'Beauty & Body' Category Archive
September 07, 2012 | Posted in: Beauty & Body
While researching and studying skincare ingredients for the last 6 years, one of the last pieces of the puzzle for me was an ingredient’s journey through manufacturing. It’s behind the scenes, it’s tough to uncover and it’s usually where a “faux organic” company hides its dark secrets and hidden ingredients.
I’ve comprised some tips I’ve learned along the way and how you, as an educated consumer, can make things very easy for yourself. Seek out 100% organic food grade skincare for the effectiveness of your products and the health of your skin.
Synthetics Can Cause Inflammation & Premature Aging
“Emulsifiers, preservatives and formaldehyde cause sensitivity and irritation, creating a domino effect where the body feels the need to protect itself through an inflammatory response,” says Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Dr. Layne Nisenbaum.
Even more serious is the potential for inflammation related disease. Dr. Laura Koniver, Charleston, SC, shares “Its been found that by chronically irritating skin (at low levels – low enough that you don’t see any skin reaction visibly) you are chronically encouraging it to slough off and turn over new cells. This is why low but consistent doses of retinal products, hydroxy acids and other skin acids, even all naturally derived fruit acids, works to give your skin a refreshed surface chronically forcing new cell turnover. While this is great in the short term (you get fresher skin within a few weeks) in the long term, chronic irritation and inflammation has been shown to incite cellular damage. Chronic inflammation is turning out to be one of the major factors in all types of disease from coronary artery disease, to strokes, to cancer.”
Synthetics and naturally derived synthetics subtly irritate the skin, which may make it look “rosy”, “plump” and turn over new skin in the short term. But long term, this low level irritation triggers an inflammation response from the body. Its well accepted that chronic inflammation leads to free radical generation, cell damage, wrinkles and sagging skin. Or possibly even disease.
Your skincare ingredients could be aging you! So you need to be sure you know exactly the standards your ingredients uphold. Here’s where it can get tricky.
“Made With” Organic Ingredients
Its semantics on a label, but the difference in a certified organic product formulation versus “made with” certified organic ingredients is immense. Just because some of the ingredients are organic ingredients does not mean the entire product formulation is certified organic. Even if a majority of the product’s ingredients are certified organic, that doesn’t tell a consumer anything about the standards of the remaining ingredients. Be careful that you are looking at a product level certification, not an ingredient level certification.
Chemical Processing Taints Organic Ingredients
Significant differences occur in the processing standards of an uncertified “organic” product. Take for example Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate (from coconut oil). Sounds natural enough, right? Wrong.
To make this ingredient, you begin with raw natural coconut oil. Next comes the extraction process where the oil is separated out for use with petrochemicals and other chemical solvents. The extraction is followed by extensive processing and forced reactions with synthetic chemicals (usually several reactions with several chemicals), which transforms the ingredient until a foam boosting chemical surfactant is produced. This ingredient is being marketed as “from coconut” or “naturally derived” when it is no longer equivalent to coconut oil, but in actuality, is a synthetic creation. To put it simply, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate (from coconut oil) does not grow on coconut trees.
Not only are semi-natural ingredients deceptive, but they also have potential health concerns. With extensive processing comes the problems of safety and purity associated with many synthetic chemicals, which is precisely what an organic consumer is trying to avoid.
Byproduct Contamination or “Hidden” Ingredients
When synthetic chemicals are introduced in the manufacturing of a natural source ingredient, it contaminates not only the purity of the ingredient, but the product as a whole. One example of this is known human carcinogen 1,4 Dioxane, which would not appear on a label as it is not an official ingredient, but can be present in the formula due to processing natural ingredients with synthetic chemicals.
Therefore, even if you are able to identify or nearly identify a product’s ingredients as all natural, you have no access to information on the ingredient’s processing. Processing ingredients with synthetic chemicals is strictly prohibited in a certified organic product so you have the guarantee of a purely organic formulation.
Seek Out Miessence Certified Organic Products
- Creators of the world’s first skincare product line certified to organic food standards in 2001
- The cold formulation proprietary to Miessence keeps the ingredients raw, the oils safe from oxidation and the delicate beneficial properties of the herbs, flowers and extracts in tact… just like raw food for your skin
- 100% active ingredients
- Made fresh in small batches every 30 days, unheard of in an industry of dead, synthetically preserved products
- A 100% certified organic product’s ingredients are untouched by synthetics from seed to final formulation
- Free from chemical manufacturing residues
- Free from residues of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers
- Organic agriculture standards produce bio-diverse crops and healthier soil
- Made with a base of organic aloe vera, not water
- Effective ingredients that have been used safely by humans internally and externally for thousands of years
Elise Minton. “Control the Signs of Aging” New Beauty Volume 7 Issue 2: page 144
Dr. Laura Koniver. (January 10, 2011). Thoughts on Health…. Retrieved from http://www.intuitionphysician.com/thoughts-on-health-faq-skin-care/
March 08, 2012 | Posted in: Cosmetics
I’ve been reading about Beauty Balms in every national magazine this spring. The concept has been wildly popular in Asia and has now hit the US with American brands creating their own versions. But what are BB’s you say? Basically they are a type of foundation that plays double duty as skincare. Beauty Balms were originally designed to be used as aftercare for patients who had undergone cosmetic laser procedures.
Of all the brands mentioned, I didn’t see any organic or even natural Beauty Balms offered. So… I decided to review our Miessence Translucent Foundations using the skincare solutions that Beauty Balms claim to provide.
Checkout the full ingredient list of the Miessence Translucent Foundations. In the descriptions, you will find every single ingredient to be 100% beneficial to the skin and all are active in perfecting and protecting skin. I’m convinced we have the original Beauty Balm on our hands!
Moisturizer: Organic sunflower seed oil has a very high level of linoleic acid, which increases the moisture content of the skin (skin hydration is proportional to the level of linoleic acid in the skin). Formula also features organic jojoba seed oil which is a yellow liquid wax pressed from the bean of the desert Jojoba plant. The wax, similar to skin sebum, gives a silky smooth feel. Jojoba has excellent moisturizing and protective effects.
Sunscreen: The mineral Zinc Oxide brings coverage and a colorless base to our cosmetics, but its also the only sunblock ingredient that protects the skin against UVA1, UVA2, and UVB rays. You can find out more from the Skin Cancer Foundation website. Organic Shea Fruit Butter Shea Butter also brings moisturizing properties and provide light protection against UV rays of the sun.
Treatment: The base ingredient of our mineral foundation is Organic Aloe Vera juice which has been shown in recent studies to to accelerate cell (basal keratinocyte) growth in the skin, regenerating and speeding cell turnover. The formula also features Panthenol, which is the provitamin of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). It improves the moisture-retention capacity of the skin and stimulates skin regeneration. Don’t forget Organic Lavender essential oil! It regulates sebum production, fosters the regeneration of new skin cells and soothes inflamed skin and smells divine.
Coverage: Most Beauty Balms say that when you wear them the need for foundation and concealer is less. That’s exactly how I would describe the coverage of Miessence Translucent Foundation. Its sheer, luminescent, perfectly blendable and natural looking in any light. Your skin, but better! For those who do like heavier coverage, Beauty Balms also serve as a great primer. Same with our Translucent Foundation. When I want a more “make up” look, then I layer the Mineral Foundation Powder and Concealer over the Foundation, adding until the perfect coverage is achieved.
Want to try an organic, multi-tasking Beauty Balm? Give our Miessence Translucent Foundation a try! You’ll love it!
Our friend Danika Carter, an Eco-Beauty Editor at Greenwala, posted a wonderful do it yourself recipe for organic Probiotic Hand Sanitizer using the Miessence BioPure Probiotic Concentrate. SUPER innovative, proven effective, safe and inexpensive! We thought this was too good not to share!
Using probiotics (good bacteria) topically makes a lot of sense. Unlike the alcohols used in hand sanitizers (even natural ones) probiotics are extremely gentle and non-drying, truly supporting healthy skin. If you think about it, bacteria is all around us, all over our bodies inside and out all the time. Its actually been estimated that the number of bacteria living in and on the average healthy human adult outnumbers human cells 10 to 1! So the goal to eliminate bacteria is a war you will not win. The goal should really be to have more good bacteria. This concept of bacteria being a numbers game (you want the good bacteria to outnumber the bad) is quite achievable and healthy. So why not destroy bad bacteria on your skin with a super strain of good bacteria (probiotic)?
In Danika’s article, she credits her friend Dani Abrahams with creating this recipe. Dani is a biological chemist and environmental toxicologist who “looks at blood work all day and really understands the effect synthetic chemicals in personal care have on people’s health”. When Dani was having trouble finding a non-toxic hand sanitizer, she decided to make her own. With her technical expertise and testing capabilities, she created a probiotic hand sanitizer with only three simple ingredients… all provided to us straight from mother nature. To make certain her recipe was effective, she tested it against germs and bacteria under the microscope and found it worked perfectly.
Dani’s Probiotic Hand Sanitizer Recipe
- Miessence BioPure Probiotic Concentrate (the “good” bacteria literally eats up the bad bacteria) If you are going to use a probiotic other than Miessence brand, be sure that the product does not need to be refrigerated. If the probiotic cannot survive without being refrigerated, then it will not be effective in your sanitizer.
- Purified Water (NOT tap water as the chlorine will kill the probiotic bacteria)
- Lemongrass Essential Oil (for scent and added anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties)
Combine 1/2 a cap full of the BioPure Probiotic Concentrate with 1/2 cup of purified water. Add a few drops of the lemongrass essential oil. Be sure to keep it to a few drops because Lemongrass is a potent oil – its even been shown in studies to be effective at killing the MRSA virus. If you plan on using the sanitizer on a child, you may want to switch out the lemongrass for lavender essential oil (a very gentle essential oil also with antibacterial properties that is super gentle and perfect for young or sensitive skin), or just use the BioPure and water alone.
One bottle of the BioPure will make more than 16 batches of sanitizer!
Dani also shared that you should make up small batches that you can use up quickly. Once mixed with water, the sanitizer will last about two weeks at which point you will need to discard any leftover and mix up a fresh batch.
The recipe smells absolutely amazing and we love how our skin feels soft and clean. Enjoy! Please let us know if you have any questions.
July 01, 2011 | Posted in: Cosmetics
Beauty Editor Katherine Butler of EcoSalon, the conscious culture and fashion website, has ranked her seven favorite organic products for getting a safe, self tan this summer.
Among the winners is the Miessence mineral bronzer and blush. She writes, “For the ultimate in color, consider separately applying both a bronzer and blush. Some products are meant for blending, as are this bronzer and blush combo from Miessence via Organic Glow.com“.
The more well known natural moisturizing properties of fruit, nut and seed oils come to mind when we think about hydrating the skin. But what about flowers, specifically the rose? Rose oil has been used as a luxurious skin moisturizing treatment for many centuries.
Think about how water droplets will bead up on a rose petal…the reason is the petal’s soft wax which offers deeply hydrating benefits. So why isn’t rose oil used more commonly as a moisturizer? One reason is the extremely high cost of producing rose oil. It can take over one million blooms to produce 35 ounces of the highly prized Rose Damascena oil. Thankfully, only a very small amount of rose oil is necessary in skin preparations for amazing benefits.
Ready to give organic rose oil a try? Check out these two fabulous products:
Rose Monsoon Hydrating Mist, the award winning product created by Miessence is a fabulous mix of organic rose oil and organic rose water (the potent water, left behind after the distillation of the rose oil) used to provide instant skin hydration anywhere you need it. For mineral makeup users, this product is also ideal to set the powders and create a dewy complexion before heading out the door. Rose Monsoon can also come in handy in heated/air-conditioned environments which are so taxing on the skin. Smells so heavenly you’ll come up with any reason to use this spray!
The ultra-luxe facial Rejuvenating Moisturizer developed by Miessence especially for dry skin will leave your face silky soft, but never oily. Packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and of course the lovely Organic Rosa Damascena Essential Oil (rose oil).
April 20, 2011 | Posted in: Botanical Perfumes
If you’ve never read Dr. Laura Koniver M.D.’s blog Intuition Physician, be sure to check it out. She writes about holistic health, healing, art and snippets of life, all swirled into one. We love her take on skincare topics and today she writes about her recommendations for botanical perfumes. I’m a “guest blogger” sharing specifics on our 100% certified organic ingredients.
Packaging with a purpose! Cleanse and exfoliate in one simple step. Narelle Chenery, the founder of Miessence products tells you why these hand crafted cleansing bars are so unique.
January 10, 2011 | Posted in: Beauty & Body
During medical school, Dr. Laura worked at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD with a research team who was investigating oncogenes. We thought her take on cosmetic products and cancer was quite interesting.
Dr. Laura says: “I feel like I’ve gotten a little extra training in the areas of cancer research and in skin and my gut feeling says that the more you chronically irritate something, the more likely you are to develop cancer in that organ. As straight forward as that.
Most of the over the counter anti-aging crap (um… I mean, *products*) you can buy through drugstores, department stores, and even health food stores, contain ingredients designed to chronically irritate your skin. This is because they’ve found that by chronically irritating it (at low levels… low enough that you don’t see any skin reaction visibly) you are chronically encouraging it to slough off and turn over new cells. This is why low but consistent doses of retinal products and hydroxy acids and other skin acids (even all naturally derived fruit acids) works to give your skin a refreshed surface… chronically forcing new cell turnover.
While this is great in the short term (you get fresher skin within a few weeks) in the long term, chronic irritation and inflammation has been shown to incite cellular damage. Chronic inflammation is turning out to be one of the major factors in all types of disease… from coronary artery disease, to strokes, to cancer.
So, my goal as a physician is to decrease the levels of inflammation and irritation in and on the body as much as possible. It is routine practice now to try and decrease the level of inflammation inside our bodies… for example, decreasing the level of inflammation in our guts by avoiding certain foods (like avoiding gluten if you have celiac disease) or using prescription medications to decrease inflammation (like statin drugs for heart disease) But it is not generally addressed when it comes to skin care.
Yes, everyone understands that inflaming your skin to the point of sunburn is a serious no-no… that UV exposure can cause skin cancers… but what about the chronic irritation of the toxic chemicals in daily use of chemical sunblock? This is starting to get more recent press and consumers are switching to physical sunblocks over chemical ones, for good reason.
The same goes for your facial care products. Infrequent use may be fine, but daily (and sometimes twice daily, morning and night!) slathering on of anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, anti-this-and-that products intended to stir up your skin and cause enough low levels of irritation that it forces your skin to make new skin faster… 40 years of applying this to your face doesn’t seem right to me.
If you had a chemical irritant would you smear it morning and night on the inside walls of your heart? Or along the surface of your kidney? Why does it seem so much more benign when we slather it onto our skin? I’m not sure why.
I do agree it seems less *invasive*. But skin cancers are no small concern… and with the advent of the newer delivery methods (micronized particles and nanosphere delivery systems) the ingredients do not stay superficial at all anymore, but rather are internally delivered. On top of that, and this is just my gut feeling, I truly believe that the chronic inflammation and irritation of the skin, while creating the immediate effect of quicker skin turnover, in the long term (decades later) this very chronic irritation can cause faster skin aging… as your skin reacts to being chronically irritated with visible signs of stress… uneven pigmentation, broken capillaries, seborrheic keratosis, actinic keratosis, and other age related changes.
So that is the platform upon which I recommend this very simple skin plan. Do no harm. Allow your body to do what it does best… cover you in sheets of beautiful, healthy skin, replacing it as needed… and support this process with moisture and occasional exfoliation.”
Well said Dr. Laura!!!
FeelGood Style, Beauty with Integrity & writer Emma Pezzack from the site www.futurenatural.com: the best organic beauty products in the world, have published a list of the best organic mascaras on the market. Miessence is one of them!
Here’s what they had to say about Miessence Mascara “One of the vanguards of modern organic beauty this formula from Miessence builds thick, healthy lashes that don’t dry to a crusty finish.”
July 28, 2010 | Posted in: Bodycare
We aren’t surprised….. customers who say they have tried every natural deodorant out there tell us Miessence is the best!