NO PARABENS by Vickie Kline

paraben freeAre you familiar with parabens? If not, you should be.

Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries to prevent the growth of bacteria and extend the shelf life in products. Parabens are the most widely used preservative and appear in personal care products that contain significant amounts of water, such as, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cleansers, and deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and other health conditions since they have some toxicity, which is used to kill bacteria in water-based solutions. I, personally, have allergic skin reactions to products that contain parabens.

So, what to do? Well, check product labels and look for those that are paraben free. I have found a nice line of cosmetic products called La Roche Posay. They don’t carry make-up, but they do have every type of skin care product imaginable. The great part is I can use these and have no reaction. I am also confident that the growth of bacteria is not a concern because other natural, plant-derived ingredients are used to prevent this.

If you have reactions to make-up and skin cleansing products, try going paraben-free. You may be surprised at the results.

Strive to be healthy!

image courtesy of body systems

MOSQUITOES BE GONE by Vickie Kline

mosquitoes_187x154I believe most of you are hopefully reaching the end of mosquito season… but here in Kansas they are still healthy, hearty, and as big as a small bird. My husband and I recently took a vacation to get away from them.

Many people aren’t bothered by these nasty creatures, but I am not as lucky. Mosquitoes are drawn to me like moths to a flame. Once they bite me, I get huge, red welts that are bothersome enough to keep me awake at night. I am usually forced to make a choice whether I want to take part in deck parties and outside activities, or stay inside where it’s bug-free.

Thankfully, I found a solution that works for me. A tip for the next time you plan to be outdoors, and would rather not be a smorgasbord for mosquitoes. Lemon spray. Yep, it’s fairly simple.

I posted previously about placing lemon-scented plants, such as, lemon balm, lemon grass, and lemon verbena, on and around a porch or deck area to help keep mosquitoes at bay. When thinking about this, I wondered what would happen if I actually put the lemon scent on me? Would it be even more effective? I decided to give it a try.

lemon zum mistI found the perfect product in lavender-lemon Zum Mist. The mist is promoted as an aromatherapy room and body mist and it smells lovely. So, I tested it all summer long and actually had friends test, as well. It works.

The beauty of this mist is that 1) it’s made from 100% pure essential oils, and 2) it doesn’t interfere with my respiratory sensitivities. (Many sprays designed to ward off flies and mosquitoes cause me to wheeze and cough). The only down-side I’ve found with Zum Mist is it doesn’t last very long. This means I carry it with me and re-spray often. After spraying, I watch the mosquitoes fly close to me and then back-off. It’s wonderful!

Zum Mist also makes a lemon grass spray, but it didn’t seem to work at all. There must be something about the combination of lemon and lavender that works. I don’t know what part of the world you live in, but you should try this if you’re in an area that has a problem with mosquitoes. Be bite-free, itch-free, welt-free, and smell good… all at the same time.

Strive to be healthy.