Jan

28

By Karen

3 Comments

Categories: Acne, Anti-ageing cream deception, Chemical free skin care

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The 2 Biggest Skincare Concerns: Anti-Ageing And Acne, And the Most Effective Solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2 biggest concerns most people face is acne, particularly adult acne, and wrinkles and lines that appear as we age. There has always been an interest by the majority of the population in skin care products to help maintain appearance and youthfulness.

An amazing amount of information on all sorts of problems can be obtained from the Internet. Everyone is an expert. But a lot of the information and recommendations sound remarkably the same. Lets sort the wheat from the chaff.

Acne Problems:

Whatever the age of the sufferer, acne is a distressing problem. Usually associated with adolescents, because of hormonal upheaval. The sufferer eventually outgrows the condition. But marks and scars often remain and it is the use of proper treatment that could prevent the aftermath of active acne problems. For some unfortunate individuals, acne can continue into their early 20s. Others suffer the occasional and random outbreak and this invariably happens before an important event.

An oily skin usually accompanies acne problems, and for this reason, proper cleansing is paramount in the acne skin care routine. A soothing wash for acne is to use cheesecloth or cotton bag containing raw rolled oats.  Pure cotton handkerchiefs can also be used for this purpose. Soak in tepid water and rub over the affected area to cleanse and soothes the inflamed skin. Rinse the skin, and pat dry with disposable paper towel to avoid re-contamination. Apply a light, aloe vera based moisturiser sparingly to hydrate and protect the skin from environmental pollution.

Always use a laundered cloth and fresh oats for each wash to prevent re-contaminating the skin with bacteria removed by the previous wash. It is handy to have several cloths in rotation.

Harsh skincare products can dry the surface skin, encouraging the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to alleviate the tight feeling. This, of course, is counter-productive.

Mild, soothing skin care products are the best choice, as they will not irritate. Aloe vera and essential oil based products are a great choice as the natural healing and moisturising plant base will encourage new cellular growth. Unlike mineral oils, that form a coating on the surface of the skin, essential oils will absorb into the skin feeding and nourishing the cells and helping with the healing process.

A Probiotic, taken daily, will help to improve and support the immune system, allowing the body to heal itself. A diet rich in antioxidants foods will also promote healthy skin. Fresh, unprocessed foods allow the body to absorb nutrients that in turn feed the skin. A Probiotic that it also contains super foods will provide a dual role.

Anti-ageing:

Cosmetic houses and manufacturers all have, what they claim, to be the latest, newest, breakthrough research to halt the signs of ageing. Antiwrinkle creams are heavily advertised and marketed, not only to women, but now, to men as well.

These creams usually work by puffing out the fine lines to create a smoother effect on the skin surface. Glycerin is usually the 2nd ingredient after water, on the ingredients list of the majority of anti ageing skin care products. This inexpensive humectant draws moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to be held on the surface by silicon or waterproof barrier. Unfortunately, this process eventually dehydrates the skin, while the waterproof barrier prevents the skin from breathing or eliminating toxins.

Moisturising is most important to obtain a wrinkle free complexion. The choice of a rich moisturiser without harsh chemicals is paramount in obtaining a plump, smooth skin. It is interesting that aloe vera works well here as well because of the plants superior cell renewal activity and moisturising effect.

Fine lines begin when the skin’s natural collagen and elastin begins to break down. This is a natural ageing effect, and will be hastened by sun damage. But, beware of chemical laden sunscreens as they may create more problems than they solve. Some popular chemicals added to sunscreen have been shown to be hormone disruptors in laboratory animals. It is best to avoid sun exposure to the skin in the hottest part of the day, wear protective hats and clothing rather than smothering the skin with creams. We all need vitamin D, and this is best obtained from gentle sunlight rather than a pill.

 

Dec

4

By Karen

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Categories: Anti-ageing cream deception

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Compare Multi-Regenerating Moisturiser with Certified Organic Moisturiser

 

 

There is a great deal of media attention on anti ageing products, with many cosmetic manufacturers upping the anti by forever increasing the number of benefits their product will deliver.

Apart form reducing fine lines and wrinkles; they include sunscreens and ultra hydrating chemicals. But are they safe to use and as effective as the advertising promotions promise?

Let’s look at our first product, which is L’Oreal’s Revitalift Total Repair 10.

This product from the French based cosmetic giant claims to fight 10 signs of ageing:
Many moisturisers on the market contain the same ingredients just the names change.

The main ingredients, in order, are: Water; Glycerin; Ethylhexyl salicylate; Niachnamide; Dimethicone; Octocrylene; Butyl methoxydbenzolmethane;

The list goes on with many other unpronounceable chemical ingredients, but it is worth noting that the first 3 to 4 ingredients on a label list make up 90% to 95% of the entire product.

Glycerin, which is used in all anti ageing moisturisers and body lotions, is such demand, sales of this ingredient, primarily to be used in personal care products, is expected to reach more than $8bn, globally, by the year 2017.


Glycerin
is a humectant that will draw moisture from the atmosphere to the skin in humidity above 65%. In dryer conditions, the Glycerin will actually draw the moisture form the deeper layers of the skin, there by causing dehydration.

The Dimethicone listed is a silicone, intended to trap and hold the drawn moisture onto the skin’s surface, thereby puffing out the fine lines for a time.

Octocrylene is a synthetic UV absorber and sunscreen agent; may be used in combination with other UV absorbers to achieve higher SPF formulas. It produces oxygen radicals when exposed to UV light. It is suspected or measured to accumulate in people; not assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel.

eth’ or ‘oxy’ in an ingredient means it has been ‘ethoxylated’ during manufacture and may be contaminated with the potent carcinogen 1 4’dioxane.

 

Now let’s compare the ingredients list, in order, of a Certified Organic moisturiser

Certified organic aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, certified organic persea gratissima (avocado) fruit oil, certified organic rosa rubiginosa (rosehip) seed oil, certified organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, certified organic butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, aqua (purified water), … the list is much longer, and all of it is certified organic by a third party independent body.

 

I have stopped here so you can notice how far down the list the water content is.

There are no chemical names. The first ingredient, Aloe Vera is renowned for its’ moisturising properties and its ability to renew cellular growth and strength. It, along with Avocado fruit oil, rosehip seed oil and jojoba seed oil, all certified organic, make up the first 4 ingredients and so the 90% to 95% of the entire product.

The combination of the main ingredients feeds and nourishes the skin with significant effects on hydration and softness, without the risk of contamination by chemical processes. The ingredients in this moisturiser are cold-pressed extracted to maintain the integrity of the plants’ active bio-available nutrients.

 

There are no sunscreen chemicals in this product, so you would need to beware of extended sun exposure without the benefits of an added organic sunscreen, hat or shade. That said, you would not be risking the damage to your skin from free radicals found in chemical sunscreen products, which can do more harm than the protection they provide.

After my many years experience in this industry, my vote is for the Certified Organic moisturiser. It offers a breathable, protective barrier against free radicals and moisture loss, one of the main causes of wrinkles. The special ingredients in our unique organic base have lasting effects on skin hydration and smoothness.

Sep

6

By Karen

2 Comments

Categories: Anti-ageing cream deception, Chemical free cosmetics, Chemical free skin care, Hormone Disrupting Chemicals, unassessed ingredients

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Beauty Myths parts 2 & 3: More False Beliefs about Skin Care

 

Toners are needed after cleansing the skin.

When I started in the beauty industry 40 years ago, all cosmetic companies included a toner in their regime. The idea was to remove all traces of make-up after cleansing and to ‘close the pores’. Just about all formulations contained alcohol and we were encouraged to use generously, swiping the toner liquid over the face and neck.

I still get requests from customers as to what toner I can recommend. My answer is always the same: none!

There is absolutely no evidence that a toner will close pores. In fact, although advertising regulations for cosmetics are loose, this claim is avoided as it is seen to change the body in a physical way.  Only products classified as drugs that actually change the body’s’ physicality are permitted make such claims and they come under an entirely different set of governing rules.

The alcohol is extremely drying, dehydrating the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. Only proper cleansing with a gentle cleanser will effectively remove make-up, pollution and dirt. Some cosmetic houses promote liquid serums as they are used as a ‘pre-moisturiser’ feeding the skin with essential nutrients. Always read the label to ensure the product you choose does not contain alcohol, which is often used to blend the emulsion.

A Skin Conditioner is a pre-moisturiser, often thought of as a toner as it is used after cleansing and before the creamy moisturiser. A good Skin Conditioner actually feeds the skin with water soluble nutrients and provides a base for the moisturiser to lock into.

Some chemicals in Skin Care are ok.

I really can’t see any redeeming features in a skin care product that is a concoction of synthetic chemicals.  89% of chemicals used in cosmetics and skin care have not been tested for safety. The 11% that have been tested and regarded safe to include in the lotions and creams we us on our bodies have been tested in isolation and not in combination with other substances.

The industry wants us to believe Paraben preservatives are safe even though they have been found in breast cancer tissue. Many companies are removing these chemicals and promoting the fact. Sighting propyl, methyl, butyl or ethyl in the ingredient word can identify Paraben preservatives.

Research has found numerous chemicals tested on lab animals have been found to be hormone disruptor, affect the immune system, risk birth defects, may contribute to sensitivities in the individual and have shown to cause cancer!

There are many choices of skin care and cosmetics products on the market that contain ingredients that will nourish and protect the skin without the risks that using untested chemicals may bring.

Ensure the products you use on your body does not contain chemicals be choosing Certified Organics. These products carry a third party independent guarantee promising no synthetic chemicals are used in the formulations.

Secret Ingredients in Skin Care products must be worthwhile because they are patented.

There are an increasing number of cosmetic companies promoting their skin care products containing a magic, secret ingredient. They patent the name and make a big deal that this wonderful new discovery that will bring exceptional benefits to their customers. The question is: how can the consumer evaluate the claims?

Because they are ‘secret’, the company is not required to divulge the ingredients. They cannot be peer reviewed or investigated by consumers concerned with the type of chemical they expose themselves to.

These products come and they go! Making way for another new discovery that is reported to improve lines and wrinkles or miraculously save us from the dreaded ageing process. And we fall for it every time, only to realize after months of dedicated use, the improvement was fleeting.

Be wary of products that sound too good to be true. They probably are. Consider skin care that informs the customer of the active ingredients and how they will work for them. Without the smoke and mirrors. It is highly unlikely a moisturising cream will deliver remarkable changes to they way a person looks. Only cosmetic surgery can make such a promise, and that is a bit drastic for most of us.

Look for products where the entire list of ingredients is visible. This is the only assurance you have of knowing what you are actually applying to our skin.

Part 3;

Chemicals in Cosmetics can’t absorb into the Body.

Our skin is the largest organ we have and often the most abused. We scrub the exposed skin, usually our face and neck, apply lotions, creams, pastes and ointments and then neglect the skin not seen by others.

Many people think the skin makes us air and water tight and don’t consider that what applied to the skin can, and is absorbed into the blood stream and then into the other organs. But that is how HRT and nicotine patches work. They deliver medication into the blood stream to remedy the ailment. A few years ago, experiments were started with dermal patches to deliver medication to the brain for people suffering dementia.

It is, therefore, reasonable to assume chemicals in cosmetics and skin care products do travel through the skin layers into the blood stream and are carried to the organs.

Scientists have documented an enormous amount of research results indicating the adverse effects of some chemicals that are included ingredients in cosmetics. Consumers are left in the dark about the results of such research unless a lobby group makes an effort to expose a potential problem with a particular chemical.

Phthalates are an example of toxins in skin care products that alter the hormones. Used as a fixer in synthetic fragrance and colour and a plasticizer in nail varnish. Phthalates are present in many consumer products and there is mounting evidence they have detrimental impact on the human body.

Scientific studies from researchers’ worldwide find absorption of some chemicals impact adversely on animals of many species, from mammals, fish and amphibians.

It is possible to find skin care and cosmetics without chemicals. By choosing certified organic products, you can completely avoid the risk of toxic ingredients that can absorb into the blood stream and be carried to the organs.

That Fine, Flaky Scalp is ‘Dandruff’

Like the skin, the scalp is shedding skin cells each day. Our hair makes it more difficult to remove the skin flakes from the scalp and, if left for a length of time, warmth and moisture from the head may cause bacteria to form a crust on the scalp that is known as dandruff.

The result is a yellowish, thick build up of scalp skin cells that take patience and several treatments to remove, sometimes loosening clumps of hair as well.

Fine, powdery flakes from the scalp are actually dry scalp, usually caused by an ingredient in shampoo, sodium lauryl sulphate. This chemical inflames the scalp skin cells causing them to lift and flake.

Clever marketing from shampoo companies promote dry scalp as dandruff, but they invariably contain the same foaming chemical that causes the problem. Shampoos with non-chemical based foaming agent are rare, but worth seeking as they are not as drying. Massage the scalp regularly to promote blood supply to the scalp and hair follicles as well as loosening the dead scalp skin.

By choosing a shampoo that does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium lauryth sulphate or cocoamideapropyl betaine you can avoid the chances of a flaky scalp. These chemicals can inflame and separate the scalp skin cells which lead to a flaky scalp, often diagnosed as dandruff.

 

‘Natural’ Skin Care products are Chemical-Free.

Worldwide, it is not illegal to advertise skin care products as ‘natural’ even if they contain chemicals.  As an example, Manufacturers will claim that coconut oil, synthesized to produce the foaming agent Cocomide DEA is a natural ingredient. But once the chemical reaction has taken place on the coconut oil it is no longer natural or even safe as the manufacturing process may produce a contaminant called nitrosamines. This will not be listed on the label, as a contaminant it is not an intended ingredient. Nitrosamines have shown to cause cancer in all species of laboratory animal including the primates, the closest relative to the human race.

Inspect the ingredients label closely of most ‘natural’ skin care products and you are likely to find the botanicals, usually marketed as the benefits of the product, are in the middle, if not the end of the list.

By choosing products with a certification logo, you are assured the entire product is certified organic and not just a few of the ingredients.

When you understand that the first 3 to 4 ingredients listed make up 90% to 95% of the entire product, the ‘natural botanical’ ingredients are in such small a proportion they will be of little benefit to the user. Many products are mainly water and chemicals with a few herbals thrown in so they can be promoted as ‘natural’

 

Apr

24

By Karen

2 Comments

Categories: Anti-ageing cream deception, Chemical free skin care, DNA Damage, Hormone Disrupting Chemicals, Moisturisers with Sunscreen, unassessed ingredients

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Sunscreens May have Harmful Chemical Ingredients

 

 

We are all encouraged to use sunscreen and avoid harsh sunlight for fear of sun cancers. There has been a lot of media attention directed by the various cancer foundations as well as the manufacturers of the sunscreen products in the hope to gain a market share of the multi-million dollar industry.

Consider some of the chemicals in sunscreens, as many have not been sufficiently tested for safety.

Oxybenzone has been detected in human breast milk and in 97% of the 2,500 US citizens tested for the chemical by the US Centre for Disease Control & Prevention in 2005. This chemical is also known to be a hormone disruptor and can be found in over 600 sunscreens sold in the US.

Oxybenzone is a penetration enhancer; helps to deliver other chemicals in the product deeper into the skin layers where they may enter the bloodstream. Not only does this chemical cause cell damage, it is rapidly oxidised in light and inactivates the skins’ natural protection system.

It appears that females have the highest reading for this chemical, which stands to reason, as they are more likely to use a sunscreen to protect against the ageing effects of the sun.

In 2006, research teams from the University of California-Riverside found 2 coastal fish species had been feminized by oxybenzone with two thirds of the males carrying ovary tissue.

Octyl-methoxycinnamate is a hormone disruptor as well as a penetration enhancer. It produces free radicals. The ‘oxy’ in the word indicates the chemical has been ethoxylated during manufacture meaning it could be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potent carcinogen.

Butyl-Methdiebenzoylmethane, also listed as Avobenzone degrades in sunlight within an hour to become ineffective as a sunscreen chemical. It rapidly converts light into chemical energy releasing free radicals into the body.

Titanium Dioxide has not had sufficient testing to be regarded as entirely safe. Studies have shown DNA damage from exposure to this chemical when exposed to light.

Nanoparticles are increasingly used in many cosmetics, including sunscreens where the relatively new technology has been used to create such ingredients as  ‘invisible zinc’.
This means the zinc loses it reflective property and could be absorbed into the skin and the blood stream. Scientists warn chemicals with a molecular size so small this type of absorption could result in the ‘next asbestos’.
There are no regulations to list nanoparticles on labels, so consumers may be unaware the products they choose may contain these type of ingredients..

As sales of sunscreen have risen, so have the rates of skin cancer. Caution should be used to avoid over exposure, but as an increasing number of people show vitamin D deficiency, it may be that the pendulum has swung to far the other way.
Recently, synthetic vitamin D supplements in the form of pills have been promoted.
Safe sun exposure, out side the middle of the day promotes the natural manufacture of Vitamin D within the body, without the need to pop a pill!

There are safer sunscreen products, when we learn to read labels and become discerning consumers rather than be taken in by the marketing hype and the scare mongers against natural, safe sun light exposure and who also promote synthetic chemical laden products.

 

Mar

27

By Karen

No Comments

Categories: DNA Damage, Hormone Disrupting Chemicals, Moisturisers with Sunscreen, Toxic Contaminants, unassessed ingredients

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L’Occitane Ingredients report … Ultra Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen.

I was cleaning out the bathroom this weekend and right at the back of the cupboard I found a tube of L’Occitane Ultra Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen.

I had forgot I had it as I haven’t used any chemical based cosmetics for more than 5 years, since I found out how detrimental many chemicals included in skin care products are.

So, lets’ take a closer look at the ingredients of the L’Occitane Ultra Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen:

The packaging advertises the product contains 8% Shea butter. Great!

But what of the remaining 92% of ingredients? …

Along with the Shea butter the first 4 ingredients, making between 90% and 95% of the entire product are:

Aqua (water!);

Sunflower seed oil … both completely harmless but not extraordinary ingredients.

Ehylhexl Methoxycinnamate; this ingredient can cause allergic skin rashes.  An ingredient with ‘oxy’ in the name has been ethoxylated and can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potent carcinogen, during the manufacture process. You won’t find it listed on a label, as it is a contaminant, not an intended ingredient.  There strong evidence it is a human endocrine disruptor and concerns it interferes with cellular signaling, cause mutations and lead to cell death. (1)*

The remaining list consists of:

Isopropyl Myristate: A widely used fatty compound, which causes blackheads and is not included in many newer formulations. This chemical can react with others in the formulation during manufacture and storage to create nitrosamines (NDELA) the most powerful of all contaminants. Scientists have found nitrosamines cause cancer in all species tested including primates, our closest relatives in the animal world. (2)

Propylene Glycol: A petroleum derivative, it penetrates the skin and can weaken the protein and cellular structure.  It is cheap and has been linked to sensitivity reactions. Its use has been reduced in favor of “safer” glycols. (If there is such a thing!)

Dimethicone: A silicone emollient, it coats like plastic wrap preventing the skin from breathing and eliminating toxins. Some synthetic emollients are known tumor promoters and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. They are also non-biodegradable causing negative environmental impact.

Corn oil: Inexpensive oil that may cause skin reactions in the allergic.

Titanium Dioxide; used in sunscreen, limited safety data and studies have shown it causes DNA damage when exposed to light. Some researchers fear absorption into the blood stream particularly if the chemical is in nanoparticles form. (3)

PEG 100: derived from castor oil, Polyethylene glycol compounds are potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredients that can alter and reduce the skins’ natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of ageing and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. (6)

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): As part of good industrial and personal hygiene and safety procedure, avoid all unnecessary exposure to the chemical substance and ensure prompt removal from skin, eyes and clothing. (5)

Glyceryl Sterate; widely used synthetic emulsifier and skin conditioner that may cause allergies. Glycerin is a cheap humectant that will draw moisture from the atmosphere to the skin in humidity above 65%. In humidity below that, it actually draws moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to be held on the surface by a barrier (Dimethicone) the skin is dehydrated by this function.

Butylene Glycol: causes adverse reproductive and developmental effects if ingested. It can penetrate the skin and weaken protein and cellular structure. There are safety data gaps of around 78% but it is considered low hazard by the cosmetic database even though it is recognized as an irritant. (4)

Laureth 7: Again, as with the ‘oxy’ in the word, ‘eth means the ingredient has been ethoxylated. See above*

Methyl Paraben: there has been a lot in the press about this preservative ingredient as it is widely used even though it is known to be toxic. Beware of any ingredient with methyl, propyl, butyl or ethyl in the word, as these are paraben preservatives. They can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes.

Retinyl Palmitate: Although the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review board – an industry regulated board) maintains this chemical is safe at low concentrations, it is on the Canadian Hotlist. This means the Canadian Product Safety Bureau considers it to have potentially adverse effects, or it could have been restricted or banned.

Benzyl Alcohol: A solvent in perfumes can be irritating and corrosive to the skin and Mucous membranes.

Hydroxyisohexeyl: A fragrance ingredient known as an alderhyde, most alderhydes are irritating to the skin and gastrointestinal tract.

Limonene: This preservative is from the petrochemical industry and is a skin irritant and sensitizer. It has the potential to be a carcinogen.

I have not covered the complete ingredients list, nor have I referenced all my findings, but I think you may see where this is going.
It is a shame such as wonderfully nourishing substance like the Shea butter is completely over-shadowed by the chemicals in this product.

What is a worry is the nitrosamine-promoting ingredient, Isopropyl Myristate, which has the ability of increasing the contamination the longer the product has been open. Researchers have found products with this class of contaminant have increased 4 fold over a 17-month period.

There are safer alternatives to your moisturising choice. Look for products with less (or no) chemicals and enjoy the benefits of healthy skin care without the risks.

(1)    http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=704203
(2)    A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter
(3)    Mutat Res 2000 Mar 3; 466(1):1-7; Free Radic Biol Med 1999 Aug;27 (3-4); 294-300; FEBS Lett 1997 Nov 24; 418 (1-2); 87-90
(4)    http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=700861
(5)    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p5029.ht
(6)    http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient/721388/PEG-100_STEARATE/