Nov
18
2009

More on deodorants and sweating…

This post is actually a response to a comment on the blog Aluminium & parabens in deodorant – no thanks! and it raised an issue I have often come across -  some people sweat a lot regardless of temperature and deodorant use. It can be frustrating as not much seems to help and the sweat marks on shirts can be embaressing. This question is from one of our readers:

In my experience; I sweat at lot, all the time and all year round. Generally exhausting myself, hot & humid temps, but also, oddly enough, being in armpitsquite cold air conditioning makes me sweat under the arms (which I find strange). So there is nowhere to run!

I have tried almost everything and I can’t find anything that works too well, luckily I end up smelling like the deodorant I use & I don’t pong. I am using Redwins at the moment, it is okay I guess, waiting for it to dry on my skin is sometimes inconvenient. Rexona is crap, it’s like spraying talc and breathing it in too much is not pleasant either, I’m sorry I bought it in the first place.

I am also wondering, can clothing affect the smell of your sweat? I find if I am wearing my favourite shirts, that I’ve worn quite a lot, the fabric tends to get a quite pungent stench under the arms and it’s not nice. Quality of the fabric? Pesticides from the cotton?? I am not sure. Have you heard of this before?

Thankyou for sharing your wisdom!

In response, I replied:

Sweating year round, even in airconditioning is not as uncommon as you might think. From a naturopath perspective it is generally related to sympathetic nervous system dominance and can be managed or at least minimised by supporting the parasympathetic nervous system. To do this effectively it is worth seeing a naturopath just in case there are underlying factors that are contributing to sympathetic NS dominance. In my case (yes this was a problem for me in the past) Buteko breathing helped because it pushes the body into parasympathetic drive and these days I only sweat when the weather is hot. Buteko breathing is also good for stress and low grade anxiety.

Underarm Sweat

Underarm Sweat

Excess sweating can also be related to electrolyte inbalances that affect the water distribution in the cells leading to too much extra-cellular fluid (water outside the cells) and not enough intracellular fluid (water inside the cells). Using quality electrolyte drinks such as Endura in moderation can assist with correct fluid balance and minimise sweating. This is particuarly important if you sweat a lot in hot weather or after exercise.

From a nutritional perspective stimulants such as coffee and sugar will make the sweating worse so having a low GI diet certainly helps. Nutrients that support the parasympathetic nervous include choline, vitamin B5 and B1. The Lemon Detox Drink is an excellent source of choline and is a good way to increase your levels.

Sweating is not necessarily linked to body odour. As with the reader above  sweat doesn’t necessarily smell strong, however, over time clothes will retain a smell that is difficult to get rid of.  Body odour as opposed to sweating can be related to a diet high in animal products, particularly red meat. Cleansing your system by reducing red meat, doing a detox or using chlorophyll will help signficantly reduce body odour.

With regard to your clothing, yes the materials your clothes will affect the smell. Bamboo and synthetics can be particularly bad. Hot water washing (although not as environmentally sound) for the items of clothing in particular will help. Of course wearing loose cotton clothing can also help.

Deodorants, even anti-perspirants don’t generally help a great deal. I used to just go for one that smelt nice as like you there was no smell just the sweat. That is why I love the Lavera Wild Rose Spay – it smells like Rose perfume!

Helpful Hints:

I found a couple of ehow entries about how to remove sweat stains and how to remove odour from clothes

If you have any personal experience, things that have worked or other questions about this or any other topic please let me know.

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Oct
21
2009

This is a special bulletin because I’ve just partnered up with an associate of mine and her team at Outrageously Healthy. Their mission is to help as many people on the planet as possible, live their best life. One way they do this is by finding the most outrageously healthy experts to interview and bring those live interviews to people like you at no cost!

And guess what? I am this week’s Expert! I will be interviewed by Lenore and you can listen in live either by phone or webcast this Friday 23rd of October at 9am (Brisbane time). To gain access to this call and to all future expert calls just go to http://www.outrageouslyhealthy.com/rep/anandamahony.html and sign up for their Free Ruby Membership when you do you will also receive a gift from Lenore and the Team the MP3 ‘Feeling Great for No Good Reason’. The call details will be emailed to and a reminder Here is me ready for the interview (the red wine is hiding out of shot!)sent a few hours before the call.

So come join us and learn about my favourite Outrageously Healthy topic this week, I can’t wait to hear you on the call.

Have an outrageously happy healthy week till then,

Ananda Mahony
(here is me looking excited about the interview!)

http://www.outrageouslyhealthy.com/rep/anandamahony.html

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Oct
09
2009

The ‘rediscovery’ of traditional cold pressed soap making methods has lead to the production of many various shaped, coloured and scented soaps that have a soft, creamy lather and are delicious to use. In this video blog I discuss how these soaps are made, the benefits of them over standard commercial soaps and syndet bars and review Dr Bronner’s Organic Shikakai Body Soaps.

To read more about Castile Soap click here.
To view Dr Bronner’s Organic Shikakai Body Soaps click here.
To view our range of Natural Hand Made Castile Soaps click here.

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Sep
02
2009

In the last 2 week I have had numerous queries about the use of nanoparticles in sunscreens. Nanoparticle is a general term that is used to describe substances and process that are smaller than 100 nanometers (nm). The nanoparticles used in sunscreens are from 20 to 30 nm making the zinc oxide or titanium dioxide invisible to the naked eye. Unlike traditional zinc oxide products which can leave an opaque white coat on the surface of the skin, nanoparticles rub in clear.

The issue with the use of nanoparticles in sunscreens is that when exposed to

Nanoparticle Risks

Use of nanoparticles is associated with potential skin damage

UV light (sunlight) the ingredients produce dangerous free radicals, cause DNA damage and cell toxicity. In addition, research suggests that the penetration of nanoparticles is greater when skin is damaged or thinner eg. eczema, acne, sunburnt skin, babies and the elderly. While is no clear outcome as to what this means for human skin however, the likely outcome is ongoing damage.

Research is ongoing, however the above information does suggest we should treat nano-sunscreens with extreme caution until we know they’re safe. At this stage no labeling is required for nanoparticles in cosmetics. To set your mind at rest, our Third Stone Botanicals and Devita products with sun protection use micro particles of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Micro particles are considered safe as they do not penetrate the skin surface.

See the video blog below for more information about the difference between nano and micro particles and how to avoid nanoparticles in your cosmetics.

For more information and a full report go to Friends of the Earth.

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Aug
25
2009

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)

Brand Natural/Organic Ingredients Product Experience/Rating Price
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)
  • The original product, which is great to use but I don’t like the petrochemical base.
  • 3 stars for high paw paw concentration but loses out because of the base ingredients
$5.95
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
  • Great taste & feel.
  • Contains coconut flavour, which is too strong for many.
  • 4 stars – coconut flavour & preservative stop it from being 5 stars
$6.95
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
  • No added flavour.
  • Tastes like honey. Lovely to use.
  • 4.5 stars. Higher price brings down from 5.
$8.95
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.
  • Tastes bitter so not pleasant to use.
  • 3.5 stars. Ingredients good but tastes awful.
$5.95

My video blog about Pure Nutraceuticals Paw Paw Ointment

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Aug
03
2009

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:

  • we shampoo our hair because it is dirty
  • the SLS in the shampoo strips the hair and scalp of natural oils so both are dry and hair is flyaway or frizzy
  • we use conditioner with silica to reduce the frizziness created by the SLS
  • the silica builds up on our hair leaving it feeling a bit flat and dull looking
  • and start all over again, never getting the results we want so change products always looking for something that will give us healthy, shiny hair
  • 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.

    Related Articles:
    The Chemicals in Clean Hair
    Hair Washing – how often is ideal
    SLS – Foaming or fuming

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    Jul
    15
    2009

    When it comes to shampoo it seems that bubbles are what counts. Why? Because the bubbles show that the shampoo is cleaning our hair effectively.

    The more bubbles the better...or not?

    The more bubbles the better...or not?

    Bubbles are created when the surface tension of the water is broken by a surfactant and air is trapped within the film of the soap. Unfortunately while bubbles may represent clean hair, more bubbles aren’t necessarily better for our hair or scalp. Some of the surfactants used in shampoos have the potential for scalp and skin irritation and hair damage.

    We use many surfactants in our daily life, soaps and detergents, cleaning compounds, shampoos and a host of personal hygiene products. This article will look at two commonly used surfactants used in shampoo namely Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, and Decyl Glucoside. Both serve the same function in removing oil and dirt from skin and hair and being the base on which the hair cleaning products are built. That is where the similarity ends.

    Sodium Lauryl Sulphate other wise known as SLS and other Sulphates are the most commonly used ingredients in shampoo. They are cheap, easy to formulate and provide plenty of bubbles and foam that we expect and like. Unfortunately this synthetic surfactant is the cause of many of the hair, scalp and skin problems that occur.

    A study of the Material Safety Data Sheet of SLS provides us information about the hazard status of this product. It is moderately toxic and its contact hazard is also moderate however the issue is repeated exposure, such as regular use of a shampoo or body wash, which can lead to skin issues such as dermatitis. It has been used in medicine as a standard, or as a scale, to measure skin irritancy in comparing other chemicals. The irritation occurs even at concentrations of 0.5%.

    Originally from plant origin, the starting material for this surfactant is Lauric acid, which is a coconut oil fatty acid. While the starting material may be

    SLS may be sourced from coconut palms

    SLS may be sourced from coconut palms

    natural (it also may be synthetic), during the conversion process to SLS, petrochemicals are added which means that the end product is nowhere near natural and may also retain contaminants such as 1,4, dioxane, a potential carcinogen. While the levels are minuscule, the potential for toxicity arises with repeated exposure.

    From an environmental perspective, SLS is not biodegradable which may present wider issues for the ecology of our waterways.

    The Hazards of SLS

    In some soaps and shampoos the concentration of SLS may be as high as 30%. This is cause for alarm, considering the risk of dermatitis and skin irritation due to exposure at such high concentrations. In children this threat is enhanced due to the softer skin and it is advisable to look for SLS free products and products using mild surfactants.

    In addition to the direct contact effects of SLS, many shampoos contain nitrate compounds. These compounds can react with SLS with the potential to form carcinogenic nitrates. Given the potential, however small for the creation of carcinogenic compounds, it is advisable to choose personal hygiene products that do not contain SLS.

    Glycosides and poly glycosides, also called saponins are present in most

    Soapwort - a natural source of bubbles

    Soapwort - a natural source of bubbles

    plants. Some of these saponins are toxic however there are many saponins which are safe for topical or medicinal applications and even for human consumption as food. A wide variety of species, their geographical distribution, their applications and use by mankind are documented. Soap Bark (Quillaya), Soap Nut, Yucca Plant, Soap Wort, Horse Chestnut, Bracken and Soap Lily are a few examples of soap plants, from different parts of the world

    Decyl Glucoside is a surfactant derived from two natural products, decyl alcohol and glucose. Decyl alcohol (Deca means ten) is produced from Capric acid. Capric acid itself is a fatty acid with a ten member carbon chain and is a constituent fatty acid of coconut and Palm oils (Coconut sources are preferable as the palms are sustainable). Capric acid is present to the extent of around 7% and 4% in coconut and palm oils respectively. Glucose, the other ingredient is produced from corn, maize and other starch based products.

    It is important to clarify that a natural starting material does not necessarily equal a natural ingredient at the end of the manufacturing process. As pointed out with SLS, the addition of synthetic or petrochemical ingredients during the process of manufacture can completely change the starting material. While decyl glucoside is similarly changed from it starting material during manufacture, it does not carry the same risks of contamination as SLS so the end material is a very mild nonionic surfactant produced from corn, maize and other starch based products. Decyl glucoside is classified as ether in chemical terminology. It is produced by reacting decyl alcohol with glucose in the presence of an acid. The product is then purified and extraneous ingredients and reactants removed. Purified decyl glucoside is a liquid, which dissolves in water in any proportion.

    Due to its mild nature on skin and its bio degradability, it is used in

    Decyl Glucoside is used in natural shampoos

    Decyl Glucoside is used in natural shampoos

    shampoos, hair creams, lotions and other personal hygiene products including baby products. Generally decyl glucoside is much more expensive and labour intensive to produce and described as “tricky” to formulate with. Many products use decyl glucoside as a primary or secondary surfactant. It is a good emulsifier and has excellent foaming and lather properties. For this reason, the lack of potential for irritation and the absence of potential carcinogicity, decyl glucoside is a better choice in personal care items than SLS.

    Some of the characteristics of Decyl Glucoside are

    • Decyl Glucoside is an excellent emulsifier and produces good lather.
    • Does not contain allergens,
    • Is not a skin irritant
    • No carcinogenic properties
    • Chronic exposure symptoms have not been reported and no limits have been set on exposure to this product.

    Decyl glucoside is by no means the only alternative to SLS however it is more and more commonly seen in shampoo and other personal care items and when it comes to choosing what to use on a daily basis, the more you know about the ingredients, the better. It also creates lots of lovely bubbles so lather away!

    Author: Maree Watson, hairdresser and creator of the Eko Organica range of hair care. Edited by Ananda Mahony, naturopath and skin specialist.

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    Jun
    15
    2009

    I have been using fluoride-free toothpaste since I was 15 years old and have been really happy with that choice. Why fluoride-free? Apart from being a personal choice, I believe that just because a little is good for teeth doesn’t mean that more is better. There is some quite contentious research out there about fluoride and you can click on this link for more information on the potential issues with fluoride in toothpaste.

    Back to my blog – so about 7 or 8 years ago I picked up my tube of fluoride-free toothpaste and read the other ingredients on the label which among other things included sodium laurel sulphate (for big bubbles), artificial sweetener (for taste) and mineral oil (for goodness knows what). That tube went straight in the bin! I wondered why I had never thought to look at the label beforehand and once again realised that in the land of marketing all is not what it seems. There is always aspect of inference in marketing. In my case because the product was fluoride free I had assumed it contained no other nasty chemicals. Other examples might be a flower or herb on the label inferring that the product is natural or organic. Or the brand name could include the words “natural”, “organic” or “eco” thereby inferring the product is all of those things. Well at that moment, I wizened up a bit and started reading labels obsessively again. And it was quite hard to find a synthetic free, flouride free, all natural, all good toothpaste that didn’t taste like chalk or make me want to gag!

    Fortunately, since then things have improved and there are some great toothpastes available that use natural ingredients, taste good and are good for teeth and gums. Riddles Creek Organic toothpaste is one of those but there are others and when choosing a toothpaste for you look for some of the following ingredients:

    Calcium carbonate – a polishing agent and gentle abrasive
    Stevia – a natural plant sweetener almost as sweet as sugar without the negative effects on teeth. In fact, studies show that chewing gum with stevia can help reduce dental cavities!
    Soapwort – a natural plant based surfactant (foaming agent)
    Baking Soda – a natural whitening and mouth freshening agent
    Essential oils such as peppermint, spearmint or clove – for there breath freshening qualities
    Sea Salt – a gentle abrasive to polish teeth
    Sillica – gum strengthening and tooth whitening
    Aloe Vera – a gel base that has soothing qualities for gums
    Tea tree oil – an antibacterial agent

    There are also ingredients to avoid (as mentioned above):
    Fluoride – if you drink fluoridated water, adding it to toothpaste can be overkill
    Sodium laurel sulphate – can irritate the gum lining
    Mineral oil – an unnecessary petrochemical based ingredient
    Artificial sweeteners – come with a raft of issues and generally should be avoided particularly children as they tend to swallow toothpaste.

    So, what’s in your toothpaste? And do you think fluoride should be included? Let us know what you think.

    View a product review about Riddell’s Creek Organic Toothpaste:

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    May
    26
    2009

    The toxic ingredients in nail polish should be a bigger issue than they are. Commonly found in most commercial nail polish brands are phalates, formaldehyde, camphor and toulene, each one of these with the potential to increase the toxic burden we place on our bodies. The only way to avoid them is to choose non-toxic nail polishes and may I say, non-toxic brands should be more common than they are.

    So while the brand we use is not 100% natural (there is currently no such thing as a natural nail polish) we make sure it contains non of the aforementioned ingredients. I have made a video which discusses each of these potentially harmful ingredients and showcases Zoya, the brand of non-toxic nail polish we use in our organic beauty salon.

    View our range of Zoya nail polish. We currently have a range of 19 colours and expanding as we get requests. Check out Fergie and Zsa Zsa, my favourite colours or Hope which Roechelle is currently wearing. Tell us what your favorite colour or if you have used any other non-toxic nail polish ranges.

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