Skin is a mirror reflection of your overall health

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By now, you’ve heard the cliche’ – and may be tired of hearing – that your health is a mirror reflection of your skin. It’s true! In my 24 years working with skin and hearing my clients talk about their health concerns and situations and my continuous studying of skin as an organ – not as a beauty statement – have led me to recognize this fact – the skin is a mirror reflection of your overall health. In today’s blog, I will use myself as an example of this fact.

For several months now, I had been experiencing an unbearable itch all over my body. I developed sensitivities to soap, even to the non-latex gloves I use to perform skin treatments! There have been countless sleepless nights and nothing – nothing – can take the itch away. We changed our laundry detergent, dish washing soap, shower gels, shampoo, you name it.  At some point, I thought we were infested with bed bugs, but that wasn’t the case, to my relief!

Shortly after the itching began, I ended up in the ER and after 2 months of tests and appointments with several specialists, they discovered I had gallstones. This is the reason I needed surgery – I had my gallbladder removed. Because my gallbladder was blocked, I was accumulating the bile, which started to become toxic and caused to liver to become fatty. My liver just couldn’t handle or process anything, so it began to become enlarged. Throughout this ordeal of medical appointments, I began to notice that I was developing some sores on random places of my body (not scratch related – see picture below).

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So, I began to share with friends, family and acquaintances about my severe case of itchiness. Until finally someone mentioned that they had known people with gallstones who had the same symptoms. So, I decided to do more research on this.

Sure enough! Although not very common, it is not unusual either for people to experience itchy skin when having gallstones. When a stone blocks the bile duct, the bile collects and becomes toxic, and this toxicity may reflect as itchy skin.

The day after surgery, the itchiness almost went away in its entirety! I am still dealing with itchy skin because I am still healing and my liver is now in the process of cleansing and repairing itself but nothing compared to what I was experiencing! And I am not even going to address the fact that even my melasma has cleared! But this is another topic for another time.

I cannot convey in my writing how horrendous this itchiness has been. There were times that I left my skin raw, other areas with rash-like bumps. In my travels through the internet researching this itch, I came across this excellent article about gallbladder and liver health and I thought it would be nice to share. Gallbladder and liver diseases are sometimes masked by other health issues. An innocent (or not so innocent) itch that has no apparent reason might be a symptom. Please take care of your health and your skin will treat you well.

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Rodan and Fields – Unethical Beyond Belief!

12033214_10207980473096681_4665603173707007191_nRodan and Fields – Unethical beyond belief!

This is how powerful marketing and blatant unethical dissemination of information can be, including words from professionals whose titles are highly regarded in the industry. Here you have – Rodan and Fields – two dermatologists (a title they love to flaunt) claiming two things: 1) that they “invented” a product. First of all, ANYONE with some knowledge of basic ingredient chemistry can “invent” a product, send it to a lab, have the chemist formulate it and pay a branding company to get your name/logo all over the place. I recently had a client who came in as a client (her excuse) because she wanted to introduce herself as a future vendor – she was “creating” a new skincare line. When I asked her about specific ingredients, she had no clue what I was talking about. She wasn’t even in the cosmetics industry, and said she needed to get back to her chemists to see if they were using any of the ingredients I mentioned. So there you have it. YOU, my friend, CAN create a new skincare line! Just Google it. 2) R&F claim that their products are “pharmaceutical grade” (see picture). READ MY LIPS: the FDA does NOT, I repeat, does NOT differentiate between “different types” of cosmetics and their information is simply untrue. The FDA has absolutely NO SAY when it comes to cosmetics. And because people believe what they are told, let me offer you some quotes from the FDA directly:

– FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products we regulate, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. FDA does not have the legal authority to approve cosmetics before they go on the market, although we do approve color additives used in them (except coal tar hair dyes).
– FDA encourages cosmetic firms to report product formulations through the VCRP. However, the companies are not legally required to tell FDA about their products and safety data.

–  Because the law does not require that bad reactions to cosmetics be reported to FDA, we may be unaware of problems.
– FDA can inspect manufacturing facilities to determine if proper controls and practices are being followed. FDA also works with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to examine imported cosmetics. But because resources are limited, only a few establishments are inspected each year, and just a fraction of imports are physically examined.
– FDA does not have the resources to sample and analyze all cosmetics on the market.
– The CIR is an independent, industry-funded panel of medical and scientific experts that meets quarterly to assess the safety of cosmetic ingredients based on data in the published literature as well as some that is voluntarily provided by the cosmetic industry. The industry data may or may not be complete. FDA takes the results of CIR reviews into consideration when evaluating safety, but the results of FDA safety assessments may differ from those of CIR.

– FDA cannot require recalls of cosmetics, but works with companies to make sure their recalls are effective.

– There are no regulations or requirements under current United States law that require cosmetic manufacturers to print expiration dates on the labels of cosmetic products. Manufacturers have the responsibility to determine shelf life for products, as part of their responsibility to substantiate product safety.

– In direct response to this marketing piece from R&F: 

Cosmetic products are not expected to be aseptic; however, they must be completely free of high-virulence microbial pathogens, and the total number of aerobic microorganisms per gram must be low. Since there are no widely acceptable standards for numbers, temporary guidelines are used instead. For eye-area products, counts should not be greater than 500 colony forming units (CFU)/g; for non-eye-area products, counts should not be greater than 1000 CFU/g. The presence of pathogens would be particularly important in evaluating as unacceptable a cosmetic with a marginally acceptable count, e.g., 400 CFU/g for an eye-area product. Pathogens or opportunistic pathogens whose incidence would be of particular concern, especially in eye-area cosmetic products, include S. aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, P. aeruginosa and other species, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Some microbes normally regarded as nonpathogenic may be opportunistically pathogenic, e.g., in wounds.

For details about ALL MICROBIAL AND PATHOGEN TESTING required for manufacturers, use this link: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/LaboratoryMethods/ucm073598.htm

– For more information, go directly to the FDA website and go through some of the links. Just pick and choose and you will soon find out there is NO SUCH THING!

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Claims/ucm203078.htm

FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING ACT: http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/ucm148722.htm