Friday, August 11, 2017


Aloe vera is an extremely beneficial ingredient in skin care products. It's thick green leaves store water. This slimy, water-filled tissue is the 'gel' we associate with aloe vera products, which contains most of the bioactive compounds in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. Several products of Herbally Radiant are aloe based. Its wide use has earned it a global market share of 13 billion dollars. Some of its benefits are :
1. Has antioxidant and antibacterial properties which are important for health. Aloe vera gel contains powerful antioxidants, which belong to a large family of substances known as polyphenols. These polyphenols, along with several other compounds in Aloe vera, can help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.
2.Accelerates the healing of burns. Aloe vera is most commonly used as a topical medication, rubbed onto the skin rather than eaten. It has long been known as a treatment for sores, particularly burns, including sunburns. In fact, the FDA first approved Aloe vera ointment as an over-the-counter medication for skin burns back in 1959.
A review of 4 experimental studies found that Aloe vera could reduce the healing time of burns by around 9 days compared to conventional medication.
3.Reduces dental plaque. Tooth decay and diseases of the gum are very common health problems. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to reduce the buildup of plaque (bacterial biofilms) on the teeth.In a mouth rinse study of 300 healthy people, 100% pure Aloe vera juice was compared to the standard mouthwash ingredient chlorhexidine. After 4 days of use, the Aloe vera mouth rinse was found to be just as effective as chlorhexidine in reducing dental plaque.
Another study found similar benefits of Aloe vera mouth rinse when used over a 15- to 30-day period. Aloe vera does this by killing the plaque-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, as well as the yeast Candida albicans.
4.Helps treat mouth ulcers, or canker sores. Many people have experienced mouth ulcers, or canker sores, at some point in their lives. They usually form underneath the lip, inside the mouth, and last for about 7-10 days. Studies have convincingly shown that Aloe vera treatment can accelerate the healing of mouth ulcers. In a 7-day study of 180 people with recurrent mouth ulcers, an Aloe vera patch applied to the area was effective in reducing the size of the ulcers.
5.Reduces constipation. Aloe vera has often be used to treat constipation.This time it is not the gel, but the latex, that provides the benefits. The latex is a sticky yellow residue found just under the skin of the leaf. The key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well-established laxative effects.
6. May improve skin and help prevent wrinkles. There is preliminary evidence that topical Aloe vera gel can slow aging of the skin. In one study of 30 women over the age of 45, topical application of the gel was shown to increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity over a 90-day period. Another study found that Aloe vera reduced erythema (redness of the skin), but was also found to dehydrate skin cells.
7.Lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics. Aloe vera has sometimes been used as a traditional diabetes remedy. It is said to enhance insulin sensitivity and help improve blood sugar management. Several animal and human studies in type 2 diabetics have actually found promising results from consuming Aloe vera extract.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Herbally Radiant noted with concern that potentially unsafe skin care products are being sent to US in growing volumes. In its letter to Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr (D., NJ), FDA has expressed inability to carry out adequate inspections of cosmetic shipments coming from many countries due to scarce resources. At the same time, the letter reveals that about 2000 shipments a year are refused entry to the US, based on these inspections or other issues; the highest share of those blocked come from China, South Korea, Canada, France, and India. It emphasized that imports from China were particularly problematic.

Of the 3 million imported cosmetics shipments, FDA physically inspected just 9,871, or about 0.3 percent in 2016, and 15% violations were found in 1474 shipments.  In other words, in the small percentage of checks that FDA could carry out, the rate of rising violations was of concern.

This comes on the heel of several reports of potentially unsafe cosmetic products being sent by online suppliers which are doing a booming business on the back of aggressive marketing promotions.

While FDA should be able to increase inspections and bar imports from companies dispatching unsafe products, the consumers also need to exercise caution. Most of such cosmetic products use unsafe chemical ingredients not mentioned on the labels.

Friday, August 4, 2017


The question of aging of skin has been engaging the attention and efforts of beauticians and scientists. The R&D team of Herbally Radiant has experimented with a variety of combinations using herbal ingredients to create and maintain a youthful appearance. It also monitors the latest studies on aging factors and found the recent article by Yella Hewings-Martin, PhD in MNT  a good effort in explaining the biological process of aging.
Skin aging is caused by a combination of natural aging and exposure to sunlight. Add to this the inescapable factor of time, and the result is sagging skin, wrinkles, and discolorations: the characteristic signs of skin aging.
Our skin has two distinct layers. The epidermis makes up the outer barrier of our skin and protects us from environmental insults, such as bacteria and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Meanwhile, the dermis is rich in collagens and other proteins, which are responsible for skin's strength and elasticity.
The dermis contains a very complex arrangement of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, including collagens and others, such as elastin, which provides elasticity.
Fibroblast cells in the dermis not only produce these proteins, but they are also firmly lodged in between these proteins and connected to them. As we age, the ECM progressively loses its integrity as the protein structures become fragmented.
Fibroblasts lose their ECM connections and slowly degrade the protein networks. This leads to a change in fibroblast shape, severely affecting the cells' function. Protein production by fibroblasts is reduced, contributing further to the breakdown of the ECM network.
This detrimental circle of events causes a significant reduction in elasticity and results in the loss of our part skin tone. Scientists think that it is caused by a combination of oxidative stress damage to DNA, cell senescence, and chronic inflammation.
Although we all experience some natural loss of elasticity and ECM integrity as we age, sun exposure makes this much worse.
But fibroblasts themselves do not react to direct irradiation with UV light in laboratory studies. Instead, scientists think that cells in the epidermis respond to UV exposure by releasing chemicals that diffuse into the dermis and lead to enzyme release in dermal fibroblasts.
This complex interplay is thought to result in deep wrinkles, which is a hallmark of UV-induced skin aging. And recent evidence implicates a third player in causing the signs of skin aging.
As our bodies age, the fat layer below the skin naturally shrinks, resulting in sagging. But until recently, scientists were unable to see any connection between UV damage and fat; UV rays do not penetrate deeply enough to reach the subcutaneous fat. However, a new type of fat depot in the deep dermis was recently discovered that can penetrate the upper dermis, which is well within reach of UV light.
These specialized fat cells can also respond to chemicals released by cells in the epidermis. In response to chronic UV damage, these fat cells die and are replaced by scar tissue.

Besides avoiding excessive sun exposure, Herbally Radiant has found certain combinations of herbs and essential oils extremely effective in preventing premature aging of the skin. The rich nutrients in its anti-aging formulations (Radiant and Rejuvenating), amazingly activate cellular cleaning process and accelerate epidermal regeneration.  These improve skin hydration and elasticity and reducing the appearance of over-pigmentation and skin inflammation. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


The Washington Post carried an informative piece on misunderstanding of the product labelled as "Natural Flavors".  It explains how the FDA defines a natural flavor as a substance extracted, distilled or similarly derived from plant or animal matter, either as is or after it has been roasted, heated or fermented, and whose function is for flavor, not nutrition. Foods that should be vegetarian can include flavors that are derived from animals, and foods can have flavors that outwardly have nothing to do with the food involved. An example of these incongruities is wine that includes traces of eggs or fish.In the food and cosmetics industries, the term “all natural” is poorly regulated, so manufacturers may use it even when their products are full of chemicals and preservatives — not at all what we think of as natural.
 There are a few reasons extra flavors are added to foods. They can replace flavors that food processing and pasteurizing removed (probably the case with the orange juice he spotted); they help food taste fresh even when it is not (again, perhaps the case with the orange juice); they create an appealing smell that will entice the consumer to eat the product.
The words “natural flavors” seemed to be on most of the food packages they spotted at the store. In fact, the Environmental Working Group found in its research of 80,000 food products that only salt, water and sugar are listed more often than natural flavors on food labels. We all know that we aren’t supposed to eat too much sugar or salt, and water seems to be a safe bet, but what about that fourth most popular ingredient.
There seem to be about 1000 chemicals in the GRAS category that have not been researched or approved by the FDA or anyone else. Some are obviously artificial flavors and not natural flavors. Artificial flavors are created in a lab instead of being derived from a natural substance, yet what was fascinating to my boys was that the chemical structures of a natural strawberry flavor and an artificial strawberry flavor may be exactly the same, just achieved by different means. This suggests that a natural flavor may not be chemically any healthier than an artificial flavor. Organic foods cannot have artificial preservatives or synthetic solvents, so generally they are a safer bet.