Who doesn’t like the freshness of teal eyes, pink luscious lips, peach cheeks and a glowing complexion?
As the beauty industry takes a step forward, there is an equal number of men and women going back to basics.
Going organic seems to be the new mantra, what with organic soaps, creams, lotions, shampoos, lip balms and other beauty products taking a haute new avatar.
Ahalya Matthan, of Ally Matthan brand of natural fragrance and fragrance-based natural and handmade products for skin, hair, bath and personal care and Areev, a nationally available bath care range explores wellness with a holistic approach.
Natural skin care is really a way of life. Plant oils, shea and cocoa butters make fantastic moisturisers, aloe and chamomile are soothing and minerals work magic to get rid of makeup lines for sensitive skin.
Look for some easy-to-find organic ingredients like rosemary, almond, wheatgerm, honey and milk in your beauty range.
More and more people are learning about the potential skin and hair problems associated with preservatives and other suspect chemicals in cosmetics.
Chemical-based products can give you instant results, but can damage your sensitive skin and hair in the long run.
It’s a myth that synthetic skin products work marvels as they contain chemicals that are not harmful in tiny dosages, but years of accumulated usage results in damage that you cannot see.
The skin absorbs nutrients and has the ability to heal itself, so it is a logical choice to choose whether you put a chemical or a natural product on your skin.
If you are looking to lead a healthy life in the long run, choosing a natural or organic product is imperative.
By choosing an organic or a natural product, you are using ingredients that work with the natural systems of your skin. Here’s a know how on how to go au naturale:
Organic skin care implies that the products are made of ingredients derived directly from plants that have been cultivated without the use any chemical pesticides or fertilisers and contain no synthetic preservatives or additives.
Organic products are certified such that the end consumer can trace the origin of the farm where the ingredients were cultivated.
True organic products are hard to find as the low yield of plants cultivated without fertilizers makes them commercially unviable.
On the other hand a natural skincare product simply means that the ingredients are plant derived, cultivated with or without chemical interference, or they could alternatively mean that the ingredients are molecular clones of plant derivates.
Both products deliver the promise of the best natural ingredients for specific skincare.
Article excerpted from www.deccanchronicle.com
A new study finds that going organic can make you feel smug about yourself — and act nasty to others
Buying and eating organic food makes many people feel better about themselves. (Not coincidentally, organic products often have panderingly positive names, such as Honest Tea, Purity Life, and Smart Balance.) The flip side, according to a new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, is that organic eaters often look down on others, and aren’t shy about expressing their derision. Does going organic turn you into a jerk? Here’s what you should know:
How did researchers study the effects of organic food?
They divided 60 people into three groups: One was shown images of organics, such as spinach and apples; one was shown only comfort food, such as brownies; the third reviewed pictures of basics like rice and oatmeal. Then all three groups were asked to read vignettes about moral transgressions, such as cousins having sex or an ambulance-chasing lawyer hunting clients in an ER, and rank how bad the vignettes’ protagonists were on a seven-point scale. The participants were also asked how much time they would be willing to volunteer for a fictitious study.
And what did they find?
The crowd exposed to organic foods judged others more harshly. On average, they put the offenses described in the vignettes at 5.5 on the seven-point scale. The people exposed to pictures of comfort food were the most mellow, with average ratings of 4.89. The organic group was also stingier with their volunteering time, offering to help out for 13 minutes, compared to 19 minutes for rice-and-oatmeal group, and 24 minutes for the comfort food crowd.
How do experts explain these results?
Author Kendall Eskine, a psychology professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, chalks it up to something he calls “moral licensing.” People do something they see as a good deed, so they start feeling self-righteous. They also feel like “they have permission, or license, to act unethically later on,” Eskine says. “It’s like when you go to the gym and run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar.” How comforting, says Doug Berry at Jezebel. “Moral of the story: Eating cookies makes you a better person.”
Article excerpted from www.theweek.com
When my melanoma recurred in the lymph nodes under my arm, I was told by my oncologist that chemotherapy was pretty useless for melanoma, so they’d whip out the affected nodes and we’d hope for the best.
Post-op, I was lying in my hospital bed when two — quite separate — friends gave me A Time to Heal by Beata Bishop, the story of her healing her own melanoma almost 30 years ago using the Gerson Therapy. I knew I had to do something and her book convinced me that Gerson was it.
The therapy looked like a bit of a beast to do — 13 freshly-squeezed organic vegetable and fruit juices per day plus five coffee enemas, every day for at least 18 months to two years. On the diet front everything was organic. There was a thick vegetable soup to be eaten twice daily, and lunch and dinner consisted of a baked potato and vegetables and salad. A little oatmeal was permitted at breakfast. Everything else was forbidden. I couldn’t even wear make-up (though a little beetroot juice on the cheeks helped), and any chemical household products were banned. There was also some supplementation, including potassium and Lugol’s solution, some pancreatic enzymes, niacin and injectable B12.
The purpose of the therapy, devised by Max Gerson more than 60 years ago, is to massively detoxify the body thus helping the immune system to do the job it is designed to do. Their website describes it as “naturally reactivating your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself — with no damaging side effects.”
Despite the program’s rigidity, I seemed to be able to surrender to the routine of it. I had help with the juicing. And basically it was my job for those 18 months. The Gerson people counsel rest and even discouraged any exercise back in the mid-90s when I did it. But I liked the juices, I loved the enemas (designed to detoxify the liver) and even the food was doable. I finished my 18 months full-on and six months of a reduced program and, convinced I had put paid to the melanoma for good, I went back to my life.
Unfortunately the melanoma did come back around five years later, and that was the big nasty one when it recurred in my brain, spleen, stomach and lungs.
So why didn’t Gerson work for me? And how come I am still a proponent of using natural and alternative methods to heal cancer? Well, I still agree with the principles of the therapy. (The program that subsequently did the trick 10 years ago was based on similar principles, but with way more specific and targeted supplementation). And that, for me, is the key.
Cancer shows up in a toxic body. So to clean up, nourish and encourage it to work properly still seems completely logical to me. My theory — unproven — is that over the last 60 years or so our soil has got much more toxic and less fertile — even the soil that organic produce is grown in. Graham Harvey, author of We Want Real Food, told me that in the UK the supermarkets have encouraged their large scale growers to turn over some of their land to cash in on the demand for organic produce, and this has been done by obeying the minimum rules of organic farming rather than the spirit. Soil fertility is not something quickly achieved.
That, combined with the huge array of chemicals our 21st century bodies have to contend with, makes healing cancer through food alone a harder job and why I believe intense supplementation on top of a really clean organic regime is what worked for me. I would love to hear your experiences.
Article excerpted from www.huffingtonpost.com
Austria’s producers came out top in the organic stakes at Nuremberg’s BioFach trade fair over the weekend. The event in Germany which hosted some 2,400 exhibitors, 100 of whom were from Austria, was a roaring success for the country’s organic industry whose products proved hugely popular.
“Here in Germany, the whole world has been very impressed by the quality of our products,” explained Katja Huber from the organic butchers Sonnberg in Upper Austria. Companies from around the world presented their produce at the four-day fair which has long been pioneering the organic sector.
“Organic food is completely established in everyday life in Austria thanks to the producers. The entire marketplace is continually moving upwards,” said managing director of AMA (Agarmarkt Austria Marketing) Dr. Stephan Mikinovic.
The world’s organic industry saw a turnover of 45 billion Euros last year with 21 billion Euros of that in Europe, a 228 per cent increase from the year 2000 all despite economic and financial crisis. “Despite all the talk of saving and crisis, our organic industry has survived well and in fact suffered no significant losses”, said Mikinovic.
The USA and Europe are currently leading the organic market with 10 million hectares of organic farmland being worked in Europe alone. When looking at organic share in relation to available arable land, Austria is a world leader with 20 per cent. Only the Falkland Islands and Liechtenstein have a higher organic share.
Over the course of the last year Austrians spent around 304 million Euros on organic products with fruit, milk and meat products proving popular. The drive from supermarkets to create their own organic lines hugely benefits Austrian farmers, suggested Rudolf Vierbauch from Bio-Austria. “Austria would never have this organic turnover if the chains behind the strategy didn’t promote organic products,” said Vierbauch.
Despite currently being at a lower level, experts predict the areas of Middle and Eastern Europe to have the greatest growth potential in the organic market. Organic turnover in Croatia for example has increased twenty fold in the last six years.
Article excerpted from www.austriantimes.at
Using Mars-like soil taken from Atacama Desert, a study confirms Mars has organics, and Viking found them.
- A reanalysis of Mars Viking experiments shows the probes did find organics.
- The result was not initially understood due to the strong oxidation effects of a salt in the Mars soil known as perchlorate.
- A follow-up study on perchlorate-enhanced soil similar to what’s found on Mars revealed fingerprints of combusted organics.
More than 30 years after NASA’s Viking landers found no evidence for organic materials on Mars, scientists say a new experiment on Mars-like soil shows Viking did, in fact, hit pay dirt.
The new study was prompted by the August 2008 discovery of powerful oxygen-busting compounds known as perchlorates at the landing site of another Mars probe called Phoenix.
Scientists repeated a key Viking experiment using perchlorate-enhanced soil from Chile’s Atacama Desert, which is considered one of the driest and most Mars-like places on Earth, and found telltale fingerprints of combusted organics – the same chemicals Viking scientists dismissed as contaminants from Earth.
“Contrary to 30 years of perceived wisdom, Viking did detect organic materials on Mars,” planetary scientist Christopher McKay, with NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, told Discovery News. “It’s like a 30-year-old cold case suddenly solved with new facts.”
“If the Viking team had said ‘Well, maybe there’s perchlorate in the soil,’ everybody would have said they’re crazy — why would there be perchlorates in the soil? It was only by having it pushed on us by Phoenix where we had no alternative but to conclude that there was perchlorate in the soil … Once you realize it’s there, then everything makes sense,” McKay added.
The Viking team’s verdict that Mars lacked organics was the lynchpin argument against another Viking experiment that looked for signs of microbial life. In the experiment, a bit of nutrient-laced water was added to a sample of Martian soil.
The air above the soil was then monitored for signs that the nutrients had been metabolized. The instrument detected tracer gases the first time the experiment was done, but subsequent runs did not. The results were considered inconclusive and remain contested.
New evidence for organics on Mars does not mean Viking found life, cautions McKay.
“Finding organics is not evidence of life or evidence of past life. It’s just evidence for organics,” he said.
But if NASA had realized there were organics on Mars, there might not have been a 20-year hiatus in sending landers for follow-up studies, said Rafael Navarro-González, with the Institute of Nuclear Science at the National Autonomous University in Mexico.
“We might have had continuing missions,” Navarro-González told Discovery News.
NASA plans to launch a follow-up mission to look for organics on Mars in November.
Article excerpted from www.news.discovery.com
Organic cotton t-shirt from H&M;, photo via Nitrolicious
Most of us, when looking for organic, eco-friendly clothes, know enough to skip the mall; sustainable materials and mass-produced clothes with commercial appeal hardly ever overlap. But we guarantee you’ll know these five companies, who have enough recognition and reputation to do whatever they want and yet are choosing to incorporate organic materials and sustainable practices into their most popular items. Who knows? You may even have one (or all) of these stores at your local mall.
1. Victoria’s Secret
Photo via Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret has never been an especially green company, with the tons of catalogs sent out every month and the synthetic fiber blends. But over the last few years, in addition to greening the mass mailings, the brand has also introduced beauty products made with organic ingredients from mint to coffee beans—and now offers camisoles, pajama pants, thongs, and panties made from organic cotton. While the organic products are still just a teeny-tiny part of the overall VS empire, they are a step in the right direction.
Photo via Target
Chain stores that try to be all things to all people—selling clothes, shoes, groceries, electronics, home goods, outdoor gear, sports equipment, and anything else you can think of—generally don’t have the motivation to offer green products, especially if it means raising the prices. But at Target, organic products show up everywhere, from bedsheets to baby clothes. And with their selection of women’s cropped pants, pajama pants, tank tops, and tees, you can choose eco-friendly impulse buys.
Photo via Nitrolicious
Last year, H&M; used 1,500 tons of organic cotton for its spring line—this year, the company hopes to increase that amount by 50%. While you might not expect eco-friendly pieces at the retailer’s rock-bottom prices, the change makes sense: H&M; tends toward knockoffs of the season’s biggest trends, and with green more popular than ever, we’re glad to see them jumping on board.
4. Banana Republic
Photo via Banana Republic
The other brands owned by its parent company—Gap, Old Navy, and online shoe store Piperlime—haven’t been driving forces in the green movement, but that doesn’t mean that Banana Republic—the most luxurious of the four—can’t do its part. Boxes and bags include as much as 50% recycled material; stores are putting in place energy saving measures that cut usage by 41% last year; and 100% organic offerings include denim pants and cotton hoodies. A quick scan of the site showed plenty of products made with a small percentage of organic cotton (about 5%) alongside more conventional cotton (in as much as 90%). In the future, we hope the store continues to increase the organic component and set a standard for its sibling companies.
Photo via Nike
Although they got a bad reputation with the use of sweatshops, these days Nike has been doing more for the planet than you might think. In addition to the Reuse-a-Shoe program, which turns old sneakers into playground turf, and Nike Considered, an attempt to trim waste from production and switch to sustainable materials, the company offers 100% organic tees and hoodies, and aims to use at least 5% organic cotton in all its products by next year.
Article excerpted from www.treehugger.com
When used in moderation, sugar can be part of a healthy diet. Indulging in the occasional sweet treat is safe for most people. But should you use organic sugar or stick to conventional? Organic sugar may offer several benefits over conventional sugar, including health and environmental benefits. If you’re interested in the benefits of using organic sugar, choose an organic sugar that is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Organic sugar is not refined as heavily as conventional sugar or corn syrup, according to Vegetarian Organic Life. As a result, it may contain more of the vitamins and enzymes that existed in the natural sugar cane plant, from which organic sugar is made. Also, organic sugar contains more molasses, a taste that some people enjoy. Organic sugar sold in the U.S. must meet the requirements of the USDA to be labeled an “organic” food. According to Wholesome Sweeteners CEO Nigel Willerton, the USDA-administered National Organic Program sets specific requirements for how organic sugar cane is raised. These include raising the sugar cane without using chemical pesticides. Sugar cane used in conventional sugar, on the other hand, is frequently treated with such pesticides as paraquat to kill insects. These pesticides may linger in the finished product. In addition to protecting local animal populations by not treating sugar cane crops with chemical pesticides that could damage local habitat and water supply, organic sugar protects animals by removing the use of any animal byproducts in the refining process. According to Vegan Action, conventional sugar is refined in part by using animal bone char to remove color from the sugar. On the other hand, the nonanimal product milk of lime is the only ingredient used in processing organic sugar, according to Wholesome Sweeteners CEO Nigel Willerton.
No Pesticides Used
No Animal Products Used
Organic sugar is not refined as heavily as conventional sugar or corn syrup, according to Vegetarian Organic Life. As a result, it may contain more of the vitamins and enzymes that existed in the natural sugar cane plant, from which organic sugar is made. Also, organic sugar contains more molasses, a taste that some people enjoy.
Organic sugar sold in the U.S. must meet the requirements of the USDA to be labeled an “organic” food. According to Wholesome Sweeteners CEO Nigel Willerton, the USDA-administered National Organic Program sets specific requirements for how organic sugar cane is raised. These include raising the sugar cane without using chemical pesticides. Sugar cane used in conventional sugar, on the other hand, is frequently treated with such pesticides as paraquat to kill insects. These pesticides may linger in the finished product.
In addition to protecting local animal populations by not treating sugar cane crops with chemical pesticides that could damage local habitat and water supply, organic sugar protects animals by removing the use of any animal byproducts in the refining process. According to Vegan Action, conventional sugar is refined in part by using animal bone char to remove color from the sugar. On the other hand, the nonanimal product milk of lime is the only ingredient used in processing organic sugar, according to Wholesome Sweeteners CEO Nigel Willerton.
Article excerpted from www.livestrong.com