Friday, June 26, 2009

Help for Hair Loss using Essential Oils

A client requested that I make up a blend to help with diffuse hair loss. To be honest, I did not think that essential oils would improve this condition. But, as usual, I set off to do research. Much to my astonishment, a "westernized" study had indeed been carried out, and, in fact, published in the American Medical Association journal in 1998. It turns out that a certain blend of essential oils actually do help alopecia areata - or hair loss!! (To read the study for yourselves, please go to this site:
I was easily able to duplicate the oil used in the study. It was recommended to use the oil once daily, and do a 2 minute scalp massage with the oil. In addition, I have put together a shampoo and conditioner containing the oil blend. The pure shampoo and conditioner, without the oils added, are a wonder on their own: free of irritants, and derived from natural sources, primarily sugar cane and coconuts. The shampoo itself tends to volumize hair a bit. I have tried it myself, and it leaves your hair feeling very nice and a bit fluffy. Although the shampoo and conditioner do indeed wash out, and the oils included are not in contact with the hair very long, a residue may exist that certainly won't hurt the situation any. For ordering information, see my contact and product price pages at www.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Review: Slow Death by Rubber Duck

For those of you with a keen interest in environmental toxins, this is a must read. The authors, Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie are two Canadian environmental activists. The good news is that the book is a fairly easy read, humorously written, and not really fear mongering. The bad news is, when you realize how insidious toxins are, and how prevalent they are, it's a bit depressing. Nonetheless, the book does not convey a sense of hopelessness, but offers some easy tricks and tips on how to avoid many toxins.
I confess that I did throw away my non-stick fry pans, and am now storing food in glass rather than plastic.
I have been using Dr. Bronner's soaps and my own glycerin soaps for years, anyway!!
If you have any inclination to be kind to yourself and the environment, read this book!
I assume it is available at Chapters, Indigo, Coles, and your public library.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Five Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products

These 5 ingredients have no value to your skin; but are often added because they increase profit by "stretching" the contents volume; or they lower cost as they are less expensive than the "good stuff." #1 - Mineral Oil. This provides a luxurious feel, but has no benefit to the skin. Mineral oil is a by product of distillation of gasoline from crude oil and does nothing to nourish the skin. It may even inhibit moisturization. It just "sits" on the skin surface. Look for oils which contain natural components that benefit skin, like jojoba and/or sweet almond oil. #2 - Propylene Glycol, or PG. It acts as a surfactant, allowing the product to spread evenly over the skin. It's also used in anti-freeze and brake fluid. It protects products from extreme temperatures, so that they do not freeze or melt. Natural surfactants, like disodium coco-glucoside citrate, made from sugar, or decyl polyglucose, from corn, coconut and/or palm extracts, leave skin moist, will not irritate, and are non toxic. 3# - Polyethylene Glycol (PEG). It cleanses, attracts moisture (a humectant) and emulsifies (mixes oils and water together). Although often in skin products, you can also find it in oven cleaner and other industrial cleansers. Natural alternatives include vegetable glycerin or cetyl alcohol (from palm oil.) #4 - Sodium laryl sulphate. In fact, all the "sulphates" should be avoided. They are known skin irritants. #5 - Avoid artificial fragrances. Not only are they skin irritants, but when listed as "fragrance," or "parfum," they often contain phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors. Stick with unadulterated essential oils for fragrance, and reap the benefit of their therapeutic value, as well as scent. Or, go fragrance free!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Green Cleaning Laundry Tip

As you may, or may not, know, I teach a seminar called "First Aid and Green Cleaning with Essential Oils." (If interested in attending this course, please look on my "Learn" page for information on how to do so.) At any rate, I have slowly been modifying my cleaning habits that have formed over my lifetime. My newest spectacular discovery is to do away with fabric softener in the laundry. Now, my machine (which is a front loader), has an automatic softener dispenser. Instead of adding synthetic, purchased softener, which is loaded with chemicals bad for me and bad for the environment, where it ultimately ends up, you need only add a small capful of inexpensive, common white vinegar!! ( I think I paid $1.29 for a litre at the grocery store.)
To make the vinegar extra yummy, just add 20-40 drops of your favorite essential oil to a litre of white vinegar. I am currently using lavender, but, you can use tea tree for disinfection, or eucalyptus, or lemon, or orange. Shake the vinegar well, before pouring a capful of this into your dispenser. (That would be about 1 tablespoon.) Your whole wash will be fluffy, static free and soft, soft, soft!!!
A bonus, for those of us with front loaders, is that the washer no longer gets that "skunky" smell that can occur if you don't let the interior dry completely between uses.
Keep in mind that a top loader may need 2 capfuls, as more water is used in a top loader.
If you try this, and love it like I do, feel free to leave a comment on this blog, or, to provide me with an email that I might post on my "testimonial" site. Thanks! Happy laundry!