Paraben-free is a good thing, right? Well, let's find out!...
Parabens are a type of preservative that were introduced widely to the public in the 1950's. Nowadays, they are in about 85% of cosmetic products. Parabens work by preventing mold and bacterial growth, which is a big part of what makes cosmetic products go bad over time. Most commercially produced cosmetics are formulated to last for quite a while because they spend most of their life in storage. They are manufactured in large batches, then head to a warehouse where they sit and wait to be sent to stores. Then, they sit in the stores. And since pretty much all cosmetics have at least some water in them, parabens help keep the water from spoiling so the product stays "good" until you use it.
Most of the names for parabens have the word paraben in them, so they are pretty easy to spot on a label. Things like butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben are the most common ones, but there are a few others.
The major concern with parabens has to do with hormones and our endocrine system. In the 1990's scientists figured out that parabens are "xenoestrogens". They are believe to mimic estrogen in the body, which can lead to hormone disruption and an increase in breast cell division, and that can trigger the growth of tumors. In 2004, a British doctor discovered parabens still lingering in 19 out of 20 malignant breast tumors, and all of this is why we are scared of parabens today.
Thick and creamy almond milk without fillers. It's a real thing, and I'll tell you how to make it!
I always stayed away from making my own almond milk because I thought it was too difficult, too time consuming, and an inferior product from what you can get in the store.
But really, nothing is further from the truth! Well, I take that back. Some store bought milks are pretty darn good, but so is this - and it's cheaper, really easy, and doesn't have anything besides water and almonds (unless you choose to flavor it).
Who's got dark spots?? We've all got dark spots!
Really though, it's what I get asked about, hands down, more than anything. Dark spots are something that often come with time, sun exposure, our genetics, or even diet and health. So...pretty much just being alive can result in you getting some small discolorations on your skin.
If they're really bothering you, there are lots of natural tips you can try to reverse the hyper pigmentation or to fade dark spots without putting anything scary on your skin. You can search my blog archives for tips and ingredients, or give one of these five essential oils a try.
If you're into aromatherapy and using essential oils, here's another great way to actually use them in your daily life.
I came across this interesting little arts and crafts projects thanks to Google. I've been getting more into aromatherapy lately - wow do some smells really have an effect!
As much as I love using my electric EO diffuser during the night, I can't really use it on the go, or spur of the moment when I need it. I was looking around at different ways to actually use essential oils when you need them and stumbled on aromatherapy jewelry. This is essentially jewelry that holds a few drops of EO so you can actually get a burst of the scent when you need it.
I realized that a lot of people were having trouble accessing the document in the original blog post, so here's a better image of the Essential Essential Oil Guide. It's a handy reference generally easy-to-find essential oils and some of their common uses. Feel free to make suggestions if you think there's anything I should add!