Ah, Mother’s Day… the day when we salute the women who have helped us grow, learn, and become the amazing people we  now are. Whether you are a newbie, veteran, stay-at-home mom, balance work and children,  grandmother, aunt, neighbor, or whatever… there are millions of woman who deserve some love and appreciation this upcoming Mother’s Day.

But can I be honest? So many of the traditional Mother Day gifts are bad. Really bad. I mean, mothers work non-stop… forgoing bathroom breaks and showers in the name of their children… and how do we repay them? Too often with toxic sludge wrapped in pretty paper.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believe in “it’s the thought that counts.” But today I’d like to speak out on two things that deserve to be demoted from the traditional go-to list of gifts… Mother’s Day or not.

2 Horrible Toxic Mother’s Day Gifts

Scented Candles

I get it. They come in pretty colors and have scents that are reminiscent of our favorite flower, holiday, or comfort food… but the truth is most of the “sweet” smelling candles that stores across America try to sell as “the perfect gift” are anything but.

Just consider the following sludge stats on toxic scented candles:

  • Many candles are made of paraffin—a petroleum by product—which release carcinogenic soot when burned.
  • The soot can cause respiratory problems and will aggravate the conditions of those who already have asthma, lung, or heart problems.
  • Soot from paraffin wax can cause significant damage to the inside of your house, plus your computers, electrical appliances, and ductwork.
  • Aromatherapy candles that are scented with synthetic oils release microscopic particles that can cause cancer and other health problems when inhaled.

Also, until as recent as 2003 when they were banned, many candles had lead-core wicks which release five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems. Some people may still have these candles in their home! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.

You can read more about the whole toxic mess here and here.

If a candle is something your wife/mom/MIL/aunt really want, then by all means, choose a less toxic version like this one. But if you’re really going after that whole “smell good” and “luxury” feel, then stay with me as I have a much better idea below.


There was a time when I would walk through an expensive department store and smile as I meandered through the perfume counters. “Wow,” I would think, “wouldn’t it be nice to have extra money to spend on some fancy perfume?”

Nice thought, my little teen-aged-Robin… but NO. Now days I have to hold my breath if I walk by these area. The smell literally gives me a headache. As it turns out my body knows best: Most perfume is bad news. Here’s why:

“The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that, while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum.”  (source)

The worse part is that producers don’t have to list their ingredients. In part of their “protecting trade secrets” you’ll have no idea just what you are putting on your body.

And still:

Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and analyzed by the Environmental Working Group, found a total of 38 chemicals not listed on the labels in 17 name-brand fragrances. The report noted:

“Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.

Also in the ranks of undisclosed ingredients are chemicals with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues. These include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, a synthetic fragrance ingredient that concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk.”

Here you go, mom. A nice bottle of destroy-your-health.

Read more about it here and here.

Of course, if you’re making your own homemade roll-on perfume with essential oils that’s another matter.  😉

What to Give Instead of Toxic Candles or Perfume

I’m really excited about Mother’s Day this year because I found the perfect alternative to nasty chemicals. And the possibilities are endless in how you give them.

Consider the gift of essential oils.

Instead of synthetic scents, give something that truly smells good… and has health benefits instead of health consequences. I haven’t had scented candles or air fresheners in my home for many years, but I will admit that I missed getting to choose a scent for the day and making my home feel more welcoming by aroma. Below I have two simple ways to replace candles and perfume with essential oils followed by a plethora of wonderful DIY gift ideas that will make your mother/grandma/aunt/wife/friend giddy with delight.

Yes, giddy.  Are you ready?

Replace Toxic Candle with Essential Oils & A Diffuser

It’s as simple as pour water, drop a few drops, plug in and GO. Not only will you house smell divine, but you’ll get the added aromatherapy benefits of whatever oil you choose.

You can find diffusers online (like this) OR you can order the Premium Starter Kit from Young Living and get a FREE diffuser with 11 oils. (Um, that’s 50% savings, y’all. Mama didn’t raise a fool.) Learn how to get started with my favorite essential oils here.

Replace Toxic Perfume with My Favorite Essential Oil Roll On

Let’s be honest: Not all essential oils are quite the “scent” I want to wear all day long. But I love, love, LOVE my Stress Away roll on. It’s so yummy. I literally wear it like perfume. And it also makes me happy. When my little toddler is acting up or I’m tense because baby D didn’t sleep last night, I swipe my Stress Away on my wrist, breathe deeply, and carry on. Of course you can choose whatever oil suits your fancy: Add 1 – 2 drops in a little coconut oil and dab on your wrists.

TRUE scents can’t be patented. With quality essential oils always know what you’re putting on.  (P.S. Stress Away comes with a roll on lid in the Premium Starter Kit. I told you the kit was amazing.)

So there you go: Two simple gifts that I can get behind. There’s a little bit of spa-like luxury mixed with a whole lot of healthy benefits. After all, isn’t your mother worth a gift that keeps her happy and healthy?

Other simple DIY Mother Day Gifts

2 really horrible Mother's Day gifts, and what to get instead.

Of course you can always choose to make your own gift. I have the mother-load of DIY recipes that you can find HERE on Thank Your Body.

I’ve also round up a few favorites from some of my wonderful blogger friends. Be sure to check them out. Your mom deserves it!

Bronzing Body Butter from The Sprouting Seed
DIY Lip Gloss from Coco’s Well
Skin Glowing Oil Facial Blend from Mix Wellness
Lemon, Lavender, Vanillas Perfume Body Spray from Ancestral Nutrition
Lemon Sugar Scrub from The Rising Spoon
Peppermint Lip Balm from Hollywood Homestead
Calming Lavender Scrub from The Darling Bakers
Homemade Bath Salts from Primally Inspired

Be sure to check out this beautiful little book to learn how to make your DIY gifts truly beautiful.


Tell me: What will you be giving the women of your life this Mother’s Day?


Plus I'll send you a free copy of "Your Simply Healthy Handbook." It's your #1 resource to make healthy living easy. 

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