I’m sure you’ll all agree – there is nothing more stylish and beautiful than good health. Glowing skin, luscious hair, strong nails and bright eyes: what we show on the outside is a reflection of our inner health and wellbeing.
On one of my many journeys through cyberspace in search of nuggets of informational gold, I discovered Nadine Artemis and her sumptuous essential oils. My first impression of Nadine was of a naturally beautiful woman with passion and intelligence, a calm and wise outlook on life and a good sense of humour! I watched her talk at the Longevity Now conference in California where her advice included; don’t read beauty magazines (full of fake beauty and chemical products) and detox your bathroom (how many chemical laced products does one person need?!). To watch that clip of Nadine, click here:
For a good year I have been searching for a natural alternative to underarm deodorant and for natural ways to care for my skin and hair, so when I discovered Nadine’s oils, which she sells through her Living Libations brand, I had to give them a try. I bought the Rose Poetic Pits, Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever, Zippity Dew Dab, Lymph+ Tonic, Yogi Tooth Serum, Seabuckthorn Shampoo and more… and from the first moment knew I was in love – the scents are amazing, it’s like they talk to your soul. The love affair continues as I try more and more of the Living Libations blends. I only wish I could try the PURE SOURCE chocolate, but I’m living in Dubai where hemp is forbidden…
Despite being extremely busy, Nadine has kindly agreed to answer some questions for me to share on this blog. Let’s try to be stylish and beautiful as naturally as we can!
1. SKIN: An increasingly common challenge for adult women today is hormonal acne and skin pigmentation. Why do you think it is such a challenge to balance our hormones today? And how can we protect and heal our skin from sun damage and acne scarring naturally?
NADINE: There is an estrogenic epidemic in our erogenous zones because of the proliferation of xenoestrogens and metalloestrogens in our cosmetics and food supply. Synthetic ingredients and processed foods must be eliminated, when we consume oral contraceptives and foods with polyunsaturated fats and then apply toxic ingredients transdermally – this is the cause of skin pigmentation. By eliminating these causes and working with essential oils like frankincense, rose otto, cypress, immortelle, or the blends I have made Zippity DewDab and DewDab the skin can begin to heal.
2. HAIR: Each time I visit the hairdresser I debate the virtues of natural shampoos and conditioners with my stylist. She believes that as we don’t live in a natural world (and this is very true of life in the Middle East, relying on desalinated seawater to bathe in and air-conditioning all year round), natural hair care is not up to the challenge of maintaining luscious locks. What are your thoughts on natural hair care in the modern world? And have you any tips for preventing hair fall for people who live in big cities and challenging environments like Dubai?
NADINE: That is a hilarious! Surely natural ingredients are just as capable of cleansing the hair from modern pollutants and when we use real botanicals for hair care we are not damaging, the scalp, hair shaft and consuming carcinogens like SLS and nitrates. To prevent hair loss ~ use truly natural shampoo and conditioner, massage oils into your scalp before washing, check in with your thyroid health and eliminate gluten grains.
3. HAIR: I have fine hair and find that no matter what shampoo and conditioner I use, I have to wash my hair every 36 hours at least if I don’t want it to look greasy. Do you have any tips for keeping fine hair from looking greasy for a few days?
NADINE: Use a wooden comb and natural bristle brush (never plastic or nylon) and tune into thyroid and hormone balance.
4. MAKEUP: I’ve just ordered your Ruby Lip Gloss, made from Beets – yummy! But I’m curious about your recommendations for other make-up substitutes. What can you recommend as a healthy alternative to mascara, eyeliner or blemish concealer?
NADINE: The best thing is to get your skin glowing so that one does not need foundation or concealer. Then look to your health food store and the brands they carry and read the labels carefully.
5. DENTAL: I grew up in England in the 1980s – a time when dentists strongly believed in giving fluoride supplements to young children. As a consequence of this early medication (poisoning!) I, and many of my childhood friends, suffer from various degrees of dental fluorosis, which makes our teeth porous and discoloured. I currently use your dental care products and I love them. But can you recommend any natural treatment to help whiten fluorosis teeth?
NADINE: Keep up with a healthy diet that includes the fat soluble vitamins A, D3 and K2. Be sure to ingest mineral rich foods and one a month you can rinse with 3% solution of food grade hydrogen peroxide.
For further information see my video on using ACV and baking soda too:
6. PREGNANCY: I note from conversations with friends that there is a lot of fear surrounding the impact of essential oils and herbal teas on pregnancy. I know you have recently written a paper on this matter. Can you please give your views on whether it is safe to use essential oils and drink herbal teas whilst pregnant?
NADINE: Naturally, as your baby grows, your belly expands, and this new soul captures your heart, your desire to nurture and protect your little one grows, too. Increasingly thoughtful about your health and what you put on and in your body, you may now wonder how botanical oils will affect your pregnancy. Delightful and intuitive, essential oils are an unparalleled gift for our beauty, and they are life-nurturing elixirs for expectant mothers.
Many women ask me if essential oils, or if any specific oils, should be avoided during pregnancy. Aromatherapy books and bottles make sweeping disclaimers, cautioning us of the potential risks of using essential oils during pregnancy. It is true that the pure plant potency of essential oils uniquely interacts with and influences our bodies, our brains and our cells, and this does raise interesting questions for expecting mothers:
Could essential oils disrupt the normal outcome of pregnancy?
Could they harm the baby?
It is really important to know the source of the essential oils that you use; you want to know exactly what is in that little bottle of oil. The essential oils that are readily available in the market, even those sold in health food stores, are often less than pure and true. Mass distilled for the food and perfume industry, these oils are cheaply produced and may even be imitations. It is inadvisable for safety and effectiveness for anyone to use low quality oils. Only authentic oils, distilled carefully and truthfully from organically grown plant matter can provide the benefits of plant wisdom. Know your source.
There are hundreds of essential oils available in aromatherapy. Most of the oils are elegant and user-friendly, and only a handful of them are best avoided by everyone. With so many choices, it is easy to avoid these oils, so please do: Dalmation Sage, Mugwort, Thuja, Tarragon, Hyssop officinalis (not Hyssop decumbens) and Pennyroyal. In addition to these, there are a few essential oils that pregnant women will want to avoid throughout pregnancy: Spanish Sage (not Sage officinalis), Parsley Leaf and Parsley seed, Oakmoss, Lavandula stoechas, Lavender cotton (this is not common Lavender) and Savin.
Pregnant women who use essential oils responsibly and properly diluted – enjoying one portion, not guzzling or rubbing on half of a bottle of undiluted essential oil- can continue to enjoy essential oils throughout pregnancy. Instead of worrying about specific oils, (in fact, worry can be harmful to a pregnancy!) simply use oils that you are comfortable with and keep the concentration at or under 2%-5% for a generous application, like in a full body massage. A 2% dilution amounts to 15-20 drops of oil for every ounce of carrier base, like organic jojoba, virgin coconut oil and olive oil.
You can continue to enjoy all of the elixirs and creations that you employ in your daily ablutions and meditations. If you loved particular oils, like ginger and rosemary, before you were pregnant, you can still inhale, apply or even add a single drop to your water without issue.
If you are a newcomer to the wisdom of essential oils, a reasonable approach to explore the world of botanicals is to introduce into your daily life a few drops of the well-known health-tonic oils. These health-tonic oils are broad spectrum and life supporting, and they will keep your body strong and centered throughout your pregnancy. Over time, as you try out different oils you will develop a feel and an intuition for the oils that are best for you.
The health-tonic oils are: cardamom, lavender, cape chamomille, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Neroli, sandalwood, frankincense, palmarosa, thyme linalool, coriander seed, patchouli, geranium, petitgrain, ginger and rose otto.
Start with your favourite scent; if you love rose, use rose. All essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, and more impressively, they fortify and stimulate the immune system so that you are resistant to bacteria and bugs. A playful and preventative use of rose, or whatever your favourite oil is, throughout your pregnancy will balance your mind and spirit while reducing the odds that you will contract an illness.
7. DIET: What are your top diet tips for achieving good health and natural beauty? And do you use essential oils in your cooking/food preparation?
NADINE: Everyone is different and digests differently. Best to be able to tune into how you feel after you eat. What foods are clear and energizing? How do you want to feel after you eat? The primary key is to have guts that are healed and sealed. It is very important to have healthy, beneficial bacteria in your belly ~ for some this means eliminating wheat, gluten grains, sugar and dairy. Also, we must treat our temple to whole, wild and organic foods. Yes, we love using essential oils in our food and smoothie preparations.
8. LAUNDRY: I’m sold on the value of using only natural products on my body, but I have still not found a decent alternative to chemical household products, especially laundry care. Can you recommend a natural way to care for our clothes and bedding that still gives that wonderful just-washed scent and softness?
NADINE: Find the purest laundry detergent (unscented), or use soap nuts and then add your favourite essential oils like lavender, balsam fir, black spruce or lemongrass.
9. PETS: My beloved Daschund, Dash, has a constant battle with harvest mites, which I am unable to get rid of without the use of harsh chemicals – either on the garden, or on him, neither of which I want to do. Can you recommend any natural oils that would help keep these little pests from hopping onto Dash? I wondered if a thieves’ oil mixture on his paws and affected areas would help?
NADINE: The main thing with our dogs and cats is that need to be eating real food! The food canned for them in the markets is beyond a horror story. When our pets are on this chemical laden food they are susceptible to mites and fleas. Feed them well and use tea tree or eucalyptus on their coats. For his paws mix one or both of these essential oils with virgin coconut oil.
10. FOLLOWING YOUR FOOTSTEPS: What training is required to become an Aromachologist? And what would you recommend a person study if they wish to follow in your footsteps and research into natural health and beauty care? And…. Do you ever plan to write a comprehensive book on essential oil uses? I would definitely buy it!
NADINE: The plants are the greatest teachers and if you tune into them they will teach you worlds upon worlds of knowledge. Two great authors to begin with are Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt and Stephen Buhner. Yes, we have a few books in the works, life is full creating the lovely Libations and my book on Holistic Dentistry will be published and distributed by Radom House this fall.