Medications – Hiding in Plain Sight

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Your bathroom medicine cabinet, expired medications

Do you know what is in your medicine cabinet?

A clean and orderly home is something that most of us want for ourselves and our family. This is no less true for the smallest room in the house – our bathrooms. The average time spent in the bathroom daily is about 30 minutes. Usually the smallest room in the house, it is sometimes neglected when it comes to style and décor. After all, bathrooms serve a utilitarian purpose, don’t they?

Our Medicine Cabinets

The same thing can be said for our medicine cabinets. We may maintain an immaculate home, but our medicine cabinets often become cluttered by items that have long since expired. When it comes to prescription and over the counter medications, it can mean that those medications won’t work as effectively as they should. The same can be said for more natural products like essential oils or saline nasal sprays. While the U.S. Food & Drug Administration does not require that non-drug products use expiration dates, many include them. Once past an expiration date, a product’s volatile oils and/or active ingredients may not be as effective. If you can’t remember when you purchased a product or if it smells or looks “off”, the safest thing to do is to toss it.

The same principal applies to personal care products like creams, lotions, balms, cosmetics, etc. Most products lose their potency after 36 months, but there are other considerations, especially if products are marketed as “natural”. These generally don’t stay potent for more than 24 months. Most cosmetics should be tossed after 6 months due to the danger of contamination. If you like to recycle containers, it’s best to stick with glass or aluminum jars. Plastic containers are difficult to sterilize. Otherwise, most can be taken to your local recycling center. For more information, visit the Natural Society’s Guide to Plastic Recycling

Expired Drugs and Proper Disposal

When it comes to prescription and over the counter drugs, proper disposal is important. Drugs should not merely be flushed down the toilet or put in the trash, for environmental and safety reasons. The Drug Enforcement Administration, in an effort to help reduce the danger of illegal use of prescription drugs, began National Drug Take Back Day. Held in October, information is provided to local law enforcement agencies that can help residents dispose of their medications safely. There are also MedReturn Drug collection locations across the country where you can take your expired drugs for safe disposal. You can find more information at http://medreturn.com.

Create a Clean-out Schedule

Cleaning out your medicine cabinet should be performed twice a year. You can attach this task to specific times of the year like Daylight Savings, July 4th or New Year’s Day can make it easier to remember. Remembering to do it when you check the batteries in your smoke detectors is another option. People who are ready to take control of all that they can by developing systems that make tasks easier can be difficult for some. However, if you are able to do so, you’ll find that you have more time to enjoy friends and family, and that small tasks will not turn into big ones later on.

Reference: Bathroom habits survey

Credit: Deidre Dolan Nesline, Founder of DeClutter by Deidre
DeClutter By Deirdre is committed to assisting people and their families who struggle with de-cluttering their homes so that they can enjoy a more stress-free life. To learn more visit their website at declutterbydeirdre.com

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Ten Uses for Body Balm

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Lavender Tea Tree Body Balms group of four

We’ve received many compliments on our body balms, but some might be wondering just what a balm is. Other common names are “salve” or “cream” depending on who you ask. Essentially, a balm is a waterless cream designed to soothe, heal, and/or protect in some way. Because they don’t contain water, little to no preservation is required. We help the oils retain their potency with the help of Vitamin E and rosemary resin. We are very proud of our balms, which do all three and serve multiple functions. We’d like to list some of them below:

1) Facial moisturizer

– Our balm is non-comedogenic and can be applied directly to the face as a spot treatment for dryness before makeup, or at night before bed. A little goes a long way. Balms are particularly good for individuals with normal to dry skin.

2) Hair and scalp conditioner

– For those with dry, flyaway hair, the balm helps to coat the hair shaft. Ingredients like shea butter, olive and sweet almond oils quickly add moisture and shine. A little can be massaged into the scalp to soothe itching and irritation. Again, a little goes a long way.

3) Bug repellent

– A number of essential oils like lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus are effective bug repellents. Peppermint and neem oils are also effective against pests. We use only pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, in our balms. Fragrance oils do not contain the same botanical properties as essential oils.

4) Lip gloss

– Why buy a separate product when a balm will do just as well? Use it alone over your favorite lipstick for a little shine. It also soften and protects lips with candelilla wax and castor oil.

5) Cuticle cream

– Soften and protect dry nails and cuticles throughout the day. At bedtime, you can enhance the softening effect by smoothing balm on dry hands and donning cotton gloves. In the morning, your skin will be super-soft!

6) Barrier balm

– Smooth on one of our balms on your hands before washing dishes or working in the garden to protect skin and nails from harsh chemicals and other irritants. Excess water can cause nails to thin, while detergent cleaners can leave skin dry. Balms are a quick solution that repel water for optimal protection.

7) Natural lubricant

– Instead of synthetic-based products, you can try an all-natural and sustainable alternative to help relieve chafing, diaper rash, cradle cap and other skin conditions. Re-apply as needed.

8) Skin Salve

– Use a little balm to soothe insect bites, razor burn, athlete’s foot and other skin irritations. Our Ache-Relief Balm can help reduce redness and inflammation. Apply 3-4 times and as needed for immediate relief.

9) Bear balm/hair groom

– Our balm is fine for the guys as well. Use to condition hair and soften an itchy beard. It’s great for protecting skin after shaving.

10) Wood/shoe/bag conditioner

– Yes, our balms work on wood, shoes and bags! Just rub a little onto the item with a soft cloth. It leaves a protective shine and conditions without the need for toxic sprays or expensive finishers and petroleum or animal-based waxes.

Perhaps you will think of other uses for our balms. If you do, please let us know.

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How Safe is Nanotechnology?

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Nanoparticles are now found in skincare

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the possible benefits of nanotechnology. In fact, nanoparticles can be found in an increasing number of personal care products, from toothpaste to sunscreen. Chances are good that you’re using products containing nanoparticles without even knowing it.

How safe is nanotechnology?

We’ve been doing some digging into how well this new technology is regulated. The fact is that nanoparticles are too recent a development to have been adequately tested for safety, much less regulated. Consumers using common personal care products need to do their homework in order to know whether or not a product they are using contains nanoparticles.

A nanoparticle is defined as a microscopic particle measuring between 1 and 100 nanometers. One nanometer is approximately one one-hundred-millionth of a meter – the size of an atomic particle. It may have useful applications in the medical and electronics fields. It has, however, been used already in skincare products which are easily absorbed through the skin. The effects of using ingredients the size of atomic particles on the skin are not well known. Some studies have shown that nanoparticle toxicity increases as their size decreases. Another popular use for nanoparticles is in sunscreens. However, it is known that the lungs are vulnerable to inhaled small particles. None of these concerns have been disseminated to the general public. An ingredient like Titanium Dioxide, for example, may not cause you to normally react, but when used as a nanoparticle, this change could cause an adverse reaction. The cumulative effect of such ingredients could become problematic.

In the meantime, consumers may want to learn which products contain nanoparticles if they fear any possible allergic reactions or other adverse effects. A useful iPhone app called “FindNano” can help consumers identify products that they’re using that may contain nanoparticles. If you cannot access the app, you can visit the Consumer Products Inventory to search for consumer products using nanoparticle technology.

We at WEBA Natural Products have no plans to go in this direction. We are proud to say that all of our ingredients are derived from natural products as close to their natural state as possible. Given the fact that nanoparticles can penetrate the body fairly deeply, there is no telling what the consequences might be. We prefer to avoid potentially harmful synthetic materials that do little to enhance a product’s performance, especially when other natural options exist.

We believe that when it comes to personal care, you can’t improve on nature. For thousands of years, people have been using natural ingredients with bioactive compounds to improve their health and wellbeing. We will always strive to develop new products that utilize all the benefits of nature’s bounty in a sustainable way.

References:
Guardian article on nanotechnology
Safe Cosmetics article on nanomaterials
The Nanotech Project
Smart Skincare article about nanoparticles and skincare

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Anti-Aging Tips You’ve Never Thought Of

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Sleep and aging; anti-aging tips

Anti-Aging Tips

There’s a lot of confusing information out there regarding lifestyle changes that may help to slow the passage of time. Some make perfect sense; avoiding cigarettes and too much sun, or drinking lots of water, are important for maintaining supple skin and preventing wrinkles. However, there are other steps that we can take that may not immediately come to mind. These steps can go a long way towards holding back the clock when it comes to your face. Below is a list of anti-aging tips you may not have thought of.

Exercise your face.

Many of us exercises our bodies regularly in order to keep our muscles strong and toned. Regular exercise can certainly benefit our skin by improving circulation, which can speed cell turnover. But our facial muscles need exercise, too. A few simple moves can help to tone the jaw line and minimize sagging. You can find instructions on how to exercise your facial muscles by going to the Livestrong page on how to tone your face.

Avoid pulling or tugging around the eye area.

The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate. It’s important to avoid tugging at this delicate eye area when putting on or taking off makeup in order to avoid making bags and wrinkles worse. There are many natural eye makeup removers that are gentle, while cleaning off makeup thoroughly. If you aren’t sure what to use, try soaking a cotton pad in olive or coconut oil and using this to remove makeup. Oil attracts oil, so makeup should come off easily without a lot of effort. You can then follow this with a mild detergent-free cleanser or eye cream. Always use a light touch when applying eye cream or serum. Avoid vigorously rubbing your eyes or squinting, as well.

Pay attention to how you sleep.

Your sleep habits may be contributing to the development of wrinkles. For example, do you sleep on your side or on your stomach? If so, the friction caused by your sheets can cause it to develop creases that can become permanent wrinkles over time. Sleeping on your back can certainly help. If this doesn’t work for you, look for satin sheets and pillowcases. A satin pillowcase can reduce friction and help prevent creases to your face. It can also be good for your hair by minimizing static electricity and minimizing friction to the hair’s cuticle.

Cut down on sugar intake.

It’s well known that excess sugar consumption causes a phenomenon known as glycation. When this happens, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein and lip molecules in the skin, resulting in loss of elasticity and damage to collagen and elastin. This can lead to sagging and wrinkle formation. Try to limit your total sugar intake to between 6 an 9 teaspoons per day. Read labels to determine how much added sugar is in your food. Limit sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is also important.

Eat a healthy diet.

“You are what you eat” was never more true than when talking about our skin. Often the foods that we eat may be lacking in essential antioxidants, which are needed to fight free radical damage to our skin. Environmental toxins can also create free radicals, and too much sugar or processed foods can affect our immune system, lowering our skin’s ability to heal. In fact, there are often a combination of factors that together can contribute to lowered circulation, hormone disruption, illness, and ultimately dull, lifeless skin.

By making a few simple lifestyle changes, we can go a long way towards keeping the largest organ in our body as smooth and supple as possible as we age.

Reference:
Huffington Post: The 6 Everyday Habits That Can Cause Wrinkles
Today article on 4 Rules for Added Sugars

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