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Natural Products Expo West 2016 Part Four

May 6, 2016 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Diet, exercise, sleep and stress reduction usually top the list of modifiable risk factors that affect our well being, and, with good reason. Still, it’s important not to stop there. The products we use day-in and day-out to brush our teeth, care for our skin and color our hair are capable of causing dis-ease and/or endangering health. Fortunately, in many instances, a simple switch from conventional cosmetics, hair dyes, moisturizers and toothpastes to more natural alternatives can make a big difference.

Occasional exposure to conditionally-toxic chemicals in the environment is rarely a major health concern. For instance, if you go to a hair or nail salon once a month, it doesn’t pose the same risk as working there five days a week. It’s what we do on a regular basis that tends to influence wellness in a much more profound manner. Given this, today I want to shine a light on several manufacturers that are offering up healthier options for products that are generally used each and every day.

Healthier Skin Care: SIBU Sea Berry Therapy (link)

Some people just wash their faces and are ready to go. Others add lip balms, micro scrubs, moisturizers, toners, and under-eye creams to help bring out the best in their skin. SIBU Sea Berry Therapy is a line of natural skin care products that features sea buckthorn berries – a unique source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Samples of these mild products were recently given the “thumbs up” by none other than Mrs. Healthy Fellow. I like them because numerous studies report that sea buckthorn oil (SBO) benefits skin when taken orally and applied topically. The topical use of SBO has been shown to improve acne, atopic dermatitis and dry skin. Used orally, SBO tends to have an anti-inflammatory, hydrating effect in a variety conditions ranging from dry eye syndrome to vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women.

Healthier Cosmetics: Mineral Fusion (link)

Take a look at the ingredient list of your concealer, eyeliner or lipstick. Do most of the components look familiar to you? Probably not. Now, compare them to the list below. Mineral Fusion has created a cosmetics and skin care line that avoids quite a few of the questionable chemicals found in many mass market makeup brands. There are no artificial colors, fragrances, gluten, parabens, phthalates or talc to be found in the Mineral Fusion line. Instead, they make it a point to add antioxidants (chamomile and pomegranate extracts, vitamins C and E) and healthy oils (coconut, shea butter). This provides a two-fold effect: 1) it allows consumers to avoid toxic elements that are known to be absorbed transdermally; 2) the Mineral Fusion products may actually protect your skin by addressing excessive oxidative damage and inflammation.

Mineral Fusion Liquid Mineral Concealer

Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Lanolin, Candelilla wax, Carnauba wax, Beeswax, Stearic acid, Mica, Coconut oil, Tocopherol, L-ascorbic-acid (Vitamin C), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf extract, Roman Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) extract, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Root Powder, Phenoxyethanol.

Conventional Liquid Concealer

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Pentylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Methylparaben, Cellulose Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tristearin, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Butylparaben; May Contain Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Healthier Oral Care: Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste (link)

Tom’s of Maine now offers a more effective and natural alternative to toothpastes intended for sensitive teeth. They accomplish this by combining arginine, an amino acid, and calcium carbonate as an active ingredient. This fluoride and nitrate-free toothpaste essentially fills the microscopic holes on the surface of teeth that allow for pain signals in underlying nerves when acidic, cold, hot or sweet foods are eaten. Perhaps the best news of all is that numerous scientific trials indicate that the arginine/calcium carbonate combo is more effective and longer-lasting than the leading ingredient used to manage tooth sensitivity: potassium nitrate.

Healthier Hair Care: Herbatint Hair Dyes (link)

If and when the time comes to dye your hair, I urge you to consider the Herbatint line of products. Most hair dyes contain a motley mixture of chemicals that are suspected of contributing to some very serious diseases, including breast and prostate cancer. Also, they can be rather harsh on the hair itself, as well as the skin and scalp that reside directly below it. A 2011 report by “60 Million Consumers”, a French, consumer organization determined that Herbatint was the only product (out of 18) that met a strict set of guidelines relating to “potentially sensitizing or toxic substances”. So, if hair coloring is a must for you, at least use the gentlest, safest product available.

Whenever possible, I try to use my power as a consumer to support companies that go the extra mile to make a positive difference in the world. All four of the companies featured today do just that. SIBU supports fair pay and sustainable farming practices for the Himalayan villagers who harvest and process their berries. Mineral Fusion has partnered up with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to provide awareness and resources for children and women affected by this scourge. Tom’s of Maine donates 10% of its profits to “community based organizations committed to human, healthy and environmental goodness”. Herbatint does their part by avoiding GMOs, opting for certified organic herbal extracts and using biodegradable, and recyclable packaging. I commend all four companies for their products and good deeds!

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Anti-Aging Potential of Phytoextract Loaded-Pharmaceutical Creams (link)

Study 2 – Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil-in-Water (O/W) Emulsion Improves (link)

Study 3 – Clinical and Sebumetric Evaluation of Topical Emulsions in the (link)

Study 4 – Effects of Sea Buckthorn Oil Intake on Vaginal Atrophy in (link)

Study 5 – Effect of Dietary Supplementation with Sea Buckthorn (Hippophaë (link)

Study 6 – Environmental Working Group: Myths on Cosmetics Safety (link)

Study 7 – US FDA Lipstick and Lead: Questions & Answers (link)

Study 8 – Scientific American: How Safe Are Cosmetics and Body Care … (link)

Study 9 – Phthalate Exposure Among Pregnant Women in Jerusalem, Israel (link)

Study 10 – A Survey of Phthalates and Parabens in Personal Care Products from (link)

Study 11 – Cutaneous Hypersensitivity to Gluten (link)

Study 12 – A Pilot Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial on Topical (link)

Study 13 – Topical Microemulsion Containing Punica Granatum Extract (link)

Study 14 – The Retentive Strength of Cemented Zirconium Oxide Crowns (link)

Study 15 – Arginine-Containing Desensitizing Toothpaste for the Treatment of (link)

Study 16 – Efficacy of a Combined In-Office/Home-Use Desensitizing System (link)

Study 17 – New Hope Media: French Consumer Report Rates Herbatint Safe … (link)

Study 18 – Hair Dye Use, Regular Exercise, and the Risk and Prognosis of Prostate (link)

Study 19 – Does Hair Dye Use Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer? A Population … (link)

Study 20 – The Use of Personal Hair Dye and its Implications for Human Health … (link)

Synthetic Hair Dye Use May Increase Skin Cancer Incidence

Source: PLoS One. 2016 Mar 17;11(3):e0151636. (link)

Posted in Alternative Therapies, Dental Health, Product Reviews

3 Comments & Updates to “Natural Products Expo West 2016 Part Four”

  1. JP Says:

    Updated 05/08/16:


    Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2016 May 1;5(5):230-241.
    Phytochemicals in Wound Healing.

    Significance: Traditional therapies, including the use of dietary components for wound healing and skin regeneration, are very common in Asian countries such as China and India. The increasing evidence of health-protective benefits of phytochemicals, components derived from plants is generating a lot of interest, warranting further scientific evaluation and mechanistic studies.

    Recent Advances: Phytochemicals are non-nutritive substances present in plants, and some of them have the potential to provide better tissue remodeling when applied on wounds and to also act as proangiogenic agents during wound healing.

    Critical Issues: In this review, we briefly discuss the current understanding, important molecular targets, and mechanism of action(s) of some of the phytochemicals such as curcumin, picroliv, and arnebin-1. We also broadly review the multiple pathways that these phytochemicals regulate to enhance wound repair and skin regeneration.

    Future Directions: Recent experimental data on the effects of phytochemicals on wound healing and skin regeneration establish the potential clinical utility of plant-based compounds. Additional research in order to better understand the exact mechanism and potential targets of phytochemicals in skin regeneration is needed. Human studies a2nd clinical trials are pivotal to fully understand the benefits of phytochemicals in wound healing and skin regeneration.

    Be well!


  2. JP Says:

    Updated 05/08/16:


    Contact Dermatitis. 2016 Jun;74(6):368-72.

    Influence of vitamin C on the elicitation of allergic contact dermatitis to p-phenylenediamine.

    BACKGROUND: Hair dyes represent one of the most important causes of allergic contact dermatitis resulting from the use of cosmetic products. The principal causative chemistry is associated with oxidation products of p-phenylenediamine (PPD) and closely related substances.

    OBJECTIVES: To examine whether prior application of the antioxidant vitamin C to the skin was able to reduce the cutaneous allergic response to PPD.

    METHODS: Twenty eight volunteers with a proven history of contact allergy to PPD were recruited. Each was tested with a range of PPD doses and PPD-containing hair dye on untreated skin and skin pretreated for 10 min with a vitamin C formulation.

    RESULTS: Pretreatment of skin sites with vitamin C led to a reduction in the intensity, or even ablation, of the cutaneous allergic reaction to PPD in ∼75% of cases as compared with untreated skin.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that treatment of the skin adjacent to the hair-bearing area with antioxidant could form part of a strategy to reduce the burden of cosmetic allergic contact dermatitis caused by hair dyeing.

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    Updated 05/08/16:


    Exp Ther Med. 2016 Mar;11(3):909-916.

    Effect of a quality-controlled fermented nutraceutical on skin aging markers: An antioxidant-control, double-blind study.

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether oral supplementation with a fermented papaya preparation (FPP-treated group) or an antioxidant cocktail (antioxidant-control group, composed of 10 mg trans-resveratrol, 60 µg selenium, 10 mg vitamin E and 50 mg vitamin C) was able to improve the skin antioxidant capacity and the expression of key skin genes, while promoting skin antiaging effects. The study enrolled 60 healthy non-smoker males and females aged 40-65 years, all of whom showed clinical signs of skin aging. The subjects were randomly divided into two matched groups, and were administered FPP or antioxidant treatment of a 4.5 g/day sachet sublingually twice a day for 90 days in a double-blind fashion. The parameters investigated were: Skin surface, brown spots, skin evenness, skin moisturization, elasticity (face), redox balance, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, and the expression levels of key genes (outer forearm sample). As compared with the baseline (day 0) and antioxidant-control values, FPP-treated subjects showed a significant improvement in skin evenness, moisturization and elasticity. The two treatments improved the MDA and SOD skin concentrations, but only the FPP-treated group showed a higher SOD level and a significant NO increase, along with significant upregulation of acquaporin-3 and downregulation of the potentially pro-aging/carcinogenetic cyclophilin-A and CD147 genes (P<0.05). Progerin was unaffected in both treatment groups. In conclusion, these findings suggest that orally-administered FPP showed a consistent biological and gene-regulatory improvement in the skin, as was also demonstrated in previous experimental and clinical trials testing other tissues, while common oral antioxidants had only a minor effect.

    Be well!


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