I love paw paw ointment but haven’t used it for years. The brand I used to use I found out contained petrochemicals as a base so I stopped using it all together. Recently however a couple of natural brands have popped up and I have been trialling them to see how they compare to the original. Of those natural brands I have done a comparison below and interestingly while I love the Pure Nutraceuticals product which we stock, the Suvana Paw Paw Ointment is really good too. For this reason, you will see it in-store soon! (Ed note: I is now in-store and on-line)
|Lucas Paw Paw Ointment||High concetration of paw paw ointment. A TGA listed product which means the base ingredients aren’t listed on the label||Contains natural paw paw extract in a petroleum jelly base (a petrochemical)||
|Pure Nutraceuticals Paw Paw Ointment||Natural with food grade preservative. Contains calendula which is healing and nourishing to the skin.||Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Beeswax, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Paw Paw Ferment, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Coconut Flavour, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Benzyl Alcohol||
|Suvana Paw Paw Ointment||Natural with some organic ingredients||Castor seed oil*, beeswax*, coconut oil*, cocoa butter*, papaya extract, honey*, jojoba oil*, vanilla bean oil*, candilia wax, carrot seed oil, stevia extract, vitamin e. * organic ingredients||
|Simmons Paw Paw Salve||Natural. Made with 51mg/gram of fresh paw paw. More papaw per volume than other leading brands.||Fermented fresh paw paw fruit, Rhus succedanea wax, glycerine, canola oil, hydrogenated castor oil, beeswax, corn starch.||
My video blog about Pure Nutraceuticals Paw Paw OintmentTwitter It!
I have always been curious about AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). While there was lots of good research around about their benefits there was also some about their potential side effects. So it has been an ingredient I have treated with caution and before I researched the ingredient, some suspicion. I think I am a bit of a cynic – I have to know about an ingredient before I am ready to embrace it. I also don’t like to leave stones unturned so when I realised the potential benefits of AHAs, I decided to give them a try. Who better to try it out on than myself? So this is part one of a blog about “My AHA Experiment”. The next installment will come at the end of 6 months.
AHAs (I use this term to cover BHAs or beta hydroxy acids as well) have a two fold effect. The first thing they do is reduce congestion – woopee, I need some of that! You can see the effects of this action relatively quickly (i.e. 10 days to 3 weeks). The second is to reduce sun damage and improve skin texture. According to clinical skin trials, this takes up to 6 months. I have been using the Devita AHA product for about 5 weeks now and I review the product as well as talk about the benefits and potential issues with the use of AHAs. So installment one of “My AHA Experiment” is below. I will get back to you with an update…in about 5 months time!
“My AHA Experiment”
Click here to view Devita AHAs
Topical Slow Aging Ingredients
We wash, style and blow-dry in order to tame our often un-ruly tendrils. Yet some of the everyday hair care practices we use are actually doing more damage than good. This article takes a look at the issues we face in our efforts to achieve well groomed, shiny and healthy hair.
The average human head has about 100 000 hair follicles and from each one emerges a shaft of hair. Nourished by blood vessels the follicles produce new keratin cells promoting the constant growth of new hair. The inner layer or medulla,
which is protected by the outer keratin cells, contains pigment cells (for colour), fat granules and oxygen. Separate glands run alongside the follicle producing sebum, a natural hair and scalp conditioner. Straight, shiny hair is the result of sebum produced by the glands easily travelling the length of the hair shaft. By contrast, curly hair will often look and feel dry because the sebum has a more difficult time getting from the base of the hair shaft to the tip.
The overall health of the hair depends on numerous factors however nutritional status is key. There are no topically applied hair products that can compensate for poor nutrition. Hair cannot repair itself because it is already dead tissue. However, you can grow healthier hair from the “inside-out”. Healthy hair depends on a constant supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to grow and maintain the look and feel. Any deficiency in key hair nutrients will show up in our skin, hair and nails first, before affecting our internal organs. Therefore, brittle, dry, dull hair that easily breaks may actually be a signifier to check your general nutritional status.
Hair is predominately made up from protein so a deficiency can result in changes to the colour and texture resulting in brittle, weak and thinning hair. Eating protein 3-5 week will help maintain your levels. If you have had a protein deficiency you will notice hair returning to healthy condition within 12 weeks of correcting the deficiency, as the new hairs grow through.
In addition diets high in sugar and animal fats may contribute to poor hair health. An imbalance between good and bad fat consumption can either lead to an overly dry and flaky scalp and dry hair or excessive oil production. Correcting the imbalance will help to normalise the health of the scalp and the relative dryness or oiliness of the hair. High sugar consumption creates a higher demand for B group vitamins, which can also affect hair health. Reducing highly processed and sugar rich foods will not only help hair health, it will also improve general health.
While internal factors affect hair health, external factors also have the potential to damage hair. If you have ever washed your hair with soap you would know that it tends to get tangled and knotty afterwards. The outer “scales” on the hair shaft stand up when in the presence of an alkali, such as soap and get caught up creating a tangled, messy “do”. The scales will lie down flat in the presence of an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar, which is why vinegar hair rinses were traditionally used after washing. While shampoos don’t create this effect they come with their own set of issues as they are stronger cleansers than soap and strip more of the natural oils from the scalp and hair, leaving it dry and in desperate need of moisture. This is where conditioners come in, their key functions to make the hair scales lie back down and coat the hair so that it feels smooth again.
In addition the type of surfactant used to clean hair in shampoos can be problematic with those such as sodium or ammonium lauryl sulphate contributing to irritated and dry scalp and hair issues. Softer surfactants such as decyl glucoside, coco glucoside or coco betaine are better choices for both hair and scalp health.
In general try to avoid conditioners and stying products with added silica as these will just build up on the hair shaft and create “artificially” shiny and silky hair. They will also increase the need to wash hair which in turn dries out hair again, creating a cycle of poor hair management and ultimately, poor hair health.
How often we wash hair is an individual choice however, most people tend to wash their hair too frequently, each time stripping back the protective oils from the scalp and hair. If your scalp is dry or itchy, try waiting one extra day before washing allowing the sebum to protect the scalp for a longer period. Twice weekly for normal to dry hair is a good benchmark. Obviously oily hair needs to be washed more frequently and often daily. Washing hair often entails blow-drying or straightening which if done excessively, damage the hair shaft. The less you dry & straighten, the better your hair condition will tend to be.
Hair styling agents can also impact on the health of the hair and more importantly your general health. In conventional styling products synthetic plastics such as PVP (polyvinyl pyrrolidone polymer), acrylic copolymers, VA (vinyl acetate)
polymer and acrylamide polymer are used as holding agents, all of which are synthetic petroleum based plastics. While these may not be specifically damaging to your hair, they are not environmentally friendly and in addition are easily absorbed through the scalp thereby contributing to the total toxic load your body has to deal with. Look instead for natural products such as beeswax or coconut oil based products for strong hold pastes or gels and sugar biopolymer based products from corn or vegetables instead of hair spray or mousse. The natural wax products will also help to keep the hair shaft moisturised. Generally styling products based on such ingredients are healthier for you and for the environment.
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I was talking to my friend Lisa Tristram, who knows more about the state of the Australian Organic skin care industry than anyone I know – and that is saying something! If you have a question, she has the answer – of course I have lots of questions! Lisa has worked in all areas of the skin care industry from the shop floor to formulating to dealing with issues of organic regulation.
Our discussion centered around the topic of “truth in beauty” and we both rued a. the lack of good regulation in the skincare industry and b. the out and out greenwashing that is so common. I think for the consumer, the toughest thing is knowing how to discern between the truth about product claims and what the the marketing says is true. Unfortunately there is often a big gap between them. I have put an article below that Lisa wrote for the Jasmin Skin Care blog. While I have written on this topic before, Lisa is at the coalface of the recent changes in the Australian industry and offers some insight:
If you don’t mean it don’t green it
Author: Lisa Tristram for Jasmin Skincare
Something we get asked about constantly is organic certification – what it means? who really has it? how can you tell? what do the different levels of certification mean? And in an industry awash with “greenwashing” how do I know what is really green and organic??
There is a lot of confusion out there and one of the main reasons for this is the lack of industry standards and regulations that apply consistently to everyone. For example in Australia we have SEVEN organic certifying bodies! I mean come
on how hard is that to regulate ! let alone all the other countries different regulations and standards. AQIS ( Australian Quarantine and Inspection services) govern all the certifying bodies to keep them all in line with overall regulations governing food, agriculture, importation and exportation. But we have never had an Australian standard for certified organic for either food or cosmetics/skincare.
Now things are changing and an Australian Draft standard has been drawn up over the last year, co-authored by many of the larger players in the industry. Many companies such as ours (Jasmin Skincare), who were already doing everything organically, were asked to contribute to the draft to ensure that a standard was accessible across the board and truly defined the terms that go with acheiving certified organic status for skincare. The Standard is expected to be published towards the end of the year and will effectively be policed by the ACCC , in as much as consumers will be able to report companies that seem to be greenwashing or using the term “organic” without reason.
A number of companies have been caught out in the past year greenwashing their products and this has caused quite a stir in the industry. Check out these articles http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Products-Markets/Australian-authorities-take-action-over-organic-mislabelling and http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Products-Markets/Cosmetics-awash-with-greenwashing-says-report
Which brings us to what is happening overseas with all the press caused by Dr Bronner (a certified organic soap company with very high ethics) suing a number of companies for using the term “organic” either in marketing or branding without following through on this claim in their products. The whole point being that Dr Bronner felt that a company that has put the hard yards into going organic should be able to use that claim without the fear that someone else is using it fraudulently.
This led to a huge shake up, many claiming it had been long overdue in the US Organic industry. The NSF created a National Standard which was adopted late last year in conjunction with NOP (the US National Organic program) which covered standards for those products that are claiming to be “made with certified organic ingredients”. It states that there must be a minimum of 70% overall certified organic ingredients in any skincare product that claims to be organic which has certainly paved the way for more industry regulation. The USDA in the US is still the main certifying body for products claiming 95-100% certified organic ingredients and is becoming a widely recognised logo globally for this.
Note from Ananda: it is my hope that not only “organic” status is defined in the upcoming Australian draft standard but that like Europe, they also define “natural”. There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two. I will address this issue very soon.
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I am on a hair care theme at the moment. And always when I bang on about hair care, I have to mention sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) so yes a bit more about how drying and irritating it is to your scalp however, in this video blog I also discuss the use of silica in conditioners. The cycle of hair washing is:
Well this is my story anyway! And I didn’t get the results with my hair that I wanted until I had been using a good natural shampoo & conditioner for at least a month. It can take time to really see results when moving away from SLS and silica. Regardless, do yourself a favor and ditch the sodium laurel sulphate.
In this video I talk more about the cycle with SLS and silica above and discuss the Nature’s Symphony range of hair care.Twitter It!
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