Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Mar 5

    Your Skin and You by Bea KinnearThe truth about skincare products post is from Bea Kinnear, a lady who has spent a lot of time researching skincare. Bea is the author of Your Skin & You 5th Edition

    The absolute truth is that there are good and bad products in all price categories.

    The amount of money you spend on skin-care products has nothing to do with the quality or uniqueness of the formula. Any irritant-free toner is infinitely better than a toner that contains peppermint, menthol, essential oils, eucalyptus, lemon, or other irritants, no matter how natural-sounding the ingredients are and regardless of the price or claim. Lots of expensive products are little more than water and wax, and some inexpensive products are beautifully formulated. Spending less doesn’t hurt your skin, and spending more doesn’t help it. It’s all about the formulation, not the price.

    Whatever preconceived notion someone might have or media-induced fiction someone might believe about natural ingredients being better for the skin; it’s not true, there is no factual basis or scientific legitimacy for that belief. Just because an ingredient grows out of the ground or is found in nature doesn’t make it automatically good for skin; and the reverse is also true, just because it is synthetic doesn’t make it bad. Consumers should not necessarily assume that an ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ ingredient or product would possess greater inherent safety than another chemically identical version of the same ingredient. In fact, ‘natural’ ingredients may be harder to preserve against microbial contamination and growth than synthetic raw materials.

    People should not interpret even the USDA Organic seal or any organic seal of approval on cosmetics as proof of health benefits or of efficacy.
    (Source: The National Organic Program is a marketing program, not a safety program. Steak may be graded prime, but that has no bearing on whether it is safe or nutritious to eat.

    Women have problems with their skin because they often like what isn’t good for them. For example, you may like getting a tan, but that can cause skin cancer and most certainly will cause wrinkles and skin discolorations. You may like smoking cigarettes, but that will cause skin cells to die and will cause the growth of unhealthy, malformed skin cells. You may like that daytime moisturizer you are using, but if it doesn’t contain sunscreen it leaves your skin wide open to sun damage. What it takes to help your skin be at its best and to function normally and really fight wrinkles or acne or any other skin problem is far more complex than just using what you “like.” This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t like what you use, but do take the time to select from among products that are truly healthy and beneficial for skin. Don’t pick a product just from smell or how fancy the package is, they are just marketing tools to get you to buy. It does not qualify the enclosed ingredients any more than price can.
    Have a Sensé-tional Day!
    Bea Kinnear, Author
    Your Skin & You 5th Edition

    Learn more – the best anti-aging skincare ingredients currently available.

  • Jun 13

    Are preservatives necessary in skincare? To Preserve or Not Preserve – That is The Question!
    by Bea Kinnear, Author Your Skin & You, 5th Edition

    Obviously, no one wants to be using creams loaded with harmful chemicals, but would much rather “Go Natural” or “Green”, but knowing how and why these skincare products are preserved, or not preserved, is very important to your health.

    Preservatives in skincare are necessary due to creams and lotions being formulated with water to help emulsify the ingredients. This gives the product the incredible texture we know and love. Even though the thought of a naturally preserved product sounds perfect to us, it can provide a haven for yeast, mould, bacteria and fungi. Those natural ingredients we strive for, also produce natural sugars and in a moist environment, plant extracts provide microorganism’s their favourite food source.

    The only time you can typically get away from preservatives, is in products where no water is added. An example of this is thick body butter scrubs, where ingredients are strictly melted and whipped together. They are not emulsified, so water is unnecessary, however, you should still look for some preservatives in these due to the fact body scrubs are used where? In your shower and what is in the shower? Water! Many of us don’t stop to think about it, but when using these products close to water, or dipping your wet fingers into the jar, water has now been introduced and microorganisms can begin to grow. This also includes naturally created shampoos and conditioners.

    There is a downside to purchasing preservative free or naturally preserved products. Preservative free products must be stored in the refrigerator immediately after opening. They must be made in the most sterile environment possible, and I do mean sterile. They should be used up within a few days to a week, despite what you may have been told by the seller.

    Microorganisms require water in order to grow. Having water available for the formula but not available to microbes was the first hurdle of several steps to attain Usana’s Sensé self-preserving technology.

    Constant dipping of fingers, steam from the bathroom or getting any kind of moisture inside the jar, will begin deteriorating the product and bacteria will multiply at an astounding rate unless they are sold in an airless pump.

    Refrigeration will not stop microorganisms from growing; it will only slow the rate a bit (a good example is the food in your fridge). If you are told they can withstand longer periods of time then you could call into question whether or not it is truly preservative free. Sometimes preservatives are left off the ingredient list or are masked under the label “other ingredients” or “fragrance”.

    Natural preservatives, (like essential oils) can buy a bit more time in the way of product life, usually up to 6 months shelf life before opening. After that, the product should be used up within 30 days. There are some natural preservatives known to be quite effective but they are not indestructible to air and water contamination, this essentially can make them ineffective against deterioration or oxidation and thus undependable.

    Essential Oils that have antiseptic properties and are shown to kill bacteria and fungi also can create sensitivities to the skin. Some people are allergic to essential oils and will develop a contact dermatitis or rash. Essential oils can also break down or evaporate every time you go into/open your favourite face cream.

    Grapefruit Seed Extract is a popular preservative natural lines like to use. It is a natural antibiotic, anti-septic and preservative found in many skin preparations. However, this ingredient is not as natural as some think. It is mainly synthetically produced from Grapefruit Seeds under a chemical synthesis involving catalysts and reagents under extreme heat to create the aforementioned extract. It also is known to contain Methylparaben and triclosan in commercial preparations. The natural grapefruit extract has not been shown to provide any antimicrobial protection whatsoever. So typically it is the latter of these two inserted contaminants that are preserving the skincare product not the grapefruit extract. (Note: triclosan is on the Canadian Hot List due to its chemical similar molecular structure to some toxic chemicals like PCBs, and dioxins, page 523, Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, 6th Edition)

    Since Parabens are on everyone’s mind these days, it is very important how you handle your comments about them. Research to date has not proven they cause breast cancer with regard to the U.K. study, that found the presence of intact parabens in all 20 samples of human breast tumors (Source: Journal of Applied Toxicology, Volume 24, Number 1, 2004) (Dr. Darbre interview: BBC News Item 11/01/04). Further research needs to be done to answer key questions on that particular discovery.

    The first question regards the long belief that Parabens flushed out of the body. This discovery of several Parabens in each cancer tissue examined tells scientists that this past belief was not correct.

    The second question is how the parabens got there and most important, were they the cause of the cancer. Until these very important questions can be answered through more research, is it worth the risk of using products with Parabens until we have those answers?

    In any preservative system one question is about how long something can be stored. Shelf life is shorter for jars since lids come fully off and fingers are dipping into the products. Airless pumps, tubes and squeeze bottles don’t allow air to get in and the product is dispensed into the hand, therefore shelf life is extended.

    Not all natural things are necessarily the best thing for you, just as not all chemicals are necessarily the worst. Don’t count on the glamour of the container, the price, comments like “good enough to eat”, “all natural”, “organic” or “no chemicals”! Do your homework!

    Bea Kinnear, Author Your Skin & You, 5th Edition

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging plus more information about self-preserving skincare, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

  • May 18

    Our skin’s appearance can make us look younger or older than our real age. How do we prevent our skin from aging? And do we need natural ingredients in skincare to stay looking young?

    A baby’s skin takes 14 days to turnover or replace skin cells.
    20-30 year olds take up to 28 days to replace cells.
    Those of us over 40 can take up to 90 days to experience cell turnover.

    The struggling dermis needs more nutrition to help skin turnover, especially dry skin and all the problems of aging skin.  Over doing exfoliating will cause more harm than good, therefore, only exfoliate when required and dry skin requires it less since it is already in distress. Oily skin might require it more often. Knowing your skin is really key here, but over exfoliating is never the answer.  Nutrition from skincare and supplement products is really important for all skin but especially dry skin and aging skin.

    There are 6 causes of skin aging according to Bea Kinnear (Your Skin and You).

    1. Moisture – hydrated skin fights off toxic products and a toxic environment.
    2. Caffeine – as caffeine is a diuretic, it dehydrates our skin. To balance the drying effect, drink three glasses of pure water to one cup of coffee, tea or soft drink.
    3. Smoking – this also is a dehydrator but also reduces the necessary oxygen flow to the skin. Smoking reduces the body’s supply of Vitamin A and the absorption of Vitamin C, which are both vital to protect our skin.
    4. Sun exposure – ultraviolet radiation damages the many layers of our skin and promotes skin cancer and wrinkles. However we do need to either expose our skin very carefully to the sun so that it does not burn and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement, as vitamin D3 is an important factor in our body’s health.
    5. Soap – it can dehydrate the skin, affecting the PH factor.
    6. Skin care products – one of the major contributors to premature aging are products made with inferior and questionable ingredients. Barrier type products suffocate the skin and inhibit its ability to function properly.

    Natural ingredients in skincareThere is a big push in marketing skincare to make it ‘natural’ and ‘organic’. It up to us consumers to be aware that there are some ‘natural’ ingredients that are irritants to our skin and we do need to avoid them.

    Natural ingredients can be made up of known and unknown ingredients. The two types of natural ingredients are a) essential oils and b) botanical.

    Essential oils are also known as volatile oils and are from the plants that produce fragrances which may cause skin irritations. Some of the many essential oils to avoid are witch hazel, peppermint, jasmine, lavender extract and menthol.

    Botanical ingredients are from the part of the plant that offer a vitamin source. They provide good antioxidants to the skin.

    We also need to be aware of the types of preserving agents used in skincare. Many preservatives have the potential to cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin, and some preservatives do not support the product. Products that come in jars that require finger-dipping may become prone to bacteria.

    Two preservatives to avoid are formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and parabens. The most common names are: Diazolidinyl Urea, Quaternium-15, Imidazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Methyldibromo glutaronitrile, butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

    All that might sound like a science lesson to you and you may be thinking that this is just too hard. It is reassuring that there are now products on the market that are self-preserving without any nasty chemicals and irritating essential oils. We just have to be on the look out for them.

    If you would like to find about the anti-aging skin care products that I use and recommend, please use the contact form on this site.

    And if you would like to learn more, you can download this document that helps you to understand why the technology of cosmetic scientists and nutrition experts need to have the same goals when developing a state-of-the-art skin care products.

    I also recommend Bea Kinnear’s book Your Skin and You

    Find out which self-preserving skincare products I use and recommend.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!