Is Hard Seltzer Better for You Than Wine?

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Hot summer days are all about rosé & wine slushies, but is there something better? Hard seltzer, like White Claw hard seltzer, offers fewer calories and just 5% alcohol. Not only does it taste like your favorite seltzer water (with no added sugar) it also helps you stay better hydrated – even in party mode. 

Is hard seltzer better for you than wine? Hot summer days are all about rosé & wine slushies, but is there something better? Hard seltzer, like White Claw hard seltzer, offers fewer calories and just 5% alcohol. Not only does it taste like your favorite seltzer water (with no added sugar) it also helps you stay better hydrated - even in party mode.

The Drink I Didn’t Know I Was Missing

Until a few years ago, there were few non-liquor options for adult beverages besides wine, beer and coolers. All of these options are filled with added sugar. And to be honest, I’ve never liked beer. While my tastes have become more refined with age – hello, peppery dry red wine! – I don’t drink wine coolers anymore because I find them too sweet.

Then came the hard sodas, ciders and lemonades. Like coolers, they are often sweet and filled with added sugars. Being that I’m in my mid-forties, I’ve really been trying to avoid added sugar and cut calories. Not only do these drinks leave me feeling really full, really fast, they also give me massive belly bloat. Not only is the bloating uncomfortable, it’s definitely not the look I’m going for. (After all, those symptoms of perimenopause are more than enough to contend with as it is.)

Spiked seltzer however, like White Claw hard seltzer, fills a void I didn’t even realize was there. Although it’s a fairly new drink that was introduced just three years ago, it’s becoming increasingly popular.  I’m regularly running between two different Kroger stores AND Target to find my favorite multi-pack in stock as it sells out so often.

Since my discovery of spiked seltzer, I’ve pretty much given up wine expect on those special occasions. Hard seltzer has me hooked. It’s definitely a better option than wine or beer. Not only does it have zero added sugar, it’s also flavored with real fruit. And, as hard seltzer is mostly water, it helps you stay better hydrated. Meaning, it’s a lot easier to avoid a hangover the next morning.

Rosé is a summertime favorite. However, it may be time to swap out your wine for something better. Few calories, no added sugar, gluten free and zero sulfites make hard seltzer the best new summer drink! Discover the benefits of drinking hard seltzer versus wine. Plus stay better hydrated while drinking!

Is Hard Seltzer Better For You Than Wine?

I used to have a glass of wine (or three) in the evenings. It was the perfect drink to help my body wind down and relax all that tension that builds up from working at a desk all day. But the calories were definitely making a real impact on my waistline in recent years. That, and those wine hangovers can be brutal. I’ve since switched to hard seltzer. And I’ve found, that for me, it’s a much better choice than wine or hard cider.

Not only is hard seltzer lower in calories, it has no added sugar. And with just 4 to 5 percent alcohol, depending on the brand, I don’t accidentally get caught up and over imbibe. With temperatures in the 90s, it’s also a better choice to stay hydrated in the summer. Simply put, I find White Claw hard seltzer much more refreshing than wine. Plus it’s hard to miss the belly bloating, stained lips and sulfites. So, sorry not sorry, summer rosé. It’s time to move over.

There’s good reason that you keep seeing White Claw memes all over the internet. Despite the hate (it’s ok to think it’s basic, some would say the same about pumpkin spice) there are a number of reasons to love this refreshing hard seltzer.

Hard seltzer is a refreshing summertime drink with fewer calories than wine, no sulfites and no added sugar.

What is Hard Seltzer?

Hard seltzer, sometimes called spiked seltzer, is the latest craze in adult beverages. Like its non-alcoholic cousin the trendy seltzer water, it’s mostly water with a hint of natural flavor.

Hard seltzers are comparable to a beer in alcohol content, but they offer a lighter, more refreshing taste. They just might be the perfect drink for a hot summer day, but they will taste great no matter what the weather is outside. Plus they come in skinny cans that are better suited for smaller hands (without that annoying pink tax on everything else that targets women consumers.) 

Spiked Seltzer Brands

I’ve tried a few spiked seltzer brands, including Press, White Claw Hard Seltzer, Bon & Viv, Smirnoff Spiked, Nauti Hard Seltzer, Truly, Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water and Vibe to name a few.

I haven’t tried all of them, but so far White Claw Hard Seltzer is my preferred brand. It’s made with just water, a gluten free alcohol and natural fruit for flavoring. White Claw hard seltzer has just 100 calories per can. So it’s definitely better than drinking a glass of wine.

In addition, White Claw doesn’t have the aftertaste that other spiked seltzers have. To me, it’s just more refreshing and a better tasting drink. 

White Claw hard seltzer is available in a number of natural fruit flavors. They include mango, black cherry, natural lime, raspberry, and ruby grapefruit. Mango is my favorite and the one I usually reach for. Although lime and black cherry run a close second. The mango White Claw hard seltzer is almost always sold out, however. So I’ve learned to adapt to my second choices, but rarely another brand. I’ve tried Truly brand hard seltzer and it just doesn’t measure up. While it ties with White Claw in the hard seltzer arena, I find it has an unpleasant aftertaste that I relate to fake sweeteners. 

Alcohol Content

Spiked seltzers are comparable to a beer with about 5 percent alcohol. Wine has about 10 to 15 percent alcohol, so a spiked seltzer is definitely less potent than a glass of wine.

If you tend to sip throughout the evening or enjoy more than one drink, you probably won’t get drunk if you drink a spiked seltzer instead of a glass of wine. Therefore, you’re less likely to find yourself suddenly “deep in the feels” after a few glasses (ie. a bottle) of wine. This is good news. Because what this means is that there are no drunk texts to your ex you can’t take back the next day. So really, hard seltzer is also a better break up drink. After all, more alcohol isn’t always the better choice.

Why I gave up wine for White Claw hard seltzer.

Less Sugar and Fewer Calories

Wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks are notoriously high in calories, which is made even worse because they are empty calories. The calories in just two drinks can rival those in a full meal. (With a comparable amount of bloating.)

Spiked seltzers only have about 100 calories in a 12 ounce can, so they won’t add as many calories to your daily intake. That’s less than most beers—although some light beers are comparable with 95 to 100 calories per drink—and you can expect about 125 calories for a 5-ounce glass of wine.

Carb counters will also rejoice in the fact that hard seltzers have less sugar and fewer carbs than wine. Wine will usually have 4 grams of carbs per glass, but hard seltzer has about 2 grams of carbs per 12 ounces.

Additionally, most spiked seltzers have zero added sugars. The flavor and sweetness all come from the fruit. So while I wouldn’t call them a healthy drink, they are definitely a better drink choice when compared to wine.

White Claw hard seltzer calories come in at 100 per can with 2 grams of carbs. If you drink more than a few glasses of wine a week, this could save you a lot of calories.

Gluten-Free

If you are gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that most spiked seltzers are gluten-free (but always check the label to be sure!).

Instead of using a fermented grain to make the alcohol in a hard seltzer, it’s made from fermented sugar.

Outdoor summer party with on the go drinks in a cooler.

Portability

Hard seltzers come in a handy 12-ounce can. They are easy to take with you, easy to open, and easy to drink right from the can. Plus, as I mentioned previously, the skinny can is the perfect size for women’s hands. (I like to keep my White Claw hard seltzer cold in my Coleman Lounger Stainless Steel Can Insulator. It not only works with skinny cans, but also regular sized beer cans or bottles, as well as bottled water.)

Heading to a party? Grab a pack and toss them in a cooler. You can even carry them in a bag without worrying about them breaking or spilling.

Since they are in 12-ounce cans, it’s just the right amount for a drink. You don’t have to worry about storing leftover wine.

Wines only last anywhere from three days to two weeks, so hard seltzer is a better choice for those who don’t drink as often just because there’s less waste.

Mixing Drinks

Although hard seltzer is pretty tasty on its own, it also makes an excellent mixer. With the fruity flavor, it mixed well with vodka and can even take a sangria up a notch for added flavor.

If you’ve tried making mixed drinks with seltzer water, you might have been disappointed because the fruit flavor tends to disappear. Hard seltzer keeps the fruity flavor better, so don’t hesitate to try it mixed with other liquors.

Enjoy your spiked seltzer as a frozen boozy treat by simply freezing it. Pour it in a pan, freeze, and use an ice cream scoop to scoop it into cups for yourself or guests. It makes an incredibly easy and very yummy frozen treat that’s perfect for a hot summer evening. You can even pour it into a wine glass with edible flowers or fruit for dinner parties to elevate it to the next level.

Does Spiked Seltzer Hydrate You?

Most spiked seltzers have just three ingredients: water, alcohol and flavoring. Some brands have more ingredients, so check labels. White Claw Hard Seltzer only has these three ingredients, which is partly why it’s one of my favorite spiked seltzer brands. Due to the high water content and lower alcohol content, you’re more likely to stay hydrated. I know I do. 

Not only does this help you feel better now, but it will also help in the morning. Dehydration can make a hangover worse. While I can’t guarantee that you won’t have a hangover after a few hard seltzers, it is likely that the hangover will be less severe than if you’d been drinking wine. I’ve yet to get a hangover from drinking equivalent amounts of hard seltzer to wine. However, it’s still important to reach for a bottle of water after you’ve been drinking to help your body recover from the intake of alcohol.

Do you love hard seltzer? Share your favorite flavors or ways to drink hard seltzer in the comments. Then be sure to follow me across your favorite social media platforms including pinterest, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

Eucalyptus and Orange Essential Oil Blend for Health, Home & Beauty

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This natural aromatherapeutic eucalyptus & orange essential oil blend recipe doesn’t just smell wonderful. It actually can be used in a number of ways for health, home and beauty. Learn how to make a simple eco-friendly linen spray & deodorizer, surface sanitizer, smoothing hair shine spray & diffuser blend for stuffy noses. As well as how to add this essential oil blend to your homemade soap & natural skin care recipes. Keep reading to learn more!

This natural aromatherapeutic eucalyptus & orange essential oil blend recipe doesn’t just smell wonderful. It actually can be used in a number of ways for health, home and beauty. Learn how to make a simple eco-friendly linen spray & deodorizer, surface sanitizer, smoothing hair shine spray & diffuser blend for stuffy noses. As well as how to add this essential oil blend to your homemade soap & natural skin care recipes

Aromatherapeutic Essential Oil Blend

This is the same essential oil blend I used in my latest natural skin care recipe for a homemade coffee body scrub. And, because I love it SO much, I wanted to share a few other ways that you can use this natural essential oil blend recipe.

Whether you’re looking for new naturally scented skin care recipes to try or want an eco-friendly way to freshen your home, you’ll find this eucalyptus and orange essential oil blend has uses for all aspects of health, skin care and homemaking.

Multipurpose aromatherapeutic orange and eucalyptus essential oil blend recipe for homemade soap recipes and natural skin care products. Use this essential oil blend in you homemade beauty recipes such as melt and pour soaps, body butter and scrubs - even natural homemade deodorant for summer! I recommend .05% for leave on products and up to 2% for wash off products such as homemade soap recipes and body scrubs.

Eucalyptus and Orange Essential Oil Blend

To make, simply combine 3 parts eucalyptus essential oil with 2 parts peppermint essential oils, 2 parts orange essential oil, 1 part rosemary essential oil and 1 part tea tree essential oil in an amber glass bottle. Then shake to combine.

Here’s an easy breakdown to make a batch of this essential oil blend to use throughout the year, broken down into ounces and grams.

Eucalyptus and Orange Essential Oil Blend Recipe

.15 oz. / 4.25 g eucalyptus essential oil
.1 oz. / 2.8 g peppermint essential oil
.1 oz. / 2.8 g wild orange essential oil
.05 oz. / 1.41 g rosemary essential oil
.05 oz. /1.41 g tea tree essential oil

This natural aromatherapeutic eucalyptus & orange essential oil blend recipe doesn’t just smell wonderful. It actually can be used in a number of ways for health, home and beauty. Learn how to make a simple eco-friendly linen spray & deodorizer, surface sanitizer, smoothing hair shine spray & diffuser blend for stuffy noses. As well as how to add this essential oil blend to your homemade soap & natural skin care recipes.

Ways to use Your Eucalyptus and Orange Essential Oil Blend

For Homemade Beauty Recipes

You can then use this essential oil blend in you homemade beauty recipes such as melt and pour soaps, body butters and scrubs – even natural homemade deodorant for summer! I recommend .05% for leave on products and up to 2% for wash off products such as homemade soap recipes and body scrubs.

Or try swapping out this eucalyptus and orange essential oil blend in one of these natural beauty recipes.

For Natural Hair Care

I also love using this blend for natural hair care. Combine 12 drops of this essential oil blend with 1 oz. fractionated coconut oil. Then simply mist or smooth a few drops over hair for a healthy looking shine.

Do seasonal allergies leave you feeling worn out? Try this natural essential oil blend for seasonal allergies. This essential oil blend recipe has aromatherapeutic benefits that help energize and clear nasal passages. Say bye-bye to stuffy noses while enjoying its energizing fresh scent that helps put some of that pep back into your step. Simply use this aromatherapy essential oil blend in a diffuser or homemade shower steamers. Or try it on an essential oil diffuser necklace for on the go care.

For Seasonal Allergies & Colds

As this natural essential oil blend contains eucalyptus essential oil, I also found it worked wonders at opening up my nasal passages caused by seasonal allergies.

Essential Oil Diffuser - Opulence - Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy with White Ceramic Base and Touch Sensor Light Switch

Simply use this blend in an essential oil diffuser – like this one, pictured above. Or, combine 24 drops of essential oil with 2 oz. of witch hazel in a spray bottle to mist onto your pillow before bed. (You can also use this as a spray deodorant!)

For Home Scents & Sanitizers

Alternately, I also found that this essential oil blend works beautifully as an odor neutralizing spray, sanitizer and air freshener in my home. Simply combine this blend in a spray bottle with either vodka or 99% isopropyl alcohol to deodorize and sanitize surfaces. It can also be used as a linen spray to freshen laundry. (Shake before each use.)

For Laundry Care

You can also add this essential oil blend directly to your wool dryer balls for freshly scented laundry that’s also eco-friendly.

How Much Essential Oil Should I Use?

Confused about how much essential oil to add to your recipes? Check out Mountain Rose Herbs’ new essential oil dilution calculator here. Or try their easy essential oil conversion calculator when you’re not sure how to make conversions from drops to larger units of measure. Plus get pro tips for using essential oils for home, health and beauty.

DIY ways to use essential oils in your home as well as for health and beauty. Learn how to make a simple eco-friendly linen spray & deodorizer, surface sanitizer, smoothing hair shine spray & diffuser blend for stuffy noses. As well as how to add this essential oil blend to your homemade soap & natural skin care recipes.

An Easy Way to Learn About Essential Oils

Ready to start your essential oil collection but aren’t sure where to start? Simply Earth offers a monthly essential oil recipe box that’s perfect for you! Each monthly box comes with four essential oils as well as additional ingredients and recipe cards. Use the essential oil recipe cards to craft simple essential oil recipes for health, home and beauty. Then store the index sized cards in a recipe box for future reference or to duplicate your favorite recipes.

There’s no monthly commitment to try Simply Earth. Buy a single box or individual essential oils when it fits your budget. Discover all the benefits of Simply Earth’s essential oil recipe boxes here. Or check out my reviews of past boxes from Simply Earth here.

Ready to explore new essential oils? Order this month’s box with right away! (Use coupon code: SOAPDELIFREE to receive a FREE bonus box worth $40 with your first order. You’ll also get an e-coupon for $40 off your next box. Get yours now!)

Natural ways to use essential oils for home, health and beauty. Learn how to make a simple eco-friendly linen spray & deodorizer, surface sanitizer, smoothing hair shine spray & diffuser blend for stuffy noses. As well as how to add this essential oil blend to your homemade soap & natural skin care recipes.

Interested in learning even more? Explore more ways to use essential oils in your home as well as for health and beauty applications by visiting my essential oils & herbs board on Pinterest. And, of course, don’t forget to pin this post with my eucalyptus and orange essential oil blend recipe for later!

For more ideas for using essential oils as well as my own original bath and beauty recipes, be sure to follow me across your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my semi-weekly newsletter to stay in the loop.

Summer Safety Tips to Protect Against Tick-Borne Illnesses & Skin Cancer

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Learn important outdoor summer safety tips to protect your body from tick-borne illnesses and sunburns that can lead to skin cancer.

Outdoor summer safety tips. Learn important summer safety tips to protect your body from tick-borne illnesses and sunburns that can lead to skin cancer. Which is your biggest concern? Getting skin cancer or contracting Lyme disease? You may be surprised to learn that equal numbers of people fall victim to both each year. As these numbers have increased considerably to around 300,000 cases of each per year, it makes sense that summer skin care should be a priority. By carrying out a few essential summer safety tips, you can help prevent you and your family from getting sick.

Outdoor Summer Safety Tips

Which is your biggest concern? Getting skin cancer or contracting Lyme disease? You may be surprised to learn that equal numbers of people fall victim to both each year. As these numbers have increased considerably to around 300,000 cases of each per year, it makes sense that summer skin care should be a priority. By carrying out a few essential summer safety tips, you can help prevent you and your family from getting sick. Keep reading to discover these essential summer safety tips that target potential summertime threats.

Why Is Summer Skin Care Important?

Summer skin care involves more than just protecting your skin from the sun. Ticks, which can potentially infect their host with Lyme disease or even a red meat allergy, are also becoming increasingly common. This makes not just skin cancer, but the possibility of a lifelong illness from chronic lyme disease, an equal concern. Learn important summer safety tips to protect your body from tick-borne illnesses and sunburns that can lead to skin cancer below.

Concern Over Potentially Toxic Ingredients In Sunscreen

You may have heard that are new concerns regarding sunscreens. A recent medical study by JAMA showed that certain chemicals used in sunscreen – specifically avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule – are actually absorbed into the users bloodstream during use. Unfortunately for us, these levels are much higher than approved by the FDA.

However, as sunscreens have not been subjected to the same standards as drug safety testing, there have been no safety inspections on sunscreens thus far. This means that the chemicals in many of the sunscreens on the market are potentially poisoning our bodies. What we don’t know, is if these chemicals are putting us at risk for future illnesses or cancer.

What I found especially scary is how long three of the aforementioned chemicals stay in the bloodstream. Not only do levels of all of these chemicals exceed the maximum safety levels set by the FDA after the first use, three are still detectable after a seven day period. Especially troubling are the results of study on oxybenzone. A chemical banned from sunscreens in Hawaii as it’s toxic to coral reefs, oxybenzone also shows up in womens breast milk.

Unfortunately, no one knows the long term effects of using sunscreen with these ingredients. As of yet, more testing needs to be done to ensure consumer safety. There simply is no concrete answer as to if these ingredients cause cancer over time with continued use. Kind of scary right?

Outdoor Summer Sun Protection Safety Tips

In order to keep your skin safe from cancer, wearing clothing that covers exposed skin and applying sunscreen are two very important summer safety tips. However, with new insight on the potential dangers of chemicals found in sunscreens, it begs the question, what kind of sunscreen should you use?

What Types of Sunscreen Should I Use?

Barrier sunscreens, or mineral based sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, and are free of the previously mentioned chemicals are considered to be safe and effective at protecting skin from sunburns. (Some brands to consider are Waxhead, Bare Republic and Australian Gold.)

It is recommended that you opt out of making your own sunscreen unless you can test its effectiveness. There are numerous reports across the internet in which homemade sunscreens did not offer the protection thought. Thus resulting in bad sunburns. (So DIY at your own risk.)

One only needs to refer back to the debacle with The Honest Company sunscreen during 2015 to fully realize the challenge in make a safe and effective product. There were multiple reports after the original sunscreen was reformulated to reduce the amount of zinc oxide. Extensive sunburns were reported after this change, that while more aesthetically pleasing (bye bye white marks!) it missed the mark on sun protection. (You can read more on this issue here.)

The risk of skin cancer, unfortunately, seems to keep rising. In 2018 the World Cancer Research Fund reported 300,000 new cases of melanoma. This marks melanoma as the 19th most commonly occurring cancer among men and women.

Why Protecting Yourself From Tick Bites Is Important

While the thought of skin cancer is certainly scary, contracting Lyme disease – or even an allergy to red meat – from a tick bite is becoming increasingly common. And quite honestly, just as terrifying. Like melanoma, the CDC reports that 300,000 Americans contract tick-borne diseases each year. While there were 30,000 cases reported to the CDC in 2013, they believe that the actual number of cases is ten times this amount.

The month of May typically marks the start of tick season. This means starting now you should already be taking precautions to protect yourself – and your furry friends – from tick bites. In addition, as we had a mild winter across much of the United States, tick season is expected to be considerably worse this year over previous years when winter temperatures were much colder. It is important to keep in mind, however, that just because tick season starts in May, that doesn’t mean there’s not a year round risk.

Common Disease Carrying Ticks to Watch Out For

Black Legged Tick (Deer Tick)

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. However, the black legged tick, also known as a deer tick, does. It’s prevalent across much of the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central part of the United States as well as Illinois. Cases of lyme disease have been reported from Virginia to Northern Maine. This disease causes fever, headache and fatigue as well as characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the joints, heart and the nervous system. This in turn can lead to chronic pain, similar to that of fibromyalgia. (Learn more about Lyme disease here.)

A few years back my neighbor contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite. He had headaches so intense he was unable to work for six months coupled with crippling pain. After which he was only able to go back to work part time. If you suspect you may have been bitten by a deer tick, immediate antibiotic treatment can reduce or prevent the symptoms of Lyme disease. However, the best course of action is still prevention.

Deer ticks must be attached to their host – whether pet or human – for 36 to 48 hours in order to transmit the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that causes lyme disease. Therefore, checking yourself and your animals for ticks once you’ve been outside in wooded and high grass areas can help prevent transmission of the disease. While wearing protective clothing and using a tick repellent can prevent tick bites entirely.

American Dog Tick

The American dog tick, on the other hand, is also one of the most common ticks in the US. However, it is often misidentified. While dog ticks do not carry Lyme disease, they can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and possibly ehrlichiosis to humans. Ehrlichiosis is an emerging concern for areas where this tick is found, East of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ehrlichiosis causes a variety of symptoms that include fever, headache, chills, malaise, muscle pain, gastrointestinal distress, confusion, red eyes and a rash. Approximately one third of adults and half of all children who contract ehrlichiosis experience systems. As with Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis can be fatal in some cases. However, early treatment with antibiotics is often effective.

Lone Star Tick

Finally, the lone star tick – which is also common in my home state of Virginia – can pass along what is called alpha-gal. Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule that the lone star tick can transmit from mammals to humans. When this happens, our bodies develop antibodies against alpha-gal. This in turn results to a life threatening allergy to red meat.

The allergy causes symptoms in humans ranging from hives to violent vomiting and diarrhea – or worse death from anaphylaxis shock. People who have this allergy, like those allergic to bee stings or even peanuts – must carry an EpiPen with them in case of accidental exposure. Additionally, UVA has also conducted research linking those sensitive to the alpha-gal gene with a much higher risk of heart disease.

The lone star tick is especially dangerous as it will actually hunt its next meal. Research has shown that this tick can sense mammals and humans from 60 to 100 feet away. The tick then gravitates towards mammals, rather than patiently waiting for someone to walk by. A recent news story in our area reported that doctors in Richmond are seeing approximately 100 cases per week of people who have been infected with alpha-gal from tick bites.

Outdoor Summer Safety Tips to Prevent Tick Bites. If you live in areas that are prone to ticks, or you are visit high grassy or wooded areas, you should be taking precautions to prevent tick bites. Learn how to keep you and your family safe from tick-borne illnesses.

Outdoor Summer Safety Tips to Prevent Tick Bites

If you live in areas that are prone to ticks, or you are visit high grassy or wooded areas, you should be taking precautions to prevent tick bites. Here’s how to keep you and your family safe from tick-borne illnesses.

    • Wear light protective clothing that covers your arms and legs. (Ticks are easier to see on light colored clothes.) A head covering is also recommended. Tuck or tape your cuffs into your shoes to prevent ticks from crawling inside underneath your clothes.
    • It’s recommended that you spray an insect repellant that contains picaridin, rather than DEET, onto your clothing and hands. (Avoid spraying insect repellent onto your face. Apply with your hands instead, avoiding mucous membranes.) Be sure to wash skin and clothes once you return indoors. Other DEET alternatives include natural tick repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil.
    • When hiking, walk inside the center of the trail to avoid being brushed by foliage that may contain ticks. If camping, avoid sitting in areas with leaf litter.
    • Check yourself, as well as pets and children, for ticks every two to three hours. Most ticks are unable to transmit a disease until after the four hour mark. While removing ticks within 36 hours makes transmission of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease unlikely.
    • If you find a tick on your clothing, it can be easily removed with masking or cellophane tape. To remove ticks on skin, grasp it firmly with tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Then firmly and gently pull the tick straight out. Alternately, you can also use a cloth or tissue to form barrier between your fingers and the tick prior to removal. Always wash the infected area with soap and water following tick removal, followed by an antiseptic.
    • If you’re worried about infection, you can save the tick in a small vial of alcohol. This way the tick can be identified if you do get sick or want to take preventative antibiotics to protect against Lyme disease. Or if you experience an unexplained illness accompanied by a fever after visiting a tick prone area.

Don't let bugs ruin your summer fun! Repel mosquitoes and deer ticks with this non-greasy insect repellent body butter recipe made with natural essential oils! This insect repellent body butter is crafted with a blend of natural essential oils including lemon eucalyptus essential oil which has been shown to not only repel biting insects, but deer ticks as well.

Alternatives to DEET

According to UpToDate, insect repellents containing the active ingredients DEET, IR3535, or picaridin are the most effective at preventing tick bites. However, these products must be reapplied frequently. Further, DEET products are not safe for use on small children under two months of age. Nor are they safe for adults at concentrations of higher than 30%. This chemical repellent can cause adverse neurologic reactions, such as seizures, as a result of overexposure. In addition it can also cause hives and blister-like lesions.

Due to the potential toxicity of DEET, picaridin is now recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a safe alternative to DEET. It should be applied every two hours. Picaridin is non-greasy and odorless. And it won’t irritate skin or stain fabrics. While there has been no indication of toxicity reported from use on humans, picaridin has caused liver toxicity in rats.

Should you choose to use an insect repellent with picaridin, I recommend Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent or Natrapel 8 Hour. Both of these insect repellents contain 20% picaridin.

While potentially less effective, natural alternatives are considered safer than chemical tick repellents. WebMD states that the application of Citriodiol (which contains 30% lemon eucalyptus oil extract) three times daily significantly decreases the risk of tick attachment if you live in tick-infested area. You can purchase REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent on Amazon. Like Citriodiol, it also contains 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus. And it doesn’t smell like bug spray.

You can also make a natural insect repellent at home. I have an insect repellent body butter recipe made with a blend of essential oils, including lemon eucalyptus to help repel mosquitoes and deer ticks. You find that recipe here.

What Is Your Biggest Outdoor Summer Skin Care Threat?

While it’s important to be diligent at preventing both sunburns and tick bites with the above summer safety tips, I’m curious which you find the greater concern? I posed this same question to my boyfriend, Greg. He stated that after watching me struggling with chronic pain from fibromyalgia, he’d definitely go the skin cancer route. Neither, however, would be his preference. I’ve seen photos of the damage caused by skin cancer and the radiation used to treat it. It’s not pretty. And I imagine it’s also quite painful.

The point is, however, both of these threats are scary and potentially life threatening. I’d love to hear you thoughts on these two health topics as well as your own summer safety tips you take to keep your and your family well. So be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.

Discover more ways to keep your family well by exploring some of the ideas on my Natural Health and Wellness Pinterest board. You can also follow me across your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me on PinterestBlog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter to stay in the loop.

Ways to Reduce Plastic Use (And Easy Swaps for Plastic Products in Your Home)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Help reduce ocean pollution for Earth Day. Discover easy ways to reduce plastic use in your home. Simply swap out your favorite plastic products with these eco-friendly options for an easy transition into green living.

Easy ways to reduce plastic use and go green, then check out these eco-friendly product swaps. Not only are these product substitutions environmentally friendly solutions, they also save you money over time. Learn why reducing plastic waste is so important to our environment. And discover my favorite plastic-free products.

If you’re looking for easy ways to reduce plastic use and go green, then check out these eco-friendly product swaps. Not only are these product substitutions environmentally friendly solutions, they also save you money over time. Keep reading to learn why reducing plastic waste is so important to our environment. And discover my favorite plastic-free products.

Why Eliminating Plastic Is Important

I’ll admit I’ve always loved straws.They keep the acids from acidic drinks (like orange juice) from coming in contact with my teeth. They also help to reduce staining from drinks like tea and iced coffees. And, as someone with sensitive teeth, I don’t have to worry about ice causing any pain or discomfort. Straws were no big deal. A normal part of life, they have always been a staple when dining out or enjoying a cocktail. Then one day, my friend Bambi who works with wildlife for her job, informed me I was Satan harming marine life through my continued use of straws.

I googled it. Seeing a sea turtle with a 4″ straw stuck in its nose was pretty heartbreaking. And I felt bad. Just not quite bad enough to actually do anything about it. I mean, straws are everywhere! I certainly don’t buy them. However they’re practically thrown at you in restaurants. So I didn’t see the harm in using a straw that had already been torn open on the bottom. And those tiny straws are always thrown in with my gin and tonics when they’re made. Bartenders are busy people. So requesting they omit the straw has a 50/50 chance of actually happening.

If you're looking for easy ways to reduce plastic use and go green, then check out these eco-friendly product swaps. Not only are these product substitutions environmentally friendly solutions, they also save you money over time. Learn why reducing plastic waste is so important to our environment. And discover my favorite plastic-free products.

And then came the new story about the whale who slowly starved to death, suffering from dehydration and hunger because he’d consumed so much plastic waste. Plastic that doesn’t biodegrade. Plastic that ends up in our landfills and in our oceans. When I actually took the time to research how plastic was harming our marine life and polluting our oceans (despite recycling efforts) I was horrified. And that was the push I needed.

My mom and I had lunch the other day at a Greek restaurant. I politely returned the unopened straw. My mother, on the other hand, did not. She gave me the “I know, I know but I need my straw. I’m waiting for them to come out with paper ones.” At least she acknowledged the harm plastic has on marine life. But like most of us, change can be slow and difficult if we’re stuck in our ways.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your plastic use, you can make the transition easier by substituting some of your favorite plastic products with easy reusable eco-friendly product swaps. Not only are they not going into a landfill (or our oceans) they actually save you money in the long run as you aren’t buying disposable products over and over again.

More Reasons to Reduce Plastic Waste

  • 90% of all plastics are NOT recycled.
  • 5.25 trillion pieces of marine trash have ended up in our oceans.
  • 90% of all seabirds have eaten plastic. This up from just 5% of seabirds in 1960.
  • Between 2000 and 2010 we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000.
  • Plastic doesn’t biodegrade. The EPA reports that “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.”
  • Marine animals both ingest and get tangled up in plastic. This can lead not just to injuries but also painful deaths.
  • By 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
  • Americans use 500 million plastic straws EVERYDAY. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice.

Help reduce ocean pollution for Earth Day. Discover easy ways to reduce plastic use in your home. Simply swap out your favorite plastic products with these eco-friendly options for an easy transition into green living.

Ways to Reduce Plastic Use in Your Home

An easy way to reduce plastic use in your home is to swap out plastic products with eco-friendly alternatives. If you’re ready to challenge yourself and reduce plastic use in your household, then try one or all of these easy product swaps.

Plastic sandwich bags.

Ditch the plastic sandwich bags with reusable storage bags. Reusable food storage bags are just as convenient as their single-use counterparts. I love the Grove Collaborative Reusable Sandwich Bags. They’re heavyweight so they can handle just about anything you need a plastic zipper bag for and they come in a variety of sizes. Sustainably made from a food-safe, BPA and phthalate-free material, these reusable bags are leak-proof and super easy to clean.

Ways to reduce plastic use and move toward a zero waste lifestyle. These beeswax wraps from Suzy's Bees Wraps are a sustainable solution to your food storage and preservation needs. Made with a natural fiber base, Suzy's Bees Wraps are infused with pure beeswax and easily mold to whatever container, dish, item or food item you need to cover.

You can also use products like beeswax food wraps. These beeswax wraps from Suzy’s Bees Wraps are a sustainable solution to your food storage and preservation needs. Made with a natural fiber base, Suzy’s Bees Wraps are infused with pure beeswax and easily mold to whatever container, dish, item or food item you need to cover.

Disposable coffee cups.

16 billion disposable coffee cups that get thrown away every year. If you can’t live without your Starbucks coffee in the mornings, simply ask your barista to pour your favorite coffee into your own reusable insulated coffee cup. I live right beside a Starbucks and I see people asking for their refills in their own insulated tumblers almost everyday via the drive thru. I recommended purchasing two insulated mugs – one for the car and one to swap out while the other is being washed.

Ways to Reduce Plastic Use (And Easy Swaps for Plastic Products in Your Home Starting With Straws) Help reduce ocean pollution for Earth Day. Easy ways to reduce plastic use in your home. Swap out plastic products with these eco-friendly alternatives.

Single use straws.

If you’re like my mom and can’t live without straws, then this is probably the easiest product swap ever. You can buy compostable paper straws to keep in your car for when you go out to dinner at a restaurant. Or, if paper tastes gross to you like it does for me, bamboo straws or stainless steel straws are an easy fix. I love the stainless steel straws because I can buy them with soft silicone tips. I prefer the reusable straws over paper as they’re a one time purchase just like the drinking glasses in your home.

Plastic grocery bags.

While most grocery stores still offer plastic grocery bags, this looks like it could be changing. I just read in the news yesterday that Kroger stores are slowly doing away with plastic grocery bags all together. In the future, customers will be expected to either bring their own bags or pay for bags when they make a purchase. So why not go ahead and buy reusable grocery shopping bags now? Many sellers now offer durable, eco-friendly reusable grocery bags that it’s easy to find bags that fit the way you shop. (Not to mention the larger size!)

Eco friendly reusable waxed shopping bag for your zero waste lifestyle. I love this durable waxed market bag from Thread and Canvas Co. in Seattle. It's perfect for grocery store trips as swell as those seasonal trips to the farmers market.

I love this durable waxed market bag from Thread & Canvas Co. in Seattle. It’s perfect for grocery store trips as swell as those seasonal trips to the farmers market. I plan to buy extra reusable shopping bags soon to add the ones I already have. This way I can keep a few in my car just in case I forget mine at home or make an unplanned trip to the store.

Plastic bottles of household cleaners.

Not only do most household cleaners come in ugly plastic bottles, they take up a lot of space under the sink. So I made the switch to glass spray bottles filled with cleaning concentrates. This will not only reduce your plastic consumption, but the bottles also look beautiful on your countertops. As you finish out the half-empty bottles under your sink, try swapping them out for a reusable glass bottle. Grove sells a full line of eco-friendly cleaning concentrates and glass bottles that are the perfect substitute.

For a limited time you can get three Grove cleaning concentrates, a glass spray bottle, a cleaning caddy and walnut scrubber sponges FREE with your first Grove order of $20 or more. Redeem this offer now.

Product packaging.

It might not seem like much, but the plastic wrappers that our products come in can add up to a huge amount of waste. For example, paper towels almost always come wrapped in plastic. One way to avoid this waste is by reaching for microfibers or euro dish cloths instead of single-use paper towels. I purchased a dozen microfibers so I can get through a full week without needing to do laundry.

I also have a serious crush on Grove’s European dish cloths. A reusable replacement for people who love paper towels, these durable cellulose and cotton dish cloths are as absorbent as a sponge. To clean, simply throw them into your dishwasher on the top rack when you wash dishes.

You can ease into a zero waste lifestyle by purchasing reusable paperless towels is also another great way to break your paper towel habit. You can even get unpaper paperless towels on a roll, like these from the Prairie Cloth Company.

Purchasing reusable paperless towels is also another great way to break your paper towel habit. You can even get unpaper paperless towels on a roll, like these from the Prairie Cloth Company.

You can also reduce plastic product packaging in your daily hair care routine. Making the switch to a solid shampoo bars (aka syndet bars) and conditioners. These solid shampoo bars work amazingly well (unlike past no poo hair care options made with soap.) They’re gentle on hair but also powerful enough to remove product build up while moisturizing and conditioning hair.

More Ways to Reduce Plastic Use & Go Green.

  • Explore this collection of handcrafted eco-friendly cleaning products. (Many of which also offer ways to reduce plastic use.)

If you’ve already made the decision to go green and move toward a zero waste lifestyle, I’d love to hear about your favorite product swaps and ways to reduce plastic use. So be sure to share your ideas and eco-friendly solutions in the comments.

For more great ideas for your eco-friendly lifestyle, be sure to check out my Eco-Friendly Lifestyle board on Pinterest. You can also find me across your favorite social media platforms including Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram so you never miss a post. Or sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter.

Best Beauty Hacks for Your Skin Care & Beauty Routine

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While making your own bath and beauty products from scratch is tons of fun, it’s not always practical. Sometimes we just don’t have time to plan or shop for ingredients. To help you get the most out of the beauty products you do have, I’ve put together a collection of the best beauty hacks for your skin care & beauty routine.

Best beauty hacks for your skin care & beauty routine so you get the most out of the beauty products you have while saving time and money! Making your own bath and beauty products from scratch is tons of fun, it's not always practical. But sometimes we just don't have time to plan or shop for ingredients. To help you get the most out of the beauty products you do have, I've put together a collection of the best beauty hacks & tips for your skin care & beauty routine. #beautyhacks #beautytips

Best Beauty Hacks for Your Skin Care & Beauty Routine

1. Add a few drops (up to 6 drops per ounce) of turmeric essential oil to your vitamin C serum to aid in acne prevention and to help lighten hyperpigmentation. (Or try it in this foaming turmeric face polish recipe!)

2. Plump up dry, dehydrated or maturing skin with a hyaluronic acid serum. Make your own with just 2-ingredients and save SO much money on your anti-aging skin care products. (Saving money is by far one of my favorite beauty hacks! Products seem to cost more as we age!)

3. Use St. Ives Medicated Acne Scrub as a foot scrub. The salicylic acid helps exfoliate and remove dead skin cells so you can remove even more calluses when you use your pumice stone on rough heels.

4. Candida out of control? Use a dog ear rinse with salicylic acid daily in a spray bottle to help kill off candida. (This works on dogs too! A little tip I recently got from my vet after my dog had a severe allergic reaction and developed yeast on his back hind legs.)

DIY Sheet Mask for Sensitive Skin. Make this DIY sheet mask for sensitive skin for under 10 cents each! Check out this simple holistic beauty recipe to learn what ingredients to use for your DIY sensitive skin sheet masks, why these natural ingredients make a difference and where to buy sheet masks to use for your own budget friendly DIY Sheet Face Masks.

5. Buying sheet masks can get expensive fast. Make your own sheets masks instead and save money for other things you love. (Can you believe you can make your own custom sheet masks for less than 10¢ each?)

6. Can’t afford a visit to the dentist? Pair Jason’s Powersmile Whitening Paste with an electric toothbrush and your teeth will always look like you’ve just had a cleaning!

7. Want some summer beauty hacks? Use a DIY sea salt spray for tousled beachy waves. Simply mix 4 oz. hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt. Then mist onto hair and scrunch. For an easy scented sea salt spray, substitute the water with your favorite herbal hydrosol or rosewater.

8. Use a texturizing finishing spray, like AG Hair Care Tousled Texture Body & Shine Finishing Spray, to add volume to hair and lock in waves.

9. For tousled natural wavy hair that lasts until you shampoo, use Conair’s Fashion Curl. I LOVE mine.

Handmade DIY Natural Cold Sore Therapy Lip Balm Recipe

10. Use neem oil to get rid of cold sores fast. Simply apply neem oil directly to the affected area a few times a day and watch them disappear almost overnight due to neem oils strong antiviral properties . You can also prevent cold sores from forming if you try this same process at that first sign of a tingle. You can also make your own cold sore therapy lip balm!

11. Neem oil can also be used as a spot treatment for acne. You know those painful red bumps with acne hiding underneath the skin? Neem oil pulls those out and dries them up in no time flat!

12. Hate waiting on your nail polish to dry? Dunk your nails in a bowl of ice water after painting them. This helps the nail polish set quicker and dry faster.

13. Mascara clumping? Add a few drops of eye contact lense solution to smooth out your mascara application.

14. If you’re in a pinch and run out of dry shampoo, pull the arrowroot powder out of your pantry and use it instead. It will help absorb the oil and build volume. Better yet, make your own herbal dry shampoo for next time.

Natural Homemade Scalp Tonic Recipe - Balances and Restores Your Scalp From the Effects of Cream Shampoos and Styling Products - A Toner for Your Scalp!

15. Naturally tackle dandruff and product build up with essential oils. This witch hazel scalp tonic recipe with essential oils works like a toner for your scalp to balance skin, target dandruff and fight itching. Simply spray onto your scalp after shampooing then rinse clean. Or add a few drops each of rosemary, peppermint, tea tree and lavender essential oils (up to 12 drops per ounce) to your regular everyday shampoo.

In a pinch you can also use two tablespoons apple cider mixed with once cup of water to remove build up and fight dandruff. Simply pour onto cleansed hair then follow with your usual conditioner.

16. Make a refreshing facial mist for parched skin without the heaviness of a moisturizer. Fill a spritzer bottle with water and a few strips of julienned cucumber or sprigs of lavender and mint. Spritz on your face and body when out in the summer heat to keep cool and refreshed.

17. Use honey as an antiseptic. Raw, dark honey is a natural antiseptic that not only heals and hydrates, but also reduces inflammation and inhibits infection. Create a simple face mask with just honey and yogurt and take five minutes out of your long day to let it do its work.

Best natural sugar scrub recipe with murumuru butter for dry skin. This natural homemade sugar scrub can be scented with your choice of natural essential oils blends to fit the season (hello, pumpkin spice!) or to serve as natural remedies to soothe muscle and joint pain. It gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells for smooth, glowing skin that feels moisturized. A great choice for fall or winter skin care, this DIY sugar scrub is suitable for sensitive skin, eczema and even maturing skin. Learn how to make now via the natural holistic skin care recipe at Soap Deli News blog. #essentialoils #sugarscrub #diy

18. Exfoliate tired, rough skin with a body scrub. This quick recipe only requires three ingredients – all of which you  may already have lurking in your pantry! For a one time use salt scrub, combine 5 Tablespoons sea salt, 1 Tablespoon olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix together then slather on to exfoliate and soften skin as well as help with hyperpigmentation. (Be cautious when heading out as lemon juice will increase your sensitivity to sunlight.) Or try one of these other amazing body scrub recipes.

29. Fight breakouts with apple cider vinegar. The high acid content of apple cider vinegar makes it perfect for fighting acne. Take ten minutes out of your day to steep a handful of clarifying parsley, then mix the cooled infusion in a spray bottle with a splash of vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil.

20. Freeze aloe vera gel for quick sunburn relief. Use an ice cube tray to freeze aloe vera into cubes for instant sunburn relief all summer long. Use cold, caffeinated tea bags – like green tea – to soothe puffy under eye and calm inflammation. Simply apply tea bags to your eye area for about five minutes before putting on makeup.

Natural Eczema Treatment for Real Relief from Eczema & Dry Skin. This natural eczema treatment knocks over-the-counter eczema creams out of the water. Formulated using only natural ingredients that offer relief of inflammation, itching and dryness, my natural eczema relief balm recipe offers real relief for your eczema or dry skin - with or without essential oils. Learn how to make an eczema repair balm recipe now at Soap Deli News for an eczema remedy that really works!

21. Apply an unscented salve or beauty balm to your inner wrists and other pulse points before applying perfume to make the fragrance last longer. You can make your own simple salve recipe by melting 1 part beeswax with 3 parts carrier oil in a double boiler. Then mix the two ingredients together and pour into a tin or small jar. Or try one of the amazing natural fragrance fixatives in the base note(s) of your choice from Wild Veil Perfume.

22. Use argan oil to give your hair beautiful shine without making it look greasy. Apply a small amount of argan oil to the palm of your hand. Rub your hand together then massage into hair ends. Finish by smoothing your hands over hair from the roots to the ends.

What are your favorite beauty hacks and tips for your skin and hair care? Share your best beauty hacks in the comments!

To discover more natural beauty hacks, tips and natural skin care recipes, sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter! You can also follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitterpinterest and instagram.