Q+A with Kyle.
an ancient Egyptian scroll, Hillary Clinton, and essential oils.
Our scrubs are packed full of simple, natural ingredients that have all been used to serve a functional purpose. But, don't just take our word for it. This month we tracked down Kyle Lupo – a final year student studying at Emperor’s College, California’s number one school for acupuncture and alternative medicine - to go a little deeper on the subject of essential oils, politics, and why he chooses Burning Man over Coachella.
JOE: Where are you from and what are you doing here in LA?
KYLE: I’m from Davie, FL. and moved to Los Angeles at 18 years old. I’m in my last year of a Master’s Degree program in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at Emperor’s College in Santa Monica, where I see patients 1-2 times a week at the clinic. If you live in the area, call and book an appointment with me!
JOE: What sparked your interest in oils?
KYLE: I’ve always been a fan of natural therapies and I’m a strong believer that the worlds of alternative medicine and western medicine should merge and be used together. I’m very happy to see this happening more recently.
JOE: Historically, how long have essential oils been used?
KYLE: One of the oldest records is called the Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BC) which documents Egyptians’ use of oils like frankincense and many others. There are also records of them being used for thousands of years in places China, Greece, Europe, and Israel.
JOE: Is there anything that organic coconut oil can’t do? It seems like the superstar of oils!
KYLE: It's quite amazing, I use it as a carrier oil in my blends and sometimes with single oils for topical use is someone has sensitive skin or the oil require dilution. I cook with it, I use it on dry skin, I take a bit of it everyday with my supplements for the good fats and to aid absorption of some of the things I take. Love it.
JOE: Another slippery subject – politics – who’s corner are you in, Bernie or Hillary?
KYLE: I toggle, but I will 100% support whichever Dem gets the nomination…as of right now though, to most people’s surprise I’m With Her.
JOE: So if Hillary doesn’t get the nomination, which oil would you recommend for her and why?
KYLE: Hmmm, a single oil, Lavender I suppose, but I would’ve made him a blend with vetiver, chamomile, cedarwood, lime and a few others to help ease the woes of a letdown like that, ground her but lift her spirits at the same time!
JOE: OK, back to business… which oils are your ‘Top 3’ and why?
KYLE: Oh that’s tough! How could you do this to me! I have around 100 different oils but if I had to pick top 3 I would say:
1. Frankincense: I find it one of the most useful and use it in almost every blend. It helps boost other oils, helps lift mood and is a good cosmetic oil that helps improve the appearance of lines.
2. Vetiver: Initially I used it for scent alone, but it has also been shown to help you stay motivated while studying, may also ease insomnia and has a calming effect.
3. Arborvitae: This is a newer one for me, but I love it. It has properties that help protect against environmental and seasonal threats, I use it with lavendar and coconut oil for skin irritations. The name translates to “Tree of Life” which I find pretty bad ass.
JOE: What are some common misperceptions about essential oils, or how they can be used?
KYLE: One is that the “brand of essential oil doesn’t matter, if it’s sold at a health food store, it must be good.” I question the quality of most oils, which is why I have my favorites (I personally use DoTerra which is rigorously to ensure grade and quality). Another misconception is that they are just “for making my place smell good”. I rarely use an oil just for the scent, I always consider the specific qualities of each oil. There’s nothing wrong with using them just because they smell good, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to essential oils! There is a wealth of information out there if you just look.
JOE: Which is your favorite NBJ scrub and why?
KYLE: Another tough question! As of right now, its Sunset Tangerine, it is a great choice for end of the week - I can literally feel the “ick” from the week being scrubbed off and I’m ready to take the weekend on full force, refreshed and with really nice feeling skin!
JOE: If you could spend a weekend at Venice Beach, Malibu, or in a fancy hotel on Sunset Strip, which would it be?
KYLE: I would pick Malibu, I love to sit on the cliffs and stare at the ocean, camping by the water is a beautiful experience too. It’s a great escape from the noise and fast pace of the city.
JOE: Yoga or meditation?
KYLE: Meditation! But I should be doing more yoga, for the stretching aspects for sure.
JOE: Burning Man or Coachella?
KYLE: The playa is my home. I was into Coachella until about 2007, then it became way too much, and the line-ups got less exciting. Now it’s Burning Man all the way, completely different experiences and events for sure.
JOE: Favorite coffee shop in West Hollywood, and what’s your order?
KYLE: The Commisary and I usually order a cold brew, however lately I have been more of a Yerba Mate guy.
JOE: Anything else you want our scrubbers to know?
KYLE: Yeah! I’m working on my own line of essential oil blends under the name OilFaction - be on the lookout for more information regarding consults and personal blends and shoot me an email to OilFaction@gmail.com if you want to know more. As well as that, I always tell my patients that there’s room for both western and eastern/alternative medicine and both are very important. If you have pre-existing medical conditions or new ones arise, always check with your doctor before starting any new therapies, programs, supplements, etc.