I was raised by parents that were ahead of their time. My dad wrote software for Microsoft back in the 1980's, when people were saying computers were a passing fad and wouldn't last. My dad knew better and raised us with an understanding of technology. My mom was a farm girl from a small country town in the Pacific Northwest. She raised us with an awareness of chemicals in our food and products and taught us about conservation. We had a compost pile back in the 80's, we had to turn the water off during our showers when we scrubbed up and we never used the dishwasher (they had three of us kids) or the air conditioning (even though we lived in Phoenix)! I grew up using rock stones for deodorant and washing clothes by hand. We were never allowed food that was processed; I remember being eight years old and on the "raw-food diet." I drank spinach juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My mom was vegetarian, so that made all of us vegetarian. We never had cow milk growing up. My mom said if we were meant to be as big as cows, then we would drink their milk. Goat milk was a luxury we rarely received. My mom never wore makeup and we were taught that makeup would ruin our skin. We were never given shots and never went to the doctor. We never got sick.
Although I was raised this way, I rebelled as soon as I moved out (as most kids do)! I bought bread from a store and ate cereal loaded with sugar. I drank cows milk daily and never turned the shower off while I scrubbed up. I bought makeup from the drugstore and Bath & Body Works lotion and body wash. All I'd ever wanted to be was normal like everyone else and I soaked up as many chemicals as I could!
But that all changed when I became pregnant with my first son. I found myself standing in the store aisle, reading ingredients, while everyone waited on me, something I'd sworn I'd never do. I found myself shaking my head in disgust and putting the item back, muttering under my breath. All of a sudden, making my world free of chemicals again became an urgent matter to me.
I ran through my house and read the ingredients on everything I owned, from makeup, lotion and body washes to the items in my pantry. I started throwing everything out that had an ingredient in it that was questionable. What I was left with was the realization of how much clutter I had accumulated over the years. When I had become pregnant, my hormones and skin flared up, causing me such painful and massive acne breakouts that not even the most expensive skin care products helped. At one point, I was using a skin care regimen every morning and night that included 8 different products. After the baby was born, keeping my eyes open long enough to get through the 8-step program twice every day became to much. I wanted something simpler and more effective.
So I started researching, studying and reading. I read everything I could get my hands on. I started small, buying a few essential oils here and there and testing out if they worked.
It was immediately life changing. Living in the Pacific Northwest, the winters are cold and long. My babies and I seemed like we were always sick with the cold or flu. I was missing work quite a bit because of staying home with sick kids. My trial run was with Peppermint and Lavender essential oils. Every morning and afternoon, I would burn Peppermint essential oil in every room of the house. Every evening, I would burn Lavender essential oils. And immediately, I noticed everyone stopped getting sick. Peppermint essential oil is not only known for it's energizing properties (helping me to be SuperMom during the day), but it's also been proven to be more effective at preventing colds and flu's than the flu shot. Lavender is calming and made bedtime a breeze.
So aromatherapy worked. I checked that off my list and started digging in even deeper, researching each different essential oil and what it could do beyond affecting our moods immunity. I wanted to see what else it could help heal.
My first validation for healing came from my oldest son. He'd grown a wart on his foot and no prescribed cream had worked. The doctor told me he was going to have to have surgery to remove it. I immediately went home and after researching, applied Tea Tree essential oil to the wart, twice a day. Within one week, it fell off, never to return and leaving no scar or mark of it ever being there.
Now, I wanted to see what it could do for my skin.
I used to have beautiful skin. My friends were always jealous of my skin. I was one of those lucky people that never suffered from acne as a child. But, I never used sunscreen as a young adult and after children and imbalanced hormones, my face was pock-marked with acne scars and skin discoloration. To top it off, I'd been hit by a drunk driver at the age of 16 and had gone through my car's windshield, before my seat belt kicked in and pulled me back in through the windshield. I almost lost my right eye and was left with permanent scars. I was extremely self-conscious. I didn't know if there was any hope. I'd stopped breaking out but how was I going to fix my skin?
So I researched even more. I researched the best essential oils for skin, hyperpigmentation and healing scars. I started making my own serums and face oils and putting them on every morning and night. I didn't use a single hygienic, beauty or cosmetic product that came from a store. I made all my own, testing the results with different mixtures and combinations.
That was 10 years ago and it's still a work in progress. The damage done to my skin through all those years of no sunblock and improper care (sleeping with my makeup on, not drinking enough water, etc) had left my skin quite damaged. But the improvement is drastic and I don't erase photos of me anymore. My friends don't tell me how they had to photoshop my picture before posting it anymore. I even have one of those 10x magnifying mirrors now, something that would have put me into a great depression years ago. And I keep reading and researching, creating my own products and making note of the improvements.
From my family to yours...
*Never use essential oils on your skin unless they are therapeutic grade. If the bottle doesn't say "therapeutic grade" on it, it's not. Never use essential oils without researching and studying the effects and safety first.