Dear Ursula, here's my voice... now where are my fins? Four Reasons why everyone should be a mermaid!
Ah, summer time. Salt water, sand, and adventures... the perfect stage to pretend you're a real life mermaid. Most of us have played the game... wether it be in a pool, lake, river, or the actual ocean itself. Duck underwater, hold your breath, and escape...
Maybe it was images of beautiful sirens that inspired us to pretend to be mermaids. Or maybe our bodies knew how beneficial salt water is for us! Read on to read four reasons why we should all be mermaids! (and mermen).
1. Salt water is a fantastic clearing agent and does wonders for your skin. I use Epsom salt to cleanse my skin daily but you can get the same effect from the ocean. Take a dive under the waves and let nature's salt water exfoliate your skin, giving you a healthy mermaid glow. Not only will salt water cleanse your skin of imperfections like acne, it also cleanses cuts and scrapes (which helps them heal faster). If you want to make your own salt water cleanser use Epsom salt! I have Dr. Teal's Epsom salt and mix it with HOT water. I then take a washcloth, dip it in the water, and gently massage it onto my skin. I also put two cups of Epsom salt in bath water to help soothe any aches and pains (and to help get rid of mosquito bites!!).
2. Mermaid hair!
Salt water truly does clean hair of oils and buildup. If your hair is naturally oily, the oceans salt water will dry out oily looking roots immediately. This also means that all of us with dry hair need to take some extra precautions if we're spending extra time in the sea. There are plenty of hair masks out there but I just stick to the good ole' stuff: Coconut oil! Massage enough coconut oil into your hair to coat your entire mane. Leave it in for 20 to 60 minutes (or overnight if you really need it!) before shampooing it all out. Coconut oil leaves your hair silky smooth and gives it a wonderful, tropical smell.
Extra tip: if you have long hair, coat it in oil and then tie it up in a bun to keep it from dripping everywhere.
3. Vitamin D!
In small doses, sunshine is exactly what your skin needs! Soak up some vitamin D but make sure its only for short periods to help avoid skin cancers. Also, watch out for toxins in your sunscreen! I look for sunscreens without oxybenzone (meaning I have to avoid my old favorites Neutrogena and Coppertone) because SOME doctors have said the chemicals can be absorbed into your skin and effect your body similar to hormones. While not all doctors agree that oxybenzone should be avoided, I do just in case. Using organic (chemical free) sunscreen is also kinder on the environment! Even if your sunscreen says it will stay put all day, some of the chemicals will be left in the ocean. Imagine every single sunscreen lathered body on the beach dipping into the ocean.... that's a lot of chemicals left behind for the ecosystem to deal with!
4. Deep down, we're all mermaids, whether we live near the ocean or not. The ocean provides 50% of the earths oxygen thanks to ocean plants and it provides us with regulated weather (including our fresh water clouds). Algae and kelp are also found in plenty of food products (frozen foods, peanut butter, beer, etc.) and plenty of medical and cosmetic items contain ocean ingredients as well.
Deep down, we're all mermaids, whether we live near the ocean or not. The ocean provides 50% of the earths oxygen thanks to ocean plants and it provides us with regulated weather like our fresh water clouds. Algae and kelp are also found in plenty of food products (frozen foods, peanut butter, beer, etc.) and plenty of medical and cosmetic items contain ocean ingredients as well.
You can help keep our oceans clean by doing a number of things!
1. Buy organic foods at your grocery store to help support farms who don't use chemical fertilizers (unfortunately many of these chemicals find their way to the ocean through runoff and wind).
2. Reduce the amount of trash you toss out. If you rely on individual water bottles to drink water, try a large water filter and a reusable water bottle. Use reusable containers to store food and try washing and reusing your ziplock bags.
3. If you love to eat fish, make sure your buying sustainably caught seafood, and if you buy tropical fish as pets, ask your pet store if they were caught using small nets (safer for the fish and coral reefs).
4. Use organic sunscreen! I've already mentioned this, but again those chemicals in your sunscreen will wash off into the ocean!
5. Find other ways to volunteer or support conservation efforts in your local community! I love volunteering in California Coastkeeper beach clean up days and helping out my local water keepers through fun-fundraisers like their OC Coastkeepers October fest!
Hope all you mermaids are enjoying our oceans!
Photographer: Jamie Goto Photo