You And Your Skin

    Posted before Dec-31-2007

Have you ever wondered if there is any distinction between a deodorant and an antiperspirant? If you haven't, you ought to know that there is a distinct difference between the two and the basic dissimilarities lie in the manner that these two products function and probably have an effect on our health. Fundamentally, each of these two products uses dissimilar chemical procedures to diminish our body odor.

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Specific components of each of these products may be harmful for our body. However, very often deodorant is said to be a superior substitute compared to many of the antiperspirants available in the market.

In fact, antiperspirants enclose perfumes, but they also enclose chemical compounds that block the sweat pores, thereby stopping the release of perspiration. Hence, simply speaking, when there is no sweat, there is no body odor!

On the contrary, use of deodorants enable the discharge of sweat, but puts off odor by fighting it with antiseptic agents that kill the bacteria responsible for causing the body odor.

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However, the fact is that majority of the users do not comprehend the manner in which deodorant functions and believe that it is just a perfume that keep our body odor under wraps. Many consumers prefer antiperspirants to deodorants, as they want to get rid of the body odor rather than covering it up with deodorants.

From time to time, different consumer support groups have been expressing their apprehensions over questions regarding the general use of health and cosmetic products, including antiperspirants and deodorants. Findings of some specific researches have hinted possible health hazards related to aluminum compounds present in a number of antiperspirants. Similarly, some other studies have found similar health hazards owing to the presence of parabens in some deodorants. Both deodorants and antiperspirants have been distantly related to grave ailments, including breast cancer. Interestingly, firms manufacturing deodorants and antiperspirants as well as a number of health agencies have alleged that the findings of such studies are erroneous and even dubbed the apprehensions voiced by consumer advocacy groups as baseless.

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Assurances notwithstanding, several healthcare professionals suggest the use of deodorant over antiperspirants, as they believe that blocking the sweat pores and putting off perspiration may not be the best alternative that is beneficial for our health. In such a situation, the hapless consumers are left to fend for themselves by making their individual choices.

People who now want to give up the usual deodorant or antiperspirant available in the market have now started looking for more organic substitutes. Presently, a number of different brands of natural deodorants are available in the market. However, the unfortunate aspect of the entire matter is that though these deodorants are being marketed as natural products, they always do not enclose organic ingredients and, hence, it is important to check the labels of all such products before you buy them. For the real individualist, a simple deodorant comprises an equal part of cornstarch and baking soda and it is applied topically using a moist wash cloth.

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It may be mentioned here that an aluminum salt called aluminum hydroxychloride forms a common ingredient of most antiperspirants. This aluminum salt works by slowing down the release of perspiration - it closes the skin's sweat pores to prevent the sweat from coming out of the skin. Thus far, this chemical seems to be harmless, but the fact remains that blocking the body's most significant secretor for days at a stretch, including sweating from the arm pits, with a substance that may cause irritation to the skin and is straightforwardly soaked up injured skin can never be the best answer to our sweat problems. Many people have expressed concerns that the regular use of this aluminum salt may even result in development of cancer.

It has been found that compared to other chemicals, farnesol is relatively a great deal safer raw material to be used as an ingredient in deodorants and antiperspirants. Farnesol is a substance that is naturally present in numerous essential oils, such as palmarosa and Roman chamomile oils. Farnesol has the aptitude to eliminate the bacteria that are responsible for the smell in our sweat. However, neither does this substance block the sweat pores in the skin, nor does it puts off the release of the sweat from the body. When this substance is used in strength of just about one per cent, the impact continues for around five to six hours.

The lemon ester is another raw material that is also safe for use in deodorant. This substance naturally occurs in cherries and possesses the aptitude to lessen the bacteria on the skin by turning the skin out to be more acidic. For best results, the deodorant should comprise four per cent or five per cent of lemon ester along with one per cent of farnesol. However, unlike the aluminum salt (aluminum hydroxychloride), a combination of lemon ester and farnesol does not offer protection from body odor for the entire day, but they are definitely much safer to be used in deodorants.


While using vegetable oils on skin is of great importance, it is also imperative to use moisturizing skin products, such as creams and lotions. Although there are numerous moisturizers available in the market, Sorbitol are among the safer moisturizing agents to use. This substance is extensively used in the manufacture of cleansing and peeling cosmetic products. In addition, for foot and hand creams, carbamide crystals are said to be the best moisturizing agents as they not only add and restore moisture to the skin, but are also antiseptic.

Silk protein is another moisturizing product that is used extensively. This substance not only helps in protecting as well as strengthening the hair and skin, but also aids in retaining their moisture. Silk protein can be used as an ingredient in conditioners, shampoos as well as hair packs.

It may be mentioned here that silk worms living on mulberry bushes produce silk. Silk is basically a discharge from a gland of the silk worms, which spin this substance into cocoons. Dead silk worms are used to produce silk amino acid and, hence, it is an organic or animal-based substance. In fact, in order to extract the silk from the cocoons, the silk worms are first killed by using gases. Happily enough, we are able to use silk protein obtained from a marine algae known as sea silk in different cosmetic products. The silk protein obtained from sea silk also offers an identical impact as the silk protein extracted from silk worms. Silk amino acid is used in multiple cosmetic products, such as lotions, creams, conditioners and shampoos. They not only fortify and soften the skin, but also help to retain the moisture in the skin. When used in shampoos and hair conditioners, silk amino acid works by retaining the moisture of the hair and also by forming a film around the hair strands that help to strengthen the hair strands and care for them. In addition, this substance also provides more shine to the hair and makes it appear in good physical shape.

Lanolin is another vital fat and moisturizing agent that is also used extensively in various cosmetic products. When lanolin is in its dehydrated variety, the substance has a yellow color and is a fatty and muggy mound that somewhat smells like sheep. Lanolin is formed in the same manner as sebum is produced in humans. In fact, lanolin in produced by the glands in the sheep's skin that open onto the filaments of wool. Lanolin or the fat fortifies the wool as well as the skin of the sheep from dehydrating. In addition, it protects the animal from extreme temperatures as well as bacterial invasion. In fact, lanolin is extracted from the sheep's coat after it has been shorn.

Lanolin possesses an exclusive characteristic and that is of binding water to itself. When used in lotions intended for infants, and nappies, lanolin counteracts the caustic ammonia present in the urine through an alkaline reaction known as saponification. At the same time, it protects the tender skin of the infants. In fact, lanolin is a fatty substance that is very similar to the fat present in human skin. Hence, it has the aptitude to retain the moisture in our skin as well as prevent it from dehydrating. Simultaneously, lanolin enables our skin to perspire as well as breathe naturally. However, some individuals are sensitive to lanolin and may develop small, reddish, prickly bumps that usually fade away in a day or two after they stop using lanolin. The regrettable part of using lanolin is that often it may be found contaminated with pesticides, such as lindan, DDT, endrin and/ or dieldrin. In fact, this is owing to the fact that sheep are either sprayed or dipped in pesticides once or twice every year with a view to eliminate any insect that might have invaded their fleece or be surviving in it. Despite cleaning the fleece with chemicals, the possibility of minute amounts of pesticides remaining in the lanolin extracted from it cannot be ruled out.

It may be noted here that sheep skin easily soaks up pesticides, especially when they are blended with fats. These pesticides are then stored up in the fatty tissues of the skin. However, now it is feasible to extract lanolin containing very small percentage of pesticides. When lanolin contains minimum amount of pesticides, it is virtually odorless.

Raw resources for protection from sun

PABA (scientific name para-amino-benzoic acid) is among the most commonly used products that offer protection from the sun. PABA is a watery substance that is frequently mentioned as B10, but it has never been accepted by scientists as a vitamin. In fact, PABA is at all times produced synthetically by means of easy and uncomplicated chemical procedures. One variety of PABA is used in lotions and creams intended for sun protection, as it offers an excellent shield against the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun and, thereby, put off sunburn. In addition, PABA is also used to heal sunburn and vitiligo - pigmented blemishes. This substance is stored in the outer coating of the skin. However, everyone cannot endure the use of PABA as it causes adverse side effects in some individuals. People with sensitive skin, who usually experience severe reactions to sunlight and develop tenderness, swelling and rash, should never use PABA. PABA may also cause eczema and light sensitivity in people who have sensitive skin.

PABA or para-amino-benzoic acid causes the formation of nitrosamine in the body and this may result in the development of cancer. In fact, scientific research conducted in Sweden has associated PABA to skin cancer. Hence, the irony of the fact is that while PABA is intended to prevent skin cancers by providing a screen against the ultraviolet rays of the sun, it itself has the potential to cause skin cancer! Hence, there is a need to find an appropriate substitute of this chemically produced sun blocker.

It is indeed fortunate that scientists have discovered an alternative to PABA that is an effective raw material for producing sunscreen lotions and creams. Known as Tiosol, this sun screening raw material is manufactured following an old knowledge. Tiosol has its origin in titanium dioxide, a naturally occurring material. Like zinc oxide, this substance too has been utilized effectually as sun block for ages. Tiosol works by reflecting as well as soaking up the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Nevertheless, using Tiosol as well as zinc oxide has a downside too as both impart an unattractive bluish-white complexion to the skin. In recent years, scientists have been successful to a great extent in prevailing over this problem. They have resolved the issue by grinding the titanium dioxide to produce a quality of the substance that enables the visible light to pass through it as a result of which the whiteness of titanium is not visible on the skin. In effect, this is able to block the sun's ultraviolet rays more effectively in comparison to the original quality or grade of titanium dioxide.

Tiosol not only screens out UVA (Ultra Violet A or long wave) and UVB (Ultra Violet B or medium wave), but to a great degree also blocks UVC (Ultra Violet C or short wave) rays of the sun. In addition, Tiosol is also very simple to use and it can endure heating as well as attain a sun protection factor that is anything between 2 and 20. As discussed earlier, Tiosol comprises delicately pounded titanium dioxide that is combined with liquid coconut oil. The blend contains 60 per cent liquid coconut oil and 40 per cent fine titanium powder. Before preparing the mixture, the coconut oil is specially treated to get rid of the enclosed fatty acids that may make the preparation go stale or rotten. As a result of this, the mixture of Tiosol and coconut oil is able to withstand exposure for long periods without the lotion becoming stale.

Currently, Tiosol is considered to be the safest sunscreen available in the market. In addition, it is also available in the widest range. While the use of this substance does not cause any side effect or results in allergies, it can also be used without any complication. In addition to using moisturizers for protection and nourishment of your skin, you may also use preparations with certain vegetables that enclose organic sun factor in them. For instance, you have the option of using coconut butter/ oil and Shea butter or simply Shea butter oil. All these substances possess a sun protection factor ranging between two and three. However, caution needs to be exercised while using these substances, as they should not be used by individuals having oily skin or large skin pores. Sesame oil, having a sun protection factor between two and three, is one natural substance that can be used as a moisturizing agent for all types of skins. In addition, Jojoba oil too may be used by individuals having any skin condition.


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