Why Should I Avoid DEET?

Mosquito bites are the bane of summer. Bothersome red bumps that our children scratch open. Insatiably itchy spots that wake us up at night. Of course you do whatever you can to keep the blood-sucking mosquitoes away from your family.

Think about how often you apply bug spray to yourself and your children during summer months. Do you douse your kids in the morning? Maybe once more before you venture outside to play? Then again after lunch? Or after swimming? Or sweating? Do you give them another spray-down before your afternoon walk, or after dinner during summer months when mosquitoes are at their worst? Just how often are you and your family exposed to the chemicals in your mosquito repellent over the course of a summer?

What is DEET?

In a nutshell, DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or diethyltoluamide) is a strong chemical compound that is intended to repel mosquitoes, among other insects. It’s used in most of the mosquito repellents available on the American market today.

It is highly effective against mosquitoes and ticks.

Of course there is a “however.”

However.

DEET has been shown to cause brain-cell death and behavioral changes when used for extended periods, or in high concentrations, especially in children.  Neurons in the region of the brain that control muscle movement, memory, learning, and concentration die when exposed to DEET for prolonged periods.

Humans have been found to experience headaches, fatigue, memory loss, shortness of breath, and joint and muscle pains with heavy exposure to DEET.  Sometimes these symptoms take months or years to manifest after exposure. (Source here)

DEET and Children

Further, children – especially babies – are far more vulnerable to these harmful effects. DEET should NEVER be applied to babies under 2 months of age, under any circumstance.

Children are more susceptible to subtle brain changes caused by harmful chemicals because their skin absorbs the chemical much more readily than adults. And because their nervous systems are still developing, exposure to chemicals is far more dangerous.

How Not To Use DEET

DEET also has a laundry list of “DON’Ts:” Don’t apply under clothing, don’t leave on the skin for extended periods, don’t forget to wash DEET off of skin after coming inside, don’t sleep in DEET, don’t apply DEET to broken skin.

When applied to broken skin, (think of all those summer cuts, scrapes, and previously scratched mosquito bites), DEET is quickly absorbed into the body, where it can do even more damage than when applied to intact skin, especially in children.

When applied under clothing, DEET is more easily absorbed into the skin. When left on, the prolonged exposure allows it to soak right into children’s bodies.

Are you safe?

Again, reflect on how often you’re dousing your kids with mosquito repellent.

Let’s make certain what we’re applying to our children’s precious bodies is 100% safe and effective.

Safe, Effective Mosquito Spray

real. kind.’s Mosquito Spray is 100% free of DEET and all harmful chemicals. My carefully formulated blend of essential oils of catnip, lemon, eucalyptus, and citronella, among others, plus botanical extracts of witch hazel and vanilla, wards off mosquitoes and protects even the youngest babe in your family.

Catnip (top), citronella (bottom left), and lemon eucalyptus ward off those evil mosquitoes.

Catnip (top), citronella (bottom left), and lemon eucalyptus ward off those evil mosquitoes.

For those of us who frolic in the woods, Mosquito & Tick Spray keeps the ticks away too, using the addition of rose geranium oil. It’s also safe for dogs!

Throw a cloak of invisibility around your family this summer while keeping their little bodies safe. Harness the powerful properties of natural ingredients to protect your family safely and effectively.

Skincare for warmer weather

Warmer temperatures mean we get to show off our arms and legs in cute little shorts and lightweight dresses. My job is to bless you with glowing skin, all summer long.

Exfoliation

The key to glowing skin is a delicate combination of exfoliating and moisturizing. Make sure you're using a gentle exfoliant (like real. kind.'s Salt Scrub) at least twice a week -- more if your skin can tolerate it. 

Ancient sea salt buffs away dead, dull skin cells, and reveals the new, plump skin underneath. Rich, emollient oils simultaneously moisturize and leave your skin silly and soft. 

I use my Salt Scrub almost every day during the summer. It keeps the "chicken skin" (keratosis pilaris) on my arms in check, and leaves my feet as soft as lamb's wool. (A note: never use salt on your face, neck, or decollate areas. Salt crystals are too abrasive for this delicate skin. Instead, try Exfoliating Cleanser made with gentle sugar crystals.)

Moisturize

As soon as possible after you shower (and for best results, while skin is still damp), anoint yourself with lotion. This will lock in moisture, and soften your skin all day. 

Exfoliating AND moisturizing together is key -- never exfoliate unless you're sure you're going to moisturize afterward. Otherwise, your skin loses key moisture, and makes up for it by producing more oil, which can clog pores and keep your skin from shedding skin cells easily. It also leads to irritation, redness, and dryness.

Likewise, moisturizing if you haven't exfoliated recently can also clog pores. Exfoliating and moisturizing go hand in hand.

Shaving

Get the closest shave by exfoliating beforehand. real. kind.'s Exfoliating Cleanser is a terrific pre-shave exfoliant -- it gets rid of dead, bumpy skin cells before your shave, softens, and washes away clean so no oily residue is left in your razor.

Always make sure you moisturize after shaving. Not only does this nourish your skin with the oils and moisture you lost during exfoliation and shaving, but you'll leave your skin glowing and soft and worthy of worship.

Now get out there and be radiant!

Love and Light,
Suz

SF Women's March

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