I recently drove across the country to see my sister in New Mexico and my mother in Denver with my teenager. Yes, that’s right. I voluntarily drove 5,000 miles with my teenager. With all the shutdowns and quarantines right now, I just wasn’t sure when I would see my mom and sister next.. So, I decided to go on a little trip. We are very, very careful (both as a company and personally) with exposure risks. Since I was not comfortable flying, a road trip seemed the safest way.
My sister has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). She can’t handle any scents at all – not chemical, not even natural essential oils. This means no scent on anything near her, including her sister who works with essential oils all day! Ergo, Ora goes fragrance free. You can imagine, this was no small challenge for me. I needed a lot of preparation. That meant taking a two week break prior to the visit to completely detox myself and my clothing. I switched out all the products in my life to fragrance free, from my personal skincare routine to my household products. I even washed my clothing three times in special cleansers to remove all lingering scents.
Was it easy? Well, the first couple of days (maybe even the first week) were challenging. I found myself craving my Blissful Earth Body Powder and Body Oil after my shower, not to mention Sweet Love Perfume Oil. I was surprised by just how much I missed these in my daily routine. It was so much more difficult than I had anticipated or imagined. Keep reading – it was worth it!
What I Used to Detox
Squeaky Clean Soap-Free Cleanser: I used this for cleansing my face, body and underarms in the shower. This was not actually a change, I use this almost daily regardless.
Shampoo: I switched to an unscented, all natural shampoo. You can find these online or at your local health food store.
Unscented Hair and Beard Oil: For my face and hair, I shmeared this on after my shower to give my skin and my hair some protective and nurturing moisture.
Unscented Body Oil: For the areas of my body that didn’t necessarily need a lot of healing moisture, I chose this oil. It goes on easily over large areas with a bit of remaining moisture on the skin from your shower.
Unscented Ultra Healing Body Butter: For extra dry areas such as the backs of my arms, the heels of my feet, and elbows, I chose my Body Butter. It gives immediate relief and moisture. A little goes a long way! I also use it on the dry ends of my hair, in addition to oiling it.
Natural Unscented Lip Balm: Since it is very dry out west, I also incorporated this lip balm to prevent chapped lips in that high elevation. I’m not normally a lip balm user, but I found myself tucking it into my bra and using it all day long. (TMI?)
Household Products: I normally use products scented with essential oils, so I swapped out my laundry detergent, my dish soaps, and my household cleaners for all natural, unscented products.
What I Learned
I found my detox to be extremely grounding, calming, and actually wonderful. Even though we use botanicals and scents to clarify, relax, and refresh (whatever your personal goals are), a break can bring some benefits. Why? Constant exposure can be overstimulating and desensitizing after a period of time. It wasn’t until I went completely fragrance free that I realized I wasn’t even really smelling those scents at their full range anymore.
As days went by, I noticed my “nose” starting to come back! I was smelling more intensely than before, especially with nature around me. The flowers, the smell of the earth, even the smell of sunshine seemed more vibrant and brilliant. Essential oils are my livelihood, so I need my nose to work! I wasn’t drowning all these other smells out with normal routine – I’m somewhat conservative with my use – but there had definitely been a certain amount of muting.
What Will Change?
Moving forward, I have a real appreciation for botanicals and their scents. I want to be more selective with the essential oil products I use and incorporate more of my Fragrance Free line into my daily self care routine. I’ve also been inspired to go back and create some new scents, so stay tuned for that!
Self care is about listening and responding to what we hear. It is not only creating a routine with natural, healing, aromatherapy products. It’s also knowing when to switch it up and even to take a step back from that routine. Sometimes that means we need to give ourselves a vacation. We humans sometimes need time to detox and hit the reset button to restore our connection with the world around us.
Join us in taking a 2-week essential oil vacation and tell us how it makes you feel! (Pro-Tip: Sign up for our email list to get an exclusive coupon for our Fragrance Free products!) Follow along on social media as we go through our Fragrance Free challenge for tips, benefits, and our journey. Get ready for your 2-week vacation!
About Ora’s Amazing Herbal
Ora’s Amazing Herbal creates natural, herbal infused skincare for the whole family. We strive to empower women through self care, one minute at a time (because let’s be honest, as moms- often a minute is all we have)! Our current line includes salves, powders, body oils, body butters, face oil serums, powder facial cleansers, beard & hair oils, lip balms, and herbal steams. We also have a natural baby care line which includes gentle newborn and baby salves, powders, and baby oil. We use high quality, non-gmo, fair trade oils and organic herbs to create skin care that is both pure and effective. Our products are crafted in small batches in New Jersey and are free from talc, grain, lanolin,chemical preservatives, synthetic dyes & fragrances, parabens, and animal testing. We also have a huge focus on sustainability, eco-friendly packaging, and kindness to the world around us. If you’d like to learn more, please check out our website- OrasAmazingHerbal.com.