Category Archives: body care

team+member+spotlight, lifestyle+products, favorite+products

Team Member Spotlight–Megan!

She’s One of Our Great Team Members!

 
Megan is our Regional Lifestyles and Gift Buyer. She especially watches out for unique and exciting gift items.  She is also the model for our Beads of Hope necklaces!  
 
Megan grew up in Northern California and got a degree in Geography with an emphasis in City Planning.  She even speaks Polish!  She spent 18 months in Poland during her college years.  
 
ragnar
 
Megan really loves to eat healthy and she is also a runner.  She has run the Ragnar Relay and some half-marathons, too.  She loves to work in her garden and is devoted to clean and green living.
 
Three quick fun facts about Megan:
1. Because she was raised in Northern California, she is very partial to Redwood trees and foggy beaches.
2. Not only does she run for exercise, but for stress relief and meditation.
3. If she had to listen to the same musician over and over again for the rest of her life it would be Cat Stevens.
 
Megan’s favorite part of her job is learning about the different products that Lassens carries and meeting with companies that are passionate about their products, as well as passionate about improving our world.
Megan says, “Many of the products found in Lassens represent companies that give back to their communities in a big way. These contributions range anywhere from Alzheimer’s research to providing clean drinking water in developing countries. The contributions go beyond donations, because a lot of these companies choose responsibility in every aspect of production–such as fair labor practices, sustainable sourcing, waste reduction, etc. It’s exciting to me and also further convinces me of the power of the consumer in supporting such responsible companies.”
 
Megan’s heros are her grandparents– on both sides. “They were such hard workers–both in their professions and also in their volunteer work. They took great pride in their communities and volunteered much of their time and energy to improve them.”

 

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When I asked Megan about some of her favorite products she mentioned these adorable Flipside hats.  Flipside is a family owned and operated business, the hats are made in the USA (California and Oregon), and they are made with repurposed and/or recycled materials.  

 

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They use all of the organic materials that they can.  These great hats are just in our Ventura and Los Feliz stores right now.  So cute!

 

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I totally agreed with her next recommendation–a “Winning Combination.”  You should try this!  Get some Leslie Stowe Raincoast Crisps.  They are small, thick, tasty, crispy breads in amazing flavors (Cranberry and Hazelnut, Rosemary, Salty Date and Almond, Gluten-free Oat, to name a few!) I love that they are fancy and so delicious.  They make me feel like a gourmet when I eat them!

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Take a crisp and then spread on some Drake Family Farms fresh Chèvre cheese.  The Drake family farm is a six-generation operation!  The original farm is in Utah, but they also have a farm in Ontario, California where we get our fresh Chèvre.   

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The cheese comes in a convenient plastic tub so you can have some now and save some for later! 

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This is Megan’s favorite combination!  Yum!  

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Megan also recommended the Evanhealy facial care line.  Her favorites are the Rose Geranium Facial Tonic HydroSoul, and the Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer.   

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The rose line is for combination/oily skin, but they have other lines for different skin types.  Megan likes that the line is really clean (no chemical, preservatives, non GMO, etc) and extremely gentle.  She quoted Evan Healy herself:  “The less you interfere with the skin’s own ability to achieve balance, the better.” 

When I asked Megan what she would like to change about the world, she said changing primary school curriculum to include gardening education. “So many people are disconnected from the food they eat and I love that gardening helps reconnect people to basic food. Working with the soil, watching how food grows cultivates a deep respect for the earth, energy, and other resources that go into making a tasty meal.”
 
Thank you Megan for sharing your favorites with us!  Love those “Buyer’s Picks!”
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
 
bug+spray, insect+repellant, natural+sunscreen, sun+protection, body+care

It’s Hot Hot Hot!

And Very Sunny.  So Apply Some Sunscreen!

bug+spray

But What Kind?  And are There Things I Should Avoid?

Questions, Questions, Questions!  We all need to be alert consumers as we choose products today.  And as I have done some research, I have found some common ingredients in many sunscreens that we probably should avoid. 
 

Here are some of the big ones:

  • Oxybenzone.  In lab tests this chemical (in large amounts) has been found to interact with hormones and there is possibly a cancer connection.  
  • Retinyl Palmitate.  This comes from Vitamin A, which sounds positive, but it’s not.  It was added to sunscreens to reduce the signs of aging in the skin, but apparently it reacts badly in the sun, and has the potential to case greater harm.  Most sunscreens have removed it from their ingredients.  
  • Nano particles.  Sounds impressive, right?  People don’t generally want to have white sunscreen so the particles have been reduced in size so that they don’t have a white appearance.  The problem, however, is those tiny particles may be more readily absorbed into the skin, rather than just staying on the top, which is where we want it to be to protect our skin.  But the jury is still our about if those particles absorbed into the skin may do some harm.  So it’s better to avoid nano particles.
  • Sunscreen/Bug Repellent combos.  Convenience, yes.  But you’ll need to reapply the sunscreen often, and that will give you too much of the bug spray.  And you’ll absorb more into your skin.  Generally, bugs are not much of a problem in the day when you’re worried about the sun, and the sun is not a problem when it cools off and the bugs come out.  So keep them separate.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Spray sunscreens are convenient, but there is an inhalation risk.  Sunscreen should stay on the skin, not in your lungs.
  • Powdered sunscreens, for the same reasons.  The FDA has removed the approval for loose powder sunscreens, but you may still see some on the market.
  • Super high SPFs.  The research indicates that anything over SPF 50 doesn’t provide much additional protection, and may give people a false sense of safety.  Also, they may not have protection from the really dangerous UVA rays, which do their damage deep into the skin.
  • Broad Spectrum protection.  Make sure your sunscreen protects from both UVB and UBA rays.  Look for “Broad Spectrum” or both UVA and UVB wording on the label.
  • You’re going to have to reapply.  Often.  Get used to it.  Bummer, right?  But even the most water-resistant products will have to be reapplied after 40 or 80 minutes.  
  • Use clothing and shade to protect your skin.  
Here is a link to a website that gives your more information and recommendations about sunscreens.
 
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What About Insect Repellents?

Remember that we are talking pesticides, here.  Obviously we don’t want ticks burrowing into our skin, or mosquitoes sucking our blood, but spraying or spreading pesticides on the skin isn’t exactly appealing, either.  There are some things you can do to cut back on your risk of bug bites, and then you don’t have to use as much of the repellents.  Something I just learned–insect repellents only protect agains biting insects, not ones that sting.  So you’ll just have to avoid bees, wasps, and hornets.  

Clothing

Long sleeves.  Long pants, preferably ones that are tight at the ankles.  Boring colors–you don’t want insects to think you’re a flower! No scented soaps, perfume, lotions, etc.  Closed toed shoes and socks, especially in areas with ticks.  

Repellents

You’ve probably heard of DEET.  It is effective.  Insects are attracted to the scent of carbon dioxide, which we give off; It’s part of breathing, so I don’t think we can avoid that! And DEET masks that scent.  But there are other, more natural ways to keep the bugs away.  The products we carry at Lassen’s generally use essential oils.  Much nicer.
 
Here is a website with recommendations and some other information.

 

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Lassen’s carries a large selection–and this photo shows just a small sampling–of natural sunscreens and insect repellents.  Our helpful Body Care team members will be able to help you choose the ones that are right for you!  And of course, just in case you still get too much sun, make sure to pick up some Aloe Vera gel to cool down and soothe your skin!
 
Have lots of fun in the sun, but don’t forget to protect your skin!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
moss+botanicals, essential+oils, focus+on+local, local+products, produced+in+Ojai, Ventura+County+products

Focus on Local–Moss Botanicals

Natural Aid for Our Well Being 

Last week I had a delightful time as I met Stacey Moss of Moss Botanicals.  She lives and works in Ojai.  Her company has seven aromatic blends, each available in a roll-on oil for the skin, and an aroma mist for diffusing into the air.  
 
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Stacey has always been interested in the field of healing, and has dabbled in herbology.  She took lots of classes in natural healing.  She has some Native American heritage (Lakota), and she has always been fascinated by their belief in natural remedies and cooperative society.  Stacey attended the College of Botanical Healing Arts in Santa Cruz, and is a registered Aromatherapist.  She also has a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences.  

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Stacey loves plants and herbs, especially natives.  She started to blend her oils for her own personal needs, and soon was sharing them with family and friends.  They started to call her “Medicine Woman” because they could see the benefits of her botanical oil blends.  She launched Moss Botanicals in 2008 as a hobby, but within the last year has started to branch out more.  

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Educating people about the science and art of Aromatherapy is important to Stacey.  She wants to teach people that Aromatherapy is complementary to every kind of lifestyle.  Her blends have names that match what they support in our bodies and lives, but she said that people should see how each blend feels to them as they use them.  Her blends are Ceremony, Balance, Transform, Clear, Relax, Euphoric, and Let Go.

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Stacey’s blends are complementary to Hindu Yogic Chakras as well.  Stacey said they can help balance and harmonize the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of life.  

Stacey is very careful with the sources of her oils.  She makes sure that they are organic and chemical free, and they are blended in a base of pure jojoba oil.  There are no synthetics or preservatives.  Her blends are simple–from 3-5 oils–and are hand blended in small batches.  She would like to try her hand at distilling the oils herself, and is working on making that happen.  
 
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Stacey loves this field because there is always something new to learn.  The science and scientific evidence is growing each year, which is very exciting. 

Stacey said, “I want people to find these [aromatic blends] because of what they can do to help them.”
 
It was such a pleasure to meet Stacey and her daughter Clrallyn, who even drew a portrait of me as I talked with Stacey!  

 

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You can find Moss Botanicals in our Ventura store, and Stacey comes there regularly to introduce her botanical blends.  

 
Thank you Stacey, for a wonderful time!
 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
womens+voices+from+the+earth, earth+friendly, clean+products

Let’s Give the Earth… and our families… some help

What Can I Do?

When I was in elementary school, we lived in the middle of a valley with, I am sure, millions of fruit trees in Washington.  Every Spring day, the farmers watched the weather reports and the frost warnings and the dew point forecasts for any hint of dipping temperatures.  Once the fruit trees started to bud, they were in danger of being frozen, and the entire crop could be lost. 

In the late 60s there were not many environmental regulations, and the orchardists put out their smudge pots (yes, that’s the correct name!) and on evenings–actually early mornings–when there was a threat of freezing temperatures they would burn any- and everything to keep those trees from freezing. 

I’m pretty sure that they even burned old tires, because we had a horrible residue to deal with every Spring in Yakima, Washington.  When we got to school after a night of burning smudge pots, we had to wipe the black soot off of every surface–desks, chairs, tables.  (And there was a bit of a disgusting thrill in blowing your nose after walking to school through the smudge!)

The air was thick with the soot and the smell. 

Thankfully, we now have environmental regulation and rules limiting such practices.  But our environment still has a lot of threats.  I recently came upon a grass-roots organization that is working to combat, one small step and one person at a time, the toxins and threats to a healthy environment.

They are called Women’s Voices for the Earth.  They are an organization that “works to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm women’s health by changing consumer behaviors, corporate practices and government policies” (from their website, found here.)

I love their approach.  In 1995, a group of women in Missoula, Montana, formed Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE).  For the first ten years, they provided technical assistance to women fighting local polluting facilities.  Then they expanded to regional and national concerns.  Now they are working to eliminate toxic chemicals “that may be contributors to breast cancer, birth defects, asthma, infertility, learning disabilities, children’s cancers and other illnesses” (from the “History and Accomplishments” section of their website.)  In 2007, they prompted industries to establish a voluntary ingredient communication plan.  They’ve been able to persuade cosmetic companies to remove many of the toxic chemicals in beauty products.

So they lobby corporations to change formulations, label ingredients, and be more environmentally responsible. 

You can read about many of their governmental and corporate efforts here.  They were able to help persuade the makers of Tide detergent to reformulate their product to reduce the level on one of its chemicals, 1,4 dioxane,which is a carcinogen.  And they’ve worked to introduce bills in both state and federal legislature that will reduce and eliminate chemical usage.

They also encourage everybody to get involved by eliminating toxic chemicals from their homes.  They have a kit for throwing your own “Green Cleaning Party” to learn about the common chemicals in our cleaning products, and how to make your own.  You can find the kit here.

You can also host a Green Momma Party by downloading their party guide.

Women’s Voices for the Earth makes reducing and eventually eliminating toxic chemicals seem doable.  And it makes it fun, too!

It was just such grass-roots movements that have cleaned up the air in my old stomping grounds in the orchards of Washington.  People spoke up.  Pressure was applied to corporations and legislators. 

We can help clean up our environment, and our health, too.

Happily kicking-off-Earth-Day week!

Love,

Lassen’s