June 10, 2009

Skeeter Beaters

Summertime has a lot of good points: Warm weather, swimming pools, gardens blooming and many excuses to perfect your recipes for homemade ice cream and frozen drinks. Unfortunately in order to enjoy all of this outdoor activity we must deal with the ever present mosquito. They come in many shapes and sizes but all of them bite and are annoying, to say the least.

What attracts a mosquito attack on some and not others? There are many theories including what unique chemicals your perspiration contains, what you eat, the cologne you wear and even the color of your clothing. Each type of mosquito is attracted to different qualities. Needless to say they are drawn to moisture of any kind and breed like - well like mosquitoes - in even a tiny amount of standing water, so dump out any you see after it rains.

So how do we deal with these creatures without killing all the beneficial insects or poisoning our environment? Here's a few ideas on how to keep your summer evenings naturally mosquito free:
  • Citronella candles or oil torches lighted at intervals around your yard, patio or pool will help keep mosquitoes at bay. The carbon dioxide released while the candle or smoke rings burn is an additional deterrent.
  • Essential oils of citronella, lemongrass, geranium or cedar mixed with a carrier such as grain alcohol and dabbed or sprayed on skin and clothing will help to deter the biting bugs.
  • Don't have time or inclination to make your own brew? Try these natural commercial products: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, St. Gabriel Laboratories Organic Mosquito Repellent, Mosquito Fighter.
Enjoy your summer!

June 1, 2009

Why Exfoliate?

Many people ask this question when they are first confronted with a body scrub be it salt, sugar, pumice or any of the myriad varieties available on the market today. First, what does exfoliation mean? Basically it is the process of shedding flaky dead skin. An extreme example is when you peel after a sunburn (bad you!). Your skin exfoliates constantly as the cells reproduce and slough off. Scrubs are "mechanical exfoliants" like sandpaper on wood, but not that abrasive. Body scrubs are meant to gently abrade the surface of the skin to help speed up cell renewal by removing old cells.

Why do we need to help these lazy cells to jump ship and make way for the new cells? Let's get technical for a moment. Starting from conception your body begins to produce cells. This is a continuing process and as you grow and mature your body produces thousands upon thousands of cells to replace those that naturally die off, a process called apoptosis (AKA cell suicide). Not all cells reproduce and as you age even the ones that do start slowing down, especially skin cells. It's all down hill after you hit your mid-twenties. Sad, I know!

What all this boils down to is as you age your skin can start to look dull, drab and lifeless. If you have dry skin scrubs will help with the flakes and most will moisturize as well giving your skin a smooth, soft appearance. If you have oily skin you might experience a sludgy look due to over-production of sebum that can attract dirt and hang on to those pesky old cells. Using a good scrub will help eliminate the build up of old yucky skin cells and keep your skin bright and luminous.

Another reason to use a scrub is because you indulge in spray tanning. Ask anyone who's had this treatment what happens if your skin is flaky before application. They'll tell you that the "tan" can be uneven, discolored and will quickly flake off. Using a scrub with no greasy residue, like our Shea Butter Body Scrubs (on sale this month too!) will ensure a smooth results and a longer lasting tan. Ask your technician if they favor a particular product before your appointment date. You don't want to use something that will make your skin tacky or slick as the product won't adhere and blend correctly.

I hope this answers the question: Why Exfoliate? Your skin will feel and look fabulous. You'll wonder who you lived without them for so long. So what are you waiting for? Get glowing!