We are the faces of Breathing in Wellness. That’s Louella on the left and me, Reyna on the right. We began to take an interest in creating products that are clean, natural and plant based after I received a diagnosis in 2010 of B-Cell Lymphoma in my eyes. It was a year from the time I noticed something was just not right with my eyes, to diagnosis of MALT Lymphoma. This is a rare-ish kind of Cancer that affects mucous rich parts of the body. It was rare as well that at my age of just 34 I had this disease. My oncologist wasn’t able to tell me why this happened, just that it did and that I should go through 3 weeks of daily radiation to get rid of it.
After losing both of my in-laws to Cancer less than a year before I received my own diagnosis, I felt extremely lucky that I had this disease and it could be hopefully destroyed by just 3 weeks of radiation. The oncologist told me that it would be easy and painless. Radiation was excruciating and it left the skin on my face burned and irritated and I couldn’t open my eyes much as they burned too. 8 years later i still struggling with the effects of the radiation treatment.
I decided that I wouldn’t use commercial body care products anymore. Many products use parabens that have been shown to be endocrine disruptors and cause reproductive system issues; sulfates that have been shown to possibly cause Cancer. Fragrances have been shown to cause allergies and irritations to the eyes and skin, as well as being toxic to many organs in the body. It has almost a decade since I have used commercial body products like perfumes, shampoos or soaps. I find that I just can no longer tolerate the fragrances that come with them. The skin around my eyes and my eyes themselves are irritated by just being around synthetic fragrances and products that.
It takes a matter of seconds for chemicals and fragrances to get into our blood stream, so I thought I should only put on my body what I would put in my body, since it gets there on its own anyhow! I had been making body scrubs and lip balm for sometime, mostly as gifts for family and friends. Over the years since then, I have taken a few courses to learn about utilizing medicinal plants and infusing them in carrier oils and blending essential oils for medicinal benefit. I have done much research on my own to learn more about how herbs and oils can heal the body and also help with the self care component of everyday life. Now I make plant infused whipped body butter, natural perfumes and lip balm, salt and sugar scrubs as well as several healing balms/salves. Please check them out in the shop!
I never use synthetic perfume fragrances, parabens or sulfates in any of the products I make. It is super important to me not to add synthetics to my products. The only fragrance used in any product I make is that of 100% pure essential oils. If you check out the blog and read about the different properties of food grade oils, you will know that these oils, like coconut, sunflower, avocado, olive and grapeseed have their own preservatives in them. I think that you will enjoy the butters and scrubs so much that they won’t last more than a couple of months in your bathroom anyway!
You can find some of my products at The Middlebury Natural Foods Co-Op in Middlebury, VT.