Acclaimed actress, director, producer and mother-of-three Ellen Pompeo is perhaps best known for dispensing medical know-how as Dr. Meredith Grey on the long-running ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” But she’s also passionate about health and wellness in her real life–especially plant-based products over ones with unknown chemicals, and especially when it comes to the products she has at home and around her three children (9-year-old Stella, 4-year-old Sienna, and 2-year-old Eli). Recently, she partnered with Young Living Essential Oils to celebrate the launch of the brand’s new Seedlings Baby Care Line and Scents of Home collection.
“I started using the Seedlings line on my babies and using the other products for myself… I love essential oils and I love plant-based natural products—I think it’s the direction we should all be moving in,” Pompeo says. “I like the mission statement [of Young Living] as well. The ‘seed to seal,’ and all the farms that they cultivate themselves and how they treat the workers. They’re trying to build schools for kids for the workers on some of the farms. Ethically, they are just on the right side of things and they are trying to do the right thing. If I have a platform to promote natural-based products for our wellness, I think that I have a responsibility to get out there and spread the message that we all be thinking more about plant-based products.”
Made specifically for newborns and infants, the just-launched Seedlings line (which includes baby wipes, baby oil, lotion, diaper rash cream, shampoo, and linen spray) uses infant-safe essential oils and are free from harmful ingredients. Dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic, Seedlings is made from the purest ingredients and is formulated without lanolin, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals or synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colorants or dyes. The entire line features the soothing scent of lavender essential oil to help create a calming environment.
Between hand massages, whiffs of diffused Young Living oils, and yummy organic snacks (made with dashes of Young Living oils, course) on a sunny day in SoHo at the Seedlings launch party last week, Pompeo took a moment to chat with us about why she uses essential oils to de-stress at home, her passion for plant-based wellness, and the essential oil scent she thinks might vibe with her character Meredith Grey!
As a parent, why is using plant-based products important to you for your family’s health?
“There’s just an overwhelming amount of chemicals in everything we do—in our air, in our water, in our food, in our body lotions. In everything we do, we’ve just become so accustomed to ingesting toxins and poisons. The Red Bulls, the sodas, the fast food…we’ve gotten so far away from where we should be and the illness and the cancer rates are out of control. The obesity, the cancer—it’s all just at epidemic levels and no one is going to address it because everyone is getting super-wealthy off of sick people. There’s no money in healthy people. There’s a whole bunch of money to be made off of illnesses and off of medications and off of hospital care.”
It’s so important to be mindful of the products you use at home—especially when it comes to little kids and babies.
“It’s important for mothers, too, if we want to be around for our children. The rates of ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and breast cancer are at all-time highs, too, and that’s not an accident. It’s all very, very directly—I believe—a result of the chemicals in our environment and that we’re eating and ingesting, and putting on our bodies.”
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Do you have any favorite scents or products from the new Scents of Home collection and Seedlings line?
“Oh! I have so many favorites! The coconut-lime body butter is amazing—I really love it. And just the baby wipes and the baby body oil is really nice too—after the bath you can massage your babies with the body oil. It smells so good, and their skin is so soft, and it just gives a nice, protective layer. I love the diffusers for the nursery, as well—like for in my son’s room I just put the diffuser in there and it smells so nice. I think it’s just a piece of wellness that really matters. I put the essential oils on my kids, and even if I forget, they come to me like: ‘Mama, can I have some oil? I need to feel calm, mommy, I need some oil!'”
Being a working parent, how does having the essential oil scents in your home help make it a sanctuary after a long day?
Of course, there’s no scientific evidence to prove it, but we feel how we feel… There’ve been a 100 people who have walked through the door of this space today and it’s just been: ‘Oh, it smells so good in here!’ That’s the first thing people say. I need to see nothing else other than the reaction of every single person who’s walked through that door today. They’re smiling, they’re happy, they feel calm and great. I’m sold.
They say that scent is the strongest sense tie to memory—what kinds of memories are you aiming to create in your own home through scent? Any tips for other parents on doing so?
“Well, my daughter always says to me: ‘Mommy, I would know you anywhere! I know what you wear, I know how you smell, and I know what you’d say. I always would know my mommy anywhere!’ So, if we can give our kids a sense of connection and comfort that I always smell like geranium and they know that’s mommy, and if that’s comforting to them and it makes them feel nurtured and safe, then that’s how we know we’re doing our job as parents.”
If you had to guess what scent of essential oils Meredith Grey might have in her home, what would it be?
She should do the ylang-ylang!