Tell me…am I betraying the natural beauty cause?

natural beauty products Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause?

Some of you wanted to know what I use on a daily basis and so I decided to show you today. I can’t feature all the products but these are a good indication. Please note that I do switch products around a bit but these are what I use mostly. When I say natural, I’m referring to the brand and not the ingredients. However, most of the formulations contain a substantial amount of botanical ingredients and do not contain the unnecessary chemical excesses.

Natural skin care Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause?

In terms of facial skin care, I’m pleased to say that I’m using only natural products. Products you see here are:
- Marie Veronique Organics Anti-Aging Range
- True Beauty True Bio Skin Care
- Bod White Tea Cleansing Gel

Natural facial treatment products Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause?

The masks that I use are:
- Elemental Herbology  Biodynamic Facial Souffle
- Kelly Edwards Red Clay Mask (to be reviewed)
For exfoliation, I’m currently using a massage cream from True Beauty and testing a scrub from Bod.

Natural body care products Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause?

Body care products I use are from:
- 100% Pure
- Natio Spa
- Balance Me natural body lotion
You also see two Papaw balms of natural formulation but what you don’t see is the shower gel and currently, I use the 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Pink Grapefruit Juicy Shower Gel. As for deodorant, I use my own concoction of baking powder.

Natural hair care products Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause?

Hair care products are:
- Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo
- Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo
- Tebe Hair Hydrating Conditioner
I was actually using 100% natural products in hair care for awhile with products from Burt’s Bees and EO but since I ran out of EO, I switched to Kiehl’s.

Makeup Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause?
Make up products I use are mostly non-natural. What you see here are:
- Aubrey Organics lip tint
- ChopSaver lipbalm
- Shiseido foundation
- Clarins foundation
- Prescriptives eyeshadow
- Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Question for my readers
Viva Woman didn’t start out as a natural and organic skin care blog. I only started blogging about such products when I developed an interest in them sometime in 2008. Unlike those blogs that are really focused on green, natural and organic products, my blog is still a mixed bag. Moreover, I’m based in Singapore and many of you know that the natural and organic beauty market here is in its infancy. So I try to blog based on what I use.

But of late, I been feeling uneasy that not all the products I feature here are natural. Sometimes, I feel that I have to overjustify for some of the non-natural products I use, especially my choices in makeup.  Other times, I feel bad that some of you are coming here to read about natural and organic products but you don’t always find those information. So yeah, I’m feeling kind of guilty and have been thinking and NEED to know – do you think I am betraying the natural beauty cause that I’ve been pursuing?

vivawoman1 Tell me...am I betraying the natural beauty cause? © www.vivawoman.net copyright notice
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About Sesame

Blog editor of Viva Woman, Sesame is a skin care addict who is fond of using natural & organic beauty products. She also enjoys ogling at handmade jewelry & cute stationery.

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Comments

  1. I own a natural and organic based makeup line that is also primarily vegan (www.christopherdrummond.com).

    While I try to live a natural lifestyle, even I use skincare that isn’t 100% natural. I believe that the natural lifestyle isn’t all or nothing. Simply put, some all natural products simply arent as good as their non natural counterparts. This is why I created a natural line of makeup, because a line of natural line of quality professional grade makeup didn’t exist.

    I always teach people to go natural where you can, and if you find comparable products that are natural, buy them! Fortunately, there are great alternatives available usually.

    Christopher Drummond

    • Hi Christopher: Thank you for sharing your views. I’m definitely for your idea that people should go natural whenever possible, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

  2. Hey there,

    I think you shouldn’t be bothered and just post whatever you deem fit. This is your blog and nowhere do I see that you indicate this to be a natural beauty blog.

    I’m not a natural beauty product lover. But I still come here everyday because I enjoy reading your blog.

    In fact, I prefer your blog to have varied beauty topics. Not just natural/organic.

    • Well, not really bothered in a big way but I find myself having to justify some of my purchases to myself even. Most readers are understanding cos of their experiences with natural products. Plus some, like yourself, are more concerned with efficacy of the product.

      But cos my reviews are still a mixed bag, I do get a little embarrassed when pple refer to my blog as the natural/organic blog since I do position it as such.

  3. Nah! It’s not big deal to me that you’re not using all natural. :P If it works for you, then don’t sweat it! I do appreciate that you update about natural things. And that they are still an interest to you so you can keep sharing new things though. :)

    It’s hard to be 100%! Most people probably couldn’t even do half of what you do already. (I sadly don’t…>_<;; )

    Anyway, speaking about natural. You may have come across this somewhere, but have you ever heard of "Oil pulling"? I just stumbled upon it last night and I find it pretty interesting. It's a natural and safe detox method that can apparently help the body.
    It's all natural and pretty simple. I have yet to try it, but me and my mom are going to look into it and try it for a few weeks soon.
    I'm still a bit skeptical myself, but the more reviews I read, the more I am intrigued!

    Info, process and reviews here:
    http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/oil_pulling.html

    Video demonstration:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv39VISbSGI

    Peace!

    • Hi Angel: Thanks for giving me your support about my concern. :)

      Oh…I don’t know anything about oil pulling. Sounds really interesting! Will take a look at those links you’ve shared.

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Ooh I tried that before! It’s not bad but you have to watch out for the type of oil you use. =P

        It helped me fight bad breath and so on… :P But now lazy, never do!

  4. Well, like the above comment, this is really your blog and your intellectual property, so I don’t feel there’s any need to justify to others your own habits and preferences.

    It’s good to switch to natural/ organic stuff, but cost, product efficacy and personal compatibility allowing. Anyway, with the retail prices in brick and mortar stores in Singapore the way they are, I don’t think it’s that cost efficient to go green all the way. I do get most of my products online and from US websites and while they’re cheaper, it all adds up as well.

    Also, there’s some debate on natural preservatives not being that suitable for our warm and humid weather. So I can understand how conventional products might work better and be safer in that regard. Like mascara, so I was told recently :)

    I enjoy reading your blog, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a wholly green blog. :)

    • Hey Audris: I really like your observation about the preservatives cos that’s really a concern. That’s probably why some pple find that they’re happy to use a product with parabens cos they know it’s going to be stable for the next few months.

  5. I think it’s refreshing that you use products based purely on their results. If the product is all natural, then all the better! It makes your reviews far more candid because you can tell you love the product for everything, and not just simply because it’s ‘natural’. So, keep it real I say :-)

  6. im actually not a natural/organic product lover, so i love your blog the way it is… hahaha mixture please!

    reason why im not a organic/natural lover yet (but of coz i hope to) is because i want something more convenient and less hassle.. in the market if i want to try the natural pdts, i gotta search for them as they are so exclusively sold at various places.. meaning if i wanna go marketing for tolietries, i gotta go alot alot of ulu places or online even??? then again, you gotta search for reviews for it before you feel trusted enought to try… so tedious!!! so commercialised products more readily available still appeal to me.. and unnatural pdts reviews from you still highly appreciated :)
    but i switch to burt bees shampoo because of reading your blog! hahahaha

    • Hi Hazel: You rightly pointed out…inaccessibility is one of the reasons why it’s quite hard to go 100% natural. This will remain so until more companies introduce more natural products quickly. But you’ll still read more natural products here than the others cos I still have preference for them.

      Hope you’re liking the Burt’s Bees shampoo so far. :)

  7. Raelynn says:

    I agree… blog as you deem fit. Recently i’ve been thinking quite long and hard about my approach of going natural whenever i can. good quality nautral and/or organic products are quite expensive in singapore and i’m feeling uneasy about using so much of my parent’s money when it comes to skincare. even if my mom were to give me the green light to purchase, because of my findings that cetearyl alcohol is giving me long term problems, quite a bit of mid ranged natural/organic skincare choices are no longer available. so now, i only but natural/organic if it’s affordable (think 100% pure’s scrub) or if it really is the only thing that i can use (ilcsi’s mineral cleansing concentrate, it seems to be the only one that is gentle enough for morning cleansing. havent tried bod’s cleansing gel.. a little fearful because the ingredient list is quite similar to the other natural cleansers that i’ve tried. ilcsi’s whipped moisturizers).

    another thing also got me thinking about affordable natural/organic products, and my most recent concern stems from the Garden of Wisdom products that i have been using for a while (and changing).

    1) how do i know whether the products are safe? after all, the US regulations are a lot more lax than the UK and SG regulations on ingredient concentration.

    2) are the formulators certified practitioners of any form of medicine? do they really know what they are doing when they formulate and release a product?

    3) an old favourite serum of mine from GoW was the skin communicator serum, yet only after 2 months, the smell has turned, causing some worry. (as mentioned by Audris.) and the texture of the Hydrosol Gel and BLTC serum changed, from gel to liquid. i once purchased a natural preservative from an autralian company. despite adding the max concentration, moss like organisms grew in a night in the bottle of water that i added the preservative to. go figure.

    4) if vegetable sourced glycerine is acceptable, shouldnt vegetable sourced propylene glycol be accepted to?

    due to these reasons, i only purchase carrier oils from GoW, and at most, the hydrosol gels but to be transferred to smaller bottles while the rest is stored in the fridge.

    and due to these reasons, i’m looking at products that are sold in credible sources in singapore (think Bud cosmetics by Eric, Sephora, Perfect Potions).

    For the rest, i’m currently using The Skin Pharmacy.

    • Hi Raelynn: You’ve raised many good points…many of which I share too. The stability of the formulation is definitely something we ought to be concerned about. In terms of safety, I feel that for some ingredients, there’s been some manipulation in the information although personally, I’m less concerned with that aspect. I only avoid certain ingredients out of concern of what it does on the skin…not on the health. But of course, if it’s healthy, all the more it’s good.

      I agree that where we get our products are important. Sometimes, there are reasons why a product cost more. If there are R&D and proper testing with clinical research to backup, I’m willing to give the product a shot even if it may cost more. On the other hand, I worry about using handmade stuff. I am less willing to try for my face, but will use them on other parts say if it’s a soap or body lotion.

      Anyway, I also think that what we take is important. Beauty comes from inside out and I will gladly spend a bit more on that.

      • Raelynn says:

        thank you for your reply sesame! i too believe what we take is important. speaking of which, apple cider vinegar seems to be touted as a good drink for daily consumption because of its high nutrient content…

        • Raelynn: Yes, supposed to be good for detox, beautifying and slimming but the smell is terrible. I cannot drink it. My husband drank one bottle of it but didn’t continue.

    • Audris says:

      Hi Raelynn,

      I just joined a spree for GoW stuff for the first time. Just curious, when the GoW stuff arrives, do you refrigerate the serums and hydrosol gels?
      I’ve also been thinking, since the items undergo transit, there’s no telling what sort of temperature changes the items undergo on their journey (e.g. cold cargo hold, offloaded in the hot sun, left on the tarmac for sometime before storage). So I do wonder if the ingredients themselves, when mixed, are still ok when subjected to such temperature fluctuations, preservatives notwithstanding.

      Just a thought :)

      Thanks.

      • Raelynn says:

        Hi Audris,

        The serums that i mentioned in my post, were my first purchase from GoW Serums, hence it was quite a steep learning curve for me regarding their stability. When I first got them, it didnt occur to me to refrigerate them because they were all sample sizes or 1oz bottles which would probably finish in 2 months. yet because of my observations, I would recommend that you refrigerate the serums and hydrosol gels if you are buying them in their larger sizes. =) i used to think that if i on my air conditioning every night, the integrity is maintained since the temperature is changed gradually although the extremes can be quite far apart given the way singapore is. but looks like i’m wrong… i would buy a few muji bottles to store what i use daily and keep the rest in the fridge. =)

      • Hey Audris: It’s best to refrigerate. I do that for the gels and hydrosols. But I hope not to have to refrigerate the new cream I’ve ordered.

    • Miss Vinny says:

      Yikes, your post reminds me why I am not too keen on going completely DIY. Too much of a hassle and also, you can’t always control the temperatures and other aspects when mixing the formulas. If I ever do DIY, it’s only for those items that I use on the spot. Seeing the expensive items spoiling = major heart pain.

      Also, I’d originally been thinking of buying some hand-made eye oils but after reading your post, better not.

      • Raelynn says:

        Dear Miss Vinny,

        What i’ve observed is that the ones which tend to give a lot of problem are those which contain water. if the handmade eye oils do not contain water and contain some form of antioxidants to delay the oils being rancid, then you may consider buying a small amount at a time. but do ensure that such products are packaged in a dark glass bottle to protect the integrity. plastic dropper bottles are a big no-no. =)

        • Miss Vinny says:

          Yikes! The product I’m looking at, is made up of oils but isn’t packaged in a dark glass.

          Nevermind. I’ll go take a look at another brand. =P There are tons of eye creams and gels all over the market.

  8. Hi Sesame! I found your blog while researching on organic/natural products. I do enjoy reading your entries a lot which makes sense cos I keep coming back.

    And although I do promote organic and natural products (even on my blog) and try to make the green choice all the time, I realize that it is quite unrealistic and impractical of me to require this from all products in the market. I HAVE to bend the rules every once in a while. And so I totally understand where you’re coming from and so I think you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

    I live in the Philippines where organic products are pretty new and quite expensive.

    • Miss Vinny says:

      Don’t you guys over in Philippines have Human Heart Nature or something? Though granted, they’re still new and still very much a budget line, so they’re busy tinkering for ultimate perfection… lol. It’s cheap cos it’s heavily subsidised by one of the richest women in your country, isn’t it?

      • Hi Miss Vinny! Yes we do, I’m glad you’re familiar with it :) It’s a new organic line that’s spearheaded by Anna Meloto, she’s a former schoolmate.

        It is pretty new so the line is not as extensive yet. I do use their shampoos and conditioners, but their skin care line does not work well for me because of my sensitive skin. I am also currently exploring other [local] organic brands too :)

        • Miss Vinny says:

          Hey Kira, ughhh I’m waiting for a certain seller to respond because I’ve been waiting ages for her to send me the HHN deep conditioning mask. For conditioners and shampoos, I just realised that simple formulas work best for me. And most natural/organic conditioners and shampoos have wayyy too many ingredients which can cause skin irritation. Surprising how the most basic kind of beauty products are sometimes the best, eh?

          Yeah I’ve been telling HHN constantly to try and revise their formulas so it’s not so thick and so on, for sensitive skin and for better absorption in ultra-humid climates. Their stuff isn’t too bad but it just needs to undergo slight reformulations. But at least they have an R & D department unlike some natural or organic brands where it’s all hand-made and not very well tested.

    • sesame says:

      Hi Kira: Thanks for coming back often. :) You’ve hit the nail on the head…the word is “unrealistic”! I share the same sentiments. Plus, where we reside makes a difference. I’m not sure about the Philippines but here, the interest is new and so the marketing is just establishing. The choices are also limited.

  9. ive gotten very interested in natural cosmetics after reading your blog, but i admit it is hard to go 100% natural and organic especially all at once. im still tempted to use products by the big cosmetics houses that dont have that natural reputation. i think its mainly a label thing, like you assume somethings going to work because its got a big celebrity image… but i am trying! :D

    • sesame says:

      Hi Rinka: I see your point…most natural and organic products do not use above-the-line advertisements so perhaps that’s why the appeal is not as great. But I think in time, there would be a change because there are more consumers demanding for safer ingredients and companies will have to introduce more products based on natural formulations.

  10. Natural or non-natural, I read your blog because I enjoy it. I see Vivawoman as a lifestyle blog that features a wide variety of subjects with well-thought-of content and insightful information.

    The fact that your content is largely based on natural beauty products, it gives me a peace of mind knowing that I am reading from someone who has a good content knowledge on what she writes. However, I enjoy reading about natural beauty products as much as non natural ones. So, I say – continue with what you are doing!

  11. Miss Vinny says:

    Hi Sesame, it’s okay to cover non-natural or non-organic products once in a while. =)

    Plus, sometimes, yeah… science can deliver quite a lot. =)

    And sometimes, I wish that many organic products could have better formulations instead of dumping an endless list of botanical oils and extracts. I just don’t understand what’s wrong with using some chemicals to help bind, emulsify, etc., since almost everything in this world is composed of chemicals which are natural. Finally, they really need to add in better preservatives! The world is getting hotter and I suspect increasing dissatisfaction with shortened lifespans of organic products. Oops! What a long sentence. =P

    Btw, I do my best to steer away from purists. Often their intentions are good but the results are super annoying, especially the constant badgering to switch to “my line of reasoning only” and topics like skincare, medicine, computers and politics are hot potatoes! So, I’m glad you’re open to all sorts of products instead of rejecting anything and everything just because they’re not “natural” or “organic”. Besides, “organic”, “natural” and “scientifically proven” can be all hype anyways.

    Keep writing, dear! =D

    • sesame says:

      Thank you Miss Vinny! Yes, science delivers and I’m glad we’re having more natural/organic brands using technology to create better products. However, I wish they don’t make it so unaffordable.

      Ah…good point about purists. Now, your comment makes me feel why I’m okay because no way can I ask people to go natural and organic just for the sake of doing so. I can only recommend if I believe it is right. I like natural/organic but I don’t think all of them work…

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Yep because we should use products out of our own will, make recommendations based on needs and not out of a wish to impose on others.

        Yeah for example, EO shampoo: ugh… that Rosemary and Mint didn’t work and now I’m reluctant to try out anymore products of that range. Anyone wants to buy mine? Or else I’m trashing it.

        Oh and Sesame, no need to be so serious lahz! =P “Betraying the natural beauty cause”. Errr… you’re not forming the government or taking part in some sort of highly politicised mission that’ll determine the lives of a few thousands. =P

        Btw, from your post about that Aubrey lip gloss, I assume you’re fine with carmine which has some safety issues connected to it? Then again, people can have severe allergies to anything and maybe it doesn’t pay to be so afraid of everything(like EWG does).

        • sesame says:

          Haha…the title was meant to attract attention but well, I do feel guilty sometimes. :razz:

          I’ve forgotten the ingredients of the lip gloss but I have no issues with carmine.

  12. Raelynn says:

    hmmm my post didnt get shown…

    • Raelynn says:

      oh oh, i think it’s being flagged for moderation because of the sheer length ^^” sorry sesame!

      • sesame says:

        No worries about the length…it just went into my moderation queue. I also check my spam folder so all legitimate comments are always preserve. :)

  13. Hey Sesame, I say just blog what you really do use, organic or not. Only the truth matters! Even though I’m retailing organic products myself, and try to use all that I sell, I still can’t avoid using some non-organic makeup especially. But at least for powder, I try to stick with organic, since it covers a larger surface contact, whilst others like eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, blusher, I just stick to non-animal testing products. Cos sometimes the organic or natural makeup really doesn’t seem to do its job too well. :) You blog with integrity, that’s what matters.

    • sesame says:

      Hey Joey: I’m so happy to hear your thoughts on this! I am in total agreement that sometimes organic or natural just doesn’t seem to do so well especially with makeup. Like when I use BB cream sometimes to cover my blemish and I get complimented for it…yet I feel a little sheepish that that’s not natural. But what the heck! It works!

  14. Miss Vinny says:

    Btw, all of you gals who use BB cream might want to read this link:

    http://www.joseibi.com/?p=2367

    Though be warned that results are not conclusive yet and it could just be a scare. But this is probably why it’s always better to pay a bit more to get a quality product than to skimp.

  15. 1) Use what works. Some of us are sensitive to everything. Others are not bothered by ANYTHING.

    2) Price plays a big role. You can use the most expensive, exquisite products, but if you can’t afford to continue…

    3) You can happily be using shampoo or foundation, when all of sudden your hair or complexion needs change. Or

    4) Your brand/product is discontinued.

    5) It’s a process!

    • sesame says:

      Thank you Soos for sharing your thoughts and what you highlighted is so true…it’s a process and these things are dynamic. Sometimes I find myself liking something but after awhile, no longer so. Or sometimes I even find myself becoming more receptive to what I used to dislike!

  16. I agree to what some people said above: use what you think works.

    To me, it’s a plus if it’s environmentally friendly but if it’s good for sensitive skin or a any kind of skin – then you should recommend it.

    • sesame says:

      Hi Andy: I’ll try. The thing I don’t do is to publish news releases announcing new natural and organic products. So because it’s based on my experience with the products either through using or seeing, then it’s usually more limited.

  17. Elaine says:

    Thank YOU! For being YOU. I use mostly natural ingredients when I can, but not all the time.
    I don’t follow anyone’s particular line, I like different lines.
    Make-up I don’t always adhere to a 100% natural line. I guess that why I like coming here and reading your articles so much. You are not a fanatic. I thank you for that.

    • sesame says:

      Thank you Elaine! Yes, it’s true…I love natural stuff but not a fanatic. Even with sunscreens which I’m quite obsessed about, I can’t count myself as one. :)

  18. I think we all have the interest to go as natural as possible. But sometimes it’s difficult to buy them or you just like one that isn’t completely natural. For example make-up can be very hard to go natural since non-natural brands have such a huuge variety.
    Although I believe that at all times it’s important to keep away from too harsh ingredients.

    I like your blog because you are unique. And share excellent information. Keep being yourself.

    • Thank you N! You’re right about the greater selection of non-natural brand of makeup causing us to want to try them. Very tempting!

  19. babysaffron says:

    Hi Sesame…
    What draws me to your blog is regardless you post about organic or non organic. Its the taking time to review and write something about the product that makes it educational to me and worth my time to read them carefully, understand and apply it as much as i can…And what really matters to me is not sugar coating about the particular product… The information that you delivered counts awhole lot… it does makes a difference…
    Please do continue….

  20. Miss Vinny says:

    Btw, anyone uses rattan baskets for storing their beauty items? If so, any issues of rotting wood or other problems?

    • sesame says:

      I use plastic ones but I think with rattan baskets, it’s best you don’t have it come into contact with water.

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Ahhh… plastic baskets then. I can’t be bothered to get rattan baskets if they’ll wear out so first.

        Oh boy, why can’t the development of hemp-based plastic go a bit faster? ><;; I heard it's stronger and lasts longer and might be biodegradable. Hopefully it won't be too expensive though or the cost would deter many manufacturers from utilising it.

        Anyways on another note: I'm getting more and more frustrated with organic/natural products at times due to refusal to use more preservatives.

        Okay wait… you're all probably going to be shocked by what I'm going to say but to be truthful? Thanks to science, medication, technology and so on: we now get to live to around 50s to 60s or even beyond. In comparison, a few hundred years ago, the maximum lifespan for many was around in their late teens to early 20s to mid 30s! It didn't matter even if you were the poor or the nobility, death still came for you.

        That's why I'm getting far less concerned about parabens because the potential for getting infections through bacteria and mould(sometimes not detected by the naked eye or by the nose) is far greater than getting some cancer. And I know that for say, hand sanitisers: 60% minimum of alcohol is required for killing bacteria so the claims by all those natural or organic brands that the % of alcohol and other natural ingredients can protect against bacteria might be a bit far-fetched? Because you would need a lot of alcohol just to kill off the bacteria and the arguments that "natural = adding a few ingredients into the formula" just doesn't seem convincing enough to me as that seems more theoretical and textbook than realistic. Or perhaps I'm being misinformed? But if someone's going to contradict me, please don't just quote studies. Many studies are poorly done or if not, carried out because the researchers need more grants. And if quoted by the layman, it tends to be wrongly interpreted since some studies are done for very specific purposeses like in conjunction with other studies or regarding certain types of medical conditions/symptoms or medication. So, I'd rather get information about research instead.

        Finally, don't get me started on all of those organic products that are offered only in jars and poorly covered bottles and not tubes or something else. Some of them are budget, sure… but many usually still have the money to launch even more product offerings or even redesign the bottles or labels(but still with the same hygiene problems). -__-;;

        Sometimes, I wonder what the point of switching to natural or organic products is when the stands by the varying companies could possibly put your health or even life at risk, especially since organic/natural movement is about health. I do know that certain types of molds if inhaled, could spread throughout your body: cause breathing difficulties, lead to brain damage, temporarily or permanently damage eyesight and so on. And I highlight this because quite a few of Vivawoman's readers belong to Singapore or climates with some or high humidity, no?

        • sesame says:

          Hey Miss Vinny, I can understand your frustration cos I share some of them myself. Personally, I don’t mind parabens as long as they’re at the end of the list. That’s why I use some products that are mostly natural but still have them – eg. Natio. My interest to go natural/organic is more cos I don’t like some ingredients on my skin eg. alcohol, mineral oil, silicones and avoid them as far as possible.

          I’m also quite particular about packaging. I sneer at natural/organic that cost a bomb and yet are not stored in glass bottles but plastic containers.

          Anyway, you might like to know that we can actually live up to 120 years old according to science…but because of lifestyle, we are cutting it by half or so.

  21. Miss Vinny says:

    Btw, I’m letting go my bottle of EO Rosemary and Mint shampoo for $12(meetup only and preferably around the West area). It’s 85% to 90% left and I got it at Dragon D’or for around $18++. Hoping to let go of this before the end of this week(31st Oct) or else I’m throwing it away. This is because I’ll be receiving many other haircare products and am running out of space. Plus, I just remembered that my hair and scalp can’t seem to tolerate complex formulas, little wonder why it caused me a lot of hair loss and scalp problems. -__-;;

    Please email me at: yuri dot aoki at gmail dot com

    Thanks! :)

  22. Miss Vinny says:

    About parabens, I’m actually starting to question the validity of any information that they can cause cancers and so on. I have not seen any information that substantiates such statements except from EWG(where apparently feeding an animal up to 10,000 times the normal dose makes an ingredient highly dangerous) and many other self-declared expert sites where they don’t list any sources except to say… EWG or some other scare tactic site.

    Because see? Parabens are nothing but benzoic acid which can be derived from plants or synthetically formed. And similarly, grapefruit extract is a synthetic formulation if I’m not wrong and according to some sites, its’ preservative properties come from contaminants. Yet many hail its properties.

    Now parabens are classified as harmful as there’re safety issues to eyes and lungs, in their liquid and powder forms. They can also be problematic to skin if you don’t wear any protective clothing and also could be somewhat hazardous if heated. But that’s the same with many other acids and other natural/synthetic substances anyways. However, since benzoic acids are already processed by the time the skincare/haircare product reaches the consumers, they should be fine. The only real issues with benzoic acids are when they are used for food preservation(kidney and liver issues) but I admit to not having really read up on that yet. =P Though it might also have to do with the percentage: somewhat low percentage of parabens should be okay because to me, very high percentages of certain acids, may not be that safe either.

    Also yes, benzoic acids contain phenol. Some phenols could be an endrocine disruptor and could be linked to breast cancer. However, there are also phenols in tomatoes, grapes, etc and in contrast,some of these phenols have also been linked to inhibiting cancer. So, it depends on what type. Btw, if you’re lazy, you can simply look at the table in the 3rd link… haha, instead of reading the entire document. But I have not seen any research about phenols in benzoic acid being linked to breast cancer. Though sure, I can understand if people want to play on the safe side but that might mean staying away from a large variety of fruits or even vegetables. And phenol is also produced by our body.

    Finally, I recall you mentioning that once many women switched away from formulas containing parabens, their skin got better. Well this is speculation but many manufacturers are somewhat lazy so they add in wayy too much? Or the formula(organic, natural or anything else) was not that effective to begin with?

    http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/BE/benzoic_acid.html

    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/b1356.htm

    http://www.zerobreastcancer.org/research/bcerc_factsheets_phenols.pdf

    http://potency.berkeley.edu/chempages/BENZOIC%20ACID.html

    And yeah, I think it’s the large amount of salts and sugars many consume. Sugar can wear down your teeth and once your oral health is gone, the rest of your body health won’t be that great either. Someone even told me(please take with a pinch of salt) that the sugars in cow milk will actually wear down your bones. I think he recommended kefir(fermented milk products that you make at home) instead.

    Packaging, huh? I wish most natural and organic brands would revise their packaging and formulas for better hygiene. Because simply put, if the products get contaminated and there are repeat complaints, wouldn’t the Health Board(or some other government group) step in and regulate it? Now I think most government bodies will be quite strict so there may be further regulations imposed on natural/organic products or even outright bans if the safety is deemed to be poor. Because despite what so many believe about free speech and freedom, when it comes to problematic messes, the government still has to step in and allocate time, resources and money.

    ================

    Hey dear, you mentioned the Jason Wild Yam cream in another post, for body imbalances. Would it happen to be this one? It can’t be, right? O_O The pricing gap is … steep!

    http://www.iherb.com/Jason-Natural-Wild-Yam-Balancing-Moisturizing-Creme-4-oz-125-g/6288?at=0

    • sesame says:

      I think the absorption of parabens might depend on where it is being used. I have a suspicion that if it’s near lymph nodes, absorption might be higher…eg. armpits. So I try not to use commercial deordorant or anti-perspirant if possible but stick to using baking soda most of the time.

      It probably also depends on the state of the health. Some people with hormonal imbalance will suffer negative consequences using more of such products so they have to know. Eg. EPO is good for most ladies but if over consumed or taken in the long term, may pose hormonal imbalance problems later.

      With regards to packaging, don’t think the govt would step in as their hands are problably full and unless there is a major issue, they’ll prefer status quo.

      Yes, that’s the Jason wild yam cream I saw at D’or Dragons. It was about $80 I think. iherb’s is so much cheaper. The markup is wow…like many fold huh?

  23. Miss Vinny says:

    Btw, there’s this rather experienced Western herbalist(who switched over from practising modern medicine) I know and here’s what he’d to say about parabens in one of his forum posts:

    http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1645831#i

    “I think the jury is still out. Studies claim that they are not carcnogenic, but they do stimulate estrogen receptors, which means they likely do contribute to cancer. Here is an interesting article on them:

    http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/Newsletter/articles/v9rc.parabens.cfm

    Uh oh. Oh well… as long as I keep the no of products with them, to a minimal count, I should be fine. Though yikes!!!! :O

    I guess you may be right? Totally not sure, though.

    Yeah… that is one steep price increase.

    Btw, talking about diets from your other post, those who eat fast foods a lot might want to have a read at this about them(including Subway’s):

    http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=1708710#i

    Thank gods I only eat fastfood at Yoshinoya or Mos Burger’s(whenever the food queues are wayy too long) where the servings are smaller and not plastered with a countless number of sauces. =P MSG is not a concern for me but… I already have to drink a lot of water. ><;; Can't take like 4 liters… haha.

    • sesame says:

      Fastfood is a scare! Apart from this one you share with me, I saw one about the food lying around for six months and looking the same!!! Even the dog don’t want to touch it! Can you imagine?

  24. Choosing organic/natural skincare and makeup is more of a conscious decision for me.

    I am nowhere near a tree hugger or hippie. Just feel that with all the aliments like cancers these days, putting on chemicals on your face is quite a scary thought. However, I use conventional makeup for special occasions -love japanese brands like kanebo and shiseido and for skincare, masks or cleansers non-natural as it does not sit on skin for a long time. For normal days i stick to organic makeup brands. :)

    Miss Vinny has a good point about preservatives in organic/natural skincare. Perhaps putting it in a refreigator will help in Spore’s humid climate. Mould kills – brittany murphy is said to have died from it.

    • sesame says:

      Yes, the preservatives is a big concern. I’m now wondering whether I should refrigerate some of the stuff…but it’s rather inconvenient too.

  25. Miss Vinny says:

    Well hopefully they were not faking that experiment and being truthful.

    There have been a good many stunts being pulled along the years, like this one: http://thechive.com/2010/08/10/girl-quits-her-job-on-dry-erase-board-emails-entire-office-33-photos/

    And oh about packaging, I wasn’t referring to that. Oops! I was referring to insufficient preservatives in most natural or organic products. And if there are enough complaints about product contaminations especially from natural or organic products, won’t the government prefer to issue strict warnings or even resort to bans(rare but could happen) since they don’t have all the time to test everything?

    Oh and after seeing that stuff about parabens, I think it is better to be more careful. There goes my ideas of wearing far more makeup. -__-;; Organic makeup is just sooo expensive and often has problems lasting, so I’ve heard. I just don’t think I wanna increase my chances of getting breast cancer, no matter how beautiful the end product is like. Right now, only 1 to 2 of my products probably contain parabens and I’m keeping it that way.

    Say, do you have any decent budget($20++ to $30++) water-based moisturisers to recommend for normal, dry, oily and sensitive skin? I’ve tried Juice Beauty/Organics on my hand so far and they take far too long to absorb. =P On my face? Likely far longer. Is Yes to Cucumbers’ Lotion any good? Though… it seems to have Isopropyl Palmitate which it seems can clog pores.

    • sesame says:

      I’m always stumped for recommendations of moisturizers. I’ve read someone suggesting Avalon, which is really affordable but I wasn’t too keen on the ingredients. A very normal one is Sukin’s or Renew’s (seems the same if I’m not mistaken except for the price points). Or perhaps something under 100% Pure.

      • Previously, I didnt get why some dermatologists and skincare gurus slam organic skincare products. Think i now partly understand why. Those carrot oils and some oils can only relief dryness, but do not contain ‘actives’ that would help with antiaging or act as antioxidants in today’s polluted world.

        For this reason, I stopped using Dr Hauschka because the skincare is living in stone age (no offence to the brand – i used it for a few years). It doesnt address concerns for people living in this day and age, as the formulation was made like 60 years ago when the world was a less polluted place.

        Ingredients vital to skin like acai oil, pomengrate oil is not used in Dr H’s skincare. Much less things like DMAE and HA.

        Hence, modern formulation is important to counteract the . Cannot see myself paying for Dr H and Jurlique these days.

        • sesame says:

          It’s still important to read the ingredient list. Some contain good ingredients, others just normal. Worst if they mark up the price. I would go for organic or natural if they use good ingredients that can do something for my skin.

        • Miss Vinny says:

          Hmmm… however, organic skincare is still far more gentle for my skin. Have used countless brands in the past and most were awful, even the ones that promised to be gentle. In the end, even if the formulation is touted to be great, if it can’t work on your skin then what’s the point? =P

          However, I just don’t understand why so many brands are so utterly fixated on being organic purists. That isn’t going to help anyone and I wish more people would start combining organic ingredients with both synthetic and non-synthetic ingredients to make the best of both worlds. And oh, everything is made up of chemicals anyways and they won’t kill anyone. =P Not cleaning off makeup, wearing poorly tested products would damage your skin.

          And I suspect a problem with many organic brands is that the chemists must really suck! You just can’t create a good formula by randomly dumping everything in and hoping it all works. And I just can’t figure out why many organic brands prefer to use oils rather than extracts.

          • sesame says:

            Hey Miss Vinny: Have you tried Organic Apoteke? I tried one of their products and found them rather good. Theirs is a combination of organic + active ingredients like vit C and can do something for the skin.

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Avalon, huh? I’m not keen as well… there is silicon in it. (My policy of silicon-free products extends only to items that have to be absorbed. Makeup with silicon is fine with me, as long as it stays above my pores.) Plus, there are too many ingredients which means it’s either very rich or mediocre.

        Renew is out since the rose hip gel is horrible and I only use it when I’ve to go out on very short trips… lol. The Rose hip oil? I exploded in millia seeds so it’s sitting in my fridge 99.9% unused way past the expiry date! I may use it as some sort of nail cleaner or something. =P So I’m unwilling to even touch their creams. =P

        Okay that leaves Sukin and 100% pure. And thanks! I’ll take a good look at them. :)

        • sesame says:

          Renew didn’t work for you? I quite like their rosehip oil. If you’re looking at Sukin, check out the ingredients. I think they’re close to Renew.

  26. Miss Vinny says:

    Well after taking a good look, I discovered this: Renew has rose water, a different type of rose oil and the position of the other ingredients in Renew moisturizer are different when compared against Sukin’s. Renew has apricot kernel oil and several other ingredients not found in Sukin’s. And? Renew also has Retinyl Palmitate, something I’m not too keen on as I need sunlight(bone disorder) and wouldn’t want to develop sensitivity towards it. =P I’m hoping Sukin’s is somewhat watery or I might have to mix it with rose water or something else to dilute it.

    The urls for the curious: http://www.sukinorganics.com.au/product.asp?id=3

    http://renewskincare.com/main.php
    Sorry, no direct url cos they use a flash site.

    Yeah, it’s too bad the oil has long expired or I’d pass it to someone else! It really made my skin super smooth but the trade-off was even more millia seeds and pimples. I think it was way too concentrated since it was 100% pure! Well, everyone has their own skin sensitivity anyways. =)

    And I can’t believe this discussion has turned into such a massive thread! =P

    • sesame says:

      Oh I didn’t know that Renew’s got Retinyl Palmitate. Sukin’s don’t have it I believe…but I recall the moisturizer is not too thick, but not watery either.

      Okay, the rosehip oil does create milia seeds…I thought I was the only one getting it. I avoided applying around the eyes.

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Ahh unfortunately I broke out all over the face and even my neck. -__-;; Anyways, if rosehip oil is just a small % of a formulation, it should be okay. =P And my solution for those pesky millia seeds and pimples? Just cleanse the face gently and use far less moisturiser, drink lots of water and so on. =P

        Oh well, I read that the moisturiser actually helps to control oil. Hmmm… might be worth giving it a shot. :D

  27. Miss Vinny says:

    Oh and Organic Apoteke? Thanks for the suggestion. I did have a good look at their site and I think their creams contain coconut oil which my face seems to hate. =( I find anything with coconut extremely drying for my skin, regardless of the percentages. Probably explains why the Body shop coconut oil I tried for my hair and skin when I was a teen, was a major disaster!

    Coconut’s yummy to eat, though. :D

    • sesame says:

      Coconut oil is not agreeable to your skin. Oh dear…your skin sounds really sensitive so I suppose you really need to keep to simple ingredients. Maybe products like QV or Cetaphil works better for your skin type. They’re not natural but they’re pretty good stuff.

      • Miss Vinny says:

        Ahh tried those brands before. They don’t really cleanse my skin at all haha.

        Actually, I’ve a big suspicion it’s because I don’t exercise at all so my health sucks. My psychiatrists were horrified to learn about that because they weren’t very keen on giving me a higher dosage and because the medicine is only supposed to be for a short time, for stabilising the mind.

        • sesame says:

          Ah…so you really need to tackle your internal issues first. You’re consulting TCM too isn’t it?

  28. Jennychan says:

    Hi :)!
    I also ventured into natural skincare after I became very interested in it (for me it is something you use in the longterm, so the safer the better!) however, for makeup, I purchase mainstream brands as its cheaper , usually works better , and I don’t wear it much anyway- however, I still squirm abit when i glance through the list! haha all the ingredients I try to avoid in skincare is always there :( …..just a question`~ have you heard of the natural makeup brand in Japan~~~Naturaglace~~ (I think it is relatively new) It is said to to be very good quality and has SPF in everything as well, price wise it seems to be similar to mainstream brands and uses all safe ingredients.,… it also has adorable packaging :)
    thanks for putting up a great blog! :D I’ve learnt alot~~

    • Sesame says:

      Hi Jennychan! I haven’t heard about Naturaglace…will certainly like to try it. Where is it available?

      • Jenny Chan says:

        Oh I didn’t see this till now! it’s been a year ….

        Unfortunately, they’re one of those niche brands that you can only find in Japan and Hongkong (Last time I went to purchase some products, they were all sold out) so I will have to wait till the next I go to to asia for a trip.
        However, the testers that I tried had great textures and colour choices. Also, being a SPF fanatic, it was good to see the ingredient included). Looking at their website, they have just introduced a new sunscreen to the line which I am looking to get my hands on!

        If you are still interested, I’ve linked the page:
        http://www.naturaglace.jp/products/tabid/60/Default.aspx

        this is an english translated version:
        http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.naturaglace.jp/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dnaturaglace%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DJKW%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official

        or alternatively, you can find it in this store in HK (there is quite alot of them in the main shopping areas). The shop is called ‘Beyond Organic’ I believe.
        http://www.beyorgbeauty.com/product.php?brand_id=8

        Apologies for the VERY late reply, however if you ever get a chance to try this brand I would love to see what you think of it!

        Again, thanks for a great blog! :D

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