Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does Red Mean Lead In Your Lipstick?

Recently, lead has been found in lipsticks and other cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group is is a very reputable consumer advocacy group. They hold no bars. No matter how big, powerful or even a respected natural company, EWG tells it like it is.

In 2007 EWG reported that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) tested 33 brands of lipstick from various locations in the Northeast. Two television news programs, KCBS and Pittsburgh’s WPXI, both tested several brands as well.

The results were shocking. They found over two-thirds had lead levels higher than the FDA’s allowable level for lead in candy (.1 parts per million (ppm)! The brands that did contain lead included:

L’Oreal Colour Riche True Red – 0.65 ppm

Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor Maximum Red – 0.56 ppm

Dior Addict Positive Red – 0.21 ppm

Burt’s Bee also contained lead, but the founder maintained that the levels should not be of concern.

So how much is too much lead in your lipstick for it to be of concern? For me, any level!

Lipstick is easily absorbed through the lips and can be ingested as we lick our lips, or eat food while wearing lipstick. As lead gets into the blood stream, it is stored in organs, tissues, bones and teeth. If it continues to accumulate in these areas in the body, even in small amounts, it can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system, especially the brain.

The problem stems back to the fact that the FDA does not regulate ingredients in personal care products or cosmetics.
The limits the FDA has set for lead include the maximum allowable dosage levels of (MADL) of .1 ppm in candy, .5 ppm in food and 10 to 20 ppm in FD&C color additives, which according to EWG may be used in color lipsticks. According to FDA guidelines, lead does not have to be listed on the label since it has been added to the color.

For years, we have been warned against lead in paint in old homes and toys purchased from China. Now we need to be careful of cosmetics purchased in stores or online, whether they’re made in the U.S.A., China, or anywhere else in the world.

If you are looking for a red lipstick, that is guranteed not to contain lead, use Cleure Lipstick. Click on the following link to be directed to that page:

You can still be a diva with bright red lipstick (try Cleure Lipstick in Torch), without the dangers caused by lead.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Having a Snack Attack While Dieting?

Americans are obese due to over consumption of junk foods and sugar. Sugar has been called Sweet Poison and the Silent Killer for a good reason. It has many health risks including being linked to coronary heart disease and even cancer.

There are healthy, yummy snacks you can eat to cut the sugar cravings once and for all.

Sweets can be as addicting as any drug. If you are the type that has a sweet tooth, once you take a bite of any rich, sweet desert, it is very difficult to stop.

For example, if you have gotten into the habit of having a bowel of ice cream after dinner, or a muffin with your morning coffee, it becomes downright painful to switch to a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. It's just not the same. Chocolate is another well known comfort food, with many a chocolaholics in the U.S. contributing to the over-weight statistics. Many books have been written about the subject of sugar addiction. This is one reason why the low carbohydrate diet came into being.

Public Enemy #1

Sugar is addicting, causes tooth decay and has a reputation of being the enemy of good health. It's interesting that once you stop eating sugar for a few days, it becomes very easy to not crave it. But once you tell yourself, you deserve a break since you've been so good..., you are doomed back to being a sugar addict.

Snacks that Calm the Savage Craving Beast

There are some very easy ways to stop the habit and get some satisfaction for your sweet tooth.

1. After meals chew gum sweetened with xylitol or allow a xylitol sweetened breath drop to melt in your mouth. Artificial sweeteners are controversial with potential health risks, but xylitol is natural and helps prevent tooth decay, as some recent studies are starting to report. So opt for xylitol sweetened only candy and gum.

2. Munch on a low glycemic sweet fruit after meals or whenever the craving hits you. Low glycemic index foods are less than 55 On this list are the following with their glycemic index:

• Cherries – 22 • Grapefruit – 25 • Dried apricots – 31 • Apples – 38 • Pears – 38 • Plums – 39 • Peaches – 42 • Oranges – 44 • Grapes – 46 • Kiwi fruit – 53 • Bananas - 54

3. Popcorn mixed with a handful of your favorite nuts also hits the spot. About 3 cups of popcorn is only 100 calories.

4. Veggies dipped with hummus. Hummus is great because it's low carb and low in fat and good for you since it is made with garbanzo beans.

5. Low fat cheese sticks or soy cheese slices are another trick to curb the cookie monster.

Next time you want to dish out the dollars for a sugar filled snack, force yourself to partake of one of the choices above. You'll thank yourself later.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Secret Gateway to Health - Your Mouth!

The mouth is one organ that makes an impact on every other organ in the body. No health guru talks about the importance of the mouth on this level, but it's true. If you neglect it, it will affect your general health one way or another.

One of my patients, Joan, was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She suffered excruciating stomach pains that sent her to the emergency room. What Joan and her doctor didn't realize was that her IBS symptoms were triggered by problems stemming from her mouth because most of Joan's back teeth were missing. Because Joan was unable to chew her food properly; this did not cause, but exacerbated her IBS troubles.

Another patient, Mike, suffered from a loss of his sense of balance for years. He also had tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Doctors were unable to find the cause of his problems. Had Mike seen a dentist, he would have learned that his symptoms were typical of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD); a disorder that could have readily been cleared.

Randy came to see me for a routine dental visit. He had been on and off painkillers for months trying to deal with chronic sinus headaches. His physician found no sinus infection present. Yet the pain persisted. If Randy's doctor had sent him to a dentist, the source of the pain could have been located: a tooth needed to be pulled, which was an upper back tooth (molar) positioned very close to the sinus area. The dentist might have saved Randy's tooth along with his pain, but he had waited too long to seek proper treatment.

John was in his early 50s and was recently diagnosed with arteriosclerosis (hardened arteries). Lucky for him, his cardiologist sent him to the dentist for a check-up. The cardiologist knew the relationship between heart disease and gum disease (periodontal disease). When I examined him, sure enough, John had advanced gum disease. He was a heart attack waiting to happen.
Now that he knows the connection and is staying on top of his mouth health, John's heart attack risk has been minimized.

Bird's Eye View into Your Body
None of the people in the cases described above considered the fact their mouths could be the cause of their maladies. What would you think if I told you every single person has the ability to look inside his or her body and get a bird's eye view towards what state of health he or she is in?
You see, your mouth is really a microcosm of your whole body. It's like getting a glimpse of the total picture of health or illness.

Risk of heart disease, stroke, lack of energy, even problem pregnancies are now all linked to oral health. Taking responsibility for your health is more crucial than ever. Start by taking better care of your mouth, which is the entrance to your body, and the secret gateway to health.
As far as I'm concerned, it is also the most important thing you need to know for a long healthy life

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is Your Skin Aging You Beyond Your Years?

No matter what age you are, the health of your skin can age you. It can make you appear younger or older than you really are. Today, men and women are experimenting with various ways to look younger.

There are two ways to determine the age of a person. We all have a chronological age and a biological age. The chronological age is how many years old you are. The biological age is how healthy or unhealthy you are.

You may have been born thirty five years ago, but due to not taking care of your health, biologically you may be fifty five and look it.

Many women go under the knife or get Botox injections to help appear younger and fight the natural aging process. To tell the truth, I haven't seen one person that looked fabulous and appeared natural with plastic surgery or Botox.

Most that have had plastic surgery or had Botox injections either appear like they have, or think they just need one more of either form of treatment to look better.

I have seen even wives of plastic surgeons who look totally 'different', yet not younger looking after surgery or Botox injections. I wonder if anyone dares tell them how they really look. Many women continue to re-inject Botox although their lips and face look puffy.

Another important fact to consider is that we have no idea at this point, what the health consequences are of the multiple Botox type of injections over many years. So why do so many women spend millions of dollars on plastic surgery or Botox injections?

Obviously the many skin care products in infomercials that promise the fountain of youth from their actress or model peddlers must not be providing the needed results.

The enemies to healthy skin are the following:
-Excessive alcohol dries the skin, takes over your mind and body.
-Tobacco fills your lungs with smoke from cigarettes or 2nd hand smoke, is obviously the opposite of breathing fresh air that bathes the tissues with needed clean oxygen.
-Sun exposure without adequate protection also dries and robs the skin of collagen and elasticity. We do need the sun for Vitamin D, but to prevent over exposure damage, early morning for about ten or fifteen minutes is all you need.
-Stress is a quick route to aging. Balance between fun and work is important to a younger biological you.
-Poor diet and nutrition high in sugar and junk food is certainly not healthy for skin.
-Harsh, toxic ingredients in skin care products and cosmetics can also contribute to robbing the skin of elasticity and aging you.

In summary, use common sense and moderation in food and drink with the focus being on fruits and vegetables.

With skin care products, become educated and choose products with natural and safe ingredients such as Shea butter and antioxidants free of toxic ingredients. For an effective and safe, complete skin care line, check out www.cleure.com.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Banish Dark Circles!

The areas around the eyes are the most delicate tissues on our face. Most often, the first wrinkles appear around the eyes. Our eyes and the surrounding area can tell volumes about us.

As we age, the skin around the eyes may become drier and more vulnerable to damage. One visible sign that is most dreaded by most women are dark circles that appear.

There are many causes for those dark circles. Age and lack of sleep are just two. Other factors are heredity, medication, poor eating habits, and bone structure.

In order to prevent aging, applying a high quality eye gel or cream should be part of your necessary daily routine. There are more than 150 different products on the market to help improve dark circles under the eyes. To find out which works best, would be an expensive ordeal.

It makes sense to use products that contain collagen and elastin. The reason is that these ingredients are what keep our skin youthful and are needed for healthy skin. As we age, we produce less collagen and elastin.

Stay away from products that contain the word 'salicylate' in any form. These are a group of anti-inflammatory ingredients that may cause allergies and other side effects. Many skin care products, even the high end expensive ones, contain salicylates.

It's important not to overuse the cream or gel you purchase. Some people think if a small amount helps, if I use it all day and apply it several times, it will be even better. Most products come with instructions. It is wise to follow these instructions, instead of applying too much.

The area around the eyes is very sensitive. Make sure you apply any eye creams or gels gently to thes skin, using a patting motion, rather than rubbing it in, which will pull the skin.

The eye gels or creams will help prevent damage and early aging. In the meantime, a pure loose mineral concealer or foundation is great for hiding dark circles. Loose minerals are actually good for the skin.

Some loose minerals contain bismuth oxychloride which may clog pores and cause allergies and redness. Use loose minerals free of this ingredient.

If you are used to a liquid or cream-based concealer and foundation, you may be hesitant in trying loose minerals. With a little practice, you can learn to use the loose powder form and once you do, you may, never go back to the liquid or cream-based form. Many women find the loose minerals feel lighter and look more natural.

Make sure you use a moisturizer before applying the loose mineral makeup. Allow the moisturizer to soak into your skin before applying mineral-based concealer. As with the eye cream or gel, with loose minerals, less is better than more. Applying it lightly will cover dark circles and look natural.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Health Risks of Aluminum in Personal Care Products

For years we have been warned about the risk of aluminum in deodorants. A recent study reported by WebMD Health News indicates there may even be a link of aluminum in deodorant and other personal care products to breast cancer.

Dr. Philippa Darbre of the University of Reading in England has found evidence that aluminum-based active ingredients in deodorants can mimic estrogen in the body.

She goes on to state, "If the aluminum salts in antiperspirants enter the body and mimic estrogen, it stands to reason that constant exposure over many years may pose a risk."

Most commercial antiperspirants contain aluminum. For years the discussions about risk of aluminum centered around Alzheimer's. This degenerative form of dementia mostly affects persons over 65 years of age.

Some studies have found there are higher than normal concentrations of aluminum in the Alzheimer's brain cells. Other studies have either not been able to conclude this or are still questioning the results. However, it is known that large amounts of aluminum can contribute to nerve toxicity and therefore possibly Alzheimer's disease.

The question becomes, can small amounts over time cause harm or is the danger only with one large exposure?
It is easy to see how we can accumulate aluminum in our bodies, since deodorant isn't the only product that contains it. It is also found in many other sources including antacids, aluminum tubes used with some brands of toothpaste, baking powder, nondairy creamers, table salt, drinking water, and processed cheese. Aluminum cookware, of course, is also a consideration.

It makes sense that small exposures on a daily basis could result in accumulation in tissues over many years, just as Dr. Darbre reports.

Our bodies do not require aluminum. We also know what we rub on our skin, we do absorb into the body and bloodstream.

Although there are no studies to this date that conclusively point to aluminum as a major cause for breast cancer and Alzheimer's, the results are not all in yet.

If you are not a gambling person, you may want to choose your personal care products very carefully to avoid aluminum. Remember, cigarettes used to not be considered unhealthy. Today, we know better.

For a full range of personal care products that do not include aluminum, eithe in ingredients or in packaging, visit www.cleure.com.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nature's Beauty Secret: Shea Butter!

No one knows skincare better than Mother Nature. In today's world our skin is constantly being bombarded with pollutants, and to slow or reverse the damage we often turn to products that contain a myriad of chemicals, when in truth, the answer to achieving great skin may rest with the natural ingredients of the earth.

To successfully fight the damage that day-to-day living brings to your skin, it is necessary to use products that contain antioxidants. The reason that antioxidants are so important to skincare is that they help combat the free radicals that damage cells.

There are many sources of free radicals in the environment, including pesticides, air pollution and cigarette smoke. All these sources of free radicals can help accelerate the signs of aging; to fight this you need products that contain antioxidants.

Antioxidants are essential because they help to fight cell damage by neutralizing free radicals and preventing them from oxidizing and damaging cells. To minimize the damage caused by free radicals, you must take advantage of the antioxidants that Mother Nature has provided.

Shea Butter provides protection against free radicals in the form of Vitamin A, E, and F. Large amounts of these vitamins make this ingredient one of the best choices you can make for skin care.

The butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree, found only in Africa. The fatty acids in this extract, is the ingredient that is responsible for its immense healing properties. The fatty acids work wonders in also helping skin retain moisture and elasticity.

The Vitamin E in the butter helps to accelerate blood to the cells, and Vitamin F brings more elasticity to the skin, producing a healthy, silky feel.

Another advantage that Shea Butter offers is that it has the ability to deeply penetrate the skin, providing your skin with maximum moisture and protection that lasts throughout the day. In addition, it allows you to do this without the chemicals found in so many of the products that are on the market today.

With regular use, it can help with several different skin conditions including, wrinkles, blemishes, dry skin, sunburn, and Eczema. just to name a few. It is truly Mother Nature's wonder product.
If you care about your skin and want to fight the signs of aging, do it naturally as Mother Nature intended, with skin care products containing Shea Butter.

To find an entire skin care line that contains Shea Butter, go to www.cleure.com, and see the Hydrovive collection.