What’s the Deal with Flouride?


By Dr. Mercola

If fluoride is really the panacea for dental disease that it’s been portrayed as, then why is it that the United States is one of the only developed countries that fluoridates their citizens’ drinking water?

Hint: It’s not because the other countries aren’t aware of fluoride’s supposed “miracle” powers for your teeth … it’s because they fully realize that adding a known poison to your population’s water supply is probably not a good idea.

Even in North America, water fluoridation has come under increasing scrutiny; since 2010, more than 75 US and Canadian communities have voted to end water fluoridation, and the issue is heating up as more and more people begin to demand water that does not expose them to this highly toxic industrial waste product.

If you’re new to this issue, and even if you’re not, please take 20 minutes to watch Michael Connett, an attorney with the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), summarize 10 important facts about fluoride that everyone needs to know.

10 Facts About Fluoride

1. Most Developed Countries Do Not Fluoridate Their Water

More people drink fluoridated water in the US alone than in the rest of the world combined. In Western Europe, for instance, 97 percent of the population drinks non-fluoridated water.

2. Fluoridated Countries Do Not Have Less Tooth Decay Than Non-Fluoridated Countries

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not. The decline in tooth decay the US has experienced over the last 60 years, which is often attributed to fluoridated water, has likewise occurred in all developed countries (most of which do not fluoridate their water).

3. Fluoride Affects Many Tissues in Your Body Besides Your Teeth

Many assume that consuming fluoride is only an issue that involves your dental health. But according to a 500-page scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels.2

There have been over 34 human studies and 100 animal studies linking fluoride to brain damage,3 including lower IQ in children, and studies have shown that fluoride toxicity can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including:

4. Fluoridation is Not a “Natural” Process

Fluoride is naturally occurring in some areas, leading to high levels in certain water supplies “naturally.” Fluoridation advocates often use this to support its safety, however naturally occurring substances are not automatically safe (think of arsenic, for instance).

Further, the fluoride added to most water supplies is not the naturally occurring variety but rather fluorosilicic acid, which is captured in air pollution control devices of the phosphate fertilizer industry. As FAN reported:

“This captured fluoride acid is the most contaminated chemical added to public water supplies, and may impose additional risks to those presented by natural fluorides. These risks include a possible cancer hazard from the acid’s elevated arsenic content, and a possible neurotoxic hazard from the acid’s ability–under some conditions–to increase the erosion of lead from old pipes.”

5. 40% of American Teenagers Show Visible Signs of Fluoride Overexposure

About 40 percent of American teens have dental fluorosis,4 a condition that refers to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel that are caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during the time teeth are forming. In some areas, fluorosis rates are as high as 70-80 percent, with some children suffering from advanced forms.

It’s likely this is a sign that children are receiving large amounts of fluoride from multiple sources, including not only drinking water but also fluoride toothpaste, processed beverages/foods, fluoride pesticides, tea, non-stick pans and some fluorinated drugs. So not only do we need to address the issue of water fluoridation, but how this exposure is magnified by other sources of fluoride that are now common.

It’s also important to realize that dental fluorosis is NOT “just cosmetic.” It can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, have been overexposed to fluoride as well. In other words, if fluoride is having a visually detrimental effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it’s also damaging other parts of your body, such as your bones.

6. For Infants, Fluoridated Water Provides No Benefits, Only Risks

Infants who consume formula made with fluoridated tap water may consume up to 1,200 micrograms of fluoride, or about 100 times more than the recommended amounts. Such “spikes” of fluoride exposure during infancy provide no known advantage to teeth, but they do have plenty of known harmful effects.

Babies given fluoridated water in their formula are not only more likely to develop dental fluorosis, but may also have reduced IQ scores. In fact, a Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas.5 A number of prominent dental researchers now advise that parents should not add fluoridated water to baby formula.

7. Fluoride Supplements Have Never Been Approved by the FDA

The fluoride supplements sometimes prescribed to those who are not drinking fluoridated water have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of tooth decay. In fact, the fluoride supplements that the FDA has reviewed have been rejected.

“So with fluoridation, we are adding to the water a prescription-strength dose of a drug that has never been approved by the FDA,” FAN noted.

8. Fluoride is the Only Medicine Added to Public Water

Fluoride is added to drinking water to prevent a disease (tooth decay), and as such becomes a medicine by FDA definition. While proponents claim this is no different than adding vitamin D to milk, fluoride is not an essential nutrient. Many European nations have rejected fluoride for the very reason that delivering medication via the water supply would be inappropriate. Water fluoridation is a form of mass medication that denies you the right to informed consent.

9. Swallowing Fluoride Provides Little Benefit to Teeth

It is now widely recognized that fluoride’s only justifiable benefit comes from topical contact with teeth, which even the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged. Adding it to water and pills, which are swallowed, offers little, if any, benefit to your teeth.

10. Disadvantaged Communities are the Most Disadvantaged by Fluoride

Fluoride toxicity is exacerbated by conditions that occur much more frequently in low-income areas. This includes:

Nutrient deficiencies
Infant formula consumption
Kidney disease
African American and Mexican American children have significantly higher rates of dental fluorosis, and many low-income urban communities also have severe oral health crises, despite decades of water fluoridation. FAN continues:

“The simple fact is that poor populations need dental care, not fluoridation chemicals in their water. The millions of dollars spent each year promoting fluoridation would be better spent advocating for policies that provide real dental care: like allowing dental therapists to provide affordable care to populations with little access to dentists. In short, fluoridation provides good PR for dental trade associations, but bad medicine for those it’s supposedly meant to serve.”

Pro-Fluoride Group Rewards Minority and Immigrant Groups With Cash Payments for Support

Portland, Oregon, gets its water from the Bull Run watershed, a 102-square mile protected watershed that is so pristine and pure the city was even granted a waiver from having to build a water treatment plant. In May, Portland residents will vote for or against adding risky fluoridation chemicals to their unusually pristine water supply.

Not only will adding fluoride add to environmental chemical pollution and increase residents’ risks of dental fluorosis and other health concerns, it will also raise monthly water bills since adding these industrial waste chemicals costs millions of dollars.

As the vote on May 21, 2013 nears, the pro-fluoride campaign, Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland, has been increasing its “outreach” to gain the votes of minority groups. Not only did the organization recently gain another $325,000 in new contributions, giving them a large monetary lead over the fluoride opponents, Clean Water Portland, but they also reported some eyebrow-raising expenditures to groups working with minorities and immigrants. Among them:

$20,000 to the Center For Intercultural Organizing
$20,000 to the Native American Youth and Family Center
$20,000 to the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
$20,000 to the Latino Network
$20,000 to the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization
$19,100 to the Urban League
That’s nearly $100,000 “donated” to essentially buy votes from the low-income communities that are among those at risk of being most harmed by water fluoridation. As WW reported:6

” … Healthy Kids has aggressively sought the support of such organizations. That’s not unusual. What is somewhat uncommon is rewarding that support with cash payments, which the campaign characterized in its filings as ‘grant[s] for outreach services.’ Campaigns typically spend their money on advertising, consultants, polling, rent and other direct expenses, not making grants to other groups. Evyn Mitchell, the campaign manager for Healthy Kids, says the grants to minority and immigrant groups are ‘a new and different approach.'”

Mental Health Monday ~ Why the Nature vs Medication Antidepressant Meme has me up in arms

Antidepressant meme
This is an anti Antidepressant Meme that been doing the rounds for the last while and was shared by a Facebook friend last week. This image has all the hallmarks of an ignoramus who doesn’t understand real mental illness and the need for some to use medication.
Antidepressant meme
There is a HUGE difference between needing medication to treat mental illness and the blues. The top one does NOTHING for someone who has a real mental illness. I find this image insulting and totally lacking in any knowledge and understanding of what mental illness really is.
Antidepressant meme
I personally find these posts ignorant and insulting to those who need medication to survive. I am trying to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness and these post don’t help those who really need help.

Saying pharmaceutical companies are lying to us and that the medication doesn’t work and telling people that they shouldn’t be taking medication that could possibly save their lives, is like signing their death certificates.

How many times have you heard of people who stop taking their medication and going off the rails? Have you ever wondered why they stopped taking their medication? Do you question why these people aren’t monitored when they are prescribed medication? Are you adding to the stigma of antidepressants or mental illness medication by posting ignorant memes or information?
Antidepressant meme
Would you tell a diabetic not to take insulin because some fat cat on the top of the pharmaceutical food chain is lining his pockets? No? Why is that any different than telling someone who needs Antidepressants to function, to talk a walk in a forest to get over their depression/mental health issues?

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction ~ Newton’s Third Law

I often wonder if people ever wonder if there are consequences to their knee jerk reaction to hit “share”? What if someone you love, who is battling a serious mental illness, sees this and comes to the conclusion that they cannot speak to you, or anyone, about their struggles and doesn’t seek help? What if that person wanted to see someone to help them, and possibly medicate them, and decided not to seek that help because of the perceived stigma? What if that person ends up taking their own lives because they feel they have nowhere to turn?

I sincerely hope that you will think twice before you post insensitive memes that could be detrimental to someones well being. You never know who will take something negative away from something you share.

I understand that there are misdiagnosis and that medications are incorrectly prescribed. Lets remember that Doctors are only human and will make mistakes from time to time.

If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.

Common Beauty Product Ingredient Series ~ Roundup

Click on the image to view the post

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

common beauty product ingredients
Alpha Hydroxy Acids:
Salicylic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid

common beauty product ingredients
Sunscreen Agents
Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Oxybenzone, Benzophenone
Titanium Dioxide

common beauty product ingredients
Bleaching Agents:
Kojic Acid
Alpha-hydroxyl Acids (AHA)
Sodium Louryl Sulfate
Soothing Agents:
Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate
Castor Oil
Jojoba Oil
Avocado Oil

common beauty product ingredients
Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE
Candellila Wax
Carnauba Wax
Lanolin Derivatives

Mental Health Monday ~ Attention Deficit Disorder

attention deficit disorder

What is Attention Deficit Disorder?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders. ADHD is a broad term, and the condition can vary from person to person. There are an estimated 6.4 million diagnosed children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The condition is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD), though this is considered an outdated term. The American Psychiatric Association released the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) in May 2013. The DSM-5 changed the criteria necessary to diagnose someone with ADHD.


You can read more about ADHD HERE

If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.

Common Beauty Product Ingredients ~ Part 5

common beauty product ingredients


Common Beauty Product Ingredients

Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE:

The glyceryl monoesters occur primarily as white to yellow oils or oily waxes.
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Glyceryl monoesters are primarily used in the formulation of creams and lotions, moisturizers, and other skin care products, but glyceryl monoesters can also be found in permanent waves, deodorants, bath soaps, eye makeup and foundations.


Waxes are complex mixtures of alcohols, fatty acids and esters. They are harder, less greasy and more brittle than fats, and are very resistant to moisture, oxidation and microbial degradation. Waxes very useful cosmetic ingredients based on their various advantageous properties. Generally, waxes have protecting, film-forming, emollient and thickening effects. They provide stability of cosmetic products and enhance their viscosity and consistency.


Beeswax is a byproduct of honey production. It makes wonderful lip balms, hand lotions, hand creams, moisturizers, in cosmetics, wood finishes, waxes, leather polishes; waterproofing products, and dental molds.
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
It is impervious to water and unaffected by mildew. It has a melting point of 143 to 148 degrees F. and should only be heated using a double boiler as it is flammable when subjected to fire and flames. It is pliable at 100 degrees F.
Beeswax is produced by the (female) worker honeybees. The wax is secreted from wax glands on the underside of the bee’s abdomen and is molded into six-sided cells which are filled with honey, then capped with more wax. When honey is harvested, the top layer of wax that covers the cells, the cappings, must be removed from each hexagon-shaped cell.

Beeswax in Skincare:
Beeswax in bath and body products is quickly taking the spotlight over similar skin protectants like petroleum jelly. Beeswax when introduced to bath and body products can thicken the consistency. For the skin, beeswax will actually lock moisture in, yet will still allow the skin to breathe. This barrier that beeswax leaves is long lasting too. Not only does this amazing wax keep us moisturized, it also will keep skin protected from the harsh environments. Beeswax also works as a skin softener, and nourishes our skin too.

Beeswax in Cosmetics:
Beeswax is a common ingredient for many of the cosmetics women use everyday like lip balms, lip sticks, lip gloss, eye shadow, eye liner, and even blush. In fact, using beeswax for lip care products will actually help with the healing of cracked, or dry lips, as well as the prevention of getting chapped lips especially during the colder months of the year.

Candellila Wax:

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Used to replace other waxes, to add texture, or to help make barrier products, such as lip balms. Our wax is extracted from the candelilla shrub (Euphorbia cerifera) that is found in abundance in and around Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert. Mass production of the wax started in Mexico in the 20th century and demand increased during the first world war as it was used for waterproofing tents and equipment.

Carnauba Wax:

Carnauba Wax is a wax from the leaves of the palm Copernicia Prunifera, a plant found in northeastern Brazil. It is hypoallergenic, very emollient and has a high melting point — perfect for thickening skin care products (Wiki).
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
When used in cosmetics, Carnauba Wax gives the product a smooth application and glossy finish. It also helps to keep the product in pliable, yet solid, form (Truth in Aging).

Products found in:
Lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, foundation, deodorant, skin care, body moisturizers, hair products, sun care, hair removal products.

Alternative Names:
Brazil Wax; Carnauba; Carnauba Wax; Copernicia Cerefera Wax; Copernicia Cerifera Wax; Waxes, Carnauba; Waxes, Copernica Cerifera; Carnauba Waxes; Copernica Cerifera Waxes; Coperniia Cerifera Wax.

Sodium Hyaluronate is generally classified as non-toxic or harmful by The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.


Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Naturally occurring clay mineral (silicate of aluminum) used in cosmetics for its absorbent properties. Kaolin’s absorbent properties make it a popular ingredient in clay masks for oily skin. Used too often in high amounts, it can be drying, but is otherwise a benign ingredient.


Water is used in the formulation of virtually every type of cosmetic and personal care product. It can be found in lotions, creams, bath products, cleansing products, deodorants, makeup, moisturizers, oral hygiene products, personal cleanliness products, skin care products, shampoo, hair conditioners, shaving products, and suntan products.
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Water is primarily used as a solvent in cosmetics and personal care products in which it dissolves many of the ingredients that impart skin benefits, such as conditioning agents and cleansing agents. Water also forms emulsions in which the oil and water components of the product are combined to form creams and lotions. These are sometimes referred to as oil-in-water emulsions or as water-in-oil depending on the ratios of the oil phase and water phase.


Does Caffeine Absorb Through the Skin?
Yes, caffeine does absorb through the skin. In fact, there was a product a few years ago called SpotOn that was essentially a caffeine patch similar to a nicotine patch.
Therefore, it is possible to get a dose of caffeine through the skin, which could add to a person’s total daily caffeine consumption.

The Caffeine Content Mystery
The cosmetic industry is surprisingly unregulated. Only two of the above products include how much caffeine actually is in their product and even then it is a bit ambiguous. We would guess that, in most cases, there is just a small amount of caffeine in most of the other cosmetics listed, but in some of the products coffee beans are one of the primary ingredients.

Does Caffeine in Skin Products Really Have a Purpose?
Cosmetic companies add caffeine to products based on a couple of studies that point to some potential health benefits of caffeine. However, this industry is notorious for making grand promises, but full of disclaimers such as “reduces the appearance” and “results not typical” etc.

* The University of Washington in Seattle recently conducted a study in which they exposed healthy skin cells and UV damaged skin cells to caffeine. The caffeine caused the damaged cells to die while not hurting the healthy cells. This study was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. This study didn’t allude to the fact that topically applied caffeine would work any better than ingested caffeine though.
* The second reason for adding caffeine is actually from a number of studies over the years that point to caffeine’s anti-inflammatory properties. So, the theory is that if caffeine is placed under the eye, then it can help reduce puffiness and dark circle as they are caused by inflammation and poor circulation.

What About Caffeine as a Sunscreen?
Caffeine has a sunscreen effect.

Hard to believe – but apparently caffeine will absorb UVB rays when applied to the skin.

Lanolin Derivatives:

What Is It?
Lanolin is an ointment-like material isolated from wool that is sheared from sheep. Lanolin can be separated into Lanolin Oil, a liquid phase, and Lanolin Wax a solid phase. Heating Lanolin with water (hydrolysis) produces a mixture of organic acids (Lanolin Acid) and a mixture of organic alcohols (Lanolin Alcohol). Acetylated Lanolin, Hydrogenated Lanolin, and Hydroxylated Lanolin result when acetate, hydrogen and hydroxyl groups are added to Lanolin, respectively. Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol results when acetate is added to Lanolin Alcohol. Lanolin and its related ingredients are widely used in the formulation of cosmetics and personal care products. These ingredients can be found in baby products, skin care, shaving, manicuring, hair care, suntan and sunscreen products, as well as eye, lip and facial makeup.
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Lanolin and its related ingredients moisturize the skin, hair and nails. These ingredients act as a lubricants on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft, smooth appearance. Lanolin helps to form emulsions and blends well with nearly all other substances used in cosmetics and personal care products. Lanolin also possesses adhesive characteristics.

Cosmetics Info – Glyceryl Cocoate
Making Cosmetics – Natural Waxes
Rachels Supply – Beeswax Products and Recipes
Nature’s Garden – Beeswax Class
Lush – Candelilla Wax
True Natural – Carnauba Wax
Paula’s Choice – Kaolin
Cosmetics Info – Water
Caffeine Informer – Caffeine and Skin Care Products
Cosmetics Info – Lanolin Alcohol

Mental Health Monday ~ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Attention Dificit Hyperactivity Disorder, usually referred to as ADHD, has received quite a bit of attention in the media of late. I was told that Noo, at the age of about 5 or 6, most probably “suffered” from ADHD and that the school system would insist that he be put onto medication before he started Grade 1. This “diagnosis” was given by his, then, nursery school teacher and I was mortified that, instead of finding an alternative to his disruptive behaviour in class (he was finishing his classwork before his peers and would get bored and cause chaos), she practically insisted I speak to our doctor have him prescribe medication. Our story isn’t unique, I’ve heard of conversations with teachers about this from others and as a result, have done extensive research on the subject.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including situations in which it is not appropriate when it is not appropriate, excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity.
Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have high potential for harm; or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.


What are the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Symptoms of inattention in children:
Doesn’t pay attention to details
Makes careless mistakes
Has trouble staying focused; is easily distracted
Appears not to listen when spoken to
Has difficulty remembering things and following instructions
Has trouble staying organized, planning ahead, and finishing projects
Gets bored with a task before it’s completed
Frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys, or other items

Symptoms of hyperactivity in children:
Constantly fidgets and squirms
Often leaves his or her seat in situations where sitting quietly is expected
Moves around constantly, often runs or climbs inappropriately
Talks excessively
Has difficulty playing quietly or relaxing
Is always “on the go,” as if driven by a motor
May have a quick temper or a “short fuse”

Symptoms of impulsivity in children:
Acts without thinking
Blurts out answers in class without waiting to be called on or hear the whole question
Can’t wait for his or her turn in line or in games
Says the wrong thing at the wrong time
Often interrupts others
Intrudes on other people’s conversations or games
Inability to keep powerful emotions in check, resulting in angry outbursts or temper tantrums
Guesses, rather than taking time to solve a problem


How is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosed?

In general, a child shouldn’t receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder unless the core symptoms of ADHD start early in life — before age 12 — and create significant problems at home and at school on an ongoing basis.

There’s no specific test for ADHD, but making a diagnosis will likely include:
Medical exam, to help rule out other possible causes of symptoms
Information gathering, such as any current medical issues, personal and family medical history, and school records
Interviews or questionnaires for family members, your child’s teachers or other people who know your child well, such as baby sitters and coaches
ADHD criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association
ADHD rating scales to help collect and evaluate information about your child

Diagnosing ADHD in young children

Although signs of ADHD can sometimes appear in preschoolers or even younger children, diagnosing the disorder in very young children is difficult. That’s because developmental problems such as language delays can be mistaken for ADHD.

So children preschool age or younger suspected of having ADHD are more likely to need evaluation by a specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, speech pathologist, or ons/adhd/diagnosis-treatment/diagnosis/dxc-20196188>Source

How is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder treated?

Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has two important components — psychotherapy interventions (for both the child and the parents; or the adult with ADHD) and medications. There is a significant amount of research demonstrating that medication alone won’t help address all of a patient’s attention and hyperactivity issues. So while medication may help with some immediate relief from some of the symptoms, the person with attention deficit disorder still often needs to learn the skills needed to be successful while living with the disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
This treatment article is divided into two major sections — medication treatments for ADHD are covered in the rest of this article, while psychotherapy and other treatments for ADHD are covered in the next section.

In the past, ADHD treatment has typically focused on medications. The specific class of medication most commonly prescribed for ADHD is stimulants. These stimulant medications — like Ritalin (methylphenidate) or Adderall (an amphetamine) — are commonly prescribed, well-tolerated, act quickly (usually soon after a person takes them), and in most people, have few side effects. These medications also have a robust research base supporting their effectiveness in treatment of attention deficit disorder.

Stimulant drugs are often beneficial in curbing hyperactivity and impulsivity, and helping the individual to focus, work, and learn. Sometimes the drugs will also help with coordination problems which may hinder sports and handwriting.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Under medical supervision, these stimulant drugs are quite safe and do not make the child feel “high”, although they may feel slightly different. To date, there is not convincing evidence that children risk becoming addicted to these drugs, when used for ADHD. In fact, a study at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that substance abuse rates were lower among teenagers with ADHD who stayed on their medication than those who stopped.


6 Natural Remedies for ADHD

1. Forgo food colorings and preservatives
Alternative treatments may help manage some symptoms associated with ADHD, including:

difficulty paying attention
organizational problems
frequently interrupting
The Mayo Clinic notes that certain food colorings and preservatives may increase hyperactive behavior in some children. Avoid foods with these colorings and preservatives:

sodium benzoate, which is commonly found in carbonated beverages, salad dressings, and fruit juice products
FD&C Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow), which can be found in breadcrumbs, cereal, candy, icing, and soft drinks
D&C Yellow No. 10 (quinoline yellow), which can be found in juices, sorbets, and smoked haddock
FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine), which can be found in foods like pickles, cereal, granola bars, and yogurt
FD&C Red No. 40 (allura red), which can be found in soft drinks, children’s medications, gelatin desserts, and ice cream

2. Avoid potential allergens
Diets that restrict possible allergens may help improve behavior in some children with ADHD.

It’s best to check with an allergy doctor if you suspect that your child has allergies. But you can experiment by avoiding these foods:
chemical additives/preservatives such as BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), which are often used to keep the oil in a product from going bad and can be found in processed food items such as potato chips, chewing gum, dry cake mixes, cereal, butter, and instant mashed potatoes
milk and eggs
foods containing salicylates, including berries, chili powder, apples and cider, grapes, oranges, peaches, plums, prunes, and tomatoes (salicylates are chemicals occurring naturally in plants and are the major ingredient in many pain medications)

3. Try EEG biofeedback
Electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback is a type of neurotherapy that measures brain waves. A 2011 study suggested that EEG training was a promising treatment for ADHD.

A child may play a special video game during a typical session. They’ll be given a task to concentrate on, such as “keep the plane flying.” The plane will start to dive or the screen will go dark if they’re distracted. The game teaches the child new focusing techniques over time. Eventually, the child will begin to identify and correct their symptoms.

4. Consider a yoga or tai chi class
Some small studies indicate that yoga may be helpful for people with ADHD. Research published in 2013 reported significant improvements in hyperactivity, anxiety, and social problems in boys with ADHD who practiced yoga regularly.

Some early studies suggest that tai chi also may help improve ADHD symptoms. Researchers found that teenagers with ADHD who practiced tai chi weren’t as anxious or hyperactive. They also daydreamed less and displayed fewer inappropriate emotions when they participated in tai chi classes twice a week for five weeks.

5. Spending time outside
Spending time outside may benefit children with ADHD. There is strong evidence that spending even 20 minutes outside can benefit them by improving their concentration. Greenery and nature settings are the most beneficial.

A 2011 study, and several studies before it, supports the claim that regular exposure to outdoors and green space is a safe and natural treatment that can be used to help people with ADHD.

6. Behavioral or parental therapy
For children with more severe cases of ADHD, behavioral therapy can prove beneficial. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that behavioral therapy should be the first step in treating ADHD in young children.

Sometimes called behavioral modification, this approach works on resolving specific problematic behaviors and offers solutions to help prevent them. This can also involve setting up goals and rules for the child. Because behavioral therapy and medication are most effective when used together, it can be a powerful aid in helping your child.

Parental therapy can help provide parents with the tools they need to help their child with ADHD succeed. Equipping parents with techniques and strategies for how to work around behavioral problems can help both the parent and the child in the long term.


Conditions that resemble Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

There are many biological, physiological, emotional, and medical conditions that may cause symptoms similar to those ascribed to ADHD. Here are just a few of the issues that might be influencing ADHD-like behavior.
1. Hypoglycemia
2. Allergies
3. Learning Disabilities
4. Hyper- or Hypothyroidism
5. Hearing and Vision Issues
6. Lead Poisoning
7. Diabetes
8. Heart Disease
9. Anemia
10. Bipolar Disorder
11. Spinal Problems
12. Toxin Overload
13. Metabolic Disorders
14. Sleeping Issues
15. Infections
16. Diet
17. Taking Prescription Medications
18. Brain Disorders
19. Intestinal Imbalance
20. Lack of Exercise


If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.

Common Beauty Product Ingredients ~ Part 4

common beauty product ingredients
In this 5 part series, I’m sharing what the common beauty product ingredients are and what effect they have on our bodies.

Bleaching Agents

Skin whitening is the practice of using substances, mixtures, or physical treatments to lighten skin color. Skin whitening treatments work by reducing the content of melanin of the skin. Many agents have been shown to be effective in skin whitening; some have beneficial side effects (e.g.: are antioxidants, nutrients, or decrease the risk of some types of cancer); some are a significant risk to health (for example, those containing mercury).
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Many factors, from the sun to just plain old genetics, can be our enemies when it comes to having smooth, even skin. You might not have control over these elements, but when it comes to correcting skin coloring, you want to make sure you’re using the right ingredients.


Hydroquinone is an effective skin lightening agent. It is no longer available in some parts of the world because of the damaging affects of longterm use. The recommended concentration over the counter is 2%, but up to 4% is available from a dermatologist in some countries. It should be used daily for no more than 6 months.

Its initial effect of inhibiting pigmentation is lost with prolonged application and sun stimulation.

Exogenous ochronosis is the main risk of continued use. This results in an irregular blue-black staining affecting sun-exposed skin and nails. It is due to deep deposition of the same pigment that occurs in alkaptonuria (endogenous ochronosis). Exogenous ochronosis may also occur from phenol, quinine or resorcinol.

Ochronosis may also result in loss of elasticity of the skin and impaired wound healing.

In some subjects, excessive use of hydroquinone in combination with certain foods in the diet (fish, eggs, offal, beans) can result in an unpleasant fish odour in the body secretions such as sweat and urine (trimethylaminuria).

Hydroquinone is sometimes given another name, such as:
* 1, 4-Benzenediol
* Quinol
* Benzene-1
* 4-Diol
* p-Diphenol
* p-Dihydroxyl benzene
* Hydrochinone
* p-Hydroxylphenol
* Hydrochinonium
* Hydroquinol
* Tequinol

Monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone is a strong derivative of hydroquinone that almost always causes nearly irreversible complete depigmentation of the skin (white patches).

Kojic Acid:

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Kojic acid is a natural crystal like substance that is used is some skin whitening products. It is usually found in a cream form and mixed in at different percentages with the cream between 2 and 4%.

As far as commercial skin lightening products go it is one of the better substances to use to whiten your skin. So if you are wondering how to lighten scars or how to bleach skin on your face or other parts of your body than kojic acid may be a solution for you.

What about kojic acid skin lightener?

In light of the hydroquinone debate, manufacturers are finding safer ingredients to add into bleach for skin products. It is important to look for compounds that are made from natural sources instead of using those that are manufactured from unnatural products. Kojic acid skin lightener fits the bill of that description. Kojic acid can be found in several skin lightener products.

Where does kojic acid come from?

That is a good question. It originated in Japan and is a chelation agent that is produced by different species of fungi. In particular the Aspergillus oryzae, which is commonly called koji.

A chelating agent is a chemical compound made from organic materials that form complexes with substrates and metal ions. It can also be extracted as a byproduct of the process of fermentation when making Japanese rice wine and Sake. But in simpler terms, this type of acid is made from organic materials.

Side effects to kojic acid skin lightening cream?

As with most products, there can be some side effects that can occur with the use of kojic acid skin lightening cream. In some instances kojic skin lightening cream has been known to make a user’s complexion lighter than what they expected it to be.

Be careful in the sun when using this product as you will burn more easily. This is a general rule when using any skin whitening product.

Another side effect that users complain of is increased skin sensitivity after long term use. This can be a bit of a concern for those who are already susceptible to sensitivities. You might experience itchy skin, inflammation, or redness. One could liken the symptoms to being exposed to poison ivy.

For those that are experiencing these types of symptoms, you should consider switching to the lower concentration. If it continues to be a problem, natural skin lightening methods would be better.


A recent study in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology has revealed how common it is for mercury and other dangerous substances to be found in skin lightening products originating from countries around the world. One of the critical findings in the study was that of the skin lightening products found to contain mercury, none of them listed the toxin on the ingredient label. Therefore, even if a skin lightening product has an ingredient panel, it does not mean the manufacturer has revealed the presence of mercury.

One of the limitations of this study was that it did not include all internationally available skin lightening products. However, the findings serve as a warning that mercury and other dangerous substances are commonly found in these cosmetics and that the labels often do not reveal that information.

Many readers have posted questions here asking whether the skin lightening cream they are using contains mercury. Unfortunately, the lack of reliable information on these products has made it impossible for me to answer the questions with any certainty in most cases. Given that mercury is highly toxic, it’s better to stop using any product not verified to be mercury-free rather than risk your health. As an alternative, you can use natural means to lighten the skin, such as lemons, orange, yogurt, honey, gram flour, turmeric, and aloe vera gel.

Alpha-hydroxyl Acids (AHA):

What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA’s) are a class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in fruits, milk, and sugar cane. Although they are called acids they are not to be confused with strong industrial acids such as hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. The AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic products are glycolic acid (which is derived from sugar cane) and lactic acid (the substance that gives you muscle burn when you exercise). Other AHAs used include citric acid (from oranges, lemons, etc.), 2-hydroxyoctanoic acid, and 2-hydroxydecanoic acid. The AHA’s may be obtained from their natural sources or may be made synthetically.

Why Are They Used In Cosmetics?
Products containing AHA ingredients may be for consumer use, salon use, or medical use, depending on the concentration and pH (acidity). Since 1992 there have been products marketed as cosmetics intended to exfoliate and cleanse the skin. These products most often contain glycolic and lactic acids. They help reduce the appearance of skin wrinkling, even skin tones and soften and smoothe the skin. AHAs as used in cosmetics may function as exfoliants. They act on the surface of the skin by removing dead surface cells, thereby improving the appearance of the skin. In addition, lactic acid functions as a humectant-skin conditioning agent. AHAs also function as pH adjusters. pH Adjusters are materials added to products to make sure they are not too acid or base (low pH and high pH) and are thus mild and non-irritating. Many AHAs are naturally occurring products. For example, Glycolic Acid, a constituent of sugar cane juice, and Lactic Acid, which occurs in sour milk, molasses, apples and other fruits, tomato juice, beer, and wines, are carboxylic acid that function as pH adjusters and mild exfoliants in various types of cosmetic formulations. In addition, Lactic Acid functions as a humectant-skin conditioning agent.

Why are sunscreens added to Alpha Hydroxy Acids?
As discussed above, sometimes small amounts of a sunscreen ingredient may be included in an AHA product to protect against any increased sensitivity to sunlight that might occur during use.

Does the use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids increase the incidence of skin cancer?
Studies have not found that AHA-containing products contribute to an increase in the incidence of skin cancer. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted a study to determine if simulated sunlight increased cancer in mice whose skin was treated with Glycolic Acid. No increase in tumors over those mice exposed to simulated sunlight alone was observed.


A natural skin lightening/whitening agent. It works by slowly releasing hydroquinone through hydrolysis, which in turn blocks Tyrosinase activity and reduces the skin’s melanin (pigmentation) production. In cosmetics, this ingredient appears in two different forms: Alpha-Arbutin or Beta-Arbutin. Due to patenting concerns, most skin care products contain plant extracts that contain Arbutin (e.g. bearberry, pear, blueberry), rather than pure Arbutin. Used in a variety of cosmetics, particularly ones aimed at lightening the skin such as lotions, crèmes, serums, cleansers, and spot treatments.

While most research strongly supports the ingredient’s ability to fade/lighten age spots and hyper-pigmentation, it is still unclear as to how much Arbutin it takes to inhibit melanin production. Overall, the general consensus is that it works as a skin lightening agent and seems to be a promising alternative to pure Hydroquinone.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:
There are many questions surrounding the safety of this ingredient. This is mainly due to the fact that it is a form of hydroquinone-a skin bleaching ingredient that has indicated a potential for causing cancer, and consequently been banned in several countries. In addition, studies have shown high doses of hydroquinone to frequently cause ochronosis (a bluish black pigmentation of skin tissue), particularly in dark skinned people. Of course, more research on hydroquinone is needed to substantiate any claims, and it still remains to be the premiere skin bleaching ingredient to the dermatological community.

Arbutin appears to be less irritating than hydroquinone when used in similar concentrations. It also is reported to cause less sun sensitivity. This is most likely due to the gradual release of hydroquinone. All in all, it is regarded as a safer and gentler alternative to pure Hydroquinone.


Antioxidants play an important lifeline role in superior face and skin aging products. Antioxidants are natural substances made up of vitamins and minerals. They can counter “free radicals” that damage DNA, lipids and proteins. Damaged skin cells can speed up aging with wrinkles, dry skin, dark circles under the eyes, dull skin, decrease elasticity and pliability.


You can find previous post regarding preservatives below:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Soothing Agents


Allantoin is a white odorless powder. Other Allantoin containing compounds that may be used in cosmetics and personal care products, include the Allanotin salt of vitamin C, Allantoin Ascorbate, and the Allantoin salt of vitamin B7, Allantoin Biotin. Allantoin complexes that may be used in cosmetics and personal care products include Allantoin Galacturonic Acid, Allanotoin Polygalacturonic Acid, Allantoin Glycyrrhetinic Acid and Allantoin Panthenol. Among the Allantoin containing ingredients, Allantoin itself is most likely to be used in cosmetics and personal care products. It is used in the formulation of bath products, eye makeup, hair care products, oral hygiene products and skin care products.


Here are 8 benefits of using aloe vera gel:

1. It treats sunburn.
Aloe Vera helps with sunburn through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It acts as a protective layer on the skin and helps replenish its moisture. Because of its nutritional qualities and antioxidant properties, the skin heals quicker.

2. It acts as a moisturizer.
Aloe moisturizes the skin without giving it a greasy feel, so it`s perfect for anyone with an oily skin complexion. For women who use mineral-based make-up, aloe vera acts as a moisturizer and is great for the face prior to the application to prevents skin drying. For men: Aloe vera gel can be used as an aftershave treatment as its healing properties can treat small cuts caused by shaving.

3. It treats acne.
Aloe vera gel contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Giberellin in aloe vera acts as a growth hormone stimulating the growth of new cells. It allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring.

Aloe is soothing and can reduce skin inflammations, blistering and itchiness, while helping the skin to heal more rapidly. Additionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.

4. It fights aging.
As we age, everyone begins to worry about the appearance of fine lines and the loss of elasticity in their skin. Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve the skin’s natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated.

5. It lessens the visibility of stretch marks.
The skin is like one big piece of elastic that’ll expand and contract as needed to accommodate growth. But if the skin stretches too far, too fast (due to pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss) the elasticity of the skin can be damaged. That’s what leaves those unsightly stretch marks. These marks appear due to minor tears in the layers of the skin caused by sudden and excessive stretching. Aloe vera gel can help hide these stretch marks by healing these wounds.

6. It’s nutrient rich for good health.
This solid material contains over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids and salicylic acid.

7. It soothes in periodontal disease.
According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it’s extremely helpful in the treatment of gum diseases like gingivitis, periodontitis. It reduces bleeding, inflammation and swelling of the gums. It is a powerful antiseptic in pockets where normal cleaning is difficult, and its antifungal properties help greatly in the problem of denture stomatitis, apthous ulcers, cracked and split corners of the mouth.

8. It aids in digestion.
The internal benefits of aloe vera are supposed to be just as amazing. The plant is said to improve the digestion and to relieve ulcers. Some people consider it a laxative, while others attribute that effect to its digestive qualities (which normalize the system and induce regularity). The juice is also prescribed for arthritis and rheumatism. To test any of these claims, steep the cut foliage in water or chew pieces of the fresh leaf.


Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Camphor has been used medicinally for centuries to treat many skin conditions, such as itching, irritation and pain. It’s a stimulating product, and if you don’t use it according to the instructions, it can be poisonous. In skin care products, the U.S Food and Drug Administration does not approve of camphor if the concentration exceeds 11 percent.

Camphor is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for skin care use if the concentration is between 3 percent and 11 percent. You can use camphor to relieve skin itching or irritation or to control pain. Camphor is often found in rub-on products for cold sores, insect bites and stings, minor burns and hemorrhoids. You can use camphor as a rub to put directly onto your skin, or you can inhale it. To inhale camphor, add some camphor to a vaporizer and inhale the steam.

Side Effects
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say camphor can cause the following symptoms: irritation of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes; nausea; diarrhea; vomiting; headache; epileptiform convulsions and dizziness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned products containing greater than 11 percent concentrations of camphor in 1983. Even small doses can be fatal for your child or infant.

When used properly, camphor provides a cooling sensation and relieves symptoms such as pain, irritation and cough. You can use camphor in soothing backaches and muscle pain. To soothe skin conditions such as eczema or acne, camphor is used due to its ability to reduce redness and irritation.


Traditionally, emollients are considered ingredients which have smoothing or softening properties. They are put into formulas to provide moisturizing benefits and support a variety of conditioning claims. There are a number of types which we’ll list below.

Hydrophilic Emollients
The term emollient is rather broad so things that are humectants can also be considered emollients. Water soluble ingredients like glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene glycol are all technically emollients. When you need conditioning, this are good ones for your water phase.

Lipophilic Emollients
These are ingredients that are not soluble in water and make up the bulk of the available varieties of emollients. The one that you use depends on properties such as polarity, emolliency scores, spreading behavior, compatability with other ingredients, rheological behavior, and hydrolytic stability. This group can further be broken down by grouping them by their polairity.

Non-polar: These are mostly derived from petroleum and include ingredients like mineral oil, Isoparaffin, and Isohexadecane.

Polar: This includes a range of ingredients including materials such as natural oils (Jojoba oil, Olive oil, coconut oil), esters (Octyl Palmitate, Isopropyl stearate, Isopropyl palmitate) and alcohols (Octyl dodecanol).

Silicone Fluid Emollients
The final group is silicone fluids. They provide incredible levels of slickness and also feel light compared to lipophilic emollients. The most common ones used include Cyclomethicone and dimethicone. There are a number of varieties to choose from and each have different characteristics when it comes to viscosity, volatility, and ease of formulation.

Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol:

Isopropyl alcohol. SD alcohol. Cetyl alcohol. Cetearyl alcohol. And plain old alcohol.

They show up again and again on skin care products, from moisturizers to body washes to cleansers and toners.

The Fatty Alcohols
Called “wax” alcohols or “fatty” alcohols, this second group of alcohols in skin care that have completely different properties from those we mentioned above. These are typically derived from natural fats and oils, often from coconut and palm oil. They’re found in nature as waxes, so they’re rich in skin-healthy fatty acids. They can also be derived from petroleum sources, though, or made in the laboratory.

Some examples of these include:
Cetyl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
Cetearyl alcohol

Manufacturers like to use these alcohols for the following reasons:
Emulsifiers: These alcohols work as “emulsifiers,” which help mix water with oils to create nice, smooth creams and lotions.
Emollients: Since these ingredients are naturally moisturizing, they’re included in many creams and lotions to hydrate the skin.
Thickeners: People like thick, rich creams. They just feel good when you put them on. Fatty alcohols can help thicken a formula to the right consistency.
These alcohols are usually portrayed in more positive light than the others, as they are not drying or damaging. On the contrary, they do help to moisturize skin because of the natural fatty acid content.

Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate:

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Isopropyl Myristate is a synthetic oil used as an emollient, thickening agent, or lubricant in beauty products. Composed of of Isopropyl Alcohol (a propane derivative) and Myristic Acid (a naturally-occurring fatty acid), Isopropyl Myristate is a popular cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredient. It is most often used an an additive in aftershaves, shampoos, bath oils, antiperspirants, deodorants, oral hygiene products, and various creams and lotions.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:
According to Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, there is strong evidence that products intended for use around the eyes or on the skin, as well as aerosolized products, containing Isopropyl Myristate have been associated with skin, lung, and eye irritation. The CIR has approved Isopropyl Myristate for use in cosmetics (Source), though its quantity should be limited. A study published in Contact Dermatitis in 2004 from two university hospitals in the UK found cases of allergic contact dermatitis in patients who were exposed to both Isohexadecane and Isopropyl Myristate at higher than normal levels of concentration.

Castor Oil:

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Castor oil and derivatives are used in soaps, creams (tretinoin), shampoos, perfumes, lip gels, lipsticks, hair oils (increases hair luster), deodorants, lubricants, sunscreens, and many other personal hygiene and beauty products.

Castor oil has been used in skin care products for centuries, and continues to play an important part in the production of soaps and cosmetics. Cosmetic manufacturers use castor oil and its derivatives in formulating non-comedogenic cosmetics (cosmetics that don’t exacerbate or contribute to acne) and emollients.

Jojoba Oil:

A lot of moisturizers, sunscreens and lotions use jojoba in their formulas, due to the amazing skin protection and benefits jojoba oil provides. It creates an excellent barrier between your skin and the elements and has a natural SPF of 4 which basically acts as a sunscreen when used by itself. It is gentle and soothing on the skin and will not cause any allergies unless use in large, concentrated amounts. It does not lose its moisturizing effects upon application like other water based products tend to do, so mixing this oil with your moisturizer creates a powerful and long lasting moisturizer for your skin. You can physically feel the moisture on your skin throughout the whole day.
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Jojoba oil is commonly used and added into shampoos and conditioners to provide extra conditioning for hair, and is also being touted as a possible means for helping with hair loss, as it is said to get rid of sebum build up on the scalp. It is used in so many products, that it is no wonder it plays such a large role in the cosmetics industry. It’s also added to other conventional, over-the-counter products such as sunscreens, lipsticks and lip gloss.

From conditioning to healing the uses of jojoba oil are numerous and more and more people are discovering how beneficial such simple oil is to our skin and the impact it has made since the banning of whaling. It is also one of the most stable oils around and doesn’t go rancid like so many other oils do.

Avocado Oil:

Avocado fruit is extracted from avocado trees which were earlier found in the regions of Mexico and Central America and are now being cultivated in different parts of the world on a large scale basis, thanks to their growing popularity. The oil squeezed from avocado fruit is found to have very high nutritional value. They are considered to be as healthy as olive or almond oil, but they are on the expensive side when compared to other oils.
Common Beauty Product Ingredients
1. Smoothing of Skin
The benefits of cold pressed avocado oil depends a whole lot on the presence of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. You can apply the oil directly to your skin or through consuming avocado oil rich foods. They are found to be effective in smoothening up the skin stature thereby maintaining a silky skin tone. It is the high level of Vitamin E that prevents the skin from inflammations and itchiness thereby helping skin to maintain its health and softness. The antioxidants present in the oil is also found to be capable of soothing even sunburned skin. Research works have proved that they are effective against skin related diseas
es like eczema.

2. As a Moisturizer
These days we have so many types of skin moisturizers to choose from, but many of them have chemical compounds in large number. When it comes to skin treatments, it is always safe to use natural products likewise natural moisturizers seem to show much better results with very little or no side effects. Avocado oil is capable of penetrating deep into the skin unlike other oils and this helps in achieving quicker results. This helps in making skin soft and hydrated. One of the amazing property of avocado oil is their humectancy, which prevents the skin from drying out that allows the skin to be on hydrated mode for longer period. Even though they works fine in almost all kind of skins, those with dry skin is likely to gain better results. Cold Pressed avocado oil with its pure nature is also capable of keeping the skin fresh and clean from contaminated particles.

3. For Acne Treatment
Acne is considered as one of the most disturbing skin conditions especially on teenagers, though not many treatment measures are found to be effective avocado oil seems to work well in preventing the effects of acne. Mainly there are 3 ways through which they can influence acne related issues.

Topical Treatment for Acne Problems
As Moisturizer
There massive penetrative power helps them to work the skin from deep thereby killing off dead cells. This helps in removing the oil content and unclogging the pores. Once the pores are removed, cold pressed avocado oil is found to limit the inflammations caused by sebaceous gland which produces sebum oil that causes itchy pimples. They are also capable of promoting skin tone and keep them fresh and clean.

4. Anti Aging Product
This is an amazing property of avocado that many of the people doesn’t know. But research works have proved that avocado oil has very high anti aging properties capable of providing protection against free radicals. They works penetrating deep into the skin cells and allowing them to function correctly even while they are getting attacked by free radicals.

Did you know? An Avocado has more Potassium than a Banana.
Mitochondria present in the cells produces most of the cells energy from nutrients. But at times they can lead to the formation of unstable chemicals which may affect the performance of both mitochondria and other cell components.

Avocado oil works its magic right here by reversing this process and thereby letting the mitochondria to produce energy even when they are being attacked by free radicals.

5. As a Sunscreen
When it comes to maintaining skin color nobody will be ready to take any chances. This is exactly why sunscreen lotions and creams get good business compared to other cosmetic oils. Some natural oils are found to act as effective sunscreens and avocado oil is one among them. They are much better compared to artificial products. It is assumed that natural oils are rich in sun protection factor that prevents the skin from darkening. They have a very high proportion of good mono-saturated fats and it is them that forms a protective layer all over the skin to protect them from getting exposed to sun.
Wikipedia – Skin whitening
Skintrium – The Most Common Ingredients in Skin Bleaching Products
Dermnet New Zealand – Bleaching creams
Skin Whitening Forever Secrets – Kojic Acid for Skin Whitening is it Safe?
GMA Network – FDA warns against mercury content of 15 skin-whitening products
Emax Health – Is There Mercury In Your Skin Lightening Cream?
Cosmetics Info – Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Truth in Aging – Arbutin
Happi – The Role of Antioxidants In Dermtological & Cosmetic Formulas
cosmetics Info – Preservative Information
Costmetics Info – Allantoin
MindBodyGreen – The Benefits Of Using Aloe Vera For Skin Care And More
Livestrong – Camphor & Its Use in Skin Care
AnnMarie Gianni – Why You Don’t Want Alcohols in Your Skin Care
Truth in Aging – Isopropyl Myristate
Castor Oil – Castor Oil for Cosmetics
The Jojoba Oil – The Role of Jojoba Oil in the Cosmetics Industry
Good Health Academy – 5 Proven Benefits of Cold Pressed Avocado Oil for Skin

Mental Health Monday ~ Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain and behavior disorder characterized by severe shifts in a person’s mood and energy, making it difficult for the person to function. More than 5.7 million American adults or 2.6 percent of the population age 18 or older in any given year have bipolar disorder. The condition typically starts in late adolescence or early adulthood, although it can show up in children and in older adults. People often live with the disorder without having it properly diagnosed and treated.

Brain & Behavior

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood ranging from a manic to a depressive state. Bipolar disorder is also called bipolar disease or manic depression.

A person with mania will feel excited, impulsive, euphoric, and full of energy. He or she might engage in risky or unhealthy behavior. Drug use, spending sprees, and impulsive or unprotected sex are common during manic episodes.

The depressive episodes might bring on deep sadness and hopelessness. Depression causes a loss of energy and interest in activities the patient once enjoyed. This phase can include periods of too little or too much sleep. Also, suicidal thoughts or attempts may come with deep depression.

Sometimes the shifts in mood can be severe. At other times one might experience a normal mood between episodes of depression and mania. People with bipolar disorder often have trouble managing everyday life. They may perform poorly at school or work. They may also have trouble maintaining personal relationships.


What are the different types of Bipolar Disorder?

There are several types of bipolar disorder; all involve episodes of depression and mania to a degree. They include bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, mixed bipolar, and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.

Bipolar I
A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.

Bipolar II
Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-on mania.

Rapid Cycling
In rapid cycling, a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. About 10% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder have rapid cycling.

Mixed Bipolar
In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. But with mixed bipolar disorder, a person experiences both mania and depression simultaneously or in rapid sequence.

Cyclothymia (cyclothymic disorder) is a relatively mild mood disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than in full-blown bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Spectrum
Learn about the bipolar spectrum, what it means, and how bipolar is categorized.

What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. For each type, the exact symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary from person to person. Bipolar I and bipolar II disorders also have additional specific features that can be added to the diagnosis based on your particular signs and symptoms.

Criteria for bipolar disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists criteria for diagnosing bipolar and related disorders. This manual is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

Diagnostic criteria for bipolar and related disorders are based on the specific type of disorder:

Bipolar I disorder. You’ve had at least one manic episode. The manic episode may be preceded by or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. Mania symptoms cause significant impairment in your life and may require hospitalization or trigger a break from reality (psychosis).

Bipolar II disorder. You’ve had at least one major depressive episode lasting at least two weeks and at least one hypomanic episode lasting at least four days, but you’ve never had a manic episode. Major depressive episodes or the unpredictable changes in mood and behavior can cause distress or difficulty in areas of your life.

Cyclothymic disorder. You’ve had at least two years — or one year in children and teenagers — of numerous periods of hypomania symptoms (less severe than a hypomanic episode) and periods of depressive symptoms (less severe than a major depressive episode). During that time, symptoms occur at least half the time and never go away for more than two months. Symptoms cause significant distress in important areas of your life.

Other types. These include, for example, bipolar and related disorder due to another medical condition, such as Cushing’s disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke. Another type is called substance and medication-induced bipolar and related disorder.

Bipolar II disorder is not a milder form of bipolar I disorder, but a separate diagnosis. While the manic episodes of bipolar I disorder can be severe and dangerous, individuals with bipolar II disorder can be depressed for longer periods, which can cause significant impairment.

Criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode

The DSM-5 has specific criteria for the diagnosis of manic and hypomanic episodes:

A manic episode is a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood that lasts at least one week (or less than a week if hospitalization is necessary). The episode includes persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy.

A hypomanic episode is a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood that lasts at least four consecutive days.

For both a manic and a hypomanic episode, during the period of disturbed mood and increased energy, three or more of the following symptoms (four if the mood is only irritable) must be present and represent a noticeable change from your usual behavior:

Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
Decreased need for sleep (for example, you feel rested after only three hours of sleep)
Unusual talkativeness
Racing thoughts
Increased goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or agitation
Doing things that are unusual and that have a high potential for painful consequences — for example, unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions or foolish business investments

To be considered a manic episode:

The mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty at work, at school or in social activities or relationships; or to require hospitalization to prevent harm to yourself or others; or to trigger a break from reality (psychosis).

Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as alcohol or drug use; a medication; or a medical condition.
To be considered a hypomanic episode:

The episode is a distinct change in mood and functioning that is not characteristic of you when the symptoms are not present, and enough of a change that other people notice.

The episode isn’t severe enough to cause significant difficulty at work, at school or in social activities or relationships, and it doesn’t require hospitalization or trigger a break from reality.

Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as alcohol or drug use; a medication; or a medical condition.
Criteria for a major depressive episode

The DSM-5 also lists criteria for diagnosis of a major depressive episode:

Five or more of the symptoms below over a two-week period that represent a change from previous mood and functioning. At least one of the symptoms is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.

Symptoms can be based on your own feelings or on the observations of someone else.

Signs and symptoms include:

Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)

Markedly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities most of the day, nearly every day
Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
Either insomnia or sleeping excessively nearly every day
Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt, such as believing things that are not true, nearly every day
Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide planning or attempt
To be considered a major depressive episode:

Symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships
Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of something else, such as alcohol or drug use, a medication or a medical condition
Symptoms are not caused by grieving, such as after the loss of a loved one
Other signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder

Signs and symptoms of bipolar I and bipolar II disorders may include additional features.

Anxious distress — having anxiety, such as feeling keyed up, tense or restless, having trouble concentrating because of worry, fearing something awful may happen, or feeling you may not be able to control yourself
Mixed features — meeting the criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode, but also having some or all symptoms of major depressive episode at the same time
Melancholic features — having a loss of pleasure in all or most activities and not feeling significantly better, even when something good happens
Atypical features — experiencing symptoms that are not typical of a major depressive episode, such as having a significantly improved mood when something good happens
Catatonia — not reacting to your environment, holding your body in an unusual position, not speaking, or mimicking another person’s speech or movement
Peripartum onset — bipolar disorder symptoms that occur during pregnancy or in the four weeks after delivery
Seasonal pattern — a lifetime pattern of manic, hypomanic or major depressive episodes that change with the seasons
Rapid cycling — having four or more mood swing episodes within a single year, with full or partial remission of symptoms in between manic, hypomanic or major depressive episodes
Psychosis — severe episode of either mania or depression (but not hypomania) that results in a detachment from reality and includes symptoms of false but strongly held beliefs (delusions) and hearing or seeing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
Symptoms in children and teens

The same DSM-5 criteria used to diagnose bipolar disorder in adults are used to diagnose children and teenagers. Children and teens may have distinct major depressive, manic or hypomanic episodes, between which they return to their usual behavior, but that’s not always the case. And moods can rapidly shift during acute episodes.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be difficult to identify in children and teens. It’s often hard to tell whether these are normal ups and downs, the results of stress or trauma, or signs of a mental health problem other than bipolar disorder. And children who have bipolar disorder are frequently also diagnosed with other mental health conditions.

The most prominent signs of bipolar disorder in children and teenagers may include severe mood swings that are different from their usual mood swings.

Mayo Clinic

What causes Bipolar Disorder?

The National Institutes of Mental Health3 says most experts agree that bipolar disorder has no single cause. It is more likely the result of many factors acting together.

Genetics – some small twin studies have indicated that there is a “substantial genetic contribution” to bipolar disorder risk. People with a blood relative who has bipolar disorder have a higher risk of developing it themselves. Currently, scientists are trying to identify which genes are involved.

A study by an international team of scientists reported in the journal Neuron that rare copy number variants, abnormal sequences of DNA, seem to play a major role in the risk of early onset bipolar disorder.

Biological traits – experts say that patients with bipolar disorder often have physical changes that occurred in their brains. Nobody is sure why the changes can lead to the disorder.

Brain-chemical imbalance – neurotransmitter imbalances play a key role in many mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, as well as depression and other mental illnesses. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that facilitate the communication between neurons (brain cells). Examples of neurotransmitters are serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Hormonal problems – hormonal imbalances are thought to possibly trigger or cause bipolar disorder.

Environmental factors – abuse, mental stress, a “significant loss”, or some other traumatic event may contribute towards bipolar disorder risk. Traumatic events may include the death of a loved one, losing your job, the birth of a child, or moving house. Experts say many things, if the variables are right, can trigger bipolar disorder in some people. They add that we all react differently to environmental factors. However, once bipolar disorder is triggered and starts to progress, it appears to take on a life and force of its own.

Medical News Today

How is Bipolar Disorder treated?

Treatment for bipolar disorder aims to reduce the severity and number of episodes of depression and mania to allow as normal a life as possible.

If a person isn’t treated, episodes of bipolar-related mania can last for between three and six months. Episodes of depression tend to last longer, for between six and 12 months.

However, with effective treatment, episodes usually improve within about three months.

Most people with bipolar disorder can be treated using a combination of different treatments. These can include one or more of the following:
* medication to prevent episodes of mania, hypomania (less severe mania) and depression – these are known as mood stabilisers and are taken every day on a long-term basis
* medication to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they occur
* learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
* psychological treatment – such as talking therapies, which help you deal with depression and provide advice on how to improve relationships
* lifestyle advice – such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, and advice on improving your diet and getting more sleep

Most people with bipolar disorder can receive most of their treatment without having to stay in hospital.

However, hospital treatment may be needed if your symptoms are severe, or if you’re being treated under the Mental Health Act, as there’s a danger you may self-harm or hurt others.

In some circumstances, you could have treatment in a day hospital and return home at night.

Several medications are available to help stabilise mood swings. These are commonly referred to as mood stabilisers and include:
* lithium carbonate
* anticonvulsant medicines
* antipsychotic medicines

If you’re already taking medication for bipolar disorder and you develop depression, your GP will check you’re taking the correct dose. If you aren’t, they’ll change it.

Episodes of depression are treated slightly differently in bipolar disorder, as the use of antidepressants alone may lead to a hypomanic relapse.

Most guidelines suggest depression in bipolar disorder can be treated with just a mood stabiliser. However, antidepressants are commonly used alongside a mood stabiliser or antipsychotic.

If your GP or psychiatrist recommends you stop taking medication for bipolar disorder, the dose should be gradually reduced over at least four weeks, and up to three months if you are taking an antipsychotic or lithium.

If you have to stop taking lithium for any reason, see your GP about taking an antipsychotic or valproate instead.

Lithium carbonate
In the UK, lithium carbonate (often referred to as just lithium) is the medication most commonly used to treat bipolar disorder.

Lithium is a long-term method of treatment for episodes of mania, hypomania and depression. It’s usually prescribed for at least six months.

If you’re prescribed lithium, stick to the prescribed dose and don’t stop taking it suddenly (unless told to by your doctor).

For lithium to be effective, the dosage must be correct. If it’s incorrect, you may get side effects such as diarrhoea and vomiting. However, tell your doctor immediately if you have side effects while taking lithium.

You’ll need regular blood tests at least every three months while taking lithium. This is to make sure your lithium levels aren’t too high or too low.

Your kidney and thyroid function will also need to be checked every two to three months if the dose of lithium is being adjusted, and every 12 months in all other cases.

While you’re taking lithium, avoid using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, unless they’re prescribed by your GP.

In the UK, lithium and the antipsychotic medicine aripiprazole are currently the only medications licensed for use in adolescents with bipolar disorder who are aged 13 or over.

However, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health states that unlicensed medicines may be prescribed for children if there are no suitable alternatives and their use can be justified by expert agreement.

Anticonvulsant medicines
Anticonvulsant medicines include:
* valproate
* carbamazepine
* lamotrigine

These medicines are sometimes used to treat episodes of mania. They’re also long-term mood stabilisers.

Anticonvulsant medicines are often used to treat epilepsy, but they’re also effective in treating bipolar disorder.

A single anticonvulsant medicine may be used, or they may be used in combination with lithium when the condition doesn’t respond to lithium on its own.

Valproate isn’t usually prescribed for women of childbearing age because there’s a risk of physical defects to babies such as spina bifida, heart abnormalities and cleft lip. There may also be an increased risk of developmental problems such as lower intellectual abilities, poor speaking and understanding, memory problems, autistic spectrum disorders and delayed walking and talking.

In women, your GP may decide to use valporate if there’s no alternative or if you’ve been assessed and it’s unlikely you’ll respond to other treatments, although they’ll need to check you’re using a reliable contraception and advise you on the risks of taking the medicine during pregnancy.

If you’re prescribed valproate, you’ll need to visit your GP to have a blood count when you begin the medication, and then again six months later.

Carbamazepine is usually only prescribed on the advice of an expert in bipolar disorder. To begin with, the dose will be low and then gradually increased.

Your progress will be carefully monitored if you’re taking other medication, including the contraceptive pill.

Blood tests to check your liver and kidney function will be carried out when you start taking carbamazepine, and again after six months.

You’ll also need to have a blood count at the start and after six months, and you may also have your weight and height monitored.

If you’re prescribed lamotrigine, you’ll usually be started on a low dose, which will be increased gradually.

See your GP immediately if you’re taking lamotrigine and develop a rash. You’ll need to have an annual health check, but other tests aren’t usually needed.

Women who are taking the contraceptive pill should talk to their GP about taking a different method of contraception.

Antipsychotic medicines
Antipsychotic medicines are sometimes prescribed to treat episodes of mania or hypomania. Antipsychotic medicines include:
* aripiprazole
* olanzapine
* quetiapine
* risperidone

They may also be used as a long-term mood stabiliser. Quetiapine may also be used for long-term bipolar depression.

Antipsychotic medicines can be particularly useful if symptoms are severe or behaviour is disturbed. As antipsychotics can cause side effects – such as blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation and weight gain – the initial dose will usually be low.

If you’re prescribed an antipsychotic medicine, you’ll need to have regular health checks at least every three months, but possibly more often, particularly if you have diabetes. If your symptoms don’t improve, you may be offered lithium and valproate as well.

Aripiprazole is also recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as an option for treating moderate to severe manic episodes in adolescents with bipolar disorder.

Rapid cycling
You may be prescribed a combination of lithium and valproate if you experience rapid cycling (where you quickly change from highs to lows without a “normal” period in between).

If this doesn’t help, you may be offered lithium on its own or a combination of lithium, valproate and lamotrigine.

However, you won’t usually be prescribed an antidepressant unless an expert in bipolar disorder has recommended it.

Learning to recognise triggers
If you have bipolar disorder, you can learn to recognise the warning signs of an approaching episode of mania or depression.

A community mental health worker, such as a psychiatric nurse, may be able to help you identify your early signs of relapse from your history.

This won’t prevent the episode occurring, but it will allow you to get help in time.

This may mean making some changes to your treatment, perhaps by adding an antidepressant or antipsychotic medicine to the mood-stabilising medication you’re already taking. Your GP or specialist can advise you on this.

Psychological treatment
Some people find psychological treatment helpful when used alongside medication in between episodes of mania or depression. This may include:
* psychoeducation – to find out more about bipolar disorder
* cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – this is most useful when treating depression
* family therapy – a type of psychotherapy that focuses on family relationships (such as marriage) and encourages everyone within the family or relationship to work together to improve mental health

Psychological treatment usually consists of around 16 sessions. Each session lasts an hour and takes place over a period of six to nine months.


If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.

Common Beauty Product Ingredients ~ Part 3

common beauty product ingredients


Common Beauty Product Ingredients
There are numerous forms of silicones used in cosmetic products, particularly leave-on skincare products and all manner of hair-care products. Common forms of silicone are cyclopentasiloxane and cyclohexasiloxane; other forms include various types of dimethicone and phenyl trimethicone.

Claims that silicones in any form cause or worsen skin concerns have not been substantiated in published research, nor have reports that silicones are sensitizing to or “suffocate” skin. Almost all of these claims are either myths or based on anecdotal evidence, which isn’t the best way to determine the safety or efficacy of any cosmetic ingredient. How do we know that silicones don’t suffocate skin? Because of their molecular properties they are at the same time porous and resistant to air. Think of silicones in a skincare formula like the covering of a tea bag. When you steep the tea bag in water the tea and all of its antioxidant properties are released.

Silicones remain on the surface of your skin and the other ingredients it’s mixed with “steep” through. All ingredients must be suspended in some base formula; some of the ingredients remain on the surface, some are absorbed. The intent is for the “actives” to get through.


Common Beauty Product Ingredients
What is Dimethicone?

Dimethicone is what the chemists like to call a silicon-based polymer—”polymer” meaning it’s a large molecule made up of several smaller units bonded together. Simply put, it’s a silicon oil, man-made in the laboratory and used in personal care products as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, and skin and hair conditioner.

Manufacturers like it because it makes products easily spreadable, so you get that feeling of the lotion or cream gliding over your skin. Dimethicone also helps form a protective barrier on the skin, and can fill in the fine lines and wrinkles on the face, which is why it’s often used in makeup primers.

Is Dimethicone Safe?

The FDA has approved the use of dimethicone as a skin protectant ingredient in over-the-counter products, and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel has assessed it as safe to use in personal care products. Some studies have found it to soothe and help improve chronic hand dermatitis, and to help reduce inflammation and irritation. The Skin Deep Database also lists it has have a low hazard risk.

For me, though, this is not a good ingredient to be using in your daily skin care. Like petroleum products, silicone oils can actually make dry skin worse over time. Instead of sinking into your skin and nourishing it from the inside out, like healthy ingredients do, it forms a sort of plastic-like barrier on the outside of skin.

Why Dimethicone is Bad for Your Skin

That artificial coating on the outside of skin causes several issues:

It traps everything under it—including bacteria, sebum, and impurities—which could lead to increased breakouts and blackheads
The coating action actually prevents the skin from performing its normal activities—like sweating, temperature regulating, sloughing off dead skin cells, etc.
Prolonged exposure to dimethicone can actually increase skin irritation, due to the coating property and because dimethicone is listed as a possible skin and eye irritant
Those with sensitive or reactive skin are at risk of an allergic reaction to dimethicone
On top of all this, dimethicone is a non-biodegradable chemical—bad for the environment

I also believe that using these types of ingredients on your skin can actually exacerbate skin aging. Why?

You’re inhibiting skin’s natural processes
You’re creating a dependency on the coating product, disrupting the skin’s own hydrating processes, which in the end increases dryness, making fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable
The coating properties may increase breakouts, particularly if you’re susceptible to acne, which will lead to scars and older-looking skin
You’re doing nothing to boost the health and vitality of the skin, thus letting aging take its toll
Much better to use nourishing ingredients that help keep your skin hydrated naturally! (Speaking of, check out my new skin care line here!)

To avoid this ingredient, stay away from all dimethicone and similar ingredients like cyclomethicone, dimethiconol, and phenyl trimethicone.

Sunscreen Agents

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Based on their mechanism of action, topical sunscreens can be broadly classified into two groups, chemical absorbers and physical blockers. Chemical absorbers work by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation and can be further differentiated by the type of radiation they absorb, UVA or UVB, or both UVA and UVB. Physical blockers work by reflecting or scattering the UV radiation.

Sunscreen agents are used to prevent sunburn. Limiting your exposure to the sun and using sunscreen agents when in the sun may help prevent early wrinkling of the skin and skin cancer. There are two kinds of sunscreen agents: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen agents protect you from the sun by absorbing the ultraviolet (UV) and visible sun rays, while physical sunscreen agents reflect, scatter, absorb, or block these rays.

Sunscreen agents often contain more than one ingredient. For example, products may contain one ingredient that provides protection against the ultraviolet A (UVA) sun rays and another ingredient that protects you from the ultraviolet B (UVB) sun rays, which are more likely to cause sunburn than the UVA sun rays. Ideally, coverage should include protection against both UVA and UVB sun rays.

The sun protection factor (SPF) that you find on the label of these products tells you the minimum amount of UVB sunlight that is needed with that product to produce redness on sunscreen-protected skin as compared with unprotected skin. Sunscreen products with high SPFs will provide more protection against the sun.

Sunscreen products are available with and without your doctor’s prescription. If you are using this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:


Studies have shown that UVA impairs the antigen presenting cell (APC) activity of the epidermal cells and thereby causes immune suppression, thus contributing to the growth of skin cancer. Sunscreening agents have shown to provide significant protection against epidermal APC activity induced by high UVA dose.6 Mutation occurring in human melanocyte due to damage caused to DNA by UVA radiation is one of the proposed reasons.7 In summary, UVA radiation can cause nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage, gene mutations and skin cancer, dysregulation of enzymatic chain reactions, immune suppression, lipid peroxidation (membrane damage), and photoallergic and phototoxic effects.

To find a list of what chemicals are used in sunscreen agents, please click HERE.

Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Oxybenzone, Benzophenone:

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Sunscreens commonly include ingredients that act as “penetration enhancers” and help the product adhere to skin. As a result, many sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into the body and can be measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples.

The most common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters. These products typically include a combination of two to six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detected oxybenzone in more than 96 percent of the American population, based on a representative sampling of children and adults (Calafat 2008). Participants who reported using sunscreen have higher oxybenzone exposures (Zamoiski 2015). Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones (Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012).

Titanium Dioxide:

Common Beauty Product Ingredients
Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined from the earth then further processed and purified for use in consumer products. Also known as titanium (IV) oxide or titania, it is the naturally occurring compound comprised of the metal titanium and oxygen. Titanium dioxide is safely used in many products from paint and food to drugs and cosmetics. It also plays a critical role in some sunscreen products as a way to protect skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Titanium dioxide is an important active ingredient used in some sunscreen products. Sunscreens are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. As such, they must be shown to be safe and effective and must comply with all other requirements listed in the FDA’s OTC sunscreen monograph. Individual sunscreen active ingredients are reviewed by FDA and only those that are on FDA’s monograph approved list may be used in sunscreen products marketed in the U.S.

Health Concerns:
Cancer (Inhalation Exposure Only)
The International Agency for Research on Cancer designates titanium dioxide as a carcinogen, largely due to studies in animals that have found increased lung cancers due to inhalation exposure. Evidence to date does not demonstrate increased cancers when exposures occur through the skin or swallowed. Human studies, mostly occupational studies TiO2 inhalation, have demonstrated mixed findings.

Nano Titanium Dioxide
The prevailing data indicate that nanoized TiO2 does not pose hazards that are unique from those of larger particle TiO2. One concern about nanomaterials is possible skin penetration. The literature investigating this suggests that because nanoized TiO2 forms clusters, it does not penetrate the skin, particularly to the deeper (dermal) layers of skin. In response to concerns that nano TiO2 might more readily penetrate damaged skin, researchers applied nano-based sunsreens to pigs ears that had been sunburnt. TiO2 did not reach the deeper levels of the skin in the sunburnt tissue. Nevertheless, toxicological testing of nanomaterials needs to take into account the effects on particle size on the ways that dose is estimated because smaller particles will have greater surface area by volume.

Inhalation of nano Titanium dioxide is of concern, given the cancer concerns for TiO2 of any size. One study assessed the likely inhalation exposure of TiO2 from cosmetic powders and found that most nano particles of TiO2 were inhaled either as clusters of nanoparticles (agglomerates) or attached to larger TiO2 particles. This meant the particles were inhaled into the upper parts of the lungs but did not reach the alveoli (the part of the lungs where oxygen is exchanged). Many toxicological studies of nanoized Titanium Dioxide inhalation assume alveoli exposure, so studies should explore effects on the upper parts of the lungs.

Paula’s Choice – Silicone
Dr Frank Lipman – The Truth Behind The Common Cosmetics Ingredient, Dimethicone
DermNet New Zealand – Classification of sunscreens
Mayo Clinic – Sunscreen Agent (Topical Application Route)
NCBI – Sunscreening Agents
Just About Skin – List of Sunscreen Agents (UV Filters) in the U.S.
EWG – The Trouble With Oxybenzone and Other Sunscreen Chemicals
Cosmetics Info – Titanium Dioxide
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – Titanium Dioxide

Mental Health Monday ~ Postnatal Depression/Postpartum Depression

postnatal depression
After Noo was born and ended up in the NICU for 4 weeks after birth with Hirschsprung’s Disease, I really struggled with Postnatal Depression. Support from family, friends and our medical doctor, I was able to work through those issues. I also struggled with PND after the birth’s of the younger three children, but, because I was already on antidepressants and The Hubby took 2 weeks off work after each birth, I didn’t feel as helpless as I had after the birth of my first child.
Postnatal Depression
Many people call postnatal, or postpartum depression, the Baby Blues, but it can be more than a surge a hormones that can have lasting and occasionally, devastating affects on the mother and her family.

What is Postnatal Depression?

Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby.
It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners, although this is less common.

It’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you might be depressed, as your symptoms could last months or get worse and have a significant impact on you, your baby and your family.

With the right support, which can include self-help strategies and therapy, most women make a full recovery.


Postnatal Depression

What are the signs and symptoms of Postnatal Depression?

The signs and symptoms of PND are different for every mother. Your friends or family may spot the signs before you do, but you may feel:
* sad or low
* unable to enjoy anything
* extremely tired, with no energy
* hopeless
* a sense of guilt
* lacking in appetite
* miserable
* tearful
* anxious

Most mothers have at least one of these feelings, some of the time. It’s normal to have good days and bad days. But if you’re feeling these symptoms on most days, or much of the time, and they don’t get better, you could have PND.


Postnatal Depression

What treatments are available for Postnatal Depression?

All women with PND need emotional support from family and friends. Some women find psychological treatments helpful, especially if they have experienced traumatic events in their childhood or more recently.

Antidepressant medication is a successful treatment for many women with PND. It’s worth remembering that women can’t ‘snap out of’ depression, any more than they could ‘snap out of’ diabetes, and there are many misconceptions about antidepressants, how they work and what harm they might cause.

Rather than ‘changing your personality’, this type of medication aims to correct chemical imbalances in the brain thought to be responsible for symptoms of depression and anxiety. Antidepressants are not addictive. Some can be safely taken while breastfeeding and pregnant.

You can seek objective help and advice from your doctor, a pharmacist or a drug information line. Our parenting helplines article has drug information contact numbers.


Living with a woman suffering PND is difficult. Partners too need a lot of support. They often feel confused, lost and helpless. It’s important that partners be included by the health professionals treating women with PND. Partners are much more supportive if they understand what the problem is and what they can do to help.

PND: where to go for help

If a woman doesn’t feel the way she expected to feel after having a baby, it’s very important that she talk to her GP or child and family health nurse.

It could simply be that she’s having trouble adjusting to the changes in lifestyle that occur when a baby is born and to the demands that a new baby makes. But if she’s suffering PND, it’s important that she receive appropriate help as soon as possible.


What causes Postnatal Depression?

The exact cause is not clear. It does not seem to be due to hormone changes after you give birth. Any mother could develop PND, but women are more prone to develop it just after childbirth. The main cause seems to be stressful events after childbirth such as feelings of isolation, worry, and responsibility about the new baby, etc.

You may also be at greater risk of developing postnatal depression if:

* You have had mental health problems in the past (including depression, previous postnatal depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia).
* You have had previous treatment by a psychiatrist or mental health team.
* You have had depression during your pregnancy.
* Your family tends to suffer from PND.
* You have had marital or relationship problems.
* You have no close friends or family around you.
* You have money troubles.
* You have had physical health problems during pregnancy or following the birth, or if the birth was very difficult.
* Your partner is depressed.
* You have had a major life event recently (such as somebody in your family dying, or moving house).
* You did not plan to become pregnant in the first place.
* You were trying for a long time before you became pregnant.

However, in many cases, there is no apparent cause.


Postnatal Depression

Can postnatal depression be prevented?

We don’t know enough about PND to prevent it in the first place. The following suggestions seem sensible and may help to keep you well.

* Don’t try to be ‘superwoman’. Try to do less and make sure that you don’t get over-tired.
* Do make friends with other women who are pregnant or have just had a baby. It may be more difficult to make new friends if you get PND.
* Do find someone you can talk to. If you don’t have a close friend you can turn to, try the National Childbirth Trust or The Pandas Foundation. Their local groups are very supportive both before and after childbirth.
* Do go to antenatal classes. If you have a partner, take them with you. If not take a friend or relative.
* Don’t stop antidepressant medication during pregnancy without advice. Around 7 in 10 women who stop antidepressants in pregnancy relapse if they stop the medication. You need to discuss the risks and benefits of continuing treatment in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
* Do keep in touch with your GP and your health visitor if you have had depression before. Any signs of depression in pregnancy or PND can be recognised early.
* Do make sure that you have treatment for depression in pregnancy. This may be a talking therapy or medication.
* Do accept offers of help from friends and family.


Postnatal Depression

Myths about postnatal depression

Postnatal depression is often misunderstood and there are many myths surrounding it. These include:
* Postnatal depression is less severe than other types of depression. In fact, it’s as serious as other types of depression.
* Postnatal depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes. It’s actually caused by many different factors.
* Postnatal depression will soon pass. Unlike the “baby blues”, postnatal depression can persist for months if left untreated. In a minority of cases, it can become a long-term problem.
* Postnatal depression only affects women. Research has actually found that up to 1 in 25 new fathers become depressed after having a baby.


If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.