Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Big Words on Your Bath Products Are Not Always Scary

You want to go all "natural" and avoid "chemicals".  But what does that really mean?

To you, the consumer it means that you want to be able to pronounce the word.  You want to look it up on EWG and decide if it is ok for you to use or not.  But when you say natural, to those of us in the industry of making bath and body products  that is kind of an empty word.  

The FDA does not have a set standard for "Natural"  Therefore,  I if I chose, I can pick a standard or none at all and slap "ALL NATURAL" on my label.  Or if I chose,  I can align my self with organizations that do have set standards and follow them, or I can even create a set of my own.

The problem with the EWG is, in a nutshell, they really are scaremongers.  And very often, their ratings come without solid science, or they use outdated science.  You can read more about them Here

There is one thing I like my customers to know right off the bat.  Natural is not always safe.  And the safest products are not always natural.  In making my products, I have to find a balance that works for me and you, my customer.  I won't make anything for you, that I will not use myself.

The reason I began making my own bath and body products was due to my own allergies to synthetic fragrance.  And now, here I am.  I have learned more about chemistry,and all of those big words on the back of every bottle than I ever thought I was capable of.  It took me over a year  to finally make a lotion,  Why? Because making lotion is scary, it is a commitment to learning everything you can about that stuff you take for granted and slather on every night after a shower.  And with it comes a very big responsibility to you and ensuring it is safe.

When one decides to make lotion or any product containing water, the first fantasy they have to get over is making an "all natural"  or "preservative free" lotion.  It stings a little bit when you first hit those boards on making cosmetics and the veterans hand you your cute little fantasy sliced and diced right back to you and why it is not possible.

There are many ingredients that are naturally derived from plant or animal material.  The problem is that many times they do not perform well.  They may not be silky feeling or go on smoothly, They may not rinse off well, or foam, or separate. Lip balms may melt, be too soft or not last long.  And more importantly the products that have water will not have a proper broad spectrum preservative in them, will have a very short shelf life and must be refrigerated.

So here is where we are going to talk about some of those big words. And you can find more info on ALL the big words Here

Cetearyl Alcohol and Ethoxylated Sorbitan Ester.

Both of these ingredients when combined are a single product called emulsifying wax.  A.vegetable based Emulsifying wax is sourced from naturally occurring fats and esters,  Without an emulsifier, most lotions would separate.  This is the ingredient that blends water and oils together and keeps them that way. In addition it provides consistency and texture. 

Propylene Glycol , Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

These ingredients combined are a broad spectrum  preservative.   With out this, in a few hours the product would begin growing many different types of yeast and mold.  For a while you may think that your product is just fine because it looks ok.  But in reality,  nasty little microbes and bacteria are there and you would be putting it on your skin, or your baby, until one day you notice, it doesn't smell right or there is a little yellowish or green spot,  maybe it's a black spot before you realize, your lotion has gone bad.  In the mean time, you had an unexplained rash. In a worse case scenario,  an un- properly preserved lotion or cream (or anything containing water) could cause a blood infection that could make you very sick or even cause death.

The amount of a good preservative is 0.01% - 0.05% of the total recipe.  For the batch sizes I make, are merely milligrams.  

Regardless of where you buy your products you should always ask if there is a broad spectrum preservative.  Things that are not preservatives are.  Any Essential Oil,  Grapefruit Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Alcohol, Coconut Oil,  Lemon Juice, Citric Acid..., this list could go on and on.  But keep this in mind.  If there were solid all natural based preservatives available, the large commercial brands would be taking advantage of that.  But there isn't, and those big national brands can not afford for you to sue them.

The problem with national brands is they are over preserved.  Not so much to protect you, but them selves.  Their products are shipped all over the world sit on boats and trains, trucks and in hot warehouses for months before they make it to you,  Under those conditions, the product has to last. Then when it comes to you, it has to last through your purse, the diaper bag, in your car or desk drawer, wet and or dirty hands and your humid bathroom.  How many times have you taken off a lid and stuck your finger in to try to get the last bit out... every day for a week?  Same with your makeup foundation, which really, is nothing more than a lotion.
Cottage industry products are typically made in small batches or to order and not often in more than 8 ounce bottles. So we are able to use the right amount of preservative giving you a safe reliable product. I cringe each time I see a mommy blog or pintrest pin that makes a product that uses a food item or water.  It just is not worth it.  I charge you good money for the products I make and I use great ingredients.  I want you to be happy, but most of all I want the product to be safe for you and your family.

What is not in your cottage brand body product is far more dangerous most often, than what is.
It is time to start saying YES to properly preserved products.

Stay Beautiful!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Essential Oil Salesman Josh Axe Posing as Dr.of Functional Medicine?

So today I decided to spend a little time in school.  Today that meant watching a very long presentation from the annual National Association for Holistic Therapy on Essential oils.  It was fascinating and well worth my time.  When it was over,  another video popped up for my viewing pleasure.  It was how to make an anti aging serum. So naturally this interested me. It was a well branded video, very professional By Dr.Josh  Axe.

So I watched... sigh... I watched as he laid out the ingredients.  The first was Jojoba Oil.  I can not explain to you how he shredded the pronunciation of this word.  Which was the first red flag. He went on through the rest of the ingredients.  Vitamin E oil,  Pomegranate Oil,  Frankincense and Lavender Essential Oil. By the time he reached the last ingredient I had already googled his name and found his "pedigree" which you can read Here  He is a chiropractor and he has a certificate in nutrition. But he claims to be a Dr.of  Functional Medicine, However, I have not been able to find where he has studied Functional Medicine and it is not on his resume.

 I have come to understand this form of medicine over the past month as I have been doing a lot of reading and then came across a youtube channel and website by Dr. Justin at Just In Health.  The difference is,  Dr. Justin States clearly that he is a Chiropractic Dr, His list of accomplishments are quiet long.  It is very clear in watching him that he is very well versed in functional endocrinology, auto immune disease and how to find the root cause of these issues. He studied under Dr Datis Kharrazian  DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci, FAACP, DACBN, DABCN, DIBAK, CNS  who is considered one of the leading experts in non-pharmaceutical applications to chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, and complex neurological disorders. - You can Read More about him Here and Here And find Dr. Justin Marchegiani's resume Here

Dr Axe also sells DoTerra Essential Oils. It appears that he is using his popularity to pitch oils but he does it undercover.  I have discovered lately this is the newest MO of both Young Living Oils and the DoTerra Brands. Recently many of the oil reps for these two companies go to great lengths to hide the branding. As Dr Axe does on his pages. I have come across videos about upcoming seminars on essential oils and holistic living.  But I know the players now, so when I see who is giving what talk I can tell who the real company is.

You can see Dr. Axe's resume here.  While it is a bit more flashy, and he did come up as one of Nashville's ten most sexiest men, that really does not help those suffering from serious medical conditions. So I have to wonder what this guy knows when he is basically doing a DIY video straight off the Mommy Blogs and Pinterest. He does not give the amounts of each ingredient to use in his anti aging serum, and refers people to his blog sight,  From there, anyone requesting information on where to obtain the essential oils or what brand he is using, he request them to email him or his "oil team."  But in each of his videos he is clearly using the DoTerra brand.

So I poke around some more,  The next video was on the use of peppermint oil.  Peppermint oil is the one oil that even in the products I make, I have to use with caution.  It is easily overused and comes with a host of safety precautions.  Which include: Not to be used on children under 30 months old, neat, or orally for the most part.  You can read precautions in their entirety here. Just scroll to Peppermint Oil.

In short, I kinda flipped a lid.  As I have said many times before in other blogs and videos.  Essential Oils must be used with the same caution that you would use with any medication.  And here we have a chiropractor / nutritionist posing as a Physician, What people would consider equal to their family practitioner and recommending the use of oils to people that do not know better, They don't know because they are taking the "Dr" for granted, they are in the midst of a serious health concern and looking for relief from what ever ails them.

He is recommending the use of Peppermint orally and neat and never once saying that this could interact with medications, age restrictions, the issues of peppermint oil being a dermal irritant, the possibility of esophageal burns, or those with gallbladder and liver issues should not use it.  Nope Nothing!  100% irresponsible with no consideration of those who are NOT like me and research everything to death, These people just run out and start using it with out even knowing the very basics of essential oil safety.  It just made my blood boil. And this is the reason that the FDA has come down so hard on both DT and Young Living oils sending out warning letters to cease these kinds of claims and promoting these products to heal Aids, Cancer, MRSA even Ebola. (True Story)

In another video Dr. Axe recommends the use of frankincense to re-balance hormones and to heal a thyroid gone awry..  Really?  He does not say to have your thyroid and hormones checked.  This is a very serious health issue and he just says to slap on some essential oils.  Seriously!  This is how people get really sick and this is simply just irresponsible.

Over all I found that in most of his videos he is promoting oils, diets and supplements without ever telling the viewer that what is critical is to see your Dr and to have lab work done.  How in the heck are you going to treat a thyroid or hormone problem if you don't know where you are deficient?  Here is his 6 minute video on Thyroid and Hashimoto's

Here is a Video from Dr. Justin on the same subject,

I know that there are many wonderful uses for essential oils and I am sure they can aid in re-balancing a lot of things in the body. Cure ailments, ease pain and inflammation.  But you first have to know WHAT to treat. You have to start at the beginning of your health issue and uncover the real source of what is ailing you.

I get private messages almost daily about essential oils. Sometimes it is something simple. What kind where to buy them, what to look for.  Other times I have to tell them do see their Dr and do lots of research and provide them links to national and global organizations that will teach them how and when to use an essential oil.

It is up to each one of us to take our health in our own hands and not just accept another prescription to stop a symptom and never address the root cause of that problem.  After watching Dr Justins video (above) again, I realized that I can never have gluten ... not once a week or even special occasions. NEVER...

So Dr. Axe?  I just see a big fake that got lucky with making all the right moves and had a great marketing plan. Kinda like Thomas Kinkaid.  He was a mediocre artist at best but he was a brilliant marketer and his art, for a time was, in one form or another, in every home in America.  I know I sold it.

Josh Axe really does not have any substance. He too is mediocre. He fails to show research even when he quotes it from a document and leaves some important stuff out.  He takes tiny bits of information and skews it knowing that most people will not check the sources.  He can't teach me anything about autoimmune disease or leaky gut or because he doesn't know and that is clear when you compare the two videos above.  He is simply regurgitating the mommy blogs, others work and succeeding because he has a better marketing strategy than those with better education and over all knowledge. Sadly people will waste precious time, money and energy on him and his nonsense.

The 'DR' in front of his name is meaningless. Not because he is a Chiropractor.  But because he has not respected that term and understood how the word "doctor" impacts people lives,  They trust that when a person says he or she is a Dr. that they have your best interest at heart, and that they "Will do no harm." The Dr in front of his name is fraud  because he leads people to believe that he is a "Physician". without knowledge and experience and he is playing with the lives and well being of others for the sake of self interest.

I hope you will always give deep thought to what is best for you in your journey to good health, and dig just a little deeper.

Wishing you Good Health

Stay Beautiful!