Thursday, July 30, 2015


The number of complaints, especially for beauty products,  received by agencies such as Advertising Standards Agency and the Better Business Bureau are on the steady rise.

A recent opinion poll, based on a sample of cosmetics advertisements in Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, InStyle and People StyleWatch, revealed that a mere 17% of respondents trusted the advertising industry, 39% were cynical toward advertising, 7% were deceptiveness-wary (they acknowledge advertising is somehow beneficial without trusting it) and 16% regarded advertising as deceptively harmful. Out of a sample of 621 ad claims, only 136 were found to follow fair marketing campaigns.

Most cosmetic claims suggest that well-being and happiness as a result of applying cosmetic products, yet there is usually no substantiation of the claims, and those who back the claims with “scientific evidence” and “consumer testing” often use questionable methodologies for their substantiation.  Some examples of cosmeceuticals include anti-aging or anti-wrinkle products, fat-reducing creams and facial scrubs for smoother, firmer, more evenly pigmented skin. In the case of cosmeceuticals, the products claim to eliminate wrinkles, rather than simply disguise them.

We at Herbally Radiant have been highlighting this problem of unethical marketing claims, more so in the case of web-based suppliers. In  a case of specific benefits of products, these should be clearly explained to consumers, and comparisons should be stated thoroughly and completely. For instance, if the product is “award-winning”, the claims should present unambiguously when, where and what awards have been received by the advertiser.

For scientific claims, the concrete evidence of ingredients, the scientific research processes used and lab results should be provided in laymen's terminology. As such, consumers would have clear understanding of such claims. For performance claims, marketers should also provide  concrete or supporting evidence (e.g. explain how and why lip gloss can last for 12 hours).

There are also increasing concerns about environmental issues among consumers. It would be desirable to indicate clearly whatever environmental attributes might be germane to the product – for example, that the product was not pretested on animals prior to being distributed to consumers in general.

Additionally, research has also showed that luxury perception may differ depending on the visual art employed. Some of these visual arts are similar to the concept of “radical fashion” (i.e. that unlikely to be adapted in reality). Consumers need to understand cautiously the purpose of the images presented and the claims made in cosmetics advertisements.

To our customers, Herbally Radianthas been advising following cautions :
i)                    An expensive product doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting better quality.

ii)                  The salespeople at the cosmetics store aren’t skin-care experts. They are trained to sell; they are not necessarily trained to understand cosmetic formulations, different types of skin and their characteristics. Selling cosmetics is of course a great career.

iii)                Just one high-sounding ingredient or formulation is not the right answer for, say, anti-aging treatment. The customer has to make his/her own assessment about the efficacy of the product after reading the detailed ingredients.

iv)                Unfortunately, the cosmetic sellers do not follow satisfactory ‘return policy’. It is, therefore, all the more necessary to assess utility of the product before purchase, and lodge complaint with the agencies in case of deceptive marketing tricks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Recent reports about FDA proposing that the labels on packaged foods cite the amount of added sugars they contain as a percentage of the recommended daily calorie intake is a good initiative. Added sugars are those not found in foods before they are produced and packaged. Federal officials recommend that Americans limit added sugars to just 10 percent of their daily calories.
Agency officials determined that 50 grams of added sugars should be the upper dietary limit, or daily value, for adults and children aged 4 and older. That means “one 16-ounce soda, and that’s it for added sugars for the day,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.
As skin experts, we at Herbally Radiant advise our customers to reduce sugar intake. A diet high in sugar is a disaster for the face. ‘There is no point in spending lots of money on expensive skin creams if you are eating a diet high in sugar,’ says Dr Aamer Khan, a cosmetic dermatologist who is also medical director of the Harley Street Skin Clinic. 'Yes, you can protect and moisturise your skin from the outside with creams, but you need to feed and stimulate the growth of good strong skin cells from inside too and sugar will sabotage that.’

According to Dr. Ross Perry, a cosmetic physician at Cosmedics Clinic, London, the problem with sugar is that it makes the skin lose the plump, elastic qualities that underlie a youthful appearance. ‘This is due to a process called glycation. Essentially what happens is that sugar attaches itself to any protein in the body and produces harmful molecules called ‘advanced glycation end products’. These reduce the effectiveness of elastin and collagen, proteins in the skin that help maintain its youthful appearance. ‘Normally collagen bulks out the skin and gives it a younger plump look,’ says Dr Perry. ‘Elastin gives the skin recoil so that when you smile or frown your skin goes back to how it was. If you persistently eat a high-sugar diet, then as a result, the collagen and elastin will become more rigid, so it will become easier for wrinkles to form and the skin will lose that youthful plumpness. It also makes it harder for the cells in the skin to repair normal damage.’

A high-sugar diet reduces the quality of the collagen in the skin too. ‘There are different types of collagen, known as I, II and III, and for healthy looking-skin you need the correct blend of all of these,’ says dermatologist Dr Perry. ‘Sugar encourages type III collagen to become type I which is more brittle. Consequently, the skin breaks down and looks thinner and more wrinkly. It also becomes more prone to the damaging effects of the environment and UV rays.’

Aging signs and breakouts: Those suffering from frequent break outs, sugar causes increased inflammation. “Most people don’t realize that skin directly correlates to our digestive system,” says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection. “If we eat something we can’t digest or have trouble digesting, there are consequences.” However, not everyone is affected the same way. “Some people claim their acne gets worse when they have chocolate or sugar and others notice no change,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-director of the Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, Washington, D.C.

Long-term effects of consuming sugar include premature aging and scarring. Sugar attaches to proteins in the bloodstream, forming new molecules, called advanced glycation end products (or AGEs), that damage both collagen and elastin, contributing to sagging and wrinkles. AGEs also deactivate natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin more susceptible to sun damage. According to a 2007 study in the British Journal of Dermatology, these effects increase at the age of 35 and continue rapidly as you age.

Do you know that artificial sugars are even worse. Artificial sugars, although less tested, don’t get experts’ approval, either. They are pure chemicals and can cause a lot of problems. Any type of impurities in the system will cause more breakouts. They also bring on the cravings.

While complex carbohydrates like bread and pasta also cause sugar spikes, the simple sugars found in fruits and vegetables are less of a concern. They don’t cause high levels of insulin and instead, they are packed with healthy enzymes that are so easy to digest they boost the digestive system. However, experts do not recommend fruit juice or dried fruit because both are very high in sugar. Herbally Radiant suggests drinking green juice daily for glowing skin. Plus, it’s the easiest and fastest way to digest antioxidants when your skin needs a boost.

Precautions.  Although a little sugar won’t kill you or completely ruin your skin, we do recommend eliminating most of our sugar intake. Here are some easy tips, besides, of course, regular physical work out as a healthy way to use up excess sugar as fuel. (Remember, sugar is a carbohydrate). Exercise also helps reduce the need for a sugar lift.

Good substitutes. Simply adding spices like coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally flavor foods and reduce the craving to add sugar. Experts also recommend a little bit of Stevia (a plant based natural sweetener), raw honey or maple syrup for added sweetness. Good sleep helps. Ever notice that the more tired you are, the more likely you are to grab something sweet? Pack in 7-8 hours of sleep every night to avoid the cravings. Beware of hidden sugars. Even our breads are packed with sugars. Remember that most of the ‘complex’ carbohydrates we consume like bread, bagels and pasta aren’t really complex at all. They are usually highly refined and act just like sugars in the body and are to be avoided. Plus all of the following sugars have the same harmful effects on the skin: corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.

So how easy is it to cut sugar from your diet? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as resisting the lure of the biscuit tin, according to skin expert Dr Khan. Any food with a high glycaemic index — which means that it is quickly broken down into sugars by the body — will cause a spike in blood glucose, the same as a sugar ‘fix’. ‘Sugar should be avoided altogether and refined carbohydrates, things like cakes, biscuits and white bread, should be kept to a minimum,’ he says. Instead, stick to lower GI options such as brown rice, pasta and bread. The aim should be to ensure that sugar makes up less than ten per cent of your total diet.

‘How much you can tolerate before glycation occurs depends on your age, metabolism and how much you exercise,’ he says. ‘If you’re an active 25-year-old, your body can tolerate more sugar than if you are a sedentary 45-year-old.’ The good news is if you change your ways and cut down on sugar, you should quickly see benefits. ‘The skin may seem less dry within days,’ says Dr Khan. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015


It is important to protect skin from sun damage, especially during summer when sun exposure is highest. From the point of maintaining beautiful skin and appearance, experts issue regular advisories to take precaution from sun burn.
However, we find undue hype being created on this score, especially by those who are aggressively marketing sun-screen lotions or face creams.  Sun damage causes premature wrinkles and lines on face and, in some extreme cases, can lead to skin disorders, including melanoma.  However, consumers also need to understand the benefits of sun light and take a balanced view.
As health experts of Vitamin D Society of Canada have highlighted, Vitamin D deficiency has been noted among large number of people – in Canada, 97 per cent people are estimated to be Vitamin D deficient, and worldwide, 1 billion people are estimated to be suffering from lack of “the sunshine vitamin”.
Vitamin D deficiency is closely linked to significantly higher rates of osteoporosis, heart disorders and even some forms of cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends Vitamin D intake of 1000 IU daily which can go to the tolerable limit of 4000 IU.  In many other northern hemisphere countries, Vitamin D from sunlight can be synthesized only in the skin during spring, summer and fall, around mid-day - 10 am to 2 pm when the UV index is above 3, and your shadow is shorter than your height.
Health experts, therefore, do not advise against sun exposure as such, but precaution against sun damage, and regular testing of Vitamin D level - a calcidiol test (also know as a 25-hyrdoxyvitamin D test). More important than your daily intake of vitamin D are your actual vitamin D blood levels. Optimal vitamin D blood levels are between 100 nmol/L to 150 nmol/L.
For balancing the need for protection against sun damage and the need to reap the benefits of sun light, Herbally Radiant experimented with the best herbal organic ingredients, and saw the wonderful healing effects of avocado on skin.  Herbally Radiant has now used it in its special aloe-based formulation “Silk Primer”. This powerful ingredient, in combination with Vitamin E and essential oils, provides the best protection from sun damage. It acts as a fine protective layer over face maintaining glowing skin even during sun exposure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Recent Washington Post article by Casey Seidenberg on the benefits of carrot was of special interest to us as producers of herbal organic beauty formulations. Basically, health experts recommend carrot in food which is an important source of Vitamin A, that is fundamentally useful for healthy eyesight, but it is equally important in skin care business.  As organic skin care experts, we at Herbally Radiant greatly value Vitamin A  as a very effective ingredient in our beauty formulations, and we have been putting Vitamin A, along with Vitamin B and Vitamin E, in several of our top range products. 

Dr. Mehmet, Cardiologist, well describes how it matters to our skin : “..Vitamin A (retinol) protects plants from UV-induced free-radical damage. In skin products, vitamin A is described as an antioxidant that protects the skin against photoaging by fortifying each cell against damage by exposure to free-radicals. In higher concentrations, vitamin A can act as a humectant, drawing water to the surface of the skin. Moreover, vitamin A (topical retinol) is described as improving fine wrinkles associated with aging. Thus, vitamin A actually treats the signs of aging or photoaging.”

There are more than 500 carotenids, but the most important in terms of pro-vitamin A is beta carotene. Generally, the darker and more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the more beta carotene it delivers. Carotenoids are antioxidants that prevent and repair cellular damage and aging and reduce inflammation in the eyes and elsewhere in the body. The carotenoids have been shown to help prevent age-related macular degeneration by slowing down the aging of cells. Hence the popularity of many skin care products containing this ingredient.
While testing the effect of various combinations of ingredients, we have seen that Vitamin A and antioxidants protect skin from sun damage too. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. It prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. Some health conscious experts recommend using carrots as home-made convenient facial mask.
Herbally Radiant uses Vitamin A through Retinol Palmitate Oil in its ‘Radiant’ Face Cleanser, Carrot seed essential oil in ‘Radiant’ Serum and ‘Radiant’ Age Defying Cream.