Tag Archives: doTerra

Essential Oils for Healing and Staying Well

 

 

 

(Source: www.backdoorsurvival.com)
(Source: www.backdoorsurvival.com)

 

 

 

 

HISTORY OF ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEALING

For at least 10,000 years, people have used essential oils from aromatic plants as medicines – for physical, emotional and spiritual healing. The Bible contains many references to healing with essential oils and aromatic plants.
The Hebrew word for “anoint” means to massage a person with a healing oil. The Bible makes several mentions of Jesus’ feet being anointed with a widely prized essential oil called spikenard –  still used therapeutically today.  Spikenard provides many benefits, including having rich antioxidant properties, giving a boost to the metabolism and assisting with digestive upset. Anointing with oil was done for healing purposes.  (Martin, 2014)

 

12-healing-oils-of-ancient-scriptures

 

 

The information below comes from an excellent article by AromaWeb on The History of Aromatherapy:

The Chinese burned incense made of aromatic plants to create harmony and balance. The ancient Egyptians availed themselves of volatile plant oils for medicinal, cosmetic, spiritual and cosmetic uses. The Egyptians also embalmed their dead with oils of cedarwood, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and myrrh. The ancient Greeks used the oils of aromatic plants for their anti-inflammatory properties, aromas, and to heal wounds.

A tome called De Materia Medica, written by Discorides during the time of the Holy Roman Empire, described the properties of over 500 medicinal plants. In the 11th century, a Persian named Avicenna designed a coiled pipe that allowed plant vapors and steam to cool down more effectively than the straight pipes that had been used for distillation before his invention.

(Source: www.lampeberger.my)
(Source: www.lampeberger.my)

In the 12th century, Hildegard, a German abbess, grew and distilled lavender for its medicinal properties. Then, in the 13th century, the birth of a pharmaceutical industry encouraged even greater use of distilled plant oils.

During the time of the Black Plague in the 14th century, herbal preparations were widely used as protection again the disease. It is believed that many perfumers were spared because of their constant contact with the volatile oils in the plants they handled.

(Source: www.aromatherapy-school.com)
(Source: www.aromatherapy-school.com)

In the 15th century, an even wider variety of plant oils were distilled – including frankincense, juniper, rosemary, rose and sage. Paracelsus, an alchemist and medical doctor, coined the term essence. His radical work challenged the practice of alchemy and led to an increased use of plants for their medicinal properties.

The 16th and 17th centuries saw the rise of apothecaries, which carried a wide range of essential oils for purchase. Perfume makers began to be viewed as artists and split off from the makers of therapeutic oils.

Moving into more recent times, 19th century science developed the ability to identify the major constituents of essential oils. Then, technical advances of the 20th century built on this new knowledge to create SYNTHETIC chemicals and drugs.

And that’s when we got into some trouble – with side effects from our medicines.
The late 20th and early 21st centuries saw a reaction to the widespread use of  synthetic pharmaceuticals, their side effects and high cost – and many healers and sensible people have sought to return to using natural, non-pesticide contaminated plants for their therapeutic, aromatic, cosmetic, and spiritual benefits.
Healers in many contemporary cultures continue to use essential oils medicinally – for physical, psychological, and spiritual healing.

 

 

(Source: www.sustainablebabysteps.com)
(Source: www.sustainablebabysteps.com)

 

 

Here’s an interesting, expanded story of the protective use of Thieves Blend essential oils (also referred to as Marseilles Remedy and Thieves Vinegar) during the Black Plague  (Horowitz & Devita, 2002):
(Source: www.lauraluz.ca)
(Source: www.lauraluz.ca)

Did you know that during the great plague in Europe in 1413, a small band of thieves were captured in Marseilles, France, and charged with robbing the dead and dying bubonic plague victims? Although this “Black Death” … was highly contagious, not one of this morbid band of thieves ever contracted the disease.

The king, eager to protect himself and the Royal family, demanded to know how the thieves had avoided the plague. Related by blood to a lineage of apothecaries, the thieves were familiar with a combination of specific plant oils that when rubbed over their bodies, protected them from contracting this most feared and deadly disease. They rubbed a concoction that included clove, rosemary, and cinnamon on their hands, ears and temples. This same formulation found in the Royal English Archives is available today from Young Living Essential Oils called the “Thieves” oil blend.

(Source: www.lifebythewaterside.com)
(Source: www.lifebythewaterside.com)
For 500 years it was thought that the Bubonic Plague/Black Death/Black Plague was caused by a bacterium transferred from rats to humans via the rats’ fleas. Recent DNA evidence extracted from Plague victims’ remains in London shows that the epidemic was caused by an airborne bacterium called Yersinia pestis, not spread by infected rat fleas.
Public Health England scientists point out that a disease that moved through the population at the rapid pace of the Plague could only have been spread directly from human to human, by pneumonic means (via bacteria from victims’ lungs expelled by coughs and sneezes). Spread via infected rat fleas biting a diseased person and then moving on to bite other people would have progressed at a much slower rate. (Hardin, 2014)
Then there are scientists who argue that the Black Death may have actually been a person-to-person transmissible virus similar to Ebola to spread as quickly across Europe as it did – at a rate of about 30 miles every two to three days. Ebola is able to spread person to person at a similar rate. (Paoli, 2013)
(Source: kacycrockermiddleages.weebly.com)
(Source: kacycrockermiddleages.weebly.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ESSENTIAL OILS, EBOLA & THE FDA (Ettinger, 2014)

In mid-September 2014, as the media panic about Ebola was growing in the US, the FDA sent letters to Young Living and dōTERRA instructing them and their distributors to stop making claims that their essential oils could prevent or cure the Ebola virus:

From the website www.theoilessentials.com: “[T]he Ebola virus cannot survive in the presence of a therapeutic grade Cinnamon Bark and Oregano essential oil.” 

From the website www.essentialsurvival.org:“Thieves oil can be . . . applied topically on the skin to help the body fight off infection . . . If Ebola was going around in my area . . . I would apply it to my feet and armpits 2x/day or more and take it in capsules at least 2x/day for preventive purposes,” and “If I were exposed to Ebola or had reason to believe I could be sick with it, I would use some of these oils every 10 minutes for a few hours, then cut back to every hour for the rest of the first day. Then I would use them every 2 waking hours of the day for at least a week, or longer if it was known I was sick.”

From a Twitter account credited to “MrsSkinnyMedic.”, a doTerra distributor: “Many Essential Oils are highly Anti-viral. I list here a few of them those (sic) oils that could help prevent your contracting the Ebola virus …

Young Living, doTERRA, and their representatives also posted these kinds of ads:

 

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Essential oils may or may not turn out to be found effective against Ebola. Many essential oils do have strong anti-viral properties. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS ON THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET AND SPINE (Vincent, undated)

 

vitaflex-foot-charts

The chart above shows the acupressure points on the feet where various therapeutic grade essential oils may be applied for therapeutic benefits. Researcher Jean Valnet, MD, has found that an essential oil applied directly to the skin can pass into the bloodstream and diffuse throughout the tissues in 20 minutes or less.
Reflexology is the practice of massaging acupressure points on the feet or hands to relieve stress, illness, pain; to stimulate healing and maintain health. It has been practiced for 1,000s of years. Each area on the feet connects to a particular body organ system via nerves and electromagnetic (Qi) energy channels (meridians). Rubbing stimulates that area.
The meridians run through our seven main life energy centers, called chakras in Sanskrit, which link to our seven main endocrine glands. The meridians supply the physical, mental and emotional energy in the chakras.
Combining the use of pure essential oils and reflexology is the perfect delivery system of these ancient medicines.
I can personally attest to refloxology’sbeing a very pleasant experience. Sometimes a particular acupressure point will feel very tender when rubbed – but it’s clearly a productive pain, not a bad pain. Often I can tell exactly why – for example, when I had stomach flu and the least bit of pressure applied to the corresponding areas on my feet produced an exquisite pain. But I did pranayama while the reflexologist was rubbing those areas and my stomach flu was totally gone an hour after the session.

 

Here’s a video demonstrating how to use the traditional Raindrop Technique and VitaFlex Technique to apply  oils to the feet and spine. The therapist is Laura Legere. She’s using a variety of Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils (Legere, 2010):

 

 

Laura Legere applying Young Living essential oils using the Raindrop Technique
Laura Legere applying Young Living essential oils to the souls of the feet using the Raindrop & VitaFlex Techniques

 

 

How to use essential oils on your feet:

oils-on-feet

 

How to apply oils using the Raindrop Technique on yourself:

rt_me

 

 

 

 

ESSENTIAL OILS – PROTECTION AGAINST VIRUSES AND PATHOLOGICAL BACTERIA?

YES. Many essential oils are known to possess strong anti-viral and anti-biotic properties and have been used for centuries for this purpose.

 

(Source: www.essentialoilbusiness.com)
(Source: www.essentialoilbusiness.com)

 

This article on Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils and Their Application by the respected Ananda Apothecary is worth consulting – it provides a lot of specific and helpful guidance. (Ananda Apothecary, 2014) 
Excerpts from the article:

Essential oils from many plant families have demonstrated antiviral properties in laboratory and real-world settings. Interestingly, different plant families exhibit varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the virus strain. This is due to the particular molecular structures found in each type of oil, which penetrate physical entities to varying degrees (different tissues, cell walls, mucous membranes, etc). The effect on each virus strain depends also on the virus structure (enveloped, non-enveloped, molecular symmetry, etc).

Many of the abstracts on Pub Med, the database of the National Institute of Health for peer-reviewed journal articles, describe essential oils’ activity as an excellent preventative measure (see www.pubmed.gov): Use before exposure can lessen the potential of infection. This is the case for any type of virus, be it our ‘regular’ flu season in the U.S., or where one might be exposed to an uncommonly high infected population. In this case, some advanced practitioners would apply small amounts of oil several times a day to the neck and sternum, and may even ingest one or two drops of an anti-viral oil blend.

Enveloped viruses are most sensitive to essential oils with a high amount of monoterpene alcohols (e.g. Linalool, present in Lavender, Coriander, Petitgrain and Thyme c.t. Linalool. Citronellol present in Geranium and Rose Otto; Geraniol present in Palmarosa; alpha-terpinol found in Eucalyptus Radiata, Niaouli and Ravensara; Terpinol-4 present in Tea Tree, Hyssop and Marjoram; and Menthol, found in Peppermint and Spearmint) and monoterpine phenols (e.g. Carvacrol in Oregano, and Thymol in both Thyme and Oregano). Influenza (Flu) viruses are Enveloped viruses.


Non-enveloped, or ‘naked’ viruses
are more sensitive to essential oils with a high content of terpenoid ketones
(eg. Pinocamphone in Hyssop; Verbenone in Rosemary c.t. verbenone, Pinocarvone in Eucalyptus Globulus, and Thuja in Sage). (Note: Other oils and components have also demonstrated anti-viral effects….)

It has been suggested by respected medical aromatherapists that essential oils have a powerful effect on the immune system, and can drastically alter our immune defenses to protect against the Influenza virus. The pH and electrical resistance in the ‘host’ (infected) cells and tissues can be altered in such a way as to be unfavorable to virus replication. Further, research has shown that many of these oils raise chemical markers in the body which indicate positive stimulation of the immune system. Essential oils may provide a dual-protective effect: by increasing the strength and efficiency of our immune response AND by limiting the ability of viruses to replicate.

The list of essential oils exhibiting antiviral effects is extensive: Melissa (as above), tea tree, juniper, eucalyptus, thyme, palmarosa, lavender, rosemary, clove, laurel, cinnamon bark, anise, rose, lemongrass, geranium, neroli, bergamot, clary sage, and dill. The antiviral effect of an essential oil is due to particular components of the oil – some oils will work just as effectively on a particular infection as another, because they contain similar amounts of a certain component. The components of essential oils showing antiviral activity, and the oils in which they can be found, are as follows (from K. Schnaubelt, Ph.D. – Advanced Aromatherapy, p. 36):

Anethol – found in Anise
Alpha-Sabines – found in Tea Tree, Laurel, and other oils
Beta-Caryophyllene – found in Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme Linalool, and other oils
Carvone – found in Dill
Cinnamic aldehyde – found in Cinnamon Bark
Citral – found in Melissa, Lemongrass and other oils
Eugenol – found in Clove
Gamma-Terpinene – Found in Juniper, Eucalyptus, Niaouli, Tea Tree and other oils
Linalyl acetate – found in Clary Sage, Lavender, Bergamot and other oils

 

(Source: www.remediesandherbs.com)
(Source: www.remediesandherbs.com)
Another research study (Friedman, 2002), done under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tested the antibacterial activities of 96 essential oils and 23 oil compounds against three other bacteria: Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. It found 27 oils and 12 compounds to be active against all four species of bacteria:
The oils most active against C. jejuni were marigold, ginger root, jasmine, patchouli, gardenia, cedarwood, carrot seed, celery seed, mugwort, spikenard, and orange bitter oils.
The oils most active against E. coli were oregano, thyme, cinnamon, palmarosa, bay leaf, clove bud, lemon grass, and allspice oils.
The oils most active against Listeria monocytogenes were gardenia, cedarwood, bay leaf, clove bud, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, thyme, and patchouli oils.
The oils most active against Salmonella enterica  were thyme, oregano, cinnamon, clove bud, allspice, bay leaf, palmarosa, and marjoram oils.
The oil compounds  most active against C. jejuni  were cinnamaldehyde, estragole, carvacrol, benzaldehyde, citral, thymol, eugenol, perillaldehyde, carvone R, and geranyl acetate.
The oil compounds most active against E. coli were carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, eugenol, salicylaldehyde, geraniol, isoeugenol, citral, perillaldehyde, and estragole.
The oil compounds most active against Listeria monocytogenes were cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, thymol, carvacrol, citral, geraniol, perillaldehyde, carvone S, estragole, and salicylaldehyde.
The oil compounds most active against Salmonella enterica  were thymol, cinnamaldehyde, carvacrol, eugenol, salicylaldehyde, geraniol, isoeugenol, terpineol, perillaldehyde, and estragole.
The authors discuss the possible significance of these results with regard to food microbiology.

 

Thyme oil kills Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica

(Source: www.healthy-holistic-living.com)
(Source: www.healthy-holistic-living.com)

 

 

 

(Source: www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com)
(Source: www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com)

 

 

From Aromatherapy and Essential Oils (National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, 2012):

Many studies of essential oils have found that they have antibacterial effects when applied to the skin. Some essential oils have antiviral activity against the herpes simplex virus. Others have antifungal activity against certain vaginal and oropharyngeal fungal infections. In addition, studies in rats have shown that different essential oils can be calming or energizing. When rats were exposed to certain fragrances under stressful conditions, their behavior and immune responses were improved.

One study showed that after essential oils were inhaled, markers of the fragrance compounds were found in the bloodstream, suggesting that aromatherapy affects the body directly like a drug, in addition to indirectly through the central nervous system.

 

 

 

(Source: www.healyourselfdiy.com)
(Source: www.healyourselfdiy.com)

 

 

 

 

 

MY FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS

I’ve been wearing dōTERRA’s On Guard essential oil blend for a few years – a bit dabbed on my chest and wrists after a shower and at bedtime. On Guard is a therapeutic grade blend of cinnamon, clove bud, eucalyptus globulus, rosemary, and wild orange oils. It kills pathogenic bacteria, molds and viruses; is a good topical disinfectant and supports the immune system. On Guard has a fresh, spicy, rich aroma.

 

(Source: birdnestreviews.blogspot.com)
(Source: birdnestreviews.blogspot.com)

 

I use On Guard alternately now with Young Living’s Thieves Blend, which I’ve worn for years. The combination of therapeutic grade essential oils in Thieves is based on research about four thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing bubonic plague victims. It is highly effective in supporting the immune system and good health and has been university tested for its cleansing abilities.
The therapeutic grade oils in Thieves Blend are clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).
In addition to bottles of the oil blend, Young Living uses Thieves oil blend in their Thieves Household Cleaner, Thieves Spray, Thieves Wipes, Thieves Lozenges, Thieves Dentarome Plus and Thieves Dentarome Ultra toothpastes, and Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash.

 

handbook-info-sheet_THIEVES-791x1024(pp_w568_h735)

 

My holistic dental hygienist swabs a little Thieves oil on the gums before starting a dental cleaning – for its pain relieving and antimicrobial qualities.

 

 

thievesoil_dolphcheng

 

While walking outside with a friend one summer, she said, “At first I thought we’d passed someplace with spice cake baking in the oven, but the wonderful aroma continued for blocks. And then I realized it was coming from you.”

 

 

Thieves-Cold and Flu

 

 

dōTERRA has also cleverly put two of their therapeutic grade essential oils, On Guard and Peppermint, into little beadlets. They come in slim bottles containing 125 beadlets – perfect to carry with you and use while traveling.

 

 

doTerra On Guard Beadlets
doTERRA On Guard Beadlets

 

 

 

 

 

You get the same immune-boosting benefits of dōTERRA’s On Guard Essential Oil Blend from their On Guard Beadlets – but in a more convenient, easy to take with you form. Put a beadlet or two on your tongue, bite down on the gelatin coated covering and you get a zingy dose of breath freshener and immune booster.  On Guard is a  proprietary blend of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils.
dōTERRA’s  Peppermint Beadlets are great breath fresheners and excellent for oral care, respiratory health, digestive comfort, and all other situations in which peppermint essential oil is used internally.
(Source: do-essential-oils.com)
doTERRA Peppermint Beadlets (Source: do-essential-oils.com)

Other dōTERRA products containing On Guard as their active ingredient:
(Source: www.lifewithlovebugs.com)
(Source: www.lifewithlovebugs.com)
This is dōTERRA’s website, where you can read about their oils and other products.
And this is the Young Living website.

 

 

 

 

A SAMPLING OF OTHER dōTERRA AND YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS AND THEIR USES

 

(Source: ancestral-nutrition.com)
(Source: ancestral-nutrition.com)

 

 

 

(Source: www.younglivingbrunei.com)
(Source: www.younglivingbrunei.com)

 

 

 

 

 

ESSENTIAL OILS VS PHARMACEUTICALS

Perhaps it would be wise to swap out some of the pharmaceuticals you’ve been taught to rely on for essential oils that achieve the same results – without the ill side effects.

 

 

Drugs-vs-essential-oils

 

 

 

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AN INTERESTING QUESTION:

 

 

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 And then there’s this – note the sources of the statistics:

 

deaths_drugs_essential_oils

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Ananda Apothecary. (2014). Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils and Their Application.  See:  http://www.anandaapothecary.com/articles/antiviral-essential-oils.html

AromaWeb. (2014). The History of Aromatherapy. See: http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/history.asp

Ettinger, J. (9/26/2014). Are Young Living Essential Oils a Scam? FDA Shuts Down ‘Ebola Cure’ Claim. See: http://www.organicauthority.com/young-living-essential-oils-are-a-dangerous-scam-and-cant-cure-ebola/

Friedman, M. et al. (2002). Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils and some of their isolated constituents against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. Journal of Food Protection, 65:10, 1545-60. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12380738

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Staying Well: A Little Sanity About the Ebola Virus – and Other Epidemics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/11/02/essential-oils-ebola-virus/

HealthFreedoms.org. (10/23/2014). Ebola Fear Sparks New Interest in Alternative Health. See: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/ebola-fear-sparks-new-interest-in-alternative-health/

Horowitz, L. and Devita, S. (2002). Essential Oils for Biological Warfare Preparedness. See:  http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/apocalypse/essential_oils.html

Inouyea, S. et al. (2001). Antibacterial activity of essential oils and their major constituents against respiratory tract pathogens by gaseous contact. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 47:5, 565-573. See: http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/5/565.full

Legere, L. (2010). Raindrop Technique Demonstration. YouTube video. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e0dhb_lM_Q&list=UUm9dFk9bGqVu9iE6IoXWTHQ

Martin, N. (2014). Healing Oils of the Bible – Holy Incense and Anointing. See: http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/healing-oils-of-the-bible.html

National Cancer Institute. (2012). Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. See: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/aromatherapy/patient/page2

Paoli, J. (2013). Could the Black Death Actually Have Been an Ebola-like Virus? See: http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/viruses101/could_the_black_death_actually

Vincent, E. (undated). Essential Oils … More Than Basic Aromatherapy: Foot Applications. See: https://aromatherapy4u.wordpress.com/foot-application/

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Hormone Disrupters in Our Cosmetics & Personal Hygiene Products

 

 

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Parabens are frequently used as preservatives to prevent microbial growth and increase the shelf life of an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products. (Scheve, 2014)
Most of us apply parabens to our skins and perhaps even consume them daily. They’re ingredients in:  (Scheve, 2014) (personal observation)

 

  • Cosmetics – such as moisturizers, lipsticks, lip balms, foundations, concealers, eye make ups, make up removers, self-tanners, hair dyes
  • Hygiene products – such as shampoos, conditioners, de-frizzers, volumizers, hair dyes, soaps, toothpastes, topical ointments, deodorants and anti-perspirants, shaving gels, sunscreens, anti-wrinkle creams, bandages and eye drops, personal lubricants, estrogen creams
  • Food products – such as salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, processed vegetables, frozen dairy products, soft drinks, baked goods and jellies
  • Pharmaceuticals – such as ointments and other products
  • Household and industrial products – such as textiles and glues

 

 

woman-apply-deodorant_v200apply Body lotion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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neon-shaving-gel-10121Child-Brushing-Teeth

 

 

 

 

HOW CHEMICAL ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS ARE HARMFUL

The 8 glands in our endocrine systems produce and release hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, development, tissue function, sleep, reproduction, sexual function and mood. Almost every cell in the body is affected by the endocrine system. A report issued in March 2013 jointly by the United Nations and the World Health Organization states that “Endocrine Disrupters (EDC’s) are a global threat to fertility and the environment.”
And a recent report from the Environmental Working Group says:

There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies–increasing production of certain hormones, decreasing production of others, imitating hormones, turning one hormone into another, interfering with hormone signaling, telling cells to die prematurely, competing with essential nutrients, binding to essential hormones, and accumulating in organs that produce hormones.

(Anderson, 2014)

 

8 Glands in the Endocrine System
8 Glands in the Endocrine System

 

 

 

 

CHEMICAL NAMES OF PARABENS
These are various names of the parabens we’re absorbing or ingesting from products – if they’re ingredients in your products, you’ll usually find them listed toward the bottom of the list:  (Lal, 2012)
  • Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Butylparaben
  • Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Ethylparaben
  • Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Parahydroxybenzoate
  • Parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Propylparaben
  • Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid

 

Japanese Honeysuckle Extract
Japanese Honeysuckle
Japanese Honeysuckle
Several authors have noted that a growing number of beauty product companies are trying to make their products safer and have substituted Japanese honeysuckle extract for chemical parabens. This has led to some controversy since the preservative made from Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica)  is actually a form of paraben and behaves in a very similar way to synthetic parabens. Honeysuckle extract is marketed as Plantservative. (Marta, 2012)
There’s hope: Some cosmetics companies are replacing parabens with grapefruit seed extract and Vitamin E; and essential oils like cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon and tea tree are being distilled and turned into natural preservatives. (Lal, 2012)

 

 

 

Figure 6 endocrines

 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that parabens have hormone-disrupting qualities that mimic estrogen, interfering with the body’s endocrine system. The EPA has linked methylparabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal and neurological disorders, as well as to various cancers – especially breast cancer. (Mercola, 2012) (Johnson, 2011) For more information on a parabens-breast cancer link, see the Environmental Working Group’s  EWG’s Skin Deep Database, and the articles by Mercola and Johnson.

 

parabens_pic

 

There is evidence that the estrogen-mimicry effect of parabens  decreases testosterone levels, sperm counts and daily production of sperm in rats. Testosterone was found to decrease in a dose-dependent manner related to paraben concentration. It is thought that parabens are also responsible for the increasingly early onset of puberty in children, damage to the DNA in sperm, and damage to mitochondrial function, causing male infertility. (Osman, 2012)

 


parabens

 

 

 

 

THE UNREGULATED COSMETICS INDUSTRY

From Safe Cosmetics (Breast Cancer Action, 2014):

Because testing is voluntary and controlled by the cosmetic manufacturers, many ingredients in cosmetic products are not tested for safety. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep states that 89 percent of ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel, the FDA, or any other publicly accountable institution (FDA 2000, CIR 2002). The absence of governmental oversight for this $35 billion industry means that companies routinely market products with ingredients that are poorly studied, not studied at all, or worse, known to pose potentially serious health risks. It’s time to protect consumers….

Many cosmetic companies argue that the level of a harmful chemical in any one product is not enough to harm you…. However, science is finding the timing of exposure is critical, and that even a very small dose of some chemicals can have serious consequences in children and young women who are still developing.

Moreover, we are rarely exposed to a chemical just one time. We may use the same product every day, several days a week, for months or years. In addition, we use dozens of personal care products daily, not just one. So while exposure from one product on one day may be small, we in fact use numerous products a day for extended periods of time. As a result, scientists are finding accumulations of chemicals such as parabens and phthalates in our bodies.

The unregulated cosmetics industry has publicly assessed only 11% of the 10,500 ingredients in personal care products. (The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 2011)
See the  Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website for ways to take action.

 

 

 

 

parabenFI

 

 

 

SKIN DEEP: A USEFUL COSMETIC SAFETY DATABASE

SkinDeep_Logo

 

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics partners with the Environmental Working Group to produce a cosmetic safety database. You can visit EWG’s Skin Deep Database to check the ingredients in the products you use or to find safer products for you and your family.
This searchable database checks the ingredients in more than 74,000 shampoos, makeups, deodorants, sunscreens and other personal care products with 50 toxicity and regulatory databases.
There’s even an iPhone and Android mobile app for their database so you can check out products while you’re shopping. The app has some nice features:
  • It lets you scan products’ barcodes to see EWG’s score for them.
  • With its History feature, you can find the scores of products you’ve previously scanned.
  • You can save your Favorites so you can easily check their scores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBYP-image

 

THINK BEFORE YOU PINK

Breast Cancer Action coined the term pinkwasher in 2003 to refer to cosmetic and body care companies that promote pink ribbon products while also selling products that contribute to the disease.  BCA first challenged Avon and then went on to focus on other companies that raise money in the name of breast cancer but manufacture body care products containing known carcinogens or reproductive toxins – such as parabens and phthlates. (Breast Cancer Action, 2014) (Think Before You Pink)

 

 

 

parabens-550x550

 

 

 

 


 WHAT I FOUND READING LABELS AT A DUANE READE

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Amazon.com – product information:

Ingredients
Water, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Ethylparaben.

Directions
Smooth on hands and body every day.

 

 

00070501052853

Amazon.com – product information:

Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Laurate, Hydrogenated Lanolin, Silica, BHT, PEG/PPG 20/6 Dimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C12 22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben

Directions
Apply to skin as needed.

 

 

 

13830673

Amazon.com – product information:

Indications
CoverGirl & Olay combine a foundation and serum to cover fine lines and wrinkles and help improve skintone over time.

Ingredients
Cyclopentasiloxane, Water/Eau, Glycerin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Acetyl Glucosamine, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Niacinamide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Talc, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Methicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance/Parfum, PEG-100 Stearate, May Contain/Peut Contenir: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Directions
Dot foundation on forehead, cheeks and chin. Blend using fingertips or a makeup sponge. Use with any CoverGirl Pressed Powder to help your look last.

 

 

loreal-hair-colors-photo-9

Amazon.com – product information:

Safety Information
Haircolor products can cause an allergic reaction which, in certain rare cases, can be severe. Therefore, before you use this product it is necessary to follow these precautions: Do not use if you have already had a reaction to a haircolor product; you have a sensitive, itchy or damaged scalp. If you have a tattoo, the risks of allergic reaction may be increased. Perform a skin allergy test 48 hours before each use of this product (see insert). Remember to buy your product 2 days ahead of time. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. If product gets into eyes, rinse immediately. Wear gloves provided in kit. Thoroughly rinse hair after application. Do not use over compound henna or progressive color. This product contains ingredients which may cause skin irritation on certain individuals and a preliminary test according to accompanying directions should first be made. This product must not be used for dyeing the eyelashes or eyebrows; to do so may cause blindness.

Ingredients
COLOR GEL:  Aqua/Water, Trideceth-2 Carboxamide MEA, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-2 Oleamine, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleyl Ether, Oleyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat., Ammonium Hydroxide, Polyglyceryl-2 Oleyl Ether, Oleic Acid, Sodium Diethylaminopropyl Cocoaspartamide, Pentasodium Pentetate, Ammonium Acetate, Parfum/Fragrance, Sodium Metabisulfite, P-Aminophenol, 2-Methyl-5-Hydroxyethylaminophenol, Erythorbic Acid, Phenyl Methyl Pyrazolone, M-Aminophenol, Resorcinol, P-Phenylenediamine, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, 6-Hydroxyindole, Eugenol, Linalool, Citronellol. Color Optimizing Creme: Aqua/Water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Trideceth-2 Carboxamide MEA, Ceteareth-30, Glycerin, Pentasodium Pentetate, Sodium Stannate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate. Care Supreme Conditioner: Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Candelilla Cera/Candelilla Wax, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance, Methylparaben, Trideceth-12, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Amyl Cinnamal, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Oleth-10, Citronellol, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Lecithin, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Phosphoric Acid, Tocopherol, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl-2-Octynoate, Ethylparaben.

 




Safety Warning Warning: keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. Discontinue use if irritation develops. This product does not contain a sunscreen and does not protect against sunburn. Repeated exposure of unprotected skin while tanning may increase the risk of skin aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects to the skin, even if you do not burn. Ingredients Water, glycerin, alcohol denat., mineral oil, C13-16 isoparaffin, isopropyl palmitate, cetearyl alcohol, dihydroxyacetone, glyceryl stearate SE, glyceryl glucoside, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, dimethicone, sodium acrylate/acryloyldimethyltaurate/ dimethylacrylamide crosspolymer, isohexadecane, sodium cetearyl sulfate, xanthan gum, sodium metabisulfite, polysorate 60, sorbitan isotearate, fragrance, citric acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben. Directions Apply liberally, evenly smoothing onto your skin. Avoid contact with clothes until after the lotion is fully absorbed. Wash your hands after application. To optimize results, exfoliate before first use.

 

Amazon.com – product information:

Safety Warning
Warning: keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. Discontinue use if irritation develops. This product does not contain a sunscreen and does not protect against sunburn. Repeated exposure of unprotected skin while tanning may increase the risk of skin aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects to the skin, even if you do not burn.

Ingredients
Water, glycerin, alcohol denat., mineral oil, C13-16 isoparaffin, isopropyl palmitate, cetearyl alcohol, dihydroxyacetone, glyceryl stearate SE, glyceryl glucoside, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, dimethicone, sodium acrylate/acryloyldimethyltaurate/ dimethylacrylamide crosspolymer, isohexadecane, sodium cetearyl sulfate, xanthan gum, sodium metabisulfite, polysorate 60, sorbitan isotearate, fragrance, citric acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben.

Directions
Apply liberally, evenly smoothing onto your skin. Avoid contact with clothes until after the lotion is fully absorbed. Wash your hands after application. To optimize results, exfoliate before first use.

 

 

 

 

 

PARABEN-FREE PRODUCTS I LIKE AND USE

Lotions, shampoos and other skin products made for babies are less likely to contain carcinogens like parabens. Also, Australia and New Zealand’s EPA-equivalents are very strict so products made in those countries are less likely to contain parabens or other chemicals harmful to your health.

 

 

 

The Entire Line of Jurlique Products

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From Amazon.com – product information:

Ingredients
Aqua (Water); Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil; Glycerin; Glyceryl Stearate Citrate; Jojoba Esters; Calendula officinalis Flower Extract; Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract; Prunella vulgaris (Self Heal) Flower Extract; Spilanthes acmella Flower Extract; Lithospermum erythrorhizon (Groomwell) Root Extract; Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Zanthoxylum alatum (Sichuan Peppercorn) Extract; Aloe barbadensis Leaf Extract; Fragrance (Parfum)*; Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Xanthan Gum; Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate; Lactic Acid; Oleyl Alcohol; Alcohol; Geraniol*; Linalool*; Limonene*. * From Natural Essential Oil (Chamomile – Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria); Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia).

 

Baby Moisturizer by EcoSTORE USA

 

ecos

 

Base Ingredients

Aqua · Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride · Simmondsia Chinensis Oil · Cetearyl Olivate · Sorbitan Olivate · Butyrospermum Parkii · Cetearyl Alcohol · Olea Europaea Oil · Caprylyl Glycol · Phenoxyethanol · Panthenol · Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate · Xanthan Gum · Parfum · Citric Acid

Contains No Nasty Ingredients

Synthetic dyes · Methylparaben Propylparaben Butylparaben · Mineral Oil · Synthetic Perfumes · Dimethicone

Fragrance Ingredients

Lavender & Geranium

Lavandula Angustifolia · Eucalyptus Globulus · Pelargonium Graveolens

 

 

 

MD Moms – Products Developed by Pediatrician Moms

154

MD-Moms.com – product information

baby silk daily UV shield
SPF 30 moisturizing lotion

Every day is SUNday when it comes to UV rays! A daily dose of our lightweight, fragrance free, paraben free SPF 30 formula keeps skin nourished and soothed while providing broad spectrum protection from UV rays and environmental damage. Water resistant (80 min) and non-irritating to the eyes. Broad spectrum pure physical/mineral non-chemical sunscreen active ingredients.

2012 Cribsie Awards - Finalist
  • Contains NO fragrance, parabens, phthalates, lanolin, mineral oil, petroleum or waxes
  • Pure physical non-chemical sunscreen actives Titanium Dioxide & Zinc Oxide, optimal for sensitive and young skin, even under 6 months of age
  • Broad spectrum protection: protects against UVA and UVB rays
  • Fragrance-free for ultra sensitive skin
  • Protects from environmental damage while nourishing, with antioxidant vitamins E & B5, grapeseed oil and avocado oil
  • Clinically tested, certified hypoallergenic and dermatologist approved
  • Gentle, water-resistant (80 minutes) and non-irritating to the eyes
  • TSA-approved for carry-on luggage
  • Made in the USA.  No animal testing.

 

 

 

 doTERRA ONGuard Natural Whitening Toothpaste
(I like all the doTerra’s products I’ve tried)

 

 

doterra-toothpaste-e1397229326489

 

doTERRA.com – product information:

Ingredients

Glycerin, Water, Hydrated Silica, Hydroxyapatite, Xylitol, Calcium Carbonate, Cellulose
Gum, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Essential Oil, Citrus sinensis (Wild Orange) Essential
Oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Clovebud) Essential Oil, Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon
Bark) Essential Oil, Eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus) Essential Oil, Rosemarinus officinalis
(Rosemary) Essential Oil), Stevia rebaudiana (Stevia ) Extract, Gaultheria procumbens
(Wintergreen) Essential Oil, Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) Essential Oil, Sodium Lauroyl
Sarcosinate, Carrageenan, Titanium Dioxide

 

 

 

Tom’s of Maine

idtoms_wickedboxbrush_lg

TomsofMaine.com – product information:

What’s Not in Our Products

brand_boxes_window

 

TOM-61325-1

 

I also sometimes use Burt’s Bees paraben-free products.
For more information visit www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org and Johnson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nail polish blog

 

FAQ: WHAT SHOULD I BUY?

Reprinted from the Safe Cosmetics Action Network (Safe Cosmetics Action Network, 2011)

Q. What are some of the most harmful ingredients in products? 

A. Mercury (often listed as thimerosal on ingredient labels), found in some eye drops, ointment and deodorants; lead acetate, found in some hair dyes and cleanser; formaldehyde and toluene, found in nail products; petrochemicals, found in some hair relaxers, shampoos, mascara, perfume, foundation, lipstick and lip balm; coal tar, found in dandruff shampoos, anti-itch creams and hair dyes; placenta, found in some hair relaxers, moisturizers and toners; and phthalates, found in some nail polish, fragrances and hair spray. 

All of these ingredients can be found in our brochure, Unmasked: 10 Ugly Truths Behind the Myth of Cosmetic Safety.

Q. So I should buy products labeled “all-natural”? 

A. Looking for the words “natural” or “safe” won’t guarantee that the product you buy really is safe. That’s why we’re asking all manufacturers to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and pledge not to use chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health harms and replace them with safer alternatives. 

Q: I don’t see Arbonne, Avon, Mary Kay, Melaleuca or other similar companies listed on your website, even though they claim to be “safe,” “natural” or donate money to breast cancer research. What’s the deal? 

A: Arbonne, Avon, Mary Kay and Melaleuca are aware of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics but have refused to sign it. If they are truly supporting women’s health and making “safe” products, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to sign the Compact. Hundreds of companies have signed the Compact, a commitment to manufacture personal care products free of known and suspected toxic chemicals. 

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics does not endorse or hand-pick “safe” companies to refer customers to. The growing list of safer companies on our Web site is comprised solely of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. If you don’t see a company on the list, we encourage you to send a letter letting them know about the Compact and urging them to sign it. 

For a sample letter to get you started, please check out the Materialssection of the website. 

Q: How do I know if a particular product is safe? 

A: To find safety information on specific products, check out EWG’s Skin Deep, the online database of nearly 25,000 personal care products. You can search the database for specific brands or ingredients, or for product types, like nail polish, to see how brands within that product class compare. Skin Deep will also tell you if a company has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. We recommend supporting Compact signers over non-signers when possible because Compact-signing companies have made a meaningful commitment to create safer products. 

Q. What are phthalates? Where are they found? 

A. Phthalates (pronounced THA-lates) are plasticizing chemicals that are probable human reproductive or developmental toxins and endocrine disruptors. Phthalates cause reproductive birth defects in laboratory animals, particularly males. 

Two phthalates often used in cosmetics (dibutyl and diethylhexyl) have been banned in the European Union. Unfortunately, phthalates are still found in some nail polishes and hair sprays, and are commonly hidden on ingredient labels under the term “fragrance.” We recommend that consumers steer clear of products with fragrance, especially pregnant women, babies and pubescent young adults. 

For more information, please read our reports, “A Little Prettier” (2008) and “Not Too Pretty” (2002). 

Q. I’ve been reading a lot about parabens and companies going “paraben-free.” What does that mean? 

A. Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as anti-microbial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and through the gastrointestinal tract and blood. U.K. researchers found measurable concentrations of six different parabens in 20 human breast tumors. The study highlights the need for more research on the potential link between products containing parabens and increased breast cancer risk. 

Many companies, including Compact signers, have begun phasing out parabens from their lines by marking their products as “paraben-free.” Parabens are commonly listed on product ingredient labels as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben.

Q. What about nail polish? 

A. So many people have asked us about nail polish that we created a separate pagefor information about it. According to EWG’s Skin Deep database of cosmetic product safety, nail polish is among the highest-concern product categories in terms of serious health effects. This has to do in large part to the chemicals formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate(DBP), all three of which make it into the top ingredients of concern in personal care products, and all three of which could be found in many brands of nail polish until very recently. 

Many smaller nail polish manufacturers removed these chemicals from their products long ago. And while European laws forced many international companies to stop using DBP in 2005, some holdouts were still using the chemical in their U.S. lines. In 2006, Del Laboratories, Inc., which makes the Sally Hansen brand, told the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that it would remove all DBP, toluene and formaldehyde from their U.S. products. At that time, leading salon brand (and target of Campaign actions and ads) OPI agreed to remove DBP, but refused to eliminate formaldehyde and toluene from all of their nail polishes and treatments. 

In March 2007, OPI reported that it was reformulating all of its products to be toluene-free.

The U.S. National Toxicology Program says formaldehyde is “reasonably anticipated” to be a human carcinogen. Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restricts toluene in drinking water because it can cause nervous system disorders and damage the liver and kidneys. DBP is prohibited for use in cosmetics in the European Union because it is a possible human reproductive or developmental toxin. The data from several peer-reviewed scientific studies indicated that DBP is a probable endocrine disruptor, which means that it disrupts the natural balance of hormones in the body.

Q. Who’s making safe nail polish? 

A. Several companies who have signed the Compact make nail polishes, treatments and removers without harmful chemicals, including Anise Nail Care, Honeybee Gardens and NAIL-AID Treatments. So you don’t have to give up your mani-pedi visits, just BYOP (Bring Your Own Polish) the next time you go! And it won’t hurt to let your salon know about the health effects associated with polishes and treatments and how they can swap toxic products with safer alternatives to protect their own health, too. For more information about health risks to salon workers, read Glossed Over: Health Hazards Associated with Toxic Exposure in Nail Salons from Women’s Voices for the Earth. 

Q: Where can I find information on sunscreens? 

A: Environmental Working Group’s 2011 investigationof more than 600 sunscreen products found that 4 out of 5 contain chemicals that may pose health hazards or don’t adequately protect skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Some sunscreen makers are using nanotechnology in their products, and not always telling consumers about these risky nano-sized ingredients. Friends of the Earth published a report in 2007 focusing on nanotechnology and sunscreen, which is available on their website.

Q: Can I really get exposed to as much formaldehyde eating Brussels sprouts or apples as I can from a Brazilian Blowout treatment?

A:  In a word, no. This is a myth perpetuated by defenders of Brazilian Blowout and other keratin hair-straightening products. Apples and some other fruits and vegetables do contain naturally occurring formaldehyde, typically around 10 mg/kg (or parts per million), or 0.001 percent. But the levels of formaldehyde found in Brazilian Blowout by Oregon OSHA in 2010 were close to 10 percent, 10,000 times higher than the levels of formaldehyde found in apples.

 

 

 

parabenfreecosmetics

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOME LABELS INDICATING A PRODUCT IS PARABEN FREE

 

paraben free

 

 

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Check the products you use to see if they have earned any of these labels.

 

 

 

 

 

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OTHER BAD STUFF IN OUR COSMETICS

For the sake of simplicity, I decided to focus on parabens in this post but there are many other problematic chemicals included in the products we use on and put into our bodies.
The ingredients below are often found in skin moisturizers and other personal care products:
Reprinted from Do Your Skincare Products Contain These Chemicals? (Belanger, 2008)

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum — Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up — fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?

Parabens — Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities — mimicking estrogen — and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.

Propylene glycol — Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.

Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.

Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.

Toluene — Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.

Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin. Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

Phthalates
Like parabens, phthalates are also known to be hormone-mimicking chemicals which disrupt normal hormonal processes. And, also like parabens, they are frequently included in our cosmetic and body care products. Phthalates have been found to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive problems in laboratory animals exposed to them during pregnancy and after birth.  The US Environmental Protection Agency lists phthalates as “Chemicals of Concern”.  (Think Before You Pink)
Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid used principally as plasticizers to increase flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity in a large variety of products – including personal-care products, nail polish, fragrances, enteric coatings on pharmaceutical tablets and nutritional supplements, detergents and surfactants, packaging materials, PVC shower curtains, pharmaceuticals, food products, children’s toys, paints, printing inks, lubricants, emulsifying agents, adhesives and glues, vinyl flooring, electronics, building materials, medical devices, food additives, textiles, and inert ingredients in pesticides. (Wikipedia, 2014)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found most of the people they tested in the US had metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. Recent human bio-monitoring data found the “tolerable intake” of phthalates for children to be far exceeded, in some instances up to 20-fold. (Wikipedia, 2014)
Phthlates have been found to interfere with the production of male reproductive hormones in laboratory animals. These effects include lower testosterone level, decreased sperm count and lower sperm quality. Exposure to phthalates during gestation can also cause malformations of the male reproductive tract and testicular cancer. (Natural Resources Defense Council, undated)
Because phthalates are not chemically bound to products, they easily off-gas – especially with heat. Exposure to phthalates is by ingestion, inhalation, and applying products which contain them to the skin. (Natural Resources Defense Council, undated)
Wikipedia has a table listing 25 of the most common phthalates along with the abbreviations you might see on product ingredients lists.
Phthalates are banned in cosmetics sold in the EU but not in the US. In this country, they are allowed in color cosmetics, scented lotions, body washes, hair care products, nail polishes and treatments. They may appear on the labels of these products as phthalate, DEP, DBP or simply as ‘fragrance’. (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 2011)
Or they may not appear on the ingredients list at all. (Berl, 2012)

 

 

 

 

endocrine-disrupting-chemicals-in-food

 

 

 

 

 

CHEMICALS ALLOWED IN THE US – BANNED ELSEWHERE

The Environmental Working Group says our personal care products expose women to an average of 168 ingredients per day while men encounter about 85 a day.
This list compares US policy versus other countries for some of the more problematic ingredients (Brown, 2014) and (Plasticisers.orgn, 2013):

 

PARABENS

* Legal in the US.

* Denmark first banned them in 2010 in products made for young   children.

* The rest of the EU announced in 2012 that it was following suit.

 

PHTHALATES

* The US banned several types of phthlates in children’s toys in 2008 but continues  allowing them in cosmetics.

High phthalates will continue to be used in Europe. After February 2015, some others will be allowed in the EU only if they’ve been granted for a specific use while low phthalates will be phased out.

 

FORMALDEHYDE  – used as a preservative in cosmetics

* Legal in the US.

* Canada bans its use in personal care products.

 

PETROLEUM DISTALLATES – used as inexpensive emolients; can cause contact dermatitis or be contaminated with carcinogenic imporities

* In the US they’re ingredients in eye shadow, lotions, creams, hairspray, foundation makeup and wart remover.

* Banned in the EU.

 

HYDROQUINONE – an effective skin lightener; linked to lung irritation and tumors in mice

* Legal in the US.

* Banned by Canada and some Asian and African countries.

 

OCTINOXATE – a popular ingredient that works as a chemical sunscreen; an endocrine disruptor that can upset thyroid hormones and interfere with brain signals

* Legal in the US.

* Perhaps banned in Japan – I couldn’t track this down.

 

METHYL CELLOSOLVE – a solvent used in anti-aging creams, moisturizers and serums; a neurotoxin and irritant that may cause DNA mutations. Often lumped into ‘fragrance’ when included on labels

* Reviled by the CDC but nevertheless legal in the US.

* Banned in Canada.

* Restricted in the EU.

 

BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA) – extends shelf life in lipsticks, moisturizers, shaving creams, fragrances and other personal care products; interferes with hormone function, is a possible human carcinogen, and adversely affects the environment by bio-accumulating in aquatic species

* California requires a warning label on products containing it; legal elsewhere in the US.

* The EU prohibits it in fragrances.

 

QUATERNIUM-15 – a formaldehyde donor preservative used in body washes, cosmetic powders, shampoos, conditioners and eye shadows; an eye irritant, allergen and probable carcinogen

* Legal in the US, Canada, China, Australia and Indonesia.

 

NANOPARTICLES – particles so small they can get into the cells themselves and disrupt them; can lodge in airways when inhaled from cosmetic powders and aerosols or absorbed through the skin when in topical preparations.

* The US doesn’t require products containing nanoparticles to be labeled.

* Canada, the UK, and the US Organic Standards Board have or are going to ban nanoparticles in certified organics.

 

 

makeup-safety-cosmetic-toxin-index-750x847

 

 

REFERENCES

Anderson, A. (2014). ‘Hormone Disruptors’ — Not Just for Menopausal Mommas. Bye Bye Parabens.  See:  http://byebyeparabens.com/blogs/news/12286069-hormone-disruptors-not-just-for-menopausal-mommas

Belanger, B. (2008). Do Your Skincare Products Contain These Chemicals?  Your Certified Organic Products. See:  http://yourcertifiedorganicproducts.com/blog/?tag=parabens

Berl, R.P. (2012). How Safe Are Your Cosmetics? US News and World Report.  See:  http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/07/31/how-safe-are-your-cosmetics

Breast Cancer Action. (2014). Safe Cosmetics. See:   http://www.bcaction.org/our-take-on-breast-cancer/environment/safe-cosmetics/

Brown, M. (2014). 12 Cosmetic Ingredients Legal in US; Banned Everywhere Else. Beaute de Maman. See:  http://www.beautedemaman.com/cosmetic-ingredients-legal-in-us-banned-everywhere-else/

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. (2011). What’s In Your Products?  See:  http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?list=type&type=33

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. (2011). Phthalates.  See:  http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=290

Environmental Working Group. (2014). EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. See:  http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Gorman, A. & O’Connor, P. (2007).  Glossed Over: Health Hazards Associated with
Toxic Exposure in Nail Salons. Women’s Voices for the Earth. See: http://www.womensvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Glossed_Over.pdf

Hardin, J.R. (2014). How to Make Yourself Less Attractive to Mosquitoes. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/06/13/make-less-attractive-mosquitoes/

Johnson, C. (2011). Are Parabens Really Harmful? Are There Alternatives? HappyMothering.com. See:   http://www.happy-mothering.com/06/beauty/skincare-cosmetics/are-parabens-really-harmful-are-there-alternatives/

Lal, S. (2012). A Paraben Free & Cruelty Free Cosmetics Guide.  See:  http://www.sparklewithsurabhi.com/2012/01/paraben-free-cosmetics-list-stop.html

Marta. (2012). Honeysuckle preservatives and parabens. TruthInAging.com. See:  http://www.truthinaging.com/review/honeysuckle-preservatives-and-parabens

Mercola, R. (2012). 40 Women With Breast Cancer Had This “Cosmetic Ingredient” in Their Tissues. The Mercola Newsletter, Mercola.com. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/02/toxic-parabens-on-breast-cancer-patients.aspx

Natural Resources Defense Council. (undated). Phthalates. See: http://www.nrdc.org/living/chemicalindex/phthalates.asp?gclid=CLXLy5T5i78CFdBi7Aodlw0AcA

Osman, R. (A/K/A Rokderm) (2012). Parabens in cosmetics. Is there reason for concern?  See:  http://rokderm.com/2012/07/21/parabens-in-cosmetics-is-there-reason-for-concern/

Plasticisers.org. (2013). FICTION: All phthalates are already being banned. Common Misconceptions. See:  http://www.plasticisers.org/misconceptions/factsandfigures/2/18/All-phthalates-are-already-being-banned/

Safe Cosmetics Action Network.  (2011). Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  See:  http://safecosmetics.org/

Scheve, T. (2014). What are parabens? HowStuffWorks.com. See: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/skin-and-lifestyle/parabens.htm

Thinkbeforeyoupink. Think Before You Pink – A Project of Breast Cancer Action. See: http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

 Wikipedia. (June 1 2014). Phthalate. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

How To Make Yourself Less Attractive to Mosquitoes

Last updated 6/17/2014.

Are you one of those people who attract every mosquito in the neighborhood while others around you don’t get a single bite?

 

mosquito-bites-on-legs

 

 

Mosquitoes have been around for about 170 million years – considerably longer than modern man. Archeological and fossil evidence says Homo Sapiens evolved around 276,000 years ago. So it seems modern humans have been dealing with mosquito bites from the very beginning.

 

A mosquito and a fly in this Baltic amber necklace are between 40 and 60 million years old
A mosquito and a fly in this Baltic amber necklace are between 40 and 60 million years old
There are about 2,500 to 3,000 different species of mosquitoes found around the world. (Mosquito Magnet, 2014) More than 175 species have been  identified in the US alone. (Heubeck, 2005-2014)
Makes you itch just to think about all those mosquitoes, doesn’t it?

 

 

girl-with-mosquiti-bite

 

The most common – and most dangerous – are the various species in the Culex, Anopheles, and Aedes genera. Culex pipiens, known as the northern house mosquito, is the principal  carrier of West Nile virus. Anopheles  carries the parasite that causes malaria. The parasite gets transmitted through the mosquitoes’ saliva when they bite us. Anopheles‘ bites are responsible for over one million deaths per year. Two species of Aedes are carriers of other dangerous diseases: Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, transmits dengue fever and eastern equine encephalitis while Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, transmits dengue and yellow fever. (Mosquito World, undated)

 

 

Mosquitoes cause more human suffering worldwide than any other organism – killing over one million people every year. They also transmit serious diseases and parasites to dogs and horses.

 

Malaria kills children

 

The National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), publishes a list of some of the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. (NCID, 2007)  The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) also publishes information on mosquito-borne diseases affecting humans, horses and dogs. (AMCA, 2013) Below is a combination of both lists:
  • Malaria
  • Dengue Fever
  • Yellow Fever
  • Rift Valley Fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • La Crosse encephalitis
  • St Louis encephalitis
  • Chikungunya – rarely fatal but causing excruciating joint pain that is debilitating and may persist for several weeks
  • Dog Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis)
  • Eastern equine encephalitis – affects both horses and humans
  • Western equine encephalitis

 

mosquito-diseases

 

Mosquitoes’ sensory organs seek sources of carbon dioxide and lactic acid – because these substances lead them to humans and other warm blooded animals. Chemical repellents like OFF! work because the DEET in them is highly effective at masking the smell of both carbon dioxide and lactic acid, not because mosquitoes don’t like the smell of the repellents themselves. (Reinagel, 2010)
A common misconception is that mosquitoes are attracted to humans and some other warm blooded animals who have sweet or pleasant tasting blood. Mosquitoes aren’t particularly interested in our blood – although people who have Type O blood are known to get more bites than people with other blood types.  What they ARE very attracted to is the scents emitted by various bacteria and other micro-organisms living on our skin. These can differ from person to person and on us at different times.

 

 

things-that-attract-mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can detect plumes of carbon dioxide in our exhaled breath at a distance of several hundred feet.  At under 100 feet they smell the odors of the bacteria and micro-organisms living in our skin microbiota. (Mosquito World, undated)

 

mosquito_bite

 

It’s only the female mosquito that bites – and what she does isn’t actually a bite. She lands on your skin and uses heat sensors on her antennae and around her mouth to detect a capillary near the surface of the skin. When she finds one, she inserts her proboscis (a long, needle-like mouth part containing two tubes) into the vessel and draws some blood out through one tube. Through the proboscis’ second tube, she inserts a little of her saliva, which contains enzymes that keep the blood from coagulating so she can feed freely. These enzymes also act as a mild painkiller so we don’t notice that our skin has been punctured. The female mosquito needs a protein in human blood to make her eggs fertile. (Ferris, 2013)

 

 

The mosquito's proboscis piercing the skin
The mosquito’s proboscis piercing the skin

 

Our body’s immune system recognizes these enzymes as foreign. Antibodies prompt our mast cells to release histamines, which arrive at the scene and start to do their work of healing the breach and neutralizing the foreign enzymes by binding to receptors, causing the blood vessels there to dilate. The increased blood flow attracts more white blood cells to help vanquish the invading antigens. The histamines cause the spot to swell and become itchy. (Mosquito World, undated)

 

Mast cells containing histamines
Mast cells containing histamines
Mast cells are a clever and  important part of our immune systems and pretty interesting in their own right. To read more about how they work, see The Role of Mast Cells and My Own Struggle with Mast Cells Gone Wild.


 

 

OUR SKIN MICROBIOME

 

High magnification reveals a host of bacteria underneath a human toenail. A new analysis has shown that the billions of bacteria that inhabit human skin are not only highly diverse but also change their composition over time.  (Image Credit: Darlyne A. Murawski/NGS) (Text Credit: resident-alien.blogspot.com)
High magnification reveals a host of bacteria underneath a human toenail. A new analysis has shown that the billions of bacteria that inhabit human skin are not only highly diverse but also change their composition over time.
(Image Credit: Darlyne A. Murawski/NGS) (Text Credit: resident-alien.blogspot.com)

 

A 100 trillion or so micro-organisms live on and inside our bodies. One percent of these, about a trillion, live in and on our skin and determine our unique body odor. Without these bacteria, human sweat would be odorless. And these microbes, our skin’s microbiome, produce a variety of chemicals – some of which smell more attractive to mosquitoes and some of which don’t interest them at all. The composition of these trillion microbes varies greatly from person to person: We share 99.9% of our DNA with other humans but share only about 10% of our microbes. (Loria, 2014)
Interesting tidbit: It’s not the smell of our blood but the unique odors given off by our skin microbiota that  so-called blood hounds can pick up. We’re constantly shedding a cloud of minute skin flakes. Bloodhounds are particularly adept at following a trail of these flakes, sniffing their odors.  (Black, 2012)

 

dkmLU.SlMa.80

 

Dutch researchers demonstrated that it is certain types of micro-organisms living on our skin that attract mosquitoes. For the study, they asked 48 adult male volunteers to avoid consuming alcohol, garlic, onions, and spicy foods, and not to shower or wear scented cosmetics for two days prior to the sampling event. The men were also instructed not to use soap the last time they showered before the experiment.  All 48 volunteers were free from chronic illnesses and not taking any medications on a regular basis. (Verhulst, 2011) (Loria, 2014)
The men were given nylon socks to wear for 24 hours to build up a collection of their unique skin microbes.  For the testing, researchers rubbed glass beads against the soles of the men’s feet to collect their scent as mosquito bait.

 

Our feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands each and can excrete as much as a pint of moisture every day.  (Source: Young Living Essential Oils)
Our feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands each and can excrete as much as a pint of moisture every day. (Source: Young Living Essential Oils)

 

The sweat from 9 of the 48 men in the sample proved to be especially attractive to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes largely ignored the odors of  the sweat from 7 of the men. The ‘highly attractive’ group’s sweat contained a 2.62 times higher concentration of one common skin microbe (Staphylococcus spp.) and 3.11 times higher concentration of another common microbe (Pseudomonas spp.) compared to the 7 in the ‘poorly attractive’ group. There was no significant difference between the amounts of Brevibacterium spp. and Cornynebacterium spp. in the ‘highly attractive’ and ‘poorly attractive’ groups. The ‘poorly attractive’ group also had a significantly more diverse bacterial colony living on their skins. (Loria, 2014) (Verhulst, 2011)
The microbial ecology of human skin is highly complex but science is still in the early stages of studying it.  At this point, little is known about its species composition and only a small fraction of the micro-organisms living on – and in – us is culturable now – many species have not even been identified yet. The same is true for the microbes living in our gut microbiomes.
Nonetheless, the findings from this study are leading to the development of new mosquito attractants and repellents.

 

 

 

ANOTHER STUDY

 

Mosquitoes are attracted to beer drinkers
Mosquitoes are attracted to beer drinkers – the reason why isn’t yet known

 

Another study, this one conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, found that mosquitoes and biting insects are also attracted to beer drinkers. Even one beer was found to increase the number of times  subjects were bitten.
The researchers hypothesized that the attraction was due to increases in the amount of ethanol in sweat or because alcohol raises body temperature, but neither was found to correlate with mosquito landings.
This study also found that exercise, metabolism, clothing color, and pregnancy affected vulnerability to mosquitoes. (Salaky, 2013)

 

 487666_446027042109419_803325806_n

 

 

 

 

HOW TO AVOID BEING BITTEN BY MOSQUITOES

(Reinagel, 2010), (Thompson, 2014), (Joseph, 2010), (Stromberg, 2013) and (Hadley, 2014)

 

THESE ATTRACT MOSQUITOES:

 

Standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes
Standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Covering it with a screen is a deterrent.

 

  • Wearing solid, dark clothing and dark, flowery prints
  • Using beauty products and lotions such as hair spray, perfume, and suntan lotion
  • Having standing water around – such as in backyard pools and in undisturbed  pails or buckets
  • Working up a sweat. When you exercise, you give off more lactic acid and more carbon dioxide.
  • Being outside early in the day or at twilight, when mosquitoes bite the most
  • Eating sweet, sugary foods
  • Eating salty foods or ones high in potassium: Salt and potassium increase the amount of lactic acid you off-gas. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables are the foods richest in potassium. Cabbage, green peppers, cucumbers, blueberries, apples, and watermelon are relatively low in potassium. Potatoes, lima beans, acorn squash, spinach, prunes, raisins, bananas are high in potassium.
  • Eating limburger cheese: It’s made with the same bacteria that cause our feet to smell.
  • Drinking beer: Consuming even one bottle of beer makes you bait for mosquitoes. I’ve been unable to find what it is about beer that is so attractive to them but only learned that it’s not due to an increased amount of ethanol excreted in sweat or because alcohol increases body temperature. If you find out what the connection is between beer consumption and attraction to mosquitoes, please let me know.
  • Being pregnant: Pregnant women attract roughly twice as many mosquitoes as non-pregnant people. Pregnant women exhale about 21% more carbon dioxide and run about 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. Mosquitoes are attracted to both the carbon dioxide breathed out and the heat given off by warm blooded animals.
  • Using alpha hydroxy products on your skin: Many skin care lotions and creams contain lactic acid, which is highly attractive to mosquitoes.

 

 

 
THESE MAKE YOU LESS INTERESTING TO MOSQUITOES:

 

Some herbs mosquitoes don't like
Some herbs mosquitoes don’t like

 

  • Wearing plain, light-colored clothing
  • Spraying your skin with a diluted mixture of essential oils that are known to repel mosquitoes – such as tea tree oil, geranium oil, oil of cedar, peppermint oil,  lemon grass oil, and citronella
  • Dabbing small amounts of the above essential oils on your skin is also effective against mosquitoes. A good choice is TerraShield, made by doTerra – a blend of 15 essential oils, it repels mosquitoes and ticks for up to six hours. It has a pleasant citrus smell and can be dabbed directly on your skin.
  • Diffusing one of these essential oils or oil blends (such as TerraShield) into the air
  • Placing a few drops of these essential oils or oil blends on ribbons and strings and hanging them near air vents, windows or openings where bugs might come in
  • Applying crushed herbs directly on your skin. Crushed catnip, citronella, vanilla leaf, tea tree, lemon balm, clove, lavender, eucalyptus, sagebrush and pineapple weed are safe to use in this way.
  • Spraying your skin with an infusion of herbs and plants that mosquitoes don’t like – such as calendula, catnip, lavender, pennyroyal, rosemary, basil, lime basil, peppermint, horsemint, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon grass, chamomile and goldenseal
  • Planting fragrant herbs from the list above, plus aromatic plants – such as ageratum, citronella grass, citrosa, marigolds*, common lantana, fever tea,  myrrh, stone root and pennyroyal – in your garden or in pots outside. They’re all natural mosquito repellents.
  • Using a garlic spray in your garden or a garlic-scented lotion on your skin
  • Eating garlic provides mild protection – both from the scent of your breath and the sulfurous compounds you’ll emit through your skin. Of course, eating garlic or smearing its scent on your skin will probably keep away more than mosquitoes!
  • Eating foods high in vitamin B – such as fish, brown rice, molasses, brewers yeast and wheat germ. Mosquitoes don’t like vitamin B.
TerraShield (by doTerra) - a blend of 15 essential oils that repel mosquitoes and ticks
TerraShield, made by doTerra  is a blend of 15 essential oils that repels mosquitoes and ticks for up to 6 hours
See here for a list of pest-repelling plants and here for another useful list with details on which plants to use and where to plant them, plus more on applying crushed herbs to your skin as a mosquito deterrent.
Here’s a good article containing recipes for making your own natural mosquito repellent using essential oils. Non-chemical mosquito repellents contain a diluted mixture of essential oils that mosquitoes find distasteful or which confuse their ability to detect your own odors so they can’t find you and therefore won’t bite you.

 

 

A recipe for a homemade, chemical free mosquito repellent
A recipe for a homemade, chemical-free mosquito repellent

 

 

* WARNING:   Never keep marigolds in areas close to windows, patio tables and other outdoor areas where you spend time as the flowers’ bright colors often attract wasps. (wikiHow, undated)

 

NOTE:   
I would have included Avon’s Skin So Soft in the list of mosquito repellents except that they contain some not so nice chemicals – including methylparaben and proplyparaben.
Parabens are used as preservatives to increase shelf life in many cosmetic products (lotions, underarm deodorants and antiperspirants, hair care products, moisturizers, shaving products and make up), medicines and foods. Some of the major parabens we absorb or ingest in these products are benzylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that parabens have hormone-disrupting qualities that mimick estrogen interfering with the body’s endocrine system. The EPA has linked methylparabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal and neurological disorders, as well as to various cancers.
Companies like Burt’s Bees, Botanical Skin Works and Barefoot Botanicals do not use parabens in their products. For more information on products containing parabens visit www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org
For more information on the parabens-breast cancer link and some paraben-free alternatives, see here (Johnson, 2011) and here (Mercola, 2012).
 

 

 

 

mozziestasty26e

 

 

 

 

 

AO+ REFRESHING COSMETIC MIST – TO REPLENISH THE MICROBIOME OF MICROSCOPIC ORGANISMS LIVING ON OUR SKIN

 

Artist Sonja Bäumel explores the skin microbiome in her project Cartography of the Human Body
Artist Sonja Bäumel explores the skin microbiome in her Cartography of the Human Body project

 

In doing the research for the post just before this one, Living Bacterial Skin Tonic – Instead of Soap?!, I came across this about a living bacteria skin tonic being developed by a Massachusetts start up called AOBiome – I’ve highlighted the last two sentences:

The company’s scientists think that this product will be good for us because it could refill our bodies with microflora that do us good. In this way, it could actually be better for us than the antibacterial hygiene products that we are accustomed to using. Although these kill off bacteria, they can harm us due to the chemicals they contain (such as triclosan) which have been linked to various health problems.

If you’re still not convinced that you would want bacteria on your skin, consider this: bacteria can assist in treating various skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. It helps to heal wounds that are resistant to antibiotics. It can also change body odour so that it keeps mosquitos at bay.  This is especially good if one considers illnesses like malaria that can run rampant and affect many people. (Simolo, 2014)
Our usual approach to the bacteria and other micro-organisms living on our skins – and everywhere else we can get to them – is to KILL THEM DEAD. We generally regard bacteria and their relatives as dangerous and just plain nasty. So this is an entirely new approach – a U turn in how to think about the bacteria living in and on our skin: This new spray contains billions of cultivated Nitrosomonas eutropha, an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB)
It’s to be used in lieu of – or as an adjunct to – taking showers. Bathing with most soaps and shampoos KILLS ALL THE HEALTHY ELEMENTS OF OUR SKIN MICROBIOME.  This new living bacterial skin tonic REPLENISHES the biome of microscopic organisms living on our skin.
If you recall the Dutch experiment described above, in the OUR SKIN MICROBIOME section, one of the findings was that the group of men who were the least attractive to mosquitoes had a significantly more diverse bacterial colony living on their skins.
So it makes sense to me that we would want to reverse our ill-considered search and destroy approach to bacteria and begin valuing and supporting our skin microbiomes, the trillion  bacteria and other micro-organisms that dwell in and on our skin – for many reasons, not making ourselves so attractive to disease and parasite spreading mosquitoes being only one.

 

mosquito

 

 

REFERENCES

American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). 2013. Mosquito-Borne Diseases. See:  http://www.mosquito.org/mosquito-borne-diseases

Black, J.G. (2012) Microbiology: Principles and Explorations, 8th edition. Wiley, p. 403.  See: http://books.google.com/books?id=pnVMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA403&lpg=PA403&dq=odors+skin+microorganisms+blood+hound&source=bl&ots=rjhDyvguWv&sig=qVThuBz4sVzeq-Mi4q2Rdr5ij9E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BaaXU-7hNcvesASCl4CgBg&ved=0CDgQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=odors%20skin%20microorganisms%20blood%20hound&f=false

Davis, L. (2014). Parabens Linked to Breast Cancer? Beauty News NYC – Skin Care. See:  http://www.beautynewsnyc.com/skin-care/parabens-linked-to-breast-cancer/

Ferris, R. (2013). How to Deal With and Prevent Mosquito Bites. Business Insider – Science. See:  http://www.businessinsider.com/a-few-tips-on-mosquito-bites-2013-7

Hadley, D. (2014). 10 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Get Mosquito Bites. About.com – Insects. See:  http://insects.about.com/od/flies/a/how-to-get-mosquito-bites.htm

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Living Bacterial Skin Tonic – Instead of Soap?!  AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/06/07/living-bacterial-skin-tonic-instead-bathing/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). My Own Struggle with Mast Cells Gone Wild. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/about-me/my-own-struggle-with-mast-cells-gone-wild/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). The Role of Mast Cells. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See:  http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/the-role-of-mast-cells/

Helmenstine, A.M. (20). Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe. About.com – Chemistry. See:  http://chemistry.about.com/od/healthbeautyprojects/a/naturalmosquitorepellent.htm

Heubeck, E. (2005-2014). Are You a Mosquito Magnet? WebMD – Allergies Health Center. See:  http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/are-you-mosquito-magnet

Johnson, C. (2011). Are Parabens Really Harmful? Are There Alternatives? HappyMothering.com. See:   http://www.happy-mothering.com/06/beauty/skincare-cosmetics/are-parabens-really-harmful-are-there-alternatives/

Joseph, S. (2010). Naturally Repel Mosquitoes and Ticks: doTerra Essential Oils. Dr. Mom Essentials. See:  http://drmomessentials.com/naturally-repel-mosquitoes-and-ticks-doterra-essential-oils/

Loria, K. (2014).  Some People Don’t Get Bitten By Mosquitoes — Why That’s True Will Surprise You. Business Insider- Science. See:  http://www.businessinsider.com/skin-bacteria-attracts-mosquito-bites-2014-3

Mercola, R. (2012). 40 Women With Breast Cancer Had This “Cosmetic Ingredient” in Their Tissues. The Mercola Newsletter, Mercola.com. See:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/02/toxic-parabens-on-breast-cancer-patients.aspx

Mosquito Magnet. (2014). FAQs – Mosquitoes. See:  http://www.mosquitomagnet.com/resources/faqs

Mosquito World. (undated). Mosquito Bites. Mosquito World: Your guide to effective mosquito control.  See:  http://www.mosquitoworld.net/mosquitobites.php and http://www.mosquitoworld.net/mosquitospecies.php

National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). 2007. Infectious Disease Information – Mosquito-Borne Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). See:  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/list_mosquitoborne.htm

Reinagel, M. (2010). What to Eat to Avoid Mosquito Bites. QuickAndDirtyTips.com.  See: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/trends-fads/what-to-eat-to-avoid-mosquito-bites

Salaky, K. (2013). Beer Drinkers Attract More Mosquitoes, Study Finds. The Daily Meal. See:  http://www.thedailymeal.com/beer-drinkers-attract-more-mosquitos-study-finds

Simolo, G. (2014). How a Company is Using Bacteria to Replace Soap. Wind.org. See: http://www.wind.org/view-post/How-A-Company-is-Using-Bacteria-to-Replace-Soap

Stromberg, J. (2013). Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others? Smithsonian.com. See:  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-mosquitoes-bite-some-people-more-than-others-10255934/?no-ist

Thinkbeforeyoupink. Think Before You Pink – A Project of Breast Cancer Action. See: http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

Thompson, K. (2014). How to Control Mosquitoes. Pest Control – About.com. See:  http://www.answers.com/guides/how-to-control-mosquitoes

Verhulst, V. O. et al. (2011). Composition of Human Skin Microbiota Affects Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes. PLoS One, 6:12. See:  http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0028991

wikiHow. (undated). How to Use Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away. See: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Plants-to-Keep-Mosquitoes-Away

Wikipedia. (May 29 2014).  List of Pest-repelling Plants. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pest-repelling_plants

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.