Tag Archives: body products

Natural Ingredients That May Not Help Your Skin

6 Jun

So, you’ve switched from skincare products that have a load of chemicals to using natural and organic ones.  But, then you notice that they aren’t working or your skin condition (dry, acne, oily, irritated, eczema, psorias, etc.) is worse.  What’s happening?

Because the body works as an integrated unit, there could be several causes, for instance diet plays a large role in what is happening with the skin.  However, today we are going to look at a couple of ingredients that are in natural skincare products that may not help your skin.

Glycerin (Glycerol)

  • About
    • Glycerin is a component of fat and oil. It’s found in animals and plants. The name comes from the Greek word “glykys” that mean sweet.  It’s a refined and distilled syrup. Glycerin is a by-product of soap and candle making as well as biodiesel.   Coconuts are the most often plant based source.  However, glycerin is also synthetically made from petroleum.  Back in the day it was used to make glue, cork, and dynamite.  Now it’s used in thousands of products from cosmetics, to pharmaceuticals, to cigarettes; it is used to make cellophane; added to foods, inks, perfumes and the list goes on. Glycerin in your skincare products could be from an animal, petroleum, or plant source.  Companies using plant-based glycerin usually state that it’s plant based on the label.  
  • Concern
    • Glycerin draws moisture to itself.  This is one of the reason it was added to body products–to draw moisture to the skin.  New research, however, shows that glycerin in products can actually dry out the skin, especially if the humidity in the air is below 65 percent.  What happens is that the glycerin on the skin that is supposed to attract moisture will actually extract moisture from deeper skin tissues, leaving the skin over-all drier.  In other words, it dries the skin from the inside out.

Wheat Protein

  • About
    • Other names for wheat protein on labels are: hydrolysate, proteins, wheat, glutens, enzyme-modified, wheat gluten, enzyme-modified, and hydrolyzed wheat protein.   Wheat protein is made from hydrolyzed gluten, its used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, hair and skin conditioner, and anti-static agent.
  • Concern
    • There are several studies showing people having allergic reaction to wheat protein.  Also, if you have an allergy or are gluten intolerant you don’t want to use products containing this ingredient.


  • About

    • Lanolin and lanolin derived substances, lanolin alcohol, acetylated lanolin, acetylated lanolin alcohol, are other natural ingredients that could also irritate or cause allergic in some people.  Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted from the wool of animals, mostly from sheep.  Most people think it’s an oil, but it’s not.
    • Concern
      • Many people are allergic to lanolin and develop bumps or rash as a result.  The thing is that you could have a mild sensitivity or mild allergy to lanolin ingredients and not readily notice it.  For example, you may have a skin condition such as keratosis pilaris (small bumps on upper arms and legs) products with lanolin ingredients may make it worse.  At the other end, you may think you have keratosis pilaris, but it’s actually a reaction to lanolin ingredients. 
        Lanolin also blocks pores.  Lanolin in a sheep’s coat is what makes it able to cast off water.  So, lanolin wouldn’t be good for acne or backne skin conditions. 
        Another concern is that lanolin most likely contains pesticide residuals. Sheep are dipped in pesticide treatments to control parasitic infestation. Also, chemicals are used to remove the lanolin from the wool in a process call scouring. Chemical residual in lanolin is well documented. The FDA permits 40 part per million (ppm) in lanolin products that are not used for open wounds.  But here is the other problem with this: There really isn’t any oversight by federal agencies to ensure those levels are being adhered to.  Considering that China exports lanolin, a country we have seen that doesn’t not have great oversight in the products they ship, you should at minimum know where the lanolin is coming from if you use it.


“Glycerin,” Sakamoto Yakuhin Kogyco Co LT. Online: http://www.sykogyo.co.jp/english/sei/1_gly.html

Olaiwan A, Pecquet C, Mathelier-Fusade P, Francès C., “Contact urticaria induced by hydrolyzed wheat proteins in cosmetics,” PubMed.gov.  Online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20417361


If Formaldehyde Were Money…

15 Apr

This has been in the news a lot recently; we dug a little deeper and found it’s not just the hair salon where you should be concerned.  Read on….

Some salons are issuing gas masks to their clients and to hairdressers to protect them from hair smoothing and straightening products.  This gives a whole new dimension to Il faut souffrir pour etre belle; ahh…who better understands the suffering of beauty than French women??  The handing out of gas masks is in light of OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) warning on the harmful effects of formaldehyde in these products.

Can’t See But My Hair Looks Great

Formaldehyde gets released into the air and possibly comes in contact with the skin during smoothing and straightening hair processes.  Formaldehyde is very yucky (yes, yucky is a technical term…).  According to OSHA formaldehyde is a “sensitizer.” that can cause irritations in the eyes, nose, lungs, (coughing and wheezing), and on the skin.  It can also cause blindness if it gets in the eyes and can cause nose or lung cancer.  Reactions from formaldehyde can happen whether it is in the air or in a product that gets on your skin.

No Charge For The Nosebleed

After OSHA received reports from workers in salons having adverse reactions while using these products, they investigated and found high levels of formaldehyde in the air in these salons.  Both stylists and customers have reported nosebleeds, trouble breathing, and eye irritations.  OSHA has specifically singled out the Brazilian Blowout products whose labels read “formaldehyde free.”

A Rose By Any Other Name

OSHA also found that many hair products claiming to be “formaldehyde free” gave off formaldehyde.  The ingredients that should be avoided are formaldehyde, methylene glycol, formalin, methylene oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxomethane, oxymethylene or Chemical Abstract Service Number 50-00-0.  According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, formaldehyde can also go by these names: merthaldehyde, methyl aldehyde, aldehyd mravenci (Czech), Aldehyde Formique (French), Aldeide Fromica (Italian) and BFV.  All a mouth full to say the least.

Beware Of The Fine Print

While some companies are now claiming that their products are not giving off formaldehyde, OSHA warns that it doesn’t mean the products don’t contain other hazardous ingredients.  Also, just like the “formaldehyde free” claims- hazard ingredients can be hidden by other names.

If Formaldehyde Were Money….

We would all be rich because it’s everywhere!  Our body produces a small amount naturally that isn’t harmful.  Formaldehyde is in the air and is a major part of the smog we breathe.  In the home, you can find formaldehyde in fabric softeners,  some clothing, drapes, some medicines, and is even used as preservative in some foods, such as certain types of Italian cheese.  You can find formaldehyde in vaccines (even ones given to babies), antiseptics, dish-washing liquid, most common wood products; such as particle board and cabinetry.  It’s found in adhesives, paper, carpet cleaners, fungicides, germicides, disinfectant, cigarettes, cosmetics (preservative and nail hardener), and the list goes on.

Yeah Not So Good For Us, But…

Most U.S. regulatory agencies and scientist recognize that formaldehyde is a “probable carcinogen.”  The FDA has not banned it in cosmetics, but does regulate the amount that can be added.  Note that ingredient lists do not have to say it contains formaldehyde.  According to Environmental Working Group, even baby shampoos, soaps, and washes may contain formaldehyde.  They often use FRP (formaldehyde releasing preservative) as a way to mask it.

Both Japan and Sweden ban formaldehyde in cosmetics.  And the European Union along with Canada regulates the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-release ingredients in cosmetics with labeling that states “contains formaldehyde.”

When do we think the FDA will catch on?

 Resources: OSHA www.osha.govEPA www.epa.gov;  FDA www.fda.gov; Campaign for Safe Cosmetics www.safecosmetics.org



Keratosis Pilaris? You Could Have It!

11 Apr

Got red bumpy skin on your upper arms and thighs, and on your buttocks?  It has a name, keratosis pilaris.  Try saying that 3 times fast…  And if you have it, you’re not alone.  It’s estimated that more than 40% of adults worldwide have KP.  While not harmful, it can be annoying.  In colder months it’s itchy.  And in the summer, it can’t be hidden…

Those bumps are still there when you are ready to rock your fabulous new summer dress or bikini.  And those cute short-shorts will be showing more than just legs.  But there is help to eliminate or reduce KP.

KP is a result of too much keratin (a protein) forming in the body and plugging the hair follicles in those areas.  KP is tough and doesn’t flake off as normal dead skin does.  Did you know that skin, hair, nails, hooves, and horns are all made of keratin?

The consensus in the medical field seems to be that there is nothing that can be done except try different creams in the hope they will reduce the bumps.  Most people find the creams don’t work because they act more like a “band-aid,” masking the problem instead of resolving it.  And some actually experience that the ingredients in those lotions worsened their KP, ingredients such as lanolin.

More and more, research shows that diet plays a large role in the condition of our skin.  It only makes sense: Diet affects the health of our body on the inside why wouldn’t it affect the outer layer of the body?  It’s not as if our skin is disconnected from the rest of our body.

Ways to reduce or eliminate KP:

Some of the common foods that people with KP have eliminated from their diet, which in-turn reduced or cleared the skin condition entirely are, wheat, gluten, dairy products, and factory-raised meats (because of the hormones and antibiotics given to the animals–among other things).  So you would want to eat organic raised meats instead.

Studies have shown KP is thought to be hereditary; this connection is often used as a way of dismissing any hope of correcting the condition. However, heredity falls inline with diet as a culprit.  If heredity is the problem then diet makes sense once again.  The reason is that most people eat from the traditional diet of their family’s heritage.  Sure you eat foods from other ethnic traditions, but on a consistent basis (especially when you want that comfort food) you most likely choose something that your parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles and so on eat.  In other words, observe what you eat and look for connections.

If you want smoother skin, try experimenting by eliminating one of the above foods, do it gradually and one at a time.  And allow at least 6-8 weeks from the complete elimination of a food to notice a difference.  Switch from eating factory-raised meats to organic raised and processed meats.  And fill your diet with skin happy foods such as berries, carrots, fish, and green leafy vegetables!!

Other culprits that could cause or exacerbate KP are products (soaps, lotions) that contain lanolin and mineral oils, harsh detergents (commercially produced soap and shower gels), laundry soap, and dryer sheets.

Besides changing up the diet and investigating products that are applied to the skin or come in contact with it, you can improve the condition with regular exfoliation and keeping the areas moisturized.

Yum Scrub! Organics Coco-Mint, Manly-Mint Eucalyptus, and Orange You Glad Scrubs with regular use will reduce or eliminate the bumps.  Not only do the scrubs soften and exfoliate the built-up keratin; the oils in them penetrate and nourish the skin with essential fatty acids.  And the botanicals  improve the skin’s overall condition.

And to help you get started on smoother, healthier skin, Yum Scrub! Organics is offering 10% off any Scrub.  It’s spring time; get your skin ready now for summer!! Use PROMO code: superskin  (Note: Need to register at checkout to use promo code.)


What we are all about

23 Nov

We at Yum Scrub believe what you put IN your body is just as important as what you put ON your body; your skin absorbs what is rubbed onto it.   That is why Yum Scrub uses all organic ingredients and has no added chemicals.

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