Friday, November 28, 2008
Zum Bar Soap Metallic Gift Bag
Assorted Scents Zum Gift Bag, Zum / Indigo Wild
PeaceKeeper Visionary Natural Cosmetics Gift Box
Crazylibellule and the Poppies - Les Divines Alcoves - Trio Gift
Crazylibellule and the Poppies - Les Divines Alcoves - Trio Gift
Crazylibellule and the Poppies - Shanghaijava - Trio Gift Set #3
Crazylibellule and the Poppies - Shanghaijava - Trio Gift Set #4
Ineke - Deluxe Eau de Parfum Sample Collection -
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When I signed up on Kaboodle it was on a whim but I was on Etsy on which I have a shop and one of the members mentioned Kaboodle as a way to promote your Etsy shop. So I got on Kaboodle and started adding lists of my favorite products, wish list products and the items I have on my etsy shop. The more I added products and made lists, the more hooked I became. I guess I find it appealing because it is sort of an escape. And since I can't afford to really shop right now, this acts as a window shopping outlet. And it also kind of acts as a database of all the things I want, love, and am interested in.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
How safe are your cosmetics and beauty care products? Do you know? Have you ever given it a thought? I do now but that was not always the case. I used to buy lots of cosmetics, bath and body, products, hair care products and never really thought about whether or not they were safe. Although I did look at the ingredients, I never really paid that much attention to the chemicals. I would only scan for the new, hot, buzz word ingredients.
These buzz word ingredients often ranged from vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and anti-oxidants to plant extracts, herbal extracts, and fruit extracts,tea and many more. And every year there was a new ingredient that popped up in many different products. The new hot ingredient was was often borrowed from the health and nutrition world. For example, if a fruit, tea, herb,vitamin,mineral, etc, was getting praised for it's health benefits, it would end up in the beauty world. Here is a list of some ingredients (from health care world) that have been popular in beauty care over the years:
Panthenol (Vitamin B-5)
Red Tea (Rooibos)
This list could go on and on but I will stop it here.
If I saw a few of these popular ingredients in a product, I would basically disregard all of the other chemical stuff and buy the product. Besides, I figured that cosmetics companies would not really add unsafe ingredients to their products. Plus, the chemists who develop the products usually say that the chemicals are added in such low concentrations that the chance of them causing harm is minimal to none. So I continued to buy many products without thinking about chemical ingredients.
Then I started to pay more attention. I wanted to know more about what I was putting on my face and body-especially since I was starting to eat healthier. As I changed my diet from fast food, soda and candy to homemade dishes and fruit and veggies-I began to carefully read nutrition labels and ingredients of everything I ate. This then prompted me to examine the labels and ingredients of my beauty products. And this time instead of scanning for buzz word ingredients I scanned for chemicals. I began to research some of the chemicals and found out that they were mostly used to enhance the feel and look of the products. For instance, propylene glycol is a chemical often used in moisturizers as a lubricant. However propylene glycol is also used in anti-freeze and a variety of other products. And then there are other chemicals like parabens that are used as preservatives. Parabens have recently been the subject of much controversy because many believe that they can cause cancer.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, many chemists and some beauty experts have told us that most of these chemicals are harmless since they are used in such small concentrations. However, have they considered that many women use up to and over 16 beauty care products a day. Therefore, a woman could be applying hundreds of chemicals to her hair, body, face, nails, etc, every day. This equals to thousands of chemicals over a woman's lifetime. So do these chemicals have a cumulative affect? What if, in one day, a person uses a shampoo, conditioner, hair product, facial cleanser, facial moisturizer, toner, body moisturizer, body spray, sunscreen, foundation, face powder, mascara, lipstick, and lip gloss that all have parabens or other chemicals? Does this layering increase the possible negative affects of a chemical? How much of these chemicals are actually absorbed into the body? I don't know and I do not have any scientific proof, but my senses (now) tells me that layering on chemical laden products (no matter the concentration) can not be good for your body-inside and out. And the fact that there is even controversy about whether or not these chemicals are harmful makes me not want to use products that contain them.
Now I just try to make sure that all of products I use in my hair, on my face and body are natural or organic and free of chemical. And whenever I am tempted to try a new product I look up the product and its company on the Safe Cosmetics Database. This database has information on most cosmetic companies, their products and how safe or dangerous these product may be. It has been a great help to me as I look for more natural cosmetics and body products.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Menstrual pain, or dysmenorrhea, are sharp pains that occur in a women's lower abdomen when her menstrual period starts. These pains can range from mild to very severe and can last for up to three days.
Prostaglandins, which are hormone-like chemicals made in our bodies from fatty acids, are one of the causes for menstrual cramps-they cause uterine muscles to contract. Therefore, women who have higher levels of prostaglandins may have more contractions which usually means more pains. As a matter of fact, artificial prostaglandins are used to induce labor. How's that for pain!
Now, since we know what menstrual cramps are (as if most women did not already know), and how they are caused, lets find out how to make them less painful. Here are some tips that could make that time of the month easier.
Try taking over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). These pain medicines help prohibit prostaglandins which means less contractions and less pain. They work best when taken just before on at the start of a period. Also, NSAIDs can help lighten up blood flow. However, NSAIDs can be harsh on the stomach and kidneys (especially if you have history of kidney problems) so you can also so try some natural medicines such as Menstrual Magic softgels, which is an herbal supplement made with a blend of essential oils.
I tried Menstrual Magic (it did help) because I wanted to use more natural approaches to help ease pain. Plus, I popped so many Advil, Motrin, and Aleve in my twenties that I am sure my body might have needed a break from them.
Along with Menstrual Magic, there are plenty of other herbal natural supplements on the market that are for pain relief. I find many of these products at mothernature.com.
I must also mention birth control pills which may level out hormone levels and regulate periods, and relieve some pain in women. I, however, did not experience less pain when on the pill. As a matter of fact I felt worse, I was an emotional wreck, gained weight, and I broke out badly. I guess I maybe needed a different dosage, but after such a bad experience, I did not want to try again.
Placing heating pads or hot water bottles on you abdomen may help improve blood flow, relax muscles, and ease pain. I use pepper patches or pain patches instead. These patches use hot pepper extract (capsaicin) to release pain relieving heat to achy muscles and I have found that these help ease cramps and back pain. Some patches are sold as one large sheet (I cut these into smaller pieces) and other are pre-cut and are about the size of a larger bandage. I apply them to my abdomen a day or two before I expect my period to start.
Some pepper patches, such as Salonpas, can be found in local drugstores (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid) while others mostly in Asian marketplaces (Chinatown for example). They are also available at amazon.com and asiachi.com.
Exercise that gets your heart pumping may help relieve cramps. The best relief comes from strenuous exercises such as aerobics, brisk walking,walking,etc. When you do these types of exercises endorphins are released and they help counteract prostaglandins. Plus exercise helps to relieve stress and tension in muscles. I have also found that strengthening my abdominals have lessened my menstrual pain.
Drinking herbal tea such as peppermint,chamomile,lavender, raspberry leaf, chaste berry, helps to relax muscles and soothe tension. Chamomile contains a compound called glycine which helps relieve muscle spasms and lavender, peppermint have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Get Vitamin and Minerals
Some vitamin/mineral supplements such as calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium,and iron have been shown to help reduce menstrual pain. It is best to get these vitamins and minerals from food sources-especially dark leafy green such as spinach and kale. However, there are some decent supplements that come in pill form such as the vitamins from Super Nutrition. Their products are vegetarian, food-based, and include organic herbs.
Eating a low-fat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help ease pain. High fat diets ususally contain a lot of saturated trans- fats (butter,animal fats) which may metabolize into pro-inflammatory prostaglandins while good fats( oil oil,flaxseed oil, omega-3) metabolize into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins which may result in less pain.
Go See Your Doctor
I you suffer severe menstrual pain you should see a physician. Your pain may be a result of other problems such as: fibroids, cysts,endometriosis, infections,abnormal pregnancies, and IUDs.
The Women's Blend - 180 - Tablet
Price: $25.97List Price: $39.95
Menstrual Magic Advanced Formula (15 gcap)
Salonpas-Hot Capsicum Patch 5.12in X 7.09in - box of 50
Yogi Tea Healing Formula, Woman's Moon Cycle, Tea Bags, 16-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)
Price: $17.29List Price: $24.20
Yogi Tea Organic Chamomile, Tea Bags, 16-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)
Price: $14.59List Price: $20.42
Yogi Tea Organic Peppermint Herbal Tea, Tea Bags, 16-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)
Price: $14.59List Price: $20.42
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Influenza, better know as the flu, is that nasty, contagious virus that we all dread getting. And it seems that no matter how hard some try, they end up with the flu every year. Now, since there is no cure for the flu, we can only try ease the common symptoms (fever, chills, achy muscles, coughing, sore throat). And while there are many over-the-counter cold and flu medicines , there are also many natural and homeopathic remedies that may help flu symptoms. And I have personally used some of these natural remedies aid in easing my cold and flu symptoms. Here is a list of the items that have help me.
Drinking warm liquids such as decaffeinated tea , lemon and honey with warm water, and ginger tea (couple ginger slices steeped in hot water) are very soothing to the throat and can help ease coughing, and break up mucus. And there is also Chicken Noodle soup which has been shown in some scientific studies to possibly help ease cold and flu symptoms. Adding hot pepper, curry, and other spices and help with congestion also.
Eucalyptus essential oil can help to make breathing easier and ease congestion. I usually add a couple drops to a sink full of hot water and breathe in the steam. There are also some rubs containing eucalyptus that can be massaged on the chest.
Garlic is an immunity booster, eases congestion and has some antimicrobial properties. I add garlic to many foods but there are garlic pills if you would rather not taste or smell garlic.
All of these products and natural items have made my cold and flu seasons a lot easier and shorter.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I have been flipping through fashion/beauty magazines for most of my adult life and do consider myself a beauty junkie. I am sure that I have spent a small fortune on skincare, bath and body products and cosmetics. I would get my magazines in the mail and pore over the beauty ads and editor's beauty picks. I would fantasize about being an editor and getting to be the first to try all those products for free. I would also take note of the products I wanted to try and then head off to the store, or internet. Usually the products I wanted involved skincare because I had quite a battle acne, so I was constantly trying to solve this problem. And there was product after product claiming to heal my acne and the scars. After being disappointed by skincare so much, I directed my beauty attention to cosmetics-especially mascara. Whenever I saw an ad for a new mascara, I had to try it. I guess mascara offered instant gratification for me because It always worked. Did it work like I wanted it to? Usually not. Did it make my eyelashes longer, stronger, bolder? A little bit. Did my eyelashes look anything like the model's eyelashes in the mascara ad? Heaven's no!! Did I ever expect my eyelashes to look like the model's eyelashes in the ad. Yes! at one point I really did. This was at a time when beauty ads were a tittle bit more believable, but now beauty ads (especially mascara) are a bit ridiculous. The mascara usually makes some type of claim like lifts up to 60% or magnifies lashes up to four times. And the models in the ads have the most unbelievably long lashes. And these long lashes are usually false. Not only are they false lashes but the lashes are also often digitally enhanced. Plus, makeup artists spend hours preparing eyelashes for ad and commercials while the average woman can only spare a few minutes for her lashes.
So can the use of false eyelashes and digital enhancement in mascara ads be considered false advertisement? In theory probably yes, but in reality probably not. I am not expert but I think that most beauty companies know all the lingo and loopholes to protect themselves from false advertising claims. This is why they usually never make promises "to you" -they only make claims. For instance, instead of saying this mascara will make your lashes really long, they will say this mascara is "designed" to make lashes really long. The claims are just vague enough to keep them out of trouble and to keep us wanting more. Plus they never tell consumers that their product will make them look like the model in the ad. The model is there to feed our beauty fantasies and imaginations (and to sell loads of mascara). However, a couple of companies have come under fire from some advertising watchdog groups for mascara claims. L'oreal got in trouble about a year ago in London, and so did Rimmel. But this was a year ago, and mascara ads have not changed at all because of it-and they probably will not. Mascara and beauty ads will only change if consumers don't buy. And as long as consumers want and need to feel and look beautiful, they will buy- regardless of false eyelashes, retouching, and digital enhancement. I know I will, Plus there is just that urge to see how well a product will really work. Though, now I am looking for more natural and eco friendly brands.