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…an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium and the health consequences of deficiency are significant? Think of magnesium as the “relaxation mineral” or “master mineral”. Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency. This critical mineral is actually responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax. Spraying magnesium oil full strength directly on the skin is the most efficient and economical application, and also happens to offer the most benefits to the user.  The “sting factor” is to be expected with direct body spraying, and yes, we know it can be a tad uncomfortable the first few times you use it. But just think of the good you are doing for yourself? And, like all things, it is something you will become accustomed to. We recommend our magnesium-rich, hydrating mineral Tonic Mist for the face and body, available in Fresh Mint, Fresh Floral, Fresh Citrus and Fresh Lavender.

…Cetyl Alcohol or Cetearyl Alcohol, ingredients commonly found in cosmetic products such as creams and lotions, are not really “alcohols” such as ethanol or rubbing alcohol?  Cetyl or Cetearyl alcohol is a long chain alcohol that is solid hence obviously not drinkable nor does it dry out the skin or cause intoxication if ingested.  They are emulsifying waxes made by combining fatty alcohols derived from vegetable sources.  These are the major components of many skin care products because of their ability to bind an emulsion together; they act as binders to keep the emulsions from separating into oil and liquid. They have nothing to do with alcohol produced by fermentation.   

…manufacturers have been told to stop using a chemical preservative found in everyday cosmetics and cleaning products – MI or MIT, which is short for methylisothiazolinone - after it was blamed for an “epidemic” of painful skin allergies?   This preservative is used in paint and in a wide range of moisturizers as well as make-up and baby wipes.  Dermatologists linked it to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis, where the skin becomes red and itchy and can sting and blister.  Manufacturers started using it in 2006.  It is safe and non-toxic at small amounts, but European regulations now permit stronger concentrations, leading to an outbreak of allergies, dermatologists said.  Experts say the chemical is second only to nickel in causing contact allergies.  In one case, it was reported a woman suffered blisters and a swollen face after she used a sunscreen containing MI while sunbathing in Spain.  Her skin became so inflamed that she required steroids and antihistamines to reduce the swelling.  Yikes!

…gluten-containing skin care products and cosmetics aren’t a problem unless you accidentally swallow them?  For this reason, avoid using such products on your lips or around your mouth, suggests Dr. Michael Picco of the Mayo Clinic.  Also, avoid using gluten-containing dental products, such as certain mouthwashes and toothpastes.  According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, Medical Director of the Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland, “If you have celiac disease, then the application of gluten containing products to the skin should not be a problem, unless you have skin lesions that allow gluten to be absorbed systemically in great quantities.”  There aren’t too many individuals on the planet who know more about celiac disease than Dr. Fasano, so please, do not let anyone, including medical professionals convince you that gluten protein can be absorbed through the skin and cause a celiac disease reaction.  It simply isn’t true.  Cynthia Kupper RD, Executive Director of The Gluten Intolerance Group, is also dubious:  “It is important to understand that it is possible to have celiac disease and other sensitivities.  When it comes to products labeled hypoallergenic, this simply means that the product is ‘less likely to cause an allergic reaction.’  So if you have a skin reaction to a product, you may have a sensitivity that you think might be related to gluten, but is actually related to something else in the product.”  She also suggests that you may have a skin reaction to any number of ingredients in any number of products for reasons other than celiac disease (such as an allergy).  If this is the case, you should stop using the product and speak with your dermatologist.   The bottom line:  There is no scientific evidence that the use of gluten-containing products that are not ingested is harmful to persons with celiac disease.  This includes individuals with dermatitis herpetiformis.

…one of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use DEET?  DEET is a registered pesticide and is designed to repel, rather than kill insects.  DEET is short for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide).  It is a member of the toluene chemical family.  Toluene is an organic solvent used in rubber and plastic cements and paint removers.   DEET should be used with caution due to its possible damaging effects on brain cells.  With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath.  These symptoms may not be evident until months or even years after exposure.  The most severe damage occurs when DEET is used concurrently with other insecticides, such as permethrin, for prolonged and frequent periods of time.  

…common chemicals found in hairspray are aerosol propellants, alcohol, carcinogenic polyvinylpyrrolidone plastic, formaldehyde, and artificial fragrance, which can cause low blood pressure, breathing difficulty, coma, as well as irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs?  These chemicals also increase the risk of developing the lung disease thesaurosis over a period of time.  There are also many VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) in hairspray, which cause harm to the ozone.  These compounds, such as methane, are famously known as CFC’s, or chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, and have been directly related to global warming.  When CFC’s are released through an aerosol hairspray can into the air, solar radiation high in the sky breaks the compound apart.  One chlorine atom has been known to break apart 100,000 ozone particles.  It is important that the ozone stay in tact because it protects the earth from harmful UV radiation, which is harmful to humans and also heats the earth, thus causing global warming.  Aerosol sprays pose these threats so it’s best to avoid any type of hairspray in a can.

 …there is lead in most lipsticks?  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which did an analysis of a study of lead in lipstick conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, wants consumers to know that most of the 400 different lipsticks tested were positive for the substance.  Lead is a known neurotoxin.  Exposure to lead may result in brain damage, cancer, miscarriage and infertility and other various horrors. Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.  The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure.

 …every single person is exposed to the most toxic form of phthalates?  Scientific studies show that phthalates disrupt the production of testosterone critical for the masculinization of the male species.  Phthalates can be found in most beauty products–including nail polishes and perfumes–but the word “phthalate” is never listed on the label.

…fluoride has never been scientifically proven to reduce or prevent tooth decay?  Contrary to popular belief, fluoride is not a pharmaceutical grade sustenance used in the prevention of tooth decay.  Fluoride is a toxic waste product from the aluminum, fertilizer, steel and nuclear industries.  Sodium Fluoride, fluorosilic acid, and sodium silicofluroide are the substances used in toothpaste, at the dentist and to fluoridate our water.  Research has found that fluoride affects normal endocrine function, causes kidney disease, bone weakness, dental fluorosis, cancer, lowering of IQ, calcification of the pineal gland, arthritis, immune deficiencies, skeletal fluorosis and much more.  This is why the FDA requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now sold in the US.  

 …although aluminum has not been directly linked to various diseases, skin irritation, high acidity levels, increased skin sensitivity, burns, and other skin problems can be directly linked to antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride?  Also, antiperspirants are still known to damage clothing.  Although it may not eat through and destroy fabric, it has been known to cause severe staining and stiffness in the cloth. So those yellow stains, bleached out patches, and stiff sections in your underarms are really the result of aluminum, not sweat. 

 …a common ingredient in personal care products–sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS—are irritants at concentrations of 2% or higher?  It is considered by many as one of the most dangerous ingredients in skin care products today.  Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent.  As well as cleansing, it makes foam.  Hence, it is frequently used as the base for shampoos, soaps and toothpaste.  Although studies specifically cleared sodium lauryl sulfate of being carcinogenic, it has been established that it can cause severe epidermal changes to the area where it is applied that, theoretically, could increase the chances of cancer.  If you have the suspicion that washing your face is making your skin dry, or that shampooing is giving you an itchy scalp or making your eyes sting or that cleaning your teeth is giving you mouth ulcers–sodium lauryl sulfate is the likely culprit.  

…parabens are added to practically everything from shampoos and deodorants to processed foods and pharmaceutical drugs in order to inexpensively extend shelf life and improve product stability?  Their names are a mouthful—methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. You’ll find them listed on thousands of personal care products such as shampoos, mascara, foundations and body lotions. But over the past few years, a debate has been building among scientists, product safety regulators and cosmetic manufacturers about whether these ubiquitous chemicals, used for almost 70 years, may actually be harmful to our health. In the 1990s, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens―agents that mimic estrogen in the body. “Estrogen disruption” has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.  And in 2004 British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D., found parabens present in malignant breast tumors. As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products.  In a separate study, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly every human urine sample tested contained parabens.  On the flip side, critics of the British study point out that noncancerous tissue from healthy breasts wasn’t examined to see if parabens were also present there, and that the presence of parabens in tumors doesn’t prove that they caused the cancer. Other studies have shown parabens to have a very weak estrogenic effect. While there is no decisive evidence to conclude that the parabens in skin care products are linked to breast cancer, demand for more research is needed.  Bottom line: There’s reason to be mindful, but no reason to have an all-consuming concern about these chemicals.  If it helps you rest easy, use a paraben-free body lotion (which coats a large area of skin) such as our Vegan Body Creams and Tamanu Kukui Body Butters.

…there are two different types of sunscreens: mineral and non-mineral?  Sunscreens that use a varying combination of chemicals to ‘absorb’ the UV radiation, such as oxybenzone and avobenzone are non-mineral sunscreens while sunscreen that contain minerals, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, to “block” UV radiation are mineral-based sunscreens.  As you can see, these two types of ingredients provide UV protection in two different ways – one by absorption (chemical) and one by reflection (mineral).  Most of the criticisms regarding sunscreen composition are directed towards its chemical ingredients; the most controversial being Oxybenzone.  Properly known as 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone or benzophenone-3, oxybenzone is one of the main ingredients in non-mineral sunscreens as it is relied upon to provide UVA and UVB protection. The concerns stem from a small body of research indicating that oxybenzone may mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and promote the growth of cancer cells. One study found that rats eating high doses of the chemical experienced side effects like abnormal uterine growth.  But back in March 2011, researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York published an independent report examining all the evidence on the subject and concluded that the alarming findings from early animal studies relied on unrealistic dosages.  In rat study, for instance, the animals were fed levels of oxybenzone that would never be achieved in humans through normal exposure to sunscreen.  The researchers also reviewed the data on oxybenzone tested on humans.  Men and women do seem to absorb small levels through normal sunscreen use, but there was no evidence that it set off hormonal changes. Nor did the researchers find evidence of toxicity.  While the idea of a compound in sunscreen being absorbed through the skin may sound alarming, the report’s authors pointed out that this commonly occurs with skin care products.  The bottom line: Exposure to oxybenzone, through normal sunscreen use, is safe, studies find. For those who have reservations, some sunscreens are now made without oxybenzone such as Solar D-fense Ultra SPF 25 Sunscreen Stick, though they may not offer the same ultraviolet protection.   

…there’s no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen?  Many people think that if their sunscreen is water-resistant, they’re good to go all day at the beach.  Not so.  The general rule of thumb for sunscreen application is to reapply every two hours throughout sun exposure. But if you’re in the water, reduce that time frame to every 40 minutes.  According to FDA guidelines, bottles marked as “water-resistant” last just 40 minutes during water immersion.  Those labeled “very water-resistant” may last as long as 80 minutes before reapplication is needed.  But beware of products that claim to provide “all day” protection or are labeled “waterproof,” as these are misleading statements and are not supported by the FDA.

…propylene glycol (a.k.a. propanediol) is often confused with ethylene glycol?  It is important to understand the difference between propylene glycol and ethylene glycol: propylene glycol is a common food, medicine and cosmetic ingredient that has been used for many decades with no reports of adverse health effects.  Propylene glycol (a humectant that is usually derived from corn sugar) is part of a broad-spectrum preservative system and is often included as part of a paraben-free system.  While propylene glycol shares many characteristics with glycerin, it is also used to retard fermentation and as an anti-microbial and fungicide.  The other, ethylene glycol, is a highly toxic substance and the main ingredient in anti-freeze!  They are sometimes confused by well-intentioned individuals but they are not at all the same thing.  There are many glycols, and most do act as an anti-freezing agent.  This is due to the disruption of hydrogen bonding when added to water, and not because they are poisonous substances!  The chemistry of each glycol can be quite different and while they may share some properties they should never be mistaken.  Ethylene glycol is highly toxic and is often treated with a bitter agent to discourage ingesting.  Propylene glycol is well tolerated and digested by the human body just as glucose.   Only rare cases of skin sensitization have been observed, and only at very high levels over an extended period of time.  In addition, propylene glycol oxidizes to lactic acid, which is what our skin’s natural acid-mantle is composed of.  It is also fully biodegradable.

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