Ingredients truly do Matter.

Ingredients truly do Matter.

July 26, 2018

When I dove deep on my health journey in 2012 - 2013, I became acutely aware of the products + ingredients I was putting on my body daily. With the skin being the largest organ, the truth is that our skin absorbs everything we put onto it and it goes directly into the bloodstream. Through the Optimum Health Institute, I was educated + learned how significantly this effects my health + wellbeing. The result: total shock. As the old saying goes "Ignorance is Bliss". Well, I find myself saying that often. Once you know information, there is no turning back. The facts are facts. My intention is to thrive and live at radiant health - inside + out. In order to achieve that deep desire, choosing products consciously is key. Since my health journey began, my shopping includes looking at ingredients more closely and tuning into my intuition more often. I have to say, it is quite a rich and rewarding experience as I often discover artisanal creations and learn about makers that are so deeply committed to supporting us on this journey of optimum health. It is quite the gift. Am I perfect with the products I use? Of course, not. Although I am someone who is highly conscious about my health, I am constantly seeking inspiration and meeting people that take it to the next level. Meet Tina Rocca, Founder of Pure Plant Home. We met years ago and she continues to remind me, educate me and fully wake me up to the toxins that sneak their way in through seemingly harmless products.

Tina Rocca is not just a wellspring of knowledge for the ingredients we do and do not want to put on our skin, but has done a total immersion into the ingredients we’re breathing in, specifically through candles. Her answer to the endless brands touting “clean, natural, and pure” candles that are actually dripping with toxins, was to create her own products – an extraordinary + medicinal line of candles that are truly clean, and fill our homes with heavenly, therapeutic scents. We had the honor of chatting with Tina to discover how we can all live a healthier, more vibrant life by making simple shifts in the products we use.

Living Wholly: In your words, tell us about Pure Plant Home.

Tina Rocca: One of the most important aspects of Pure Plant Home is that I make my own wax using coconut oil - the same oil you can buy at the store and eat. I don’t buy my wax from a wax manufacturer because I don’t know what’s in it. Often, wax that manufactures claim is “coconut wax” only has a small percentage of coconut in it. So, I decided to make my own formulas. I’ve been an aroma therapist for 25 years and I do it all myself to ensure I know what’s in the products. Because of this, my customers trust me, knowing that I only offer high quality and natural products.

Living Wholly: What inspires you every day to get up and do your work?

Tina Rocca: My children. We all have sensitive skin and my daughter had asthma, which I cured through getting her on good health and exercise programs – and not using fragrance. My kids have never used any products that use fake fragrances.

Living Wholly: Tell us about your experience with ingredients and how you are educated on this topic.

Tina Rocca: I have my Bachelors degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Northridge and I have my Masters degree in Exercise Science. So, I've always been very involved in health and fitness. I’ve been involved in the candle and essential oil industry for over 25 years and used to give my custom-made essential oil blends to my clients, who always asked to buy more.

From there, I started my first candle company, which I sold when I decided to stay home for a few years when my children were young. During this time, I developed a bath and body line, which included candles made out of coconut wax. These products led to the founding of Pure Plant Home.

Living Wholly: What is the difference between fake fragrance and essential oils?

Tina Rocca: Essential oils are concentrates of plants. They’re extracted from the aromatic parts of raw plant material such as flowers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or citrus rind, through steam distillation. They’re live materials that have phytohormones, in addition to anti-viral, antiseptic, and other really good qualities.

Fake fragrance, on the other hand, is synthetic because it’s made in a lab. It’s created to mimic the smell of a rose, for example. It’s just a copy – it’s not real and has no medicinal value. These synthetic fragrances are made with hundreds of chemicals and are often petro-chemically based, which isn’t healthy. And, these fragrances are not regulated.

There was a bill passed a long time ago that says that the term “fragrance” can be used on a label without the company having to specify what that fragrance is composed of, because it’s a “trade secret.” Plus, there are so many things in the fragrance they don’t have room on the label to divulge what’s actually in it.

Living Wholly: What is the difference between essential oils and plant extracts?

Plant extracts are an infusion of plant matter and water, or plant matter and oil. To make plant extract you take the plant matter and steep it in water or oil for a couple of weeks. Essential oils are more concentrated. So, plant extract has no medicinal or therapeutic value, but it’s better than a fake fragrance because it isn’t composed of a bunch of harsh chemicals.  

Living Wholly: What should we avoid when trying to buy healthier products?

Tina Rocca: Always avoid products with petrochemicals, anything with the term “fragrance” in the ingredients, and products that contain aluminum.

Living Wholly: What is really in the average candle?

Tina Rocca: Most candles that say they’re made with soy wax are usually a combination of soy, palm, and paraffin. The better a candle burns, the more additives it has in it. Numerous candle manufactures put chemicals in their wax to make it last longer, and put fake coloring in to enhance the color. Many of the most expensive candles have the worst chemicals in them, including synthetic fragrances.

Something else that candle manufacturers often use in their products is something called “sludge” that comes from China. [Sludge is a by-product of petroleum.]

Living Wholly: How can a person create a more wellness centered, healthy lifestyle?

Tina Rocca: Pay attention to the ingredients you use on a daily basis. Look at things like deodorant and body lotion. These are both products that are slathered on your largest organ [your skin] many times a day and enter your body through your pores. You have to check out what’s in the products that you’re using and switch them out for healthier alternatives. You want to make sure the products that you’re using are non-toxic, and free of petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances.

Another product to pay attention to is lipstick. You can ingest a significant amount of lead through lipstick – if you apply lipstick throughout the day you’re getting about 20% of the daily amount of lead that’s considered safe. It’s important to look for a mineral based lipstick that doesn’t have FD&C colors, or fragrant ingredients.

In addition, perfume, laundry detergent, diapers, and other products that often contain fragrances should be swapped out for fragrant-free options.   

Living Wholly: What are three simple tips for healthy, holistic living?

Tina Rocca: Eat well, rest, and exercise. But, if you’re doing these things and still feel like you’re lagging, that’s a sign that you have some toxins in your body – toxins that are preventing your from experiencing optimal health.

Pay attention to what goes in your body, what goes on your body, how you move your body, and the thoughts you have going through your mind - the narrative you have with your inner voice make a big difference. These things are all imperative to living a healthier, longer life.

Tina’s expertise has inspired me to take my time when investigating the ingredients in the products I use, and put my money where my health is by only purchasing products that truly honor the wellbeing of their clients, by only using ingredients that enhance, instead of hinder, their vitality.

Click here to explore the incredible line of Pure Plant Home candles. Enjoy lighting a candle even more knowing you are promoting healing with these divine ingredients! 

in radiant health,


*This interview has been edited and condensed.

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