Why multi-purpose skincare? Why not!

Why multi-purpose skincare? Why not!

December 6th, 2011— Tanja Buwalda | 0 comments
H+K philosophy and Natural ingredients

Typical hand bag contents - photo from a Facebook fan!
Be honest – how many creams/potions/lotions have you got in your handbag?
1 – highly unlikely.
2-3 – Quite a few of you carry this amount around.
But a recent survey on our Facebook page revealed most of us fit into the 4+ category. On average we’ve got hand cream, facial moisturiser, spot treatment and lip balm in our handbags. Now apart from having to lug all of these around all the time, there is a significant cost element.
From its inception Human+Kind has strived to deliver multi-purpose natural skincare that works. We believe that consumers want their skincare to work harder and are frankly tired of having to buy many different creams for each skin issue they have.
We have purposely formulated our Human+Kind range to work on a variety of skin issues. We know from extensive research that our active ingredients have multiple benefits. However the magic is to combine these ingredients in just the right quantities, which together make our formulations greater than the sum of its parts.
And because we don’t have any chemicals like fragrance and parabens you can be assured that very sensitive skin will not be irritated by Human+Kind products. When we developed our All-in-One Family remedy Cream we formulated it in such a way that it would have multiple benefits when it came to skincare. To us it was important that it would work on irritated skin, eczema or psoriasis prone skin, scars, burns, insect bites and stings. It’s also used by our fans on ingrown hairs, acne, as a spot treatment, a post shaving balm, for stretch marks, for athlete’s foot and many more skin conditions. Basically anything that a family would encounter in everyday life.
What do you use All-in-One Family Remedy Cream on? We’d like to hear from you. Tell us your experience and innovative ways you use our cream. You can leave us a message on Facebook or Twitter or by emailing us help@humanandkind.com abff00#]]


Why eating Broccoli AND putting it on your skin are both important!

Why eating Broccoli AND putting it on your skin are both important!

November 8th, 2011— Tanja Buwalda | 0 comments
Natural ingredients

Although most of us know that we should include more green vegetables like broccoli in our diet, not many of us would think that including it in your skincare could also be good for your health!

In research led by Paul Talalay from the John Hopkins School of Medicine in the US, topically applied broccoli extract significantly reduced UV damage. Interestingly broccoli extract appears to have a long-lasting effect that continues long after the extract itself has disappeared from the system.

The important chemical in the extract is sulforaphane. Its protective qualities lie in its ability to increase the cells’ own defences against UV damage. This defence system includes a network of cell protective proteins that help protect against damage caused by a wide range of toxins and carcinogens.

At Human+Kind we have spent years researching the most effective ingredients that occur naturally, like broccoli extract. That’s why we use it and fifteen other active natural ingredients in our Family Remedy Cream. It means that our multi-purpose cream can be used on anything from burns and scars to acne and eczema prone skin and a whole host of skin issues in between.

So with Human+Kind you can get Broccoli extract easily in a cream, but if you want to eat Broccoli here’s an easy and unusual recipe for Asian Brocoli Soup from our nice friend Lucy Hyland at www.foodforliving.ie She’s got some great healthy and very tasty recipes on her site. Check it out.

If you’d like to know more about the ingredients in our Family Remedy Cream click here for a full listing

Asian Broccoli Soup
1 large broccoli floret or two medium florets
1 tin of butterbeans – washed and drained
2 yellow onions – chopped
2 cloves of garlic – crushed

1 inch of root ginger – - grated

1 small green chilli – deseeded and chopped finely

1 tablespoon of Tamari (or other soya sauce)

A dash of lemon juice

1 litre of vegetable stock or boiling water

Freshly cracked pepper

Chop the flowers off the broccoli and cut in half.
With the remaining stalks, chop into half inch cubes. Separate flowers and stalks into 2 bundles.
 Sauté the chopped onions in a little water for 5-10 minutes until translucent.

Next add the chilli, garlic and ginger and stir well and cook for a few minutes.

Add the stock or water and bring to the boil.
 Next add the stalks and cook for 5 minutes until they are nice and soft.
 Next add the broccoli flowers and butterbeans, along with the lemon juice, soya sauce and the cracked pepper.
 Cook for a few minutes until the flowers get a little soft.
 Remove from heat and blitz with a handheld blender or a liquidizer.
 Serve with a dollop of fresh yogurt on top, if you wish.
Wheat free, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free


Marshmallows and skincare, what do they have in common?

Marshmallows and skincare, what do they have in common?

What do Marshmallows and skincare have in common? A lot as it turns out…..

Althaea Officinalis (leaf/root) also known as Marshmallow plant is an upright perennial with a fleshy taproot, downy stems and velvety leaves. It develops pale pink flowers in the summer. No connection yet with skincare and sweets, right? Stick with us.
The Marshmallow has a long history when it comes to medicinal properties. These are reflected in the name of the genus, which comes from the Greek althainein, meaning “to heal”.[1] Marshmallow is traditionally used as a treatment for the irritation of mucus membranes, including use as a gargle for mouth and throat ulcers and gastric ulcers.[2] Since the middle ages the root has been used as a treatment for sore throat .[3] OK so we get that its medicinal now lets find out about its specific skincare benefits. Still no sign of sweets though – starting to crave a sugar fix.

Its skincare uses are varied and works on a number of levels. Firstly, it helps to minimize skin inflammatory processes and is therefore also useful for fighting any skin degeneration, as well as cellular oxidation. It has very beneficial effects on skin problems and diseases and helps in healing wounds, burns and irritation. Marshmallow not only has good anti-inflammatory properties, but also seem to boost the immunity at cellular level. An inhibition and reduction in hyaluronidase leads to better moisture levels in the skin as well as boosting the dermal structure and improving wound healing processes, while at the same time reducing skin aging and diminishing inflammation. OK so we know that it has very effective skincare properties but what is the connection with sweet Marshmallows?

The French recipe pâté de guimauve (or “guimauve” for short), included an eggwhite meringue and was prepared using Mashmallow root. Pâté de guimauve closely resembles contemporary commercially available marshmallows, which no longer contain any actual marshmallow. So you see this delicate little plant can not only solve skincare issues, but can also be used to whip up a yummy treat. If you are that way inclined a recipe for traditional marshmallow preparation is below!

Pastes Formed With Gum - Pate De Guimauve - Marsh-Mallow Paste
Extract from “The Complete Cook”, by J. M. Sanderson.

3 lbs Arabic Gum
8 oz roots of fresh marsh-mallows
1 dozen rennet apples
3 lbs loaf sugar
Method:
Peel, core, and cut the apples in pieces. Cleanse the roots, and slice them lengthways in an oblique direction; add this to seven pints of water; soft or river water is the best when filtered; put it on the fire and boil for a quarter of an hour, or until reduced to six pints; pound and sift the gum through a hair sieve; strain into a pan with the gum; put it on a moderate fire, or into a bain-marie, stirring it until the gum is perfectly dissolved; then strain it through a coarse towel or tamis cloth, the ends being twisted by two persons; add it to the sugar, which has been previously clarified and boiled; dry it well over the fire, keeping it constantly stirred from the bottom. When it has acquired a thick consistency, take the whites of eighteen eggs and whip them to a strong froth; add them to the paste, and dry until it does not stick to the hand when it is applied to it; add a little essence of neroli, or a large glassful of double orange flower water and evaporate again to the same consistency. Pour it on a marble slab well dusted with starch-powder flatten it with the hand; the next day cut it into strips, powder each strip, and put them in boxes. Powder the bottom that they may not stick.

Alternatively go to your local sweet shop (there seems to be many of them popping up) and buy yourself a packet!

References:
1. Gualtiero Simonetti (1990). Stanley Schuler. ed. Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X.
2. John S. Williamson & Christy M. Wyandt 1997. Herbal therapies: The facts and the fiction. Drug topics
3. Petkewich, Rachel (2006). “What’s that stuff? Marshmallow”. Chemical & Engineering News 84 (16): 41


Brazil – home of Samba, Football and Skincare!

Brazil – home of Samba, Football and Skincare!

November 25th, 2011— Tanja Buwalda | 44 comments
Against chemicals, H+K philosophy and Natural ingredients

While Brazil is widely known as the home of Samba, Carnival and arguably some of the best footballers in the world, a lesser known fact is that Brazil is also home to a plant called Acmella oleracea. This plant grows in the tropics of Brazil and is widely used in traditional medicine. It’s also known as the toothache plant as the leaves and flowers contain an analgesic agent called spilanthol which has a numbing effect in high doses. Because of its numbing effect is has been recently renamed Nature’s Botox as the action of spilanthol mimics Botox by relaxing the muscles in the face.

Because we smile, frown, laugh and talk the skin on our faces is subjected daily to thousands of micro contractions that result in the formation of fine lines. Ultimately these fine lines lead to deeper, more visible wrinkles. In a clinical study at the Institut Gattefosse in Lyon, Acmella oleracea extract was proved effective via its muscle relaxing mechanism which slows down these micro contractions.[1] The results on the skin are an immediate smoothing effect with significant reduction of wrinkles.
Our Human+Kind scientists have used Acmella in formulating our All-in-One Anti Ageing cream. It’s one of nine active ingredients, each one carefully selected for its effectiveness at fighting the signs of ageing.

So if you’d like an injection of Brazilian youth into your life today you could do one or all of following things;
1. Dance around to some great Brazilian music – we particularly like a Brazilian fusion band, Bangsambra, living locally in Cork
2. Run around after a football – regular exercise makes even our cells feel younger![2]
3. Try our Anti Ageing cream. One of our regular users Criona says “whatever it is that they put in this little wonder- it certainly makes me look and feel a whole lot younger!”

References:
1. Clinical trial in vitro and in vivo, of Acmella oleracea extract. Paula Lennon Ph.D.and Laurent Schubnel,Institut Gattefossé, Lyon. France.
2. Sedentary lifestyles associated with accelerated ageing process. Arch Intern Med. 2008: 168[2]:154-158


Parabens, making your own mind up

Parabens, making your own mind up

— Tanja Buwalda

What is a paraben?
Parabens are a group of chemicals, which are widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. They help to extend the shelf life of a product. On a label they may appear as; Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben or Butylparaben. Parabens are most commonly synthetically produced. However, there are naturally occurring Parabens.

Where would I find parabens?
Parabens can be found in many everyday items such as shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels and toothpaste. They are so very widely used that it can be difficult to find products that don’t use them.

Why are parabens potentially harmful?
There have been numerous studies on the subject of parabens. And depending on who you ask you will get a different story. In a 1998 study by researchers at Brunel University they found that parabens could mimic the hormone oestrogen , which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. A 2003 study by Dr. Darbre and colleagues at the University of Reading carried out tests on 20 different human breast tumours. Writing in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, they say they found traces of parabens in every sample. In the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Toxicology, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.” While the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the US) believes that “at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area.”

A summary of what we do and don’t know about parabens
While the studies so far cannot prove a cause and effect relationship between parabens and cancer. It sheds just enough suspicion to indicate that more research is needed.
So right now you are probably wondering what to do with all this information. Should you change your personal care product habits? Unfortunately there are no easy, clear-cut answers. But to help you make sense of it all, here’s a list of what we know and what we don’t know at this time.
We can say parabens…
• are contained in some breast cancer tissue
• are absorbed by the body
• appear to enter tissue via the skin, rather than ingestion
• promote estrogen-like activity in lab animals
We can not say…
• parabens cause cancer
• deodorants or antiperspirants cause cancer
• parabens inhabit the body only in breast tissue

Caution advised
The Precautionary Principle states: if there is the potential for harm, it’s best to err on the side of caution. So if you are concerned about parabens it would be best to try to limit your intake of them. To avoid them completely is practically impossible. Read the labels on your skincare, if it says ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropyl and isobutylparaben, or parahydroxybenzoate then it contains parabens.

An alternative would be to use all natural skin care products.

References:
1) In late 1998 John Sumpter’s group at Brunel University, UK, published a paper identifying parabens as oestrogen mimics (Routledge et al., 1998).
2) Darbre, P. D., Byford, J. R., Shaw, L. E., Hall, S., Coldham, N. G., Pope, G. S. and Sauer, M. J.(2003) Oestrogenic activity of benzylparaben. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 23 (1). pp. 43-51.
3) Oishi S. (2002) Effects of propyl paraben on the male reproductive system. Food Chem Toxicol. Dec;40(12):1807-13
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