Why You Should Try the Gwyneth-Approved Oil Pulling Trend
Coconut oil has proven itself to be somewhat of a beauty miracle. Aside from working as a healthy cooking oil alternative, it’s also great for moisturizing skin and hair, removing makeup and keeping your lips nice and soft. It looks like we might be overlooking one major health advantage the magical oil is capable of – oil pulling.
The general idea is that oil can work as a sort of natural mouthwash. We won’t say oil pulling is entirely new (the technique can be traced back to ancient India), but we will say we’ve seen a pretty dramatic resurgence in the idea since coconut oil recently rose to beauty superstardom. The practice isn’t officially backed by any major medical organizations — however, it is said to leave you with fresher breath and whiter teeth, all while fighting oral bacteria, plaque buildup and cavities. (Photo via @emjahn67)
Who Loves It
A couple of our favorite celebs to get granola with, Shailene Woodley and Gwyneth Paltrow both swear by oil pulling. Shailene tells Into the Gloss, “It really makes your teeth whiter, because the plaque on your teeth is not water soluble, it’s fat-soluble. So the lipids have to dissolve in fats, which is why oil works in your mouth. I prefer sesame oil, but they’re both good.” However, she also goes on to express her love for eating clay, which has been somewhat aggressively debated on the web, so maybe take that rave review with a grain of salt.
Lauren Conrad’s team also put the practice to the test, swishing for a whopping 20 minutes a day. They reported fresh breath, slightly whiter teeth and even a decrease in breakouts around the chin and jawline. (Photos via Jason Merritt/Getty)
How To Try It
1. The DIY Way: All you really need is a spoon and your oil of choice (coconut, sesame and sunflower are the most popular). It works best if you do it first thing in the morning after you’ve had a glass of water. Swish it around in your mouth for 5-20 minutes and then spit it out in the trash can (it will clog up your drain). Do your best not to swallow any, considering the oil is meant to be full of toxins and you don’t want that going back into your system. Rinse your mouth with salt water and then brush and floss like normal. (Photo via I Run on Nutrition)
2. Cocowhite ($20): If you’re up for something a little fancier, try these fun, flavored coconut oil sachets. While Cocowhite claims to give you all the benefits of oil pulling, their main focus is the idea that this is a natural way to whiten teeth. For $20 you’ll get a 14-day supply in the flavor of your choosing. It might seem a little steep for about a few tablespoons of oil, but if this is meant to be a competitor for big whitening products like Crest White Strips, the price is actually fairly comparable.
Have you ever tried oil pulling? What did you think? Share with us in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com