Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Toxic Nail Polish Report

Reports about toxic nail polish containing toxic chemicals have gained widespread reactions from companies, medical groups and citizens.

The report by Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) had said that despite marketing nail polish as ‘free from unsafe chemicals’, most brands in fact contain these chemicals.

Chemicals like dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde are together called ‘toxic trio’ and are a health hazard to some 121,000 nail salon workers in California. The State of California describes DBP and toluene as ‘developmental toxins’ and Formaldehyde as a carcinogen.

“This report shows that these companies are knowingly peddling tons of toxins without even an ounce of scruples,” Miriam Yeung, director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum said. “Not only are they including dangerous chemicals in their products, but they are outright lying about it. Most disturbing is that the cosmetic industry continues to be almost completely unregulated- the FDA still does not have the power it needs to keep consumers and salon workers safe.”

For the study, the investigators randomly collected 25 brands of nail polishes that are only available at salons. They later checked these samples for ‘toxic trio’ and found that 10 of the 12 products that advertised to be free of toluene actually had significant levels of the chemical. Four of the products had dangerous levels of toluene.

Of the seven products that claimed to be free of all three dangerous chemicals, five contained either of the three chemicals.

The remaining 13 products that did not make any claim of being toxic free contained toluene but the level was significantly lower than the products that claimed to be ‘non-toxic’.

“In a fetus, there’s felt to be greater susceptibility to the effects” said Dr. Kenneth R. Spaeth, the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center’s Department of Population Health at North Shore University Hospital.

"Physically, I can tell after eight or ten hours working, the chemicals give you very bad headache and affects you mentally. My eyes itch. My nose itch. But as soon as I walk outside the salon, I feel much better. I hope the state government think about this and make it by law that if you say 'no' and you have it, they have to have punishment or penalty." Tina Bui, a manicurist in Marin County for 17 years told Associated Press.

Nail Polish Company Zoya was one of the two brands that came out ‘clean’ in the study. “Today, Zoya nail Polish and Treatments remain committed to a proactive approach to developing quality, toxin-free products,” a Zoya spokesperson said in a statement.

DTSC said that women who work at the salons, many of whom are young Asian Americans, are more vulnerable to these chemicals as they work in rooms that have poor ventilation.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Miracle Super Ingredient - Avocado Oil

With the latest 'miracle health source', avocado oil hitting the headlines recently for its incredible health links in helping fighting heart disease and cancer, we take a look at the impressive beauty credentials and the anti-ageing properties it holds too.

Rich in vitamins, anti-wrinkle, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties the benefits of avocado oil an ingredient in beauty products is ours for the taking. Known to reduce age spots, it possesses high levels of sterolin, which is well recognised for helping to reduce sun damage and scars too.

Jason Natural Care have been including avocado oil in their products since 1959, recognising a results driven ingredient that leaves Jason fans with fewer fine lines, well hydrated and smoother complexions.

Alexander Barani, natural beauty expert of Jason Natural Products, details more uses of avocado oil: "not only does avocado oil have hugely beneficial anti-ageing properties and is an ideal ingredient to anti-wrinkle face creams and oils, it is also excellent for healthy hair. I recommend adding a few drops of the Jason Vitamin E 14,000 Oil, which has a notable concentration of avocado oil, to your shampoo to give your hair a full, silky luster. Avocado oil contains essential minerals and vitamins that help with rebuilding and hair growth, whilst protecting and strengthening each strand. Avocado oil contains natural fats which will add a natural shine to your mane too."

Jason Age Renewal Vitamin E Creme contains rejuvenating vitamin E to replenish lost moisture, while natural avocado oil helps restore elasticity and resilience to your skin.

Celebrity fans of Jason include Reese Witherspoon and Stella McCartney.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Benefits of Green Tea

Tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis, which is native to China (from the 10th century BC) and South East Asia.  It is now cultivated in many other tropical or sub-tropical regions, and the leaves are used to make numerous variations of a wonderful beverage loosely referred to as “tea”.

Different teas, including white, yellow, green, black oolong and pu-erh, are a result of processing techniques, and subsequently to different levels of oxidation. Once tea leaves are picked they are usually left out in the sun to become slightly wilted. The leaves are then rolled to break open their tissue. The inner chemicals react with the air and begin to ferment. During the fermentation, the leaves darken and change from green to red and finally to black. After the fermenting is complete, the leaves are dried and then packaged.

Green tea, however, is dried, but not wilted, and it doesn’t go through enzymatic oxidation, which the tea industry calls fermentation. Black tea is wilted and also fully oxidised, whereas the process to make oolong tea is somewhere between the two: it is wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized.

The taste of green tea is often described as light and grassy, while black tea usually has a stronger, sweeter taste.

Tea contains more than 700 chemicals, including flavonoids, polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins (C, E and K), caffeine and polysaccharides with antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-radiation properties. It has also cooling and astringent properties, due to its tannin content.

Tea also prevents dental cavities due to the presence of fluorine, and helps to normalise blood pressure. It is also good for lipid depressing activity (for reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol), and the prevention of coronary heart diseases and diabetes by reducing blood-glucose levels. Tea also possesses anti-bacterial activities against various gram-positive and gram-negative human pathogenic bacteria.

Green tea is particularly good for your health, as it contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which cannot be found anywhere else.  EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help prevent the development and growth of skin tumors.

Green Tea is one of many special ingredients in some Inlight products that contribute to their unique natural potency.  The Inlight Organic Firm & Tone Oil, for example partly owes its toning and astringent properties to the inclusion of Green Tea.

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Source: Dr Mariano Spiezia