WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: June Issue
Welcome to the June Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter. This month we not only included some interesting and informative articles, useful hints & tips, but a very special Members only Winter Skin-Treatment Offer.
(You can click on the topics below which will take you to the article of choice on this page, or simply scroll down and read each one)
Oily Skin: Why You May Have Oily Skin & What To Do About It.
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
An interview with Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
The Winter Skin Challenge (Includes special offer for members)
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
About An Essential Oil of Interest: Patchouli
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Kitty's Corner - Ever wonder what to do about your overweight cat?
(by Kitty the Cat)
Newsletter - June 2008
Do you have oily skin, continually feel the need to wash your face and wish you could find a way to make those pores looks smaller?
You and millions of other people with oily skin are in the same boat. Mind you, oily skin does not get lines and wrinkles as quickly or as deeply as people with dry skin… So that’s got to be a bonus - although it probably doesn’t make you feel any better about your oily skin problem, does it.
Often, oily skin is associated with acne, however, here we will focus on the classic oily skin type and look at the causes and solutions for your oily skin.
Oily skin may be the result of several causes:
Oily skin may well be in your genes. People from Mediterranean, some Asian and middle-Eastern countries may inherit oily skin from their parents. This is a genetic mechanism to help protect their skin from the high radiation of the sun. However, if you have inherited this skin type, but do not live in the climate it was designed for, this can be a problem and needs to be addressed.
Diet can be both the cause as well as the solution for oily skin. Eating greasy, oily foods will eventually produce oily skin. It is the diet’s fat and sugar (which is converted to fat) content that ends up on the surface of your skin and that is a relatively easy cause to fix. Fix your diet and you’ll fix your oily skin.
Hormonal changes especially during the teenage and change of life years can cause oily skin, often associated with acne. Similarly, pregnancy, during which your hormones change dramatically, may cause oily skin. Usually this is resolved soon after giving birth, menopause has passed or once a teenager’s body reaches maturity.
Often however, the very products you are using are the reason for your oily skin. This can be cosmetic products or skin and personal care products.
Personal products such as soaps are particularly ‘hazardous’. The reason soap is a no-no when it comes to oily skin is that the soap you use to wash your face will initially remove the oil, but it will also dry out your skin causing your skin to over-react and over produce oil which is then secreted onto the skin’s surface and oops, you have oily skin again. This is a condition known as reactive seborrhoea.
Another factor that can lead to oily skin is the climate in which you life. A humid, hot climate may cause your skin to become oily.
Many people have oily areas in one area of their face, but other areas may well be normal or dry. This is known as combination skin. Often the oily area is in the
T-Zone. That is the area covered by your forehead, nasal section and chin. You may however only have oily skin in one of these areas or elsewhere on your face. Irrespective of where the oily skin is, you’ll need to address the cause in order to fix it.
How to fix your oily skin
Okay, you can’t do much about the genes you’ve inherited, or the fact you’re pregnant or going through a change in hormonal balance. But you can still help your skin to work at a more ‘normal’ level. You can influence the oiliness of your skin and you can take steps to normalize your skin’s oil secretions.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can normalize your skin.
Basic steps applicable to all causes of oily skin type:
If you’re unsure as to the types of food you should buy that are going to benefit your skin, have a look at this article: Foods for Your Skin.
The next step is to choose the right type of skin care products. Yes, it’s a little more difficult than just buying a cleanser and moisturizer that smell nice and hope they’ll help your oily skin.
Many of these essential oils help specifically in normalizing sebum production.
One of the biggest problems with oily skin is that the excessive oil being produced tends to clog up the pores and cause bacterial growth (Acne) and/or oxidation of the oil (blackheads).
So, looking at this as a 3-step process:
1. Follow a daily skin care regime:
2. Eat wholesome food and drink plenty of water.
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By Katharine Wroth
Beauty, they say, is only skin deep. But given the load of toxic chemicals in everyday products like shampoo, deodorant, and makeup, that superficial truth is still cause for concern. With increasing frequency, studies point to hidden dangers in the medicine cabinet: things like lead in lipstick, phthalates in baby lotions, aluminum in deodorant. While the amount of each toxic may be tiny on its own, the number of products most people use each day means we're exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks -- all in the name of looking and smelling good.
In 2002, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics -- a coalition of health, labor, environmental, and consumer-rights groups -- began fighting to protect people around the world from these risks, by pressuring companies to change their formulas and by raising awareness among the public. The latest tool in this effort is Not Just a Pretty Face, a book by CSC co-founder Stacy Malkan.
Malkan, a former teen beauty queen, first became aware of the impacts of routine chemicals on humans as a reporter in Colorado; after a stint in politics in Washington, D.C., she got involved in Health Care Without Harm, a global coalition working to reduce pollution in the health-care sector. It was there that she first learned of the dangers of everyday products.
Now living in Berkeley, Calif., Malkan splits her time between HCWH and CSC; Katharine Wroth spoke with her by phone about her Aqua Net-clouded past, how she's getting the word out to women and men alike, and the most surprising thing she's seen along the way.
Question: How did your book come about?
Answer: For five years, I was working with some of the top researchers and advocates in the field of environmental health, and seeing amazing stories, learning about the science, seeing many disturbing trends -- and I just saw a great [chance to tell a story through the] people I was getting to know: women taking on big corporations, teenagers lobbying for political change, companies making safer products, chemists thinking of new, safer ways to create chemicals. There's a lot of reason for hope, even though the topic can be overwhelming.
But it is upsetting to learn about all the toxins that we're exposing ourselves to ... through products we've trusted and used for years. When you start to think about all of the products you use in a day, or a week, the numbers are just staggering.
Question: You measured the products you'd used as a teenager, right?
Answer: Yes, when I went back and looked at my former teenage beauty routine, I found that I was using 20 products a day and exposing myself to 230 chemicals before even getting on the school bus. Through this elaborate morning routine of makeup and skin cream and all sorts of hair products topped off with an enormous cloud of Aqua Net Extra Super Hold hairspray, I was exposing myself to 17 carcinogens, two dozen endocrine disruptors, and 15 different kinds of fragrance.
Question: And that's not unusual, I'm guessing.
Answer: Absolutely. Women use an average of about a dozen products a day, and men use about six, according to our surveys. Teenagers tend to use a lot more products -- and at younger and younger ages. There was a [news] story just the other day ... about how hairdressers are seeing girls as young as 10 in the salons getting hair dyes, and it used to be more like 16 or 17. Companies market hair relaxers at very young African-American girls -- girls aged 5 and 8 are on the packages. And these are highly toxic beauty treatments.
Question: What kind of response are you getting to the book?
Answer: People are just hungry for information on this topic -- we've had more than 2,000 people come out to our events in the last few months ... from junior-high and high-school audiences, to older women, and men too, people want to know about the products they're putting on their bodies. It's disturbing [to discover] that the mainstream companies, the ones that advertise so heavily, have not been willing to change their ways. But there's a very inspiring part of this story as well, and I try to get that across.
I'm hearing that while people at first feel overwhelmed, when they go through the process of really looking at products and making changes, they start to feel empowered. Because ultimately we do have control over the products that we bring into our homes. And we do have the power to change the beauty industry and to say no to their toxic products and the toxic messages they bombard us with every day.
Question: Have you seen any indication that big companies will budge on this?
Answer: We have seen some major changes. We saw a huge shift in the nail products market, where most companies have now removed what we called the "toxic trio" -- dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde -- which were quite commonly used in about half the nail polishes on the market. We focused on those products because dibutyl phthalate is banned in Europe, so we went to the companies and said, "Why don't you take this out of products you sell in the U.S.?" At first there was resistance, but one by one the companies started to change ... it happened quickly, and we still have nail products, and prices didn't go up. So that's an indication that the industry can change on a dime, if consumers demand it.
I'm hopeful that some of them are making quiet changes, because ... the markets are changing, more people are demanding safer products, and political will is building. Currently nine states are considering legislation to restrict toxic ingredients in personal care products. So there's increasing regulatory pressure.
Question: Do you have any hope, in terms of regulation, that the U.S. will catch up to Europe?
Answer: I think we will see regulatory changes in the U.S. First of all, Europe is forcing U.S. companies to change whether or not the U.S. government is involved. The electronics industry had to reformulate all of their products to comply with E.U. law ... Europe also, with the REACH legislation, will be requiring safety tests on thousands of chemicals over the next several years, so we'll be getting a lot more information about chemicals that companies can use to make better choices.
In terms of political change in the U.S., I do think we see building political will for change ... Maine and Washington just passed very progressive product safety laws. California is considering a bill that would ban lead in lipstick and a series of toxic chemicals from children's products. It's a step in the right direction -- ultimately, we need change at the federal level.
Question: What advice do you give consumers trying to find safer products?
Answer: First of all, simplify -- I think that's the main rule of thumb. Less is better. Look for products with fewer synthetic chemicals, use fewer products overall, try to avoid synthetic fragrance and parabens ... You can also use the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database to look up product safety.
It's important to look particularly at children's products ... it's unbelievable what they put in [some of] these products. Many actually contain a warning label. I'm looking at a bottle of Strawberry Shortcake bubble bath -- it's a very cute container, and it says right on the back, "prolonged exposure may cause irritation to skin and urinary tract." So it's not a good idea to put kids in a bathtub full of chemicals if you can avoid it.
Question: What about cost -- don't safer, natural products tend to cost more, and does that make this an environmental justice issue?
Answer: It's true that natural products tend to cost more, and also are not available everywhere, so that is an environmental justice issue. But it's also true that many of us spend a lot of money on beauty products of all types. If you start to simplify, you may find that you spend less money overall. For example, I've stopped coloring my hair, and we've stopped buying certain products like bubble baths, air fresheners, perfumes ... I certainly spend less in a year on beauty products now, even though my shampoo's a little more expensive.
Question: Of all the things you've seen and heard in this work, what's been the most shocking?
Answer: The information about breast cancer and the pinkwashing that goes on, where companies market their products to raise money for cancer research, and yet those companies [sell] products that contain carcinogens. I believe those companies have a responsibility to step up as champions for women's health, and figure out how to get carcinogens out of their products, and be part of the solution rather than the problem. So far, they haven't been willing to do that.
It's also disturbing to read about some of the beauty trends in Asia -- the huge pressure on women to use skin-lightening creams, and this constant bombardment of advertisements with Caucasian-looking actresses and models ... We're all being targeted with messages that make us feel like we have to be different than we are: lighter hair, straighter hair, lighter skin, darker skin, plumper lips, no wrinkles. This industry has way too much power over our minds, our sense of selves, and even our bodies as they continue to expose us to toxic chemicals.
Question: Increasingly I'm seeing references to women's power, as consumers, to make environmental changes. Do you think that's the case?
Answer: Yes. The real story is that we have the power. We have the power to say no, I'm not going to buy your toxic products. No, I'm not going to believe your messages about how I need to be. Yes, I'm going to invest in companies that are doing the right thing, that are making safer products. As the largest bloc of voters in the U.S. and as the primary shoppers, women have the power to change the entire economy.
Question: Do you ever worry that the message of this campaign is lost on men?
Answer: It's harder to get the attention of men on these issues, but men are affected too. They use products -- cologne, deodorant, shaving cream -- and some of these chemicals impact men more so than women. An example is phthalates ... there are many animal studies showing that phthalate exposure causes infertility, sperm damage, testicular tumors, and other problems that have been rising over the past few decades among men in industrial countries.
Question: You say the fact that green groups and health groups are teaming up on this issue seems to get attention from the [cosmetics] industry -- why is that?
Answer: When the Breast Cancer Fund and other health groups are involved, it points to the fact that we're talking about health issues -- that protecting the environment is about protecting our health. The same chemicals running through the rivers are running through our veins. I think this issue really points out the truth that we're all connected and all of these challenges we're facing are connected.
This problem has the same roots as global warming -- we're relying on outdated polluting technologies and fossil fuels. Many of the chemicals that make up cosmetics and plastics and other products in our homes are derived from oil. Our addiction to oil is causing many problems, from global warming to increasing rates of cancer and falling rates of fertility. It's the same problem and the same set of solutions -- what we need to do is reinvent the economy so it's compatible with life and health, and we do that by pushing renewable energies, clean production, and green chemistry. Basically we need to reinvent the way we do everything -- but that's an exciting opportunity. That's the business opportunity of the 21st century.
Wildcrafted Herbal Products is proud to be a signatory to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
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The Winter Skin Challenge
During the winter months, your skin faces particular challenges it usually does not have to contend with to the same extent. Tight, dry, itchy and irritated skin can plague many of us. Let's look at some of the solutions to meet these Winter Skin Challenges. Some of these challenges include the following:
It is vitally important that a total skin care regime is continued throughout the year and not neglected during winter. Revitalise your skin with exfoliation; use the Skin Renewal Gel to remove dead skin cells, promote blood circulation to stimmulate new cell growth and nourish your skin.
In addition, two or three times a week massage your body's skin using a mitt or body bush before your morning shower. After your daily shower rub in a light all-over body moisturiser to nourish and moisturise your skin and re-establish your skin's acid mantel.
Depending on your primary skin type, winter will have a particular impact on your skin.
Generally speaking, if your primary skin type is normal, your skin tends to become dry and possibly develop areas that are red, irritated and very itchy. If your primary skin type is oily, your skin will tend to become more like ‘normal’ during winter and many people with oily skin look forward to winter. If your primary skin type is dry however, you may not like winter. This skin type suffers the most during winter, as the usual signs and symptoms become worse. Dry skin will tend to crack, become inflamed and there is a good chance of developing eczema or dermatitis during winter or anyone of a number of skin problems.
One of the key factors to maintaining healthy skin during winter is not just to use a good skin care regime, but not to forget the importance of a healthy intake of foods and plenty of water. The nutrients and anti-oxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables are just as important for you skin’s and over-all health as during any other time of the year.
In addition, make sure you continue your exercise. Winter is often a time when all good intentions tend to go out the door and let’s face it the warm bed is much more inviting then the cold, brisk and often wet outdoor climate… This is the time not to let that little voice on your shoulder say – “stay in a bit longer, its so nice and cosy here in bed”…
By maintaining your exercise regime you are providing your skin with an increased supply of blood, which contains the very nutrients it needs to help overcome the effects that winter can impose on it. So don’t let that little voice get the better of you.
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Biological Name: Pogostemon patchouli
Family: Labiateae (Lamiaceae)
Parts Used: The essential oil, which is a dark orange to amber colour with an exotic heavy and earthy fragrance. Extraction of the oil is by steam distillation of the young leaves
Patchouli is native to tropical Asian regions and was widely used incense, perfumes and insect repellents. The west’s introduction to patchouli began early in the 19th century when fascination grew about the layers of crushed herb sprinkled liberally in shipments of carpets, fabrics and clothing imported from India and the Middle East. The dried leaves were not placed for aesthetic purposes but as insect repellent, a use for which the east had always used patchouli.
Applications in Aromatherapy:
Patchouli oil is used in natural skin care for tired, dry and ageing skin. It is warming and bracing but does not cause irritation and can be applied neat to inflamed and cracked skin.
For these reasons we have included patchouli oil in:
Traditional Medicinal Uses:
Patchouli has been used as a reproductive tonic and cleanser. It has pronounced wound healing properties and being drying, is useful against fungi infection in particular.
When used in Massage and Bath Oil Blends, Patchouli reduces anxiety and depression and produces a warming and sensual feeling.
Patchouli is an ingredient in the following Wildcrafted Herbal Products:
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We hope you enjoyed these articles and invite you to send us suggestions of topics you would like to see us cover in the coming months.
Your suggestions are always welcome and we endeavour to cover the topics you would like to know more about - so don't be shy, drop us a line or two!
Don't forget to take advantage of our Special Offer - it is valid only while stocks last and ends June 30, 2008
In good health
Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2008
Hello to you all, and a hearty Miau.
I hope you found last month's article interesting and helpful.
This month we'll look at:
A recent survey indicated that 40% of America's pet population is overweight. If you or your veterinarian feel that your pet would benefit from a reduction in body weight, this discussion should help you to understand how to help overweight dogs lose weight. Weight loss for obese cats is more complicated and should not be done without a veterinarian's supervision.
Very simply put, if your pet is overweight it is taking in (eating) more calories than it needs. Set all excuses aside ... excessive weight in an otherwise healthy pet is a direct result of consuming unnecessary amounts of food. If your pet is overweight it should be examined for heart, thyroid or other metabolic disorders. A detailed history should be taken with emphasis on frequency of exercise, amount and type of food being provided and other parameters relative to calorie requirements.
To begin let us set the record straight on some common misconceptions regarding obesity. Healthy dogs and cats do not need to eat every day; the pet food industry has painted the picture for us of the "eager eater." The impression is that a happy, healthy pet will eat every meal with gusto. Please do not try to entice your pet to eat if it isn’t interested. If you provide a good quality food and a liberal amount of water, your pet will eat when it wants and do better than having to eat when you want. See the pet nutrition section.
Another common myth maintains that spaying or neutering causes obesity. This is absolutely false. Any pet, neutered or not, will gain weight if it is over fed relative to its energy requirements. The surgical procedure may slightly slow the pet’s metabolism, as will normal aging, and it will then burn calories off more slowly; therefore it may require less food. Keep in mind the surgery doesn’t cause the weight gain, eating too much does and you have control over that.
If your cat is overweight and you know that it is time to do something, take your cat to your vet.
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
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