Mental Health Monday ~ Hyperactivity Disorder

hyperactivity disorder

What is Hyperactivity Disorder?

When someone says a kid is hyperactive, it can be a sign that the kid might have ADHD. ADHD stands for a condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Kids with ADHD have problems paying attention and sitting still in their seats, and they can be impulsive,which means doing things without thinking about the results. This can cause problems like getting hurt. Some kids who have ADHD can have difficulty in school. Some might have trouble making friends.

ADHD is something a kid is born with. It is not something like the flu that you can catch from someone. A kid has a greater chance of being born with ADHD if he or she has a relative who has ADHD.

Source

You can read more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder HERE

sadag
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.

Mental Health Monday ~ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

posttraumatic stress disorder

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Source

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that is triggered when a person witnesses a psychologically traumatic event, such as war, a natural disaster, or any situation that invokes feelings of helplessness or intense fear. While most people eventually adjust to the aftereffects of such events, some people find their symptoms getting worse with time. These worsening symptoms are the product of PTSD.

Source

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

How is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treated?

The main treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are psychotherapy and medication.

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD.

It’s possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it’s never too late to seek help.

Psychotherapy
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you have PTSD that requires treatment, psychotherapy is usually recommended first. A combination of psychotherapy and medication may be recommended if you have severe or persistent PTSD.

Psychotherapy is a type of therapy often used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.

The treatment is carried out by trained mental health professionals who listen to you and help you come up with effective strategies to resolve your problems.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act.

Trauma-focused CBT uses a range of psychological treatment techniques to help you come to terms with the traumatic event.

For example, your therapist may ask you to confront your traumatic memories by thinking about your experience in detail. During this process your therapist helps you cope with any distress you feel, while identifying any unhelpful thoughts or misrepresentations you have about the experience.

Your therapist can help you gain control of your fear and distress by changing the negative way you think about your experience. For example, feeling you’re to blame for what happened or fear that it may happen again.

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new treatment which has been found to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.

It involves making side-to-side eye movements, usually by following the movement of your therapist’s finger, while recalling the traumatic incident. Other methods may include the therapist tapping their finger or playing a tone.

It’s not clear exactly how EMDR works but it may help you to change the negative way you think about a traumatic experience.

Group therapy
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
You may also be offered group therapy as some people find it helpful to speak about their experiences with other people who also have PTSD. Group therapy can be used to teach you ways to manage your symptoms and help you understand the condition.

Medication
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Antidepressants such as paroxetine, sertraline, mirtazapine, amitriptyline or phenelzine are sometimes used to treat PTSD in adults.

Of these medications, paroxetine and sertraline are the only ones licensed specifically for the treatment of PTSD. However, mirtazapine, amitriptyline and phenelzine have also been found to be effective and may be recommended as well.

However, these medications will only be used if:
* you choose not to have trauma-focused psychological treatment
psychological treatment wouldn’t be effective because there’s an ongoing threat of further trauma (such as domestic violence)
* you’ve gained little or no benefit from a course of trauma-focused psychological treatment
* you have an underlying medical condition, such as severe depression, that significantly affects your ability to benefit from psychological treatment.

Source

sadag
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.

Mental Health Monday ~ Panic Disorder

panic disorder

What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a serious condition that strikes without reason or warning. Symptoms of panic disorder include sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart.

Source

Panic Disorder

What are the symptoms of Panic Disorder?

At its most extreme end, phobic avoidance turns into agoraphobia, according to Helpguide.org. One example of phobic avoidance is when a person stays home unless she can venture out with a person she deems safe. Another example is bypassing places such as shopping malls where large crowds are likely. With anticipatory anxiety, a person cannot relax for fear of having panic attacks.
Panic Disorder
Causes of panic disorders include stressors such as graduation, marriage, death or divorce, says Helpguide.org. Medical issues, such as hyperthyroidism, stimulant use and withdrawing from medications, are connected to some cases of panic disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one treatment, and it entails a focus on triggering and sustaining thinking patterns to make fears more realistic and easier to handle. In exposure therapy, a patient experiences the panic in a safe environment to learn better coping methods. Antidepressants and other medications may be used in severe cases, but they should never be used as the sole course of treatment.

Source

How is Panic Disorder treated?

Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is especially useful for treating panic disorder. Your doctor should do an exam to make sure that an unrelated physical problem isn’t causing the symptoms.
Panic Disorder
Medication. Doctors also may prescribe medication to help treat panic disorder. The most commonly prescribed medications for panic disorder are anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants. Anti-anxiety medications are powerful and there are different types. Many types begin working right away, but they generally should not be taken for long periods.

Antidepressants are used to treat depression, but they also are helpful for panic disorder. They may take several weeks to start working. Some of these medications may cause side effects such as headache, nausea, or difficulty sleeping. These side effects are usually not a problem for most people, especially if the dose starts off low and is increased slowly over time. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you may have.

It’s important to know that although antidepressants can be safe and effective for many people, they may be risky for some, especially children, teens, and young adults. A “black box”—the most serious type of warning that a prescription drug can have—has been added to the labels of antidepressant medications. These labels warn people that antidepressants may cause some people to have suicidal thoughts or make suicide attempts. Anyone taking antidepressants should be monitored closely, especially when they first start treatment with medications.

Source

sadag
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.

What’s the Deal with Flouride?

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:
flouride

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
Diabetes
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.

sadag
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
Panthenol

common beauty product ingredients
Alpha Hydroxy Acids:
Salicylic Acid
Humectants:
Glycerine
Hyaluronic Acid
Lecithin

common beauty product ingredients
Silicones:
Dimethicone/Cyclomethicone
Sunscreen Agents
Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Oxybenzone, Benzophenone
Titanium Dioxide

common beauty product ingredients
Bleaching Agents:
Hydroquinone
Kojic Acid
Mercury
Alpha-hydroxyl Acids (AHA)
Arbutin
Antioxidants
Preservative:
Parabens
Sodium Louryl Sulfate
Soothing Agents:
Allantoin
Aloe
Camphor
Emollients:
Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate
Castor Oil
Jojoba Oil
Avocado Oil

common beauty product ingredients
Emulsifier
Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE
Waxes:
Beeswax
Candellila Wax
Carnauba Wax
Kaolin
Water
Caffeine
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.

Source

You can read more about ADHD HERE

sadag
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

Emulsifier

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

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:

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.

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

Kaolin:

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:

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.

Caffeine:

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.
coffee-scrub-1347383
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.

References
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.

Source

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

Source

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.

Source

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
forgetfulness
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
chocolate
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.

Source

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

Source

sadag
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:

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.

Mercury:

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.

Arbutin:

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:

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.

Preservative:

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

Soothing Agents

Allantoin:

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.

Aloe:

aloe-vera-678040
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.

Camphor:

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.

Treatments
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.

Benefits
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.

Emollients

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:
Glycol
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.

Nutritionally
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.
References
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