Tuesday, August 30, 2016


A feature article in NY Times today, reveals how advertisers are using ‘ads’ in social media as ‘testimonials’ of the celebrities.  These new promotional campaigns are mostly for such cosmetic products which are being pushed to cover larger market.
As an example, it describes how millions of people who follow Kim Kardashian West and her sisters on social media have become accustomed to seeing them praise everything from fat-burning tea to gummy vitamins for healthier hair - “Ever since I started taking two @sugarbearhair a day, my hair has been fuller and stronger than ever!! Even with all the heat and bleaching I do to it!” Khloé Kardashian posted on Instagram this month.
However last week, close watchers of the sisters’ accounts noticed a small addition to those laudatory messages about the latest miracle product: “#ad.”
The strategy behind is to deceptively portray these ‘ads’ or ‘sponsored’ messages as testimonials purportedly from people like the Kardashians and other so-called influencers who command big, loyal followings on services like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
These marketing strategies are being seen as violation of fair advertising code, but Mary K. Engle, FTC’s Associate Director feels that such ‘ads’ have to be unambiguous before these are considered so.  
Audiences “have a very visceral reaction to ‘#ad’ or ‘#spon’ or whatever it is, where they don’t want to know people are getting paid for stuff even if they are,” according to Jaclyn Johnson, president of creative services at Small Girls PR, where she connects brands like L’Oréal Paris and Urban Decay cosmetics to influencers who have large social media followings. Disclosure, which the F.T.C. has been wrestling with for years has become more important as the money offered to influencers has jumped and the number of sponsored posts on services like Instagram and YouTube has surged.
A company ‘Captiv8’ that connects brands to influencers, says someone with three million to seven million followers can charge, on average, $187,500 for a post on YouTube, $75,000 for a post on Instagram or Snapchat and $30,000 for a Twitter post. For influencers with 50,000 to 500,000 followers, the average is $2,500 for YouTube, $1,000 for Instagram or Snapchat and $400 for Twitter.

The company has counted more than 200,000 Instagram posts a month since January tagged with “#ad,” “#sp” or “#sponsored” — and that does not include those that were not properly marked. 

Monday, August 29, 2016


Michele Hanson writing in the Guardian makes an important point about actress Courteney Cox attempting to fight back aging.  Advising on the the impact of aging on appearance and facing it as a natural phenomenon, she says, “I’m not quite sure what’s she’s (Courteny Cox)  tried, she’s been a bit cagey about it, admitting only to the sort of mistake that “dissolves and goes away”, but apparently the  word has been taking about “her ever-changing appearance – bigger lips, wrinkle-free forehead, the works”. …
Michele adds: “She looked fine to me. No calamitous sausage-lips or balloon bosoms; no stretched, stuck-in-a-wind-tunnel face. Whatever she has done must have been fairly modest, and she could presumably afford not to go to any quacks, because cosmetic surgery can be a dangerous game. .. But most importantly Cox has decided to stop “trying to keep up with getting older … [and just] let it be”. This is a lesson for us all, because there’s nothing we can do about it, and the sooner we stop being repulsed by old age, the better.”
Those supporting natural way of living agree with Michele that looking gracefully aging is a process that should boost self-confidence. With age comes maturity and wisdom which in turn gets reflected in our overall appearance and our conduct.
However, a multi-billion dollar industry has come up that is constantly painting negative aspect of naturally aging process,  in order to sell the so-called anti-aging creams, lotions, serums and surgical procedures, including botox, dermal fillers. Selling such products and services is backed by glamorous advertising, promising instant results, making unverifiable claims of turning skin overnight into a bewitching shape that would banish aging signs and so on.
We at Herbally Radiant have been advising our customers to exercise caution whenever they happen to come across too-good-to-be true claims. Many a times, one comes across in the media so-called “new studies” or “researches” by skin specialists or “experts”, or a “new finding” in Europe or elsewhere referring to a wild plant in Africa, or something in sea algae to back a particular cosmetic product. Most of these stories are planted frequently by the industry and advertising agencies to grab larger share of growing market.
The R&D team at Herbally Radiant, having more than 40 years’ experience in herbs and natural ingredients used in skin-care formulations, has not been able to find a magic formula or ingredient which could reverse the aging signs on skin. However, it feels that by using skin-friendly natural ingredients, the skin gets boost and remains healthy. By blending some herbs with Essential Oils, it has launched fine cleansers, moisturizers, toners and serums with high natural content, that amazingly delay onset of premature aging signs.

So, the best option would be to take care of skin, whether you are young or aging, by staying away from harsh chemical ingredients, choosing naturally nourishing formulations and staying away from dreams that many beauty industry players are selling in one form or the other.

Friday, August 26, 2016


While monitoring the latest research on herbs and organic elements, we read Huffington Post and Medical News Today confirming the benefits of turmeric found in many tests.  We at Herbally Radiant use curcumin, the main compound in turmeric, in herbal beauty formulations.
A 2012 study examined one perk of curcumin in particular: the ability of the extract to prevent heart attacks among bypass patients. The same study noted that curcumin capsules were found to delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Lab and animal studies have shown promising effects of curcumin in the fight against various kinds of cancer as it “interferes with molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread,” according to the American Cancer Society.
Scientific journal MNT also had an informative article by Megan Ware on “Turmeric: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information”, providing a nutritional breakdown of turmeric and in-depth look at its health benefits. Citing USDA Nutrient Database, it said one teaspoon turmeric powder contains 29 calories, 0.9 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat and 6.3 grams of carb (including 2 grams of fiber and 0.3 grams of sugar). That same 1 tablespoon serving provides 26% of your daily manganese needs, 16% of iron, 5% of potassium and 3% of vitamin C.
Turmeric, also known as curcuma longa, comes from a perennial plant of ginger family.  Its roots are boiled, dried and then ground into deep orange-yellow powder. Use of turmeric has been recommended in ancient Indian system of health care Ayurveda to treat multiple health issues, especially inflammatory conditions, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments & liver condition.

By stimulating the gallbladder to produce bile, turmeric helps improve digestion. It lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. Very effective in inflammatory bowel diseases, it has been shown to prevent blood platelets from clumping together, (reducing blood clotting). Many studies suggest that it helps prevent build-up of plaque in arteries as well.

Its anti-inflammatory properties help improve cardiovascular health,  reduce body weight, lower triglyceride synthesis, increase basal metabolic rate, increase fatty acid oxidation and improve insulin sensitivity.
A caution here: The FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements the same way it regulates food or conventional medication, so not every supplement is created equal. Also, certain supplements, including those made from turmeric, can interact with other medications.  So people should be cautious about taking turmeric supplements, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Topical application of curcumin has immense benefits. With its rich antioxidants, healing and anti-inflammatory properties, cosmetologists find curcumin a powerful ingredient. It provides effective germicidal treatment and skin softening remedy, brightening it and reducing visible signs of aging and appearance of over-pigmentation. In combination with lemon, it makes excellent pre-bath gel that helps gentle cleansing of skin, while keeping it moist.  It does so by forming a screen between the skin and the dehydrating effects of soap and water washing.

Turmeric-based face masks are just great in healing and regenerating damaged cells. The Turmeric & Clay Mask of Herbally Radiant, containing turmeric with Kaolin and Bentonite clays, has been a great favorite with regular customers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Some companies are finding lucrative potential in injectable cosmetic filler. More such facilities are therefore coming up in states like Florida and California.
Dermal fillers were earlier meant to treat deformities, but the cosmetic surgeons quickly realized the business potential by using them to enhance looks. It is reported to be growing 8.4 per cent annually.  
Unlike botox which reduces wrinkles by paralyzing muscles, fillers add volume to skin thinned by aging. In many countries botox is legally regulated but the filler treatment is not. In US only 6 types of fillers are approved for use by professionals, on prescription only.
However, a host of problems have begun to emerge by injected fillers like facial collapse, herpes, rheumatic disease, blue tinged flesh and many more. In a 2015 survey by British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), it emerged that around 7 out of 10 surgeons had received complaints due to complications from dermal fillers, and in the previous 3 years, number of problems with some fillers had tripled. Also, 98% of the patients recommended that fillers should be resorted to only as medicine.
The growing complaints led FDA to ask makers of fillers to update their labeling to include additional warnings about the risk of accidental injection into blood vessels. It also advised consumers to consult their doctors before going in for filler injections.
FDA news release warned that injection of facial fillers into blood vessels can cause blockages that restrict blood supply to tissues. Filler material injected into blood vessels can also travel to other areas and cause stroke, vision problems, blindness and damage and/or death of the skin and underlying facial structures. Accidental injections of facial filler into blood vessels can occur anywhere on the face. But an FDA analysis of studies and reported problems found it was most likely to occur between the eyebrows and nose, in and around the nose, on the forehead, and around the eyes.
Doctors also need to fully inform patients about the risks associated with the procedure, know the signs and symptoms of accidental injection of facial filler into blood vessels, and have a plan for treating patients if this occurs.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Staying slim and in healthy shape contributes to overall beauty of a person, and diet of natural food helps greatly, just as do the natural ingredients to skin that we at Herbally Radiant promote..
Very often those striving hard to lose extra weight, spending time and energy on work-outs and money on products touted as ‘slimming’ supplements expect quicker results. As with general nourishing foods, that improve health over time, food supplements like fruits, juices, vegetables, nuts, take time to create desired results.
Similarly, weight loss program in the form of regulated diet and daily physical work out, also needs to be followed, and sustained, over a long time. Latest research proves the long held view that our bodies actually constantly resist weight loss. Thus, any conscious let up in weight loss program is most likely to reverse the process.
The journal ‘Obesity’ study makes important point that while dieting, we reduce our resting metabolic rate, which lowers the number of calories we burn when we are not doing much. The research team, therefore, warns that keeping weight off requires “vigilant combat against metabolic adaption”.
Proving the point, the  study followed 14 participants of the US version of the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. The researchers found that, after six years, all but one of the contestants in their study had regained weight.
Before the competition, the group burned a daily average of 2,600 calories at rest, but this fell to around 2,000 calories a day when it finished. Six years later, instead of creeping back up to its normal level, their resting rate had slowed further to 1,900 calories a day. On average, the resting metabolic rate was 500 calories a day less than you would expect for the age and body composition of the person. So, the contestants had to eat less to stay at their lower weight. While researchers knew that dieting reduces the resting metabolic rate to save energy, this study shows how savagely your body subverts weight loss.
The solution lies in regularly monitoring the metabolic adaption rate. Somehow, the body resets to a new normal weight and the resting metabolic rate doesn’t fall. In other words, being vigilant about what we eat, and building up muscle mass (which is lost with age) through aerobic exercise and strength training are the only ways to fight back. Our resting metabolic rate determines only a proportion of our energy expenditure. If we burn off more calories than we eat, we will obviously lose weight. Reducing calories intake by 20% and doing moderate daily exercise for half an hour will help keep weight off.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Dearbail Jordan makes important point in BBC today that selfies are fueling boom in sales of beauty products.
Marketing cosmetics with the help of selfies is innovative marketing tool. As Dearbail Jordan points out, some call it extreme narcissism while for others it is just a bit of fun. For Estee Lauder, the selfie is a trend that has helped drive a rise in make-up sales.
Other beauty brands like Clinique, MAC and Bobbi Brown also admit that there has been a shift in consumer preferences – the snap-happy want to be camera ready at all times.
Recent strong demand for products like lipsticks and foundation is also being linked to the growing trend of everyone taking photos now and allowing make-up to transform one’s appearance according to the mood.
Major companies feel that selfies enable consumers to have many more choices in terms of how they interact and learn.
Herbally Radiant is monitoring with interest the innovative social media promotional strategies, including rising selfie phenomenon to ensure good appearance. Being in the business of natural skin care products, it feels that excessive emphasis on mere appearance might divert consumer focus from the need to maintain healthy skin. As a matter of fact, physical health, including the shape of skin, should have the priority over other factors.

Selfies are fine and fun for all ages. But the need for feeding the skin with rich nutrients, not harsh chemicals, should continue to be upper most in mind. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016


NY Times editorial page today timely highlights the importance of safety procedure in the manufacture of beauty products in the absence of mandatory mechanism forcing manufacturers to observe safety norms.
The cases of skin disorders due to the harsh chemicals  in  cosmetics are increasing, leading to heightened safety concerns. More than 21,000 complaints of itching, rashes and hair loss, for instance, have been sent to the manufacturer and distributor of Wen Hair Care products. And hair-straightening products that contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, have caused allergic reactions, hair loss, rashes, blisters and other problems in salon workers and their customers.
This will change under a Senate  bill  by Dianne Feinstein, California, and Susan Collins, Maine.  It requires FDA to evaluate a minimum of five chemicals in cosmetics every year. The agency could also order companies to recall dangerous products and force them to reveal safety data and reports of adverse health effects from consumers.
The bill has the backing of public interest groups like EWG and the American Cancer Society Action Network, and much of the cosmetics industry (like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble). But Mary Kay opposes it.
Numerous concerns about the risky ingredients in personal care products have been raised by scientists and consumers. Experts are gravely concerned about the use of chemicals that may not cause immediate problems, but could  increase the risk of cancer, reproductive disorders and other ailments.
Herbally Radiant has been promoting awareness about the potential health risks from the chemical ingredients like lead acetate, parabens and synthetic additives.  Welcoming this bill, Herbally Radiant would appeal to industry to review and take out all the potentially risky ingredients from their products, and disclose actual ingredients on labels.
Consumers also need to look for the potentially dangerous chemicals in their skin care products, and stay away from doubtful formulations, especially when ingredients are not mentioned on the labels.
EU has done better job by restricting or banning more than 1,300 chemicals and groups of chemicals; FDA has prohibited 11 such ingredients. US regulators need to do a lot more for consumer protection. Promoting natural organic cosmetics with proven record of safety and reliability could also help.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Steadily growing awareness about the potential health risks from the harsh chemicals used in beauty products, is leading  more and more consumers  to turn to natural formulations.  This has created rising demand for herbs and plant based ingredients for use in cosmetic industry. But many companies have bought such raw material in bulk without understanding the nature of their shelf life. Natural ingredients such as Essential Oils and other herbs are plant based, and are, therefore, perishable. Herbally Radiant has been particular in ensuring that it manufactures its herbal skin care products in small fresh batches to ensure their safety. All its products are made with USDA certified organic ingredients.
The normal shelf life for high oleic oils (sunflower and safflower) is generally 2 years from the date of manufacture. Keeping them longer will make them go rancid due to oxidation. Unrefined oils are not as stable as refined ones. On the other hand saturated fats like coconut and palm are very stable, and can occasionally last up to 3 years.
Essential Oils, especially citrus oils, are very sensitive to light, heat and exposure to oxygen. However, all these can be stabilized with a bit of tocopherol to increase their shelf life.
Because the safety norms for cosmetic products are lax, it is important for the consumers to make sure that they buy genuinely natural products that have not outlived their shelf life. A careful reading of the labels should tell the consumers about the ingredients, so it pays to hone a keen eye when it comes to examining product labels. Unfortunately the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated labeling terms. One could go through the site of Environmental Working Group’s  Skin Deep Cosmetic Database which rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity.
For further reference one could go to the sites like Campaign for Safe Cosmetic, The Green Beauty Guide and of course, Environmental Working Group.

Monday, August 15, 2016


We have been advocating increasing awareness of the advantages of natural and clean skin care products. Herbally Radiant was therefore happy to learn from the recent reports about the rising trend of wellness that is influencing the clean beauty brands.
At the recent Clean Beauty industry event in London, there was enthusiastic response to the natural herbal skin care formulations. The co-founder of Clean Beauty, Dominika, rightly observed that if we are being conscious of what we are eating – eating clean and making sure we are not consuming anything processed – then not following the same pattern when it comes to putting clean healthy products on skin will be just half the story.
This trend is driven mainly by the rise of similar consumer emphasis on naturals and organics in the food industry. Beauty industry is also now following same track – preference for wonderful natural herbal formulations to protect skin and enhance its beautiful appearance.
Recent Mintel data show that nearly 47% of consumers consider “free from chemicals” as the main preference when it comes to natural cosmetics.  Most of the consumers in Europe enthusiastically respond to such natural products which are formulated without parabens.
With up to 95% organic content of Herbally Radiant’s beauty products, made with USDA certified ingredients, its consumers have responded with excellent reviews the immense benefits of plant based nutrients to rejuvenate skin. Its products are free from chemicals and any kind of parabens.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


More articles are appearing on Acne problem. Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from it according to American Academy of Dermatology. The latest article by Lori Smith in MNT is also informative. After working on Acne disorder, Herbally Radiant  launched its most effective formulation CLEAN to treat it. It is useful to learn about the causes and symptoms of Acne.

Main causes are : oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores, bacteria and hormonal imbalance.  Acne typically appears on face, neck, chest, back and shoulders that have most oil (sebaceous) glands. Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells.
Hair follicles are connected to oil glands. These glands secrete an oily substance (sebum) to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels along the hair shafts and through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of our skin. When body produces excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in hair follicles, and form a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. If the clogged pore becomes infected with bacteria, inflammation results.
The plugged pore may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. A blackhead may look like dirt stuck in pores. But actually the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when it's exposed to the air.
Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce cyst-like lumps beneath the surface of your skin.
Topically applied therapy for those affected by mild acne and blackheads may include the use of: Benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, Retinoid, Salicylic acid, and Sulfur

Do’s and Don’ts : Avoid  :
 -vigorous cleaning and scrubbing of the skin
- using very hot or very cold water when washing
- harsh toners, exfoliants, astringents, strong soaps, or scrubbing pads unless told otherwise
- popping, squeezing, rubbing, touching, or picking at affected areas
- getting sunburn or tanning
- use of pore-clogging skin care products
Do’s :
-Gently wash the face or affected area once or twice daily with a mild natural organic cleanser and lukewarm water
-Remove all make-up in the evening before going to bed
-Consider using oil-free skin care products, especially herbal organic products made to deal with Acne disorders
-For people with dry skin, fragrance-free, water-based emollients are recommended

Milder form of acne includes the presence of blackheads and whiteheads. These blemishes are caused by a skin oil called sebum clogging the pores. While sebum may seem like a problem, it is vital for moisturizing the skin. Sebum leads to various forms of acne when a layer of dead skin cells blocks the body's release of sebum from the skin's pores.
Inflammatory acne is characterized by moderate and severe forms of acne. This can lead to blemishes such as pimples, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.

Moderate acne is the presence of papules and pustules, which are caused by bacteria. The presence of bacteria leads to skin irritation and inflammation.

Severe acne is harsher form of moderate acne, additionally with presence of nodules and cysts.

Blackheads: These are not black due to the presence of dirt. Their black appearance is due to the skin's pigment's contact with oxygen. This contact occurs because the surface of the blackhead is open and exposed to the air.

Whiteheads: These are closed, firm, and are characterized by a white bump. Squeezing them will not release the clogged material.

Papules,Pustules,Nodules and Cysts: Papules are inflamed, pink or red, sore, and tender bumps on skin – smaller in size; pustules are small, inflamed, pink or red, and tender lesions with a center core filled with yellow/white pus. Nodules are characterized by deeply embedded, large, painful, and firm skin lumps. Cysts are Similar to nodules, deeply embedded, pus-filled acne lesions that resemble a boil. These may cause permanent scars.
After testing combinations of many ingredients, Herbally Radiant launched one of its most popular ranges: CLEAN – Cleanser, Toner, Serum and Scrub. Aloe vera based, CLEAN products contain witch hazel, cranberry extract, black willowbark, glycolic acid, billberry, activated charcoal, vegetable glycerin, orange-lemon extract, roman chamomile, rosemary,Pro-Vitamin B5, rooibos tree extract blended with Essential Oils: tea tree, neem, jojoba and avocado.
The CLEAN formulations when applied regularly inhibit inflammation and bacterial proliferation, keeping skin comfortable all day long.  The natural ingredients reduce irritation of benzoyl peroxide by increasing the efficacy of gentle additives that have wider compatibility.
The CLEAN serum is a powerful formulation that is 100% natural, pure and effective. This fast absorbing and non-greasy serum works as a booster to help support and treat the skin from within, delivering the highest potency of anti-oxidants and oils, thereby rejuvenating, hydrating and brightening the skin.
We also advise our customers to avoid drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium, extra sugar and sugary drinks and avoid stress. Most of the pharma-based cosmetics have parabens or other harsh chemicals that can provide only temporary relief. Natural ingredients offer the best  and ever lasting treatment for acne.