Method

     Hey There, Well-Beings!

Several months back, I wrote about some of the misconceptions that I believe keep people from trying meditation. (You can find that post here.) The good news is that there are a number of very simple and super effective ways to get started with a meditation practice. One of the easiest is a meditation I still use whenever I feel stressed or anxious because of how well it works.

Photo by Chris Ensey on Unsplash

The 4-7-8 Method, at its core, is just an easy breathing exercise. Start by getting in a comfortable position. I find sitting in a supportive chair or lying down on my bed to be the best places, but feel free to stand, or even use this as a walking meditation if you wish. It’s really about what’s going to make you feel supported and relaxed, so don’t stress yourself further by trying to find the perfect place to perform this meditation. Wherever you are is the perfect place.  You begin by simply inhaling deeply through your nose to the count of 4, holding that breath in your lungs for a count of 7, and then completing the cycle by breathing out slowly through your mouth for a count of 8. From there you repeat the process until you feel calm and centered. Sometimes this happens quickly and other times it can take several cycles until you can feel your heart rate slow and your shoulders relax. There isn’t a magic number of cycles, so just focus on the breath and let your body respond. You’ll know when it’s working.

If you want to add something to the practice to make it feel really special and aid in the relaxation process, try adding an essential oil to the mix.  For this, I really love using Balance, dōTERRA’s Grounding Blend . The fresh, woodsy aroma reminds me of being in my favorite place in nature and I think it makes the experience feel sacred and allows me to slow down even further and relish the process. I apply one drop in the palm of my hands, rub them together, and cup my hands over my nose during the inhale part of the breathing cycle. It’s already pre-diluted in a base of fractionated coconut oil, so I like that it’s ready to go, especially when I’m looking at fending off panic. For single oils, I like Frankincense  and Lavender. Both are known for their relaxing properties, and are wonderful multipurpose oils that I get a lot of mileage out of.  If you don’t have time to dilute your oils, don’t worry! You can inhale directly from the bottle, without applying any to the skin and will still get the same benefit.

A final tip for using this powerful practice; should you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, give it a go instead of counting sheep. The repetitive nature of the exercise doesn’t just help you come back to yourself during high stress and panic episodes, but is fantastic for quieting the chatter that keeps our minds from winding down before sleep. All this from breathing.  Not bad for something you were going to do already!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: Peppermint

     Hey there, Well-Beings! If you asked me for a list of what I thought every brand new essential oil user should start out with, peppermint would be non-negotiable. I use it every single day, and I get a little twitchy when I don’t have a back up waiting in the wings. Straight from the bottle it’s aroma is impossible to mistake, but it plays so well with others that it’s likely hiding in many your favorite blends. Even if you’ve been using oils for as long as I have, you might be surprised by all that it can do.

First, a little botany. Peppermint oil, or Mentha Piperita, is the steam distilled, perennial hybrid of spearmint and water mint. The herb is cultivated on continents with a lot of rainfall, such as Asia, Europe, and North America. It stands around 20-40 inches tall, has a sturdy, square shaped stem, green leaves, and occasionally is seen sporting pale pink or purple blooms. The Pacific Northwest is the top producer of peppermint in the U.S., with the majority of that yield coming from Washington state. The scent is fresh and herbaceous and is used in everything cosmetic preparations to cooking.

The most common use for peppermint oil is oral health products. It’s found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath fresheners on shelves in every grocery store in the country. I like to use it to compliment my morning oil pulling routine by adding a drop of peppermint to my coconut oil to improve the taste and kill morning breath. The refreshing flavor really wakes me up when I’d otherwise be sleepily shuffling through the apartment. I also use peppermint oil after a cup of coffee or a pungent meal to keep my mouth fresh. I simply unscrew the lid, press my thumb against the top of the bottle, and then press my thumb against the roof of my mouth and voila! No more fear that I’m offending my coworkers after that onion bagel. Speaking of work, I’ve also been using it to reign in the afternoon slump I sometimes feel when I return from lunch and that little tingle helps me refocus and stay clear headed instead of daydreaming about naps. I apply pre-diluted peppermint oil on my temples and the back of my neck, inhale deeply from the bottle, and I’m ready to answer emails and check projects off my list again.

Peppermint is also a valuable tool for pain management. Because of its main chemical constituent, menthol, peppermint provides a cooling sensation which can be helpful for many types of discomfort. Diluted in a carrier oil and added to a roller bottle, it can be applied to sunburns for soothing relief, can relax sore joints and muscles, and has helped me a time or two with stomach upset, as well. I keep a simple blend of peppermint and lavender in a base of fractionated coconut oil in my purse for head tension and relief from monthly menstrual discomfort, and it’s kept me from tapping out and heading home enough times that I never go anywhere without it.

Perhaps my favorite use for peppermint oil has been to cool off during the summer heat and as relief from hormonal hot flashes. I keep a glass bottle with distilled water, a touch of fractionated coconut oil to coat the sprayer stem, and 10 drops of peppermint oil in my fridge to spray down my face and chest when the heat is on and almost instantly, I’m back to my old self. I get double the use out of this spray by using it as a natural insect repellent for my indoor and outdoor plants and any areas where bugs might get in, I haven’t had a pest problem in over a decade, and it smells so much better than any of the store bought bug sprays I used to use. My finally tip is for cleaning. I add peppermint oil to a vodka and water base and wipe down my sliding glass doors, mirrors, stovetop, and sinks and not only does it fight the smoke smell that sometimes wafts over from neighboring apartments, but it also leaves everything spotless and shiny clean.

Versatile and refreshing, peppermint oil is one my home and handbag aren’t complete without. If you haven’t used it, now is a great time to add it to your arsenal! DoTERRA is giving away a pre-diluted Peppermint Touch roll-on for free through the 15th of September to wholesale members with a qualifying purchase. (Mine is on its way to me right now!) If you want to claim one for yourself, or find out more about how essential oils can uplevel your life, leave a comment below and I’ll give you all the details. Nothing would make me happier than to see you put this beautiful oil to work in your daily life!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: June

Untitled design(1)     Hey There, Well-Beings!

It’s hard to believe it’s the last week of June. It’s been a pretty busy month for me. I typically opt to curl up at home with a good book, but was able to connect with a few good friends and my family to celebrate my birthday this month, and am really thankful for each of those moments.

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Speaking of birthdays, my fella got us both Kindles this year! I’ve been wanting one for a while, but wasn’t as focused as I wanted to be for Black Friday last year, so I was really surprised when he showed up on Saturday with one for the both of us. We used to go to the library, or hit up the local book fairs and charity sales and then spend one hour of our Saturday together reading. I’m not sure how we got out of the habit, but it was something we both enjoyed doing because we could devote some uninterrupted time to our book of choice, but still be together. I’m thankful that we will be picking up where we left off, and maybe also a little grateful (okay, a lot) that I can watch Netflix in bed! I’ve got new seasons of three of my faves to catch up on.

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This month, I also joined a really amazing essential oil group that’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Even with my 20 years of experience in aromatherapy, I am still learning something new almost every day and I am surrounded by the most amazing women  who are holistic health professionals, body and energy workers, creative business owners, and some of the coolest and most supportive people in the industry.  I am incredibly fortunate to have been pointed there and even more excited about all of the inspiration I’ve gained and will be able to direct toward an abandoned project that I thought was lost for good.  This has been life changing for me, and I’m only a month in! I can’t wait to see where I am in a year from now.

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My outdoor photo shoots have been ramping up lately, too.  In fact I’m even looking at adding a fourth camera to my collection and am squirreling away a little cash here and there to make that a reality. (You should see the pictures this thing takes! I cannot wait to take it out for a spin!) I’m even exploring the option of taking an evening class to enhance my skills and get better behind the lens and am having so much fun taking day trips out to practice my craft. I don’t know where I’m headed with this quite yet, but I’m really enjoying the journey and am thankful for the outlet.

What has been making you so happy that you just want to tell the world? Do you have any good news to share? What is the single most gratitude inspiring thing to happen to you in the last few weeks? Share in the comments below and let’s celebrate each other’s happy moments this past month!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Tutorial: Easy Argan Oil Facial Serum

img_0223     When I ran out of the expensive argan oil facial serum I’d been using, I looked over the ingredients and felt a little foolish. It was literally only organic argan oil and essential oils. Why in the heck wasn’t I just making this myself? Once I’d picked out everything I needed to get started, I realized that not only was it waaaaay more cost effective (I was getting only 1 measly oz for the same price as the 4 oz organic bottle I get from Mountain Rose Herbs), but I was also able to control the essential oil blend that went into it and target it to my skin’s specific needs. Everything was coming up wins, so I made my order and waited as patiently as I could for my big bottle of goodness to get here.

If you’re not using argan oil for your skin or hair yet, allow me to sing its praises. It’s full of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and is also packing some serious Vitamin E. It absorbs easily, is lightweight and non-greasy, and is so moisturizing. 30’s skin, or at least my 30’s skin, can be pretty dang frustrating. I’m both oily and dry, breaking out and starting to see lines.  Argan oil keeps my hormonal acne at bay and since I started using it regularly, I’m seeing a softening of my crow’s feet and the fine lines on my forehead. It’s also helping keep my hair healthy and shiny. Each night, I smooth whatever I have left on my hands after my facial application through the ends of my hair and let it work its nourishing magic while I sleep. Seriously, when I’m consistent, I feel like I shimmer a little. It’s fabulous stuff!

Ready to make your own Easy Argan Oil Facial Serum? Here’s what you need to get started:

Easy Argan Oil Facial Serum

  • 2 oz dark glass bottle with dropper top
  • Funnel
  • 8 TBS argan oil
  • Essential oils of your choice

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 I’m kicking myself a little for not doing this sooner. This could not have possibly been easier to make.  I think it took me two minutes total, which was just fantastic. All you need is to measure out your oil and fill the empty bottle with it. I used a funnel just to make sure I didn’t spill any, because argan oil is miracle stuff.  I even put what was left behind in the funnel and measuring spoon on my neck and face so I wouldn’t waste any. I’m not even a little ashamed.

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After I got the argan in the bottle, I added my essential oils. Less is always more when it comes to aromatherapy recipes. Essential oils are already super potent, but you can totally ruin a blend or DIY project by being heavy handed, so start with one drop at a time until it smells right to your nose. If you’re going to blend, I’d also check out the potential combo with a dry run on a tissue or cotton ball first. Some oils just don’t play well together and if you’re wearing this on your face, you’ll want it to be pleasant. For my personally targeted serum, I chose patchouli and bergamot and used 4 drops of each. I selected this combination because they are both good for acne and oily skin and I love the scent of both. When I put it on after washing my face later that night, I couldn’t stop smelling my hands. It’s not knock-you-over patchouli, either. Just faintly herbal with a light hint of citrus.

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Once that was done, I screwed the top back on, shook my serum and that was that. Easy peasy, serum squeezy. I used it last night after I washed my face and woke up to an absolutely glowing complexion. I’m hooked. I’ll only ever make my own serums from now on!

If you want to try this recipe, but your skin isn’t oily and acne prone like mine, or you just don’t dig the combination of patchouli and bergamot, here are a few suggestions that may work for your skin type:

  • Oily Skin – Geranium, Lemon, Orange, Cypress, Lime, Bergamot
  • Acne Prone Skin – Tea Tree, Patchouli, Geranium, Lavender, Clary Sage, Lemon
  • Dry Skin – Cedarwood, Rose, Geranium, Sandalwood, Myrrh, both varieties of Chamomile
  • Sensitive Skin – both varieties of Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Neroli

You’ll see a lot of crossover, where one oil is good for multiple skin types that seem a little contradictory, but in my nearly 20 years of experience with essential oils I’ve learned that plants have a special intelligence and know how to heal and balance when used in the right combination. That’s why one person can have success with Geranium as an acne remedy and another can use it to soothe sensitivity. It’s mostly a matter of letting your nose tell you what you need and using smart safety precautions along the way. Speaking of safety precautions, be especially careful if you are using citrus oils in anything that goes on exposed skin if you are going out into the sun. These oils are photosensitive, and can intensify the sun’s rays. It’s best to stick to an evening only application if you’re going to be using them in your facial serum.

I want to hear from you! If you make your own skincare serums or products, if you have a great blend of essential oils for skin or hair, or if you decide to try my DIY, tell us all about it in the comments below! I hope this tutorial adds value to your skincare routine and makes you feel absolutely gorgeous!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

P.S. If you want to use the same great products I used to make my serum, here’s my affiliate link to shop the Mountain Rose Herbs website for your ingredients. I do get a small thank you from the company if you use it, but it helps me keep the blog going and order ingredients for the next Tejomaya Wellness tutorial.

Tutorial: Mountain Man Beard Balm

family ingredients     The greatest guy I have ever met has a birthday this month so I wanted to make him something special to keep his wild, manly beard under control. Enter my Mountain Man Bead Balm! I whipped up this easy, 5 ingredient balm yesterday, and had it in his hands just in time to wrap it up with his other gifts. Here’s how you can make it yourself:

Ingredients –

  • 1 ½ tsp.Shea Butter
  • 1 Tbs. Beeswax
  • 1 tsp. Argan Oil
  • 1 tsp. Jojoba Oil
  • Essential Oils of Your Choice

I recommend that you designate an old spoon that you don’t really care about for your DIY recipes, because it’s going to get waxy and you will have to scrub a bit to get it clean. Don’t use your nice flatware! I used a pair of takeout chopsticks to stir mine and it worked great.

****Optional: A double boiler. If you don’t have one, I’m going to teach you how to make this recipe without one.

Using a large glass bowl, I added my solid ingredients. I had to use a cheese grater to get my beeswax off of the large chunk I bought. You might be tempted to just chop it into small chunks, but resist the urge and use the grater until you get the amount you need. It will melt much faster and your other solids won’t burn in the process.

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Fill a pot about half full with water and let it boil on the stove. The right size pot is one that you can sit your bowl on top of where it will rest, but not fall in.

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Add your liquid oils to your mixture and set your bowl on top of your pot until they are melted.  Once they are all liquidy and melted into each other, add your essential oils.  I used Black Pepper, Cedarwood and Bergamot.  I used 10 drops total, 2 black pepper, 3 bergamot and 5 cedarwood. Stir with a spoon and CAREFULLY remove your bowl from the top of your pot. Use potholders and stand back a little because very hot steam is going to escape from the pot. Then it’s as simple as pouring from your bowl into your cute little metal tin and letting the bad boy cool and solidify.

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Mine set pretty quickly, but I did give it a full 12 hours before I handed it over to my guy, just to be sure it was nice and solid. It was a big hit! He had one note for me that I’m going to take under consideration for next time, apparently it does get pretty dang solid and it takes some friction to melt it, so I think I can counter it with just a dab of coconut oil next time, as that tends to soften things up a little.

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I want to hear from you! If you make this recipe, let me know what you think of it and what essential oils you use, too!  Leave your comments below and photos below!

 

P.S. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and fantastic place to get organic and wildcrafted ingredients for your recipe, I get mine here. This is an affiliate link, but I’d be shouting their name from the rooftops even if it wasn’t!

Mosquitoes Bite: Repel Pests and Calm Skin Naturally

sunny sunflower  Hey There, Well-Beings! 

I wrote another article for this month’s issue of Inner Child Magazine and wanted to share it with you. This one’s all about what to do when bugs are bugging you! I hope you find it helpful and that you have a wonderful week ahead!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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There’s so much to enjoy about summer: The longer days, dinners out on the patio, and drinks with those little umbrellas. There’s also at least one thing that really bites: Mosquitoes!  Whether you’re outside tending to your garden, taking a dip in the pool, or headed for the hills for a day of hiking, you’re going to encounter these pesky pests. The good news is there are natural solutions for soothing bites and for stopping them before they start.

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An Ounce of Prevention: One of the first things you can do to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer fun is to plant herbs, flowers and other plants around your home that repel them. Things like lavender, lemon balm, marigolds and peppermint will keep bugs away and make beautiful additions to summer dishes, as they are all edible. You can also plant catnip, though you’ll likely make friends with all the neighborhood cats, if you do. If your thumbs aren’t green, you can use essential oils to create a simple bug spray that will keep you from feeling the sting. You’re not stuck with smelly old citronella, either! Lemon and eucalyptus make great additions to a homemade pest spray due to the naturally found ingredient called cineol. Try mixing 4 drops each of lemon, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint essential oils, a ¼ teaspoon of vegetable glycerine, and clean, filtered water to the top of a 4 oz spray top bottle. Shake and spray directly on the skin for a great smelling way to keep bugs at bay. Another option for saving your skin is neem oil. This Aryuvedic herb can be added to coconut oil to create a skin salve that can keep mosquitoes away for up to 12 hours. Just be careful not to apply neem to skin that is cut or broken.

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After the Fact: It’s great to prevent pests from feasting on exposed summer skin, but what happens when it’s already too late? The itchy, relentless red welts can be unsightly and very irritating. Calendula and aloe vera are very helpful items to have in your summer medicine cabinet because they’re dual-purpose performers. Not only are they great at soothing stinging insect bites, but they’ll cool sunburns as well. Don’t toss your used chamomile teabag in the trash! Once they cool, they make great compresses for itchy skin that needs calming. Tea tree and lavender essential oils are wonderful for bites that are bugging you. In most cases, they can be applied neat to the skin, but when you have kiddos and elders in your care, it’s best to dilute in a carrier oil or lotion. Consult a certified aromatherapist in your area for dilution ratios that will keep everyone safe. When you’re really in a pinch, search your kitchen for raw, organic honey. It’s antiseptic and antibacterial. Just stay inside when you use it, or you’ll also have ants and flies to worry about!

 

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There’s no reason to shut yourself inside this summer to keep the bugs from biting. With these skin saving and soothing tips, mosquitoes don’t have to make you miserable.  Goodbye, bugs. Hello, Summer!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Patchouli

PATCHOULI     Oh, Patchouli! Nothing divides folks quite like it’s rich, pungent aroma. Whether you’re firmly on Team Hate It, or you would roll around in the stuff like I would, there’s still plenty that’s worth noting about this resinous, controversial oil.  Before you write it off as stinky, I’ve written some words about this exotic beauty and it’s many benefits.

If you were alive in the 60s and 70s, you probably got more than a nostril full of patchouli in the form of incense or perfume oil. It was around for centuries prior to the hippie movement, though. My favorite historical note about this plant dates back to Ancient Egypt whee King Tut was said to have arranged to be buried with almost 10 gallons of oil infused with patchouli. In the 19th century, Asian countries began using the oil to protect fabrics from moth damage when being exported to other countries. I inherited a beautiful silk robe from my grandmother who purchased it on a business trip to Hong Kong and to this day, I can still catch a faint whiff of of it if I press it to my nose.  That’s pretty impressive, considering she would have brought it home well over 30 years ago!

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Patchouli essential oil is made by collecting the flowering tops of the plant and steam distilling it. It’s also a bit like a fine wine, in that the scent tends to deepen with time. This is why it may be time to give that bottle you cast aside another go, if you’ve written it off in the past. It may have reached a point in it’s mellowing where you find it agrees with you. I’ve found that the longer I have a bottle, the more resinous and darker the color becomes. This can make it a little hard to get out of the reducer, but oh so worth it it you adore the scent of an aged patchouli.

So, what is it good for? Patchouli can be quite soothing for the emotions and for relaxing frayed nerves. I get that some of you may be reluctant to put it on as perfume, but it can be quite beautiful in a blend that balances some of it’s noted potency. I love placing it in the diffuser or fragrance blend with citrus and florals (bergamot and ylang ylang are favorites) to soften it’s presence. I also love it for acne flare-ups. I’m starting to see wrinkles, but I still have hormonal breakouts from time to time, and I love adding a drop to my skin creams and serums to keep inflammation and bacteria at bay. I also love to use patchouli as a deodorizer. I use it as an underarm spray and in my running shoes to keep things fresh.

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Patchouli is one of those oils that is generally regarded as safe for humans. If you’re pregnant or nursing, talk to a doctor just to be on the safe side. If you’re interested in using essential oils on your kids and pets, it’s a good practice to run that past a certified professional, especially since they may not be able to tell you that something doesn’t feel right.

Ready to give patchouli a try, or even a second chance? I get mine at Mountain Rose Herbs, and I’m thrilled with the quality and price. I love it so much I became an affiliate!

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I want to hear from you. Do you love patchouli as much as I do? Do you have a blend you use that you just love? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Father’s Day Tutorial: Mountain Man Beard Oil

mountain     Happy Father’s Day! I made some beard oil for my favorite guy recently and thought this would be the perfect day to share my recipe with you. It’s nourishing, lightweight and smells pretty dang great! Ready to make something for the cool-cat-daddy-o in your life? Here’s everything you need to get started.

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Mountain Man Beard Oil

2 oz dark glass bottle with dropper top

funnel

4 TBS argan oil

4 TBS  jojoba oil

3 drops black pepper essential oil

6 drops cedarwood essential oil

6 drops bergamot essential oil

This recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Seriously. First, you measure out your oils and add them to the empty bottle through the funnel. Jojoba and argan are both excellent skin and hair conditioners. Jojoba is the oil that most resembles human sebum, so it’s great for all skin types because it moisturizes without leaving skin greasy. Argan oil is like liquid gold. It’s so nourishing and makes hair shiny and skin glow. It’s chock-full of essential fatty acids, so it’s fantastic for fighting skin-inflammation, too.

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Then, you add the essential oils. This part can be a little subjective. I went with a lighter fragrance because I was giving it to my boyfriend who is kinda a fragrance-free sort of dude, but if I was blending oils for myself, I’d probably go much stronger. This is really up to you. My advice is to start with a small amount and build until it smells right to you or the person you’re making it for.

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Confession Time: I really wanted to add patchouli to this recipe. I love the way it smells, and I think it would have rounded out the blend beautifully, but my fella can’t get away with wearing it to his office without being on the receiving end of a little good-natured ribbing. Personally, I take pride in being called a “hippie”, but I guess they can be a little relentless with it, so I left it out of his batch. If you were going to add it, I’d cut the Cedarwood and Bergamot both back a drop and make up for them with 2 drops of patchouli. It’ll give the recipe a little more depth and dirt.

Once all of your ingredients are in the bottle, screw your top on and give your oils a good shake. Voila!

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If you make a batch of beard oil I want to hear from you! Did you change up the essential oil blend? Leave your selections in the comments below! Leave photos, too.  I love seeing those glamour shots.

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

P.S. If you’re looking for a place to get organic and wildcrafted ingredients for your recipe, I get mine here. My affiliate link allows me to keep buying ingredients to make more tutorials like this one!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

bergamot-354152_1920      Earlier this month, I shared with you some of the benefits of lemon essential oil when I posted my tutorial for Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Scrub. Today, I wanted to sing the praises of another, lesser known essential oil, Bergamot.

When you open a bottle of Bergamot for the first time, there’s a good chance it will have you thinking about tea. That’s because Bergamot is the small citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey it’s distinctive je ne sais quois. It’s also been used in men’s and women’s fragrance for centuries. It’s origins are unclear, but a popular theory is that the fruit trees were brought by ship to Bergamo, Italy after a voyage to the Canary Islands. Bergamot is still grown in Italy, as well as some parts of France and Turkey, where it’s used to flavor the delicious dessert, Turkish Delight.

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When used to make essential oil, the rind of the fruit is cold pressed, as it is with all citrus oils. What results is a fresh, slightly sweet, almost floral fragrance. It plays extremely well with others. In fact, you’d have a hard time coming up with an oil that Bergamot doesn’t blend with. It holds it’s own, too. I love wearing it in my diffuser necklace, as personal perfume and  diffusing the single note in my home. When bad moods, stress and tension try to take your down, Bergamot can be a wonderful means to lift your spirits and stabilizing the emotions. According to Ayurveda, it can also help to balance Vata and Kapha. There have been some interesting studies on the use of Bergamot for a variety of skin complaints, such as acne and psoriasis.

In general, citrus oils have some issues that are worth noting. First, they can be toxic to cats, so don’t apply them directly to your sweet fur-kids. As a rule of thumb, I don’t put any oils on my pets that I haven’t first researched heavily and then talked to my vet about. You’re probably not going to encounter any issues with diffusing it in your home, but dosing fluffy just isn’t a good idea. The other thing to be cautious about when using citrus oils is photo-sensitivity. Citrus oils can cause skin irritation when exposed to direct sunlight for up to 72 hours after using them, so try and limit your time outside if you’re using then on the skin, or just play it safe and stick to inhalation methods only. If you’re still going to apply them, be sure to dilute your oils in an appropriate carrier or lotion. Though it’s a controversial position, I’d also stay away from using any essential oils internally. We just don’t know enough about what the long-term effects of essential oil ingestion are and what happens when we mix them with medicines and supplements. Your health is far more important than any suggested benefit by using oils in this way. Bergamot specifically is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, so mommies, please be careful.

Be careful with your pretty kitty friends. Their livers don't filter most essential oils.

Be careful with your pretty kitty friends. Their livers don’t filter most essential oils.

Ready to add Bergamot to your essential oil line-up? I get my favorite one from Mountain Rose Herbs.  High quality, Certified Organic Bergamot can be a little on the pricey side and I don’t need a wholesale membership to get a good deal. You can get your own bottle of Bergamot here. I do get a small commission for any business I send their way, but it allows me to keep content like this on my blog and it keeps me in Bergamot, too. I can’t wait for you to sniff this stuff!

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I want to hear from you. Are you already using this beautiful oil? What do you love about it?  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

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