Monthly Archives: April 2012

INCI revealed

I have a cream in my hand; “regenerating night cream, all skin types“.The cost of it is ca €20 for 50ml. It is ecologically certified by eco cert. The label states:” 99% of the total ingredients are from natural origin / 28% of the total ingredients are from organic farming.” Here is the inci-list: (I will break it down for you)

Aqua (water), Simmondsia chinensis oil* (jojoba oil), Alcohol, Glycerin* (moisturizer), Persea gratissima oil *(avocado oil), Rosa damascena distillate* (rose-water), Cetearyl alcohol (emulsifier), Theobroma cacao seed* (cocoa butter), Hippophae rhamnoides extract* (seabuckthorn), Lycopersicum esculentum extract* (tomato), Glycine soja oil and Tocopherol (soy bean oil and vitamin E), Hordeum vulgare extract* (barley germ), Algae extract (seaweed), Humulus lupulus extract* (hops), Cetearyl glucoside (emulsifier), Plantago major extract* (plantain), Calendula officinalis extract* (marigold), Chamomilla recutita extract* (chamomile), Stearic acid (emulsifier, stabilizer), Sodium hyaluronate (skin conditioning agent), Xanthan gum (stabilizer, emulsifier), Potassium hydroxide*** (pH-regulator), Aroma**, Citral**, Citronellol**, Geranio**l, Limonene**, Linalool**  (there is no indication if the whole essential oil is used or just isolated chemicals)

*ingredients from organic farming. **natural essential oils. ***inorganic substances.

Remember, water is about 50-60%, and all the other ingredients will make up the rest; 40-50% of the cream. They are listed in percentual order; highest first. I have put the questionable ingredients in bold, these are the ones we are going to look at first. Let’s start at the top:

  • Alcohol: Moisturizers that contain a low molecular weight of alcohol fail to be effective because they quickly evaporate from the skin surface. In a cream alcohol speeds up absorption rate (how fast it goes into the skin.) Considering that this ingredient is in 3rd place, indicates a rather high %.
  • Stearic acid: This ingredient may be derived from animals. From PETA’s Caring Consumer: Fat from cows and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring.   Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats, coconut. (Skin deep)
  • Sodium hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in connective tissues such as cartilage. This ingredient is listed in the PETA’s Caring Consumer guide as derived from animal sources. (Skin deep)
  • Potassium hydroxide: Potassium Hydroxide is a caustic inorganic base. Classified as medium human health priority. Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful. Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel. (Skin deep)
  • Cetearyl alcohol & Cetearyl glucoside are commonly used emulsifiers. Cetearyl Alcohol is a mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohols that can come from vegetable or synthetic sources. Cetearyl glucoside is a surfactant and emulsifier produced from natural or synthetic ingredients. (Skin deep)

Now, let’s do the math: 28% of the ingredients come from organic farming; that’s the oils, fats, moisturizer and herbal extracts. Leaves 72% of other stuff; 50-60 % is water which leaves us with ca 10-20% for vitamins, some herbals and emulsifiers. 99% of the ingredients come from natural sources; animal or vegetable? And the last 1% is the Potassium hydroxide which is more or less the same thing as caustic soda – a highly corrosive agent. It is even higher in percentage than the perfume.

Another concern I have are the many different herbal extracts; how do they react with each-other? See my earlier post on blending too many ingredients together here. “All natural substances are alive, they react with each-other; sometimes they create a synergy that will do great things. Other times they enhance more negative aspects.

Source: Skin Deep

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THE LION HEART

This story is written by a friend of mine about his girlfriend.  It is beautiful and I want to share it with you

The Lion Heart

This a Story about a young girl.
It’s not the kind of Story like all the others,
Filled with magic and mystery.
But it’s about the magic of a young girl.
Till today she is a mystery, the only miracle I have ever seen.
She didn’t fight against Dragons or evil warlords, she is not living in the world of fairy tales and myths.
She lives right here in this world like all of us.
You can picture her fight like a battle against monsters and demons. The real life! The creation of a life, is always tough.
Fighting against inner demons or the monsters of the everyday life.
You will meet them everywhere on your way.
If you go to the train or bus station when you go out shopping or even in situations with your loved ones.
There are just two choices!
Fight them and get clear and strong or get beaten and complain about your misery.
She decided to go the hard way and fight against panic, being insecure, being lonely.
It is never easy to fight because that what you fight against is stronger then any horror creature!
In a way unbeatable!
Then it’s you!
You can win and get yourself together.
Or you lose and be a victim but still you can fight again till you win or give up.
She had reason to give up and millions of reasons to fight for. And she did and still does it.
People will say: “yeah come on it’s easy to do that”
But they just see the picture when it’s done not how hard it was to do it.
With every mistake she did, every time she failed, she went one step back but three steps forward.
Think about how impressive it is to see a young girl fighting like that, not giving up, fighting like a warlord.
To see all this pain, nobody would just choose to go this way by them self. The people are too afraid for that.
But when I look at her I don’t see pain, I see her intent, her courage and the eternal desire to live. To live a life made by independence, by own decisions, without fear to fail. Hungry for experience.
A girl like that can just have a heart like a lion…
Meek And fearless

Written by Christoph Hartkopf-Baumer

SKIN CARE revealed

I know I have written about this earlier but I find I need to bring it up again, seeing as there are so many questions around the whole thing. For earlier posts, check under tags: product information and skin-care.

Truths about skin care products:

  • CLAIMS: There are no rules or regulations whatsoever around what you may say about skin care, this is the Wild West. You can claim anything you want as a producer and you don’t even have to prove it. Take the word hypo-allergenic; this means that if your skin is extremely sensitive or you suffer from allergies, this is the product to use. The claim hypo-allergenic makes you believe that it is widely tested and formulated for any sensitivities…WRONG. It is just a product like all others, but it sounds good. So you’re in the shit, or rather your skin is. The only way you can determine if a product will work for you is by reading the INCI-list.
  • INCI-list: This is the only regulation that exists around skin-care, you have to list all the ingredients in order of amount, largest amount is at the top. Great thing, now you can check for the stuff you are sensitive to. The ingredients are listed with chemical and botanical names to be internationally viable. This definitely makes sense, but most people don’t understand what they are reading. Do you know what the botanical name of shea-butter is? If you want to know what is in your creme, google it. There is massive information on the internet.
  • BIO or ORGANIC: Sounds good when it is stamped on a product, now you get the “real” thing, or do you? All it takes is one organic ingredient in the formula and you can get BIO-certification. There are no specific rules around this, each certifying body (and there are quite a few) can decide as they like. Or there might be ingredients chemically derived from botanical or organic sources, this will count for BIO as well.
  • REGISTRATION: Each skin care product must be registered, at a fee of course, before it can be put on the market. Small producers of “clean” skin care most often don’t have the economy for this, so they are effectively shut out from the market-place leaving only the big players such as L’Oreal, Nivea, Dove.
  • €€€: It’s all about the money; by keeping production costs down, there is a big return in money on every sale. Natural & organic substances are expensive and would radically minimize the monetary gain on products, so cheap ingredients are used instead, even in very expensive products. Don’t be fooled…An expensive product in a beautiful package does not mean it is necessarily any good.

…And so on and so forth. Get the picture?

ASK WHY

I think this is the most important question we can ever ask – about anything: “Why do I want this?” “Why do I react like this?” “Why do I do what I do?”

Little children ask “why” all the time and it usually drives adults crazy because at one point we can’t answer anymore. This is the point where it is smart to say “I don’t know…”

While training to become a therapist, I learned about communication skills in relation to a client. In this training we were taught never to ask why; because it is too pushy, forces the client’s hand…Whatever. Instead you should ask round-about questions such as; “what would it do to you if…”. I am fine with this but I truly don’t understand the taboo around “why“. It is a simple, straightforward question that really puts things into perspective.

The why is what drives us, our motivation and our lust. Without a why, there is no forward motion. It is the best question if you are looking for information, any information; “why does the sun go up?” If you no longer have a curiosity to why things happen (or don’t) you are in a rut or a depression. You have stopped moving forward and life is probably rather bleak. You are not interested in knowledge, understanding or change and you probably lost connection with yourself.

When I ask you: “What is your dream?” and you need ages to think of something, you have a problem. If you finally come up with an answer but don’t understand why you want it, it will never happen. We move forward on our why’s; by knowing and understanding what we are looking for we can make it happen. If you are just looking to get rich, it won’t happen. But if you can figure out why you want to get rich, it might happen. The same goes for everything; if you don’t know why, how will you ever find a reason and motivation to do anything? Once you start asking why, you might even find that your wish or goal is quite different from what you originally thought and voilà! you learned something about yourself.

So; why am I writing this blog? Because it matters, the things I write about changed my life (and others) so much to the better and I want to share that. BUT, when I started writing this was not clear to me, I just wanted to make myself heard.

Go ahead; pick a topic in your life and ask the why’s, over and over again, until you reach your deepest want, lust or fear and you will find your road to success.

A cow called Baby

I treated my first cow today and I find cows to be very special and not entirely easy to grasp. Mind you, I’ve treated a wide variety of “odd” animals such as snakes, lizards, rats, birds and toads as well as different wild animals, but cow was special.

She is 8 months pregnant and has an abscess above her foot, right in the joint. It stays closed and she has not responded to treatment. There is no fever. As the owner (he breeds angus-stock for meat) works biologically with his cows, some forms of treatments are out of range. She has received anti-inflammatory agents and pain-relief but after a couple of weeks she is ill again. This has been going on for close to 3 months and in this time she lost 20-30 kg, her coat is dull and she is not shedding the winter coat. She is very shy and a bit insecure.

It took quite some time for her to allow me to come closer. Once she accepted me I could stroke her and keep her calm. She was obviously in pain and walks with a bad limp. The abscess area is swollen and warm, showing signs of an encapsulated infection. As it is sitting right on the joint, I had a feeling that infection was leaking into her synnovial-fluids, spreading it throughout the body, which would account for the whole-body reaction; nothing dramatic, just a slow deterioration. Her immune-system is obviously unable to deal with it. I didn’t know if I could truly make her well,  but for now something should be done to comfort her.

I used the AromaLux Horse crisis oil to calm her down and get her into her body a bit more, shy individuals often disconnect from themselves when they feel insecure. She smelled the oils and rubbed her head against my oily hands, took a deep breath and sighed. Good Baby! (That’s what he said, the farmer) We covered the abscess area with AromaLux Horse Xtreme Protection Salve and let her go on the field. Now we wait and see. I will return with the results later. (AromaLux Horse are products I have formulated for horses, but they are useful for any animal)

I learned something terrible today while I was chatting with the farmer and his wife: A cow like Baby would, in most instances, be slaughtered if rapid healing didn’t occur, because you can’t sell such a cow. And she would be slaughtered even though she is pregnant! This tore my heart, they would actually kill a pregnant cow and her baby. How can this be allowed? Even if the cow was seriously ill and would need to be put down, wouldn’t you wait for the baby first and save it? This farmer could never kill his cow and baby, he would rather spend endless hours helping them survive. That’s why I was there. As we stood in the field I saw a huge herd of cows and a magnificent bull. The farmer pointed out all the cows to me and told me their names, specific characteristics and how old they were, to me they all looked the same 🙂

Follow up April 20: Baby is healing slowly, she has gained weight and finally shed her winter-coat. She carries her calf very well and though she is still limping she has less pain. Her overall state is much improved. Her leg is still swollen and the encapsulated whatever-it-is stays the same but without the heat or any signs of infection. Mr Farmer will continue using the products and we’ll see where it goes. Stay tuned for the next follow-up 🙂