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BEAUTY
STANDING ON MY SOAP BOX

~You Can Scroll Through The List or Select a Shortcut Below~

 

 

There is nothing that should concern us more than our health.  Without our health we do not have the means to enjoy the beauty of our life.  Currently, there are over 7 billion people in the world and, that means, there are over 7 billion definitions of beauty.  First and foremost beauty is an inside job.  Beauty, like love, starts with the heart.  Who are you on the inside?  What thoughts do you preach to yourself?  Do you critique yourself more than you praise yourself?  Thankfully it is never too late to change how you see yourself.  Might you have to change some habits?  Yes.  Might you have to stop listening to a few negative people in your life?  Yes.  Life is too short.  Stop for a moment and consider your age.  Are you 25, 30, 40, 55?  When you say that number does it really feel like all those years have gone by?  How many times do we hear or find ourselves saying, “It seemed like yesterday.”  I repeat…life is too short.

Life is too short to allow advertised beauty, one that is narrowly scripted and unattainable, to tell us what we should look like. Shouldn't that be up to the individual?  If models and celebrities need airbrushing to make them "perfect" then what chance do the rest us have? If a picture of me was airbrushed I’d be perfect too but, the funny thing is, I like who I am.  I want people to like me for who I am on the inside not for what I look like on the outside.  I think it important to acknowledge that even those who are the beautiful models and celebrities are not immune from experiencing insecurity when it comes to their beauty. Their livelihood, and for some, their worth is attached to their physical appearance. Life has a way of changing physical appearances. When our worth is tied to a physical appearance, and it changes, who we are and our relationships are in danger of being comprised. Remember, Hitler had his idea of perfection and that didn’t work too well. My goal is to be healthy while I age gracefully and to help others to do the same.

I have known of the toxicity of beauty care products and cosmetics for quite some time and, but, for whatever reason, my thoughts went on the back burner.  It wasn’t until my mother was diagnosed with cancer that I started researching again and felt compelled to speak out.  I don’t purchase much in the way of cosmetics so when I began looking for alternatives I was happy to see organic and/or 100% natural products.  The cosmetics I purchase are Organic Wear.  I like Organic Wear because it is 100% free of harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrance and color, cruelty free, and best of all, free from GMO’s.

The health care cost, associated with beauty, cannot be ignored.  The perception of what is beautiful is planted early on in the minds of young girls.  Diet pills, bulimia, and anorexia can haunt a young lady through a good portion of her life.  With every application our skin absorbs the chemicals found in products we use.

At http://www.worldwatch.org/node/764 take note of the amount of money spent on perfumes and cosmetics.  The average person’s hard earned money is going towards making “someone” very rich and in exchange we purchase a perception of beauty that is tainted with chemicals that can, and do, affect our health.  In some instances we are not allowed to know just what the chemicals are because they are considered “trade secrets.”  Is it me or does beauty and toxic chemicals NOT go together?

Beauty is not an age, a measurement, or a number on a scale.  Beauty is what we ought to see in the mirror but with the bombardment of flawlessness and unrealistic bodies the “show all/tell all” media panders to the fragile egos of young girls and women alike.  We have to like who we are; who we see in the mirror because there is no amount of make up or surgery that can make over how we internally feel about ourselves.  The sad truth is highlighted in this short article:  http://www.infoniac.com/offbeat-news/77-percent-of-girls-consider-themselves-ugly.html

Dustin Hoffman discovers something that every woman already experiences:

http://www.upworthy.com/dustin-hoffman-breaks-down-crying-explaining-something-that-every-woman-sadly-already-experienced-3

There is no reason, with the amount of information available, that any woman, or man, can claim ignorance in reference to the potential dangers associated with these chemicals.  The following website:  http://www.ewg.org/skindeep is one of the best sites I have found that allows you to search not only the name of a chemical but also an actual product name and know where it ranks on the “safe/unsafe” scale.

Another good site:  http://lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal.  Don’t forget to check out the Sources and Resources at the bottom of the page.

Just what are we putting on our faces every morning?  Would you believe in some instances you are putting lead on your lips and formaldehyde on your face?  Check out four more chemicals here:  http://organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/7-dangerous-chemicals-in-your-cosmetics.html and discover for yourself the problem with putting these chemicals on your skin.

Other sites you might want to check out:

The Evolution of Make Up:  http://dailyinfographic.com/the-evolution-of-makeup-infographic

What Is Eating Your Skin:  http://dailyinfographic.com/beautiful-problems-infographic

Fatal Attraction:  Cosmetics and Chemicals:  http://dailyinfographic.com/fatal-attraction-cosmetics-and-chemicals-infographic

The chemicals and toxins are far too numerous to list but you will have no problem finding them listed A-Z on this site:  http://www.natural-skincare-authority.com.  I cannot vouch for the products on their site as I have not used them.

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GOOD NEWS

Organic and Natural cosmetics are now in the mainstream and can be readily bought at most department stores.  Organic and Natural are not synonymous so you need to know the difference.  Natural cosmetics are made with natural, food-like ingredients and although that is a step in the right direction; the truth is, just as with Natural foods, enforcement of regulations may be lacking.

To be sure you are getting a better product for your skin look for a label that reads 100% organic and carries the USDA organic seal.  The labeling of 100% organic and natural products is as follows.  If a product is labeled 100% organic it means that is made entirely of certified organic ingredients; including the process in which it is made.  Products can also receive the USDA organic seal if the ingredients are between 95-99% organic.  When a product is labeled with the words “made with organic ingredients” it means the ingredients are at least 70% organic. When a product is 70% organic there will be no USDA seal but you may see three of the ingredients listed on the label.  When the ingredients of a product are less than 70% organic the word “organic” cannot be displayed on the label nor will the product carry the USDA label.  The company is allowed, however, to use the word “organic” in the ingredient panel.  For further clarification please see:

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5068442&acct=nopgeninfo

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SMILE AND THE WORLD SMILES WITH YOU

I know it’s going to sound cheesy but:  A smile is the best make up any girl can wear. I looked around the net to see who I should attribute this thought to but could only find it printed on posters.  Dale Carnegie said, “The expression a woman wears on her face is far more important than the clothes she wears on her back.”  Both of these are wonderful reminders, not just for women but, for all people.  A smile is 100% organic, doesn’t cost anything, and you never have to worry about forgetting to pack it.

To keep that smile beautiful use Earthpaste found here:

http://www.redmondtrading.com/earthpaste/

There is a flavor to please everyone:  Cinnamon, Peppermint, Wintergreen, and Lemon Twist.

Earthpaste is not like the toothpaste you are currently using as it does not “foam” up in your mouth.  Although, the longer I have used it the more it does seem to foam.  It doesn’t foam to the extent of store bought toothpaste but there is definitely a difference from when I first started using it.  I’m not sure why but just wanted to pass that bit of info on for those who “have” to have the “foam” to “feel” good about their toothpaste.  The nice thing about not having all that foam in your mouth is that you can easily brush for 2 minutes, spit and rinse.  If you are a faithful brusher you will notice a difference inside of a week and it only gets better from there.  I don’t normally notice a person’s teeth but the other afternoon, as my daughter stood at my truck window, I noticed her teeth and said to myself, “Wow!  Those teeth are white.”  The dentist and dental assistant remarked one day that my teeth are pretty white. I thought to myself, “Really.  I’ve never thought so.” After brushing with Earthpaste I look at my teeth and say, “Those teeth ARE white.”

Apparently, because of my age, (makes me laugh) the focus for my teeth is on my gums and less on cavities.  Faithful flossing (say that 5 times real fast) helps keep below the gum line healthy and healthy gums are what hold your teeth in place.  When flossing the gums should not bleed; if they bleed that is an indication that you should be flossing more. The gums should be close to the teeth and you shouldn’t have “gaps.”  If the charts are not visible in your dentist office ask to see what gum disease does to your teeth and that should convince you to brush and floss.  Not only do the bacteria in your mouth wreak havoc on your gums and teeth but it can also lead to diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems and can affect multiple organs and systems within the body.

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MAKE YOUR OWN TOOTH-PASTE

This can be made in a cereal bowl and transferred to a smaller glass bowl once done.  You will need to mix with a wooden spoon or plastic whisk; no metal.

Into your glass bowl place:  

5 Tablespoons Cal/Mag powder     4 Tablespoons coconut oil, heat to liquid if solid

1 Tablespoon baking soda     2 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay     3 Tablespoons Silica

 

40 drops of essential oil…peppermint, cinnamon, oregano, orange, or whatever flavor you want to put in your mouth.

The Cal/Mag powder is going to react like an oozing volcano when you add the liquid to the bowl.  It is easier to combine the mixture with a plastic whip and the end product will be very smooth.  If you don’t have a plastic whip then use a wooden spoon and not metal.  Transfer to a smaller bowl and put a lid on it.  Use a small wooden or cosmetic spatula to transfer the toothpaste to you toothbrush.  If you desire a stronger flavor add additional drops of the chosen essential oil.

My sister, who is undergoing chemo treatments, tells me that this is the only toothpaste that doesn’t hurt her mouth.

 

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COSMETICS:
IF YOU BUY THEM

If you are inclined to purchase your cosmetics online here are two sites to check out.

http://bellafloria.com/USDA-Certified-Organic-Cosmetics-Natural-Makeup-Vegan.s/2.htm

The prices are comparable to non-organic cosmetics and I did notice as I read the descriptions that not all their products are 100% USDA certified.  Most of the products though are 100% natural, 100% vegetarian, and gluten free.

For higher end cost cosmetics that are 100% organic visit:

http://inika.com.au/

In searching for 100% organic cosmetics what you will find the most of is 100% natural; even when the site is saying 100% organic.  Keep in mind, it is a step in the right direction.

An example of 100% natural makeup is Physicians Formula.  This product can be found in most department stores and is 100% natural; not to be confused with 100% organic.  I like the fact that it is:  100% free from harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrance and colors, cruelty free, and 100% free of genetically modified organisms. I use foundation, blush, eyeliner, and occasionally mascara.  More and more I try to give my skin a break and it has been healthy for me to get away from the self-talk that says I can't be seen without makeup.  True story:  Approximately 6 years ago I broke my foot as I was getting ready for work.  I hopped to the laundry room, got my clothes, hopped back over to the stairs and crawled up them.  From there I hopped down the hall to my room and sat on my bed.  My oldest daughter came in and asked if everything was alright.  I told her what happened and she suggested the hospital. At first I said no but then, as clearer thoughts prevailed.  I told her to go get my makeup.  She told me I didn’t need it but I insisted.  She got my makeup; I got ready and we left.  If that were to happen today I wouldn’t even think twice about it and to this day she hasn’t let me forget how I HAD to put on my makeup.  Anymore I think it is a good way to “weed out” anyone in my life that thinks I have to look a certain way in order to be attractive.

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COSMETICS:
OR YOU CAN MAKE THEM

As people we are so conditioned by advertising and the advertisers know this.  We are conditioned to think that in order to look a certain way we have to use this particular product or that particular product.  We have been conditioned to believe that products must perform in a certain way or there is something wrong.  If it foams and lathers; it’s cleaning.  If it contains a certain “catch the eye” ingredient it out performs the others.  We been conditioned to think that if we eat this, drink that we can obtain a major life style change.  In reality it doesn’t work that way but our thoughts are none the less affected by advertising conditioning.

One question I keep asking myself over and over is, if a product doesn’t NEED that chemical to be effective then why is it there.  There are other products on the market and there are homemade products without the chemicals so why?  My motto has become:  Why do I want to give my money to a corporation that is more concerned about their bottom dollar line than the toxic chemicals in their products and my welfare?

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LOTIONS, POTIONS, AND SOAP

I have not talked about lotions and potions because I don’t purchase lotions and potions anymore.  Besides being too expensive I can achieve the same results with what I have in my cupboards at no additional costs.

I have a hard time purchasing a lotion of chemicals when I know that it is going to soak into my skin.  I gave up on lotions, at least the chemical ones, long ago.  Are these dangerous toxins in your skin cream?  Take a look at the label on your jar of skin cream. Do you see any of these ingredients?

  • Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Ethyl Paraben
  • Propylene Glycol
  • DMDM Hydrantoin
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate
  • Synthetic Colors and Fragrances
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea (also called Germall II and Germall 115)
  • Behentrimonium Chloride

These common skin care ingredients are a toxic collection of petroleum byproducts, chemicals and sulfates that can cause allergic skin reactions... hair loss... liver and kidney damage... headaches... dizziness... and even certain cancers.

Does it really matter what you put on your skin?  Absolutely!  Anything that you put on your skin will be absorbed into the body and end up in the bloodstream.  Just how do you think the various medical patches work?  Same principle.  Isn’t it time to stop giving your hard earned money to companies that lace their over-hyped, over-priced anti-aging creams with toxic chemicals?  Just saying.

After washing my face I use coconut oil; pure and simple.  I use it just as I would use any lotion.  During the summer time it is a liquid and during the winter it solidifies but is melted almost immediately when placed on the skin.

If you want something more than just coconut oil I would recommend the Naked Bee products.  I have enjoyed all the products that I have used and, when I have given them as gifts, they have been thoroughly enjoyed.  For the Naked Bee product descriptions go to:  http://nakedbee.bz/product_descriptions_nl.htm

There are some wonderful homemade soaps out there and those are the ones I prefer to use.  For purchasing at a store we like Dr. Bonner’s, liquid or bar soap, in whatever “flavor” strikes me at the time of purchase.  If you prefer the foaming hand soap,  no worries, simply pour about an eighth of an inch of the liquid soap into your empty bottle and slowly fill with water.  Gently shake to combine and give a few pumps.  If it is not quite “foamy” enough add a little more liquid soap.

I also enjoy Glacier Smoothie Soap.  Check out the website:

http://glaciersmoothie.com/index.html  These soaps feel wonderful and smell great.  This is a perfect site to get an idea for a gift or two.

Presently I am waiting on an order of African Black Soap.  I am excited to test it for myself and to make shampoo with part of it.  It would be easier to tell you what it is not.  What it is not is a solid black bar.  The real deal will be rough shaped or cut and will be malleable.  As soon as I have some experience with it I will let you know here.

I am committed to making my own and as I perfect the formulas I will pass them on.  For now I have to get this published.  I know that when you go to make something you have to be happy with it or you probably won’t make it again.  I will work to make sure that doesn’t happen.  My goal is to save you money and point you away from the “chemical” industry.

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HONEY, YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS

Take the Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge; I did and I couldn’t be happier.  In fact, visit Crunchy Betty at:  http://www.crunchybetty.com/; take a look around her site for additional Crunchy ideas and conversation.  The Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge was issued in July of 2011.  What can I say, I’m slow.  The challenge is to “wash” your face for 2 weeks with honey.  “Isn’t that sticky,” you might ask?  Yes it is but it tastes good.  “Why not”, I thought, “what’s the worst that can happen?”  The challenge is simple:  massage honey onto your face; leave it sit a few minutes or so and then wash it off.  First I wash my hands but I don’t dry them because there is just enough water on my hands to mix with the honey to make the spreading of honey on my face easy.  I actually squirt a little more honey than needed for my face because I rub it into my hands like a lotion.  Experimenting is good.  I wait until it feels “tacky” (no I’m not out in public) then rinse.  After my face has dried I use coconut oil as a moisturizer.  Don’t forget to pull your hair back.   

After the FIRST day I was jazzed and by day 14 I was in love.  Pretty sad when honey is the love of your life…but oh well, it works for me.  All I know is that my skin felt smoother and my lips didn’t “feel” dry.  I’ve had a “thing” about the way my lips feel that goes way back.  I’ve always been self-conscious of my lips; just a weird me thing, but now I don’t even feel my lips on my face.  I said it was a weird me thing.  Any who enough about what is the love of my life or how my lips feel on my face.

I’ve used two different honeys; one organic and the other not.  I like the feel of the organic honey better than the non-organic one and I’ve noticed that the non-organic honey smells of lavender.  My small community doesn’t carry an organic honey so when I make a trip to the “city” I will be purchasing more.  I’m not sure if it was the change in honey that made a difference in the feel of my lips (there I go again) or if it was the lemon, cayenne pepper concoction I was drinking that dried my lips.  I’m inclined to think it is the latter and will be using a straw for this drink from here on out. 

So what is it about honey and coconut that make them good choices for your skin and not just to eat?  Honey is antimicrobial, is an antioxidant, and best of all hygroscopic.  What does THAT mean?  According to the dictionary it means:  readily taking up and retaining moisture.  This is a very good thing.  I’ve also noticed it provides a “protective” barrier to my skin.  On my hands the water beads up.  As I see it this is helpful in two ways.  That protective layer doesn’t allow outside “materials” to be absorbed readily by the skin and the barrier helps to keep moisture in.

Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and is an antioxidant.  Not only does coconut oil moisturize but it also has these great “anti” properties as well. 

These two simple ingredients, found in my kitchen cupboards, perform just as well or better than any purchased lotion or potion.  They are chemical free and are good for you.  Beautiful, healthy skin, is the best foundation you can begin with.

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A CASE FOR SHAMPOO

Shampoos have far too many chemicals in them for me to feel comfortable enough to keep washing my hair with them.  I don’t know if they were like that when I was growing up or if additional chemicals have been added over time.  I will never know because I don’t have a shampoo bottle that old; not that I’m old, just saying.  I do know that my mom only washed our hair once a week and we had healthy hair. 

Shampoo manufacturers would want us to believe that the chemicals are harmless to our health.  So, for arguments sake, let’s just say that our absorption of shampoo, over time, never affects us health wise.  I still have to wonder about what the chemicals are doing to the hair itself.  Our hair will absorb some of the chemicals as the shampoo chips away at the protective layer of oil on our hair; this can’t be good for the hair.  Then I have to consider the articles I’ve read that state shampoo is really no different than the dish soap you use in at the kitchen sink or the soap you wash your clothes with.  Our shampoos lather because of sodium lauryl sulfate; the same sodium lauryl sulfate used in car wash soaps, floor cleaners, and in degreasers that clean concrete floors.  I would think that the chemicals in shampoo would add to hair the normal daily hair loss of 50-100 hairs a day.  With that being said, I wonder if the sodium lauryl sulfate in shampoo knows the difference between scalp and hair and road grime on a vehicle and the grease stain on the garage floor?  I would imagine there is also an environmental impact of these chemicals in our water and on the ground.

More than likely you will have to visit the health food store to get a shampoo that is 100% vegan, wheat and gluten free, biodegradable, and cruelty free.  Look for shampoos that have NO:  parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth/coco sulfates, phthaiates, artificial fragrances or colors, silicones, EDTA, glycol, and no animal products.  Many of the shampoos will contain “certified” organic ingredients and you may well find some of these products in the Organic section of larger super markets.  Be familiar with what you don’t as it will come in handy for label reading.  Conditioners will follow the same guide lines.

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A CASE FOR NOT SHAMPOOING

I’m not so sure I made a case FOR shampooing and maybe what you’ve read is enough to make you consider not shampooing.  The craze is called:  No Poo.  It’s radical, yes, but very possibly the best thing you can do for your hair.  I’ve gotten a little side tracked in sorting out if baking soda is okay to use or not.  I’m not sure that using a half to a full tablespoon of baking soda, diluted in a cup of water or more, every 5 to 7 days will damage the hair and if you do use baking soda you are going to want to follow that with a vinegar/water rinse.  I wouldn’t advocate using a half cup or just dumping it on the hair and working it in and rinsing; as that would seem damaging.  But really, what have you got to lose? You can always decide that baking soda and apple cider vinegar are not for you.  In fact, you can always stop the No-Poo process and go back to shampooing any time you like.

To be fair to the whole No Poo process you will have to give at least 2 weeks’ time for your scalp to adjust and stop sending extra oil to replace the oil you keep stripping off with the use regular shampoos.  Once you stop assaulting the scalp it can go back to producing the amount of oil it was meant to and it will level out naturally.  I’m thinking the shorter the hair the better and maybe the adjustment will be less noticeable.

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STRESS, HAIR LOSS, & A RECIPE
Hair Health

When stressed we produce a hormone called cortisol.  While stressed we are three times more likely to experience hair loss.  The hair follicles deteriorate as a result of waste products left by cortisol.

Essential oils may provide help by promoting relaxation and growth may be aided by massaging an oil mixture into the scalp each day.

There are many concoctions out there, everything from the use of essential oils to minced onions and garlic.  While I understand that the onion and garlic will help clean and unclog hair follicles I don’t know about the smell.  I am a normal part of society so, for now, I think I shall stick to something less smelly.  If you think you might be interested though go to YouTube and check out the videos.

The recipe I found is as follows:  Into a small bowl place ½ teaspoon jojoba oil and 4 teaspoons grapeseed oil.  Jojoba and grapeseed oil are your carrier oils.  Into these oils mix 2 drops of thyme oil, 3 drops of lavender, 3 drops of rosemary, and 2 drops cedarwood.  Massage into the scalp for 2 minutes each night and rinse in the morning.

The combination of these oils might too strong for some people.  If you currently don’t have particular oil and are unfamiliar with how it smells ask the clerk if they have a sample bottle. An essential oil that repulses your family or gives you a headache will not be of much help.

 

HOMEMADE CONDITIONERS

When using homemade conditioners keep an eye out for those that call for the use of olive oil.  It the mixture calls for 4 tablespoons of olive olive understand that 4 tablespoons equals 1/4 cup.  Anytime I have used olive oil the amount called for has been too much and I have longer hair.  Also, I find that olive oil feels very heavy in my hair.  When we were children my mother use to use an egg and/or mayonnaise conditioner.  The web link below may also be useful.   

 
 

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I would not thought it possible to shampoo without shampoo but it is.  My daughters, on the other hand, are not down with the whole No Poo concept.  I have diligently looked for and found two shampoos that I like.  The first is DermOrganic and the second is Aveda.  It is impossible to please everyone and when it comes to our hair, no two heads of hair are alike.  You may like these, you may not.  At least give them a look and try.  On the DermOrganic page look down the tabs on the left hand side of the page for:  Organic Explained.  In the cosmetic and hair care industry this is how it works.
 

Keep in mind that when your hair is wet it is weaker and will break easier.  This happens because the protein molecule sticks to water molecule that sticks to another water molecule that is sticking to a protein molecule causing a weak link thereby making the hair weaker and thus breaking easier.  How’s that for a sentence.

If you use a towel to wrap your hair up, turban style, keep the turban loose and don’t towel dry it like there is no tomorrow because you want your hair to be there tomorrow. 
Things that have an impact on the hair are:  product, heat, ties, braids, and frequent shampooing. Whenever possible give your hair a "break" from all of these.
I also take a tablespoon of black strap molasses each day. Read about the benefits here: http://globalhealthsupplies.net/the-hair-benefits-of-blackstrap-molasses-%E2%80%A2-improved-growth-and-color/
I have eaten molasses at room temperature and straight from the refrigerator.  Refrigerated molasses is thick and chewy.  Plus I like the taste better.  Molasses is a sugar so please consult your physician if you have a health issue concerning sugar.
For additional information and advice check out these web links:
Shampoo or dish soap:
And now for something fun:

 

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