Category Archives: Health

Health is closely related to beauty – if you look healthy you generally look good as well as feeling good.

Is It Time To Free Cosmetics Of Caffeine?

Is It Time To Free Cosmetics Of Caffeine?

Do you need this stuff on your skin?

Caffeine has been a cosmetic ingredient for a long time, and you’ll find a jar of it on the shelves of most cosmetic development laboratories. There are three things it gets used for. There are the so called body sculpting products. The idea behind these is that you apply them to parts of your body that have more fat than you’d like. The caffeine stimulates fat burning, so you can get rid of the fat in the areas you don’t like it. Keep it up and you can change the shape of your body to something you like the look of. It is also used to improve the tone of the skin.  It is supposed to stimulate energy production in the upper layers of the skin. This again uses the breakdown of fat, but in this case to release energy to improve the look of the skin. And finally it is used in shampoos to stimulate hair growth.

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Elderberry Extract for Dark Circles Around The Eyes?

Elderberry Extract for Dark Circles Around The Eyes

Do elderberries hold the secret to curing dark circles around the eyes?

We’ve all seen and may well have actually experienced the dark marks that you sometimes get around the eyes.  They are known as dark marks, dark circles and spider veins.  They vary in colour – they can be black, blue or purple.  The cause of them is that the skin is particularly thin on this part of the face.  This makes the blood capillaries there particularly prone to damage, both as a result of rubbing them and to things that affect the size and  permeability of the blood vessels.  The result is that blood cells can get out of the blood stream and accumulate into this dark coloured structures.  The spidery appearance is due to them following the lines of the capillaries.  Having got there they can trigger an inflammatory response making the skin puffy as well. Continue reading

Lead In Turmeric – Should We Worry?

lead in tumeric

I am signed up to the e-mails the FDA sends out about product recalls in the US.  I am on the lookout for anything that might affect the cosmetic industry, but most of the time cosmetics don’t even get a mention. There really aren’t too many ways you can get cosmetics that wrong.  But I still come across a few interesting stories, including a couple of reports lately of lead cropping up in food.  The latest is a couple of batches of turmeric that have been withdrawn by the supplier because of what they describe as excessive lead levels. Continue reading

Blogging Makes You Healthy

 blogging makes you healthy

I know a lot of people who read my blog are themselves bloggers. If you are, well now is the time to enjoy a brief moment of smugness. As most of us know blogging is not a lucrative thing to do. The monetary rewards barely cover the costs of the coffee to keep you awake late at night looking for spelling errors in your latest opus. So it is quite nice to discover that writing regularly does have some health benefits. Continue reading

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Will Kill Us All

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Will Kill Us All

Doctors in arms race with antibiotic resistant superbugs

As I write this, this news isn’t being widely reported.  A bacteria has been found in the United States that is resistant to the last antibiotic left in the arsenal.   There is now no longer any antibiotic available that bacteria can’t survive.  This is certainly bad news – though not unexpected bad news.  Resistance to antibiotics has been a problem since antibiotics came into use.  The more widely antibiotics are used, the bigger the problem becomes.  While this is an unpleasant milestone to pass, it doesn’t actually mean that the problem is suddenly bigger than it was. The laws of natural selection are hard to dodge, and bacteria have many tricks up their sleeves to defend themselves. Continue reading

Who Does The Research On Cosmetic Safety?

who does the research on cosmetic safety who does the research on cosmetic safety

I get a steady stream of enquiries from journalists. Their questions are usually fairly similar.  They ask about the safety of cosmetics, and lose interest quite rapidly when I tell them that they are.  “Stuff you’ve never worried about before is still nothing to worry about” is not really the makings of a great headline.  But I did get one that was a bit more interesting than most the other day.  Who does the research on cosmetic safety?  Obviously, there might be a story if all the research on cosmetic ingredients is carried out by cosmetic companies, or paid for by them, then maybe something sinister is being hidden.  Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? Continue reading

What Is Healthy To Eat?

It's tasty, but is it healthy?

It’s tasty, but is it healthy?

A pair of groups of whom I have never heard before called the the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration have made a bit of a stir in today’s newspapers by attacking government health advice. The official line is that obesity is caused by eating too much fat, so we should avoid it and go for low fat options.  These activists claim that it is the other way around.  We should eat plenty of fat and avoid processed carbohydrates.  Who is right? Continue reading

Nut Allergies To Cosmetic Products

nut allergies to cosmetics

Most people like nuts

There has been a big increase in the number of people suffering from allergies of all kinds, and although there is a perception that the problem is bigger than it actually is it still remains a problem.  Nut allergies are one of the biggest categories and we have all become used to pervasive labelling of foods including ones that don’t even contain nuts as regular ingredients.  Traces of nuts are enough.  So should you be worried about allergies to cosmetics containing nuts?  Here are my observations. Continue reading

Sleep And Skin Tone

Sleep and skin toneSleep and skin toneSleep and skin tone

I have written several times on this blog that I can’t make sense of all the diverse and often contradictory information out there about health. I am a great believer in the scientific method, but it has to be admitted that it isn’t good for everything you would like to know. A good example is ‘healthy’ food and beneficial exercise. What do these terms even mean? Eating a salad is supposed to be healthy, but if you ate nothing but salad it would kill you. Exercise is generally regarded as a good thing. But you can definitely overdo it. If I were to set out to run a marathon this morning I would probably end up in hospital. Okay if I got into shape so I could run a marathon, I would probably be healthier than I am now by most measures. But even that wouldn’t necessarily mean that the actual running of the marathon was a necessary part of the process. The first person who ever ran a marathon, just after the battle of Marathon, famously died shortly afterwards. Continue reading