Organic Facial Cleanser: The Ultimate Anti-Acne Facial

June 21st, 2011

Do you suffer from acne, severely oily skin, breakouts?  Is your skin breaking out this summer.  Maybe you need to try Organic Apoteke’s new Prana Facial.

Ideal for clarifying and detoxifying, the Prana Facial actively clears the skin. Our highly effective products works directly with the body to correct sebum imbalances and calm inflammation. Our unique massage technique stimulates circulation for deep healing.

Before Prana Facial Treatment

Before Prana Facial Treatment

After Prana Facial Treatment

After Prana Facial Treatment


Do you suffer from clogged pores, blemishes, or inflamed skin?

Then this facial is for you. Click here for more information and before and after pictures.

Duration: 50 minutes

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Organic Face Cream : Dangers of Parabens

July 15th, 2010

There is a lot of talk about the dangers of parabens, yet they are still being used as a preservative quite extensively in the skin care and cosmetics industry. When we read the reports carefully, however, most of the articles are short on facts but still strongly warn of dangers. Nonetheless, there is  scientific evidence of health risks associated with parabens that goes beyond the controversy and the loud talk.

My advice on the issue, is that avoiding parabens whenever possible is a good idea.

Researchers from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry of Brunel University in the UK conducted a study that found that the alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (that is, methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben) are weakly estrogenic. In other words, these preservatives have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body. They found butylparaben to be the most estrogenic. The study found that parabens can cause these adverse (oestrogenic) effects when injected under the skin of laboratory animals. The researchers believe that parabens that might be absorbed through the skin of pregnant women may act like an alien female hormone, affecting the development of the fetus, especially in regard to male fetuses’ future fertility. Professor John Sumpter, one of the researchers, wrote an article in The Independent where he expressed concerns that parabens may play a role in explaining why sperm counts have been falling in men and breast cancer in women is on the rise. However, the professor noted that the clinical results were based on animal studies only, and that human trials have not been done.

All Organic Apoteke products are free of parabens.

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Organic Face Cream : Ingredients to avoid

July 14th, 2010


When choosing an organic face cream or skincare product it is important to be aware of the ingredients within the product. Please look at labels carefully. Below is a list of ingredients that should be avoided.

Alcohol denat. (denatured alcohol): petrochemical by product. May cause contact dermatitis & chemical sensitivities.

Grain alcohol: causes dehydration and may cause contact dermatitis and chemical sensitivities.

Aluminum ingredients: skin irritants, can cause alzheimer’s, lung disease

Ammonium ingredients: toxic, carcinogenic

BHA & BHT: can cause cancer, encourages the breakdown of vitamins such as vitamin d, can cause lipid & cholesterol levels to increase, endocrine disrupter

Bismuth oxychloride: a synthetically prepared crystalline powder used in cosmetics as a filler, & to bind other ingredients. The powder has to be forced into the pores, resulting in clogged pores or irritated skin.

Coal tar & lake dyes: low-level exposure is linked to cancer, allergic reactions, nausea, fatigue & skin problems

Colorants (FD&C & other coal tar dyes): carcinogens, topical irritants, may cause acne & skin irritations, may contain aluminums, have caused tumors in rats, low-level exposure is linked to cancer

Cocamidopropyl betaine: contains a significant petroleum component & can cause serious irritation & allergenic response

DEA ingredients (all ingredients with dea after the first word): cancer

Dimethicone (& other methicone ingredients): cancer suspect. Caused tumors & mutation in lab animals

Dioxin: powerful hormone disrupting chemical linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, miscarriages & birth deformity. Stored in fat cells. Contained in sulfates that provide foaming action.

DMAE-dimethylaminoethanol: marketed as “face lift in a bottle,” however, what it does is temporarily paralyze the small muscles of the face, making it seem like wrinkles are less visible. No long term results of application are yet known

Idebenone: a synthetic analogue of coenzyme q10

Emulsifying waxes like cetyl or ceteryl alcohol : linked to the creation of free radicals & prostaglandin inhibitors

Formaldehyde: inability to inhibit the growth of acid producing bacteria & it’s implication in cancer

Fragrance: highly allergenic. Contains large quantities of toxins & chemicals not disclosed. Fragrance-free means that fragrance chemicals have been added to the product to mask the natural aromas of the ingredients

Glycerin: look for vegetable glycerin. Glycerin without the vegetable qualifier usually means petrochemical

Glycerol stearate: linked to the creation of free radicals & prostaglandin inhibitors

Hexane: very toxic solvent used to extract essential oils & botanicals

Hydroquinone: toxic, irritant, banned in europe, can cause hyper-pigmentation, skin bleacher

Imidazalidol urea: strong irritant, releases formaldehyde, toxic laureth family (ingredients with laureth, laurate or lauryl extensions): carcinogenic, skin irritants, may be contaminated with large amounts of toxins in manufacturing process, contains ammonium salts, mutagen, acne producing

Matrixyl: is a new polypeptide. It is said that matrixyl is at least as effective against wrinkles as retinol. It is said to work by “relaxing facial tension”, similarly to botox. We feel that repeatedly paralyzing the muscles can only sap their inherent strength.

Methylisothiazolinone: antimicrobial agent inhibits the development of particular neuron structures that are essential for transmitting signals between cells. Damaging to a developing nervous system

Octyl stearate: acne producing, contact dermatitis, allergic reactions

PABA: may cause formation of nitrosamines, cause photosensitivity (ironic)

Parabens: petrochemicals, estrogenic, carcinogenic, allergenic

Peg ingredients: carcinogenic, acne promoters, contact dermatitis

Petroleum (petrolatum, mineral oils, vaseline): acne producing, may be carcinogenic, causes long term dry skin, respiratory toxin

Phenonip: preservative blend of phenoxyethanol, methylparben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben & isobutylparaben

Phenoxyethanol: synthetic ether alcohol preservative. Can cause contactdermatitis.

Phthalates (esters of phthalic acid, such as dibutyl phthalate): derived from naphtalene, found in most conventional nail polishes, hair styling products, fragrances, squeezable plastics, soft plastic baby toys, baby wipes, & earphones of popular mp3 players. Dangerous when heated. Carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors that put you in higher risk for breast cancer, other hormone-related diseases, birth defects, allergies & testicular abnormalities in babies. May not be listed on products, hidden in ingredients such as synthetic fragrances & stabilisers.

PVP: widely used synthetic polymer, carcinogenic

Stearic acid or alcohol: carcinogens, skin irritants, comedogenic

Hydroxymethyl glycinate: releases formaldehyde, a known cancer agent

Talc: can contain asbestos, do not use on babies, linked to ovarian cancer, respiratory toxin

TEA ingredients (not tea, but rather ingredients with tea in front): severe irritants, can contain ammonium salts, eye irritant, sensitizer, carcinogenic

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Organic Face Cream : Hydration for Summer Skin

June 25th, 2010

Over the last few weeks we have had queries about the need to use an organic face cream or facial moisturiser during the summer.  While our skin tends to be less dry during the summer months, it is not advisable to forgo the use of a moisturiser during this period. You don’t want your skin to become dehydrated as this would just result in it producing more oil, thus affecting the overall sebum balance.

What you could do is use a lighter, gel like moisturiser that nourishes the skin and maintains its hydration without being too rich and greasy.

However for those with very dry skin, it is advisable to use a nourishing moisturiser, what you may do is only use your face cream once per day or morning only.

If you are extremely dry, what you may require over the summer is a hydrating face mist which you could spray onto the face throughout the day. Droseros is a certified organic facial spray which you can use under or over makeup. Infused with oxygen and rose wax it both nourishes and uplifts, exactly what you need to keep cool and hydrated during these long summer days.

Organic Moisturizer

Organic Moisturizer

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Organic Eye Cream : Treat dark under-eye circles

June 18th, 2010

What causes dark under-eye circles?

Dark under-eye circles begin with the capillaries around the eyes, these are the tiny blood vessels found in the delicate skin around the eyes. Capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Anything that causes damage to the delicate wall of these capillaries will cause the red blood cells to enter the surrounding tissue. This isn’t a problem – it happens all the time – and your body has a mechanism to mop up these red blood cells. Enzymes in your body break down these red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color). This is all fantastic, except for one thing: when hemoglobin is broken down, its remaining components have a dark blue-black color. Just like a bruise. So your dark under-eye circles are actually caused by leaky capillaries.

Dark under-eye circles are like bruises

When something hits you, blood vessels are traumatized and sometimes broken. Blood leaks out into the surrounding skin. Your body begins the mopping-up process, and you see a dark, purplish or blue-black discoloration. Dark under-eye circles are very similar to bruises because the same mechanisms produce them.

Why are dark under-eye circles so visible?

Capillaries all over your body are leaking small amounts of blood all the time, but are not very noticeable. The reason dark under-eye circles are so apparent is the skin around the eyes is the thinnest, skin of your entire body. The capillaries are therefore much closer to the surface of the skin there. The skin around the eye is not only thinner but also more translucent both making dark circle more visible.

The combination of capillaries near the skin’s surface and translucent skin makes this discoloration much more apparent. And that’s why you have those dark under-eye circles staring back at you in the mirror.

What makes dark under-eye circles more obvious?

Any damage to the under eye capillaries can aggravate the appearance of dark under-eye circles.  Allergic reactions may also cause capillary damage. Also there may be an underlying medical condition that results in capillaries being easily damaged. Speak to your medical practitioner about this.

What can you do to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles?

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Organic Face Cream : Ingredients to avoid – Read your organic skin care labels

June 16th, 2010

With skin care ingredients not being very well regulated, we find so many harmful chemicals finding their way into products we use daily. Even products that claim to be natural or organic can sometimes contain these harmful toxic ingredients.

Although the list is long here are a few of the worst offenders that definitely need to be avoided especially of the product claims to be a natural or organic face cream.

Diazolidinyl Urea

Used as an antiseptic in cosmetics. It may release formaldehyde, known to be highly toxic.

*Found in: body powders, cleansers and soaps, lotions and moisturizers, make-up and make-up removers, shampoo, shaving products, sunscreen.

Imidazolidinyl Urea

The second most commonly used preservative in personal care products (parabens are first). The American Academy of Dermatology recognizes it as a cause of contact dermatitis. Formaldehyde release is a hazard of this chemical. The CIR Expert Panel is reassessing its safety.

*Found in: baby and other shampoos, bath and body oils body powders, colognes and other fragrances, lotions and moisturizers, makeup, permanent waves, and rinses.

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Extensively used for its emulsifying and foaming properties. Associated with allergic reactions and eye irritation. The combination of DEA and DEA-related ingredients is associated with cancer in lab animals. The FDA is currently investigating this link.

Triethanolamine(TEA)

Used as a detergent and dispersing agent. There is high sensitivity to its use. Prolonged contact is particularly irritating. Toxic to lab animals. The CIR Expert Panel recommends use only in small, concentrations, not to exceed over 5%. They also recommend limiting it to rinse off products, such as shampoo. However, some hand and body lotions include it. Combining TEA with nitrates results in cancer-causing nitrosamines.

*DEA and TEA are found in: bath powders, lotions, shaving creams, shampoos, and soaps.

Parabens: Ethyl, Butyl, Methyl, Propyl, and Parahydroxybenzoate

Parabens are the second most common ingredient in skin care products … water is first. The most widely used preservatives in the United States, they may cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions.

Studies show they possess mild estrogen-like qualities. Preliminary research uncovered parabens in human breast cancer tumors. This does not prove a causal relationship, however. Parabens are ubiquitous. They are an estimated 75-90% of all personal care products. Even many so called “natural” and some organic skin care products contain parabens (check labels!).

There is a gradual phase out of these preservatives occurring in the natural skin care industry. Preservatives are essential. However, there are all natural, nontoxic preservatives that are both safe and effective.

*Found in: baby preparations, cleansers, deodorants, eye-products, lotions and moisturizers, make-up, personal lubricants, nail products, shampoos and other hair products, and sunscreens.

Petrolatum

Also known as petroleum jelly. Purified petroleum is common to moisturizers and other cosmetic products. It forms an oily layer on the skin that prevents moisture evaporation. It purportedly smooths and moisturizers skin, but often has the opposite effect. It causes allergic reactions in some. Manufactures love petrolatum because it is very inexpensive (read: a cheap addition for manufacturers).

*Found in: baby creams, conditioners, creams and moisturizers, makeup, nail products, and wax depilatories.

Propylene Glycol

This is the most common moisture-carrying ingredient, excluding water itself, in personal care products. Extensively used in makeup. It is known to elicit allergic reactions, including hives, and is associated with eczema. Safer glycols are gradually replacing propylene glycol. The CIR Expert Panel maintains its safety in concentrations up to 50%.

*Found in: antiperspirants and deodorants, baby lotions, hair strengtheners, moisturizers, mouthwashes, shaving products, sunscreens, and stick perfumes.

PVP/VA Copolymer

Considered toxic. Some individuals develop thesaurosis, which is foreign bodies in the lung, due to inhalation of PVP in hairspray. Rats ingested intravenously with PVP developed tumors.

*Found largely in: bronzers, eye makeup, and hair products.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

A detergent, emulsifier, and wetting agent. It is drying and often irritating to skin. Associated with eczema. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology states this chemical has a “degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties” and that “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.” The CIR Expert Panel is reassessing it for safety.

*Found in: bubble baths, emollient creams, cream depilatories, hand lotions, permanent waves, shampoos, soaps, and toothpastes.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Acts as a water softener and a foaming and wetting agent. Often in products designed for mildness, such as baby shampoos. Yet it leads to eye and skin irritation in some. The CIR Panel is reexamining its position on this chemical also.

*Found in: shampoos, including baby shampoos.

Stearalkonium Chloride

The Fabric industry developed this as a fabric softener. It softens hair, allowing easier combing. Known to cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Considered toxic. CIR Expert Panel is reassessing for safety guidelines.

*Found in: hair conditioners and creams.

Synthetic colors

Unlike most ingredients used by the industry, synthetic colors are regulated by the FDA. Yet, most are derived from coal tar. Many people are allergic to coal tar. Of greater significance is the association of coal tar and cancer. Most all coal tars cause cancer when subcutaneously injected in lab mice. In fact, many formerly approved colors are now banned in the US because of recognized carcinogenic properties.

Used in a large variety of personal care products, most notably hair dyes. What color is that drugstore shampoo … neon green anyone? Nontoxic all natural skincare products, as opposed to traditional skin care, rely on botanical ingredients for subtle color. This is one of the reasons that Organic Apoteke products vary in color, we are dependent on the combined colors of the natural ingredients we use which vary due to weather conditions and the plants unique manufacturing facility.

Synthetic Fragrances

There may be up to 200 ingredients encompassed by the term “fragrance”. Furthermore, manufactures are not required to disclose actual ingredients in their formulas. They receive protection for such proprietary formulas. Reactions to fragrance in personal care include: coughing, dizziness, headaches, hyper-pigmentation, rash, skin irritation, and vomiting.

I can personally vouch for hyper-pigmentation. I have seen unsightly brown spots on necks of many patients which disappeared when they stopped applying perfume there.

*Synthetic fragrances lurk in the majority of traditional personal care products. Even many so called natural products use synthetic fragrance. To be safe, look for 100% “all natural skin care products.” Natural essential oils are the ideal fragrance.

Organic Apoteke products do not contain any of the above ingredients.

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Organic Face Cream : Rejuvenating Face Cream is back in stock

June 15th, 2010

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to our loyal customers for being so patient. The Rejuvenating Face Cream which was voted “best organic face cream” by Healthy magazine is now back in stock.  All those on the waiting list (and there are many of you)  please bear with us,  you should receive your organic face cream within the next few days.

For those waiting to place their orders, please do so as soon as possible. Our products are hand made in small batches to ensure freshness and efficacy. And although we plan ahead to reduce stock outs and shortages, we have been overwhelmed with the demand for this organic face cream. We are therefore limiting orders of the Rejuvenating Face Cream  to 3 units per customer.

We do apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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Organic Eye Cream : Preventing Bags under the eyes

June 10th, 2010

Skin loses some of its elasticity with age, and muscles within the eyelids lose tone causing what is known as bags under the eyes or puffiness. In addition fat can build up in the eyelid and fluids can accumulate and cause swelling. Puffiness around the eyes can also be caused by allergies or excessive salt consumption. Smoking as well can aggravate this problem.

Here are a few quick tips to help reduce under eye bags or puffiness.

Avoid drinking fluids before bed.

Avoid monosodium glutamate and reduce your salt intake.

Do not smoke and reduce second hand smoke.

Get plenty of sleep

Apply a chilled gel compress or a washcloth soaked in iced water over the eyes. Cold cucumber slices also work. The cold shrinks the swollen blood vessels.

For long term prevention, use eye creams that strengthen the skin and help build the collagen and elastin around the eye area. Eye creams containing bilberry help strengthen the blood vessels and tone veins which prevent puffiness.

Organic Apoteke sells an anti aging organic eye cream containing bilberry that targets under eye puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles and fine lines.

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Organic Eye Cream for Men

June 9th, 2010

Organic Eye Cream for Men

Organic Eye Cream for Men

Since the post “Organic Eye Cream :  When should you start using an eye cream?” went out yesterday, we have had a flurry of emails with questions and many of these came from men.

In response:

While men do tend to have thicker facial skin with a higher density of sebaceous glands, the skin around their eyes is thin. Therefore men do need to use an eye cream twice daily, morning and evening from as early as possible. If you start in your teenage years its best, but its never too late to prevent further damage.

Because men have thicker skin on their face, they tend not to develop the fine lines that women do. This makes it all the more important to use a good organic eye cream as the area around the eyes is generally the first area where lines and wrinkles develop.

Guys, this can give your age away.

When choosing a good organic eye cream, the same rules apply for both men and women. Choose an eye cream with a nourishing gel like consistency. Heavy and thick creams can make the eyes appear puffy. Ensure the eye cream is alcohol free, even organic alcohol should be avoided. For added benefits use an eye cream that contain ingredients like bilberry and eyebright.

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Organic Eye Cream : When should you start using an Eye Cream?

June 8th, 2010

One question I get asked very often by younger customers is “when should they start using an eye cream?”. There seems to be a misconception that you only need to use and eye cream in your thirties or when the first fine lines begin to appear. The answer is, at that stage its already a bit late. The skin around the eyes is extremely thin and it also does not have the benefit of underlying muscle to hold it taught. Hence it needs all the help it can get. You need to use an eye cream from as early as possible. Choose a good organic eye cream that is nourishing but light in consistency.  Thick and heavy eye creams can do more damage than good in this delicate area.

Organic Eye Cream

Organic Eye Cream

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