Monday, November 12, 2007

The Trouble with Lauryl Sulfate

One of the crazier ingredients dumped into pretty much every kind of soap is Lauryl Sulfate. It's an ingredient that puts bubbles in your clean, and it's a detergent agent that makes it a good solvent to remove oils. Apparently, removing oil is considered a good thing and Americans don't seem to feel really clean unless there are a ton of bubbles foaming away the dirt and skin cells.

If one does a search for lauryl sulfate one very soon comes across any number of websites -- including the National Institute of Health Toxnet site -- that list Lauryl Sulfate as a potentially significant skin irritant. Yet, most soap companies use it in their soaps, shampoos, and even conditioners.

If you are plagued by dry skin; or have acne, dermatitis, eczema or rashes of any kind -- perhaps the problem is the Lauryl sulfate being lathered on your skin? Find a soap that does not contain lauryl sulfate and see if your skin problems don't clear up!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Parabens: A Troubling Ingredient

Parabens are a chemical family of preservatives that are used in a large number of cosmetics and skin care products as well as in food products. According to some pro-paraben sources the substances are benign and extend product life considerably. They are estrogen-like molecules in their structure, which means they would potentially fit into estrogen-receptor sites in the body. Some recent studies have shown this is, in fact, the case. Parabens have been found in a wide variety of different breast cancer tumors. So what does this mean?

It means that parabens leave circulation in the body, or get absorbed through the skin and find their way to estrogen-sensitive tissues. In fairness, just because they have been found in breast cancer tumors does not necessarily mean they cause cancer or sustain cancer growth. The high metabolic nature of estrogen-sensitive cancers may just be accidently pulling in parabens since they look like estrogen. Parabens MAY be inert and do nothing. Then again, they may do everything they could be feared of doing: initiate and/or sustain cancer. The trouble is: we don't know.

So if we have a chemical substance that is proven to appear in cancer tumors, but we don't know what that chemical's actions are does it make sense to continue using this chemical until we do know? I would argue no; especially where the necessity of the chemical's preservative nature is not as important as a woman's breast health.

Hence, get serious, get reading glasses, and start obsessively reading the ingredient lists of ALL those products you use a lot and dump the ones with any kind of paraben would be my advice.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hemp

Hemp is one of the most versatile, helpful, and health-filled plants on the planet. Yep -- it's that same plant out the cannabis family -- that family with the outlawed member: Marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp has none or extremely little THC content (this is the psycho-active substance in marijuana.) Hemp has been used for hundreds of years for its fibers (clothing, paper, rope...). It's seeds are high sources of fiber and contain high amounts of essential fatty acids (oil) that a body needs.

The essential fatty acid balance of hemp is in a perfect ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. This great ratio gives hemp superlative healing power. Fats are almost as effectively absorbed through the skin as they are through the digestive tract. So skin care products containing hemp oil allow for the absorption of great nutrition.

What's been done to hemp growing in the United States is a clear case of throwing babies out with the bath water. Because hemp is in the same plant family as marijuana, an unfair campaign against hemp has been waged for almost 50 years. As more people discover the versatility and "health-fulness" of hemp, pressure grows to legalize the growing of hemp in the United States. You can read more about all of the benefits and history of hemp at: www.hia.org

I believe if everyone were putting hemp oil on themselves LOTS of health would come to people.