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Let’s Chat With A Botanical Oil Expert

    Styling From The Inside: Secrets From A Botanical Oil Expert |

    It’s been about 6 months since my obsession with coconut oil for skincare began. And because I’m so satisfied with the results, (no breakouts, like ever – along with an overall hydration that leaves my skin actually glow-y!) I decided to take it up a notch, and branch out even further into the world of plant based potions. The lovely Melissa Scanlon from Zen Momma Botanicals and Flora X Fauna was kind enough to share some wisdom which not only expanded my vocabulary in essential oils, it helped re-ignite my move to a greener complexion. Hopefully, it’ll do the same for you! Read on…

    EL: How did you discover botanical oils?

    MS: I discovered botanical oils in my early 20s when a friend introduced me to the company Living Libations. I love Nadine Artemis, who creates their essential oil infused skincare and dentistry products. Everybody loves the Sunshine was the first oil blend I used on my skin AND the first green skincare product. I haven’t looked back and my skin has never been happier.

    EL: Which type of oil first got you hooked?

    MS: Before creating my own skincare potions I was making all of my own essential oil infused cleaning products. Cynthia Olivera of Wisdom of the Earth suggested I clean with their Mexican Lime. As I cleaned and inhaled the aroma I could feel the effects of lime penetrate my entire system. I experienced the magic and was hooked.

    EL: Please tell me how Flora X Fauna began.

    MS: Flora x Fauna (pronounced “Flora by Fauna”) has been the result of following my passions and intuition. The more I learn about essential oils the more I desire to share their potent healing power with the world. I experienced a profound difference in my state of health and well-being when I began incorporating them into my daily life – physically, mentally and emotionally. I began to share by skincare creations with friends and family and I realized that this passion could be more than a hobby. Why not build a company doing what I love?? One fun fact about Flora x Fauna – all of the flowers we use in the logo and on the labels are photographs taken by myself and my mother-in-law. She has also created the branding for Flora x Fauna and Zen Momma Botanicals.

    EL: What oils are you using now?

    MS: Ah, I think I change oils like I change moods. And I am a Gemini! Currently I’m using peppermint and lavender on my legs and feet to help combat a pesky pregnancy related rash. I mix a few drops with some lotion and rub it on nightly to help ease the itchiness. On my face I am using the I Am Gorgeous oil with rose otto, neroli, and vetiver I created for Zen Momma Botanicals.

    EL: What kinds of benefits have you noticed in your beauty and / or health / wellness from using oils?

    MS: Since I began using essential oils on my skin the changes have been remarkable. I had always had “problem” skin that would break out regularly even in my 20s. Now I rarely break out, old scars have faded and my skin tone has really evened out. I carry around a complexion mist in my purse (always using different blends) that I spray on my face and around my body throughout the day. When I feel anxious. the mist calms my system instantly, clears my head, boosts my immunity AND hydrates my skin. Truly amazing!

    EL: When someone is shopping for oils, what do they need to know?

    MS: When shopping for essential oils it is important to be aware that not all oils are created equally. Some may be adulterated and inferior – you want to know the source. As with food I would say that organic and wildcrafted are best. With that said, some farms may produce responsible, high quality plant material and not have the organic certification. Two of my favorite brands are Wisdom of the Earth and Living Libations.

    Essential oils are highly concentrated and a little (as in a few drops!) goes a long way. As a general rule I would say use anywhere between 5 – 15 drops per 1oz of carrier oil. When using an essential oil neat (on its own and not mixed with any other liquid) 1 – 3 drops is usually sufficient.

    EL: For someone with no experience in using oils, what’s a good one to begin with?

    MS: Lavender is always a good one to start with. It is incredibly versatile and works harmoniously with the systems of most people. Spike lavender is a sweet and florally variety and one of my favorites. The essential oil helps to remedy insomnia, alleviate cramps, fights colds and the flu and is analgesic and antibacterial – to name a few. Citrus oils are also good starter oils. They are cheery and uplifting and great immune boosters. Please note that in skincare some citrus oils (especially bergamot) cause photosensitivity. It is best to use these for aromatherapy until you gain more knowledge about each oil and what works with your system.

    I love accessing my intuition when choosing oils. If I ask my body what it needs I will be guided toward a specific oil. Give it a try!

    EL: What’s the most unexpected oil combination that you discovered and loved?

    MS: I LOVE geranium and mexican lime together. I created a mist using this combo and this is one I always always always go back to. It is especially good when traveling.

    EL: What’s in the future for Flora X Fauna and Zen Momma Botanicals?

    MS: Flora x Fauna and Zen Momma Botanicals are currently available online only through and I am looking forward to growing the business and finding shelf space in stores locally and perhaps afar as well! The possibilities are endless, which is one thing I love about entrepreneurship. You just never know and that is exciting!

    Thank you, Melissa!

    To learn more about Flora x Fauna and Zen Momma Botanicals go here and here.

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    4 thoughts on “Let’s Chat With A Botanical Oil Expert”

    1. Coconut oil, huh? I used marula oil for much of the winter and it helped my dry skin stay hydrated. But I’ll have to try the coconut bit! Have you ever tried Bio-Oil? I’ve heard it’s quite good.

    2. I’ve been using coconut oil on my face, and it’s been working really well at keeping my skin hydrated. I love it! I’ll have to try marula oil. Do you use it on your face?

    3. Love Geranium. With Mex Lime? Interesting. Ess oils are powerful and not recommended for daily longterm use. A break restores effectiveness, as with all supplmts.

    4. I bet the Mexican Lime adds a nice punch of invigoration. Wasn’t aware that a break restores effectiveness…I’ve been using the coconut oil for months now and it still feels great on my skin. I can feel the moisture seeping in. But I don’t think coconut oil would be considered an essential oil…
      Thanks, D!

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