Organic and or – How Europe Manages the Beauty Industry

Before digging into how Europe manages the ingredients used to manufacture cosmetic products, it becomes necessary to understand why this is so important. Personal care products, otherwise known as beauty products or cosmetic products, are known to contain over 10,500 chemical ingredients. Many of these ingredients are toxic in nature. Toxins are poisons and when used over long periods of time, can cause serious damage to one’s health. Women use an average of over 5 pounds of lotions and creams annually. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is very porous, allowing over 70% of what is applied to the skin to seep into our bodies and into our bloodstream. Through clinical studies, it has been proven that the very same toxins found in a mother’s blood have been found in the umbilical cord of the fetus. Many of these toxic (poison) ingredients are carcinogenic and can be linked to cancer as well as respiratory problems in infants, birth defects, liver and kidney disease, etc.

Perhaps now it is clear as to why it is so important to know what is being done around the world to monitor what goes into the manufacture of cosmetic products and why it should be so very important for consumers to use only certified organic and/or .

Europe, Asia, and Oceania have taken major steps in controlling the ingredients used in beauty products. In this article the focus will be on Europe, while future articles will tackle how other parts of the world address this issue. Having said that, one might ask what about the US? Unfortunately, with the cosmetic business being such a large (50 billion) and extremely profitable business, the US cosmetic companies employ lobbyists in Washington to prevent changes in the laws regulating the industry. Shocking as it might seem, the Cosmetic Industry is self-regulated. It can determine what it wants to bring to market without any pre-testing by any government or private agencies.

Currently Europe has one Government authority that controls the ingredients of beauty products, the European Union (EU). However, there are private institutions operating in five countries that provide independent laboratory testing to the many cosmetic companies operating throughout Europe. These independent organizations use the authority of the EU to manage the process, but in some cases, go beyond the regulations required by the EU to determine and qualify products as certified organic and/or . These organizations are:

-BDIH operating out of Germany;
-ECOCERT & COSMEBIO from France;
-SOIL ASSOCIATION from the UK;
-ICEA from Italy;
-BIOFORUM from Belgium

These six organizations combined also make up what is known as the COSMOS-standard. The COSMOS-standard has not yet achieved legal status, but that will be delved into later in this article. At this juncture, let’s look at how the EU manages this process.

What is the European Union? What are its aims and results? How does it work? In summary, the answers to these questions are:

-27 democratic countries participate in the EU economically and politically;
-498 million citizens in these 27 countries look to the EU for safe, consumable products, including beauty products;
-It’s results in the beauty category provide for not just safer products, but a greener environment as well;
-It works because each country sets up bodies to adopt and manage the EU’s legislation.

The COSMOS-standard represents the European cosmetic organic standards working group. It is made up of the previously mentioned organizations. It is expected to be legalized by April, 2010 by the pronouncement of the Belgian Royal Decree. Excerpts of the main objectives of the COSMOS- standards and taken directly from their final document dated January, 2010, can be summed up as follows:

“Establishing a ‘sustainable development’ that would reconcile economic progress, social
responsibility and maintain the natural balance of the planet is a project in which the cosmetics
sector is willing to be fully involved… the organic and natural cosmetics sector clearly shows its ambition to go further in setting a new standard for organic and natural cosmetics.”

The following represents a summary of a set of simple rules that will be used to manage the organic and natural beauty industry. The main focus is on prevention and safety in all segments of the manufacturing process, that is, from raw materials to market ready final products.

The rules will focus on human health through:

-Organic agriculture and natural resources always with respect for the environment;
-A manufacturing process that is environmentally clean while, at the same time, utilizing and expanding a more green philosophy that ultimately will create a higher standard for organic and .

The six organizations making up the COSMOS-standard, namely BDIH, ECOCERT & COSMEBIO, SOIL ASSOCIATION, ICEA, and BIOFORUM, each have their own set of standards for certifying organic and/or . It would take a book to delineate each agencies processes. Suffice it to say that Europe has taken a lead position on this subject through the EU and continues to improve its status by moving forward with the COSMOS-standard. One of the results of the EU’s legislation is that they have already banned over 1100 chemical ingredients used in the manufacture of beauty products, while the US has banned a mere 10.

The US, with its lack of leadership in this industry, has left the consumer vulnerable to the poisons we already know cause harm to pregnant mothers, their babies, and to the millions of consumers that have used these toxins for decades. Over time, with many countries around the world coming together to prohibit these toxic ingredients from being used in beauty products, hopefully the US will change current legislation and demand pre-testing of beauty products before they are released to the public. Further, hopefully the US will also permit independent agencies to test products to qualify them to be labeled as certified organic and/or . In the meantime, when shopping for certified products, simply look for the logos of the aforementioned companies out of Europe. In doing so, you will be assured of using safe, non-toxic beauty products.

What Services Can You Find in a Chiropractic Centre?

When you visit a chiropractic centre, you can expect a normal array of chiropractic treatments. However, many work as a wellness centre as well as a chiropractic treatment facility. The basic services you should expect of the chiropractor should include assessments, spinal manipulation, and chiropractic adjustments. The chiropractor should offer an initial assessment of your problems. This assessment will involve taking a full medical history and performing a basic exam to evaluate the situation. The assessment may also involve some tests to see what your normal range of motion is. From this initial assessment, the chiropractor can create a custom treatment program.

Another common service offered in a chiropractic centre is special treatment for pregnancy related issues. Many women going through pregnancy can experience a range of pain. Much of this comes from the body’s natural realignment as the baby grows. This forces the pelvis and back to move out of normal alignment. Many use chiropractic care to keep these pains under control in order to have a healthy, pain free pregnancy where possible. The chiropractor will use non-invasive techniques to help the body deal with the weight of the baby pulling the spine and pelvis out of normal alignment.

A chiropractic centre can offer help with sports injuries as well. As the body gets over the initial pain, it goes into the healing mode. Sports chiropractic treatments can help. The chiropractor can keep the body in alignment as the injury heals. This helps the patient experience normal range of motion quicker as a result. Registered chiropractors can work with your normal rehab program to give your body the best chance of quick healing so you can get back to your favourite activity. When it comes to chiropractic, children are also good candidates to come in for treatment, especially with sports injuries.

When visiting a chiropractic centre for the first time, you might be surprised at the range of services they offer. Chiropractic education is often a big surprise. There is still a certain stigma related to the practice in some areas. By offering education, the chiropractors can bring the truth about the treatments to their patients. If you are dealing with back pain or another chronic pain source, find a chiropractor to help. Many patients find they get great relief from a chiropractic treatment that they never got with mainstream treatments. It is well worth a visit today for anyone dealing with such a situation.

For Your Skin

for your skin are more popular today than they have ever been before. There are several reasons for this newfound attraction to natural products but the main reason is knowledge. More and more women and men are learning that natural products are much better for your skin than chemically based products. Over the past few years, the public has been made aware of the fact that many skin and body products contain harmful chemicals.

These chemicals can be absorbed into the skin and cause many health problems that you don’t have to worry about with natural products. For the most part, these items are not tested on animals as well, which is another big plus. Many of these products contain herbs and plants that have been used for healing throughout the centuries so you can see why they can be much healthier for you than something that contains chemicals.

It is important to realize that for your skin are separated into three categories. This will help you know what to look for when you start shopping around. If you want pure , then you will need to look for 100 percent organic items because these contain no other ingredients. They are the only ones that can be considered completely natural.

The next best thing would be organic beauty products that are made with about 95 percent natural ingredients and 5 percent unnatural. If, for some reason, you can’t find a specific product that is all natural, this would be a good substitute. The last option is simply products that have some organic ingredients in them. These cannot be considered natural products as they mostly contain unnatural ingredients.

Obviously, the first or second option is the best choice when your truly want to use natural products that are better for your skin and healthier for your body. Keep in mind that when lotions, creams and similar items are absorbed through the skin they can enter into the bloodstream and over time, cause many problems. Therefore, the more natural the product, the better it is for you.

It’s important to take good care of your skin and using natural products is a great way to start. They can help your skin to feel cleaner, smoother and look younger and more radiant than ever before. Once you give them a try, you won’t want to use anything else ever again.  

for your skin are not only better for you personally but they’re better for the environment as well. This gives you another good reason to consider making a switch if you’ve haven’t already. As you can see there are many good reasons to use natural skin care products. As a result, you may want to invest a little time in learning more about all they have to offer. 

Women’s Hormone Replacement Therapy – Are You In Balance?

It has been two years since the Women’s Health Initiative Estrogen plus Progestin (WHI) arm of this large trial was stopped early because it caused harm. The WHI showed the opposite of what was expected–Estrogen (Premarin) plus Progestin (Provera) caused heart disease and breast cancer as well as blood clots and strokes. WHI results show that estrogen does not improve the quality of life for women. WHI estrogen plus progestin results are “evidence-based.”

We now have evidence-based proof that “HRT” is harmful to women. But people are still taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and are concerned about estrogen deficiency. Why? “Little has changed because the fundamental, negative ideas about women and about menopause have not changed. Universal menopausal hormone therapy … (is) based on a cultural belief that women are inferior and need fixing. For over twenty years I have been saying that menopause is a natural part of women’s life cycle, the low estrogen levels after menopause are healthy and not abnormal. This made me unpopular–I have been labeled as “way-out” or worse. Therefore the WHI results for me were a vindication”, says Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC Professor of Endocrinology, Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, University of British Columbia. And, she is correct.

Two years after the WHI study little has changed. If you go to your doctor today and request HRT most will prescribe it for you. Despite the fact that The Women’s Health Initiative, the largest controlled trial of ovarian hormone therapy ever performed, provided the strongest proof that Medicine (which has been strongly influenced by the Pharmaceutical Industry) causes harm for women. The website for the WHI study said, “Women should stop their study drugs immediately.” Following that order led to hot flushes in many women who were on hormone therapy because their body had adjusted to that higher level of estrogen. Women who heard the news of the study in the media also often stopped their therapy abruptly. That led to severe hot flushes in hundreds of thousands of women and in virtually all women who had previously experienced them. “Because it is well known that rapid withdrawal from estrogen causes night sweats and hot flushes, all physicians should have been ready with advice for women wanting to stop estrogen.” Says Dr. Prior.

For Lack of helpful information, and because the resulting symptoms of night sweats/hot flushes were so miserable, many women, in desperation, reluctantly restarted unwanted HRT treatment. It seems logical to now say that the WHI results require re-thinking of the concepts on which menopausal “replacement” and “estrogen deficiency” were based. The primary assumption that all women needed estrogen because they were deficient still needs to be addressed. I like what Dr. Susan Love said, “If estrogen deficiency is a disease, all men have it!” Destroying the concept of estrogen deficiency will be hard and may take many years to achieve. In the mean time where does that leave you and I?

Estrogen Dominance not estrogen deficiency, according to Dr. John Lee is at the crux of our dilemma and bringing our hormones back into balance will be the key to hormonal health.

STEP 1. Become informed. The “Let’s Talk About Hormones” video provides valuable information on hormone balancing. Dr. Lee’s “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” has just been updated. Information is the key to your power!

STEP 2. Evaluate your own hormones with a saliva test whether you are on hormones currently or not. Find out if you have adequate hormone levels or are truly deficient.

STEP 3. Work with someone who understands the issues. Dr. Lee felt that most women can themselves oversee their hormonal challenges. If you must select a healthcare provider choose one who like Dr. Prior says, “I will never again prescribe estrogen as a pill. There is now overwhelming controlled trial evidence that pill forms of estrogen cause unacceptably high rates of clots and perhaps, through clotting, also increased strokes and heart disease. There are not yet strong data but it is likely that estrogen given through the skin (as a gel, crème or patch) will be less likely to activate liver clotting factors and thus safer. To me it means “bio-identical” or “natural” kinds of estrogen and progesterone both given in physiological doses.”

STEP 4. Just know that balancing hormones is not just about taking additional hormones but about diet and lifestyle changes. I believe that we have a unique opportunity, right now, as women on this second anniversary of the initial WHI results. We can become pro-active about our own hormone health and share with those women around us who are struggling with their hormone challenges. Women reaching out to other women will have a greater effect than waiting for the research to catch up. Each of us must practice living with these important ideas. Then hormonal health will be ours.

This Article Is Copyright 2006 Jackie L. Harvey & Saliva Testing com