Choose Your Skin Lightening Products Wisely

In Asia, Africa and South America, the pervasiveness of fair-skinned beauties in the media, as well as the cultural preference towards lighter skin has fuelled public demand for skin lightening products. The tendency of pigmented skin to be more prone to developing hyperpigmentation has also contributed to this demand. In Asia alone, nearly 2 out of 5 women have admitted to using skin lightening creams. In this multi-million dollar industry, big brands such as Olay and L’oreal often find themselves competing with fly-by-night operators packaging their products in home ‘factories’. There are literally hundreds of whitening products flooding the market of these countries, and in most of them, regulation is either very lax or non-existent.

Many consumers in these countries have tried whitening products from international, high-end brands, chiefly because of their reputation for safety and quality, only to discover that they have effectively thrown their money away on products who’s active ingredients are so diluted, they do nearly nothing in terms of lightening the skin or alleviating hyperpigmentation problems. In the end, these consumers often resort to lesser-known and uncertified skin lightening products that promise fast results at very low prices.

There are indeed many cheap skin lightening products that produce fast results . However, consumers often find themselves paying a much higher price later, in the form of permanent skin damage, or worse, organ damage and skin cancer. This is because such products use dangerous chemicals like hydroquinone and mercury as their active ingredient. These ingredients are prevalent in cheap skin lightening products because of the low cost of the ingredients – hydroquinone in particular, is far cheaper compared to other safer melanin-inhibitors such as licorice extract and kojic acid.

Mercury or hydroquinone will initially cause the skin to lighten by inhibiting production of melanin. Without melanin formation, no brown pigmentation will be visible. This produces the much-vaunted “instant lightening” results. However, the long-term effects of these two chemicals are not so good. Mercury or hydroquinone has been known to cause blotchiness, uneven skin tone, easily sunburnt skin, peeling skin, increased hyperpigmentation, thickened skin, large pores, itchiness, redness, dark patches, light pink patches, and signs of premature aging such as lines and wrinkles.

That’s not the worst of it. Since both hydroquinone and mercury are carcinogenic ingredients, long-term use can cause skin cancer. Mercury in particular can cause liver and kidney failure, as well as damage to the nervous system. Mercury is also extremely toxic to unborn children, and pregnant mothers using mercury-containing creams risk giving birth to babies with brain damage and other deformations.

The use of mercury in skincare has been banned from most countries. Hydroquinone has been banned from the UK since 2001 and has been recently banned in Asian countries like Malaysia. In the US however, skincare products containing less than 2% of hydroquinone are still sold over the counter. The banning or restriction of these ingredients in many countries does not stop manufacturers from illegally importing these ingredients and using them in their products. Some crucial signs that a skincare product might contain these dangerous chemicals is the absence of ingredient listings for the product, or the absence of any certification from the local cosmetics regulation board.

So the next time you go out shopping for skin lightening or whitening products, make sure that the ingredients are printed on the product box or container. More importantly, ensure that the product has been certified by the cosmetics regulation board of the country of manufacture.

5 Beauty Products For The Vegan-Minded

While it is getting easier and easier to find foods and clothing that fit into the vegan lifestyle, it can be difficult to find beauty products that don’t use any animal products whatsoever. The good news is that some companies are making vegan alternatives for everything from nail polish to moisturizer and beyond.

1. PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics Nail Paint

PeaceKeeper has a line of vegan nail polishes in a variety of shades that are long lasting and dazzlingly shiny. They even have a vegan French manicure kit available. The Environmental Working Group has rated it the safest natural nail polish that is paint-based on the market. To top it all off, all of the profits that they make after taxes go to fund advocacy programs for women.

2. Earth Diva Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow

This line of eye shadow is proud of the fact that they are certified as vegan. Their shadows are created for a wide array of possibilities, from casual and everyday wear to shades suitable for more dramatic and formal occasions. The kits come with three shadows, an eyeliner, and three brushes – all vegan.

3. GOGO Instant Natural Argan Mascara

Josie Maran created this mascara to condition your eyelashes and encourage their growth each time you apply. It does this because it is infused with Argan oil. With every purchase made, the company makes a donation of their mascara to cancer survivors and those currently fighting the disease. With every 5000 units sold, they donate a dollar to City of Hope – a hospital, graduate medical school, and research center that is best known for being a cancer treatment center.

4. Lush Massage Therapy Bar

Many of Lush’s products are vegan and clearly marked so. They do not test their products or any of the ingredients used in their products on animals, and they have a cruelty-free policy which is declared right on their website. They also make their products by hand and package in recycled materials or no packaging at all – if you shop in the bricks and mortar store, you can even take soaps with you unpackaged. Their Therapy Massage Bar, a purely vegan item containing organic oils, is a moisturizing bar that can be used in the shower or out.

5. theBalm to the Rescue Vegan Lip Treatment

This lip gloss is made containing micro-exfoliating crystals that smooth your lips while you wear it. It is vitamin infused, so it nourishes your lips, as well. Every bit of the proceeds from the gloss are given to Pug Rescue of Sacramento, an organization which rescues abused pugs and finds loving homes for them, keeping them from ending up euthanized.

You don’t have to forego your favorite beauty rituals when you go vegan. There are replacements for virtually any beauty product that you need. Many are also available at prices that are not too far outside the non-vegan varieties, so they are no harder on your budget.

Mail order Beauty Products

Mail ordering beauty products is a service provided by almost all branded companies. With the increase in the demand for beauty products, people have begun ordering these products through the mail. Information regarding beauty products that can be mail ordered is provided through catalogs, mailings and other printed documents, call centers, television, the Internet, etc.

Most companies offer all their products through mail order. Some companies offer only certain products, such as haircare products or skincare products through their mail service. In such cases, the companies will specify the products that can be purchased by mail order. Mail order beauty products are delivered quickly. The mail orders for major companies are usually entrusted to smaller companies that work as agents for them.

Most companies have their own websites with a special mail order form that are available in print format. You have the option of filling in all relevant information and sending it to the specified address by mail or by fax. You can also place your order through the provided toll-free number or other phone numbers. While placing your mail order for beauty products, remember to ensure that it is a popular and established website or company, as there can be many fraudulent sites on the Internet where you can lose money as well as time. There are also search engines that help you to locate websites or companies that offer mail order beauty products in your area.

Payment is usually preferred by checks or money orders. Payment can also be made through credit cards. National as well as international deliveries are offered by almost all companies. Most mail order cosmetic companies offer you the "right to return" the goods or to cancel the order within a period of at least 7 working days.

The Beauty of Organic Beauty Products

It is every person’s desire to look and feel as beautiful as possible. To help us fulfill this desire cosmetic companies have flooded the market with beauty products of all shapes, sizes, fragrance and type. The print media is filled with advertisements for products that will not only make us look more beautiful, but will also keep us looking younger for longer. Hollywood stars promote various products and attendance at famous fashion shows are at an all time high.

We are literally swamped with beauty focused advertisements and information. All this choice and exposure to various brands can make it very difficult for us to decide on the best products to buy. Cosmetic products generate billions of dollars worth of sales yearly and it is a highly competitive market.

Over the last ten years organic beauty products have rapidly grown in popularity. In 2007 the sales of organic beauty products exceeded $350 million and it shows no sign of slowing down. One of the surprising trends with regard to organic beauty products is that new sales are mostly generated through word-of-mouth advertising and not print media.

The consumers of organic cosmetic products tend to form a strong loyalty towards the brand that they use and almost all of them claim that they will never switch back to “normal” cosmetic products ever again. Most of these consumers proclaim that organic products have had a positive impact on the condition and health of their bodies. Some people switch to organic products in order to alleviate skin irritations and allergies caused by the chemicals and synthetic ingredients found in traditional beauty products.

With the focus lately on saving the planet and living “green”, organic products speaks the right language. Only natural organic ingredients are used in products that are certified as 100% organic. These ingredients are biodegradable and do not contaminate the environment. Some companies even make use of environmentally friendly packaging for the beauty products.

Another plus point is that the majority of organic product manufacturers employ biodynamic agricultural methods that are aimed at a holistic approach to farming. Sustainability and a holistic approach to agriculture are very important and biodynamic methods are used with great success in farms and vineyards worldwide.

Organic beauty products are easy to buy and most of them are available in supermarkets. These products can also be purchased online from various cosmetic websites and the products will be delivered to your doorstep. There are a lot of organic beauty products to choose from and it is advisable to shop around until you find the product that works the best for you. The products are not expensive and are competitively priced when compared with similar products that contain chemicals.