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Three Baby Mantra Products Achieve Certification From The Natural Products Association

Photo by Baby Mantra.

This was a great month for Baby Mantra – who makes natural and organic shampoos, oils, lotions, and body butters for both babies and their moms. 

First of all, the company qualified to particiapte in the New York City Green Festival. To qualify, exhibitors had to pass the Green America screening process and earn the Green America Seal of Approval.

Seal recipients are required to show their commitment to being socially and environmentally responsible by how they source, manufacture, and market their products, as well as how they run their offices and factories, explains the Green Business Network.

This month Baby Mantra also received Natural Products Association (NPA) certification for three of its products – Shampoo & Body Wash, Calming Massaging Oil, and Calming Lotion. The Baby Mantra Body Butter is currently in the process of gaining certification.

Baby Mantra’s products contain a combination of great natural ingredients including:

  • Coconut Oil – helps protect skin against excessive sun damage.
  • Apricot Kernel Oil – a moisturizer for sensitive skin with natural nutrients, including Vitamin A and E.
  • Avocado Oil – rehydrates dry and damaged skin and contains nutrients, including Vitamin A, D, and C.
  • Lavender – has antiseptic properties which are soothing and also great for relieving insect bites.
  • Jojoba Oil – a moisturizer for sensitive skin with natural nutrients, including Vitamin E and B. It also relieves skin irritations, such as acne and insect bites.

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Hair Straightening Product Maker Settles With California Over Charges of False Advertising

GIB LLC, the maker of the famous Brazilian Blowout hair straightening products has reached a settlement with the California Attorney General’s Office on multiple charges of false advertising in describing two of its most popular products as formaldehyde-free and safe.

Image courtesy of beautystats.com.

The complaint alleges that the two products – Brazilian Blowout Acai Smoothing Solution and Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution – were mislabeled as formaldehyde-free, and the company made no attempt to inform customer that the products released formaldehyde gas into the air during hair treatments.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter with concerns about the products to the maker, saying that based on FDA sample analysis, Brazilian Blowout contains methylene glycol which releases formaldehyde when treated hair is heated with a blow dryer and then a hot flat iron.

The FDA said that methylene glycol is a toxic substance that at the levels present in these products could pose health problems, even when used as directed.

The FDA said that it received reports of “injuries associated with Brazilian Blowout,” including:

  • Eye irritation.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Burning sensations.
  • Coughing.
  • Nasal discomfort.
  • Through irritation.
  • Cheat pain or discomfort.
  • Vomiting
  • Rash.

In the FDA’s Hazard Alert Update it also found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several state OSHA programs were also investigating questions and complaints from hair salon owners and workers about possible formaldehyde exposure from straightening/smoothing products.

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FDA’s Permissive Position on Lead In Lipsticks Criticized by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is increasing its criticism of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in regard to the agency’s continuing permissive attitude on the use of lead in lipsticks.

The consumer advocacy group is urging the FDA to reconsider its current position on the use of lead in lipsticks due to growing knowledge about its harmful effects human health.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s guide on lead poisoning says that, “Swallowing or breathing in lead causes lead poisoning. If you are pregnant, lead may also ham your baby. Lead hurts the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Some of the health problems caused by lead poisoning may never go away.”

Last month, the FDA acknowledged that it had “recently received a number of inquiries from consumers concerned about the amount of lead present in lipstick,” forcing the agency address the issue again, though again coming back with the same assessment as in previous reviews.

“Our initial findings (in 2007), as well as our expanded findings posted in December 2011, confirm that the amount of lead found in lipstick is very low and does not pose safety concerns,” said the FDA.

The agency added that, “We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern. Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities. The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics, including lipstick.”

In disagreement with the assessment, last month, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wrote a letter to the agency saying, “Many experts agree that there is no safe blood level of lead for children and pregnant women. Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems, such as lowered I.Q., reduced school performance and increased aggression.

“Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure because lead easily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain where it can interfere with normal development.”

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Shea Butter Benefits Dependent On Grade Quality Of Products, Research Shows

Shea butter is a great moisturizer, but what most people don’t know is that depending on the quality of the product, it also has some great medicinal properties for the skin.

Raw unrefined shea butter from Ghana. Photo from eCrater.com.

What’s considered Grade A shea butter contains a high level of healing nutrients including Vitamins A (maintains healthy bones, skin, and other tissues), Vitamin E (protects against cell damage), and cinnamates (absorb UVB).

The American Shea Butter Institute, which specializes on the research, education, and quality testing, highlights that “Vitamin A in (high grade) shea butter is important for improving a number of skin conditions, including blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, and dermatitis.”

Premium shea butter cream also has properties that treat skin allergies, insect bites, sunburns, frostbites, and a number of other conditions, and the moisturizers in shea butter are the same moisturizers produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin.

In nature, shea butter comes from the fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree. The healing properties depend on the grade quality of the shea butter after processing.

“In recent decades, shea butter has become a valued ingredient in the finest natural cosmetics, and even small amounts in a formulation can earn a prominent display on the label.

“The cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries consume an estimated 2,000 to 8,000 tons of shea butter each year, and this figure is expected to rise with growing demand in new markets,” according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

A big issue in the value of a shea butter product is its grade quality, which depends largely on how it’s processed and stored for consumer use.

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Pampering At Home: Giving Yourself A Luxury Pedicure All Year Long For Good Healthy Feet

Photo courtesy of visualphotos.com.

From high-fashion business women to stay-at-home moms who run endless errands, every woman needs to take time to take care of her feet. And, it’s not just a luxury. Neglecting your feet means a host of problems including - bunions, ingrown toenails, plantar feet, and fungal infections.

You should have a pedicure once every two weeks. If you do it at home, there are a lot of benefits – you save on the cost (depending on where you live, anywhere from $15 to $70) that you’d pay a professional.

Doing a pedicure at home, you also don’t have to find parking, don’t have to wait for your appointment time, and can watch your favorite TV show while you tend to your precious feet.

No matter how busy your life is, you need an hour twice a month for yourself. Giving yourself a luxury home pedicure is a lot easier that you might think. These are the items you’ll need:

  • Nail Polish Remover - I recommend using an acetone-free, fragrance-free nail polish remover, so you won’t dry out your nails. Since the acetone-free removers usually aren’t as strong as traditional ones, it might take a little longer to remove darker colors.
  • Gauze - It’s better to use either gauze or cotton pads, instead of cotton balls to remove nail polish so that you don’t have to worry about traces of cotton on your nails.
  • Home Foot Spa or Basin.
  • Water.
  • Epson Salt - Helps relieve inflammation and pain.
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