Can I Use Essential Oils to Ward Off Cold and Flu Germs?

essential oils fight germs

Flu Season Is Upon Us

As I write this, flu season has just begun. Doctors are recommending that you get your flu shot as soon as possible, but some people (myself included) are nervous about the other ingredients that go into the flu shot besides the flu vaccine itself.

Have you ever wondered if there was a natural way to fight off the flu and other viruses? Maybe you’ve heard or read about how essential oils can improve your health.  But can essential oils really provide a way for you to protect yourself and your family from the cold and flu?

Essential Oils Provide a Natural Alternative to Traditional Flu Vaccines

The short answer? Yes.

Now, for the longer answer: Essential oils have powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

While some oils might have more of a germ-killing reputation than others, almost all essential oils contain powerful antioxidants that heal the body while warding off nasty things like mold, bacteria, and viruses.

essential oils

 

Which Essential Oils Are Best?

As noted above, certain essential oils are better than others when it comes to fighting germs.

Some of the best are:

  • Lemon oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Clove oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Cinnamon leaf oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Oregano oil

Using combinations of the abovementioned oils, you can make up your own essential oil blends for personal use to protect yourself all year long.

How Do I Use the Essential Oils?

Essential oils are typically either ingested, topically administered, or diffused into the air.

In the above list, some oils are perfectly safe to ingest (as long as you are buying high-quality, food grade oils). These include rosemary, lemon, thyme, and oregano. In fact, this is the best way to use these oils. They are also safe to use on your skin as long as you mix them with a carrier oil, like coconut oil. (You can also ingest them this way – virgin coconut oil is very good for the body, as well).

You can use eucalyptus on your skin sparingly (and you can also gargle with it), but you need to make sure you have diluted it in a carrier oil before trying either method. Just to stay on the safe side, I like to diffuse my eucalyptus oil.

Clove and cinnamon are really hot oils that should not be ingested, and they should only be used on the skin in a very, very diluted form. Even then, you should use extreme caution. I made a homemade perfume once  that had clove oil in it, and the skin on my neck broke out minutes after I put it on for the first time. It didn’t bother my wrists, though. I think my neck is just really, really sensitive. Still, skin irritation is definitely something to watch for with these oils. For safety’s sake, it’s probably much better to use these oils in a diffuser only.

can you put essential oils on your skin

Where Should I Get Essential Oils?

As I mentioned before, quality is important when it comes to selecting essential oils, especially if you’re trying to use these oils to keep yourself healthy.

Some of the best oils on the market today come from the direct sales companies DoTERRA and Young Living. These oils can come with a hefty price, but they’re totally worth it. You get what you pay for, and this statement is even truer when you’re talking about essential oils.

Check out those two companies and see what they have to offer. You might just find that their oils are more affordable than you first thought.

But if you still can’t find a way to fit those into your budget, there are some other pretty acceptable alternatives, like my favorite online shopping club, Plant Therapy, and even Country Scents.

I buy my essential oils from a number of different sources. Sometimes I’ll prefer one company’s scent over another (you wouldn’t think lemon oil would smell different from one manufacturer to another, but it does). Or sometimes I’ll prefer the way a certain company’s oil reacts to my body over another’s. For sinus-clearing power, DoTERRA and Young Living can’t be beat. Honestly. This is one issue I face daily, and so I’ve learned that the quality of these oils over others is worth every bit of the price tag – and then some.

I’ve found that the best thing to do when it comes to selecting the essential oils you want to use on a daily basis is to try a variety of oils from a variety of different companies to find your favorites – and you WILL find your favorites.

It’s well worth the time and effort you will put into experimenting with essential oils, and it can even be fun!

But what’s most important is it’s absolutely one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. Don’t wait. Go buy some essential oils today!

Is Your Home Decor Halloween Ready?

Is Your Home Decor Halloween Ready?

halloween home decor

 

I don’t know about you, but I love Halloween – the pumpkins, the month-long scary movie binge, the dressing up, and (until recently) the candy!

I didn’t used to decorate for Halloween, though. I don’t know why, but the only holiday I’ve ever really decorated the house for is Christmas (it’s my favorite).

Do you go cute or creepy with your Halloween decorations?

But the kids are getting older now, and they have a say in the home decor to some extent (after all, they live here too). One day they went to Cracker Barrel with their grandparents, and they came home with this.

scary halloween decorations

Admittedly, this is not my style at all (scary movie lover that I am). But this creepy guy is currently hanging out in my kitchen . He eats dinner with us every night.

Still, I can’t wait until Halloween is over, so I can pack this guy up in a box and store him upstairs! And, just maybe, he will not return…

When I joined Country Scents as a representative, I bought one of their CountryKinz crates, and I got this as a special bonus. One in four crates comes with a bonus gift. This was mine. Perfect for the season, and much more my style than is Mr. Creepy Dinner Guest up there.

cute halloween decorationsIn addition to the $50 worth of Country Scents products (I got a candle, wax melts, and a cute little stuffed dog with scent beads to go inside him) that come in the Country Crate, you also get a surprise gift of Country Cash (you just have to go to the website to redeem it).

country scents country crate

I got $5! I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to spend it on, but I’m really leaning toward the Brown Sugar and Fig reed diffuser. That scent profile just sounds like it would be perfect for fall. Plus, there’s no fire involved in the scent spreading. With two kids and three cats in the house, sometimes candle burning is … impractical, to say the least.

Halloween is all about … the pumpkins!

Linus (of Charlie Brown fame) knew about the importance of the pumpkin when it comes to Halloween. I watched that cartoon for the first time when I was a kid, and I’ve never forgotten it. So, the first thing that always comes to mind when I think about Halloween is… pumpkins!

I feel like pumpkins are an essential part of any Halloween decor setup, whether you use real or artificial ones. I love both, but the real ones start to rot after a while, and I tend to forget how long I’ve had them sitting around, and … you can imagine. It’s not a pretty picture.

I always choose to go artificial with my Christmas trees, and I do the same with my pumpkins.

Country Scents has the most adorable pumpkin wax warmer available for sale right now. Look how cute this is!

Of course, if you’re going to get a brand new wax warmer, you’ll need some new wax tarts to go with it. Country Scents has you covered there too, with some very Halloween-y scents.

Tricky Treat has top notes of pumpkin, persimmon, and apple; middle notes of blueberries, elderberries, currants, orange, and cinnamon; and sweet base notes of sugar cane and vanilla.

Broomsticks and Berries has top notes of peach, apricot, and blackberries; middle notes of mandarin, cinnamon, and rose; and just a touch of woodsy musk.

 Both scents also come in the 8 ounce and 16 ounce jar candles.

How are you decorating for Halloween?

So, that’s a glimpse into how our family is dressing up our home for this holiday.

What are you doing with yours?

What scents are you burning/enjoying right now? Let me know in the comments.

Looking for ways to make some money from home?

I joined Country Scents because:

  1. It was free. I don’t have to pay a monthly fee to keep my online store up and running. All I have to do to stay active is make a purchase of any amount once every three months.
  2. Their workshop/store is about 30 minutes away from where I live, so I can go see them any time I want!
  3. Their products are amazing – mostly all natural, and their scents are truly the best. I’ve done Gold Canyon, Jewelscent, Scentsy, and now this – it’s the best of all of those.

I love promoting Country Scents products, and I bet you will too. If you sign up to join my team, I will select and send you a special free gift. That way you can get to know Country Scents’ products a little better right from the beginning, without having to spend a penny!

You really have nothing to lose. Check out the sign up page and get started with your new direct sales career today!

My Entry Into the World of Charcoal Face Masks

charcoal face masks

Charcoal face masks are all the rage

In recent years, charcoal face masks have gained in popularity because of their detoxifying power. Here are just a few of many charcoal face mask benefits:

  1. They deep cleanse and shrink your pores.
  2. They balance out oily skin.
  3. They soothe and heal skin irritation.

They also prepare your face to receive other cosmetic products better (I don’t wear makeup, so that’s not an issue for me), and they can even help prepare your underarms for the switch to natural, aluminum-free deodorants and antiperspirants.

Why would you want to switch to natural deodorants? One word: cancer. Some studies have shown that the aluminum that is in many popular brands of deodorant/antiperspirant is linked to increased breast cancer risk, although the research isn’t conclusive. Still, as far as I’m concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I made the switch to natural aluminum-free deodorants a couple of years ago. And I’ve never been sorry. One of the best brands I’ve found comes from my favorite online shopping club. One tube lasts for almost SIX MONTHS, and it’s as effective as most aluminum-laden brands I’ve tried.

But this isn’t a post about deodorants. It’s a post about charcoal face masks, so back to those…

The Charcoal face mask I chose

As a Gemsta/Jewelscent consultant, I want to really believe in and know about the products I’m selling. I’ve known about and loved the Jewelscent candles for years now, but I’m not as familiar with all the Gemstra partner brands. As I mentioned before, I don’t wear makeup, so I’m naturally not going to spend much time examining the world of Pulse Cosmetics, for example.

But one thing I do care about is my skin, and especially the skin on my face. So the Measurable Difference face masks were the perfect choice for my first foray into the broader Gemstra universe. The Measurable Difference line offers cruelty-free, mostly natural products aimed at making women feel like their most beautiful selves, both inside and out. With that in mind, I had no problem putting this activated charcoal mask on my face, and I was more than a little curious to see what it would do for me.

Here’s the complete ingredient list. The only marginally questionable things on here are the “fragrance” (we can’t really know what’s in anything that has this catch-all term in the ingredient list), “methylparaben” (the EWG lists this as a moderate hazard, but it’s low on the ingredient list, so we can assume there’s not that much in the masks), triethanolamine (again, a moderate hazard, but it’s higher up, so there’s more of it), and diazolidinyl urea (moderate risk of a formaldehyde allergy, but it’s pretty low on the list):

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Glycerin
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Trehalose
  • Carbomer
  • Triethanolamine
  • Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract
  • Centella Asiatica Extract
  • Portulaca Oleracea Extract
  • Allantoin
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
  • Fragrance
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • Methylparaben
  • Charcoal Powder

The Charcoal face mask Experience

Here’s my “before” picture. Every post like this needs a “before” picture, right?  Here’s mine. Obviously, I’m not well versed in the art of taking selfies.

Here’s a picture of me with the mask on. I did this on a Saturday morning, and my girls were both awake. They weren’t at all sure how they felt about the creepy black thing hanging off of Mommy’s face, but I assured them it was supposed to help me look better and was easy to remove (all you have to do is peel it off, and the thing was literally about to fall off of me at any moment, anyway). That seemed to ease their minds a little.

As you can see, the one-size-fits-all approach takes a little adjusting. I had to keep moving it over slightly and slapping the bottom and sides to my face to help it hold a little better.

The Measurable Difference Detoxifying mask set comes in two versions – cucumber and tomato. I chose the cucumber set because I thought it had obvious skin advantages over the tomato one (although I could be wrong about this). I just hear more about people putting cucumbers on their face than I do about people splattering tomatoes all over their faces. Just the thought makes me laugh!

The cucumber scent was strong on this mask from the time I pulled it out of the package, so if you’re not a fan of the cucumber scent, you might not enjoy that. I didn’t mind it so much, but I can’t imagine how strong the tomato scent would be on the tomato version on the mask. Now I want to buy some of the tomato masks just to see what they’re like!

The mask is wet and a little slimy, and very, very cold! I was surprised at how cold it felt going on my face. I imagine this would be an especially lovely treat on a hot summer’s day. In the winter time, though, it’s a bit of a shock to the system.

You keep the cold, cucumbery-smelling mask on your face for 15 minutes, and then you peel it off. When I did that (and then massaged the excess liquid from the mask into my skin, as you’re supposed to – you don’t rinse anything off!), this was the result.

I didn’t see a great big difference when I looked in the mirror. A little bit of the oily sheen was gone, some of my natural redness was gone, and I think I saw some pores that looked a little bit smaller.

I felt a big difference, though. My skin felt tighter and cleaner, so I really think the mask did something – even if it wasn’t totally conspicuous.

The detoxifying masks come 5 in a package, and at just $10, that’s not a bad price at all for an at-home beauty treatment. Visit my Gemstra site today to buy some masks for yourself, and take a look at all the other amazing products we have to offer.

5 Things That Make Soy Candles Awesome!

soy candle benefits

Almost everyone loves candles … and for good reason. They are a great way to add warmth and comfort to your home. Plus, they are affordable and can last for a very long time. But the best part is they look good, both lit and unlit. In fact, if you’re anything like me you get a little sad each time you light a candle because you feel like you’re ruining its beauty.

Candles are both practical and gorgeous, and they can be made from different types of wax. Most candles have traditionally been made from paraffin wax, but soy candles are the most sought-after candles these days. The main reason for this is because soy candles are healthier than other types of candles.

Did you know that candles made from paraffin wax can be dangerous to your health, the health of your children, and even the health of your pets? Some of these candles have been known to kill pet birds! Paraffin is not good for people to be inhaling because it is a petroleum byproduct, and some candles even contain lead wicks. Lead has been known to cause decreases in IQ, learning difficulties, and behavior problems. Candles with lead wicks emit 500-1000 micrograms of lead per hour. Compare that to the maximum safe exposure level for children and adults, one-half to one micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air, and you’ll see how much of a problem this can be.

Note: I know of one company that makes candles from food-grade paraffin wax (not nearly as dangerous as regular paraffin wax) that does not use lead wicks. These candles are gorgeous, and I highly recommend them. For more information, read this blog post.

However, with soy candles you really don’t have to deal with any of these worries. Soy candles were created in the 1990s to combat the growing problem of inferior cheap candles. These days, you can experience all the glory of good candles and the light they produce without all the dangerous components. You can even get soy candles that have amazing scents and rings hidden inside.

jewelscent candles

There are so many reasons for you to choose soy candles over regular run-of-the-mill candles. For instance, did you know that soy candles can last twice as long as other candles? It’s true, and that makes them a very cost-effective home decor choice.

Have you ever noticed how the fragrance of some scented candles gets a little overpowering? That is because those candles burn so hot and fast. When you are using soy candles this is not a problem. Soy candles burn at a lower temperature, so the scent is dispersed at a much better rate — one that will keep your home smelling fresh all day long.

The biggest complaint that most people have about most traditional candles is the soot factor. How many times have you had to try and scrub off soot after lighting a candle? Well, the good news is that you will never have to do this again when you switch over to soy candles. Soy candles have no soot production. They will never stain anything at all.

Soy is also a renewable resource. It grows in the USA, and there is an abundance of it. You will never have to worry about hurting the environment when you are using soy candles. The only problem will be if the soy for the candle comes from a Monsanto-infected field. You should be able to contact customer service and found out. Jewelscent candles, for example, are made from soy that’s grown in California, which is one of the states that’s really against the Roundup Ready crops. … And we probably should all breathe a sigh of relief (and we can safely).

Soy candles are awesome for so many reasons. You can’t go wrong with buying one — and especially if you buy from Jewelscent. And don’t forget you get a free ring inside every classic or luxe candle. That’s reason enough for me to buy them! How about you?

These Bath Accessories Are “Da BOMB”!

I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist using that for a title. I know. Bad joke.

But I’m getting ready to introduce to a very, VERY good product. In fact, it’s one of my favorite Jewelscent products (and I really love them all A LOT).

jewelscent bath bombThere it is … the beautiful Jewelscent bath bomb. These things are HUGE, and they smell amazing. Plus, they are super moisturizing. I love to dip my hands and feet in the water after my girls take a bath with them (I rarely have time for a bath, but a good foot soak I can fit in with no problem!).


soothing foot soak

 

I’ve also gotten some of my favorite rings out of the Jewelscent bath bombs. Here are a couple of examples.

jewelscent ring reveal

 

Another thing I love about these bath bombs is that there are some really good things in here, and there are not a lot of bad things. And that’s really important when you’re trying to focus on total wellness. It’s important to put the right sort of things on your skin (and avoid the wrong sorts of things). The skin is, after all, your body’s largest organ. What affects your skin can affect your whole body.

Here’s the full ingredient list of the Jewelscent bath bombs:

Sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, magnesium sulfate, polysorbate 20, fragrance, olive oil glycereth-8 esters, witch hazel, sunflower oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, sodium coco sulfate, benzophenone 4, colorant

jewelscent bath bomb ingredient list

Did you catch that “sulfate” ingredient toward the end — not lauryl, or laureth, sulfate (that’s really bad stuff, and we’ll talk about it more later on this blog.

Coco sulfate comes from coconuts, and that makes it a little less synthetically derived than either sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfate. There’s still some question as to how safe coco sulfate actually is, but the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database gives it safe rating. That makes it okay, in my book!

I feel I should also mention another cool feature of these bath bombs. Some of them, as I mentioned above, have rings in them. Others (the Essentials line) don’t. These are cheaper than the ring bath bombs, and they also have more of the awesome product in them.

You really can’t go wrong with either type of bath bomb! Visit my site and find your new favorite today.

Not All Paraffin Wax Is Bad

 

food grade paraffin wax

Paraffin wax has been used for over 150 years to make candles because it results in more even burning and less unwanted odor, and it is much cheaper to make because it comes from petroleum oil.

However, because it comes from petroleum oil, there are some dangers attached to it. Low grade paraffin wax has not gone through much refining, so it contains much higher amounts of serious toxins like aromatic olefins, benzene, or acrolein than does higher quality (more refined) paraffin wax. The highest grade paraffin wax is known as food grade paraffin wax, which is widely used by the food industry. In food ingredient lists, paraffin waz is labeled aliphatic hydrocarbons. You can often find it in chewing gum and even hard candies. determine the grade of the paraffin product. While even food grade paraffin wax is not free from toxic ingredients, it does contain much smaller traces than the cheaper, lower quality paraffin wax (which is what most mass-produced candles contain, along with harmful pigments and dyes that include lead).

benefits paraffin wax

 

Because of the potential harmful effects of paraffin wax use in candles, many candle companies have shied away from using it. Jewelscent, for example, uses soy wax in its candles (which is not entirely free from concern, given the Monsanto Roundup application to most of the nation’s soybean fields). But Gold Canyon Candles proudly uses food grade paraffin wax to make all its candles, and they do guarantee a Happy Fragrance Experience for all their customers.

gold canyon candles

Paraffin wax, in addition to allowing for a more even burn than other types of wax, ensures a superior fragrance delivery, which is pretty important for anyone who loves scented candles like I do. Gold Canyon Candles are gorgeous, and I really have no qualms at all about burning them in my house. Visit my site today to explore the beauty of Gold Canyon Candles!

 

 

 

Put a Little Mud (Mask) on Your Face

glacial marine mud mask

💫Introducing you to a fabulous NuSkin product – one of the company’s bestsellers, and for good reason. It does some amazing things for your skin. 
 
Suffer from:
💥Blackheads
💥Acne
💥Uneven skin tone
💥Dry skin?
 
If you have problem skin, you definitely need to try this mask. It contains natural sea clay, so you can visibly see the dirt and oil being pulled from your skin, leaving your skin fresh and hydrated!
Here’s the full benefit list.
  • Minute colloidal particles act as emulsifying agents by forming barriers around and removing oily particles from skin.
  • Includes more than 50 skin-nurturing minerals and trace elements.
  • Softens and purifies the skin.
  • Hydrates by attracting water.
  • Helps draw out impurities and toxins. (I’m going to take this next part direct from the company web site, because it’s very scientific and technical, and I don’t really understand all of it. It sounds good, though!) “The basic molecular structure of Glacial Marine Mud is negatively charged. Positive ions including cations that naturally occur in the mud and positively charged impurities bind to the mud’s negative charge and can then be rinsed away leaving skin cleansed and detoxified.”
  • Safety–allergy–dermatologist tested.

 
This mud mask also works great to heal bee stings, warts, and scars!
 
I know someone who loves this so much she’s been using it twice a week with some astonishing results. Her enthusiasm for the product inspired me to check it out. I think it’s awesome, so I wanted to share it with all of you.
nuskin mud mask review
Since this is a wellness blog, you might be wondering if this ingredients in this mask are at all harmful. Here’s the full ingredient list:
 
Sea Salt, Water (Aqua), Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Dehydroacetic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Benzoic Acid, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol
 
Want to know how safe (or not) these ingredients are? Check out this database. It’s pretty awesome! There appear to be some health concerns with a few of the ingredients (some of the ones at the end of the  list, so there’s not as much of them in there), but the problems are negligible. As I mentioned before, this product passed allergy and safety tests, so I think it’s going to be perfectly safe for the majority of people to use it. 
What are you waiting for? Visit my NuSkin website to learn more and place your order today!

Why I Joined Norwex

well

About a year ago, I began making my own deodorant/antiperspirant using baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oils for scent. Why?

Because I started to get concerned about the link between breast cancer and aluminum in most store-bought deodorants. Now, I don’t have a history of breast cancer, and I know correlation doesn’t equal causation. But I thought it couldn’t hurt to try to break away from it, anyway. And I’ve never regretted that decision.

It also made me start wondering about the other stuff I’m using on a daily basis. For example, Lysol kills germs (which is good), but it also kills spiders – I know this from experience. Do I really want my children around it that much? Um, NO!

That’s why I was so excited to find out about this online shopping club (kinda like Sam’s) from a Facebook friend that gives you access to healthier, less chemical-laden household products that can actually save you money (more on that later). And you can join for just $1 until October 31. Want to know more? Just ask! And keep an eye out for more information on this blog because I’m loving this shopping club more and more everyday.

In fact, I’m loving it so much, I had to give it a shout out on Facebook, which prompted another Facebook friend to introduce me to Norwex.

Now, I’d heard of Norwex before, but frankly I was skeptical that Norwex was as great as everyone said it was. After all, how could anything get clean with just a cloth and WATER? Still, when Crystal invited me to her house to see some of the products, I thought it couldn’t hurt to see what it was all about.

norwex cleaning products enviro

Well, when she showed me the products and let me even try them out myself (cleaning off my filthy car windows, no less), I was HOOKED. She mentioned something about me becoming a consultant myself, and I toyed with the idea for a bit, but I brushed it to the back of my mind. I’ve got a lot going on in my life at the moment (as you’ll soon see, if you follow this blog for any length of time), and I just couldn’t justify spending $10 on yet ANOTHER business opportunity.

At least, that’s the way I was thinking until last night when I watched a movie called STINK that solidified the importance of avoiding as many chemicals as possible in our everyday lives. You must, must, MUST watch this movie. Everyone in the world should watch this movie – even my eight-year-old daughter agrees!

Still haunted this morning by what I learned by watching that movie last night, I took the Norwex plunge, and I’m super excited. I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to do it.

Interested in joining me on this newest path along my wellness journey? Visit my website at https://mishaelwitty.norwex.biz. And keep watching this blog for more wellness-related news, tips, and thoughts. You owe it to yourself (and your family) to learn as much as you can about how to protect yourself from harmful chemicals. You may not change the world, but you can changed YOUR world, and that’s reason enough to start!