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Tips for buying great green personal care products by Dr Desai, www.DrDesaiSoap.com

ASK DR. DESAI?

Tips for buying great green personal care products by Dr Desai, www.DrDesaiSoap.com

Are all products labeled “green” or “eco-friendly” or “natural” equal?  This is a rhetorical question, of course!  In trying to source your favorite natural personal care products, I would recommend that you examine your favorite personal care product using the following criteria:

Sourcing:  Is the source of the raw materials and ingredients clear to you?  Is it plant based, or synthetic?  Even if the source is plant based, are the ingredients undergoing significant processing or substantial chemical modifications? Is the source domestic or foreign?  If foreign, are the cultivators of the plant based ingredients being adequately compensated, and is your manufacturer adhering or pledging to Fair Trade Practices. 

Environmental impact:  Just because the ingredients are plant based, or natural doesn’t mean that there is no environmental impact.  For example, do you know if the trees or plants that provide the source ingredients for your personal care product, are being grown or cultivated with renewal agricultural practices?  And don’t forget the packaging materials that your favorite personal care product comes in as well?  Is the packaging made from renewal resources and can it be reused or recycled?

Safety:  Is the product that you are using safe to use?  Safe enough to be used on young children or adults who may not be in good health?  Just because something is natural or naturally sourced, doesn’t mean that it is safe.  There are far too many natural products, which contain toxic ingredients including preservatives like parabens, or formaldehyde releasers like DMDM Hydantoin or antibacterial agents like triclosan.  Was any of the testing for safety being done on animals?  Look for products that are not tested on animals or carry the Leaping Bunny approved logo.

Efficacy:  Ultimately you expect the product that you bought to be efficacious for whatever purpose you had in mind and deliver results that you were expecting.  Unfortunately, there are several natural personal care products out there that don’t perform or live up to their marketing hype. 

Company values:  While this item may be ignored by a few, the values of the manufacturer or what the brand/company represents is very important.  Does the manufacturer of your natural personal care product truly care about the customers, the environment, their products, their ingredients, their packaging or is it all lip-service? Does the company disclose all its ingredients? Is there a performance or satisfaction guarantee that is offered by the manufacturer?  Does the company donate some proceeds of its revenue to your favorite social or environmental causes?  While such a charitable contribution is not necessary, it often times is a good indicator of whether the manufacturer of your natural personal care product, care for something greater than the almighty dollar!

Now that you have some of these tips handy, you will be able to make an informed decision when it comes to finding great natural personal care products.  In addition, you will be able to be able to influence what products your favorite retailer should carry! 

Let Dr Desai answer your questions about natural personal care products.  Please send your questions to AskDrDesai@DrDesaiSoap.com or call 908-236-6742.  For more information, visit DrDesaiSoap.com. 


The Truth about Personal Care Labels by Dr. Desai, www.DrDesaiSoap.com

ASK DR. DESAI?

The Truth about Personal Care Labels by Dr. Desai, www.DrDesaiSoap.com

Ever wonder what words like “green”, “natural” or “eco-friendly” mean?  Let me start by stating some facts about personal care products

·         The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates cosmetic labeling under the authority of both the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA)

·         Labeling: This term refers to all labels and other written, printed, or graphic matter on or accompanying a product (1)

·         Principal Display Panel (PDP): This is the part of the label most likely displayed or examined under customary conditions of display for sale [21 CFR 701.10].

·         Information Panel: Generally, this term refers to a panel other than the PDP that can accommodate label information where the consumer is likely to see it. The information on this panel must be prominent and conspicuous (1)

·         The FDA doesn’t regulate the term “organic” as applied to personal care products (2) 

·         If a personal care product contains agricultural ingredients, then the manufacturer can seek USDA organic certification

·         In the US, federal legislation defines 3 levels of Organic products : 1)products made entirely with organic ingredients and methods may be labeled “100 % organic”, 2) products with at least 95% organic ingredients may be labeled “organic” and 3) products with at least 70% organic ingredients may be labeled, “made with organic ingredients (3)

·         The word “natural” has no regulatory meaning, except when used in the context of poultry or meat.  Natural meat and poultry cannot contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sweeteners and typically have minimal processing.  A label of natural on meat products must specify how the product qualifies as natural.  Many products listed as “natural” have several non-natural processes.

·         The words “eco-friendly” or “green” have no regulatory meaning.  Many products listed as “eco-friendly” or “green” may contain preservatives such as parabens or formaldehyde releaser DMDM Hydantoin.

·         Ingredients less than 0.1% of formulation do not have to be disclosed on product labels (4).

What does this all mean to you as a consumer? You should never let a product name or brand be the driving force in your decision to purchase. Product label reading and understanding is essential for the educated consumer. If you choose organic or natural let it be just that. Dr. Desai can help! Let Dr. Desai answer your questions at AskDrDesai@DrDesaiSoap.com about personal care product labels and ingredients.


References



1. [FD&C Act, sec. 201(m); 21 U.S.C. 321(m)].

2. www.FDA.gov.

3. "Labeling organic products". U.S. Department of Agriculture. October 2012. www.usda.gov  

4. www.SafeCosmetics.Org

 




ASK DR DESAI? - How to Keep Ticks (and Other Arthropods) Away Naturally
How to Keep Ticks (and Other Arthropods) Away Naturally?

Insect repellent products are generally products that are applied to the skin, clothing or sprayed into homes, yards or on surfaces to discourage insects, namely arthropods, from landing on such surfaces or areas. These products help in controlling bites and outbreak of diseases such as Lyme disease, malaria, West Nile Fever, etc.
Arthropods—including mosquitos, ticks, lice, sand flies and fleas—serve as vectors, or hosts, that carry and transmit infectious pathogens into other living organisms. While there are several chemical products—such as DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or Permethrin—may effectively keep insects at bay, the ingredients in such products usually cannot be used on very young children because of potential harmful side effects. In addition, environmentalists point out the such chemicals can contaminate our water and soil supply, negatively affecting waterways and wildlife. According to the EPA, the potential side effects of DEET include seizures and insomnia. Permethrin is classified by the EPA as a likely human carcinogen, and is extremely toxic for cats (causing feline permethrin toxicosis) and aquatic life.
Among the effective natural insect repellants or insecticidal applications are oils of neem, citronella, eucalyptus and cedar wood. At Dr. Desai Soap, products using these oils are available in bar soap, body wash, body cream, body spray as well as in a specially formulated line for four-legged family members such as dogs, cats, and horses.
Dr. Desai Soaps offers its our own line of natural (DEET-free, permethrin-free) outdoor protection, called Neem Shikakai. For more information, call 908-236-6742 or visit DrDesaiSoap.com.


Tewksbury's Desai Farms plans open house in Bernardsville

Published: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 10:41 AM Updated: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 10:51 AM
Hunterdon County Democrat
Desai livestock
Some Desai livestock
Put on your overalls and join N.J. Audubon and Desai Farms of Tewksbury for a fun, old-fashioned day down on the farm. The event will be held June 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at N.J. Audubon Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville. Desai Farms will bring their alpaca, miniature horse, and goats. It will offer goat milking demonstrations throughout the day, and visitors can try it as well as carding wool, spinning and weaving. Learn from Dr. Desai about the benefits of Dr. Desai Soap made from goat milk. It will be available for sale.
For the past five years, Desai Farms has been a “green” farm, producing the majority of its energy needs through solar power. It produces goat milk soaps and alpaca wool winter apparel from their livestock.
The cost is $5 per car, but in the spirit of our “green” organizations, the cost is free for those arriving in “green” transportation — an alternative car (hybrid car, smart car, electric car, etc.), by people power (bicycle, roller blades, on foot, etc.), or by carpooling (in any type of car with four or more passengers).
Related topics: hunterdon-county, tewksbury


Importance of Green Body Care

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Dr. Vinay Desai“The Importance of Green Body Care"SATURDAY
Dr. Vinay Desai is a naturalist and a pharmaceutical scientist with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, and an MBA. He holds 15+ patents & 15+ publications in a wide variety of scientific disciplines and has invented novel targeted therapeutic agents. Dr. Desai is the co-founder and CEO of Dr. Desai Soap which is a manufacturer of premium all natural goat’s milk ayurvedic herbal skin care solutions. Dr. Desai Soap is a Green America Approved business. Dr. Desai is a naturalist who lives on a family owned solar powered farm in Tewksbury NJ featured in the New Jersey Country Side Magazine. Through community awareness programs, Dr. Desai has helped educate people in the sustainable practices of using solar power and green personal care productshttp://gardenstategreenfest.com/breakoutspeakers.html


Would you bathe with Formaldehyde?

Would you bathe or clean with Formaldehyde? You may be doing just that!
by Dr Desai
Dr. Desai is dedicated to educating consumers about the dangers that we may bring into our homes or use on our bodies every day.  Dr. Desai has been trying to inform his clients of the dangers of some ingredients used in soaps, shampoos and other products that we trust and use daily. These may be products that we have used for years, that we may assume to be safe because they are on a store shelf and legally available for purchase by the public.  Some of these products contain DMDM Hydantoin which is a widely used preservative in many of our personal hygiene products, household cleaners and more.  DMDM Hydantoin releases Formaldehyde[1].  Formaldehyde is never listed on the ingredients because it is the use of a precursor such as DMDM Hydantoin that releases formaldehyde.  There are not many individuals that would knowingly apply formaldehyde to their skin regardless of its effectiveness as an antimicrobial.  Formaldahyde is known to cause dermatitis and eczema.  DMDM Hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative with the trade name Glydant.  It is a Chemical compound belonging to a class of compounds known as hydantoins.  It is used in the cosmetics industry as a preservative because the formaldehyde makes the environment less favorable to the microorganisms.  There are more dangers to using a product on your skin that releases formaldehyde, including the danger of cancer.  Formaldehyde has recently been declared a carcinogen and listed in the 12th Report on Carcinogens[2], compiled by the National Toxicology Program(NTP)under the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).  This may be a step in the right direction, but this does not mean the DMDM Hydantoin will no longer be found in your soaps, shampoos, or hair gel.  This just means that the listing of formaldehyde potential carcinogenic will be available to the public. There has been no ban on the use of formaldehyde releasing preservatives or formaldehyde itself, at least not yet.
We may not be able to do anything about the formaldehyde that’s in the wood that our houses may have been built with, but we can take control of the choices that we make when it comes to the products that we use.  We can also join The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which recently announced the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (H.R.2359), which would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that all personal care products, from shampoo to lipstick, are free of harmful ingredients and that all ingredients in the product are disclosed.  Existing law, which has not been updated since 1938, has loopholes that allow chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other illnesses in products we use on our bodies every day.  If you haven't yet, please ask your Representative to co-sponsor this important bill! It takes a minute to log onto the web site for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5500/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7022  and forward your request for their support of this bill.  This bill will help to protect the average consumer from hidden dangers and may force the reform of the cosmetic industry to stop using harmful ingredients.  You can visit the Household Product Safety website at http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=2211&query=+hydantoin&searchas=TblChemicalsfor a list of products that contain DMDM Hydantoin.  Not all products that contain DMDM Hydantoin are guaranteed to be listed, so always check the ingredient label on your personal care products in addition to doing your own research.  If you do not understand the ingredients used in your favorite personal care products, feel free to post your questions on DrDesaiSoap.com via “Ask Dr. Desai” at http://www.drdesaisoap.com/pages/Ask-Dr.-Desai.html.


[1]Wikipedia.com reference
[2] C&EN, Chemical & Engineering News, June 20, 2011, page 11


Tips For Winter Skin Care

How can I survive winter skin?
By Dr. Desai

Many suffer from the harsh conditions of winter. Spending time outside in blistery cold temperatures and frigid wind can wreak havoc on your skin.  And, when you come indoors the coldest parts of your body, hands and feet become red and itchy. Remaining indoors in a heated home can also cause damaging results since the air is dry.  And, if you have eczema or psoriasis it gets worse. We may wash our hands more often due to risk of colds and flu during the winter, as a result dryer skin.  Don’t fret, there is hope. Following these simple tips can dramatically improve your dry skin condition during those cold weather months:

1)      Avoid moisture stripping facial or personal care products such as chemical astringents, alcohol containing lotions or facial masks.

2)      Avoid hot tubs and saunas. 

3)      Use a humidifier to keep your house and skin hydrated.

4)      Hydrate from the inside by drinking adequate water while minimizing consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages.

5)      Use personal care products that have natural ingredients or oils such as avocado oil, olive oil, camellia seed oil or almond oil.

6)      For dry cracked heels, wash with warm water and sea salts removing dead skin.  Followed by Vaseline or your favorite natural foot cream.

7)      Apply avocado oil, camellia seed oil or your favorite natural moisturizing cream to your hands and feet at bedtime. Then place a comfortable lightweight pair of socks or gloves on your hands and/or feet.

8)      Use sunscreen – yes, you need it in the winter as well – sunlight and glare reflects off of snow/ice to intensify sun radiation.

9)      Use gentle soaps such as goat’s milk soap instead of soaps containing chemical detergents which can strip your skin of its natural oils.

10)   Exercise often to maintain proper circulation and stay in shape.  In other words, staying physically active will help your skin radiant.

11)   Dress warm in layered clothing and minimize prolonged exposure to cold blustery winds.  Cover as much exposed skin as possible.  Cold temperatures will cause any exposed skin to chafe.

12)   Use of skin products containing Retinol A could cause your skin to get too dry and exfoliated in the winter.  Caution is advised while continuing their use in the winter months.

13)   Always consult your physician for additional advice.

For additional information on any of Dr. Desai’s moisturizing Ayurvedic goat’s milk soaps, please visit DrDesaiSoap.com.


Another Caution on Antibacterial Products

Triclosan, found in many personal and home products under EPA investigation.

Triclosan has been used for its antibacterial properties for more than 30 years, starting out as a surgical scrub. Since then, this synthetic, broad-spectrum, antimicrobial agent has become increasingly popular in personal hygiene products. Unfortunately, triclosan has also recently drawn a lot of regulatory, congressional, and media scrutiny.
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D. Mass.) has sent inquiries to both the EPA and the FDA because of his concern that antibacterial products are not only ineffective, but cause risks to human health and the environment. He received responses from both organizations indicating that additional research is warranted on the negative health ramifications of daily contact with the agent triclosan. (For more detailed information on this, see the Chemical and Engineering News site: pubs.acs.org/cen/news/88/i16/8816news1.html.)
In Pesticides and You, the author of The Ubiquitous Triclosan: A Common Antibacterial Agent Exposed, Aviva Glaser stated, “Studies have increasingly linked triclosan to a range of health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistant, and dioxin contamination to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems.” (See beyondpesticides. org/pesticides/factsheets/Triclosan%20cited.pdf for Glaser’s entire fact sheet.)
Triclosan is not only found in personal hygiene products, but is contained in toothpaste, cosmetics, deodorant, and shows up under other names in products such as countertops, kitchenware, clothing, and plastic toys.

(For a complete list of products that contain triclosan visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and reference the Household Products Database at householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgibin/household/ brands?tbl=chem&id=201.)







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