Younique News Bulletin – Elle’s 2nd Facebook Page Reinstated

Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger

Elle's 2nd Facebook Page ReinstatedJust a quick one, as most of my followers have noticed this already; the Facebook overlords have decided to reinstate my second page, Elle Beau Emergency Shelter. Alas, my original page and third backup page are lost to the ether.

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An aromatherapist speaks out — Part 2

[Red Corvette]: We’re continuing our discussion with Gilbert (read Part 1 here). Can you give us some examples of unsafe methods and uses of essential oils, and the sorts of things MLM essential oil resellers are saying?

[Gilbert]: Sure thing. So, this should be a quick question to answer and initially it is, but there needs to be some explanation and examples of the high risk and potentially dangerous methods being recommended. Also, the MLM resellers I have had communications with strongly state they are not advising — well guess what, some do! Others are very clever at planting seeds, for example: “I’ve taken my 8 year old daughter off her respiratory medication prescribed by our doctor and now we simply diffuse XXXX synergy and XXXX synergy [oils] — YAY no more meds for my girl.” This was actually written on a reseller’s ‘wellness advocate’ page. Others will share their daily routine of essential oil use, and supply recipes (for use in baking, cooking, smoothies and more).

Essential oils are chemicals. They penetrate the hair follicles and pores, and are in the blood stream within two minutes of application, and in the central nervous system within 15 minutes. They have a cumulative effect, so the longer you use them, the more effective they can become. If used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner for a specific reason, this is a positive thing. But the negative effects of overuse are potentially dangerous and can head towards an adverse reaction / sensitisation [Red: Gilbert explains what sensitisation is in his first post]. Please don’t think an adverse reaction may simply be a rash — it could be, but it could also be something not immediately obvious, and deep-seated — like it was for Stacey Haluka. 

To explain why we use the terms ‘potentially dangerous’ and ‘unsafe’ — these methods are not best practice methods, and do not follow the duty of care that qualified essential oil practitioners follow, which are covered in our courses, and in the associations we belong to (AIA, IFPA etc).


NB: Please do NOT do these!

Current unsafe methods are:

1) Internal use — (Do not ingest essential oils!)

  • Adding drops of essential oils to water and drinking it.
  • Using essential oils instead of safe dried and fresh herbs, spices and zests, adding drops to cooking, baking, smoothies, sprinkling over salads, sprinkling them over your roasts, adding them to soups (these are the most common ones I’ve seen).
  • Adding a drop of essential oils to the roof of your mouth.
  • Making or taking caplets with essential oils (which the MLMs sell).

The problems that may occur include damage to the mouth and oesophagus (burning), gut damage (can cause ulcers, kill good bacteria, potentially damage the neurotransmitters) over time, and damage to the internal organs, including the gall bladder.

This is what we do know. What is yet to come is the long term damage that this could cause.  Saying “I’ve been doing this for 6 months and I’m fine” is an ignorant statement, as you don’t know what damage is slowly occurring. Remember, essential oils have a cumulative effect — they build up in the body. One drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent to between 25–70 cups of peppermint tea (depending on the brand). It takes 60 lemons to be cold-pressed to extract 1 drop of lemon essential oil, aside from the fact that citrus oils are high in the chemical limonene. Limonene is used in cleansing agents to remove oil ie: mechanics use this to clean oil from engines. And you think it’s safe to drink?

2) Undiluted use — This is horrific. Essential oils should not be used undiluted. I’ve seen it recommended for all age ranges. Essential oils are highly concentrated. They need to be diluted for safe use — the worse case I’ve recently heard of was a reseller advising that a neat drop of essential oil be ‘popped’ onto the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. I literally have zero words for this — it is absolutely shocking for so many reasons.


3) Incorrect dilution — We see so many recommendations by MLM resellers for blends which are WAY too strong, especially for babies, toddlers and children. Robert Tisserand offers great guidelines for safe dilution. However, if they follow these safe use guidelines, a reseller is not going to sell much product (because the product will be used up slowly), and therefore they won’t reach their sales targets!

4) Incorrect oils used for specific age ranges — This is vital too! So many essential oils are too harsh for many people — they are being recommended by MLM resellers for babies, children, toddlers, more mature adults (80 years + as a general rule) — plus for people with chronic illness or compromised immune systems. Here are just a few of the  essential oils being ‘guerrilla marketed’: wintergreen (this is a hazardous essential oil), oregano, clove, cinnamon, basil, camphor, peppermint, and some eucalyptus species.

5) Using a diffuser / vaporiser incorrectly We see MLM resellers recommending too many drops of essential oils, using the diffusers and vaporisers for far too long, and incorrect oils for differing age ranges. Here are the actual safety guidelines for using a diffuser/vaporiser .

6) Overuse — Essential oils should only be used to assist in providing relief from a health condition — yes, pop the vaporiser on for an hour if you come home from work stressed out, add some drops (which have been mixed in a small amount of liquid soap so the drops aren’t floating in the bath neat) to a bath to relieve painful overworked muscles — but don’t wake up in the morning and start a daily regime of essential oil use, unless it is necessary. For example, if you have the flu or a cold and are using a topical blend that could boost your immunity, and doing a steam inhalation for congestion — that’s reasonable. The other thing to consider, if you are diffusing oils day-in day-out, who else around you is being affected by this? Babies, children, people with health conditions that are contraindicated to the essential oils you are using? Or have allergies? Or asthma?  Pets? There is so much to consider!

I have a client who went for a massage in Australia. Her massage therapist (who sold for an essential oil MLM) dropped undiluted wintergreen oil all over her back — apart from the fact that this is a hazardous, highly toxic essential oil, and can cause internal bleeding to anyone on blood thinners, the MLM therapist did not ask my client about any health conditions. She placed her in a potentially dangerous situation using wintergreen in the first place. But also the risk to this masseuse is huge — how many times a day is she doing this? She is at a high risk for adverse reactions, given repeated exposure like this!

Injury report sites

Injury reporting sites are popping up now. The qualified aromatherapy community is gathering as much information as possible — please report any adverse reaction to essential oils which you have experienced — minor and major reactions are just as important as each other.

[Red Corvette]: Thank you for all this information, Gilbert! We have more questions for you, so stay tuned folks.

Disclaimer: This article provides information on dangerous practices in essential oil use as seen from multi-level marketing representatives who sell essential oils. The Coalition cannot comment upon essential oil training or the evidence for their use, and suggests readers interested in aromatherapy to conduct their own research into any evidence for the use of essential oils that may exist. Please consult your doctor before starting any complementary therapy.

Photo credits

Header photo by Dorné Marting on Unsplash
Glass photo by Yasuo Takeuchi on Unsplash
Sleep photo by Brittany Neale on Unsplash


An aromatherapist speaks out – Part 1

[Red Corvette]: Today we’re speaking with Gilbert P*, who is a qualified aromatherapist from New Zealand, who, along with the rest of his profession, has serious concerns about essential oil MLMs. This is the first part of our interview with him, so stay tuned for more to come.

Gilbert, why is the qualified aromatherapy community so concerned about essential oil MLMs like Young Living and dōTERRA?

[Gilbert]: Thank you Red, I appreciate the chance to explain to your readers.

Essential oils are a complimentary health product. Yes, they are a natural product, but essentially, they are chemicals which are extracted from plants and used for non-life threatening health conditions. Natural equals natural, natural does not mean safe. Essential oils are not supplements (vitamins, minerals) or products to replace dried, herbs, zests & spices.

The MLM companies are ‘guerilla’ marketing essential oils in such a way that consumers are beginning to believe that they can not start their day (as well as their family members’ days, including babies & children) or live their lives without them, and lots of them, in so many unsafe ways! Adding to water, popping capsules, using in baking/cooking/smoothies etc . using constantly in a diffuser. Overuse, as well as internal use, incorrect dilutions and selection of essential oils for age ranges (especially babies, toddlers & children) are all HUGELY concerning, and this is all happening, worldwide, in epidemic proportions. They are promoting potentially dangerous and high risk methods of use which can lead to injuries, leading to sensitisation.

The qualified community is also very concerned due to conflicting motivations. A qualified essential oil practitioner’s motivation is to provide safe, appropriate and effective products to alleviate and provide relief for specific health conditions following best practice methods and duty of care.  An MLM reseller’s motivation is to sell, sell, sell, reach sales targets, climb reseller levels with material provided by the MLM company, whose purpose is to make money, as much and as fast as possible.

A qualified essential oil practitioner’s social media posts will be about ‘sharing & caring’ not ‘telling & selling’ like the MLM’s social media posts — and BOY do they go hard! They are brainwashing consumers, it’s very frightening.

[Red]: So basically, you really must have proper training and qualifications to advise people about essential oils safely. And MLM reps don’t have this. Can you explain a bit about sensitisation, which you just mentioned? It sounds like whatever it is, it’s a problem? 

[Gilbert]: I shall quote Robert Tisserand (recognised in the aromatherapy industry as the leader and world expert): “We must realise that self-treatment, although it has it’s place, also has its limitations.  Do treat yourself for simple, common ailments, but for any long-term, or deep seated problem, seek professional advice”.

In New Zealand, the training required to become a qualified essential oil practitioner is recognised by an official body which has authorised the framework of the course, such as NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority), and recognised by IFPA (International Federation of Practicing Aromatherapists).   (I use the term ‘essential oil practitioner’ as a general term, as our roles have many different names — Aromatherapist, Aromatologist, Aromascience Practitioner — depending on the school or course you take and your gained qualification allows you to be recognised by.)  Each country will have their own requirements — it’s rather official and this is great, as it means it’s quality assured. Qualifications on the ‘governed program’ layout a clear pathway to the level of knowledge and skills that you’ll have gained when you graduate, start a private practice, online business, aromatherapy massage and so on. The courses are highly structured and disciplined. For example, I studied the Certificate of Aromascience. It required 770+ hours of study, 50+ case studies, assignments and an exam. It took me almost two years to achieve my qualification. I learned a massive amount about essential oils and loved it!

bady-qb-992290-unsplashTopics covered (in depth) were: History, we studied 90 essential oils where we learned (for each oil) the botanical name, plant family name, origin, method of extraction, note (essential oils are either a top, middle or base note) and what that means, in-depth. We learned what colour we should expect a specific essential oil to be, the aroma, the main chemical components, properties, therapeutic uses and contraindications, for each of the 90 essential oils.  We learned about methods of use, which are topical & various inhalation methods, dilution, percentages, why and who for and of course, safety.

Every part of this study is vital knowledge required to be able to start treating clients — once you graduate of course!  During the first six months of the course, we were only allowed to practice on ourselves, the next six months we could ask friends and family to be test cases for us, and in the last half of the course, we were allowed to invite volunteers to become case studies — with absolutely everything we did, we had to record it and have it marked. Obviously this was all done at the students’ expense, which didn’t concern me as money was not my motivation. NB; This example is from courses in New Zealand.

As far as I’m aware, the MLM companies do not provide this type of training. I feel confident stating this as if they did, there is NO way the resellers would be even contemplating the recommendations of use, the guerilla marketing techniques, etc that the MLM’s do (let alone the business model).

And I quote Robert Tisserand again:

The need for self-regulation
One challenge facing aromatherapy is the gradual increase of adverse events — adverse skin reactions or poisoning — that has accompanied the increase in popularity of essential oils. This, along with often baseless claims for treating serious disease, gives aromatherapy a bad reputation, and is a short-cut to increased regulation of essential oils, something that is already happening in Europe. Self-regulation is a far better road. The Fragrance Industry has accomplished this through IFRA, but there is no professional or trade association for aromatherapy anywhere in the world that has a set of safety guidelines. Companies that sell essential oils have almost entirely ignored the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) standards (which are there to protect consumers from adverse skin reactions) and each one does its own thing on labels. Consumers who experience adverse events with essential oils cannot be faulted if they are following instructions.

And these instructions are coming from the MLM’s and their unqualified resellers.


If you still wonder if safety is important? Well, Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young (lecturer in plant chemistry, pharmacology, nothing to do with Young Living) wrote a 780 page manual for using essential oils, on the subject.

Sensitisation means minor to severe injuries and adverse reactions from misuse and overuse of essential oils, stemming from uneducated guidance. These reactions can be ones yet to be ‘noticed’, but could be beginning in the oesophagus, gut, organs such as liver & kidneys, gall bladder & more (from ingesting essential oils), to minor to severe skin reactions.  Unfortunately, if these reactions occur, resellers are simply being told “This is a detox experience”.  The qualified community believe this is a desperate attempt to give a positive explanation for any adverse reactions caused by essential oils and is physiologically impossible. If you are interested in a harrowing but insightful example, I urge you to purchase this book The Unspoken Truth About Essential Oils by Kayla Fioravanti & Stacey Haluka.

In this book Stacey takes you along on her raw and real journey that is eye-opening for the reader. She will reveal the unspoken truth about essential oils so that you can learn the lessons learned from her experience. Her story is not unique and can happen to anyone, at any time. You will want to read this truth to prevent harming yourself, or anyone you love.” Stacey is an ex MLM reseller.

It is a quick read, only 84 pages. I can almost guarantee you will not want to put it down once you start. Stacey’s journey was horrendous, and she was following instructions.

Not only is the qualified community concerned about adults, but we have serious concerns about babies, toddlers & children being exposed to essential oils — they don’t have choices with what they are exposed to. Injuries occur because of misguided and incorrect advice from untrained MLM resellers.

[Red Corvette]: Thank you Gilbert! We’ll continue our conversation with Gilbert soon — stay tuned.

* Not his real name.

Disclaimer: This article provides very useful information on the different levels of training and expertise between trained aromatherapists and multi-level marketing representatives who sell essential oils. The Coalition cannot comment upon essential oil training or the evidence for their use, and suggests readers interested in essential oils conduct their own research into any evidence for the use of essential oils that may exist.

Header photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
Flower poster photo by bady qb on Unsplash
Diffuser photo by Gilbert P