About the author: Lindsay Donnelly is a first-time-mom and new resident of Jersey City experiencing life with her toddler, Lolli. She’s a former NYC fashion stylist and graduate of Univ. of Florida J-school. Follow them around town on IG: @Lawadelton and #Lolligramz
As a mom, I’m always trying to find tips and tricks to live a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle for my family. I buy organic fruits and vegetables, bring my reusable bags to the grocery store, and use Tom’s natural toothpaste. I love a wheatgrass shot in the morning and apple cider vinegar with my tea. I’m no 100% holistic saint, but I do my best!
If you’re on social media like me, you’ve probably seen the phrase “essential oils” popping up in your news feed - whether it’s your favorite beauty blogger talking about their night-time ritual, or an old friend who just started selling them. If you’re not on social media, I'm here to tell you that essential oils are really having their moment. But beyond the current buzz, what the heck is an essential oil? Do you have to travel to a rainforest and collect dew drops from a sacred leaf to get them? The name had me imagining a scene from Fern Gully where I’m collecting a magical remedy for all mankind’s polluted water. I was super curious! So, I sat down with Beth Conroy, Jersey City Acupuncturist and essential oil expert, to get a feel for how you can incorporate essential oils into your life as a parent.
Beth came over toting a really cool case full of different types of oils. Color coordinated, it was like her own pretty (& portable) apothecary. It smelled so good - like a field of fragrant flowers just walked into my living room. Lolli loved looking at all of the options, picking out her favorite ones and giving them a big whiff. Turns out, it’s a fun activity for a toddler! I love how it teaches her to tune into her sense of smell. (Of course, supervision is important - not all essential oils are the right concentration for children and most aren’t to be consumed.)
Beth and I got to talking and I told her how novice I was to the topic. She comforted me and told me not to be intimidated, because most people are new to e.o.’s also. (Insert sigh of relief - Facebook made me think otherwise...)
A couple of uses and examples really stood out. Here’s what I learned: essential oils come in multiple different forms. Basically, oil is extracted from different organic plants or natural fibers and concentrated into liquids, sprays, or roller ball applicators. Which ones you use and how you use it really depends on what you’re looking for - but the ultimate goal is to rely more on natural, chemical-free compounds in your home.
Rollerball applicators - Rub on your inner wrists at the pressure point or temples to get an immediate scent and feeling. If you’re looking for calm or relaxation, try lavender. Focus and energy? Try lemongrass. Beth recommended Frankincense on the feet with a little foot massage to help your little one settle down for bed-time. It relaxes the muscles. How fun!
Liquids - Drop the citrus based oils like orange or lemon into your water to add taste and antioxidants. If you’re someone who usually enjoys drinks like Vitamin water, this is a great alternative to cut the sugar and keep the flavor. I love how you can keep a small dropper in your purse and add it to your water bottle as you fill up throughout the day.
While Beth and I were chatting, Lolli bumped her head on the table. Nothing big, but low and behold - Beth had something for that! She took out a tube and we applied a little gel to the red spot on her forehead. Turns out there are even essential oil products that can help with everyday bumps, cuts, burns, and scrapes to reduce redness, swelling, and pain. Instead of using brand names like Neosporin or Vick’s VapoRub (which half of the ingredients I can’t pronounce) you can keep these natural products on hand to do the trick!
Lately, there has been a lot of internet attention on chemicals used in kids products like baby powder, and sunscreen. I’m not a doctor, nor a scientist, so I’m not claiming any discoveries on my end. However, I do think that examining what we are putting on our skin, ingesting, and using day-to-day is a good thing. I think we can all agree that the more natural, the better. It’s really amazing that with essential oils you have the option to make your own household products, including sunscreen, without wondering what added chemicals lurk inside.
If you’re wondering how you can use essential oils in your life, Beth Conroy holds recurring educational sessions at Hazel Baby. The next one is Wednesday January 24th. Here, she will consult with you on a one on one basis to help identify which ones would make sense for your life. Hope to see you there!
Can't make the event? Get in touch with Beth Conroy by emailing her at [email protected]. She's happy to do free 1x1s for Hazel customers - just mention our blog post!