Everyday Oil, Every Day
It’s winter. You make it through the December holidays and are in need of a bit of self care. If you live in the northern or drier climes, your skin isn’t getting any less dry this time of year. Our skin, made up of three layers, the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, is arguably our largest organ. It makes us “waterproof”, protects us from the elements, from infectious attack, from dehydrating into human raisins. It is, on average, a total surface area of 20 square feet.
Yogis talk often about sense withdrawal, or pratyahara, one of the 8 limbs of yoga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Our sense of touch comes through the skin, and is literally one of the first ways our nervous system knows how to regulate to the world around us. Yogis long ago believed that our ability to experience the world “outside” of our bodies, through our skin, was evidence that the mind could exist elsewhere, outside of our bodies.
Our skin is awesome, both on a biological and spiritual level. So let’s take care of it.
Have you noticed your skin is drier than usual this time of year? Hair feeling brittle? Hands and feet feeling cracked and grey? How many products do you need to moisturize hair, face, body hands and feet??? The answer? Just one: Everyday Oil.
I found this seemingly magical potion by complete accident at Westerlind‘s store in New York City. I’m always keeping an eye out for nice but not overpowering oils and essential oils, both for myself and to use in my yoga classes. The clean, classic little bottle next to the register caught my eye, so I picked it up and sniffed. Divine. There is simply something for every person in the perfectly blended, organic or impeccably sourced, natural ingredients that result in the scent coming from Emma Allen’s Everyday Oil.
But Everyday Oil’s scent isn’t even the best part. The salesperson at Westerlind perked up when I asked her about the product, “It’s amazing. You can use it everywhere. On your body, hands, feet, on your face, in your hair. I’ve stopped using all of my other skin and hair products!” Well I’ve heard this before, so I was skeptical, but I loved the scent and knew that my students would too, so I took home a small bottle.
Then I tried it. Then used it every day. I started to run out of it. I went online and ordered more. I ordered it for my mom, my sister, my mother and sister-in-law, and extras as gifts for houseguests and hostesses. I recommend it to everyone, they look at me with the same skepticism I must have looked at the salesperson with, and then the next time I see them, without fail, I get “Everyday Oil! Thank you for the Rebeccamendation! It’s amazing, and now all of my friends are using it too!”
In case you aren’t sold, or you like to know a little more about the person behind the magic, I asked Emma Allen a few questions, and here’s what she had to share with us:
Do you remember when you decided to make the leap to make Everyday Oil for Everyone?
Well, I had been making it for myself for years and years and had friends and family that I would make it for. Over time a lot of people were asking for more, or asking to buy it and at some point I realized that I should probably bring this to market. It took a few years to be able to launch it as a product because I was working on other projects, but it gave me time to think everything through, which was great.
Where are you from, originally?
I was raised in North and South Carolina. First on a farm in South Carolina, and then when I was a teenager my family moved to the mountains of North Carolina, which for me was a really fun switch because it meant moving from a very small, conservative, rural area to a more liberal small city, Asheville. I was amazed by how different it was culturally, and I loved it.
What are your top three favorite places you’ve visited in your lifetime?
I just went to Bali for the first time this year and it was really, really amazing. I really loved California the first time I visited and every time since I have had the feeling that it is a really special place. And Haiti, where I have visited a lot for work, always blows me away.
Sweet or savory?
Both for sure, but if I have to choose I always choose savory.
Do you have a favorite activity or hobby?
I’m not sure! I feel like so much of what I love to do is in my work, so I guess I don’t have that much in the way of hobbies that are purely for fun. I should get some.
Surfing or channel surfing?
I just started learning to surf a few years ago. I am still learning, but it has been such a fun way to be in the water and be with friends.
What (or who) makes you laugh these days?
My nephew Vincent lives down the road from me, and he is the source of a lot of laughter for me lately.
If you have a “secret” indulgence, would you tell us what it is? (E.g., binge watching Real Housewives, movies and popcorn, long drive in the country, romance novels)
I love secret indulgences! I really get a kick out of doing whatever I want in those moments when I’m really alone. I love to watch really ridiculous movies starring Melissa McCarthy, she makes me laugh and I love her. This summer I had most weekdays evenings alone, and I would go sit on the bay and go for a swim before the sun went down. I think swimming alone is really special.
How do you feel about social media?
Well, it is amazing for small businesses, and I think there are a lot of connections that you can make there, but I think generally for humanity there is a darkness there and its something that I think is important to try to separate from and not spend too much time interacting with.
What is the last book/novel you read?
Right now I’m reading two books – one is a book my aunt just published about how my grandparents met during WWII when my granddad’s plane crash landed on an island off of Sweden, and ended up working with my Grandmother at the OSS in Sweden, which was the precursor to the CIA. It’s called Liberty Lady, and I’m halfway through it. I’m sure I’m partially into it because its my family and its so fascinating to me, but in general its a great read!
The other book I’m reading is Joseph Campbell’s book the power of myth, which is basically a conversation between Campbell and Bill Moyers. If you have never read Joseph Campbell, I really highly recommend him. Ancient Mythology is really helpful in understanding broader trends in our society and cultures at large, and I think Campbell is a rare scholar in that he has an amazing ability to distill a vast, vast body of knowledge into bite size pieces that the average person such as myself can understan. It’s been helpful during this insane election, and even though Joseph Campbell passed away, he feels like a friend we are lucky to have.
As you read, Emma, like her oil, is a truly special, and I might say, magical, person. To order a bit of her magic, go to shopeverydayoil.com.