Despite the rising popularity of essential oils, many are still unaware of their many health benefits. And in this time of pandemic, nothing is more helpful than substances that can soothe your brain and help achieve a relaxed state. In this episode, Alyssa Ceto, a seasoned Clean Beauty Product Developer with over 20 years in the space, breaks down what product developers actually do when tasked with developing and bringing to market a new Clean Beauty Product and setting it up on the path to success. She shares her years of experience in the industry and her personal and professional shift to Clean Beauty as a lifestyle. She also goes deep into her thoughts about the proper use of essential oils, maximizing their advantages, and the many courses today that delve into such substances.
Listen to the podcast here:
What Does It Mean To Be A Clean Beauty Product Developer?
Alyssa Ceto Breaks It Down.
What kind of kids do you teach?
I teach 12th graders. I teach AP Environmental Science. In my realm of we should not be using chemicals. It’s not just bad for us but the earth is going to die.
When we’re using natural plant-based products, it makes you so conscious about that ripple effect and how it’s not only about our own health and wellbeing but also about the planet. It’s all interconnected. Back to my questions, here we go. When you think about essential oils and plant-based body care products to use in skincare, body care and essential oils for general wellness since you’re starting your journey, is there one particular frustration that you’re meeting? One, are there any frustrations?
If I google something, it’s like every oil is for everything. Maybe that’s how it is but if I google lavender, I don’t know if this is how it is but it’s for acne, calming. I’m like, “Is it supposed to be for a specific thing? Is it for all of that?”
In general, all plants have very similar properties like antibacterial and immune support, etc. but each oil does have unique features that have stronger affinities to different physiological systems. It’s hard. You got to sift through all that stuff online and dig a little deeper to get that info. It doesn’t necessarily immediately float to the top. It’s harder to get more pointed info. As you’re starting your journey using essential oils and everything, what is your biggest fear about them? Do you have any trepidation, any concerns about using them?
Maybe I have two. One, I’ll always be like, “Is this going to hurt my cat?” I’ve seen things online where it’d be like, “Essential oils are bad for your cat.” I’m like, “Let me keep all of these.” Maybe that’s my only concern.
It’s issues around safety. One thing since you do have a cat that I will tell you is that cats are extremely sensitive to aromas and essential oils. If you’re diffusing a lot, I would highly recommend that you keep a window slightly opened or there’s ventilation. That the user is not going 24/7. Maybe you have it on for 10, 15 minutes and then off for 45 and do that cycle. Otherwise, it will be too much for her or his little lungs. You want to make sure that it’s going intermittently and that there’s good ventilation. That’s a little tip. When you said that when you search on Google and stuff for things, what are your Google search terms that you use?
They’re for specific things. It’ll be what essential oil is best for pain or which essential oil is best for cramps. Another question sometimes because this came up when I ordered my Young Living stuff because it had a little directory thing, use this, ingest this one, massage this one, the carrier oil or diffuse it. I thought all essential oils can be diffused.
It’s not clarity on usage.
Yeah. When I’m Googling, I’m always assuming I’m diffusing it. I didn’t realize until now that it’s like, “No, put it in your water.”
I will say this because you are a fellow UC person and someone who has been teaching about essential oils for almost my entire career and someone who also has UC, I would stop ingesting them. My reasoning is I am happy to forward you some research articles on it to give you some more basis but it is very disruptive to the gut microbiome and can cause irritation. That is the last thing that we want in our digestive tract is any more irritation and any cause for the lining to get inflamed. I would not put it in a glass of water and I would stop that.
I’ve only been doing it for two weeks.
Do not do it. I would totally stop doing that. There are lots of other ways. If you do want to try taking them, I will also send you a link but I’ll also tell you if you want to write it down. The company’s called Pranarom. They make these amazing what are called gel caps where essential oils can be ingested. In fact, they’re a very powerful healing remedy. The issue is they have to be ingested properly and they have to be done in a way that will not irritate our digestive tract. What that means is that essential oils cannot dissolve in water. When you put it in a glass of water, it might float on top or might may not properly disperse. What that means is that those microdroplets have a larger opportunity to cause irritation. When the essential oil is properly diluted in glycerin or in oil and we swallow it like that, it’s already dissolvable and our body knows how to integrate it and process it.
It will not cause irritation because it’s buffered by that. One drop is quite a lot as far as potency. These gel caps from Pranarom, imagine it’s like a third of a drop. It’s a much tinier amount that’s easier for our body to handle. Especially with UC, when we’re already dealing with a very sensitive lining, we don’t want to mess with it. I would look into those gel caps and I would look for UC, things that are soothing. They have a lavender one. They have a ginger one. If you’re curious about doing that, I would stop putting it in water immediately. I’m saying that as someone who’s going through some old stuff. Are there any books on essential oils or natural body care ingredients that you’ve purchased?Essential oils can soothe your breathing while sleeping. Click To Tweet
No. I haven’t gotten into books yet, which is interesting because I read a lot of books. I haven’t gotten that far into essential oils. It’s been Google and slowly acquiring them.
That’s a good start. I was curious if there was anything that you had done. Have you taken any classes in essential oils or any courses on natural beauty or any of that world?
I did a course and it had a part about acupuncture in it. The acupuncturist talked a lot about how much it enhances the experience to have essential oils and using them along their body and pressing them into pressure points. They talked a lot about putting essential oils on the bottom of their feet and being absorbed well. A lot of times I’ll do like peppermint or something on the bottom of my feet after I work out.
The feet are a great place. I would also recommend if you’re even doing it on the bottom of your feet. I wouldn’t put the oil directly but put it in a carrier oil or something or a gel and then put it on the bottom of your feet. Peppermint oil, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered, if you put it on your hand and then you accidentally touch your face, it will burn. You want to make sure you keep it away from any sensitive areas. I’ve done that once where I had peppermint on my hand and I itched my armpit and it was burning for hours. It won’t hurt you permanently but it’s irritating. Watch out when you’re handling the peppermint directly.
I did look that up because I was smelling it from my hands and I was like, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if it got in the eye?” I’m like, “This is an oil so if I got it in my eye, washing it out with water wouldn’t make sense.” When I googled it, it was, “Put olive oil on a cup and it’ll get it out.” I was like, “There we go.”
You knew the right question to ask that’s good.
I don’t think a lot of people would ask that question.
No, not at all because they don’t realize it but it’s from your knowledge as a teacher and experience. Are there other people on social media or on podcasts or anything that you’re following on this topic?
Not ones that dive deep into it but I’ve heard about essential oils on Mark Hyman‘s.
I know him. He’s terrific.
I love his podcast so much. There was a guy that came on. I don’t remember the episode, name or anything or the guy but they talked about essential oils and how soothing it can be and how important it is to be breathing it in while you sleep. I thought that was cool. Sahara Rose had a few episodes on it. Those are the two that I’ve heard that one the most.
You’re quite new then. You haven’t taken that many classes or books or done anything. It’s just your Young Living kit. How many oils are in the kit that you got?
They send nine. You know who else? Modern Holistic, she’s on Instagram. She does a lot of courses that revolve around incorporating essential oils into it. I’ve taken a few of her courses and she always talked about it.
Are they online classes?
Yes, they are all online. She does little module. She has videos to watch and then you do group calls and answer questions.
What’s the pricing of her classes?
She does it by the season. She’ll talk about essential oils for that season and things like cleanses or things that you should do for that season. She charges $400 and she’ll do a week where you can get it for $300 or something.
How many classes have you taken with her?
I’ve taken two. They’re set up to roll over, which I wasn’t super clear because I didn’t read all the directions. I took the spring one and then all of a sudden, it came out of my checking account for the summer one. I was like, “I’m going to do it.” If you’re trying to trick people, that’s not cool. I don’t think she’s tricky.
Now that you’re starting to use essential oils and you said you’re working with this woman, who’s doing natural skincare. You’re also teaching. Are you looking to get out of that and move into another area? Is this something that you want to incorporate more in your life? What do life and your business look like when you have the right knowledge and you’re using these more integrated into your life?
It’s helping people be more holistic. Be able to use all the tools they possibly can to help with their ulcerative colitis and going chemical-free. I feel like it’s another tool that could be helpful. If I can learn enough and then I would love if someone was to ask me a question. I could be like, “Yeah, rub this random essential oil on your wrist.”
I’m in the same boat. I’m very aligned with that. I have another question. It might sound a little morbid or dramatic but if God forbid something were to happen to you tomorrow, what would you hope people would say about you and how you impacted them?
I hope that people would say that I was helpful. Either giving environmental advice like teachings like that. I would hope that they said I was a good teacher. For teaching my kids about environmental science or also run an Instagram for tips on ulcerative colitis and doing it more holistically. It would be nice if people said like, “I was a good educator who is out there to help.”
How long have you had UC? Were you diagnosed with it?
I was diagnosed a few years ago. I took medication for it for maybe a few months and the medicine made me so sick.
What were you on? What did they put you on?
I went on Lialda. It’s also called Mesalamine.
It’s one of the more mild ones, the Mesalamine. It’s an Apriso too maybe.Start a transformation from having a dramatic body to a calm and friendly one. Click To Tweet
They were like, “This is the first step.” I was like, “This first step isn’t working.”
How did it make you well? What was it about it?
This is how I got into essential oils. I almost forgot about this because I started doing Reiki and then she would make me little rollers for my forehead. One of the side effects, I got these horrible headaches. They would be so bad that I would like to go blind in my left eye. It was so crazy. My stomach aches were almost worse. It stopped like urgency. I don’t even think it stopped the flood. I was like, “I’ve never had headaches in my whole life until I started taking this stuff.” It is definitely from this. Reiki Lee would make me essential oil rollers. I would put them on every morning. I wouldn’t get the headaches but I was always like, “I know this is helping a little bit.” It’d be interesting for people that are like how it is absorbed into the body. She would always say, “It takes a few seconds to get to every cell.” I was like, “What?”
Have you heard of the Autoimmune Protocol, AIP?
I’m on that.
I was on different diets and trying other things but I started the AIP diet in January 2020. What a difference? I started taking that mesalamine medicine and I had never had that much acne before. My face exploded with acne as I had never seen. I was like, “What is happening?” Even after I got off that drug, my gut was messed up that it was like, “I’m going to give you like everything.” It was like, “What am I going to do?” People would tell me like, “Maybe you should dab essential oils on it, dab Teatree on it.” I was like, “No, that stinks.” It’s so painful. I can’t put anything on my skin. I don’t know what to do. The AIP diet healed it right up. Is there an essential oil for acne scars?
There are some nice things you can do but I would recommend more lipid-rich oils, things like Evening Primrose, hemp seed oil, borage oil, pomegranate seed oil and maybe a little bit of essential oil, like 1 or 2 drops of lavender or something like that. Those lipid-rich are what is going to help a lot of the tissues, repair. Is there one thing you feel that you’re missing? If there was one nugget of info or one thing that you wish that you could grab, that you would understand more about working with these essential oils, plant ingredients. Is there anything else besides the things that you mentioned?
If I was in a course, I’d love to see how the oils are made.
Distillation, how they’re done. When I had the school, we did a lot of mini distillations there to show people. I don’t know how I would do that now except through videos. It was a very important component of the classes that we taught, which leads me to my next question. If you were to wave a magic wand and come up with the most perfect course for someone like yourself, what would it be?
It’s on Zoom or whatever but I almost think it’d be so cool for the course to start with history. How people even knew that the essential oils were helpful and how you make them? Getting into what each is good for. That makes it so hard on Zoom because it’d be so nice to smell them and be able to be if this impacts you. Sometimes I feel like it’s almost easier to be observing how does this make you feel?
That was how we organized our classes live. I’ve been trying to do classes like that online and it works. If we all agree beforehand that we’re going to have lavender oil and we smell it. Even though we’re in our separate places, we still can communicate about the experience. There are ways to plan it. Is getting certified and becoming a certified aromatherapist an important component of that education for you?
No. I’d like to know. There’s a lot of people that they want to know about it. They don’t have careers where you would utilize it.
They want to have the knowledge to do what you’re doing, healing themselves and everything. What would you think would be a good price for a program like that? What would you invest in it?
I would invest $250 I feel like. I feel like sometimes they’re not necessarily geared towards you but if it could be, I would pay $250 for a general course. If the course was something where you took the general information like you had classes. I know another girl that does this, she’ll do courses that are regular or you can pay $300, $400 for there to also be one-on-one check-ins. You can sit with the person for an hour each week and get personalized, what oil should I be using? Why is that? You have time to ask them questions. I liked the way those courses run where you can have that option for that extra piece.
My last question is a fill in the blank. I want to go from blank to blank so that blank.
I want to go from having, I don’t know if I would call it a sensitive body but a body that needs a body that needs so much care. I wish I could go from a body that’s so dramatic. Can you say what are my sentence fillers again?
To go from blank to blank so that blank.
I want to go from a dramatic body to a calm one so that I can be calm, friendly and not worry. I feel sometimes if your gut is acting up, I still get headaches sometimes and I could be a better person if I’m constantly stressing about this.
I feel you. I have the same thing. For UC, a massive component is stress management. Your thoughts are so sensitive to that. I know for me. I know sleep and stress are big on controlling it.
It’s horrible to be in a pandemic but it’s almost nice to be in a pandemic. Teaching in this school was a lot of stuff that was pretty stressful and big.
It removed certain things.
People are like, “When do you go back?” I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll go back. I feel so much easier. My gut has been happy. I want to stay home.”
For many of us, COVID has revealed a lot of things.
I know some people are antsy and ready to get out. I’m like, “Are you sure?”
Alyssa, it was amazing talking to you. You’ve given me some interesting things to think about. I’m right now developing some courses. I’ll follow up with you and let you know how my progress is in some of the classes. Maybe you might be interested. I don’t know but I would love to get more feedback or whatever from you. That would be great. You illuminated a couple of areas that I found inspiring. Thank you. I appreciate it.
You’re so welcome. I’m glad my newbie self could help.
Newbies are great.
Thank you so much.
Thanks a lot. Have a great day. Enjoy.
About Alyssa Ceto
Alyssa Lindsey Ceto is a leading clean beauty product and brand developer.
With over 20 years of experience developing award-winning products in the traditional beauty space, she followed her passion for clean and natural and transitioned her business to only clean, natural, and sustainable products and brands.