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Health is beauty 

Ja Nene Natural Body Products rely on nature's bounty, rather than synthetic chemicals

click to enlarge NATURAL GLOW :  Janene Lasswell (left) and beauty consultant Ashlee Newman can recommend scores of lotions, oils, and shampoos tailored for customers wary of mass-produced products. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • NATURAL GLOW : Janene Lasswell (left) and beauty consultant Ashlee Newman can recommend scores of lotions, oils, and shampoos tailored for customers wary of mass-produced products.
Janene Lasswell may have a genetic predisposition toward vitality, or found abiding inner peace—or perhaps the botanically derived shampoos, lotions, and soaps she promotes account for her striking youthful beauty at age 60. Her shop, Ja Nene Natural Body Products on Chorro Street across from the Mission in San Luis Obispo, is devoted to beauty care products free of ingredients synthesized from chemical precursors; her products are composed mainly of direct herbal extracts and naturally occurring compounds.

Passionate about natural health, aromatherapy, and alternative medicine, Lasswell believes most mass-produced products for hair and skin care contain harmful chemicals. She personally blends her own products in Three Rivers, south of Sequoia National Park, where she lives most of the year. Lasswell maintains her customers see improvements in their appearance not only because of benefits intrinsic to her products but also because they’ve stopped using products that contain harmful chemicals.

“The shop is not a way to make money,” Lasswell explained about the downtown nook she opened in October 2009. “I am trying to get the word out, to promote personal product safety. It is a health issue.”

Laswell doesn’t use parabens, alcohol, propylene glycol, ingredients that involve animal testing, artificial colors, or chemical fragrances. She employs sodium hydroxymethylglycinate as a preservative in all lotions, which she said is a safe, naturally derived substance. There’s  rosemary extract in oil blends, and essential oil of pink grapefruit is used as a bactericide.  

In addition to the 67 unique products she stocks, Lasswell is expanding to provide massages and facials. Certified massage therapist Rasa Fournier will use only Laswell’s lotions and oils.

The shop at 950 Chorro Street in San Luis Obispo is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See for details.


Fast facts

The Head Start/Early Head Start Program is recruiting for the 2010-2011 program year. Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo invites children 3 to 5 years old from low-income families to join the Head Start Program and is recruiting pregnant mothers and children under age 3 for the Early Head Start Program. For information call Ana Mathis at 544-4355 ext. 211 …

Summer swimming programs are offered at Atascadero High School. Adult lap swimming for ages 16 and above is available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. for $4 per day. An all-ages Recreation Swim is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 pm for $5 per day … 

The City of Atascadero offers Water Polo Camp for children ages 9 to 14 at the Atasadero High School pool August 9 through 12 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The fee is $40. Call 461-5000 or visit

Millions of pounds of scrap electronics are needlessly dumped in landfills annually. IQMS, a software company in Paso Robles, is partnering with Electronic Recyclers International to steer such material away from that fate. Deliver defunct or surplus electronic devices to IQMS at 2231 Wisteria Lane on Saturday, July 10. All of the money Electronic Recyclers pays for the scrap will be donated to the school district in Paso Robles for an applied technology academy program. Computers, monitors, televisions, copiers, keyboards, stereos, telephones, calculators, and practically any other electronic device will be accepted. For more information, call IQMS at 227-1122 or contact [email protected].

Intern Alycia Kiley wrote Strokes&Plugs this week.  Send your business and nonprofit news to [email protected]

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