Coming from a Soaping Newbie

Hi there everybody!

My name is Felecia Mayerhofer for all of those who do not know me. I am Danielle’s granddaughter. Now for those of you who are not aware of what Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is, this is the easiest way I have figured out to explain it. Take a sweet smelling vanilla body spray for example, this to the average person smells good, some would even say delicious. To my grandma this triggers what almost seems like an asthma attack/ cough. With tears welling up in her eyes and her face turning red, I have watched my grandma struggle to breathe because of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. So all the fresh and sweet smelling fragrances of our favorite body sprays and detergents is what a huge, overfilled dumpster smells like to a person with MCS. Sounds horrible doesn’t it?

I do not suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity(MCS) like my grandmother does, but for awhile the illness  made it really hard to go visit her. I was in my teens when the disease came on. To me, it felt like it came out of nowhere. One day me and my three siblings were staying the night, watching movies and spending time with her and before we knew it she could not be in the same room as us because of how potent our laundry detergent and deodorant were to her.

I remember when her and I used to go shopping together at Ross and Michael’s before MCS took over. We could spend 3 or more hours at just one store together. We would just be talking, laughing, and searching through every aisle. We would search high and low even if we weren’t in dire need of anything specific, then we would do the same thing at the next store. She also used to take me to one of my all time favorite stores… Sally’s Beauty Supply! I will admit that I have a problem. I have an addiction with coloring my hair, collecting makeup products as well as skin care products. I cannot tell you how much money my grandma has spent on me in that store before the MCS kicked into full throttle.

There will always be apart of me that wishes we could go to Ross together one last time…

but I have seen countless times what MCS does to her when she is in a place filled with a wide range of scents.

My grandma is a brilliant, strong, and independent woman. Even when her condition was at its worst she did not stop trying to find some sort of solution to cure/manage her MCS. After realizing that there is no true cure for this disease, she did not let that stop her. Instead she used all the information she had learned about the disease and decided that if she cannot tolerate chemically made fragrances she would make her own household and body care products. The onset of this condition is what jump started the Skin Zen company.

I have been there for my grandma and this journey with Skin Zen from the very beginning. I was mostly behind the scenes. I did a lot of running errands such as searching through the Dollar Tree for useful utensils for soap making. She taught me how to be a cameraman for her soap challenge videos, how to keep an invoice record, and much more! It was only a few months ago that I decided to jump all in and become a part of the Skin Zen family. My parents, Dan and Shanelle, were devastated when my grandma broke the news to them about shutting down the business. They decided to partner up with my grandma to reopen Skin Zen because they have fallen in love with all of her products. Over the years my grandma has been experimenting and learning how to improve her recipes to create the luxurious products we now have today. My parents and I are proud to be apart of the Skin Zen family.

Just last month in May was the first time I had ever assisted with the making of a bar of soap. My grandmother let me take the wheel on creating Inner Peace and I would just like to say that making this soap has changed my life! I know that may sound a bit dramatic but I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Being able to be apart of something bigger than myself and finally experiencing what it is like to handcraft something from literally nothing has truly changed me. I did not realize how much time, effort, labor, thought, and patience goes into something like this. Making soap is definitely a form of art and boy my grandma sure is talented! I would have not been able to finish making Inner Peace if she were not there to encourage and guide me the whole way. So even though I said it a million times in the blog piece, “The Creation of Inner Peace” thanks again for letting me make this soap with you grammie!

Now for those of you who consider yourselves experienced soap makers or even newbies like me, I have a question for you. What did you think and feel during the process of making your very first soap? Please share! I am very curious and would love to start communicating with our readers.

P.S.

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Don’t forget to check out our website www.skinzennatural.com

 

Yours truly,

Felecia Mayerhofer

Marketing and Production Support

Welcome to my First Post!

Hello readers;

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my first blog.  I hope you will become a regular visitor.  I will be writing  from my heart,  with lots of research, background checks, and knowledge thrown in, and above all else honesty.  My interests are on health, our environment, the world we live in, and how we take care of it. I am passionate about the air we breath, the chemicals we put in our food and products, and living as naturally as we can in a busy, hectic world.

I speak with the unfortunate knowledge of one suffering from severe reactions to our environment, and the chemicals in our daily lives.  I no longer work at an office or eat dinner out at restaurants on Friday nights, because of perfumes and artificial fragrances in the clothes, deodorant, shampoos, hairsprays, etc that other people wear.  We become so obsessed with “smelling good” that we don’t realize we are using chemicals that are made to “smell” like a flower or fragrance, and it is being absorbed into our skin the second we put it on our bodies.  After  years of applying such “fragrances” to our skin your body can build up an intolerance to these chemicals (as mine did), and you can develop sensitivities, allergies,  chronic coughs, or other bad reactions such as rashes to these chemicals and VOCs.

After years of suffering, I have learned to cope, work around, and jump some of the hurdles  in my road and I am hoping this blog will help me overcome more as well as assist others like me, who are just developing sensitivities due to chemical fragrances and  a medical condition named Upper Respiratory Hypersensitivity Syndrome and a “medical diagnosis” of “Chemical Fragrance Allergy or sensitivity”.  There is an interesting article about this sensitivity at webmd.com.

I am not going to be addressing the actual conditions here but solutions and work-arounds to help you live and cope with the changes these illnesses cause in your life.  I will share with you my story (including some of the painful parts), in the hope that it will help you or a loved one get though tough times in your life.

Just to give you a time-line, it has taken me five and a half years to get to a point where I can share this story with you.  I want this experience to be a life-line for you.  There are options available.  There are organic and wild-crafted essential oils that you can buy, but you have to be careful and shop wisely.  I have stumbled upon a few “pure” essential oils that were NOT so pure and I had severe reactions to them just being in the same room with me once they were opened.

I hope to see you again soon, and if you  have comments or questions please feel free to leave them and I will be sure to follow up on them.

Sincerely,

Dani