Do scents affect your health? They sure do! Tune in to learn how aromatherapy and essential oils can affect your mood, skin, and overall health with Amy Galper, B.A., M.A., Co-Founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies.
Co-Founder NY Institute of Aromatic Studies
Amy Galper, B.A., M.A., Co-Founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies (use the code "happier" for 10% off any of their courses). She has been a Certified Aromatherapist since 2001, as well as a passionate advocate, entrepreneur, formulator and consultant in organic beauty and wellness. She has also co-authored the newly released book, Plant Powered Beauty, published by BenBella Books and endorsed by beauty industry visionary Bobbi Brown, Credo Beauty’s Annie Jackson and Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green. Amy is honored and proud to be a member of Credo Beauty’s Clean Beauty Council, celebrating, advocating and educating for Clean Beauty and Wellness, along with other influencers and thought leaders in the field. Amy has appeared as a featured speaker at the Indie Beauty Expo, Women in Flavor & Fragrance Conference, Eco Sessions, along with dozens of media events and conferences. She is a guest lecturer at NYU, and has presented at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and is a member of the Visiting Faculty at Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City. She has been featured on FOX NEWS, CUNY TV, and FAT MASCARA, and has been quoted as an aromatherapy expert for countless articles and posts about essential oils, as seen in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue.com, Extraordinary Health, Dr. OZ, Prevention, Well and Good, Better Homes and Gardens, Mind Body Green, People, Allure, Refinery29 and many many more. Want to learn more about aromatherapy and essential oils? Enroll in an online course or in-person class at NY Institute of Aromatic Studies and use the code "happier" for 10% off any course.
Maria Marlowe: [00:00:34] Welcome back to the Happier and Healthier podcast. Today’s guest is Amy Galper, the co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. I am excited to bring Amy to you guys today because I am a student of her school and I am learning so much about essential oils and aroma therapy. And I just knew I had to share it with you guys. Essential oils are becoming more popular and trendy, but there is a wide range of difference between different qualities of essential oils. And I think sometimes the benefits are a little bit overstated. They’re not miracle cures for every single thing on the planet, but they are really, really powerful. And I’ve used them to treat or address a wide range of issues. I’ve used them in multiple different applications. So they are quite versatile and they are quite beneficial for our health, for our skin, our mood and so much more. So I’m excited to just dive into essential oils and aroma therapy with Amy a little bit more about her. She has been a certified aroma therapist since 2001, and she’s also been a sought after expert in the organic beauty and wellness space for just as long. She is the co-author of the book Plant Powered Beauty, which has been endorsed by Bobby Brown. And she’s also a member of Credo Beauty’s Clean Beauty Council. Today, she’s here to explain aroma therapy and how we can use essential oils to improve our mood, health and skin. We’ll also be talking about her book and how we can incorporate more natural skincare products into our beauty routine.
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Maria Marlowe: [00:04:11] Amy, thanks so much for being here.
Amy Galper: [00:04:13] Well, thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure.
Maria Marlowe: [00:04:16] So let’s start with aroma therapy, as I know you’re an aromatherapist, and that’s a huge passion of yours. So what exactly is aromatherapy and how did you get interested in it?
Amy Galper: [00:04:28] Aromatherapy is really you have to think of it kind of as a mind body practice. And I think often it’s the quintessential expression or experience of what wholeness and holistic health is. Why? Because it literally incorporates in one application whether you’re smelling it or whether you’re using it topically of mind, body spirit, integration. Aromatherapy, as it’s classically defined, is a practice using authentic and genuine essential oils. Or you could call them aromatic compounds, aromatic little extracts that are extracted very specifically through the process of steam distillation. They’re called expression. And so it’s using these kind of beautiful aromatic extract, these liquid extracts and using them to improve our balance of our life and how that’s expressed both physically, emotionally and socially or spiritually.
Maria Marlowe: [00:05:33] Yeah, I love that you mentioned that genuine essential oils or you’ve sort of made a distinction there because essential oils have become really trendy. And I’m seeing them everywhere. I mean, drug stores sell them, you can buy them online. There’s all these multi-level marketing companies. So they’re not obviously all the same. But can you explain a little bit what’s the difference between one that you find, you know, all the essential oils are like $5 or something vs. the essential oils, which can actually get quite expensive.
Amy Galper: [00:06:02] Genuine and authentic essential oil, which is kind of the way that we like to call them, is an oil that’s actually extracted from the full class from what it says is true. So if you say the plant is from lavender, then that means there’s no other plant material and no other molecules that have been added to that aroma. But it’s completely the most genuine and pure extract that you can get. What happens as you describe? Is that essential oils? It’s become a very popular kind of alternative complementary care for the home user. We see that everywhere and there’s good reason for it. And after being in the world of essential oils and aromatherapy for 20 years, I guess at this point, you know, back in the day, nobody knew what you were talking about and trying to kind of have a tool or a skill set to explain really what Mind-Body integration. And it was really hard. And now with everyone talking about essential oils, everyone’s kind of understanding the need to de-stress ourselves. So I think understanding how stress affects our health is direct. And I’m going. I’m sorry. I’m getting around about and serving. I’m going this way because it’s about engaging our sense of smell.
Amy Galper: [00:07:24] And so all these companies, right, that want to have lavender oil or peppermint oil or other rose oil ones that are commonly kind of fiddled with or adulterated, you know, they’re really going for a particular scent. So they might get a certain amount from the plants. But it doesn’t match the scent that they’re going for. And they’ll add maybe in another plant’s aroma or they’ll add a synthetic molecule until they nail that sense that they’re trying to get you to an authentic and genuine essential oil is what it says it is. If it’s said that it is taken from this plant that with Canticle name is on the bottle, it is what it says it is. And there’s no kind of manipulation in any of its processing that alters its molecular structure in any way. And then also essential oils really should only be extracted using that method steam distillation. If you find that it’s using different methods like use, different types of extraction and combining things, that’s also a little bit of a question mark. I don’t really see a red flag because those aromatic components that are manipulated for, let’s say, the body hair industry or perfume are used in certain ways, are not like I don’t want to vilify them. You know, they have a purpose, you know. But for our purposes, when we want to engage, like really kind of a holistic experience of mind, body, spirit, balance, we really want to kind of go straight to the source because we’re going to the straight to the first of ourselves. You know, we want to like get to that source.
Maria Marlowe: [00:09:05] Right. You know, and I’ve been using essential oils. Well, one in particular so about probably I mean, over 10 years ago, I started using tea tree oil and it became a staple in my cabinet. I use it for everything from acne to, you know, disinfecting whatever all these different uses. You could use it for everything. But, you know, I’ve tried a few different brands. And then more recently, I’ve been using sort of like a private label, health food store brands. And I was like, oh, you know, they’re a good price. You know, the package looks OK. I’m sure it’s fine. And I have, you know, a ton of them. And I use them like I’ll smell them. Put them in the shower or whatever. Diffuse them. And I didn’t realize because they do smell like the scent. I didn’t realize the difference and how much less powerful they are compared to the authentic and genuine ones that you’re talking about. Until I actually went to your school and studying aromatherapy and you gave us real oils like these real authentic oils and they are completely different. Like I notice when I smell my, you know, the sort of private label type. You know, those cheaper oils. Even though it says 100 percent pure the scent, it almost it stops at your nose like it’s very flat. And when you smell a real essential oil, I feel like it’s going up into my brain in a way. Right. It’s a much more powerful scent. And then even just using it topically, like I would apply tea tree oil just with my finger and it would be fine. This cheaper brand. And then using the real essential oil I have like chemical burns on my my finger from putting, you know, using a drug. So there is a huge difference. But I feel like to the average person, you wouldn’t know. Right, because when you open that lavender bottle, it smells like lavender to you. You don’t know what you’re missing out on.
Amy Galper: [00:10:51] Yeah, I think, like what I want to bring up my side and her. But I think you’re doing a number of really, really great point. And I think models are what’s happening in our food culture. And like what’s going on with food and this whole movement toward farm to table. Where does your food come from? And I think everyone, even someone who is not like in to oil or holistic health or whatever, they can totally agree no matter where they are. So when you taste an apple that’s picked off the tree, it tastes totally different than the apple you get at the shop. Right. That’s wrapped in plastic. That’s in the Styrofoam tray and understanding kind of that different of like what happened to that that plant from the past when it hit. And then all the processes, all the journey, everything that it goes through its story before it gets to that both, you know, molecularly tastes. Why then why is all of that? So in a way like you’re talking about with aroma therapy, you know, we also have to broaden our experience like the person who’s tasting the apple off the tree. If they just grew up eating the apples that were wrapped in Saran Wrap and on Styrofoam trays, they wouldn’t know the beauty of the fresh picked apple until they taste it.
Amy Galper: [00:12:13] So my aim is to tell everybody is to do exactly what you did in five different oil from different suppliers from around the world and smell them, because I guarantee you you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to smell things because our nose knows so much more than we think it does and that we’ll be able to detect maybe we won’t be able to articulate it, maybe you won’t be able to really understand it. But we can sense what is what you said something that ends and run flat and something that really permeates and offers a chef. And that’s really what we’re talking about. I think you put it so beautifully because we want to be able to kind of have that experience. So I totally tell people, buy something for three dollars off Amazon, go to the store in your neighborhood and get the one for twenty dollars and see if you can figure out what they’re talking about. That’s the best way to learn.
Maria Marlowe: [00:13:12] Right. And just comparing the two, that’s what it was for me as I took the oils home and I took my went out of the bathroom cabinet and I smelled that and then I smelled the other one that I got from your school. And I was like, OK. Wow. There is a big difference. So it’s really you have to experiment and try because then I would have never known otherwise. Honest. Exactly.
Amy Galper: [00:13:29] And most likely, the ones that are mass produce like the probably the one that you got at the drugstore or I would say, you know, they’re there obviously at a drugstore or they have to like come up with like thousands of units. Right. So they’re creating this in a larger scale, as what I said before, is they have a certain profile. Right. Because if they know CVS or Duane Reade or whatever big drugstore, those the big ones here in New York City, you know that they want to buy a thousand units, a tea tree. They know that the customer who bought it last month, it needs to smell exactly the same to all their customers.
Amy Galper: [00:14:04] So my plan, just like Apples, one season, my delicious one season and they taste mealie and horrible. Same with this tea tree, right? One season you would get this beautiful oil that permeates your soul. And the next season. There were enough rain. It was too much rain. You know, there was microbe that infected the leaves or whatever nature kind of sent affected back growth and affected the oil production and the plant. So the yield is going to be different. But, you know, a big company is not going to have patience for that. We’re going to be. Wait a minute. I need to make sure my oil is the same. It was hatched here so that when they do a little bit of what’s called standardizing, where they kind of bring in another molecule or they bring in and what we hope, because a lot of essential oil companies do standardize and I’m not fully against them, is sometimes what we want when they do that. If we wanted to come from the same species doing things. So let’s say I’m going to mix those two or do something. I want it to come from an authentic plant, too. But what happens in these larger things to cut costs? So make that molecule in the laboratory and they’ll add something synthetic to it or they’ll add a molecule from another plant doing anything to help that. And that’s when you start to manipulate it, where it becomes further and further from the truth of what it is.
Maria Marlowe: [00:15:26] And you can smell it just like you can smell it. Yeah. And it’s definitely less effective to like the tea tree oil I was using was effective and it helped, you know, it worked for certain things. But now that I’m using this other one, it is way more effective in the treating skin issues like it works much faster. It’s much more powerful. If you’re going to invest in essential oils, make sure you’re getting real aroma therapy. Great essential oils. So let’s talk a little bit about how the essential oils work, because I think for most people, the idea that you can just smell a beautiful scent and it could affect you on a physical level is a bit foreign. So. Right. So first, let’s start with what are some of the benefits that you can have from smelling essential oils and then how does that actually work?
Amy Galper: [00:16:16] Ok. Essential oils, like I said, are really unique plant extracts that come from the plant. All right. And they’re a very unique collection of molecules that are extracted right from the plant. And when we think about extracting things from plants, we deal with that every day. Right. We have olive oil. Everyone uses olive oil. That’s a plant extract. We squeeze olive. What you get as a result is the extract that olive oil. Another extract that we do is making chamomile tea. You take the chamomile, I mean, you put it in hot water. It turns the water a certain taste and fragrance, boom. You have an extract there. So an essential oil is the same concept. We’re extracting a certain set of molecules. And those molecules happen to be the volatile ones, the olfactory ones, the ones that we now know. Not only are they ephemeral because it’s scent, we can’t see it. They’re actually physical, meaning that when you see the essential oil in a little bottle, it’s a liquid, a dry feeling liquid. And so when you put that liquid on your body, it can get absorbed into our bloodstream and affect change, just like herbal medicine or even a pharmaceutical like being an anti-inflammatory or easing pain or soothing muscle. And it can work in that same way. The sex part of it is what’s really interesting is that those molecules that simultaneously get absorbed in our body and then help diminish the swelling.
Amy Galper: [00:17:45] Let’s say that also enters our nodes first and then sets forth a kind of domino effect of electrical signaling that happens in our brain, our nervous system, because we are a member from biology. And the sixth or seventh grade is basically this whole big electrical switchboard to communicate through electrical signaling. That’s what neurons fight, right. When we see something, it triggers something. It triggers something. When we feel something as trigger something that triggers something. And it’s almost like this little relay race of messages. So Spence is working and operating on the same way in the sense that it’s not actually when we smell it immediately getting into our bloodstream like putting it on our body does. But instead, it triggers this little relay race of electrical signaling, which as one of the domino effect is triggering our neurons to then produce a hormone or a chemical in our body that makes us do something. So if we smell something and it triggers the signal of fear, then that signal tells our body to manufacture hormones and chemicals to prepare our body to fight off the fear. If we smell something that then triggers an electrical signal that then makes the body that we find pleasurable, then our body then starts to produce hormones. Let’s say we smell a pleasant smell to eat. Then it starts making all those hormones that make our stomach growl and the juices and the acids in our digestive system suddenly start to work.
Amy Galper: [00:19:34] So even though the smell is invisible, we can’t eat it. It feels all hocus pocusy. See, it actually can affect our physiology by having our body neurologically pass these signals that then trigger actual physical production of chemicals that become our hormones, that become things that regulate our internal world. So that’s really I mean, I really totally broke it down.
Maria Marlowe: [00:20:04] But that’s kind of how that’s exactly what I wanted. Because when you first think about it really go, how can a scent really affect anything but when you’re saying that and I’m just thinking, yeah, you know, when you smell something delicious cooking your mouth starts to water, right. Or smell certain food sense, you get hungry. Right? So absolutely. Definitely it makes sense that a scent can have a physical reaction in our body. And it’s just a matter of us sort of extrapolating that and then thinking, OK, it’s not just food that can make our mouth water. They’re actually certain sense in oils that can also do the same.
Amy Galper: [00:20:37] Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Maria Marlowe: [00:20:39] So what are the best ways? If we want to inhale these beautiful aromas of the essential oils, what are the best ways to do that? I know there’s various different types of diffusers. So what’s the best way to do that?
Amy Galper: [00:20:53] Really, there are so many ways because essential oils are like so fragrant, so like there’s so many ways you can do it.
Amy Galper: [00:20:59] So let’s say you’re moving around all day running errands that you want to be able to smell something on your way through these little things called inhalers, personal inhaler where it’s like this little tube looks like a lipstick tube and has like a cotton insert and it’s a little more specialized. But let’s say you don’t want to go through that and find that all you really need to do is get a cotton ball, drop a few drops of essential oil on it, put it in a little jar empty jar that you have at home like an empty spice jar and see baby food jar, empty cosmetic jar and just put it in that jar and then uncap it and smell it throughout the day. That’s a great way. Another way is you can make a roller ball, which are those really great. I know they’re really like trendy now. They’re about 10 milliliters. Third of it out a little too with the ball on it that you roll and you can just drop some essential oils with a carrier you definitely need like olive oil or almond oil, grape-seed oil, STT. Something like that to disperse essential oil. And then you can roll that or you can have a diffuser like you said. And there are hundreds of different types of users that are USB. You could put it, plug it into your computer and have it diffused while you work at your job. There are things for your car. There’s one for the home. You can get a nebulizer kind of diffused or you could get like a vaporizer that uses water kind of diffuser.
Amy Galper: [00:22:24] So there’s many, many choices. And I think honestly, all of that work, if you’re using an authentic essential oils, you definitely don’t want to diffuse something that’s made mostly of synthetic molecules because you won’t get the same kind of effect. And it also could for someone who is very sensitive with allergies, cause maybe a little irritation like prefatory wise. So I would just try to really get a pure one. You don’t want to cause irritation in your sinuses. What? I mean, you’d want to watch out for that. But really. And I think that’s a great way for a beginner to start with. The essential oils is just start using them, carrying around a little bottle of like lavender and just opening it and smelling it throughout the day, to me, that’s the best way. So it doesn’t even need to be so elaborate. Like you could just have a couple of oils in your pocket like that. The way you’re doing it, you know what I mean? It’s really simple because they think really what we need to do is just engage our sense of smell. And the more and more we do, the more conscious the things that we’ll become. And I really believe that the more we smell and the more we engage our sense of smell and where we defend that. Because that’s also something we can learn. I really think it can help improve our health. So like I said, just turn around a bottle with you, I think is a great first step.
Maria Marlowe: [00:23:46] Yeah, and it’s really nice to smell a pleasant smell. And I think that’s why there is this proliferation of all even these like this synthetic scent products. Now I see like diffusers sticks and oil and, you know, the plug in things and I forgot it.
Amy Galper: [00:24:03] Those are other diffusers. Exactly.
Maria Marlowe: [00:24:05] Yeah. And it’s really important to stay away from the synthetic ones because a lot of these synthetic since they can actually affect the hormones. So just as the natural things can have a physical effect on our body, so can these synthetic things. But the synthetic effects tend to be more on the negative side. So it’s really important to use the natural.
Amy Galper: [00:24:25] Yeah. And they’re more irritating, I think to our body does not know how to process them. You know, our bodies are made up of the same molecules that the plants are. So when we recognize that smell, our body is like, oh, I recognize that molecule, but it’s synthetic molecule. Even though they try to make it totally synthetic, you know, naturally identical. You see that term a lot now, natural, identical. It’s not really not really coming from nature. Our body recognizes that. And it doesn’t know really where to process those. And this is kind of you know, even when we’re talking about clean body care, this is where the problem comes, because our body doesn’t know when it absorbs these unfamiliar molecules. It doesn’t even know how to work it through our body to get rid of it. Whereas with a natural molecule, one that’s really derived or directly from the plant, our body knows how to synthesize it and excrete it. We’re far and wide and we’re like bodies. Like, what do we do with that? What lingers in our liver? It deposits in our fatty places. It hangs on for years and stimulates, and that could cause health problems. And the ultimate at the end.
Maria Marlowe: [00:25:36] Yeah. It reminds me. It’s it’s very similar to junk food, right? It’s food like you could eat it, but our body doesn’t really recognize it. It’s the same thing. It’s going to hang out there and cause some problems. So no junk smells, you know, scented candles are so popular and they smell good. They smell really, really good. But it’s actually unhealthy to be burning these things on a regular basis.
Amy Galper: [00:26:01] Absolutely. Yeah.
Maria Marlowe: [00:26:03] So if you want your home to smell good, invest in diffuser. And they’re not even that expensive and some. Really? Really.
Amy Galper: [00:26:09] Yeah, totally.
Maria Marlowe: [00:26:11] So I want to talk about skin care. But before I switch over to skin care, I’m curious if you could only use three essential oils for the rest of your life?
Amy Galper: [00:26:24] I would say if I could only use three essential oils for the rest of my life. Definitely. Lavender. Definitely. I would say helichrysum, frankincense probably would be my three.
Maria Marlowe: [00:26:40] Ok. And can you elaborate a little bit? Why?
Amy Galper: [00:26:43] So I’m stuck. It is one that I kind of want something like the fourth one. The fourth one will be sandalwood.
Amy Galper: [00:26:49] But you know what essential oils you gravitate towards. Also, I think for me, I’ve been using them for like 20 years. Like, it always changes. I went through a period where I was really into Conifer. I was like, couldn’t get enough hemlock fruits and white pine and black fruits. And I was just like so into that, you know. So I don’t know. We go through phases. You’re catching me on a different phase right now. But lavender mostly because it’s really just, I think, such a all purpose, powerful, powerful balance. It really helps balance almost any condition, any frame of mind, any situation. And I really believe that all of our imbalances are all of our stressors, our problems, our challenges, our obstacles. And like really all stem from being in a reactive place, like not knowing how to react to the external stimuli. You know, if we get inflamed or we get, you know, angry or we have an allergic reaction or something, and there’s something about lavender to me that really helps kind of take that breath. So we’re not in a reactive space all the time. And then also it’s really anti-microbial and high bacteria. It’s a really great cleanser. It’s really gentle on the skin. All of that. That’s lavender.
Amy Galper: [00:28:11] Frankincense, I would say for very similar reasons. There’s a lot of white, whereas like different ways you can use frankincense. It’s very I would then say like malleable, like it really cheap, versatile, like different ways. And one thing I really love about it, you know, I was really kind of vacillating also with Rosemary. But there’s something about frankincense that I find really good for clearing the mind and also really beneficial to opening. Breath and like really helping us three. And our breath is essential to our life. I mean, not only if we don’t have oxygen. All those other functions, nothing happens. But it really is an expression, I think, of our. It’s almost like our soul and our breath. And there’s something about Frankincense and says to me that really resonates and nurtures that part. But then also like lavender, it’s anti-microbial at that time, inflammatory, as if I was injured or I was in pain or if I had an infection that has a lot of really beautiful uses. Highly, Kristen, I chose because there’s something about that aroma that just really I find very nourishing and protective of my emotions. And I find that it’s very grounding. It’s also really regenerative, both in its actual physical properties of being tissue regenerative and one healing. But I even think about like this regenerative life thing almost like it connects to my cheer. I kind of feel, you know, get it, always regenerating. So I think that that’s why I chose those three. That smell really good. They smell good together. Those three.
Amy Galper: [00:30:06] Sandalwood I love. But it’s been having such trouble. You know, the traditional sandalwood that we know that Scent Ellem album is, you know, near extinction and India, they’re growing. All these farms have it down in Australia and New Caledonia. There are some really beautiful plantations of it that I think are producing exquisite oils. Sandalwood, I would because like the other oils, it has so many versatile applications from anti-microbial outside anti-inflammatory. But one thing I really like about it is it’s very cooling that people don’t think of it as cooling. I always found it cooling. And then I read actually that in Ayurvedic medicine they use sandalwood is a cooling like to reduce fever. But I always found it to be a very light cooling oil. And so I find three motions for centering, for calming, for skin care. It’s just beautiful. It’s very soulful. It’s very quiet. And I find it you know, we live in such a kind of overstimulated world. There’s something about sandalwood that really I think cuts that edge off.
Maria Marlowe: [00:31:17] So, yeah, it’s a beautiful scent that’s used a lot. Now I’m sure. Yeah, not not the the original but or the authentic version. But I see it, you know, everywhere.
Amy Galper: [00:31:28] Really one of the most that can be a highly adulterated. You know what I mean? That can be really. Yeah. The view that you want to make sure that you’ve got like and it’s gonna be expensive. But one in one marker is that, you know, five small bottles shouldn’t be less than $50, you know.
Maria Marlowe: [00:31:46] So let’s look a little bit about skin care because we can also use the essential oils and skin care you mentioned earlier. It’s really important to when we’re using them not to put them directly on the skin to use carrier. So I’d love for you to talk a little bit. I know you explain a lot in your book, Plant Powered Beauty, but how do we start incorporating essential oils and natural beauty products? How do we start using those in our skin care routine?
Amy Galper: [00:32:13] I think as I mentioned before, essential oils can really get into our body like three ways by applying them topically, by just smelling them through that olfactory signaling and then obviously through diffusion into our repertory. Right. What we agree then, which is like you want to make sure you’re not producing a synthetic molecule that might irritate. So when we look at the olfactory system, we only in one way we just smell it. And that’s it. That right? There is one delivery when we breathe it and there’s one delivery, it affects our longing to cover them and got to draw blood. So what’s so amazing about the skin is there are literally dozens and dozens of things that we put on our skin daily. Like I’m sure that we would ask any body who’s listening, like specially a woman how many products that they put on their face before they even walk out the door.
Amy Galper: [00:33:01] You know, on average, it could be anywhere from six to 12 products that we put on our faces, on our bodies before we even leave the house. So understanding that then as someone who’s making skin care or launching a brand, you basically have 12 different opportunities to get to this person. Right, of different products. If you’re looking at from a therapeutic perspective, like, you know, I do, it’s like, wow, I have twelve different ways I can affect this person therapeutically. I can put the essential oils in their cleanser. I can put it in their mouthwash, I can put it in their lotion, I can put it in their primer. I could put it in what? Their lip balm. And then suddenly I have. All of these different kind of method delivery methods in order to help the body absorb these beautiful molecules, to help kind of balance and revitalize and recenter. Now, what we’ve put on the scan, though, isn’t fully absorbed. Right. So I see all these crazy statistics.
Amy Galper: [00:34:07] So you’re going to sort of 60 percent of what it brings in and all of that. Well, I would say that’s like a partial reality in a way, because our skin, even though it’s like, you know, less than a centimeter, like super thin, that has many layers. So what we put on our skin actually does get absorbed in those very first layer, but only about three to maybe 5, 7 percent get actually can get deep enough to make contact with our blood vessels. And then often depends on the size of the molecule that of what we’re putting on, the warmth and temperature of the skin, the friction. You know, there’s a lot of other things that affect the absorption. But in general, we’re only, I would say, safe 3 to 5 percent of those central molecules are even going to get in. Where you’re going to see the most effect is on those upper layers of the epidermis. So like when you’re talking about putting the tea tree on your face, like, yeah, you sound effect right away, it wasn’t absorbing into your bloodstream that you were affecting change on that very surface level of your skin.
Amy Galper: [00:35:14] So when working with essential oils for skin care, we have like a couple of different layers that we’re going for like. Is that something that we just want to affect your appearance on those upper levels of the epidermis? And what is it that women are struggling with appearance? Is it discoloration, skin tone? Is that why is it lines like what are those surface things that we want to affect or where support in some way? And then we would look at essential oils that would help that. But then we might have something deeper, like maybe we want to affect collagen and production or elasticity or sebum production, you know, or some other kind of thing going on. You know, we’re going to then want to use a different base ingredient to kind of help us go a little deeper into the deeper layers of the skin. So really, depending on what your intention is like, where you want to, where the skin is, then what you would choose as far as your base ingredients. And there are essential oils.
Amy Galper: [00:36:17] But in general, whatever essential oils you use in here, I always recommend if you’re only focusing on the skin like you’re not putting on something on your knee because you taught your ACL and you’re like in pain or whatever. I’m talking about just like we’re talking about body hair, like simple body care affecting the skin. I really don’t like to go above like a 2.5 percent dilution. So it really that means is that in one ounce of essential oil, I mean, one ounce of, let’s say, olive oil. I don’t want to put more than 18 drops of any central oil, like somewhere between 12 and 18 drops, which you might say to yourself, oh, my God, that’s nothing. Oh, my God. You know, how is that like a teaspoon is one hundred drops. Imagine that you’re saying, oh, my gosh, you only want 18. How could that even be effective? Believe me, it’s very effective. So you always want to make sure that you stay within that range. Right. Of about 12 to 18 total drops for the essential oil per two tablespoons or per ounce. So that way you can get a sense because that way then we’re not irritating the skin. You can use it throughout the day, you know, and I feel like that’s the most effective way.
Maria Marlowe: [00:37:35] Right. So do you make a lot of your own then skin care products?
Amy Galper: [00:37:39] I do. I mean, I just try to really great product that I love very much from a company called Natural Paprika. It’s a skin care operation. Beautiful fly here in New York. And she had this gorgeous cleansing bomb, which I never made a cleansing bomb. I was curious. I bought it to kind of look at the ingredients and see how it was done. But I thought there was a gorgeous product. But mostly I make a lot of liquid cleansers, you know, like so like soul forming soaps and stuff. And then I make a lot of face oils, cream butter’s, stuff like that. And then I’ve been playing around making shampoo. I’m trying to.
Maria Marlowe: [00:38:17] Oh, cool.
Amy Galper: [00:38:20] That’s a hard one. That’s very hard.
Maria Marlowe: [00:38:22] That’s a hard one. And I feel like there’s not a really I mean, I haven’t found a great natural shampoo on the market. And I think there’s either like fake natural ones that have a natural picture on the front of them. You read the ingredient list and you’re like, that’s definitely not natural or there are ones that are actually natural, but your hair looks like crap. So what do you do?
Amy Galper: [00:38:43] Right. It’s hard. Yeah, a tough one. Anyway, I’m trying to tackle cancer now. But yeah, but I do make. I would say definitely. I make all of my exfoliant based oils, lotions, creams, body butter, lip balm that I’ll make, you know, a cleansing bumping. I’m very curious about it and see if maybe I can figure that I’d make a lie. Like I like gel serums. I enjoy making those or not.
Maria Marlowe: [00:39:10] And you have recipes for all these different types of products. You can make them at home and in your book. I’m curious if there are any specific ingredients that you feel like are under the radar right now. I feel like there’s always trends in skin care at one time at sea buckthorn oil or one time it’s, I don’t know, turmeric or whatever. So I guess what’s kind of trending now or what do you think will people are going to start paying more attention to?
Amy Galper: [00:39:35] Well, I think there’s some amazing ingredients coming out of Brazil that I’m saying that I never saw on the market before, that some really unique butters and oil and even some essential oils like Kopari. But now is becoming a really big oil. It exists both as an essential oil and the resin straight from the tree. Beautiful, beautiful oil and aroma that’s more aromatic.
Amy Galper: [00:40:00] But you know, as far as base ingredients, there’s a ton of really cool butters and unique fruit and you see oil coming out of South America and I’m becoming more and more fascinated by that. And I’m seeing more of that. A lot of Brazilian natural care companies are now coming into America. There’s one called that tour. They just opened one on 14th Street here in New York. But they’re bringing you know, they’re making people a little more aware of that. And I think that those are some really cool ingredients. So you’re looking at things like I’m probably going to butcher the pronunciation of all of this. But there is Kuplasoo butter. There is Murimuri, I think it’s called there’s andiroba. There is. You can go all of them. But there’s I mean, there’s about anywhere from six to twelve that are coming out now that I find really amazing.
Maria Marlowe: [00:40:53] Yeah. Sometimes you forget that there are other places in the world that have other plants. You know, you like you are so used to going to the grocery store and you’re like, there’s only like, you know, 20 vegetables. But then you travel and you’re like, oh, my God, what is this? I’ve never seen this before. That’s always exciting to find new products and new things.
Amy Galper: [00:41:12] I try. Absolutely.
Maria Marlowe: [00:41:15] And what about makeup? So skin care, definitely makes sense. And I feel like people are starting to wake up to using more natural skincare products. Even I see that’s Sephora has a natural section again, which is more natural and then yeah. You got to give it to them. Yeah, but what about makeup. That’s another thing where I feel like it’s kind of hard for natural makeup to compare.
Amy Galper: [00:41:41] It is very hard. But I want to say I think we’re in a really exciting little revolution going on right now. And I am very excited to say that I think Credo is really leading the pack. I think they have, Credo Beauty has probably the most comprehensive and beautiful collection of color cosmetics that are completely aligned with their mission and values. They have some great products. I mean, lipsticks that really have long staying power, great bases and foundations. I think they still struggle with the mascara element. I think that’s a tough one. There are definitely like certain skews that aren’t, you know, that are still evolving. They do have a gorgeous mascara. Don’t get me wrong. But that took longer to come out than the rest of them. But I think that Credo is put together a really strong standard for color cosmetics about what’s acceptable, what’s not acceptable and how to educate the consumer about that. So I think that’s a really great resource.
Amy Galper: [00:42:44] But I do think that this is kind of the new frontier. I think you’re seeing a lot of really exciting new products coming out that actually really work and hold and have beautiful colors. You know, back in the day, you know, if you eat only your palate was like five colors. You had nothing to choose from a natural makeup. Now, you know, you go into credo like I just bought. Let’s there. It’s like I mean, there’s like I don’t know, they have a ton of different brands, but different lipsticks that have gorgeous shape. You know, a really wide, wide array. So I think there’s a lot more out there. But, you know, you want to make sure and I think makeup is one of the hardest ones because the staying power and the color are really the two areas, like the two ingredients part that we’re always more synthetic because it’s synthetic stuff doesn’t go away. It stays for a really long time. So you wanted that lasting effect. But I think there’s some natural companies are doing it really, really well.
Maria Marlowe: [00:43:48] I always just love trying new products and seeing what’s what’s out there. There’s definitely great. There are definitely great color cosmetics and great skin care products. I think sometimes when you’re coming, it’s sort of like using natural deodorant for the first time. You know, there’s a little bit of a getting used to it period, because it’s going to be a little bit different. It’s not going to be the same.
Amy Galper: [00:44:12] It will feel different. It will have a different sheen. It will have a different look. But I think that, you know, once you get over that hump, I think it’s a much better. I think most people are very happy with it. You know?
Maria Marlowe: [00:44:25] Yeah. What do you wish people knew about makeup or skin care that you think a lot of people don’t realize? Like why? You know, why should they switch to a more natural turn?
Amy Galper: [00:44:39] I think it’s back to what I said before is that, you know, our bodies don’t know how to process these other molecules. Kind of exactly what you said about junk food, right, like we put, let’s say, a lipstick on our lips with these different synthetic colors. And we wear it for 30 years. You know, my mother had color that she’s worn for like 30 years. And even though, you know, oh, I only knew it took me three months to go through my lipstick, I use a little bit every day. But there’s this issue of his cumulative effect of everything, since the body doesn’t know where these chemicals are really going. At most we get stored in fat cells or other area of our body and are easily excreted or disposed of. So 30 years of wearing a lipstick then becomes quite a lot of that one molecule.You think it’s a little bit.
Amy Galper: [00:45:40] So I think and we’re seeing this not only in cosmetics, but we’re seeing it also in environmental toxins. Right. That we think, you know, oh, I just use race in my garden. And only in the summer I only sprayed like a quarter of a bottle every summer. But for 20 years, you know, suddenly people are having neurological issues 20 years later. You know what I’m saying? So I think there’s there’s that I think that if we can really be a little more vigilant and understanding that both environmentally and what we put in our bodies and on our bodies has this cumulative effect and understand that kind of long term potential damage. So scary. That potential issue.
Maria Marlowe: [00:46:32] Oh, yeah. You know, it’s true, though, because I think we’re we’re so just worried about now what we’re doing now, what we look like now, what we smell like now. You know, all of this, we’re like, oh, we’ll just use it. But I think that our whole idea of what aging is, is really skewed. And I say that all the time on this podcast. I think in America, we think of aging as getting sick. Right. You get older, you get sick and you die. But if you don’t have to get sick like that doesn’t happen everywhere in the world. You just get older, you get wiser, and then you die, you know? So I think that it’s quite obvious that over time, all of these things that were bombarding our body with, whether it’s the food or pollution or the chemicals in the products and all these things. It just it takes more time to build up and then we’re seeing the effects later on. So I always like to say whatever we have control over, like we do have control over what lipstick we’re using. So that’s where we can make a difference. We might not have complete control over where we’re living. Great, because we have to be here for a job or whatever the pollution. It is what it is. So where ever you. You have that control, that’s where you can make the best choices to limit your exposure. Absolutely.
Amy Galper: [00:47:40] So well-put. Absolutely.
Maria Marlowe: [00:47:44] So one question I love to ask everyone on the show and this doesn’t have to do anything with what we talked about, although it could if you could leave our listeners with one tip or piece of advice to live a happier and healthier life, what would that be?
Amy Galper: [00:47:59] I would say that and I’m inspired to say this by my late father in law. So this was one of the things that he like to say is that life is really a mental experience, meaning that we can choose how we respond to things. And I think that we can live a much healthier life if we’re not always reactive. And that we take more time to respond and understand, as you said, that sometimes, you know, that we have to understand that we can never control the outcome, but we can do our best to respond to what’s going on. And this is where I think essential oils are so key. And why I use them daily in my life is to help me with that or help me right. I can’t control the outcome every day, but I can control my response to it. I can control all of that. And that for essential oils can come in as a powerful tool to help us kind of being in that space.
Maria Marlowe: [00:49:02] So, yeah. Very well said. If you’re obsessed with essential oils like I am or simply want to learn more about them aromatherapy or natural skin care and beauty, then I highly recommend you check out Amy’s school, which you can find at aromaticstudies.com. If you decide to sign up for a course. Be sure to use the code happier. H a p p i e r for 10 percent off. Personally, I did aromatherapy level one and I’m looking forward to doing level 2, but there are a wide range of interesting courses from perfume making to making your own skin care products and so much more. So if this at all interests, you definitely go check out her site.