A fine balancing act

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Finding a balance between jobs, school, rehabilitation from injuries and volunteering, all the while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prove challenging at times. Even with many things on my plate, I find time to go for a walk, sit on a bench in the inner harbor to watch the float planes take off and land, or do some art. It CAN be done. Even if you think you don’t have the time. Find the time. Often times the reason I am not posting is because I have too much on my plate, and I am taking some much needed down time.

Like many other chronic conditions, allergies and asthma can add a significant time commitment to your already filled schedule. Reading all the food labels at the grocery store; on cosmetics, beauty or cleaning products, can take a fair bit of time, depending on the allergies you have. When I am looking for new products to use, whether it be; shampoo, conditioner, make-up or other soaps, I need to plan for a good hour or two for label reading, going to different stores if needed, and often, calling manufacturers. My most recent challenge has been to find a new shampoo as I have been getting hives from the one I used for years. It is becoming quite the search… A week later I am still looking.

This can often add more anxiety to our lives. Too much anxiety is not good. What do you do to wind down, relax, take a break? Who helps you to let loose and take some time where you are not thinking about the million things you have to get done?

Cosmetics and perfumes… Quite the concoction

Yesterday’s post was about shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Today I thought I would chime in on all the possible triggers one can find in cosmetics and perfumes…

Now I’m not that fond of cosmetics, nor am I one to use perfume much, because most are just filled with preservatives and other allergens one could not even imagine finding in cosmetics. Some cosmetics use refined tree nut and peanut oils!! Isn’t that a little worrisome?

The only perfume I ever use are the natural ones, by Pacifica Perfumes.

Pacifica skin care is made without: Animal testing, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, benzene, GMOs, mineral oil, peanut oil, and triclosan (and other ingredients you do not want!)” – http://www.pacificaperfume.com/our-products

When it comes to mascara, I have recently discovered Earthlab Cosmetics Raw Mascara which has no parabens or other preservatives and natural ingredients. http://www.earthlabcosmetics.com/StoreFront.bok

Raw Mascara     IMG_0579

The ingredients are things you will recognize or at least have heard of. Not some crazy long chemical names and other allergens!

What are your thoughts?

 

Shampoo, conditioner and body wash

Natural hair products

In following up to yesterdays’ post…

If you are anything like me, the products at the pharmacy or local grocery store just won’t cut it when it comes to shampoos, conditioners and body washes or bar soap. All the fragrance, perfumes and other scents always make me itchy or give me hives. Have you ever read the ingredients on your shampoo bottle? Or on the bar soap you use? If you haven’t I’d suggest having a read. All I can say is that most conditioners have wheat and/or soy.

Did you know that… another common ingredient you will find in most of the products on the market these days are parabens. Parabens are used as a preservative in many products, beauty products mainly. I’ve gotten hives from them in the past.

My scalp used to be itchy all the time! I switched to these natural products and now, I could never imagine trying a new product. They work great and I never feel itchy. If you are considering switching to a natural soap, be sure to read ingredients VERY diligently as you’ll notice that a lot of the different brands out there use soy or almond. When I first set out to find new hair and body products, I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading labels.

And when I go to the hair salon, I either bring my own products, or go prepared to have an itchy scalp for the next 24 to 48 hrs… Read an earlier post of mine; Time for a Haircut? about trips to the salon.

Tomorrow’s post will be about perfumes and makeup…

The “Hygiene Hypothesis”

You’ve likely heard of the “hygiene hypothesis” at some point or another. Some of my friends joke with me asking if I didn’t play in the mud enough as a kid. Not in a mean kind of way, we always laugh.

Well, it is becoming more and more popular in the news since Johns Hopkins – Children’s Center has published their results from their most recent study.

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDetail.aspx?id=11292

“The investigators say their findings are also consistent with the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which has recently gained traction as one possible explanation behind the growing rates of food and environmental allergies in the developed world.”

Here’s another link to an article that refers to John Hopkins’ study and findings:

http://www.peanutallergy.com/news/food-allergy-news/soap-and-toothpaste-could-be-causing-rise-in-childhood-food-allergies

Have you ever pondered what is actually in all the products you use? Are there ingredients on your shampoo or conditioner? Do your beauty products contain parabens and the other chemicals and preservatives referred to in the study?

Personally, I am moving further away from these products. I guess not using makeup due to my allergies has been a bonus too! I now use natural mouthwash / rinse, and am starting to use a toothpaste with all natural ingredients. The soap, shampoo and conditioner are also as natural, paraben, preservative and chemical free as I could go!