Monday, July 17, 2017

COSMETIC COMPANIES FUNDING 'FAVORABLE' "STUDIES" FOR THEIR PRODUCTS

An investigative piece by Emma Deangela, dietician, shows how lobbying by food industry manipulates consumers.  We at Herbally Radiant promote healthy lifestyle – balanced diet and natural skin care products and advise customers that excessive sugar impacts on skin and speeds up aging of it.  Unfortunately, sugar has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine.
The Sugar lobby planned to change the public opinion of sugar through industry-funded research in 1964, when increasing studies were finding solid connections between sugar and heart disease. The plan was “to refute (our) detractors,” and “diminish negative views of sugar” by pointing to another source – fats and cholesterol – as the main cause of heart disease.
The sugar lobby paid $ 50,000 to review selected articles that condemned fats and cholesterol. When examining the studies naming sugar as the main culprit for heart disease, the researchers would claim that the studies were flawed in certain ways but questioning saturated fats, the researchers would praise the format of the study.
The article highlights how Dr. Hegsted, who became head of the nutrition at the USDA helped draft dietary guidelines recommended by the federal government.  His relationship with the sugar industry executives was widely known.  

In 2015, Coca-Cola paid millions to minimize any connection between their sugar-filled drinks and current obesity trends. In June’16, a trade association, representing three major candy companies funded a research study that claimed that children who ate more candy weighed less overall than those who didn’t!
Sugar is necessary to a certain degree, but not in the amounts that are typically consumed in a Western diet. Only when sugars and fats are consumed in right amounts, will the heart disease will begin to decline.
Herbally Radiant comes across “new studies” frequently that are inspired and funded by cosmetic firms to promote their products. The customers need to be aware of facts, and not be manipulated by unverifiable claims of the marketers.



Friday, July 14, 2017

SCIENTISTS REALIZE GROWING DEMAND FOR NATURAL COLOR IN COSMETICS

In an article this week, Teenke Barresi, explains how scientists have realized the growing demand from consumers for the natural colors, and how they are shifting their focus to use nature's own colorants to create bold, beautiful and long lasting natural colors.

At the Herbally Radiant we are happy to note the growing awareness among the consumers about the ill effects of chemical colors in their beauty care products.  It is a positive trend which is shifting focus on natural ingredients. 

As Teenke writes, color attracts attention and nobody uses it better than mother nature. In observing the world, we see how nature uses a colorful palette to draw the attention of insects to flowers. In the animal kingdom, the most brightly colored birds attract the attention of potential mates. It’s no wonder that people are also attracted to beautiful colors. Enhancing your natural hair and skincare products with color can add to the appeal of your product, but, in the past, adding color to your hair or skincare products usually meant using something synthetic and unnatural. There have been a handful of natural colorants that have come and gone, but often the color fades over time or completely changes if you adjust the pH of your product. The only way, if you desired vibrant, long lasting color, was to choose a synthetic colorant. Fortunately, those days are quickly falling behind us. With the rise in demand for more natural products, scientists are shifting their focus to use nature’s own colorants.

Consumer awareness has forced manufacturers to write ingredients on the labels which they like to read and insist certain ingredients be eliminated.  All skin care formulations launched by the Herbally Radiant in the last seven years have excluded all harsh chemicals or other synthetic additives. Instead it uses essential oils for soothing fragrances, and organic ingredients in the range of foundations that have found great favor with its customers.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

HYPNOTIC TECHNIQUES BENEFICIAL UNDER TRAINED GUIDANCE

More studies are now appearing on hypnotic techniques. In a long informative piece, Adriana Barton of The Globe and Mail, which Herbally Radiant feels makes useful observations.

She describes how a doctor (Leora Kuttner), specializing in clinical hypnosis, was able to
leverage the brain’s healing abilities during a trance state. At Legacy Oregon Burn Center
Portland, Ore. psychologist Dr.Emily hypnotizes patients to cope with the excruciating injuries.
Hypnosis is an induced trance-like state intended to provide an intensive awareness of the
present moment. Neuroscience studies show that this mind-body therapy affects the brain in
extraordinary ways. Clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating anxiety,
phobias, skin rashes, irritable-bowel syndrome and acute and chronic pain. In US, medical
centres such as the Mayo Clinic have added hypnosis to their pain-management tools.

However, many experts in cognitive neuroscience say hypnosis doesn’t work for everyone, and
it’s completely underused at present.

As with mindfulness meditation, hypnosis harnesses the brain’s natural abilities to regulate the
body and control the random thoughts that ricochet through our minds says psychologist Dr.
David Patterson, of University of Washington. But, he adds, meditation can take weeks or
months of practice before it helps patients dial down pain. With hypnosis, “the relief is just a lot
quicker and more dramatic.”

Hypnosis reduces our awareness of what’s going on around us, even as it increases our attention
and openness to new ideas. The brain’s command center lets its guard down, allowing the
therapist’s suggestions to embed themselves into the parts of our grey matter that regulate our
thoughts, perceptions and physiology, it’s as if you’re talking directly to the brain.

Hypnosis stimulates specific brain activity in adults who scored high in susceptibility to hypnosis
and these changes occurred only while they were hypnotized.

Using a brain-imaging technique called fMRI, researchers found decreased activity in the brain’s
salience network, the inner “air-traffic controller” that processes stimuli and preps us for action.
Secondly, they saw greater connectivity between the brain’s executive-control network and the
insula, a grape-sized region deeper in the brain that helps us “control what’s going on in the
body, and process pain,” the study’s co-author, Dr. David Spiegel, says. Finally, they observed
reduced connections between the executive-control center and the “default-mode” network,
involved in self-reflection. This could lead to a disconnect between a person’s actions and their
awareness of their actions.

Physicians describe hypnosis as a “very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds
to control perception, and our bodies. It could make “a huge difference” in the opioid epidemic.
In a previous study, doctors instructed patients in self-hypnosis techniques before their vascular
or kidney procedures. Compared with patients receiving standard care, the hypnosis group used
significantly less pain medication.

But hypnosis has an image problem. Unlike mindfulness, it lacks Zen-master cachet. Doctors and
patients have trouble forgetting the dangling pocket watches of stage hypnosis, or the bad guys
who put sleeper agents under “mind control” in movies. Despite solid evidence from clinical

trials, the medical field’s approach to hypnosis has been extremely careful and conservative.
And let’s face it: there are hundreds of charlatans touting self-hypnosis CDs or sessions on
Skype as a miracle cure for everything from obesity to cancer. In the land of psychics and crystal
magic, anyone can become a “certified hypnotherapist” in a month or less. Rampant quackery
“gives us a bad name,” Patterson says.

But in fact, people who respond to hypnosis may have better co-ordination between brain areas
that “integrate attention, emotion, action and intention,” according to a 2012 study published in
the Archives of General Psychiatry.

About 10-15 per cent of adults are “highly hypnotizable,” meaning they can easily slip into a
trance and act on hypnotic suggestions. The same percentage of adults do not respond to
hypnosis at all, while the rest are somewhere in between. Most children can easily imagine an
invisible “magic glove” that keeps needles from hurting, or a fantasy world free of pain, Kuttner
says. Concentrating on these beliefs can have analgesic effects. She recalls a child with leukemia
who spent her treatments in an imaginary land of candy.

Hypnosis techniques are relatively easy for health-care professionals to learn. But Kuttner
cautions patients against seeking hypnosis from someone with no medical training. A lay
hypnotist could fail to recognize the signs of psychosis, or encourage someone to regress to an
earlier life stage filled with traumatic memories, “and they won’t have a clue how to help the
person.” Kuttner recalls treating a patient who had gone to a lay hypnotist for headache relief but
came away weeping and confused.

Hypno-sedation works because the patient wants it to work, she says: It’s the opposite of “mind
control.” The anesthesiologist’s job is to use hypnotic techniques and communicate with the
patient, but the patient must collaborate, “so he puts himself in the hypnotic state.”

Finally, Hypnotic techniques cannot enhance your physical beauty for which you need to feed skin with rich natural nutrients.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

'WETTABILITY' OF SKIN A NEW MARKETING GIMMICK

The basic principle of maintaining healthy and shining skin is to keep it moist, and avoid dryness that speeds up emergence of aging signs.   Herbally Radiant always reminds its customers to apply natural formulations, whether lotions or creams, which do not have chemical ingredients.  The formulations with chemical ingredients provide a layer over the skin, but render it dry and remove the natural shine. 

To cash in on this, researchers at the Birmingham State State University are reported to be considering a new way that will be capable of directly controlling the physical property of skin through  chemical interaction between keratin in the skin and the surfactants. The research team is claiming it to be the first such attempt which can alter the physical properties of skin.

Having been in the business of manufacturing beauty care products, without any potentially harmful chemical ingredient, Herbally Radiant has tried to examine this possibility.  Basically, surfactants are amphilic containing hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups. These are of many different compounds that make up a detergent. They are added to remove dirt from skin, clothes and household articles, and are also used extensively in industry. Surfactants function by breaking down the interface between ester and oils and/or dirt. They also hold these oils and dirt in suspension, and so allow their removal. They are able to act in this way because they contain both a hydrophilic (water loving) group, and a hydrophobic (water hating) group, such as an alkyl chain. Molecules of water tend to congregate near the former and molecules of the water-insoluble material congregate near the latter.  
Soaps were the earliest surfactants and are obtained from fats which are known as glycerides because they are esters formed by the trihydric alcohol, propane-1,2,3-triol (glycerol), with long chain carboxylic acids (fatty acids). The glycerides are hydrolyzed by heating with sodium hydroxide solution to form soaps, the sodium salts of the acids, and propane-1,2,3-triol. The process is known as saponification.

Instead of going further into the detailed process of the reaction of the chemical ingredients, suffice it to say that the surfactants play different role, and would not be able to keep the skin moist and shining. The idea of 'wettability' of skin with the help of strong chemicals may not render the skin healthy.  

 


Monday, July 3, 2017

Dietitian Cara Rosenbloom of Washington Post makes an important observation about the food fraud about which most consumers are not aware. We at Herbally Radiant consider food important in any skin care regime. The diet should be balanced and healthy enough to promote good appearance and prevent premature aging signs.

Cara Rosenbloom highlights how consumers are typically get ripped off in one of these three ways:

• They buy luxury goods, such as expensive olive oil, wine or cheese, that are counterfeit.
• They buy products with proposed health benefits, like antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice, that have little or no active ingredient.
• They buy organic or non-GMO foods that are actually conventionally grown products that have been fraudulently labeled.

The vast majority of fraud incidents do not pose a public health risk. The harm in most cases is that you’re not getting what you paid for. When consumers learn that they’ve been duped, they get a deep feeling of violation and outrage.

In a small number of cases, there is the potential for harm. Consider the substitution of extra virgin olive oil with cheaper nut oils, which could be problematic for people with food allergies.
And there have been countless cases of people getting sick from the bait-and-switch of white tuna for cheaper escolar, a bottom-feeder fish that’s full of a waxy substance that is indigestible by humans. It can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress (it’s known as the “Ex-Lax fish” — enough said). In a nationwide study of seafood fraud, researchers found that 84 percent of the white tuna samples were actually escolar.

The basic steps she recommends to the consumers are in the form of following questions:
What can you do about it?

1. What is the product? Be on alert when buying oils, dairy foods, spices, fruit juice and fish.

2. Can you distinguish the quality? If you’ve had real Parmesan cheese or maple syrup, you can tell when the consistency or flavor is off. If the price is too good to be true ($3.99 for a 750 milliliter or 25-ounce bottle of extra virgin olive oil), then it’s likely fake.

3. Do you have a trusted supplier or retailer relationship? Buying from a reputable grocery store is a good first step and offers more protection than an alternative retailer, like a flea market. Remember: It’s harder to buy fakes when you’re looking at the whole and unprocessed products. For example, choose whole instead of ground spices, and brick instead of grated cheese.

4. Are you shopping online? If so, make sure it’s a reputable and recognizable supplier (such as Publix or Walmart), rather than a basement-run shop.


Friday, June 30, 2017

COMPLAINTS OF HARMFUL COSMETICS MORE THAN DOUBLED FROM 2015 TO 2016

At Herbally Radiant we were not surprised to learn about the outcome of the recent study that confirms that the consumer complaints of harmful cosmetic products increased by hundred per cent over one year alone. More and more products, especially being supplied by online enterprises do not conform to the safety standards and contain several chemical ingredients that damage the skin or cause have harmful effects.

Herbally Radiant has learnt that many consumers do not bother to register their complaints. The percentage of dissatisfied customers would therefore be substantially much higher.  Many cosmetic products entice consumers with active ingredients that will plump, lengthen and boost.

MNT report recently referred to the new study of Northwestern Medicine study which reveals very unsatisfactory situation. The study reports consumer complaints more than doubled for cosmetic products from 2015 to 2016, with hair care products being the biggest offender. But consumers remain at risk because the industry receives little regulatory scrutiny and does not require pre-approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"The FDA has much less authority to recall cosmetics from the market in stark contrast to drugs or medical devices," said corresponding author Dr. Steve Xu, a resident physician in dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It's harder for the FDA to get harmful cosmetics off the shelves."

Since cosmetic manufacturers are not required to submit adverse health events to the FDA, the current data sources to track product safety are significantly limited. Even though there were more than 5,000 events reported to the FDA from 2004 to 2016, it's likely only the tip of the iceberg, Xu said. He suspects many events are not reported by consumers or doctors.

Herbally Radiant has been advising its customers to satisfy themselves of the quality of the products and read the ingredients. Where the product is marketed with 'too-good-to-be-true' claims, better avoid it.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

COCONUT OIL EXCELLENT INGREDIENT IN NATURAL BEAUTY FORMULATIONS

Herbally Radiant has been monitoring the studies being conducted on the effects of coconut oil. Unfortunately, there has not been any peer-reviewed authoritative research on it.  There are reports from time to time explaining health benefits from the use of coconut oil, or potentially harmful effects.

Having lived in coastal areas for more than 9 years (Dar es Salaam, Manila and India) where coconut is made good use of by everyone, we found using coconut oil had been the norm for times immemorial. People in these regions did not suffer from high cholesterol from its use. And, they did not need any 'research' or 'study' to tell them the good or bad effects of coconut which grows abundantly in those climates.

From the dietician's point of view, coconut oil contains high natural saturated fats. These fats increase healthy (HDL) cholesterol and convert bad (LDL) cholesterol into good ones.  As we saw from our experience in warm coastal countries, coconut oil helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.  It improves gut bacteria and digestive health, besides also helping to restore oxidative tissue damage.

Being in the manufacturing of natural beauty formulations, Herbally Radiant has found coconut to be one of the most effective and skin-friendly moisturizing agents. Apart from skin, coconut oil provides the best nutrients for the hair and prevents hair damage.  Herbally Radiant products, therefore, carry coconut oil in many of its 76 natural products that have found favor with its loyal customers.