Monthly Archives November 2013

Our Body Absorbs Chemicals From Body and Hair Products

Although the cosmetics industry insists that its products are safe and that there is no reason to be concerned about the use of chemical preservatives, increasing evidence suggests that people, and women in particular, absorb a significant amount of chemicals from skin care products, hair care products and makeup each year. Some estimates put the number as high as 4 pounds and 6 ounces per year. Savvy consumers are concerned that the omnipresence of chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products increases one’s risk for cancer and other health complications.

From an exhaustive list of chemicals found in such products, a particular few deserve consumers’ attention due to their widespread use. First, parabens are widely used in creams, lotions and deodorants as an antifungal and antimicrobial preservative. Although the available research is too limited to state conclusively that parabens are carcinogenic, trace amounts of parabens have been found in breast tumor samples.

Phthalates, commonly used in nail polish, perfumes and fragrances in other products, are another chemical of concern. These endocrine disruptors behave like estrogens in the body and are believed to be a common cause of early puberty in girls, which in turn increases one’s risk for reproductive cancers later in life. Finally, triclosan is commonly used to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria in soaps, toothpaste and deodorant. In addition to disrupting the body’s hormonal activity – particularly the thyroid, which regulates metabolism – the widespread use of agents such as triclosan may be increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics.


Cosmetic Infographic




While it is not uncommon to hear joking speculations as to how much lipstick women “eat” in the course of a year by repeatedly raising a glass or mug to her lips while wearing lipstick, the reality concerning lip color versus other products for skin and hair is actually much more stark: while that tiny quantity of “eaten” lipstick is broken down within the gastrointestinal tract by enzymes in saliva and the stomach, the integumentary system provides no such protection against chemicals absorbed through the skin.

The cosmetics and personal care industries contend that their products are impossible to mass produce without using chemical preservatives to extend shelf life. This may be true, given the massive quantities produced and the expected shelf life of one to two years; however, a growing supply of more natural body products, including organic skincare &  hair products, is available which do not contain chemical preservatives. The makers of these alternatives eschew the use of chemical preservatives by preparing their products either to order or in very limited production runs so as the reduce or eliminate the need for chemical preservatives. Some such producers rely on natural preservatives, such as citric and other acids used to preserve olives and other foods at room temperature. In addition to being free of harmful chemicals, these products are often produced in a cruelty-free or even “vegan” manner, meaning that they are free of animal ingredients and have not been tested on animals.

For many consumers, learning how to best protect oneself against chemicals in the environment seems like a chore at best and an exercise in futility at worst. Fortunately, it is easier than most people realize to reduce one’s exposure by choosing personal care products that are free of chemical preservatives. By educating oneself about these and other chemicals in the environment and the risks associated with the ingredients found in commonly used products, one can significantly reduce one’s risk for cancer and other chronic health conditions.

Recommended Tips: How To Start Practicing “Organic” Skin Care

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Types of Chinese Herbs Used in Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage is one of the ways our body maintains a healthy immune system and efficient immune system response. The lymphatic system is a network of ducts and vessels that transfer various antibodies and white blood cells to the rest of the body. The ability of these duct and vessels – or lymph nodes – to transport is reduced by a number of possible factors, including: fatigue, inactivity, stress, chemical additives, infection, food additives, age, and heredity. Lymphatic drainage can help flush your body of these things, as well as reduce menstrual cramps, hayfever, cellulite, sinusitis, and water retention.



Chinese Herbs Used in Lymphatic Drainage

The Chinese have been practising lymphatic drainage since around 1587, when a Chinese physician named Gong Tingxian (龚廷贤) published a book with various formula recipes all created to cleanse the lymphatic system. Depending on the location of the body, the Tingxian identified different types of phlegm and fluid that move through that part of the lymphatic system. Tingxian created his formulas to address wind and demons – which, in his day, were thought to be the two main disease-causing agents within the body.







Tingxian’s favoured herbs were hoelen, pinellia, citrus, ginger, magnolia bark, atractylodes, and cardamom, and saussurea. Other Chinese herbs used in traditional lymphatic cleanses include arisaema and cyperus. 

The herbs that Tingxian used to treat wind and demons are the same herbs used today to cleanse the lymphatic system. 

Hoelen is a wood-decay fungus – and is often referred to as a mushroom – that resembles a small coconut. The citrus types Tingxian used in his lymphatic formulas include: chih-shih, chih-ko, and blue citrus. Saussurea is a perennial flower characterised by its woolly purple bristles. The plant grows in China’s cooler, more temperate climates. Pinellia, commonly referred to as the “Green Dragon” because of the shape of its leaves, is an indispensable element in Chinese medicine as a cough and phlegm suppressant.

The green cardamoms used by Tingxian in his lymphatic-clearing formulas are used elsewhere in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat gum and tooth infections, cure throat ailments, and treat lung congestion and tuberculosis. The magnolia bark exploited by Tingxian and other traditional Chinese physicians is derived from a magnolia tree that grows along mountains and in valleys at altitudes of 300 meters to 1500 meters in China. To prepare the herb, the bark is stripped from the tree’s branches, stems, and roots. The bark carries a heavy aroma and is able to treat various ailments relating to anxiety and the body’s vessels.


Massage Therapists in Singapore

The best massage therapists in Singapore can be found both in rural and urban locations of the country. One of the most massage treatment facilities in Singapore is Spaboutique, which offers anything from facials, hair treatment, and lymphatic massage, to more specialised treatments like their signature Quantum Raindrop Therapy Ritual. The Oriental Spa at the Mandarin Oriental offers treatments featuring detoxifying mud, a holistic mineral wrap, and a wrap infused with hydrating rose oil. The Four Seasons Singapore gives its guests a wide range of massage and treatment options, including traditional reflexology and Lymphatic Drainage Massage @HealingTouch.


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