Toxic Ingredients in your Body Care Products to avoid

How to avoid chemicals on a daily basis. It’s a start!

This is a quick share from David Suzuki’s site (Solutions are in our nature). This Foundation works mainly to protect the diversity of nature and that we can make enough people aware of protecting the future for our children. This is such an in depth piece of work especially when clicking on the links he provided.

You can avoid harmful chemicals and here is the list. You can also choose to download this little pdf file through the link below and stuff it into your purse.

Sustainable shopper’s guide: 12 ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics

dirty dozen in cosmetics
Dirty Dozen in your Cosmetics

There is so much work still to be done around the world but I know that there is a glimpse of hope because YOU are reading this page. So, Thank you! ~ Katrin

1. BHA and BHT

Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number

In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned Colour Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively).

Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain. Read more »

3. DEA-related ingredients

Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA. Read more »

4. Dibutyl phthalate

Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. Read more »

6. Parabens

Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions. Read more »

7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)

Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

8. PEG compounds

Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol). Read more »

9. Petrolatum

Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer. Read more »

10. Siloxanes

Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

11. Sodium laureth sulfate

Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate). Read more »

12. Triclosan

Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Read more »

Source: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/

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Essential Oils: Top, Middle, Base notes

What are top, middle & base notes?

Since I have started my Aromatherapy Certification Program with the Aromahead Institute I’m in a daily daze and I’m stunned at the details we already know about our beloved Essential Oils in a scientific way. It is an absolute amazing path I have chosen and I’m SOOOO happy I took this step.

Anyway, the other day I made a blend based on my mood. I had a slight stiff neck and I just felt a bit down due to a bad night of sleep.

I figured I’m going to mix 3 oils together by just smelling them individually. Without giving it too much thought I grabbed Vetiver, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Grapefruit (I’m in love with Grapefruit. Oil or not. It can’t run away from me).

I’m always using now 30ml (1 oz bottles) to make my mixing process consistent. I chose a 2% dilution (10-12 drops combined) for massaging it on my neck and shoulders as well as below my feet.

It’s a blend made in heaven. If you would like to try it out find the exact recipe below.

I did read later that Vetiver might help with mental fatigue, insomnia, depression, maintain nerve health and much more. It has calming properties. No wonder I love this oil. I use this blend now at night as well. 

So why I’m talking about this specific blend has two reasons. First, trust your instincts and your nose. This blend made my day just better. The smell of all three oils were just what I need that day.

Second, this blend has a beautiful synergy. It has all three notes in it. Top (Grapefruit), middle (Lavender) and base (Vetiver) note.

Top notes are uplifting. They give you happiness. They are first to arrive to your nose and first to leave your nose. They evaporate fast BUT they put a smile on your face. Try it. Open up Grapefruit and smell it! It will make you happy. I promise!

Some top notes:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Mandarin

Middle notes will bring harmony & softness to your blend. They are right in the middle where your heart sits.

Some middle notes:

  • Roman Chamomile
  • Spikenard
  • Lavender
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram

Base notes are grounding and soothing. They are mostly “heavy” oils as Vetiver is. They will be present for a long time and slow down the evaporation process of your top and middle notes.

Some base notes:

  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Vetiver

I hope you enjoyed the above. I surely did 🙂 And now to the recipe:

  • 1 oz (30 ml) amber glass bottle
  • 30ml Jojoba Wax (or any other carrier oil you have on hand)
  • 5 Drops Vetiver
  • 5 Drops Lavender
  • 5 Drops Grapefruit

20170302_133528

I buy my oils currently at different sources and if you have your own trusted source use them. This blend I have created with doTERRA oils.  If you don’t have any oils I can recommend doTERRA & Aromatics International.

Definitely and as always, go for the best oils (purest!!!) for the greatest benefits! Let me know if you have questions. I’m right now at the source 🙂

Hugs & Love

~Katrin

Essential Oils. Why consider an Aromatherapist?

I recently became a member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and a Student at the Aromahead Institute. Eye opening!

In the past couple of years I have been working with Essential Oils intensively. I use them for myself, in my family, I converted my entire house into a chemical-free zone by using only homemade cleaning products, I use the oils for cooking, in my body products, facial serums, sicknesses, muscle pain, menstrual cycle cramps & neausea, in my car and you name it. There is no halt for me anymore. I LOVE them. They are in every corner of my house and if every bag. I sometimes have them double and triple.

Essential Oil bag by Petal and Stem
Essential Oil Bag. Peppermint Print. This one and others are in every bag of mine. Holds 3 x 15ml bottles. $12.

I also contacted different Essential Oil companies to question statements and get more details. Some with success and others not so much. I have been reading studies about cure and danger of these potent friends. I have been getting questions like: “Are you promoting doTERRA oils because you keep on mentioning them”. I have to shuggle. Yes. doTERRA oils and many other companies. One of my latest favourites being Florihana a french distiller. My goal is to go all the way back to the distiller and cut all the middle men and MLM companies. Not completely as doTERRA has some great products (and I’m sure so does YL) but the prices are sometimes just way to high with YL or doTERRA to make them available for lower income folks.

As some of you know I started out with doTERRA Essential Oils as a friend introduced me to them but I never felt 100% comfortable introducing them to others before I haven’t tested them myself or did my “homework” especially when using them internally or with kids which often the MLM companies suggest.

I have gotten so sick and tired of all the pros and cons and reading negative and positive reviews while this world of Essential Oils is seemingly exploding into many directions. We have many companies popping up left and right. A single person would feel overhelmed and confused and one just doesn’t know what to believe and use anymore.

You really would like to believe your next door neighbor that YL or doTERRA are the best oils, you want to believe your best friend that you can make a lot of money with any of these MLM companies. “Yes it is hard work but so rewarding”.

But let’s face it; how many of the Wellness Advocates and Independent Product Consultants, especially when they start out after a short introduction from their neighbor, know that Peppermint and some varieties of Eucalyptus can be very dangerous for children and can cause seizures.

That YlangYlang could cause miscarriages.

That there is a pretty long list of oils which are phototoxic meaning when applied and exposed to sunlight imediatly after application it could cause “allergies” (severe redness-just like sunburn, swelling-edema, darkening of the skin and sometimes even blistering of the skin).

There is a big difference between steam distilled oils and cold pressed ones. Those oils should be bergaptene free in order to not be phototoxic….The list goes on.

So when you make your own potions and lotions stay away from phototoxic essential oils but if you are adding the oils into soap products, it will be fine. With products which you can shower/ wash off  you don’t pose a risk. Also if you have the right ratio you most likely will be fine. Be aware that the rations of those oils differ as well. Grapefruit: 24 dropz to 1 oz but Lemon only 12 drops to 1oz of carrier oil. Please make sure you inform yourself. A good start is Robert Tisserand’s book: Essential Oil Safety

Here is a list of oils which are phototoxic.

  • Angelica
  • Angelica root
  • Bergamot oil (if it is bergaptene-free oil it should/ will be called: Bergamot FCF. Bergaptene free bergamot oil is steam distilled. Stillpoint Aromatics offers this oil)
  • Cassia
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fig leaf
  • Grapefruit
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Lovage
  • Bitter orange
  • Rue
  • Tagetes
  • Verbena

 

Citrus oils that are not phototoxic:

  • distilled Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Sweet Orange
  • Tangerine
  • distilled Lemon
  • Satsuma
  • Tangelo
  • Yuzu

ALWAYS ASK your supplier. You have the right to know.

So I could go on and on. All I want to really say is; that if you use high quality and potent oils, if you love them, if you can’t be without them (just like me) and if you don’t want any bad awakenings educate yourself. Really well. Maybe consult an Aromatherapist which has been certified by one of the many good schools. Here is a list of Aromatherapists in the US and Canada.

This post was not to scare you or bad mouth any companies as I’m using them myself but to bring some awareness. Essential Oils are medicine and should be treated as such. Just as you would not just take any Antibiotics if they were available over the counter.

Now I will get back to oiling, sniffing and creating!

Love & Hugs

Katrin

 

 

How many drops of Essential Oils in a 10ml Roll-On bottle?

It’s not a riddle once you know it. Let me help you a bit with my below chart. If you would like to find out more about doTERRA oils, feel free to fill in the contact form below please. There are many great oils out there. Below is a list of companies I buy my oils from as well.

Please do make sure you test your oil mixes on a patch of skin before applying it liberally.

how-many-drops_

Where I buy my Essential Oils, Carrier Oils and Supplies:

Homemade Coconut Shampoo

The shampoo…I keep on trying new recipes and refine old ones. I added some Rosemary to this recipe. Smells beautiful in the combination with Wild Orange.

Depending on your hair length (mine is shoulder length) I take a good full tablespoon of my homemade shampoo and start at the ends massaging my way up to the scalp. I let it sit for 1-2 minutes before I rinse it all out. You can stop here or rinse it with Apple Cider Vinegar which adds some shine to your hair.

Please remember that every change (away from chemicals to 100% natural products) will take some time for your body and hair to “get used” to. I encourage you to give it a couple of weeks to have some beautiful results.

homemade-coconut-shampoo

I would keep mine regridgerated in warmer climates. I usually make a weekly batch. 

Essential Oil Substitutes

Ran out of an Essential Oil?

Below chart might help you to substitute some Essential Oils.

Essential Oil Substitutes

Headache Blend!

This Blend is really great. It does not only work but also smells amazing. One of my favourite ones.

Headache_ Stressed_ Anxious_

A beautiful quote for your weekend.

Quote 1dōTERRA Essentials Oils ~ Katrin Birkholz

Which Essential Oil Company?

If anyone has doubts which Essential Oil company to use for their Family, in Aromatherapy, as a Health Coach or just for yourself you can watch this video, which will take that question away and leave you with an answer!

4 minutes that’s all it takes.

Happy watching!

~Katrin

TerraShield – Insect Repellent

Highly effective for the upcoming mosquito season – Order here

No more Mosquito Spray Toxins for your body! Choose the natural way:

TerraShield combines a proprietary blend of highly effective and safe essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil to help ward off insects. A primary function of essential oils in plants is protecting against insects and other predators. Unlike other products that contain synthetic and toxic chemicals, TerraShield is a natural approach to managing exposure to biting insects. TerraShield’s fresh, light citrus scent is wonderfully invigorating and can be used safely by everyone in the family. One application provides coverage that lasts up to 6 hours.

dōTERRA - TerraShield Natural Insect Repellent
doTERRA’s Mosquito Repellent

In the video below Dr. Hill explains the effectiveness of this Essential Oil blend a bit further!

dōTERRA’s Dr. David Hill explains the benefits of using TerraShield® as a safe and natural insect repellent.