Aveda makeup and skin care-not all that it’s cracked up to be

women-putting-on-makeupIt amazes me how many women are attracted to Aveda makeup and skin care products. I think at one time, I was too, however at that time, I am sure that I could not afford it. Aveda products are known throughout the beauty industry and popular among salons and beauty schools. The products range from makeup and skincare to hair care products.

The impressions we have formed of Aveda makeup, skin care and haircare products are primarily from the services we received over the years in beauty salons such as facials, manicures, pedicures, and hair colorings. And why wouldn’t we form a positive, natural impression? The Aveda name sounds healthy. Aveda products smell wonderful. We look great! We feel great!

When you visit the Aveda website, you are immediately seeing big, bold, clean water ads, and organic farming ads, “Farming is the #1 polluter of US waterways. Organic farming keeps them free of pesticides and chemicals.”

And yet, they continue to dump toxic chemicals into the Aveda line. As many of you know from reading this blog, parabens seep into skin tissue and have been linked to cancer. The Aveda makeup and skincare line uses several of these parabens in much of the cosmetic line, mostly methylparaben.

Phenylenediamine, resorcinol, along with fragrance, slicylic acid, and ethyl lactate which causes skin, eye, or lung irritation are some of the not so natural ingredients in Aveda products.

It is nearly impossible to get exact ingredients in each of their products by visiting the website. They have a general “ingredients list” on the Aveda website. Natural? Sure. The ingredients they list are natural. But why are they not listing the rest? On the website….”Aveda products show that what you put on your body should be as healthy and natural as what you’d put into it.”

So how did we come to love Aveda makeup? How did we become so obsessed with Aveda skin care? It started with the beauty schools, and on to the beauty salons. The products smell sooo good. They are used in the most expensive, relaxing services we look forward to now and again. We were under the impression that they were natural. We didn’t know then what we know now.

Author’s note: many great companies incuding Aveda (read my updated post) are now removing ingredients based on progressive research and or customer demand so it is important to check the ingredients list on the package before ditching your favorite products.

How dangerous are your personal care products?

The Famous Dead Sea Mud

dead sea mudKnown as Dead Sea black mud, this Dead Sea mud is a mixture of Dead Sea salts and minerals rich in magnesium, natural tar and silicates, the organic elements from the shore all blended with the earth. It is the silicates that are useful for cleansing and softening the skin resulting in a natural glow. Dead Sea mud is known to improve and stimulate blood circulation.

The miracle rejuvenating magic of the Dead Sea has been known to man for thousands of years. The Dead Sea minerals are natural, pure, non-chemical, and non-pharmaceutical. The salts of the Dead Sea water have a thereputic high concentration of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, bromide and potassium. These pamper the skin, ease rheumatic aches and pains, and stimulate the circulatory system, while relaxing the nerves. The writings of historians and doctors, dating as far back as the 1st century AD, speak openly of its near mystical, curative qualities. (more…)

Coconut Oil-Great Food For Skin

Coconut oil is becoming a favorite skin food. Many are choosing to cook with coconut oil instead of butter and other oils for good reason. Eating a diet rich in coconut oil has a smoothing and nourishing effect on skin. People have reported the end of dry skin after cooking with this skin food for two weeks.

Using virgin coconut oil is a great way to rejuvenate skin. Not only does it prevent the formation of damaging free radicals and protect against them, but also it can help to keep the skin from developing liver spots and other blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight.

Try using coconut oil topically to keep the skin’s connective tissues strong and supple, which helps to prevent sagging and wrinkles. In some cases it might even restore damaged or diseased skin.

Not only is coconut oil a good food for skin, keeping skin healthy and young, but it also promotes weight loss, enhances thyroid functionand and aids in many degenerative diseases including heart disease.

How dangerous are your personal care products?

beauty-product-dangers1My two cents about the following article…I love Dr. Mercola and have been a follower for many years. I have followed much of his advice through the years and now live a healthier lifestyle. There are many anti-mercola groups out there claiming that he is far too extreme and in some cases, I have to agree. However, he makes valid points in all of his writings and he brings important facts to light that never would have surfaced if not for his research. Thousands of personal care products that we use daily, contain cancer causing ingredients-this is certainly something we should worry about.

I also swear by the “skin deep”, cosmetic safety website. I now search for low hazard beauty care products prior to buying them. You can search for anything from toothpaste to baby products and get a hazard score. FYI-Clearasil Ultra Acne Clearing Scrub has the highest hazard score of hundreds of acne products.

Here is Dr. Mercola’s article: How dangerous are your cosmetics?

Most personal care and beauty product consumers would be slightly unnerved to find that the government doesn’t require any mandatory testing for these products before they hit store shelves. As a matter of fact, a government agency found out that cosmetic manufacturers could use just about any raw materials in their products and then put them on the market without needing approval by the FDA.

The lack of government involvement has led to companies who manufacture these types of products to not adhere to any testing standards and market products that are considered to cause potentially damaging health risks.

A six-month computer investigation evaluated the safety of over 10,000 personal care product ingredients and included 2,300 people. The investigation revealed the following information on personal care use:

  • Each day, the average adult uses nine personal care products that contain 126 different chemical ingredients
  • Over a quarter of a million women and one out of every 100 men use on the average of 15 products a day

Findings From the Personal Care Safety Assessment

  • Only 28 of the 7,500 products in the study were completely tested by the cosmetic industry’s self-regulating panel
  • An astounding one-third of all the products assessed contained at least one ingredient that fell under the classification of human carcinogen
  • 71 percent of the hair dye products evaluated had carcinogenic coal tar as part of their ingredients
  • Almost 70 percent of the products reviewed were found to have ingredients that could be tainted with impurities related to cancer and other health complications
  • 54 percent of the products violated the safety recommendations proposed by the self-regulating Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board. Some examples of the unsafe ingredients in these products were discovered in diaper cream, products on the market for damaged skin such as chapped skin and other ingredients found in spray products
  • Over the course of keeping watch over the cosmetic industry, the FDA has banned a mere nine personal care products

Based on these findings, researchers agreed that the lack of monitoring by the FDA has led to a huge leniency toward the testing of cosmetic ingredients and has resulted in a large portion of products available on the market that pose health risks to the consumers.

Recommendations to Cosmetic Manufacturers by the Environmental Working Group

  • Take out all possible cancer carcinogens and other developmental toxins from products
  • Ensure that ingredients are certified and free of impurities with known possible human carcinogens or developmental toxins
  • Eliminate any ingredients that qualify as harmful or unsafe

Environmental Working Group June 2004

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit public-interest research group known for making connections between chemical exposure and adverse health conditions.

The Washington-based organization has made it easy to calculate your risk of exposure to potentially harmful substances through the personal care products you use.

In its new “Skin Deep” study EWG uses a complex formula to assign a health-risk rating to each of 7,500 personal care products. The rating system offers a means of quantifying the answer to a controversial question: Just what are we doing to ourselves when we slather stuff on our bodies?

Please don’t shrug this issue off.

It is important to recognize that whatever you spread on your skin has a very real chance of being absorbed into your blood stream and causing some serious damage in your body.

Finding your cosmetics risk rating is easy. Just go to the “Skin Deep” report and type in the brand name of your deodorant, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and whatever else you use.

The site will tell you how many ingredients the products collectively contain. The calculator will rate the aggregate health threat those ingredients may pose to you.

Each product is ranked according to its ingredients’ potential to:

  • Cause cancer
  • Trigger allergic reactions
  • Interfere with the endocrine (hormonal) system
  • Impair reproduction or damage a developing fetus
  • Any harmful impurities in the product are also considered. Containing unstudied ingredients or a “penetration enhancer” that helps chemicals get absorbed through the skin also enter into the equation, as does any violation of industry safety recommendations surrounding its use.

Can Vitamin C Face Cream be the Wrinkle Eraser We’ve All Been Looking For?

minneolaIf you’re old enough to spot wrinkles on your face, you’ve probably started looking in to what you can do to minimize this sign of aging. There are now several vitamin C face creams on the market which have been found by many a happy customer to live up to its claims. Not only does this miracle product minimize the wrinkles you already have, but is said to slow the progress of any new ones making their appearance.

While some medical professionals find this to be a subject of controversy, the idea of a vitamin C face cream being able to slow down this most unattractive aspect of aging seems to have a great deal of merit.

Over the last 40 years, many studies have been conducted to determine if certain foods could slow down the natural process of skin wrinkling. Almost invariably, these studies have concluded that people who regularly ate foods high in vitamin C (keyword ate) had fewer wrinkles than those of the same age, who did not eat vitamin C rich foods! Vitamin C, as well as A and E and the trace mineral zinc are well known to be essential to good skin health.The small amounts found in these products however are really not enough and are no subsitute for adding them to your daily diet.

Besides using a vitamin C face cream, you’ll want to include vitamin C rich foods in your diet to engage all the help you can get! I never met anyone who liked wrinkles! Broccoli, collard greens, grapefruit and cauliflower are just a few of the fruits and veggies which are absolutely loaded with vitamin C.

A tip for you non-fruit eaters like myself. Buy minneola’s. Lately, it seems you can only buy them in a large bag which is expensive, however, the benefits far out way the cost. This is the only form of an orange fruit that my family enjoys, why? Because you can take the peel off in practically one move!

Other dietary factors which played in to the appearance of wrinkles and which were uncovered in these studies include:

People who ate nuts, sunflower seeds and cold water fish as a regular part of their diet appeared not to suffer from dryness or thinning of the skin as much as people who did not. All of these foods are rich sources of linoleic acid (the Omega 6 fatty acid). Fish are particularly high in linoleic acid, as well as the Omega 3’s, include herring, sardines, halibut and salmon.

On the other hand, diets high in fat and carbohydrates appeared to bring on the wrinkles much faster.

The evidence of 40 years of many independent studies does certainly make a case for the effectiveness of a vitamin C face cream. While you’re loading up on vitamin C from dietary and supplemental sources, the vitamin C face cream gives you an added boost directly where it’s needed – on your face.

The sooner you begin your anti-wrinkle campaign, the better you’ll be looking, years down the road. It’s also never too late to take steps. Always wear sunscreen. If you smoke, stop! Eat right. Excercise. It’s really that simple.

Deadly Psoriasis Drug Pulled from US Market

Earlier this month, I wrote about the deadly psoriasis drug, Raptiva in Deadly Psoriasis Treatment or Natural Psoriasis Treatment . According to the FDA, it will pulled from the US market, thank god! Today, I recieved this information from the Health Sciences Institute newsletter:

After being tied to at least 3 deaths (from a fatal brain infection called PML, which Jenny Thompson told you about in the e-Alert back on March 30), popular psoriasis drug Raptiva has been — or rather, will be — yanked from the market by Genentech. According to the FDA, by June 8, 2009, the drug will be completely unavailable…at least in the U.S.Skin-E-Care (B2)

Don’t wait ’til June to stop taking this deadly drug! Call your doctor right away about tapering off Raptiva — stopping cold turkey can cause serious health problems — and finding a better way to keep your psoriasis under control. But beware the other commonly prescribed treatments…

Like methotrexate, which has been linked with severe liver damage. Or cyclosporine, which can increase your risk of hypertension and kidney problems. And let’s not forget the other immunosuppressants — drugs like Enbrel, Amevive, and Remicade — all of which do exactly what they’re supposed to…suppress your immune system, potentially setting you up for a whole host of deadly infections.

Bottom line: Get off Raptiva quickly but safely. But don’t let your doctor switch you to an equally dangerous drug. Ask him about ALL the options for treating your psoriasis – and check the HSI e-alert archives for information about much safer natural choices.

–Michele