Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Jun 8

    Your Skin and You by Bea Kinnear As of 8th June 2011, officials still do not know what is causing the E.Coli outbreak – initially it was thought to be cucumbers, then salad produce, then bean sprouts….But the message is relevant –  Do we need preservatives in skincare? Are 100% All Natural Skin Care Products Really Safe?

    This article has been written by Bea Kinnear Your Skin & You 5th Edition.

    There is currently a massive scare in Europe concerning the contamination of cucumbers by a very virulent bacterium, a variant of Escherichia coli (commonly referred to more simply as E. Coli).

    There is a full report on the BBC web site, but the issue is that there have been over 1,200 confirmed of suspected cases of E. coli in Germany so far, and 18 people have actually died. Cases are also being reported in the UK, Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands.

    The bacterium infests the gastrointestinal tract, and can lead to Haemolytic-uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS causes kidney problems and is potentially fatal. More deaths are expected, because many sufferers have already lost kidney function, and more cases are likely before this can be stopped.

    The sickness is not contagious, but may be passed on by an infected person preparing food for others.
    Several countries have already removed cucumbers from the shops, when they have been imported from suspect sources, among them, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and France. Russian officials are even talking about banning ALL vegetable products sourced from Europe!

    So what is the connection between contaminated cucumbers and cosmetics?
    This awful situation in Europe demonstrates the severe problems that can occur when certain bacteria get into the food chain as a result of contamination. Foods that are unpreserved are particularly susceptible, although it is not usually necessary to preserve this type of food, but there are clearly potentially fatal consequences when this happens.

    More and more people are demanding that food be free of preservatives for various reasons and, by a leap of logic, also demand that cosmetics be free of preservatives. Whilst it would not be accurate to suggest that preservatives are totally without risk in either food or cosmetics, there is a massive difference in exposure between the two applications.

    The most common issue with cosmetic preservatives is irritation, but this only occurs in a tiny minority of the population (despite claims to the contrary), and the point of ingredient labelling of cosmetics is to enable those with identified sensitivities to avoid products containing the “rogue” ingredient(s). Sensitisation can be a much worse condition than just irritation but this, fortunately, tends to affect an even smaller minority of the population.

    In the seemingly desperate rush to get away from conventional preservatives, many companies either feel forced to use materials that are much less well-characterised in terms of toxicity and human exposure, or they actively choose to use this tactic as a marketing “advantage”, and broadcast their stance (often by also casting aspersions on conventional preservatives for good measure) in order to attract consumers.

    There are several potential risks involved in failing to preserve a cosmetic properly. These are mostly aesthetic – discoloration, off-odour, visible growth (the black fungus, Aspergillus brasiliensis –often seen in bathrooms – is an excellent example), creams separating out, etc, but there are also health risks involved in applying microbially contaminated products to the skin, especially if the skin is damaged or in poor condition. One bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can cause permanent blindness if sufficient numbers enter the eye, and this is a common bacterium, although I am not aware of any proven cases of blindness due to use of contaminated cosmetics, but it remains a theoretical possibility.

    So far, there have been no major issues uncovered with these new approaches to preservation but, as this tactic increases in popularity, the chances of contamination of cosmetics causing a real problem to human health increase.

    I would not be so foolish as to claim that there could be problems on the scale that currently exists in Europe with cucumbers, as it is highly unlikely that deaths would ever result from a contaminated cosmetic product, but an increased risk of adverse effects remains, and consumers need to be aware of the risks that some companies are taking with their health – often the very same companies who are claiming that their products MUST be safe, because they are natural!

    In the use of preservatives, the benefits vastly outweigh the tiny risk. Preservation should not be optional, it is essential.
    Bea Kinnear, Author
    Your Skin & You 5th Edition
    Article posted June 6, 2011 Personal Care Truth or Scare


  • 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.

  • 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.

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