Archive for November, 2009

Preventing sun damage is the number one factor in good skin care. Sunscreens are a part of this, but not all.

There’s a number of factors that contribute enormously to skin aging, most of which we can control. Obviously we cannot control the fact that we’re getting older, however there are many other ingredients in the anti aging mix. And one of them is protection from the sun. Aging skin gets that way, in large part, from skin sun damage.

One of the biggest factors in aging skin is damage from UV radiation. For the best skin care sunscreen is essential, and today we want to look at how to protect your skin from aging from sun damage, which is an essential component of great anti aging skin care. But sunscreen, whilst important for preventing skin sun damage, is only a part of the mix.

The rays of the sun are made up of various components. If you break sunlight down you’ll find that there are various visible and invisible components of different wavelengths.

Some of the invisible components of sunlight are ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is the dangerous component of sunlight, and it is UV that leads to skin damage and worse, ultimately to skin cancer, or melanoma.

However aging from sunlight is even more complex than that, because there are different types of UV radiation.
Skin Care Sunscreen

UVA, UVB and UVC are the 3 types of ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. UVC isn’t of concern because it is eliminated by the atmosphere, however UVA and UVB are. It is UVB that burns your skin.

However although it is the UVB radiation that can burn your skin it is not sufficient merely to protect yourself from UVB radiation. Skin sun protection requires protection from both UVB and UVA radiation. And it is UVA radiation that is the form of ultraviolet primarily responsible for skin aging, as well as for the dangerous skin cancers.

It is not well known that the FDA does not require UVA protection in sunscreens. In the summer of 2008 only 29 percent of sunscreens offered UVA protection. The good news is that by the summer of 2009 the percentage of sunscreens offering optimum skin sun protection, mainly UVB and UVA protection rose to 70 percent. However this still means that around 30 percent of sunscreens on the market do not offer UVA protection.

And anyone using one of those sunscreens risks skin damage, more skin aging and even skin cancer. The FDA has proposed a four-star rating system for UVA protection in sunscreens and also proposed that this rating system be indicated on the labels on sunscreen bottles, however this proposal still remains simply as a proposal.

As the FDA do not require that UVA protection be indicated on the label it is a lottery as to whether or not the sunscreen that you use now does or does not offer a UVA protection.

Consumers rightly expect that sunscreens protect them from sun damage to the skin, including skin cancer and skin aging. However currently this is not necessarily the case.
Skin Care Sunscreen

Not only that but there are toxic ingredients in many sunscreens, just as there are in many anti aging products and cosmetics. For instance you’ll find oxybenzone, a hormonal disruptor, in many sunscreens. Laboratory tests have demonstrated that oxybenzone can disrupt the endocrine system and could even contribute to increasing skin cancer.

Not only that are studies by the Environmental Working Group show that around 40 percent of sunscreens can contain ingredients which break down in the sun or become unstable, and which may therefore cause the sunscreen to stop working.

And there are other concerns about sunscreens, for example that some ingredients can absorb into your blood causing allergic reactions and free radicals.

It is now well recognized that the sun can cause skin cancer. Sun damage, however, goes beyond that to being one of the major, if not the major cause of skin aging and wrinkles. As we noted at the start of this article sun damage is totally preventable, and the best anti aging prevention must include efforts to reduce or eliminate skin ageing from the effects of UV radiation. Sunscreens should only be relied on where absolutely necessary, and much effort should be made about choosing your sunscreen. Much better is to wear a long sleeved shirt and a hat or to stay out of the sun, particularly during the worst times of the day from around 11 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m.

To practice optimum skin care sunscreen is important, but only as a last resort. Don’t get burned and you’re well on your way to much better skin.

And of course proper sun protection isn’t all there is to great anti aging prevention. Using the best (natural) anti aging products is a big part of it also, to help maintain optimum skin health.

Remember, a big part of skin aging is preventable, including skin sun damage. The other huge factor in skin aging that is totally preventable? Smoking.

It’s up to you.

Or why you need a natural moisturizer.

Sodium lauryl sulphate. You may have heard of it. Sodium lauryl sulphate is commonly found in many soaps and shampoos and it is now becoming much more well-known that it’s not good to find sodium lauryl sulphate, or what is sometimes called SLS, in these products. But it’s not so well known that SLS is also found in moisturizers.

Sodium lauryl sulphate is used by mechanics to degrease engines. It has a powerful effect against grease and oils and for this reason, as well as cleaning engines, it is also commonly found in soaps and shampoos. And now moisturizers. And what you’re about to read may start to convince you that if you don’t already use a natural moisturizer then now might be a good time to consider using a natural face moisturizer.

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology studied the effect of using moisturizer on mice. The intention of the researchers was actually to see if caffeine caused skin cancer in mice, however they made an interesting discovery.

A number of moisturizers, all of which contained sodium lauryl sulphate as well as mineral oil, were applied to the skin of the mice 5 times a day for 17 weeks. The mice were given a dose of UV radiation to stimulate the effects of sunlight.

It was discovered, to the surprise of the scientists, that these moisturizers used in the experiment increase the rate of skin cancer in mice, and specifically that they “increased the total number of histologically characterized tumors by 69%”.
Natural Moisturizer

As this was not what was being investigated in the study the scientists were very interested to find that a range of commonly available moisturizers (Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, and Vanicream) caused skin cancer in mice.

The scientists decided to run another test. This time they used a moisturizer with no mineral oil and no sodium lauryl sulphate. This time they found that the moisturizer had no effect of causing skin cancer in the mice.

Perhaps now you’re beginning to see why we are suggesting to you that using a natural facial moisturizer may not be such a bad idea after all.

There is a big movement worldwide to avoiding personal products using sodium lauryl sulphate as an ingredient. If you search the Cosmetic Safety Database you will see that sodium lauryl sulphate is linked to cancer as well as to a whole range of other health concerns including irritation to the skin.

And whilst most consumers are now becoming aware that sodium lauryl sulphate is an active ingredient in a wide range of soaps and shampoos it is not so well known that it is also an ingredient in many moisturizers. In fact the Cosmetic Safety Database listed it as an ingredient in 48 different moisturizers.

The Cosmetic Safety Database give a hazard score to different products according to their perceived level of health risk. This score ranges from 1 (low health risk) to 10 (high health risk). There are moisturizers listed in the Cosmetic Safety Database with a health risk score of 10. (The Skin Success Normal).

Now you may be even more interested in junking the moisturiser that you use now and looking for a good anti aging natural moisturizer that uses ingredients that do not offer any health risks to the user. However there is more.

In volume 2, number 7, in 1983, a report in the Journal of the American College Of Toxicology tells us more about the health risks of sodium lauryl sulphate. It was observed that SLS penetrated the skin very effectively.

Results show that a 10 percent concentration of SLS caused damage to the eyes of rabbits. Skin irritation was found in doses of .5 percent to 10 percent and severe skin irritation was observed at 10 percent to 30 percent. At 15 percent, when animal tested, labored breathing was observed, diarrhea and 20 percent of animals died.

Hopefully you see our point. There are powerful reasons when searching for anti aging products such as anti aging moisturizers to select products such as natural moisturizers that do not contain sodium lauryl sulphate or any of the other chemical ingredients that we talk about here on our website.

Lets examine some of the ingredients you might like to find in a high quality natural face moisturizer.

There’s a wide range of natural oils found in fruits and nuts which are known to have excellent moisturizing properties. Common oils like avocado oil, macadamia oil and olive oil have excellent moisturizing properties and of course all these oils are completely safe. In fact they have been eaten quite safely by generations of people.

Avocado oil deeply penetrates your skin and has been used for centuries for its moisturizing properties. It is rich in a range of essential as well as many important fats. It has been shown to help reduce age spots and to soften the skin. It is particularly effective on dry skin and helps rejuvenate damage skin. It also helps increase the amount of collagen in the skin.

Macadamia oil is also easily absorbed into the skin and has been shown to help protect the skin cells from ageing. It is a wonderful natural moisturizer.

And there are of course many many more natural ingredients which can be used in anti aging skin care products which are safe and highly effective and produce wonderful anti aging products.
Natural Moisturizer

The obvious question to ask is why are ingredients such as mineral oil and sodium lauryl sulphate found in products such as moisturizers when there are so much more effective, and safe, natural alternatives? The answer is very simple. Mineral oil and sodium lauryl sulphate are incredibly cheap whereas natural oils such as avocado oil and macadamia oil are expensive.

So if we’ve convinced you about the benefits of a natural moisturizer, what do you do? Well of course you could just source ingredients such as macadamia oil and avocado oil and mix these together to produce your own natural moisturizer. This is certainly likely to produce a moisturizer which is much more effective than those you find on the shelves of your store and which has no health implications.

However there are companies which have spent many years formulating natural skin care products which use these types of ingredients, and which result in excellent, and safe, natural anti aging products, and these excellent products will produce a much better result at promoting better overall skin health.

In fact the company that produces what we consider to be the best natural anti aging products in the world does not even make a moisturizer. This is because the natural ingredients which moisturize so successfully are found in all their products and therefore there is no need to make a dedicated natural moisturizer, because all their products improve skin health and moisture levels very successfully.

We consider these products to be the best natural anti aging products available. They are made from all safe and natural ingredients, are extremely effective and are backed up by a money back guarantee.

Hopefully today you’ve learn’t more about the risks of sodium lauryl sulphate and moisturizers which contain it.

And hopefully today is the day that you decide to swear off big brand-name anti aging products and use only natural anti aging products which work as well and probably better than the big brands and which do not threaten your health.

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to anti aging products you are justified in looking for hypoallergenic skin care products, but how?

If you’re looking for hypoallergenic skin care products and anti aging products and non comedogenic skin care and anti aging products then you need to know a little about the traps that befall those who are searching for an allergy and acne free solution.

Many people search for products such as hypoallergenic moisturizers, hypoallergenic fragrances and other hypoallergenic creams as well as non-comedogenic moisturizers not quite understanding that what they want may not be what they get.

First of all lets look at some definitions. Lets begin with a hypoallergenic definition. If you look at dictionaries you will find hypoallergenic defined as something like this – “designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response, as by containing relatively few or no potentially irritating substances”.

In other words someone searching for a hypoallergenic skin care product is searching for a product that will not create an allergic reaction, (a common problem with mainstream anti aging products).

This is usually because these people have already had an allergic reaction to anti aging skin care products in the past. This is relatively common and is one of the reasons for this website. We seek to expose the range of chemical and petrochemical ingredients in modern anti aging products, to direct you to safer and more effective alternatives, and to explain why so many people have such things as allergic reactions to anti ageing skin products that shouldn’t produce allergic reactions.

Now let’s have a look at a definition of non comedogenic. This can be defined as “not tending to clog pores”. Again one of the reasons why people search for non comedogenic is because so many skin care and anti aging products contain petrochemical ingredients such as mineral oil which clogs the pores and can lead to acne.
Hypoallergenic Skin Care

Now let’s look at some of the traps for people looking for hypoallergenic skin care products and non comedogenic skin care products and anti aging products.

Hypoallergenic Skin Care Products.

For anyone with sensitive skin who may have had an allergic reaction to mainstream anti aging products the idea of products such as hypoallergenic moisturizers and hypoallergenic lotions is an attractive one. However it is unlikely that products which claim to be hypoallergenic are accurately labelled. There is no medical definition of hypoallergenic and the FDA tells us that “there are no federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term ‘hypoallergenic’.

In other words if a manufacturer wants to use the term “hypoallergenic skin care products” it can do so and this claim is not tested anywhere and there is no requirement that they prove that the products are hypoallergenic or not.

There are many hypoallergenic moisturizers and many other hypoallergenic skin care products available which contain chemical ingredients which can produce allergies and a range of other health problems. But because the use of the term hypoallergenic is not policed these claims can continue to be made on the labels despite the fact that they may be patently incorrect.

(Though there are also some excellent natural skin care products that do not produce allergies or health problems as well)

Non Comedogenic Skin Care Products

And exactly the same applies to the term non-comedogenic. There is no official definition of what this means and there is no list of any ingredients which are considered to be non comedogenic. Any company can claim that its products are non comedogenic and no one knows whether this is accurate or not.

This is a little scary for consumers who quite reasonably expect that anti aging products should be correctly labeled, and shouldn’t contain ingredients that can clog pores or cause allergies if the label says they don’t. However this is not the case.

Therefore the obvious question is that if you are worried about an allergic reaction to anti aging products, particularly because you have already had such a reaction in the past, or do you do? And similarly if you’re worried about acne and have had anti aging products exacerbate your acne what do you do about that?

Obviously you can’t trust the labels. Any company can put anything they like on the label and you have no idea whether it is accurately labeled or not.

What you need to do is to find a company that manufactures top quality anti aging skin products that demonstrates its commitment to the quality of the product, including its commitment to using only known safe ingredients that do not produce allergic reactions or clog pores. You need to find a company with as powerful a commitment to product safety as well as to product quality.

This isn’t easy. However we are here to suggest to you that there ARE companies like this around that make excellent, high quality and safe anti aging products and they demonstrate their commitment to the safety and efficacy of their products in a way that should be comforting.
Non Comedogenic Skin Care

Our favorite amongst these companies is Xtend Life. They have a powerful commitment to using only natural, known safe ingredients and have an equally powerful commitment to making only highly effective anti aging products.

They do not label any of their products as hypoallergenic skin care products or as non comedogenic skin care products. However the products that they produce, which they call natural skin care products, are both hypoallergenic and non comedogenic.

How do we know this? There’s a range of reasons. First of all they have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics which publicly evidences their intention to produce safe anti aging products. This is a compact which can be found on the website of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, an organization dedicated to exposing the problems of the anti aging skin care industry, including chemical ingredients. Skin care manufacturers can sign this compact committing themselves to using only known safe ingredients in their ti aging products. Xtend Life have signeand the compact unlike any of the major brands.

Secondly is their stated belief that the safety of their products should come before any other consideration. When briefing the formulation of their natural skin care range they demanded of their formulation team that they use only ingredients that were “safe enough to eat”. This is evidenced on their website.

Thirdly they commit to only using ingredients over which they have total control. They do not buy products or ingredients from wholesalers but manufacture everything themselves in their own manufacturing plant to ensure total control over product quality.

Fourth is their skin care philosophy. Rather than quote it in full we shall direct you to the page of their website where you may read it for yourself.

So if you’ve had a nasty reaction to the chemicals and petrochemical ingredients used in so many big name anti aging skin care products there is good reason for you to be looking for hypoallergenic skin care and anti aging products. You just don’t know what to believe when you read the labels.

The good news is that there are excellent hypoallergenic (and non-comodogenic) skin care products available. They aren’t available from the big name brands but they are available.

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