Friday, September 25, 2009
Head over to the Nurse Mommy Blog to participate.
Even though the story has been all over the news and the Internet, there is actually only ONE study that makes these claims and now spreads the panic. The sources of mass information loves to shock us. So, we took a closer look at the study.
Originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study details three young boys who had developed gynecomastia (breasts). The doctors treating the boys learned that each of them were using products with lavender or tea tree essential oils, and once they stopped using these products, the breasts went away. The researchers then took these case studies and decided to test the essential oils on human tissue in a lab. According to their study, the essential oils acted estrogenically, and thus could have been the cause of the breast development in the boys.
However, we, along with numerous researchers and doctors have found some major flaws in the study.
Before we get in to more specifics--just a quick note. Looking at the footnotes of the study, you'll notice that all of the doctors who conducted the research are sponsored by numerous drug companies. Hmm, no wonder...
Three doctors (Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157; Aviva J. Romm, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510; Paula Gardiner, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215) wrote a commentary on the study:
"The study by Henley et al. (Feb. 1 issue)1 raises many questions. Product names were not provided. Did the authors contact manufacturers to report concerns or ask about constituents? The variability, adulteration, and contamination of herbal products have been widely reported,2,3 as have discrepancies between labels and contents.4 Plastic containers may contain phthalates, known endocrine disrupters.5 What was actually in the products cited in this report?The researchers said that it is possible that the boys' breast growth may have stemmed from other causes. The doctors bring up a few great points here, with the main one, whether any other estrogen mimickers were present in these products used on the young boys? Parabens? Phalates? The ingredients are not documented, and it could be a number of things--even from using bottles made with BPA or consuming genetically altered fast food?
None of the hormonal testing showed abnormal results, except in Patient 2, who had elevated levels of testosterone (not estrogen). There was no report on ultrasound examination or needle biopsy, nor were subsequent weight changes reported. Might the patients' gynecomastia have reflected another pathophysiological process that resolved spontaneously?Traditional use and clinical trials have not suggested estrogenic effects of tea tree or lavender oil, though estrogenic effects have been reported for other essential oils and plants. Are occupational exposures to lavender and tea tree associated with estrogenic symptoms? In vitro testing alone is not adequate grounds for indicting traditionally used products and may raise public fear."
But what about the laboratory tests they did on petri dishes of human cells? If you look carefully at their study, you'll notice they didn't apply pure lavender or tea tree essential oil on the cells they were testing, they used a solvent to dilute the oils. The solvent is dimethyl sulfoxide---which, as it turns out, is an estrogen mimicker! (as documented here.) And rates 6 on Skin Deep.
The bottom line is that lavender and tea tree essential oils have been used for thousands of years with no history or evidence of estrogen mimicry. They're probably the most widely used essential oils in baby products due to it's safety and remarkable qualities, so indeed the three boys in the study were using them, along with millions of other babies. If lavender and tea tree essential oils were truly estrogen mimickers, we would have known about their effects long time ago. Lavender and tea tree are listed by a large number of aromatherapy sources as being oils that can be used undiluted. Undiluted use of lavender and tea tree, however, should only be done on rare occurrences as some sensitivity still could occur in some overly sensitive individuals. But as safe as they are, again, the rule of thumb is to never use any essential oil undiluted.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Super Sun*Brella takes an extra step in sun defense while offering superior hydrating properties, as well as existing skin damage and sun spots repairing action.
Super Sun*Brella offers maximum sun protection of SPF 50, combined with powerful anti-aging compounds like Caviar, Hyaluronic acid, Reishi and CoQ10, and cocktail of antioxidants, for glowing ageless skin. Silk Protein Amino Acids give your skin silky velvet feel while Watermelon, rich in Vitamin C and naturally occurring carbohydrates and amino acids supports the UV-stressed immune system of the skin and can be used to prevent photo-aging. This extract also helps to protect the skin from every day toxins and promotes cell-renewal. Reishi mushroom carries Asiatic Acid to the cells for damage restoration, fading of sun spots and damage, wrinkle reduction, and boosting of cellular hydration. Vitamin C, E and fruit extracts deliver powerful antioxidants. Non comedogenic, elegant look and feel, and a 99% chemical free active sun protection system. Reverse existing sun damage while preventing new damage and wrinkle formation from occurring. Effective and safe for use on face and body. Water resistant. Not greasy.
In a statement on the foundation page for Katherine’s brother reads:
“Katherine and Josh have named their daughter Nancy Leigh and she will go by the nickname Naleigh. She is named after Katherine’s mother Nancy and Katherine’s sister Margaret Leigh.
Katherine, Josh and Naleigh are together and doing well.”
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Skin Deep. How deep are they really? How self proclamed experts become the experts in the eyes of a consumer.
However lately we've started noticing that all their work is starting to concentrate towards the bad, spreading panic and shock. Looking closer it turns out that there are a lot more bad then good on the market. Or pretty much everything. We can not use lipsticks because there is lead in them, we can not eat candy for the same reason, and there is some lead in the water too, so I am guessing we should stop drinking water too.
Sweetsation Therapy can not complain, our products rate very well on Skin Deep, but that's due to extensive research and use of the safest possible ingredients in our line, but some of the ratings still make us wonder why. I am going to place some examples here and let you be the judge. Even though most of our products rate 1-2 and only two of them rate 3, we believe that they still deserve a better rating. We contacted them numerous times asking to review our products or explain why they are rated higher then they should be, and even emailed comparable listings and still have not received any satisfactory explanation or correction.
So here are a couple of examples of our listings, and others, that have the same rating of 2:
How do they arrive to the total score nobody knows. We asked them if they have a formula they go by - still waiting for a response. So it seems like it depends whether you catch good or bad day.
Now, there is another very interesting research of theirs I've came across lately, is the ratings of Vitamins. We take vitamins every single day, whether it to be in a form of a pill or in our foods we eat. Let's look at that closer. Vitamins are good for us, we think. But according to EWG it is not quite so. For example, look at any ingredient label of anything from your refrigerator. Just pick the first thing you see. Look at the list of ingredients on the label. The first thing you will see, quite likely, is Vitamin A, (supports vision) which is Retinyl Palmitate, rated 5 by Skin Deep. Raiting 5 By Skin Deep is considered to be Moderate Hazard, so that means that to support our vision we ingest moderate hazard every day, a few times a day. It is present in almost every type of jarred food. Moving on.. Vitamin C is rated 1. OK, fair enough. We don't see why it should be a hazard at all, but 1 is not too bad. Vitamin B or Panthenol is rated 2 to 4. This vitamin helps to produce hemoglobin, which is the component of your red blood cells that carry oxygen to your cells. So the vitamin that actually prevents the fatigue is a mild to moderate hazard. Another food ingredient that is very common to all the food we eat is: Citric Acid - rated 4.
If you already had a good time entertaining yourself by reading ingredient decks of your food items in your fridge, you probably are guessing the outcome. Stop eating. According to Skin Deep almost everything you are coming in contact with, is hazardous.
We are a proud signers of Compact of Safe Cosmetics but even we think that their so called "research" went too far. So how deep really is their research? Apparently, they base their rating decisions on results of testing done with undiluted substances applied to human skin for 48 hours straight. Undiluted! Not the real tangible skin care products. We don't know of anyone who would apply anything undiluted to their skin for such a long time. But it's much easier, for sure, to sound an alarm, then actually go ahead and do a real research and testing. Shock treatment makes them an experts in the eyes of a consumer! An unfortunately there are a mass of people who just believe everything what they read. No questions asked. But you do try to ask them questions. And good luck getting an answer!
Environmental Working Group should educate themselves on the cosmetic industry before declaring themselves an authority on the industry. They should stop misleading consumers with their poor science and alarmist methods.
So what's now? Are you going to quit wearing lipstick? Quit drinking water? Quit eating food? Use any type of skin care? Or quit listening to Skin Deep?
Your comments are welcome.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Who doesn’t love Chocolate? Everyone does, especially kids. Children will do just about anything for a piece of candy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of children that have unsightly skin issues like: eczema, dry, and itchy skin, that needs treatment. Our new product, Organic Yummi*Tummi Choco Butter is designed for babies and children who don’t enjoy having creams and ointments applied on their skin; in order to treat their dry skin and irritations. Yummi*Tummi smells like the richest Chocolate while helping to nourish, calm, and repair itchy scaly skin. We use a blend of Organic ingredients like: Aloe, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba, Calendula, Oat, Rosehip, and Chamomile. Rich in Squalene and antioxidants; it also helps to protect skin from free radicals that can cause skin cancer. Yummi*Tummi is perfect to apply right after sun exposure, whether it be at the beach, or just playing outside. Our Choco Butter treats the delicate skin of children with Chocolate kisses and makes taking care of their skin pleasurable.
Our products do not contain Parabens, Phthalates, artificial fragrances, colorants, no Petrolatum, Sulfates, Retinols, or other nasties. Available in an airless 3.5oz container $17 from www.sweetsationtherapy.com
Sweetsation Therapy is an Eco friendly company. We use minimal packaging to help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and in our oceans. To encourage our customers to support recycling, we’ve put in place a “Recycle and be Rewarded” program. Our customers need to return 5 pieces of our empty packaging, and then choose one product from our collection to be sent with our compliments (value of up to $20).
We support the March of Dimes, and gladly donate a portion of every sale for an excellent cause.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It took two years, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally made good on its promise to conduct its own analysis of lead in lipstick. The results, suffice to say, ain't pretty. The FDA, which published its analysis in the July/August 2009 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Science, found lead in all 20 of the lipsticks it tested, with levels ranging fro 0.01 parts per million (ppm) to 3.06ppm—more than four times the highest level of 0.65ppm reported in the groundbreaking 2007 study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), which uncovered lead in more than 60 percent of 33 popular lipsticks.
Although the FDA stated that three manufacturers had the highest levels of lead, it did not disclose any names. (The 2007 CSC report also found a few brands with consistently higher lead levels, including L'Oreal, Maybelline, and Cover Girl.)
Effects of lead
A proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language, and behavioral problems, lead in lipstick—in any amount—is a health concern, says the CSC, especially because lipstick is applied several times a day, every day. The heavy metal can build up in the body over time, adding to significant exposure levels. For pregnant women, the effects of trace levels of lead are even more pernicious. Lead easily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain, where it can interfere with normal development.
Is a lead-free lipstick possible?
But is lead-free lipstick even a possibility? Despite protestations from cosmetics firms that eliminating lead would be too difficult and expensive, Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the CSC and author of the award-winning Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, says lead-free lipstick already exists. You can even find it in the aisle of your neighborhood drugstore.
In a live Webinar held last week, Malkan noted that 39 percent of the lipsticks the nonprofit tested had no lead, including a $1.99 tube by Wet 'N Wild. (In contrast, a $24 lipstick from Dior had among the higher levels of lead.) "Of course it can be done," Malkan said. "Companies already know how to make lipstick without lead and that's what they all should be doing."
Credit to Jasmin Malik Chua