Youthful Healthy Skin

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Youthful Healthy Skin Powered By Docstoc

                              DR. DEBORAH BAKER-RACINE 2003



Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It averages about 12 to 20 or so square feet in size
and accounts for about 15% of your body weight. Its about 70% water (hence the need to drink
lots of good water), 25% protein and about 3% lipids or fats. The rest is made up of various
biochemicals made up of combinations of minerals, vitamins, protein and carbohydrates.

There are basically three parts to the skin: epidermis (outside layer), dermis or middle layer and
subdermis, the innermost layer.


The epidermis is the outermost layer and is about .5 – 1 mm thick. The very top layer is actually
hardened, dead keratin cells which form the protective “crust” or coating to the outside world. The
“Keratinocytes” are the cells of the epidermis which produce keratin a protein in this layer. These
keratinocytes are very rapidly dividing, making new cells at the bottom of the epidermal layer,
which then migrate to the top, dying and forming the hardened outer crust. This outer crust is
called the Stratum Corneum. It also has in it, besides the dead keratinocytes..the protein keratin
and some lipids.

These cells are constantly sloughing off from the strateum and being replaced with the cells from
beneath. Your skin totally replaces itself every 3-5 weeks or so. Good quality gentle “peels” take
off a little of the dead strateum, speeding up the replacement process and making the skin look
much more “fresh”.

The epidermis also contains melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. This is
responsible for the colour of your skin.

Also, there are Langerhans cells which are part of your immune system and as such prevent
foreign substances from getting through the skin to the interior of your body.

Although the epidermis determines how your skin “looks” and holds water..the layer of most
concern is the next one – the dermis- where wrinkles form.


The dermis is the middle and thickest layer of the skin. It consists of a tight mesh or matrix of the
structural protein collagen and elastin, a protein more responsible for the skin‟s resilience or

The main type of cells in the dermis are “fibroblasts” which produce these proteins and other
structural elements. In more detail….
Collagen – This is the protein of structure…the “matrix” or steel girders are to a high
rise building. Other cells and structures establish themselves in this matrix, eventually filling up
the spaces between collagen tendrils. It is comprised of many amino acids, but in particular,
proline, hydroxyproline lysine and glycine. As we age, the production of collagen goes down, so
to stimulate this one can use topical Vitamin C and of course taking Vitamin C as a supplement
aids in the production of collagen, copper peptides (more on this later) and eating foods high in
these amino acids, in particular fish, meat, chicken and some beans.

Elastin – As mentioned earlier, this is the protein responsible for your skin‟s ability to “bounce
back” after being stretched or changing shape for any reason.

When damage occurs to collagen and/or elastin, that is when wrinkles, sagging and thinning of
the skin appears.

Special Elements – Glycosoaminoglycans (GAG) and Proteoglycans (PG) – The main role of
these elements is to hold water in the skin. They work better than any moisturizer at retaining
water to give your skin the plump, fresh look and provide a sub-structure to the cells of your skin.

You‟ve heard of glucosamine for joint support…well the GAGs are made up of derivative of that in
the form of glucosamine hydrochloride, N-acetyl glucosamine and glucosamine sulfate. Some of
the GAGs you may recognize are hyaluronic acid, keratin sulfate, heparin, heparin sulfate,
dermatin sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. When GAG‟s are bound together by a protein, you get
the larger molecule PG. These all contain water holding sugars in their chemistry..and yes one
can supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin Sulphate quite easily and help their skin

The dermis also contain the obvious, blood vessels, lymphatic tissue, a small number of nerve
and muscle tissues, sweat glands, hair follicles and sebaceous glands,

In particular the sebaceous glands are important in that they are located around the hair follicle
and produce sebum. This a natural oily substance which lubricates and waterproofs the skin and
hair and is secreted directly into the follicle, where it washes over the hair and skin. Too much
sebum is associated with acne and too little as occurs in middle age and beyond results in
wrinkling and aging.

As the dermis is where wrinkles start..only therapies with collagen and elastin in them that can
reach the dermis work at all. I have consistently found this to be true with the Holistic Skin Care

When sweat mixes with sebum a “protective coating” over the skin is formed called the “Acid
Mantle”. Its ph is about 4 to 5.5 rendering it slightly acidic. It protects your skin from the wind, sun,
etc and also from pathological bacteria and fungus. If the ph of the mantle is disturbed, ie
becomes more basic or too acidic then your skin is prone to more damage from infection or the
weather. This occurs when washing with soaps or cleansers that are not properly ph balanced or
contain too many chemicals.

Subcutaneous Layer
The layer under the dermis is called the subcutaneous layer and contains primarily fat cells. Its
primarily for shock absorption and insulation of the tissues under the skin. Animals lack this layer
because their fur provides the same functions as does the fat layer.

As we age, this layer shrinks and that‟s why we get sagging and deepening of the wrinkles. In
fact, one of the procedures that surgeons use to get rid of wrinkles is to inject fat, collected from
somewhere else in the body, under the wrinkles to “smooth” them out.


A number of processes occur in the skin‟s layers as we age:

· Skin cells divide more slowly

· The dermis begins to thin

· Fat cells in the subcutaneous layer begin to atrophy or shrink

· Elastin and Collagen loosen and begin to unravel

· Skin looses it elasticity, no longer returning to normal after its pressed

· Skin starts to sag and form furrows

· Skin starts to lose the ability to hold water well

· Sweat and Sebaceous glands atrophy

· Skin becomes dryer and scaly

· Skin looses it ability to repair itself ..wounds take longer to heal

· Frown lines and Crows feet form because of permanent small muscle contractions in the dermis

· Gravity exacerbates this by helping the formation of jowls and drooping eyelids

· Eyebrows move up with aging, possibly because of forehead wrinkles

The Sun‟s Role in Aging:

There is no doubt that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation emanating from the sun
can hasten skin aging. Overall, exposure to ultraviolet (UVA or UVB) radiation from sunlight
accounts for about 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging.

The problem are the "photons" or light particles from the sun. Sunscreens either absorb or reflect

UVB is the main cause of sunburns and most skin cancers. It is definitely more intense
in the summers, at higher altitudes and in locations closer to the equator.UVA is not as powerful
as UVB but penetrates more deeply into the skin. Its the chief culprit behind wrinkling, leathering
and photo-aging.
Both UVA and UVB can lead to wrinkles, lower immunity against infection, aging skindisorders
and even cancer.Very small amounts of UV radiation can damage collagen fibers and cause
accumulation of abnormal elastin, leading to “aging” chemistry.

This chemistry consists of the production of “metalloproteinases” (met-talo-protein-ay-zes) which
normally are supposed to fix the sun-damaged tissue by synthesizing and reforming collagen.

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect process and some of these enzymes actually degrade some of
the collagen. This uneven formation of now disorganized collagen arecalled solar scars.

If this process repeats itself enough..wrinkles form.

Sun Lotions: Sunscreens and Sunblocks..Sunscreens chemically absorb the UV rays and
Sunblocks physically deflect the rays. Almost all protect against UVB..but not all protect against
UVA.There is no SPF or Sun Protection Factor established for UVA. And none are 100%, so it is
still important to protect your skin with hats, sunglasses, clothing and umbrellas.

SPF - Sun Protection Factor- This measures how much protection a product provides against
sunburn-causing UVB (but not damaging UVA). If you normally get a sunburn after five minutes
under the noonday sun, a product with an SPF of 15 would let you stay outside 15 times longer
(75 minutes, in this case) before you started to burn. Assuming you have enough on (repeated
application after swimming, etc.).Look for a lotion with an SPF of at least 15, which means it will
block or deflect 93% of the UVB SPF of 30 increases the protection to 97%. Then check
the label to see if it says it contains a "broad-spectrum UVA" protection. One of the best known
UVA protectors is zincoxide..the white (or sometimes coloured) thick cream life guards will plaster
on their noses. It works!

Remember to re-apply after swimming and if you are out in the hot sun, perspiring..apply every
20-30 minutes.

Other Causes:

Very strong environmental factors would include:

· Cigarette Smoking
· Pollution
· Ozone

These elements hasten aging because they cause the production of free radicals.

What are free radicals?

Well, we have to get down to a little basic chemistry here to explain them:

Free radicals are byproducts that are formed when oxygen is used by the body. Essentially, all
atoms have a nucleus (overall positive charge) and electrons spinning around the nucleus
(negative charge). The most stable and “happy” atom is one where the number of positive
charges equals the number of negative.

Oxidation provides needed energy for life, yet within our bodies the process is a two-edged
sword. Unfortunately, a small number of the oxygen molecules we breathe is converted within our
bodies to unstable free radicals, as electrons on the outside of the atoms are taken or used .

Free radical-caused oxidation produces premature aging and sets us up for serious illness,
including cancer and heart disease.
Free radicals start a chain reaction within the skin in that a free radical will zip around looking for
an electron (s) to steal to stabilize itself again. They normally steal from the skin‟s protein
molecules but can also damage cells and DNA.

The end result here is a bunch of misshapen and broken molecules. Hence, the structure of our
skin is damaged and its cellular structure is weakened.

The same oxidative process also causes oils to become rancid, peeled apples to turn brown, and
iron to rust.

External causes of free radicals are air pollution, sunlight, fried foods, alcohol, and smoking. In
nature, our bodies are supposed to be protected by the “anti”-oxidants found in our food.

BIG PROBLEM – Our food no longer contains the natural antioxidants it once did, due to being
picked green for shipping, seeds are bread for transportation, speed of growth and infestation
resistence..and also its not vine ripened for quality. We also lose so much in terms of nutrients by
today‟s methods of farming and soil depletion..that the expected nutrient levels are just not

Combine this with pesticides, herbicides and pollution..and what chance have we got??? ALL
these chemicals are free radical producers.

According to the free radical theory, aging is caused by the slow cumulative oxidation of body
tissues over a lifetime (Gutteridge, 1994).

Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in your body that
assist in chemical reactions).

Antioxidants block the process of oxidation by neutralizing free radicals. In doing so, the
antioxidants themselves become oxidized..they actually “donate” electrons to stabilize the mad
free radical.

That is why there is a constant need to replenish our antioxidant resources. Hence eat well..lots
of fruit and vegetables which are the main source of antioxidants.

How they work can be classified in one of two ways:

· Chain-breaking - When a free radical releases or steals an electron, a second radical is formed.
This molecule then turns around and does the same thing to a third molecule, continuing to
generate more unstable products. The process continues until termination occurs -- either the
radical is stabilized by a chain-breaking antioxidant such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E,
or it simply decays into a harmless product.

· Preventive - Antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione
peroxidase prevent oxidation by reducing the rate of chain initiation. That is, by scavenging
initiating radicals, such antioxidants can thwart an oxidation chain from ever setting in motion.
They can also prevent oxidation by stabilizing transition metal radicals such as copper and iron.

The effectiveness of any given antioxidant in the body depends on which free radical is involved,
how and where it is generated, and where the target of damage is. Thus, while in one particular
system an antioxidant may protect against free radicals, in other systems it could have no effect
at all.

Antioxidants from our diet appear to be of great importance in controlling damage by free
radicals. Each nutrient is unique in terms of its structure and antioxidant function.

Vitamin E is actually a generic term that refers to all entities (eight found so far) that exhibit
biological activity of the isomer tocopherol (an isomer is one of two or more molecules that have
the same chemical formula but different atomic arrangements).

Recent research has definitely indicated that the best form of Vitamin E is that which contains at
least 6 of the different "forms" The best I have found is in our on-line Health Store. Click HERE
for Total E Information

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. As such, it scavenges free
radicals that are in an aqueous (watery) environment, such as inside your cells. Vitamin C works
synergistically with vitamin E to quench free radicals. Vitamin C also regenerates the reduced
(stable) form of vitamin E.

In our clinic at Y2K Health and Detox Center, we use Detox C which has added Detox factors
such as Milk thistle, Picorrhiza, Schizandra, Astragalus and Scutellaria.



Beta-carotene, also a water-soluble vitamin, is the most widely studied of the 600 carotenoids
identified to date. It is thought to be the best quencher of singlet oxygen (an energized but
uncharged form of oxygen that is toxic to cells). Beta-carotene is also especially excellent at
scavenging free radicals in low oxygen concentration.

Selenium is a trace element. It is a mineral that we need to consume in only very small quantities,
but without which we could not survive. It forms the active site of several antioxidant enzymes
including glutathione peroxidase. Ortho-Selenium provides the best and most healthful form in my

Manganese and zinc are trace elements that form an essential part of various antioxidant

Antioxidant Enzymes - The antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT)
and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) serve as your primary line of defense in destroying free
SOD first reduces (adds an electron to) the radical superoxide (O2-) to form hydrogen peroxide
(H2O2) and oxygen (O2).

2O2- + 2H --SOD--> H2O2 + O2

Catalase and GPx then work simultaneously with the protein glutathione to reduce hydrogen
peroxide and ultimately produce water (H2O).

2H2O2 --CAT--> H2O + O2

H2O2 + 2glutathione --GPx--> oxidized glutathione + 2H2O

(The oxidized glutathione is then reduced by another antioxidant enzyme -- glutathione

Together, they repair oxidized DNA, degrade oxidized protein, and destroy oxidized lipids (fat-like
substances that are a constituent of cell membranes). Various other enzymes act as a secondary
antioxidant defense mechanism to protect you from further damage.

To ensure your body's levels of glutathione are maintained at its ultimate level, I have had the
best clinical results with GSH Complex, scoop per day in yoghurt or applesauce.

Other Antioxidants - In addition to enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, there appear to be many
other nutrients and compounds that have antioxidant properties.

Among them is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10, or ubiquinone), which is essential to energy production
and can also protect the body from destructive free radicals.

Uric acid, a product of DNA metabolism, has become increasingly recognized as an important

Alpha Lipoic acid is a very strong antioxidant having many wonderful properties of protection for
our cells. I feel the safest and most effective form is R+-Lipoic Acid

Substances in plants called phytochemicals are being investigated for their antioxidant activity
and health-promoting potential. Obviously, the best source is to eat lots of the foods mentioned
below. In today's lifestyle, this is often difficult and can be augmented by Phytogreens.

Examples would be green tea, pycnogenol from pine bark, proanthrocyanins from grape seeds,

Here is a list of some common Phytochemicals:
These are listed by Phytochemical and the Food Source under each one.
Allyl sulfides

Onions, garlic, leeks, chives

(e.g. lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin)

Tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, kale, spinach



(e.g. anthocyanins, resveratrol, quercitin, catechins)

Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, grapefruit, cranberries, raspberries,


Green leafy vegetables


Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy

(e.g. genistein, daidzeins)

Legumes (peas, soybeans)

(e.g. sulforaphane)

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy


Seeds (flax seeds, sunflower seeds)


Citrus fruit peels, cherries, nuts

Phytic acid

Whole grains, legumes

Phenols, polyphenols, phenolic compounds (e.g. ellagic acid, ferulic acid, tannins)
Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, tea


Beans, legumes

Antioxidants are not just for free radical scavenging. Many act to support or rejeuvenate other
antioxidants so they can be cycled back into use.

Its this chemistry..which is quite complicated that supports my decision to use an already
and TOTAL E as my choices for antioxidant support for my patients.

Wrinkles and Stress:

Stress produces adrenaline-related products, which not only restricts blook flow to our skin, but
also generates destructive free radicals. This of course, results in decreased elasticity and deeper
facial lines.


Some skin care products actually cause wrinkles, premature aging and spots, rashes, acne..even
hair loss, chest pain, memory loss asthma, chronic fatigue and cancer.

Don‟t forget, the skin is the largest organ in the body and is a very efficient absorber..just like a
sponge or paper towel. Some cosmetic product manufacturers claim that the ingredients cannot
absorb past a certain skin layer, but the proof is in “the patch”.

To help stop smoking, people use transdermal (placed directly on the skin) nicotine patches.
They also use aspirin or medication patches because the substance on the patch can be
absorbed into the body within seconds to get the desired result.


The following is from the writings of Linda Chae, an expert and activist on chemicals in beauty

The Baddest of the Bad in Beauty Products:

Ingredients to AVOID

Alcohol (Isopropyl):
As a solvent and denaturant (a poisonous substance that changes another substance's natural
qualities), alcohol is found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after-shave lotions,
fragrances, and many other cosmetics.

A petroleum-derived substance, it is also used in antifreeze and as a solvent in shellac and
diluted essential oils. According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, ingestion or
inhalation of the vapor may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea,
vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia, and coma. The fatal ingested dose is one ounce.

DEA (dienthanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), & TEA (methanolamine):
DEA & MEA are usually listed on the label in conjunction with the compound being neutralized, so
look for names like Cocamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA, and so on.

These are hormone-disrupting chemicals known to form cancer-causing nitrates and
nitrosamines. They are almost always in products that foam, including bubble baths, body
washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleansers.

On the show "CBS This Morning," Roberta Baskin revealed that a recent government report
shows these are really absorbed into the skin.

Dr. Samuel Epstein, professor of environmental health at the University of Illinois, said,
"Repeated skin applications...of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the
incidence of two cancers-liver and kidney cancers."

John Bailey, head of the cosmetic division for the FDA, says that the new study is especially
important since "the risk equation changes significantly for children."

Tests at the University of Bologna in Italy found TEA to be the most frequent sensitizer used in
cosmetics, gels, shampoos, creams, lotion, etc.

FD&C Color Pigments:

According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, "...many (pigments) cause skin
sensitivity and irritation...and absorption (of certain colors) can cause depletion of oxygen in the
body and death."

In Home Safe Home, author Debra Lynn Dadd says that "colors can be used in foods, drugs, and
cosmetics...are made from coal tar. There is a great deal of controversy about their use, because
animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic."


Most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby products contain
fragrance. Many of the compounds in fragrances are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic.

"Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. most of all of
them are synthetic. Symptoms reported to the FDA have included headaches, dizziness, rashes,
skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation.

Clinical observation by medical doctors has shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the
central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other
behavioral changes." (Home Safe Home, Debra Lynn Ladd)

Mineral Oil:
Used in many personal-care products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil), this ingredient actually coats
the skin just like a plastic wrap, disrupting the skin's natural immune barrier and inhibiting its
ability to breathe and absorb the Natural Moisture Factor (moisture and nutrition).

As the body's largest organ of elimination, it is vital that the skin be free to release toxins. But the
mineral oil impedes this process, allowing toxins to accumulate, which can promote acne and
other disorders. It also slows down skin function and normal cell development, resulting in
premature aging of the skin.

Polyethelene glycol (PEG):

This is used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease as well as thicken products. A number after
"PEG" refers to its molecular weight, which influences its characteristics.

Because of of their effectiveness, PEGs are often used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners, yet are
also found in many personal care products. Not only are they potentially carcinogenic, but they
contribute to stripping the skin's Natural Moisture Factor, leaving the immune system vulnerable.

Propylene Glycol (PG):

As a "surfactant" or wetting agent and solvent, PG is actually the active component in antifreeze.

There is no difference between what's used in industry and what's used in personal care
products. Industry uses it to break down protein and cellular structures (what the skin is made of),
yet is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shave, deodorants,
mouthwashes, toothpaste, and is even used in food processing.

Because of its ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA requires workers to wear protective
gloves, clothing, and goggles when working with this toxic substance.

PG's Material Safety Data Sheets warn against skin contact because PG has systemic
consequences such as a brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn't even a warning
label on products such as stick deodorant, where the concentration is greater than most industrial

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):

Used as detergents and surfactants, these closely related compounds are found in car wash
soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers, yet are even more widely used as major
ingredients in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair conditioners, and about 90% of all shampoos and
products that foam.

In the article "Dangerous Beauty," Mark Fearer shares that, "In tests, animals that were exposed
to SLS experienced eye damage, along with depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin
irritation and corrosion, and even death...according to the American College of Toxicology."
Children's eyes are also at risk: "Studies indicate SLS kept young eyes from developing properly
by possibly denaturing (dissolving) the proteins and not allowing for proper structural formation.
This damage was permanent."

Still other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within
the skin. "Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein-denaturing properties." One of
the most dangerous of all ingredients in personal care products, research shows that "SLS when
combined with other chemicals can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of
carcinogens that cause the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate-
contaminate food."

According to the American College of Toxicology report, SLS stays in the body for up to five days.
Other studies show that SLS easily penetrates the skin and enters and maintains residual levels
in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain.

This poses questions of its being a serious potential health threat through its use in shampoos,
cleansers, and toothpaste.

Urea (imidazolidinyl) & DMDM Hydantoin:

These are just two of the many preservatives that release formaldehyde (called "formaldehyde
donors"). According to the Mayo Clinic, formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause
skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations.

Exposure to formaldehyde may cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains,
ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep.

It can also aggravate coughs and colds and trigger asthma. Other possible side effects include
weakening the immune system and cancer.

Formaldehyde-releasing ingredients are very common in nearly all store brands of skin, body and
hair care, antiperspirants, and nail polish.

A more complete list of products that contain formaldehyde can be found in the book by Doris J.
Rapp, MD, titled, Is This Your Child's World?

Special Note on Chlorine:

Although chlorine isn't in personal care products, most such products do not protect against
chlorine's damaging effects.

Exposure to chlorine in tap water, showers, pools, laundry products, cleaning agents, food
processing, and sewage systems can contribute to asthma, hay fever, anemia, bronchitis,
circulatory collapse, confusion, delirium, diabetes, dizziness, irritation of the eyes, mouth nose,
throat, lung, skin and stomach, heart disease, high blood pressure, and nausea. It is also a
possible cause of cancer


This is the latest rage in the arsenal of antibacterial chemicals, included in detergents, dish
washing fluids, soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, lotions, creams, and even toothpaste. In 1998,
American snatched up $540 million of these products, without proof that they even do what they

But is Triclosan safe? The EPA registers it as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to both
human health and the environment, and the USP recently proposed a new monograph for the
specific testing of tricolsan.

It is chlorinated aromatic, similar in molecular structure and chemical formulation to some of the
most toxic chemicals on earth: dioxins, PCBs and Agent Orange.
Its manufacturing process may produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic
effects in the parts per trillion: drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Hormone disrupters pose enormous long-term chronic health risks because they interfere with the
way hormones perform, such as changing genetic material or fostering birth defects.

Triclosan is a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans.
Externally, it causes skin irritations, but since...phenol can temporarily deactivate the sensory
nerve with it often causes little or no pain.

Internally, it can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, convulsions, coma, and death.

Stored in the body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys, and lungs,
and can cause paralysis, sterility, suppression of immune function, brain hemorrhages,
decreased fertility and sexual dysfunction, heart problems, and coma.

All these chemicals are persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They are chlorinated, persist in the
environment, and accumulate to higher concentrations with each step up the food chain.

Once absorbed into the body fat, it is almost impossible to eliminate POPs.

Employing a strong antibiotic agent such as triclosan for everyday use is of questionable value as
it takes a shotgun approach to killing microscopic organisms while destroying the beneficial
bacteria in the environment and in our bodies.

These so-called friendly bacteria cause no harm and often produce beneficial effects such as
aiding metabolism and inhibiting the invasion of harmful pathogens.

Boston-based microbiologist Laura Mc Murray and colleagues at the Tufts University School of
Medicine say that "triclosan is capable of forcing the emergence of 'superbugs' that it cannot kill.

And experiments have shown that it may not be the all-out germ killer scientists thought it
was...Using triclosan daily in the home - in products ranging from children's soaps to toothpaste
to 'germ-free' cutting boards - may be unwise.

Public Health Officials have blamed the indiscriminate prescription of antibiotics by doctors for the
spread of drug-resistant bacteria.

The Tufts study suggests the recent widespread use of antibacterial agents in everyday products
might have similar results. A safe, non-toxic alternative that has many applications is Grapefruit
Seed Extract.

The following is from an excellent article by Klaus Ferlow:

Visit him at

Hidden Dangers Llurking in Your Beauty Products
by Klaus Ferlow [1999]

Glossary Of Chemicals & Synthetics To Avoid In Personal Care Products
Were you aware that the cosmetics industry in North America is big business with over $30 billion
in sales each year? Their products are sold mostly with a "brainwashing" type of advertising
through multimedia, television, radio, magazines, and newspapers.

Lots of claims are made as to how good the products are at rejuvenating the skin by reducing
wrinkles and lines. Do you really know what the ingredients are that are in these products? Even
if they are listed on the product label… do you understand for example what sodium lauryl sulfate,
propylene glycol and mineral oil mean?

The "flowery" and often misleading language of cosmetics advertising tells you very little about
the actual effectiveness. In Canada there is no labeling law, so manufacturers can deceive the
consumer. In the U.S. the law provides for mandatory labeling of ingredients, but only chemists
understand their purpose and dermatologists their problems.

It seems that a large percentage of the population is suffering adverse reactions and
consequences when using cosmetic products that contain many harmful chemicals and synthetic

The purpose of this article is to offer alternative methods of caring for your hair and skin. We are
actively involved in the manufacture of truly NATURAL herbal creams, lotions, shampoo and
sprays made with premium quality botanical herbal extracts, which are certified organic, organic,
or wild-crafted without synthetics, artificial colour, scents or preservatives.

We would like to inform you of the various chemicals by name, where they come from, and what
they can do for your skin and hair. Be aware that there are over 900 chemicals available for use
in cosmetics that have toxic substances and are dangerous to your health and well-being.
Source: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Large corporations in the personal-care industry are interested in the promotion and profit
potential of their products, not your health.

They are selling an image, not necessarily a safe and effective product. You have to ask yourself
what "New & Improved" means on the label. Aren't you overwhelmed by all the claims made
promoting their "natural" skincare products?

Many of the so-called new and improved products are old formulas in flashy new packaging
designed to appeal to today's consumer. All this does is up the price, not the quality.

Companies selling personal care products hide controversial or dangerous ingredients under the
label of "trade secrets". Because of intense competition in the industry, if a company believes it
uses an ingredient that is relatively new to the industry, or that it makes their product unique, it
can petition the FDA (in Canada the HPB – Health Protection Branch) to prevent disclosure of
that ingredient by granting trade secret status. This spells delight for the company and disaster for

Many people are very health and beauty conscious and are willing to spend large amounts of
money on cosmetics promising firming of sagging skin, removal of wrinkles, nourishing the
starving skin and/or removal of blemishes.

Brand name cosmetics companies have developed a large profitable industry selling products
that imply these and other non-existing impossible virtues and cures! Every cosmetic product on
the market is formulated for a shelf life of over three years, therefore it contains a large amount
(usually four synthetic parabens) of preservatives to prevent spoilage.
These preservatives are cellular toxins, otherwise they could not kill microbes. They do penetrate
the skin to a certain extent and many of them have been shown to cause allergic reactions and

Over 90% of all ingredients in commercially available cosmetic products are of synthetic origin,
and induce all the associated health risks.

On the other hand there is a wealth of disclosed information and practical knowledge available
about NATURAL products, because they have been used successfully for thousands of years
starting way back with aboriginal and native peoples.

In North America literally thousands of people are suffering from adverse effects and reactions
from cosmetic products. Most people don't associate burning, reddening of the skin or pimples
and rashes with a cosmetic product they are using.

People simply discontinue to use the product but seldom report it to the FDA or HPB.

Many chemicals used in cosmetics never cause visible signs of toxicity on the skin, but contain
potent systemic toxins that can remain in the body for a very long time.

Finally a list of cosmetic chemicals that have caused adverse effects was first published for the
general public in the book "Health Risks in Today's Cosmetics." The book contains the surprising
results of a recently conducted sample survey of the estimated 20,000 different off-the-shelf
cosmetic products that are for sale in the U.S.

Over 80% of the products surveyed contained one or more ingredients that have caused
documented adverse reactions in humans and animals in the past!

Best advice: carefully read the ingredient label of all products, comparing them against a list of
reportedly harmful ingredients or contaminants. Only if enough consumers do just that, will
products that contain harmful substances eventually disappear from the marketplace.

How often have you seen the words "Natural" or "Hypo-allergenic" on the front of a skincare

Cosmetic companies use slick advertising to convince you that you are buying a safe product.
There are no industry-wide standards for what the word "Natural" refers to.

Every week companies introduce new products which are supposed to be better, more effective
and healthier – but are they really?

What happened to the „old‟ ones? A quote from the Boston Globe, September 6, 1997: "The
General Accounting Office, the investigative branch of Congress, has identified more than 125
cosmetic ingredients suspected of causing cancer - and others that may cause birth defects!"

What can you do to protect yourself and your family? Read labels and learn to decipher some of
the chemical jargon.

An explanation of many chemicals that are hazardous to your skin and health follows this article.
Understanding the long-term effects of these dangerous chemicals and which products contain
them is the first step in avoiding disastrous results for you and your loved ones. If nothing else,
this information will make you a better-informed consumer, and hopefully more aware of potential
health risks. Most importantly it could save your life
Many toothpaste and soap companies include this warning on their labels, "Not for use by
children under 6."

What you may not realize is the dangers in your home are just as likely to harm your children as
anything outside. Products that your children use every day may contain ingredients that studies
have linked to cancer, blindness, and even death. One of the most widespread of these

Manufacturers primarily use it because it is inexpensive and readily available. Some products that
can contain SLS are: shampoo, soap, toothpaste and lotions.

You are probably aware that your children's toothpaste contains fluoride because that's what
dentists have recommended for years to prevent cavities. However, most toothpaste contains
enough fluoride in four ounces to kill a small child!

In 1990 a study stated that fluoride has been shown to NOT reduce cavities and now scientists
are linking fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions and about 10,000 unnecessary
deaths each year from cancer.

Fluoride can corrode the tooth enamel and research indicates that it can lead to Crohn's disease
when swallowing toothpaste.

In the same category is mouthwash. Did you know that some mouthwash contains even higher
concentrations of alcohol than beer, wine and liquor. Containing more than 25% alcohol, can be
dangerous to young children - one ounce can cause seizures and brain damage and five ounces
can kill!

According to the National Cancer Institute, mouthwash with over 25% alcohol concentration
increases the risk of oral and throat cancer by 60% for men and 90% for women compared to
those who do not use mouthwash.

Another dangerous product is propylene glycol, an ingredient that is commonly used as a
humectant (additive to keep products moist). It is an inexpensive glycerine substitute. Propylene
glycol is bad enough for your skin, but has also been seen in commercially made baked goods
such as muffins to keep them moist for a long time. Consumers beware!

Some women experience rashes, eczema, and/or acne from using cosmetics loaded with
synthetic ingredients. Occasionally they use the same irritating product to try to alleviate the
problem but are actually making it worse!

When young women start using makeup – (some really overdo it and the synthetics in the
products are absorbed into their skin), it dries the skin and changes the pH level (pH refers to the
acid or alkaline level of a product which is determined by the amount of hydrogen in various
ingredients). Normal hair and skin have a pH between 4.0 and 6.0 or slightly acidic.

Synthetic cosmetic products will change the pH allowing secondary infections to occur.

Acne is a widespread problem and results from an increased production of sebum (oils of the
skin) which blocks pores. Those suffering from acne need to keep their skin clean and use only
natural products with certified organic/organic or wild-crafted herbal extracts.

Of course some of us are more prone to acne because of genetics. Clean, unclogged pores and
a balanced diet help considerably. Certain preservatives, artificial fragrances, colours and mineral
oils can cause itchy rashes, skin damage, and asthma-like symptoms.
The origin of a significant portion of dermatological complaints can be traced back to a chemical
or non-natural substance that has been applied to the skin.

Glossary of Chemicals to Avoid:

These are only 44 of the over 800 toxic ingredients in personal care products.

1. AHA (alpha hydroxy acid): Skin is exfoliated chemically instead of mechanically via abrasion,
dries and increases skin aging. Supposed to be anti-wrinkle, found in many skin and hair care
products. Used as a solvent originally in cleaning compounds and for tanning leather. A smooth
finish is developed by stripping the outer layer of the epidermis, which causes the irritated skin to
puff up and thus fill in the lines and wrinkles. The FDA warns that strengths over 3% may thin the

For a full report on AHA's, please read the report on my site - AHA about how dangerous they
really are.

2. Acetamide MEA: Used in lipsticks and cream blusher to retain moisture. Causes adverse
reactions, and is toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic.

3. Alkyl-phenol-ethoxylades: Has been found to reduce male sperm count, and to mimic estrogen
in the body. It is widely used in shampoo, causes adverse reactions and has been shown to be
toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic.

4. Ammonium laureth sulphate: This substance contains ether and is also easily absorbed by the
skin. It is found in hair and bubble bath products. It is known to cause adverse reactions, to be
carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic.

5. Aluminum: Used as a colour additive in cosmetics, especially eyeshadow. Another form of
Aluminum is used in deodorants and anti-perspirants. Listed as carcinogenic, toxic and

6. Alcohol: Acts as carrying and antifoaming agent as well as a water and oil solvent. It dries
quickly, and if synthetically produced is carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic, adverse reactions.

7. Bentonite: Used in facial mask, makeup, face powder. Supposed to draw out toxins and
claimed to be non-toxic, but rats have died when injected with it.

8. Benzene: It is a known bone-marrow poison, yet is widely used in combined with other
chemicals in many personal care products. Causes adverse reactions, is carcinogenic, mutagenic
and toxic.

9. Coal Tar: Many kinds of shampoo designed to treat dandruff & flaky scalp contain it. Disguised
with names FD, FDC or FD&C colour. Coal tar causes potentially severe allergic reactions,
asthma attacks, fatigue, nervousness, headaches, nausea, lack of concentration, and cancer.

10. Cocamide DEA: Nitrosamines can form in all cosmetic ingredients containing amines and
amino derivatives with nitrogen compounds. When DEA is applied to skin known carinogens can

11. Cocomide DEA: Mostly found in shampoo. Contains nitrosamines that are known carcinogens
causing allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. Synthetic nonionic surfactant.
12. Cocomidopropyl Betaine: Used in shampoo in combination with other surfactants. Synthetic.
Causes eyelid dermatitis.

13. Carbomer 934, 940, 941, 960, 961 C: Used as a thickener and stabilizer in creams,
toothpaste, eye makeup, bathing products. It is a known allergen that has a high acidic PH in 1%
water solution. Synthetic emulsifier that can cause eye irritations and should be avoided.

14. DEA (diethanolamine): A synthetic solvent, detergent and humectant widely used in brake
fluid, industrial degreasers and antifreeze. Mostly used in liquid soap, shampoo & conditioner.
Can be harmful for the liver, kidneys and pancreas. May cause cancer in various organs. Irritates
skin, eyes, mucous membranes. Found also in hair dye, lotions, cream, bubble bath, liquid
dishwashing detergent & laundry soap. Health risk especially to infants and young children.
Forms nitrosamines known to be carcinogens. Causes allergic reactions and contact dermatitis.
Hazardous & toxic.

15. Dioform: Many toothpastes and other tooth whiteners contain it. Damages your teeth enamel
weakening their protective shell.

16. Disodium EDTA: May contain dangerous levles of ethylene oxide and/or dixane, both potent
toxins. A manufacturing byproduct. Also used as chelating agent. Carcinogenic.

17. Hydantoin DMDM: Used in the synthesis of lubricants and resins, and is derived from
methanol. Causes dermatitis. Acts as a preservative and may release formaldehyde and is a
suspected carcinogen. Rats develop cancer when injected with this chemical.

18. Elastin: Supposed to improve the elasticity of the skin when applied externally, however, there
is no proof. It is a protein in connective tissue.

19. FDC-n (FD&C): These are available in various different colours. Some are simply irritants
while others are strong carcinogens. Most are coal tar derived, and many scientists feel that
adequate safety levels have not been established for each colour category.

20. Fluoride: Hazardous chemical. Researchers linked it to cancer years ago. No one is listening.
Fluoridated toothpaste is especially dangerous to young children who tend to swallow it after
brushing their teeth. Supposed to stop tooth decay. Scientists are now linking fluoride to dental
deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions, can lead to Crohn's disease. A toxic manufacturing by-

21. Formaldehyde: It is a colourless gas with vapours that are extremely irritating to mucous
membranes. Used in nail polish and hardeners, soap, cosmetics and hair growing products. Due
to it's bad name it is sometimes hidden under the name DMDM hydantoin or MDM hydantion. Its
trade-name is Formalin. Released by diazolidinyl urea. Causes dermatitis, and ingestion can
cause severe abdominal pain, internal bleeding, vertigo, coma, and a loss of ability to urinate. It is
very toxic when inhaled, a severe skin irritant, and a suspected carcinogen that is linked to
cancer. Its use in cosmetics is banned in Japan and Sweden.

22. Glycols (group) Used as a humectant (emulsifier/moisturizer), that can be from animal or
vegetable, natural or synthetic. In most cases it is used as a cheap glycerine substitute.
Propylene glycol did cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage in laboratory animals.
Diethylene glycol and carbitol are considered toxic. Ethylene glycol is a suspected bladder
carcinogen. The FDA cautions manufacturers that glycols may cause adverse reactions in users.
They have been shown to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic.

23. Imidazolidinyl Urea: After parabens, this is the second most commonly used preservative in
cosmetics. It is colourless, tasteless and odourless. Used in powders, baby shampoo, bath oils,
colognes, eye shadows, blushes, hair tonics, lotions. Causes dermatitis. If heated to higher
temperatures it produces formaldehyde.

24. Lauramide DEA: Lauric Acid derived mostly from coconut oil and laurel oil, and used as a
base for soaps, detergents, and laurel alcohol because of their foaming properties. Nitrosamines
can form in all cosmetic ingredients containing amines and amino derivatives with nitrogen
compounds and nitrosamines are known carcinogens.

25. Methyl Chloroisothiazolinine: Carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions.

26. Paba (p-aminobenzoic acid): It is a water soluble vitamin found in B complex. It is widely used
in sunscreen lotions but can cause photo-sensitivity and contact dermatitis and allergic eczema.

27. Parabens: Trademark for butyl, ethyl, germa, methyl, propyl paraben. Causes dermatitis and
allergic reactions. It is the most common preservative used in a variety of personal care products
especially cream & lotion. Petroleum based.

28. PEG (4-200): Abbreviation for polyethylene glycol, polyoxethylene, polygocol, polyether
glycol. It is a manufacturing by-product. Dangerous levels of the toxin dioxane has been found in
this product. Many allergic reactions, as well as hives and eczema are known to occur from these
synthetic plant glycols.

29. Phosphoric acid: As an inorganic phosphate acid it is very disruptive to the skin if used in high

30. Phenoxyethanol: Causes severe allergic reactions. Trade-names – Arosol, Dowanol EPH,
Phenyl Cellosolve, Phenoxethol, Phenoxetol and Phenonip.

31. Polysorbate-n (20-85): Used as an emulsifier in cosmetic creams, lotions, cream deodorants,
baby oil, suntan lotions. Causes contact sensitivity and irritation to skin.

32. Polyquaternium: Followed by any number they are carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and cause
adverse reactions. Induced contact dermatitis, causes fatal drug allergy (anaphylactic shock),
may cause increased sensitivity to muscle relaxants.

33. Propylene Glycol: It is the most common moisture carrying vehicle other than water that is
used. Found in most shampoo and conditioners, even foodstuffs such as cakes & muffins.
Derived from petroleum products. Also used in anti-freeze, de-icer, latex, paint, and laundry
detergent. It can cause irritation of nasal and respiratory passages and if ingested, can cause
nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is documented to cause liver abnormalities and kidney
damage. Research also shows it is mutagenic, and a contributor to cardiac arrest. Japanese
studies show it damages cell DNA (genetic code). Strongly degreases and dries the skin.

34. Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Used mainly in shampoo and conditioners. Causes skin irritation and
dermatitis. Has ether added and is toxic.

35. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: An ingredient in 90% of commercially available shampoo and
conditioner. Corrodes hair follicle and impedes hair growth. Is found in car wash soap, engine
degreaser, toothpaste, cream, lotion, and garage floor cleaners.

Penetrates your eyes, brain, liver and remains there for long-term. Degenerates cell membranes
and can change the genetic information (mutagenic) in cells and damage the immune system.
May cause blindness and lead to cataracts.

Eyes can not heal properly. Retards the eye healing process. Studies also show that these
additives react with the ingredients of food supplements or cosmetics, to form carcinogenic
nitrates and dioxin. All of this may enter the circulatory system with each shampooing or each oral
ingestion. The end result being that these harmful ingredients can be retained in the liver, heart,
eyes, kidneys and muscles for several years after being used. It is further reported to cause eye
irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff and allergic reactions.

36. Sodium Cyanide: Carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions.

37. Sodium Oleth Sulfate: May contain dangerous levels of ethylene oxide and/or dioxane, both
potent toxins.

38. Sodium PCA (NAPCA): Conditioner for skin and hair, synthetic version can seriously dry the
skin can cause allergic reactions.

39. Styrene Monomer: Carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions. May be
irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes.

40. Dimethylamine: Secondary amines cause allergic dermatitis. Carcinogenc properties.

41. Stearamidopropyl Tetrasodium EDTA: Nitrosamines can form in all cosmetic ingredients
containing amines and amino derivatives with nitrogen compounds. Nitrosamines are known

42. Talc: It is derived in powder form from the mineral magnesium silicate. It can be hazardous to
one‟s health, and is toxic with prolonged inhalation. Some talc found to contain amphibole particle
distribution typical to asbestos, which is cancer causing and a known lung irritant.

43. Toluene: Obtained from petroleum, it is used as a solvent in cosmetics, especially nail polish
and dyes. It resembles benzene, and if ingested may cause mild anemia, liver damage, irritate
the skin and respiratory tract. Also in pharmaceuticals and gasoline as a blending agent.

44. Triethanolamine (TEA): Can cause severe facial dermatitis, irritation and sensitivity. Used as
ph adjuster. Reacts with stearic acid to form oil in water emulsions, typically lotions. May contain
nitrosamines, known carcinogens. Its main toxic effect in animals is due to its over-alkalinity. It is
used as a coating agent for fruits and vegetables.

Please see our list of recommended reading and video materials to learn more.
Klaus Ferlow is the owner/operator of Ferlow Brothers, a 100% Canadian owned family business
manufacturing natural herbal products in Mission, B.C. Founded in 1975. Selling only to
Professional Health & Wellness Practitioners across Canada.

Descriptive Words

Carcinogen (Carcinogenic): Known to be cancer causing.

Humectant: a product which helps the skin retain moisture. Vegetable glycerine is a humectant.

Mutagenic: Changes the genetic code which are the building blocks of cells.

Toxic: Poisonous, either short-term or long-term.

Other suggested reading on this subject and references for this article:

Beauty To Die For, Judi Vance ISBN 1-57901-035-0
Natural Organic Hair & Skin Care, Aubrex Hampton ISBN 0-939157-00-4
Creating Your Own Cosmetics - Naturally, Niklaus J. Smeh ISBN 0-9637755-1-0
Don't Go To The Cosmetic Counter Without Me, Paula Begoun 4th Edition, ISBN 1-877988-23-5
Your Natural Health Makeover, Dr. Lauri Aesoph, ND, ISBN 0-13-628652-6
HEALTH NEWS Newspaper, Triple R Publishing Inc., Oregon, USA.
Health Naturally Magazine, Feb/March 1997 page 2021 Zoltan Rona, MD MSc.
The Safe Shoppers Bible, David Steinman, Dr. S. Epstein, ISBN 0-02-082085-2
Health Risks In Today‟s Cosmetics, Niklaus J. Smeh, ISBN 0-96377-5502
Drop-Dead Gorgeous, Kim Erickson, ISBN 0-658-01793-4
Toxic Sludge is good for You, John Stauber & Sheldon Rampton, ISBN 1-56751-060-4
Toxic Deception, Dan Fagin, Marianne Lavelle, ISBN 1-56751-162-7

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