Some of you may know Nicole, owner and boss babe behind Amati Wellness, from our Wellness Giveaway. If you missed it, I am so sorry because it was great. But don't worry, we will be doing more soon. And now that you're here... you can meet Nicole!
I did this interview with Nicole about a year ago and never got around to sharing it with all of you. I know, I'm the worst. Basically I asked her to come to my house and give me a crash course in essential oils and if/how I can use them for my skin. Funny thing happened. It got totally derailed, in a good way, because Nicole has so much knowledge to share and I just can't stop asking questions. So here is an interview that's not really about essential oils but does share some super helpful tips on making sure your products are safe and clean.
S: What is your experience with Essential Oils in skincare and health?
N: The reason why I think Essential Oils, skincare, and health come together is really because of one of the more dangerous ingredients in all of the beauty products out there is fragrance. For those of you who don’t know, beauty products are not considered a food and they’re not considered a drug so the FDA cannot monitor it. There is, in our country, no governing organization that creates any type of regulatory checks and balances for these companies.
S: That’s fuckin scary.
N: Right. It’s literally like the wild west, they make up their own rules and then it is up to them whether or not they even abide by them. So they can say “we don’t use sulfates.”
S: But they can. So they can lie?!
N: I mean, sure. There’s nobody to check the packaging to create any checks and balances to see if that’s true or not.
S: *Stares in Terror*
N: Yea it’s incredibly scary.
N: So you may even be paying top dollar for something that’s …
S: That’s green.
N: *Air Quotes*
S: But what if it’s not?
N: Unfortunately they’re very tricky in that they’ll switch around and like instead of using this type of name for a chemical they might use a scientific name. So it doesn’t say sulfate in it anymore so you as a consumer reading and looking for the world sulfate might not find it. But it could still be in there! Disguised under another name.
S: That’s so fucked.
N: This is why it's really important to be your own advocate when it comes to beauty products because no one in that industry is looking out for you except for you…and a few good organizations out there. EWG is huge. Non-profit organization. Their website is fabulous. The best resource for when you want to find out what products are the good ones. So when you want to switch your skincare products or shampoo and you don’t want to stand in CVS for 4 hours reading labels or you don’t even know where to start. They’ll often put together lists like “EWG’s top 10 shampoos with the best ingredients.”
S: Can you send them products you want them to look over?
N: I believe you can but their list is usually very comprehensive and they are very diligent about researching new products. And they have an app where you can walk around while you’re shopping and scan beauty products and it will give you a rating system on overall product but you can also go in and see what ingredients are good or bad.
S: Let’s see what we can scan that I already have!!
*Grabs First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream*
S: So 2 is the rating does that mean it’s bad?
N: Well, 1 is the best on a scale to 10. Its mostly good. Everything is in the green which is good. If they were red they would be things you should be concerned about.
*Scans “Fragrance Free” Lubriderm*
S: OH FUCK.
N: Most of the ingredients aren’t bad but fragrance is the one fucking you up.
S: IT LITERALLY SAYS FRAGRANCE FREE ON IT BUT THE APP SAYS “FRAGRANCE: 8!” ITS
N: Yup. This has Mineral Oil in it, babe.
S: What’s that mean?
N: Mineral Oil sounds like it would be naturally derived but when they process petroleum they basically cook it and stir it and it breaks up and forms different layers. So like in the middle is gasoline. Below gasoline is motor oil. At the top where the fat separates is where petroleum oil is.
N: At the bottom, the minerals that fall out of gasoline and the sediment that’s at the bottom?
That’s mineral oil.
S: NO. That’s so fucking disgusting.
N: It’s also really bad for you, as you might imagine. Just like you wouldn’t rub gasoline on yourself.. the leftover garbage by product of gasoline is what mineral oil is.
S: Why does no one know about this?
N: Ya know, it’s one of those things where because of what it’s called, Mineral Oil, if you are an uneducated consumer, it sounds great. Because you’re like, “oh mineral it’s from the earth.” But its a petroleum by product.
S: I am repulsed. I don’t even know what to say because I have been using that for so many years because its recommended for tattoos.
N: Yea like it says dermatologist developed. Like, I’m not saying they’re lying but just wondering what kind of dermatologist thinks that this is a good idea. And so that’s where I think that skincare is this really delicate thing because we put a lot of time and effort into what we eat, we work out, doing all these great things. Even like, you put sunscreen on to protect your skin. You do this whole skincare routine every night to make your skin look good and then we, without even realizing it, are pouring a whole bunch of chemicals directly on us into the largest organ in our body.
S: I feel so disgusting because who knows how many things I am using that are like that. Because I just like… believe them.
N: Any good hearted person would assume positive intent. It’s innocence. Like why would they lie? But now we are in this golden age of skincare and beauty right now where there are many small companies that are producing truly good for you products. Through platforms like Etsy they are more readily available to us than they have ever been.
S: Yes, I have seen more of those recently. I had an allergic reaction and I am still not sure what it was from but those products helped and recently I have been using just olive oil. I know that doesn’t have any fragrance.
N: What makes fragrance so dangerous is that basically any chemical that produces a smell in the product can be labeled as fragrance. So it could literally be nuclear waste from Chernobyl but if it smells like roses they can put it in your lotion and call it fragrance.
S: That’s so fucked.
N: That is what the legal definition of what fragrance is. And a lot of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors. Basically all of your hormone producing glands are part of your endocrine system. So anyone with an autoimmune disease should beware. Anyone who is a woman who is trying to get pregnant or near that stage in her life, because it takes years to detox this stuff out of your body.
S: So how do I know if something is fragrance free? Because the Lubriderm said fragrance free but when we scanned it, it said fragrance.
N: It doesn’t list fragrance in the ingredients so it might be disguised in one of these other names.
S: And who knows what the fuck they are.
N: Right. Because fragrance is the generic but what if they just gave us the scientific chemical name?
S: Because who would know??
N: Right so whatever this weird ingredient is.. * Says a word that ends with paraben*
S: Yea, wtf is that?
N: Well we know that is bad because anything that ends in the word paraben is a paraben.
S: I know you’re not supposed to have parabens but what even are they?
N: There is a great resource called safecosmetics.org and they have great scientific articles for you that can break down every single ingredient and explaining to you the science behind things like “why are parabens bad?” It says on here: “Parabens are a preservatives used in a wide variety of personal care products. These endocrine disrupting chemicals can be absorbed through skin, through the bloodstream and the digestive system.” So I have thyroid issues and the thyroid is like the campion of the endocrine system so I have to avoid parabens.
S: So what do you use on your skin?
N: I have a micro fiber cloth called “magic makeup erasers” and they’re so soft and the fibers are
so soft that all you have to do is get it wet and it removes all your makeup for you. Sometimes if I am wearing a lot of makeup I will use coconut oil. And that’s it.
S: Wait so you don’t like do a wash or moisturizer?
S: WHHHAT?! You just use water??
N: That’s it. Sometimes before bed if I get spots, because I do get spots from hormones or digestion. The state of your digestion is the state of your face. So if I have a pimple that needs to be dried out I put tea tree oil on them. When they change and needs to be healed I have a local homemade herbal healing salve from a farm I order from.
S: I need some of that!
N: Plant Makeup is one of these independent brands that is sustainable and everything she makes is made from plants. She has a blemish balm I use sometimes for when I know a pimple is coming. But that’s all really as needed.
S: It’s crazy that we started talking about what essential oils are good for your skin and we went in this whole other direction. I am happy this happened though and we can talk about essential oils in another conversation. But I like this because I want to be able to share with our followers like all this info an average person doesn’t know. I mean I am probably above average knowledge of skincare and like I’m still not anywhere near you.
N: And I am not an expert. I know more about nutrition and digestion with skin.
If you want to learn more from Nicole, she does offer coaching as well as teach classes. She also sells clean and safe wellness products in her shop.
To find out more:
Products from Amati Wellness featured in the Wellness Giveaway:
Herbal Tea + Honey/Agave
Yoga Mat Spray + Cleaning Cloth