23 Sep

How to Choose Good Hair and Skin Moisturizers

Isn’t it frustrating to purchase what you think is a good effective moisturizer for your skin or hair to later discover that they are crap?

 

moisturizers for hair and bodyMany so called moisturizer creams and lotions available on the market will actually dry out your skin and hair. If you are anything like I was, you wonder why. After all, the skin and hair moisturizer packages say that they are moisturizers. So, then why is it that after applying these so called moisturizers, you find that your hair and/or your skin is dried out very quickly? Or even more disappointing, you discover that after applying the moisturizer, you don’t see or feel a difference at all. You’re left with the same dry hair or the same dry skin.

I’ve discovered that just because a product label says the word “moisturizer” on it does not mean it is a good effective moisturizer or really a moisturizer at all! You have to investigate further before you buy any product that you are seeking to moisturize your skin or hair with, for any real length of time. This is where the ingredient label tells it all.

Effective Moisturizer Requirements

For a moisturizer to be effective, it MUST contain water (or a wetting agent such as aloe vera juice) as the FIRST ingredient. If the first ingredient is anything else (ie. an oil) you may as well put it back on the shelf. It will not do the job no matter what the product manufacturer says.

I am an African American with dry skin and dry hair tendencies and have found that water in my moisturizers is not optional. It is required. This holds true for skin moisturizers and hair moisturizers. The first ingredient must be water/aloe vera juice. Why

It’s simple. These ingredients hydrate. Just like your internal organs require water to be hydrated, so do your skin and hair. However, water alone does not make a moisturizer effective. Right next to and after water on the ingredient list should be an oil. Pure Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Aloe and Shea butter are all great oils to formulate your skin and hair moisturizer.

Ineffective Ingredients

In contrast to water and an oil being the first two ingredient on the list for an effective moisturizer, there are three ingredients that may very well make your moisturizers ineffective. These would be:

Petroleum and Mineral Oil – These are lubricants that sit right on the surface of the skin or hair and do not penetrate either of these surfaces which is required for true moisturizing to take place.

Isopropyl/Benzyl Alcohol – Alcohol in general is very drying. Remember, before there were acne creams, people used to use alcohol to dry out their pimples? Enough said.

Of course there are certain chemical ingredients that you should also avoid because they are no good for you, but for the sake of this article, which is to point out the ingredients that make a skin and hair moisturizer effective, I won’t get into those.

Three Moisturizer Ingredients with Big Benefits

Once you’ve found a moisturizer with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient and none of the above bad ingredients, there are other ingredients that prove beneficial for the hair and skin. These would be Vitamin E, Keratin and CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 – generally found in skin care products) are antioxidants and help revive dull, damaged hair and/or skin. Keratin helps to stimulate the growth of cells to produce additional collagen which is required for smooth, supple skin.

So, the next time you go shopping for a moisturizer (which may be when you are done reading this article), make sure that the ingredient label (cream, lotion or spray) reads with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient, no petroleum, no mineral oil and no alcohols. This is essential for good, effective moisturizers. Your hair & skin will notice and feel the difference.

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21 Aug

Why I Avoid Beauty Products Containing Parabens and Sulfates

I've transitioned from face products containing parabens to all natural

I’ve transitioned from face products containing parabens to all natural

When it comes to personal care, it’s very important to know what’s in the products you are using. In my opinion, Parabens and Sodium Laurel Sulfate are two chemicals that should be avoided like the plague. Below details why.

About Parabens

By definition, Parabens are inexpensive antifungals used in various products, including food. You can find Parabens in most all commerical shampoos, toothpaste, moisturizers, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals, deodorants and many skin care products. Parabens can be identified by various names: methylparaben, butylparaben, and ethyparaben.

There have been studies for and against the use of parabens. Many studies declare that parabens are not healthy for you because of:

1- Their ability to mimic the estrogen hormone. Estrogen in high levels has been known to cause certain types of breast cancer. Parabens have even been found in certain types of breast tumors.

2- Developmental problems can occur with regular exposure.

3- Studies have found exposure to parabens from creams and lotions, greatly increases the risk of the parabens being ingested through the skin.

4- Studies have shown that parabens can be linked to premature aging of the skin.

Many people are alright with using products with Parabens because there has been no definitive proof. To each his own. There are some good products on the market with parabens in them but what about long time exposure? The problem with Parabens comes with long term or prolonged exposure.

About Sodium Laurel Sulfate

Sodium Laurel Sulfate, also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate is another inexpensive chemical that is commonly used in personal care products such as shampoos, toothpaste, and soap. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is used in degreasers and for clinical testing on animals and skin to determine it’s effectiveness on irritated skin. Sodium Laurel Sulfate is so dangerous because of it’s potential to absorb rapidly and deeply through the skin into the body.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate can severely dry out the skin and cause the hair to fall out due to damaging the hair follicles. It is corrosive and very drying. Sodium Laurel Sulfate has also been linked to cancer causing carcinogens.

There is a lot more detailed information on the web about the harmfulness of Sodium Laurel Sulfate. However, I’ve given you a brief summary that I believe adequately details the dangers of Sodium Laurel Sulfate.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Google “dangers of Parabens” and “dangers of Sodium Laurel Sulfate.” There are many studies available that you can read in more depth. I don’t know about you but I will not take that unnecessary risk with my health when there are natural alternatives available. God intended for us to use the good of the earth. Man made chemicals may have their place from time to time but they are just not the best that’s available to you.

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