Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shea Terra Clearance SALE... 30% Discount for all items!

I'm clearing my Shea Terra stock to make way for my handmade products coming soon! 30% off all the items below, flat rate shipping of RM7.

Shea Terra is a wonderful line of all natural skin care from the US. They are famous for their healing pure Shea Butter, Rose Hip Black Soap Facial Wash and their organic hand pressed Argan Oil.

Please click below to learn more about the brand:

Please click on the product links for more info on each item.

Please send your orders to preciousmecares@gmail.com and I will reply with payment details. Stock is limited and orders are on a first come first serve basis.

1. Rose Hips Black Soap - Deep Pore Facial Wash (4oz/ 138ml)
Normal Price: RM 119.65
Sale Price: RM83.80 
Stock: SOLD OUT!

Short Description: 
100% Super Natural.  Discover why YouTube and Facebook fans RAVE about this face wash. The world's most effective, amazing face wash! Based on an ancient African formula, using REAL African Black Soap, this wash works like microdermabrasion to get rid of dead skin, even skin tone, firm skin and fight acne. Look younger in just minutes of use. South African Rose Hips Oil calms skin and works wonders on maturing skin.

Product link - 

2. Argan Rosemary - Facial Cleansing Oil (2oz/ 59ml)
Normal Price: RM159.40
Sale Price: RM111.60
Stock: 1

Short Description: 
100% Natural. Argan & Rosemary Oils are two tough oils for getting rid of dirt and cleansing pores. Yet, Argan & Rosemary Oils are super gentleto the skin. Overdrying skin with soap is a bad idea- a really bad idea. It overstrips skin of beneficial oilswhich help skin maintain its elasticity and eliminate wrinkle forming scaling. This simple treatment gets rid of debris even soap leaves behind, yet leaves skin refreshed and super soft. No need to reapply oil afterwards.

Product Link: 

3. Authentic African Black Soap Bar (approx. 4oz/ 130g)
Normal Price: RM53.15
Sale Price: RM37.30
Stock: SOLD OUT!

Short Description:
100% Natural. NO Dye added. Our African Black Soap in bar form is made with REAL African Black Soap from Nigeria. There is no dye or charcoal needed for our original African Black Soap Bar. Use African Black Soap for smooth, blemish free skin. Ancient formula naturally breaks down dead skin revealing firmer, younger looking skin with a glow.

Product Link:

4. Argan Oil & Acacia Honey Facial Wash (4oz/ 138ml)
Normal Price: RM119.65
Sale Price: RM83.80
Stock: 1

Short Description:
100% Natural. What a mouthful, but what a simple,nourishing combination of pure ingredients togently remove grime and dead skin without stripping. Pure, raw African acacia honey is combined with skin softening Moroccan argan oil for an apitherapy treat that breaks down dead skin cells and ultra-hydrates skin at the same time.

Product Link:

5. Moroccan Orange Blossom - Purifying Facial Water (4oz/138ml)
Normal Price: RM106.30
Sale Price: RM74.50
Stock: SOLD OUT!

Short Description:
100% Natural. Delicate orange blossom water totone oily to normal and acne prone skin. Excellent addition to face masks.

Product Link:

6. Moroccan Rose Water - Ester-C Collagen Regeneration Facial Spritz (4oz/ 138ml)
Normal Price: RM119.65
Sale Price: RM83.80
Stock: SOLD OUT!

Short Description:
99.5% Natural. Give your collagen a natural workout with slow releasing Ester-C in anti-aging Moroccan Rose Water.

Product Link:

7. Baobab Olive Tree - AgeWise Face Creme (2oz/ 59ml)
Normal Price: RM159.40
Sale Price: RM111.60
Stock: SOLD OUT!

Short Description:
99.7% Natural. Omega rich baobab and olive oils reverse the damages of time. Anti-oxidant rich olive leaf combats free-radicals that cause wrinkles and sagging.

Product Link:

8. Moroccan Argan Oil - Certified Organic (2oz/ 59ml)
Normal Price: RM159.40
Sale Price: RM111.60
Stock: 1

Short Description:
100% Pure & Natural. #1 Most trusted Argan OIl. Absolutely FRESH Shea Terra Organics' Moroccan Argan Oil is the most sought after anti-aging oil. Our 100% pure Moroccan Argan Oil is high invitamins E & natural plant squalene  which gives it an amazing ability to repair skin, increase elasticity and decrease wrinkling. Shea Terra Organics' 100% pure, cold pressed Moroccan Argan Oil gives skin hours of protection while softeningand decreasing wrinkles and sagging. This is the real thing. Contains no silicones, alcohol, fragrance, or other additives. Click on product link to read more.

Product Link:

9. African Wild Oil Collection
Kit includes: .25 oz. African Baobab Oil, .25 oz. Marula Oil, .25 oz. Moroccan Argan Oil, .25 oz. Tamanu Oil

Normal Price: RM172.65
Sale Price: RM120.90
Stock: 2

Short Description:
Experience the anti-aging wonders of Africa's wild collected oils. This unique kit combines a few of the rare oils found growing in the African wild. Some of these species are indigenous only to Africa. Each kit comes in a handmade paper bag made by a cooperative in Uganda.

Product Link:

10. Argan Oil Beauty Kit 
Kit includes: .25 oz. Moroccan Argan Oil, .25 oz. Argan & Green Coffee Around-Eye Serum, .25 oz. Argan & Rose Complex Night Serum, Argan & Rosemary Cleansing Oil, .25 oz.

Normal Price: RM172.65
Sale Price: RM120.90
Stock: 1

Short Description:
Experience the best in argan facial care that Shea Terra Organics has to offer. This kit includes Argan & Green Coffee Around-Eye Serum to reduce discoloration and lines, Argan & Rose made with pure argan oil, evening primrose, rose hips and seabuckthorn and Shea Terra Organics' famous Moroccan Argan Oil. This kit comes in a beautiful handmade bag made from recycled paper from a cooperative in Uganda.

Product Link:

11. Night Nourishment - Nutrient Facial Serum (2oz/ 59ml)
Normal Price: RM212.55
Sale Price: RM148.80
Stock: 1

Short Description:
100% Natural. Give a bedtime feeding to aging cells with rare, nutrient rich oils. Who doesn't want to wake up looking fresher and years younger by morning?

Product Link:

12. Shea Butter Intensive - 20% Organic Shea Butter Dry Skin Lotion (8oz/ 236ml)
Normal Price: RM106.30
Sale Price: RM74.50
Stock: 2

Short Description:
99.7% Natural. Shea butter is still king! But if there is not enough shea butter in your product then your skin isn’t benefitting. Reintroducing our famous 20% shea butter lotions with a twist. Both East and West shea butters combine to create ahealing lotion that soothes and protects skin all day. Made with pure aloe juice rather than water, our 20% Shea Butter Intensive Lotion providesamino acids as it hydrates skin. Made with real coconut extract and lemongrass essential oil. Scroll down to read more.

Product Link:

13. Ghana Gold Shea Butter - Wild Harvested, Cold Pressed (4oz/ 118ml)
Normal Price: RM93.10
Sale Price: RM65.20
Stock: 3

Short Description:
100% Pure & Natural. The Gold Standard in shea butter. Unrefined, virgin pressed shea butter- high inhealing vitamins A & E. Highly emollient, non-greasy shea butter repairs aging skin, decreases chapped, flaky skindecreases scarring, and even stimulates growth of hair.

Product Link:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stingless Bee Honey - Madu Kelulut

I never knew that there was such a thing as a stingless bee! Wow....

A friend gave me a bottle of honey called 'Madu Kelulut', and my first thought was....
"Kelulut? Hahaha...What a funny name!"

 I tasted the honey and subsequent reaction to the honey was...
"Eh why does it taste sour? And it's so runny, not like normal honey? Must be fake lah! Or spoiled!"

I was duly informed (and educated!), that the honey is also called Stingless bee honey, and that it's supposed to taste sour, and it's more medicinal and more expensive than normal honey. And then I thought...
"Ohhhhh... If it's supposedly better than normal honey, then maybe I can use it on my face!"

I have previously read on how honey makes such a great natural face wash, especially for dry sensitive skin like mine. However, when I tried regular honey on my face, my face will be red and itchy not long afterwards. I never knew why, but was very disappointed that it did not work for me. Which was why I somehow hoped that Madu Kelulut might be different!

So I slathered a good amount of this special honey on my face and waited for my skin to start itching, and it never did! It was very easy to apply and rinse off due to its runny consistency, and it did leave  my skin feeling hydrated. Of course, I continued to use it twice a day (these days I only do OCM once a week because I just don't have the time to do it daily!). Did get one or two pimples although nothing major, but I noticed a difference in my skin after about 2 weeks. Certain persistent dry patches around my lips (due to conventional toothpaste!) were almost totally gone and my skin felt healthy and was more radiant. Thank you Madu Kelulut for coming into my life!

Anyways, this post is supposed to be all about this honey and why it's so special, so do read on to find out.

Stingless bee honey is renowned in Africa and Asia for treating digestion problems, suppressing coughs, and boosting immunity.  It’s also cherished for its anti-oxidant and anti-biotic effects. These bees are only found in tropical climates, and they produce much less honey than the typical honey bee. Honey bees can produce up to 50 times more honey than the stingless bees, which makes the stingless bee honey rare and thus more expensive. Madu Kelulut can be found across Malaysia, usually in the more rural areas, and are used by the locals more as a medicine than a condiment because of its rarity. Stingless bee honey also contains much less sugar than regular honey, which is why it has a tangy taste. It's also supposedly not as 'heaty' as normal honey. 

In addition to the unique flavor and aroma of stingless bee honey, there are numerous studies about its medicinal value and health benefits.  Stingless bee honey and some honeys, in general, are reported to:

  • Suppress coughing
  • Treat stomach ulcers and mouth sores
  • Have anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-parasitory, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-mutagenic, and anti-tumor effects
  • Serve as a pro-biotic in the gasto-intestinal system  
  • Treat eye infections and wounds due to anti-bacterial effects
  • Be a viable table sugar replacement due to it's low glycemic index and other health benefits
  • Moisturize the skin
  • Reduce cardiovascular risk factors when used as replacement for table sugar (sucrose)
  • Enhance the immune system by increasing antigen production
So I've been using madu kelulut to wash my face twice a day now, and my face is no longer as dry as it was before. In fact, I dare say that my skin is almost 'normal' or balanced! And I think it will be much better if I could find an effective non-foaming toothpaste because I am almost certain that regular foaming toothpaste is the culprit to the persistent dry lips and dry skin around my mouth area. New mission --->find non-foaming toothpaste!

I love madu Kelulut so much that I am planning to offer it for sale as part of an all natural face care regime.... So if you want to try out this special honey for yourself, do stay tuned to future postings as I hope to be launching my new face care line very soon..... Che che Face Care Line! Actually the products are very simple and all natural face care products for those who are sick of using commercial face care... For those who want to simplify their face care regime whilst using only potent and pure ingredients on the face....for those that want healthy glowing and radiant skin the natural way! And I have priced them to be very affordable, yet still using high quality natural ingredients with NO fillers.

So do stay tuned or send me an email if you're interested!

Skincare Dissection #2: Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner

What Is Skincare Dissection?
In a single sentence, skincare dissection is about learning exactly what is in our skincare products, and what effects it has on our skin and health.

Often times when we want to purchase skin care, we tend to prioritize convenience and fall for promises of fast or instant results. We scan for pretty looking packaging, and go for products that smell nice ( yes I know we all do the sniff test if we can, even I do!). The last thing we do is read the ingredients list right?! You make a quick scan, see words that are hard to pronounce and even harder to understand (hated chemistry with a vengeance in school)... oh well... if it looks pretty and smells ah- mazing, there's no harm applying it on our skin right? 

Well the only way to know the truth is to dissect that ingredients list and find out!

Note - For easy reference: 
  • green coloured ingredients are considered safe and very good for your skin, 
  • brown coloured ingredients are considered safe or have no known toxicity but have neutral skin benefits (these are usually fillers, emulsifiers or cheaper oils), and 
  • red ingredients are considered toxic.
If you have any skincare product you want me to dissect, just email to preciousmecares@gmail.com. Pics and ingredients list supplied will be very helpful as well!

Disclaimer: I will list information here based on my online research, but it is ultimately up to you to decide on whether a product is good or bad. My intention is not to discriminate against any skin care products, but merely to educate you on its contents. In fact, I have many commercial skin care products lying around in my home, and the main reason I have them is because they are affordable and easily available. As much as I'm educating others, I'm also educating myself in the hopes that we all can make informed choices and consciously purchase products instead of just mindlessly grabbing them off the shelves purely based on appearances. Any views on products is my personal opinion and should not be construed as facts.

Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner


Currently I'm using pure virgin coconut oil (VCO) and I apply it all over on wet skin after my shower. It is actually quite easy and does not take long, although it does take a little bit of getting used to if you are not familiar with this method. I love VCO and use it in many many ways and would love to share them with you, but I will save it for another blogpost.

So I came across this product from numerous blog reviews, and all had said that this product was wonderful and moisturized their skin very well. You see, what really bothered me was the application process of this skin conditioner....

You apply it in the shower, and then rinse it off and your skin is magically soft, supple and moisturized! I don't doubt this but I know that for a product to stay on the skin even after it has been rinsed off ( and not feel oily or greasy), it must contain certain synthetic ingredients that may not be skin friendly at all. It was just a hunch, and so I decided to investigate further and dissect its ingredients list to find out the truth.

Before I start the dissection, I'd just like to add that my process of applying VCO oil as a body moisturizer is actually  much easier, and is also 2 steps shorter! It is basically just Step 1 and 2 like in the pic above, and that's it! No need to rinse or even towel dry!

Anyways,  just a note that I did not purchase this product and have not tried it ( and don't intend to). All pictures are courtesy of Nivea's website (www.nivea.com.my). 

The Ingredients List:

Aqua, Cera Microcristallina, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Parfum, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Sodium Carbomer, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral
(Source: http://www.boots.com/en/Nivea-In-shower-Body-Moisturiser-Dry-250ml_1325414/)

Aqua - water
On the list of ingredients, water is often listed as "aqua." If everyone knows it is water why do they still bother? In Canada and the US, cosmetics ingredients are labeled using the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) system, "a system of names for waxes, oils,pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words." In Latin, water is called "aqua". So if you're using INCI to label your products, you use "aqua" on your product labels.
It does not state what type was used. Is it purified? Is it clean? Is it distilled? Is it treated? Is it tap water? We will never know...

Cera microcristallina - wax made from petroleum
Microcrystalline wax is a hydrocarbon wax derived from petroleum. It is classified as "expected to be toxic or harmful" and classified as "medium human health priority" in regards to human organ system toxicity according to the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List.
(personal note: This product should contain a significant amount of this wax since it is the second ingredient in the list. This also may explain how you get that 'moisturized feeling' since being a wax, it coats your skin in a thin film and does not get washed away. I have read in a review on makeupalley.com that this waxy film can build up on the skin over time, makes shaving very difficult, and causes painful in-grown hair as well.)

Paraffinum liquidum - mineral oil (from petroleum)
An extremely cheap & common petroleum derivative (refined crude oil petrochemical) which is found in 98% of skincare products sold in the US. It functions as an occlusive skin emollient. HEALTH RISK: Petrochemicals contain neurotoxins which damage the nervous system. Mineral oil forms a film on the surface of your skin that can not be absorbed, thereby blocking the pores and the skin’s natural respiration. It traps dirt and bacteria and blocks the absorption of vitamins/minerals/botanicals that may be in a product. John Hopkins University named mineral oil in cosmetics and moisturizers as the number two cause of aging (first being direct exposure to sun). It may also cause allergic reactions and dryness, as well as promote acne and other skin disorders. Even if you want to rubbish the health risks of using mineral oil, I would still avoid it if possible because it is such an inferior oil without any nutritional value to it, unlike other natural oils that contain skin nourishing and protecting vitamins and fatty acids.

Glycerin - Skin conditioning agent and humectant
A naturally occurring ingredient (also synthetically made) that balances the water levels in skin to facilitate moisture. Simply stated, glycerin attracts water to skin and helps skin to feel smoother and softer. However, studies have found that it not only attracts water to the skin, but also helps skin cells mature properly. According to a study done by The Medical College of Georgia, Glycerin works as a signal to help direct skin cells through their four normal stages of maturity. In the endless cycle of skin-cell production, the youngest cells move up from the deepest layer and switch from replicating as their main function to eventually becoming mature surface cells that spit out lipids to help form the skin's protective barrier.

Cetearyl Alcohol - emollient and emulsion stabilizer
A fatty alcohol that's either produced from the end products of the petroleum industry, or derived from plants (palm oil-palmityl alcohol). Works as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener and carrying agent for other ingredients contained in a cosmetic solution. It keeps the oil and water parts of an emulsion from separating, and gives products good spreadability. As a thickening agent and surfactant, it helps alter the viscosity and increase the foaming capacity of non-aqueous (i.e. lotions) and aqueous solutions (i.e. shampoo). It is often misinterpreted as an "alcohol" related to ethyl or rubbing alcohol, both of which can be extremely drying to the skin. The truth, in fact, is quite the opposite, as cetyl alcohol is well known to effectively condition and soften the skin and hair. Because of its multi-functional capabilities, this ingredient is used in a wide range of personal care products such as moisturizer, face cream, shampoo/conditioner, anti-aging treatment, hair dye, sunscreen, cleanser and lipstick. The FDA includes cetyl alcohol on its list of permitted food additives. The EU Cosmetics Directive allows it to be used in cosmetics as long as it's derived from plants. (personal note: My best guess that the cetearyl alcohol in this product is petroleum based). The CIR Expert Panel has assessed this ingredient as non-sensitizing, non-toxic and safe to use in cosmetic products.

Despite the fact that the CIR Expert Panel recognizes this ingredient as non-irritating, many dermatologists recommend that individuals with sensitive/irritated skin avoid it. Many medical experts believe that cetyl alcohol, and many other fatty alcohols, have the ability to altercate the lipid bilayer of the epidermis (protective barrier) and cause allergic dermal reactions in some (see article in 1999 issue of Contact Dermatitis). There are many other medical studies supporting the potential irritation associated with this ingredient. Considering this information, it's best that sensitive skin types perform a patch test with any product containing this ingredient, particularly anyone suffering from a skin condition such as Rosacea or Psoriasis.

Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides - skin conditioning agent made from highly processed coconut oil
Processed using highly toxic metal catalyst such as nickel, and so carries risks of toxic metal contamination. This process strips the oil of most, if not all, of its natural nutrients and alters its fatty acid structure, but it is done mainly because it prevents the oil from going rancid. It is well documented that hydrogenated oils can cause cancer and heart disease if consumed, although studies on its effects in skincare products are still ongoing and inconclusive. If you are the type who avoids unnatural and risky ingredients in your skin care, then you may want to avoid this. Margarine is an example of a hydrogenated oil, would you want to slather it on your skin if you had the choice? 

Stearyl Alcohol - emulsion stabilizer and conditioning agent
Stearyl Alcohol is a naturaly fatty alcohol derived from stearic acid, coconut oil or vegetable fatty acids, and is used to soothe and soften as a conditioning agent and as an emulsifier. It is often found as a hair coating ingredient in shampoos and conditioners, and an emollient in creams and lotions for the skin (Sci-Toys.com and Wikipedia). It can also be used to thicken formulas, adding body and viscosity.
The Cosmetics Database finds Stearyl Alcohol to be a low hazard ingredient, despite cancer, irritation, and organ system toxicity concerns and strong evidence that it is a human irritant by the CIR (especially for products used around the eyes, and on the skin). One or more animal studies show tumor formation at high doses.

 Myristyl Alcohol - An emmolient, emulsion stabilizer, skin-conditioning agent, surfactant, viscosity increasing agent, foaming agent and fragrance Ingredient
Myristyl Alcohol is a fatty-alcohol used as an emollient in cosmetics and skin care products (Source). According toresearch, it is primarily used to inhibit a formula from separating into its oil and liquid components. However, Myristyl Alcohol can be drying, as can most fatty-alcohols.A study published by Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology in 1966 showed Myristyl Alcohol to be a carcinogen and cause skin tumors in multiple tests, but only in high doses given to animals, primarily mice. It’s also been shown to be an irritant in animals. Studies published in Contact Dermatitis in April and November of 2006, both done in Europe and both concerning patch testing and cosmetic allergies directly resulting from Myristyl Alcohol found that it was an irritant, but only in patients with highly sensitive skin. It is approved by the FDA as a food additive, and by the CIR for use in cosmetics (Cosmetics Database). If you have extra sensitive skin, consult a dermatologist for the most appropriate skin care product to use. Young children and infants that do have sensitive skin should also seek a consultation with a dermatologist for a milder and gentler skin care product to use.

Parfum - fragrance
The word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil  - Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond Oil is commonly used as a skin conditioning agent to lubricate and soften the skin or as a lubricant in hair products to promote shine and manageability. It acts as an emulsifying agent, binding water and oil together. This oil features a light consistency and is not oily, so it is readily absorbed by the skin. It has been included in formulas designed to reduce fine lines on the face, moisturize the skin, soothe dry, chapped lips, and relieve itching. It is a rich emollient that moisturizes the skin with renewed hydration, helping to minimize signs associated with premature aging. It creates a glow to the skin when absorbed, can be used to reduce discoloration or inflammation, or to neutralize skin and hair irritations. It is frequently used in fragrance, lipstick, sunscreen, skin care, night skin care, and cleansing formulas. (personal note: If Sweet Almond Oil is listed after parfum (fragrance), I doubt there's much of it since fragrances are usually added at 0.5% - 2% concentration. This means that the actual concentration of Sweet Almond Oil is less than 2%.)

Sodium Carbomer - film forming/ holding agent
A blend of sodium (salt) and carbomer that functions as a stabilizer and film-forming agent. It doesn’t seem to have any effect on the skin at all. If you rub a neat carbomer gel into your skin, once it has dried you don’t notice it. It doesn’t make your skin tacky. It doesn’t make it feel tight. You just don’t notice it. It isn’t there to give any benefits, just to make the formulation elegant and enjoyable.The chemistry of carbomer is totally synthetic (petrochemical derivative) and bears no relationship to anything in nature. A natural alternaive to carbomer would be Xantham Gum.

Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer - film forming/ thickening agent
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications. Considered safe based on assumption of low absorption. There are concerns of cross contamination with highly toxic ingredients such as Ethylene Oxide and 1,4-Dioxane.

Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate - Absorbent; Anticaking Agent; Viscosity Increasing Agent
Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications. Contamination concern - Aluminium powder

Phenoxyethanol - preservative
Phenoxyethanol, also known as Ethylene Glycol Monophenyl Ether, is a glycol ether and bactericide (that functions as a disinfectant, antiseptic or antibiotic) that is primarily used as a preservative in cosmetics and beauty products. It is also seen as a fragrance additive, a fixative for perfumes, an insect repellent ingredient in sunscreens, a topical antiseptic ingredient, and solvent (Wikipedia).
Studies have shown that Phenoxyethanol can be an extreme irritant to the eyes and skin, and can even cause blistering; it is hazardous in the case of ingestion and inhalation as well. The Cosmetic Database rates it as a moderate hazard and notes cancer, allergic reactions, skin, eye and lung irritation, organ and neurotoxicity as possible effects of using products containing Phenoxyethanol. It has shown effects on sensory organs even at low doses, and brain and nervous systems at moderate doses in animals, and causes cell mutation.
According to research, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) data sheets show “chromosomal changes and genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice.”

Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol - fragrance
Naturally extracted scent ingredients. Some are known human immune system toxicants or allergens that are banned in the EU.

Benzyl Alcohol - solvent and preservative agent
Has been associated with contact allergy. Classified as toxic or harmful (only for products for use around the mouth; products for use on the lips; products that may be aerosolized (airborne)) in Canada and the EU.

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone - Fragrance masking ingredient
Possible human immune system toxicant or allergen and falls under the EU Fragrance Banned and Restricted List. Suspected to be an environmental toxin according to the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List

Hexyl Cinnamal - Fragrance masking ingredient
It is associated with allergic reactions and is classified as a Possible human immune system toxicant or allergen according to the EU Banned and Restricted Fragrance List.

Butylphenyl Methylpropional - Fragrance ingredient
Lilial (butylphenyl methylpropanal) is a synthetic scent ingredient associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. it is rated as a moderate to high toxicity concern on the EWG databse. It is associated with allergic reactions and is classified as a possible human immune system toxicant or allergen according to the EU Banned and Restricted Fragrance List.

Benzyl Benzoate - solvent, preservative and fragrance ingredient
It is associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. It is associated with allergic reactions and is classified as a possible human immune system toxicant or allergen according to the EU Banned and Restricted Fragrance List.

Benzyl Salicylate - Fragrance Ingredient, UV light absorber
Associated with endocrine disruption, and is a known human immune system toxicant or allergen according to the EU Banned and Restricted Fragrances list. Rated a 7 out of 10 (moderate to high) on the EWG's toxic scale. Benzyl Salicylate can cause irritations, sensitization and allergic reactions.

Citral - Fragrance Ingredient
Citral is a naturally occurring scent ingredient; manufactured synthetically on a large scale; associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. It is a known human immune system toxicant or allergen according to the according to the EU Banned and Restricted Fragrances list. Rated a 7 out of 10 (moderate to high) on the EWG's toxic scale. Classified as irritant (skin, eyes & lungs) according to the European Union - Classification & Labelling board. In Europe, Citral is included on the list of "allergenic" substances. The European Cosmetics Regulation requires manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to indicate the presence of certain "allergenic" substances in the list of ingredients if they are present above certain levels in the product. The presence of Citral must be indicated in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds: 0.001% in leave-on the skin products 0.01% in products that are rinsed off the skin.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Why I LOVE VCO! Reason #1 - Best For Baby

Okay I was going to write a long post of all the reasons why I love Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) but I don't think I will ever be able to finish it so it is best I write about each reason separately. VCO is the one oil I always have to have in my home because I use it for so many things...as a baby oil/lotion, as my body oil/lotion, on my hair, etc... and I even consume it on a daily basis! The only area i do not apply VCO is on my face because for me it has a tendency to cause breakouts, not too sure why though. Maybe it is a bit 'heaty' especially in our hot humid weather or maybe it has a strong purging effect...so I cannot recommend VCO for the face, although it is fantabulous everywhere else! I even know how to make my own, and it will share the easy albeit a bit time consuming process soon ya.

Quick intro on VCO - it is the oil that is extracted from the coconut milk obtained from fresh coconuts. The key word here is 'fresh', which is why VCO smells so good and yummy! For more info on VCO, you can click HERE

VCO is:
  • Anti fungal
  • Anti Viral
  • Anti Microbial
  • Anti Inflammatory

I literally cover my little ones in VCO after every bath. I mix some essential oils such as Lavender, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus with their VCO for an additional skin healing boost and refreshing smell. Not too much essential oils for their delicate skin, keep it below 20 drops per 100ml of VCO. I don't even use that much, probably around 10 - 15 drops in total. So here are some ways I use VCO for the little ones...

My trusted refillable VCO bottle
1. All over body and face oil - I cover my little ones in VCO after their bath. I try my best to cover every inch of their skin, which is a feat in itself if you have wriggly ones that just can't keep still! For younger babies, make sure to always apply on skin folds and joints to prevent rashes and keep their skin clean. I never use baby powder because I find that the 'nice' smell quickly fades and baby will not smell nice for long. However, with VCO, the kids have no BO, even after many hours and even with perspiration. That's because of the antibacterial nature of VCO that helps to keep their skin clean and inhibit odour causing (as well as other types of) bacteria.

2. Ear cleaner - I put some oil in the palm of my hand, dip the cotton buds in VCO and use it to clean around and in their ears. VCO is antibacterial so this helps to keep ear infections at bay, plus the goop comes off much easier with oil.

3. Heal minor cuts and scratches - just dab a little oil and it will heal much more quickly.

4. Nappy oil - I always apply VCO after every diaper change, and so far no rashes!

5. Cradle Crap - I've always applied VCO on their heads from day one, and they only had a very very minor case of cradle crap. It was on a very small area, smaller than the size of the 5sen coin, which went away after a few days.

6. Massage oil for boo boos - whenever my active toddler comes running to me crying that somewhere hurts, eg feet, ankle, knee, hand, head, etc, I will check to see if it's anything serious. Most of the time, it's not, so I take some VCO and rub a little on the painful area, give a kiss and send them running happily away, hopefully not to do more damage! Once, my son had a minor ankle sprain, and he was limping a bit for a day or two. Nothing too serious but I massaged his ankle with the oil 2 - 3 times a day to speed up his recovery and help strengthen the joint.

Important notes:

  • Don't use VCO on a newborns face for the first one or two weeks (anywhere else is fine). This is because the skin at this stage is very delicate and VCO can clog those tiny tiny pores and cause an acne breakout. Some babies will get a form of acne in those first few weeks with or without having used VCO, and in my experience applying VCO on that only makes it worse. In fact, it is advised to not use any cream or oils during this stage, and the acne should clear by itself in about a week or two. It is helpful to apply breast milk on the affected area from time to time whenever possible. 
  • When applying VCO on baby's face, a little goes a long way. Apply a bit of oil onto fingers, warm it up a bit and then apply on baby's face. Too much VCO on the face can clog pores and cause a type of acne which forms in small clusters, usually on the forehead. If you see this, use less VCO for the face.
  • There are some rashes, especially the ones on the face, that just won't go away even after applying VCO, and for these type of rashes I will apply some Emu oil (sometimes mixed with Tea Tree or Lavender essential oil) instead. Emu oil is very effective for healing stubborn rashes, and will do so quite rapidly too. I apply Emu oil on the affected area every few hours and the rash will be gone in a couple of days. I use Emu oil sparingly though because it is very expensive!
*You can get VCO in most supermarkets nowadays, and I usually buy the 1 liter bottle which costs between RM60 - RM80 depending on the brand. They also sell in 500ml sizes for approx. half the price, which makes it perfect if you want to try out the oil for the first time.

Stay tuned for more wonderful ways of using this fav oil of mine!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quick Fact: Banned Fragrance Ingredients in the EU

The fragrance ingredients that the EU has banned because of their demonstrated negative effects on human health are:
  • Amyl cinnamal
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Cinnamyl alcohol
  • Citral
  • Eugenol
  • Hydroxy-cintronellal
  • Isoeugenol
  • Amylcinnamyl alcohol
  • Benzyl salicylate
  • Cinnamal
  • Coumarin
  • Geraniol
  • Hydroxymethylpentyl cyclohexecarbonaldehyde (brand name Lyral)
  • Anistyl alcohol
  • Benzyl cinnamate
  • Farnesol
  • 2-(4 tert Butylbenzyl) Propionaldehyde
  • Linalool
  • Benzyl Benzoate
  • Citronellol
  • Hexyl cinnam-aldehyde
  • d-limonene
  • Methyl Heptin Carbonate
  • 3-methyl-4-(2,6,6,-trimethyl-2-cyclohexen-yl-3-buten-2-one
  • Oak Moss and Tree Moss extract