Are you ready to get rid of chemicals in your home? Some of you might be surprised to find out that a lot of our home and personal care products have tons of scary chemicals in them! But by educating yourself around these damaging toxins, you can become an empowered consumer by choosing products and supporting brands that put your health and safety first.
In today’s episode, I am talking with Samantha Lee Wright, mom of two, podcast host, business owner, and essential oils leader who is helping other women ditch and switch those chemical-filled products with healthy alternatives that are safe for you, your family, and your home. Samantha is sharing her journey to toxin-free living, telling us why we should support brands that care, how to DIY your personal care products, plus she is even giving us her top three red-flag ingredients to steer clear from.
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Music by Taylor Ryan
“There’s just a natural spillover that happens when you step into that role of taking charge of your health and not handing that over. Having that responsibility be on you to find that information, find that education.” – Samantha Lee Wright
“Step into the fact that you are the gatekeeper for your home. You’re the one that gets to decide what you’re going to allow in it, what you’re going to buy and that’s so empowering and the power of voting with your dollars is making real change.” – Samantha Lee Wright
“Step into the fact that you are the gatekeeper for your home. You’re the one that gets to decide what you’re going to allow in it.” – Samantha Lee Wright
Meg: Okay, Samantha Lee Wright is here with me today. I’m so excited. We are talking about ditching, switching, and getting rid of chemicals. I’m so excited to have you, welcome.
Samantha: Thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be here.
Meg: So, ditching and switching and getting rid of chemicals. Before I had been introduced to this world, I was like, “Well, I don’t have chemicals in my house. That’s crazy. There’s nothing for me to ditch and switch.” Obviously, we don’t knowingly walk around having toxic things in our house most of the time. We’re not just like, “Oh, great. This cleaner is horrible for us. I purposely use that.”
I just wanted to have a preface of that because I was a little bit defensive when I first started hearing about ditching chemicals and stuff. But to start us off, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and how you stumbled upon the information that common household cleaners and personal care products are harsh and dangerous?
Samantha: Yeah. I’m similar to you, I’ve, for a long time, been very aware of chemicals and lean a little more towards the, you could say, the granola side of things. I always approached this topic and any other sort of health and wellness topic as not so much an educational issue, which it is that, but it’s an empowerment issue.
Taking Health Into Your Own Hands
Samantha: From an early age, I realized that my health was my responsibility. I couldn’t just hand that over to a doctor, to someone who I just met, or someone telling me, to go do this or that. And it’s funny, I say my journey started with birth control. To me, that was the first big medical decision I really ever needed to make for myself, and I did see it as a decision that I needed to make for myself. I didn’t want to make this decision based on just what my mom said, or what my sisters did, or what my friends did, or what my doctor said. I wanted to know my options. I had this really inherent curiosity about well, what are my options here?
When I was presented with the traditional options for birth control, I was just like, “Okay, this route, this is all you have for me? These are really all my options? These all suck. I don’t like any of these options.” I had sisters that dealt with endometriosis and terrible side effects as well from hormonal birth control.
So anyway, it put me down this huge rabbit hole of just discovering more about my body. I realized just how ignorant I was about my body and how it worked. I became very empowered to learn that information and learn that knowledge. That carried over into when I had babies and what my choices and my options were there.
There’s just a natural spillover that happens when you do step into that role of taking charge of your health and not handing that over. Having that responsibility be on you to find that information, find that education.
There’s a spillover then into the products that you’re using and what you’re buying and what you’re bringing into your home, as well. So, I consider myself an empowered patient. I also consider myself an empowered consumer. When I go to the grocery store, I have the power to choose, “What am I going to spend my money on? What company and I am I going to support and tell them with my dollars?” That’s a powerful thing when you put yourself in those shoes to realize “Oh, well, I do have power and I have choices. I have options.”
Speaking Up For Yourself & Your Health
Meg: I agree. I remember the moment where I realized that I was allowed to disagree with a doctor or not even disagree, but not do what they were asking or telling. It is so empowering to be like, “Oh, wait, the doctors or even cleaning companies –they are working for us.” So if something doesn’t align with us or feel right, we can say, “Hmm, I’m gonna look elsewhere.” There’s just this aha moment when that happens. It’s really empowering. But, it can also be really scary.
Samantha: Yeah, especially for the first time. I’ve lived my life with this philosophy for a very long time. I’ve hardly ever had an issue telling a doctor or midwife or whoever, “No. Not gonna do that. I’d rather do this.” And I’m nice about it, I’m not one of those patients, but I know how to speak up for myself. I know how to have my options.
But then in 2019, my daughter, when she was four years old, she was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It was this big thing that just came out of nowhere. It hit me like a bus. All of a sudden, one day her knees were just swelling up to the size of grapefruit, so she couldn’t even walk. She was limping around, she was in so much pain. To see my baby girl, it just turned me into a puddle. I couldn’t really deal with it.
I just turned into sheep mode, someone tell me what to do. I just wanted to go to a doctor, listen to their advice, and just do what they said. It took about eight months of me meeting that emotionally and needing to just turn that other side of my brain off for me to just get through those emotions. But then, once I woke up, and here’s the importance of waking up, I started researching more. I started learning more. I started exploring my options and realized what about this does not feel right.
To me the whole definition of juvenile idiopathic arthritis –what does that word idiopathic mean? We don’t know what’s causing this. There’s no reason for this to happen and for me, that’s just not a good enough answer. I want to know, why is this happening to her? They couldn’t give me an answer. The only options they were giving me were immunosuppressants, and steroids, and all these things that were just, I could tell were not going to serve her body.
In my mind, I’m thinking, “Well, what’s wrong with her is not a lack of immunosuppressants in her system. There’s something else happening.” So long story short, after doing more research, I finally pushed to have her tested for Lyme disease. I pushed very hard. They were super resistant to doing that. She got the first test results came back negative. I kept researching, I learned that the false-negative results for a Lymes test are up to 50% or more.
So, I said, “Test her again, because this is the only thing that I’m seeing that could make any sense.” We got that second test result back as a positive and that completely changed her whole journey of how we approach this thing. She’s no longer just having arthritis for no dang reason. She has a bacteria in her body that was given to her by a tick that is wreaking havoc on her system. Now, we can build an actual plan here that is going to work with her and build her body and make it stronger instead of just accepting, “Oh, we don’t know why this is happening. So let’s just suppress it with some steroids.”
I will say, it can be overwhelming, and it can be scary to step into that empowerment role, but it’s also necessary.
Making The Choice To Do Something About It
Meg: Yeah, I cannot agree with that more. It is very common, especially when there’s a big diagnosis or maybe you just had a baby or just sometimes we are in a place where it’s just too much, to put the blinders on. There’s definitely no judgment with that. I have a very similar story with being diagnosed with Lupus and the same thing. They tell you, “Oh, Lupus is your body attacking itself.” I’m just like, “Why is my body attacking itself?”
I could not accept that at first. I got really depressed and just frustrated. Why would my body do that? I wsa 18 at the time. Then I went through that period, just like you said with your daughter, of doing the steroids, and then I just realized, “Wait, maybe there’s something else.” It’s interesting that our stories overlap. It’s very common for people to have a window of heads down and then we’re woken up.
It’s interesting that we’re talking about these serious medical things, but it can easily cross over to dumb things like shampoo and makeup because it’s the same thing. Sometimes you do just have to put your head down and be like, “I don’t care. Just give me the shampoo from the dollar store. I ain’t got time to care about this right now. I don’t have money to care about this right now.”
Samantha: And that’s totally legit. No shame, no guilt. You got to do what works for you. But then you might come to that time, or that awakening where you’re like, “What? I don’t like the fact that this is bad for the environment. I don’t like the fact that this is integrating toxins into my bloodstream. Maybe this is related to the fact that I’m getting depressed all the time or why I feel lethargic. Maybe there are some connections here. What am I going to do about it?” And you can make those choices.
Meg: Yes. Love that. When I was super heads down with my essential oil business, sometimes people were like, it’s not the right time to buy. They’d say I’m so sorry, maybe next month. I’m like, “Don’t be sorry! Everyone has their own journey and story.”
It took me years when I was chronically ill, and someone had asked my mom if I had tried essential oils, and I was deeply offended. “You think plants could heal me? That is so rude.” So it’s just everyone’s journey. The timing is in each individual person for sure.
So, for people who are hearing the topic of our conversation today and thinking, “How can this be true? How can there be harsh damaging chemicals and ingredients in our personal care products and our cleaners? I just don’t believe it, because we are in the United States. Aren’t there laws or regulations in place to protect us from this thing?” What’s your response to that?
Regulations Around The Personal Care Industry
Samantha: Yeah, there’s this inherent trust that a lot of us are born with, particularly with our government or the regulatory agencies or whatnot. We think, “Oh, yeah, they got my back, they’re not gonna let this stuff in the stores that are going to kill me or whatnot.” Then, when that illusion is broken a little bit, it can be hard. It can be really, really hard. But when you look at the facts, and you look at the fact that with spas, especially with the personal and cosmetic care industry, which covers cleaning supplies, so not just lipstick, shampoo, conditioner, soap, but also Windex, floor cleaners –that all is underneath the arc of cosmetics. Basically, in personal care.
There has not been a regulatory change in that industry as far as what can and can’t be used in products in the United States since the 1920s. There has not been a bill that has gotten to the Senate that says, “Hey, let’s look a little closer at these chemicals that are being used in products. Maybe let’s just take some of these off the list that are not allowed to be used.” It’s not going to happen because of the way politics works, essentially. We’re not going to get to that discussion.
But, that’s just the fact that there have not been those kinds of changes happening in almost 100 years. Think about all of the advances that we’ve had in science technology. How many new chemicals have come onto the market? And there’s no agency that says, “Nope, you can’t use that to sell to human beings.” But in the list of “no-no ingredients,” as I like to call them, that aren’t allowed to be used in the United States is about 13 chemicals long. There’s only about 13 chemicals on that list that companies are not allowed to use as ingredients.
Compare that to somewhere in the European Union. They have a list that’s 1,300 long of chemicals and products that are just not allowed to be used in consumer goods. So, as an American you might be thinking, “Well, dang, how many of those ingredients that are not allowed to be used in other countries are being used on me?” And the truth is, probably most of them. Because they’re cheap, they’re easy, they smell good, they’re whatever.
No one is there saying, “Nope, you can’t use that.” So, you have to be aware of that. You have to go in and tell yourself, “I’m worth a little bit more than the lowest of these ingredients that are known to be toxic.”
Avoiding Products With “Fragrance”
Samantha: Just the word fragrance, as an example, that’s a place that I encourage people to start. Don’t overwhelm yourself and be like, “Oh, I gotta find that whole list of 1300 ingredients and learn every single one.” That can be a little overwhelming.
But if you at least start with the word fragrance, I find that doing that automatically knocks out a lot of the other, what I call “bad guys,” in the industry. Fragrance is a term that is used in personal and cosmetic care industries that allows a company to hide whatever ingredients they want to within that term and hide it under a trade secret law.
So, trade secret laws protect a company from having to disclose every single ingredient that’s in their product because they don’t want some other company to steal that secret recipe or whatnot. But, that is used as a loophole for these companies that are waking up to the realization that, “Oh, people are waking up to the fact that parabens aren’t that good for us. Or, that SLS is something people are avoiding. Well, why don’t we just put that in our product but pretend that’s what makes up its fragrance, so we don’t actually have to put that word on the bottle.”
It is so true. I’ve heard someone say that the word fragrance is this catch-all term. You can have thousands of ingredients, but all they have to do is slap on fragrance, so it looks like one ingredient. It looks like, “Oh, it’s just a scent.” But it’s actually usually hundreds or even thousands of ingredients, which just have been proven again and again that they aren’t good for us. The American Academy of Dermatology has said that fragrance causes more dermatological reactions than poison ivy does.
Meg: Oh my goodness, that is really frustrating. This whole discovery of information can be really frustrating and sometimes, it’s almost a gut reaction to either get really mad and want to throw everything in your house away or get defensive and think this isn’t true. We totally hold space for all of those feelings because it’s so valid, it shouldn’t be allowed. We agree with that and the fact that you said that nothing’s been changed since the 1920s.
If we think about our grandparents, or just people in that generation, some stories they’ve shared. I remember some older ladies came by the house that I grew up in, and they grew up in my house and they were 90, and they were telling stories and said, “Oh yeah, we got head lice, and my mother washed our hair with kerosene, and gasoline in the bathroom in here.” And I was like, “Why?” But there are things that we did back then that now we know aren’t safe.
We know better and we do better, but the fact that the ingredient list hasn’t changed. We know information that we couldn’t have known back then. That has to be so telling. There are things that are allowed in products that are not safe.
Three Red Flag Ingredients To Steer Clear From
Meg: So, besides fragrance what are a few red flag words? Could you give three that people can go to Target or wherever they shop and look for three words to avoid ingredients? What would it be?
Samantha: Let me find my little cheat sheet. So, I actually have a list. I call them the “nasty 15” lists. It’s a free quick printout guide that I have. I can give you guys the link to that if you want, but I’ll share three that are really helpful to know about.
Anything that has the term butyl in it, or sometimes it’s shortened bHa, or it could start out as BUTY el butyl, it’s sort of all those are short for butylated hydroxytoluene or some long word like that. It’s really common in makeup, cosmetics, creams, those kinds of things, and that’s just a known hormone disruptor, a known carcinogenic. It’s just not something that you want on your skin or in your body.
Another one besides fragrance, I’d say, is DB DB EP, which is short for dibutyl phthalate, which is commonly in things like nail polish cosmetics, but they aren’t legally required to list it, which can be tricky. So, I have this cheat sheet, which is really good to have.
Focusing On Good Brands
Samanta: I’ve lately shifted my advice to people –as opposed to learning all these chemicals and reading the back, which you never know if it’s gonna say it there anyway because it could be hiding under the word fragrance or some law that doesn’t make them disclose it.
I’ve sort of changed my outlook, it’s all so much easier if you do brand shopping. Instead, you’re learning good brands versus bad ingredients. I prefer to focus on the positive. Anyway, it can be exhausting to go through life being like, “Alright, I’m not allowed to use aluminum fragrance and not allowed to use this and that.” Sometimes just finding a way to be instead of worrying about all the things I shouldn’t be using.
Let me just focus on learning what brands to trust that I know, or just have this as part of their moral compass. Brands that I know are not gonna be putting this crap into their ingredients because they care about the same things that I care about. That’s not always easy to do because of greenwashing and marketing and everyone wanting your money and trying to pretend that, “Oh, yeah, we’re green over here. Look at us.” But I find it a little less exhausting.
Meg: Yeah, that’s such a good piece of advice. Especially because it’s so exhausting and frustrating. Instead, just flip it to being a team player. Everything that I do, I’m proud of the companies that I choose. I’m so proud of them for refusing to use fragrance. So, it does definitely keep you in an optimistic mindset. So, what are some companies that you trust for yourself and your kiddos, and your family?
Family & Health Friendly Brands
Samantha: Yeah, so you and I both are huge Young Living girls. We love Young Living products and a lot of people don’t know that Young Living offers so much more besides just essential oils. I love their household cleaner.
I’ve been using their face care products a lot lately and I’m loving that they do have makeup, but I will be totally honest, I don’t really like the makeup that much. I just can’t get the foundation working for me. I really like Beautycounter or Arbonne for that stuff. I’ll tell you my favorite laundry products lately has been this company called My Green Fill’s and they have laundry detergent softener, dryer angels they call them. They are these sacks of these really nice smelling herbs, which are really nice to use, and they send you refills in these just small packets that you mix with water in your same jugs. So, you don’t have to throw away your laundry jug every time either. So, I really like them.
Young Living, My Green Fills, and then the occasional Beautycounter or Arbonne. There’s not much else I need because it’s all covered there, basically.
Meg: I also use Beautycounter. I also have been really liking Thrive Market products. They carry all different brands, but it’s nice to know once you find a brand and do the initial upfront research to find out, “Okay, is this company greenwashing? Or can I really trust them?” Once you can figure that out you no longer have to. If Young Living comes out with a new product, I’m not like, “Okay, I have to read the ingredients.” I’m just at a point where I trust them.
It does lower a lot of your stress. It can be stressful going into the grocery store and being like, “Oh my god, can I trust this?” It’s exhausting.
Samantha: I hardly buy anything from the grocery store now, except for produce and food. I tend to buy all the other stuff online and we’re in that age now where online buying is just so easy. People look at that as maybe a negative and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t want to buy everything online, or oh my gosh, that stuff is so much more expensive.” I educate people that there’s a very good reason for that. There’s a reason that these products and these companies are not in stores, and that is because they’re not cutting corners, they’re not using these really cheap ingredients that are really harsh and really bad for your body, and they’re not using those cheap ingredients. So of course, their products are going to be more expensive.
And if you have a product that’s more expensive, then even if it’s only by 50 cents, and you try to put that in a grocery store next to another product that is using greenwashing tactics, and it looks good and green, it’s got the word natural on it, but their product is a dollar or two less, then no one’s gonna buy the more expensive product on the shelf when those things are right next to each other. It’s just not how humans operate.
That is one of the reasons that you don’t have these more reputable, more, I guess you could say natural brands, easily accessible in the stores and you have to get comfortable with searching them out and buying them online. They just can’t compete with the people who are cutting those corners.
Meg: Yeah, that is so true. I never thought about that. Just with any habit, you get used to ordering it online. I was very much hesitant about that, too. Also, I will say with the price difference, I’ve noticed time and time and time again, that the pricier the product that is more natural is, they also last way longer because those other companies are watering them down or putting a ton of stuff in it. I’ve found that sometimes people will comment the bottle smaller and it’s more expensive, but it also lasts triple the time.
Samantha: Yeah and it’s usually more effective, too. You could buy a carton of eggs for $1.50 or for $6. What is the nutritional value? What’s the nutritional value of one of those eggs versus the more expensive one? It’s probably 10 times more. So, even though you’re paying six times the price, you’re getting 10 times the nutrition. So really, which one is more expensive, if you look at it that way?
Meg: Yes. So true. I always think of chicken nuggets, those commercials where you can get 10 chicken nuggets for $1. I’m always just thinking, “What is in them?” There has to be a profit margin, right? So, instead of being like, “Oh my gosh, yay, chicken nuggets for $1” they’re giving us 10 chicken nuggets, which means there’s probably no chicken. So, what was the first product that you ditched and switched? Also, can you explain what ditching and switching is for people that are unfamiliar with that phrase?
What Is Ditching & Switching
Samantha: Yeah, ditching and switching is simply where you look at a product that you have, or that you usually buy, maybe you go to the grocery store, and you usually buy this one brand of laundry detergent, and then you decide instead of buying this same brand, again, let me switch. Let me switch to something that I know doesn’t have these harsh chemicals in it, or that is actually benefiting my health in a better way.
You can do this for food, too. Maybe you decide, that you don’t have the budget to ditch all of your non-organic produce, but you just at least switch your apples. You start buying just organic apples instead of conventional apples.
Gosh, the first product I ever ditched and switch is such a good question. It was my toothpaste. I actually started making my own toothpaste before I became a Young Living gal, and now I love the Young Living toothpaste, but I used to make my own toothpaste because I just did not have any of the options that I was seeing in the store. I didn’t want to use fluoride, which I know is a big debate. Fluoride is fine for some people. For me personally, I didn’t want to use it, so I made my own. That was a really empowering moment for me like, “Wow, this is fun and it actually tastes really good.” I couldn’t tell you what was in it now. Besides, I did start adding orange essential oil to it, and that is really good, and had xylitol and baking soda and a couple of other things. But I can’t remember it.
Meg: That is so neat. I love that. That’s your first one. So, for people listening who are just learning about this information, what would you recommend others ditch and switch first? What’s an easy product to ditch and switch?
The Best Product To Ditch & Switch
Samantha: Yeah, I always say that. The laundry room is a really good place to start because it’s also almost always the most toxic one. There are over 10 documented carcinogens in most name brand, mainstream dryer sheets. So, maybe dryer sheets should be the first thing to go with.
Meg: Some people hear that and they’re clinging on to their dryer sheets. They’re going, no don’t make me do it.
Samantha: Yeah, but there are ways that you can get really nice smelling laundry with alternatives if you are into essential oils and get yourself some wool dryer balls. Then, you can have so much fun with all sorts of combinations of different scents. You just drop them onto the wool dryer balls and throw them into your dryer. I love orange oil for that thing because you can use a bunch and those citrus oils are a little more on the lower budget side. Then, I’ve also used the Young Living siblings wipes as dryer sheets. Have you ever done that?
Meg: Yes, those work really well.
Samantha: So, if you’re the person that just wants to pull something out and throw it in, then the baby wipes that Young Living bags have are great for that. Then, as I mentioned the My Green Fill’s laundry company. They have these dryer angels that I really love, too, they just give off this really beautiful smell and you just throw them in there.
Oh, another suggestion, I haven’t actually tried this before because I don’t live in a place where I get a lot of static issues, but if you have a static issue and you don’t want to let go of your fabric softener or your dryer sheets, then one thing that can help is to get a bowl of water and put a couple of drops of essential oils into it, and then soak that up with a sponge, and then squeeze that out a little bit, and then throw that damp sponge into your dryer. That can help with the static issues.
Sometimes I’ve also heard throwing a ball of tin foil in your dryer helps with that, too, but I’ve not tested that, myself. So many tricks and so many ways around it, but dryer sheets are a very good one to ditch first.
Why Sterile Environments Don’t Work
Meg: So a common question that I get is like, “Okay, but my kids are really messy. I need a harsh cleaner. Essential oils can’t possibly be strong enough to kill germs and bacteria.” So, what’s your response when people say that, I’m sure you’ve heard similar objections?
Samantha: Well, I use a household cleaner that my kids can use. So when they get messy, they’re the ones that have to deal with cleaning, but it’s great to see when they’re holding a spray bottle. We just use the Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s so easy to use. I love that they can be up against the window, huffing it and spraying it, and I’m not worried about it. It’s not bad for them and it’s surprisingly powerful that these household cleaner- and I’m not a scientist, I cannot tell you why it is as effective as the harsh cleaners and whatnot, I know that it’s based in natural plant-based ingredients- but there’s something really powerful about that combination of whatever, what’s the word for it, the term for the chemical that has the grit factor to it that really takes up the nasty stuff, but then combine it with the essential oils and it’s so powerful.
When you look at the research behind essential oils, there’s thousands and thousands of articles that detail out how powerful these oils are on bacteria on virus on mold all these things, but you don’t think of them that way because we have all grown up with those commercials where everything is the shiny bald man and everything’s sparkly, clear, and sterile.
For some reason, we’ve become a country that associates cleanliness with sterility, and really, it’s not good for us. That’s great if you want to clean house, but don’t think that to have a clean house, you have to wipe out every single iota of bacteria on your counter. There’s lots of research pointing to that actually being detrimental to our health because we’re wiping out the good gut bacteria that are in our systems when we are inhaling these chemicals that wipe out everything.
We’re not meant to live in a glass bubble, really. We know that kids that grow up on farms and with pets and things have much, much stronger immune systems than kids that are raised in sterile environments. So, there needs to be a bit of a mind shift there, but if you do want that power, then there are natural cleaning products out there that work really well. If you’re into the DIY scene, there’s nothing I haven’t been able to clean as good as a harsh cleaner with just enough baking soda and vinegar.
Meg: I was just gonna say how many people clean with just vinegar.
Samantha: A lot of natural cleaners have essential oils in them. For example, Thieves cleaner has cinnamon in it. You can go and see Oh, cinnamon is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and it’s so powerful. This makes sense.
Meg: I’ve never heard anyone explain that. We think things being sterile is clean, I have never thought about that. That gave me chills. So thank you for saying that because even I just learned something; embrace the dirt.
DIY Personal Care Product Recommendations
Meg: Okay, so if people don’t want to be using products that have fragrance or other harmful chemicals, but also maybe are in a place financially to buy some of the more natural products.
You just mentioned, they can DIY them. So, do you have any favorites? Maybe just share two favorite recipes of anything like personal care cleaner, or any DIYs that people could make. At home, you shared the dryer ball one, which is a great one because that saves money.
Samantha: That’s the other thing. Sometimes these things actually save us money. Lately, I’ve been using a face serum that I’ve concocted where I’ll put it on at night, and I’ll just let it seep in. It’s a mixture of mostly avocado oil because I tend to have drier skin and avocado oil is really hydrating. If you have really oily skin, you might want to use something else, I forget what the carrier oil for oily skin is best, I want to say maybe rosehip seed oil, would be a good alternative. But really, whatever base of avocado oil or a mixture of avocado, rosehip, jojoba, things like that. I add in geranium essential oil and frankincense essential oil. For your face, you really don’t need a ton of essential oil.
I forget the exact dilution ratio, so forgive me, but you really only need one to 2% dilution for your face. So, you don’t need a lot. I’ll just rub that into my face. Sometimes I’ll take a nice warm towel and put that over my face as well to open up the pores and get it in there, which is really lovely.
Other than that, I’d say lemon oil. It’s not really a recipe of much, but just anything around your house that is got that sticky residue on it and you just can’t seem to get it off. Just slap some lemon oil on it, scrub it with a cotton ball, and boom, it comes right out. I’m notorious for writing things on dry erase boards, and then not erasing them for a year. I’ll go back and be like, “Oh, yeah, I should erase that.” And after a year, it does not want to come off. I have tried everything. I tried thieves cleaner. I tried water, vinegar, everything to get it off. Then, I wondered if the lemon oil would work. Sure enough, it came right off with the lemon oil. So, I just love lemon oil as a call for all things cleaning. All things icky, gooey, sticky, I’ll try lemon oil.
Meg: Lemon is crazy. My boyfriend Dave, he’s a big entrepreneur. Everything is “Let’s make a business. We could totally make a business for this.” When he had sap all over his hands from cutting down a tree, I told him to use lemon. He’s like, “Oh, whatever.” It came right off and of course, he’s just like, “Can we sell this? This is amazing.”
Lemon is a really good one and so affordable. I don’t have the prices in front of me, but I’m sure lemon compared to a product similar, I would be willing to guess that a lemon essential oil would be cheaper. How many drops are in the box?
Samantha: I would think so. Yeah, with how little you need and how far it goes. Yeah, I would think so.
Meg: Yeah, so empowering. Okay, so we mentioned that all of this can be really overwhelming and it can be expensive to just throw everything away. So, I also want to say neither Sam nor I are saying, “Stop listening to this and get a garbage bag and throw it all away.” Do one thing at a time. Say, “When I run out of my shampoo, I’m going to switch that out, and when I run out of this…”
How To Be The Gatekeeper Of Your Home
Meg: Do you have any closing encouragement for people or advice or any last information that you would want to share before we dive into rapid-fire?
Samantha: The best advice I have for people is just to really approach it as a mindset issue and have fun with it. Empower yourself. Step into that role of gatekeeper of your home with pride as opposed to with this, “Oh, Lord. Now I have one more thing I got to worry about.” Really just step into the fact that you are the gatekeeper for your home. You’re the one that gets to decide what you’re going to allow in it, what you’re going to buy and that’s so empowering and the power of voting with your dollars is making real change. People said that that was a slogan from 20 years ago, I remember that being a thing, vote with your dollars. When I heard it back, then I just thought, “Well, that’s a cool idea. But I don’t think it’s going to work.” It has worked 20 years later, we have so many companies popping up that are driven by these same values that are listening to consumers and going, “All right, we hear you don’t want all this crap in your products, we’re gonna give it to you.” So it’s working, and to know that is really powerful. Just don’t try to be perfect. Don’t throw everything into a garbage can and get rid of it. Take it one thing at a time.
Meg: Yeah, we don’t want to do that.
Samantha: If you start living in fear, that’s easily what can happen. So, you’ve got to change that fear into that mindset of I have choices. I can have fun with this and I have power.
Meg: Yes. So good. Just how you were so proud and empowered by your toothpaste, that’s such a good example. You didn’t have to destroy your whole house and get all new products to feel excited and empowered. You made your own toothpaste and that was so exciting. That’s such a good reminder. It’s not just one thing, it’s all of those ingredients that you just left behind. It’s so powerful. Are you ready for rapid-fire?
Samantha: I guess so. I was not prepared for this. So, I’m nervous.
Meg: No, it’s all fun. This is usually my favorite part. Number one, what’s something people get wrong about you?
Samantha: Because people know that I have a podcast, I host the Essential Oil Revolution podcast, and I love getting stories out of people, and I love asking questions, and I love talking to people, so people assume that I am a good storyteller, which I am not at all. I cannot tell you a good joke to save my life. I have no delivery. When I tell stories I’m just I’m all over the place, but if you sit me down at a party and you have the unfortunate chance to sit next to me, get a little wine in me, then I’m gonna be asking you all the questions. You’ll be telling me about your childhood because I love hearing stories and I love learning about other people. But because of that, people are like, “Sam, tell us a story.” And, I don’t do that.
Meg: I love that. I love your self-awareness to know that, too. Awesome. Okay, a podcast other than your own, and Whimsy and Wellness of course, that you’re a loyal listener of?
Samantha: Oh, Criminal.
Meg: Oh, I’ve seen that one but I’ve never heard it.
Samantha: It’s the best True Crime podcast out there, and I’m just saying that with full force it is the best and I love I can get into true crime and the gory and all that stuff, but I can’t get on it. I have to take a break, but I never get tired of Criminal because they have a much more, I don’t want to use the word sophisticated because that sounds really snobbish, but they just have a really beautiful way of exploring true crime and these stories, and crafting these tales together that’s just amazing. The host, Phoebe Judge, Phoebe Judge has the best radio voice of all time and I’m a huge fan.
Meg: Love that. I’m going to look it up. Okay, since we’re Whimsy and Wellness, what’s your favorite essential oil roller or diffuser blend right now?
Samantha: Stress Away. Forever and always. Just love Stress Away and there’s something about it that has that little hint of vanilla in it that just brings me back to my boyfriend in high school that had vanilla cologne. I constantly have it and I just roll it on all the time.
Meg: Yes. Then, where can people find you and listen to you?
Samantha: So my podcast, The Essential Oil Revolution, is anywhere that you listen to podcasts. Usually, if you just search the term “essential oils” in any podcast app, it’s typically the first one that comes up.
I love that you can also tell Alexa to play the Essential Oil Revolution, and she’ll do it. So, that’s always fun. Then my website is SamanthaLeeWright.com and that connects you to all of my things that I do. I teach other people how to make a podcast and I teach a toxic-free makeover course as well, and you should be able to find all that at SamanthaLeeWright.com, and I’m on Instagram @samleewright
Meg: I will put the link for that download that you mentioned in the show notes along with Sam’s podcast and her website and all of that so that you guys can easily access everything. But this has been really encouraging, so thank you so so much for coming on today.
Samantha: My pleasure, Meg. Thank you so much for having me.