Archive for the ‘Organic Apoteke Product Information’ Category

Gray Hair Could Be Reversed

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Gray hairs are the aftermath of a battle that our bodies wage every single day.

On one hand, there are antioxidants (comprised of vitamins, proteins and enzymes), which protect our body against cellular deterioration. While on the other hand are the pro-oxidants (or free radicals). From pollution and smoking to deficient diets plus a lack of or excessive exercise, a build-up of those pro-oxidants cause an imbalance inside the body, known as oxidative stress.

So how does oxidative stress cause hair to go gray?

Each tiny follicle on your head is involved in a dynamic hair growth cycle, during which the follicle is either in a stage of growth (the anagen stage), in a period of rest (the telogen stage) or in a interval between the both (the catagen stage).

The anagen stage can be divided into half-dozen distinct processes. For the purpose of gray hair and oxidative stress, we focus on anagen stage III and anagen stage IV.

Hair follicle melanocytes (specialized cells which directly manage the pigment of one’s hair) achieve their peak anagen stage III. As the melanocytes proliferate, they become aligned inside the foundation of the hair follicle bulb and start the transition to anagen stage IV, which marks the hair pigmentation process.

Based on biomedical and pathology researcher within the UK, US and Germany, oxidative stress directly impacts melanocyte development through the anagen stage III process. An excess of pro-oxidants accumulates inside the papilla cavity kills off the melanocytes. There are no longer any melanocytes to pigment the hair, resulting in the gray hair strand.

However: Don’t resign your self to gray hair just yet. Although graying may seem final, it stands to reason that if oxidative stress can lead to melanocyte death, then the reduction of oxidative stress can allow these specialized cells to re-emerge and kick-start the hair pigmentation process all over again.

Hair Follicle

Hair Follicle

– gray hair may be reversed. There is ongoing research on how this may be achieved and I am hopeful that solutions will be shortly available.

[ C. E. CROSS, B. HALLIWELL, E. T. BORISH, W. A. PRYOR, B. N. AMES, R. L. SAUL, J. M. McCORD, and D. HARMAN. “Oxygen Radicals and Human Disease.” Ann Intern Med, October 1, 1987; 107(4): 526 - 545.]

[TOBIN DJ, SLOMINSKI A, BOTCHKAREV V et all (1999). “The Fate of Hair Follicle Melanocytes During the Hair Growth Cycle.” J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc 4.323-332.]

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

Wednesday, 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 Eye Cream : Preventing Bags under the eyes

Thursday, 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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Natural & Organic Skincare : Sunscreens exposed by the EWG

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Sunscreens prevent sunburns, but beyond that simple fact surprisingly little is known about the safety and efficacy of these ubiquitous creams and sprays. FDA’s failure to finalize its 1978 sunscreen safety standards both epitomizes and perpetuates this state of confusion. EWG’s review of the latest research unearthed troubling facts that might tempt you to give up on sunscreens altogether. That’s not the right answer – despite the unknowns about their efficacy, public health agencies still recommend using sunscreens, just not as your first line of defense against the sun. At EWG we use sunscreens, but we look for shade, wear protective clothing and avoid the noontime sun before we smear on the cream. Here are the surprising facts:

1. There’s no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration’s 2007 draft sunscreen safety regulations say: “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” (FDA 2007). The International Agency for Research on Cancer agrees. IARC recommends clothing, hats and shade as primary barriers to UV radiation and writes that “sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun” (IARC 2001a). Read more.

2. There’s some evidence that sunscreens might increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer for some people.

Some researchers have detected an increased risk of melanoma among sunscreen users. No one knows the cause, but scientists speculate that sunscreen users stay out in the sun longer and absorb more radiation overall, or that free radicals released as sunscreen chemicals break down in sunlight may play a role. One other hunch: Inferior sunscreens with poor UVA protection that have dominated the market for 30 years may have led to this surprising outcome. All major public health agencies still advise using sunscreens, but they also stress the importance of shade, clothing and timing.

3. There are more high SPF products than ever before, but no proof that they’re better.

In 2007 the FDA published draft regulations that would prohibit companies from labeling sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) higher than “SPF 50+.” The agency wrote that higher values were “inherently misleading,” given that “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful…” (FDA 2007). Scientists are also worried that high-SPF products may tempt people to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburns (a late, key warning of overexposure) while upping the risks of other kinds of skin damage.

Flaunting FDA’s proposed regulation, companies substantially increased their high-SPF offerings in 2010. Nearly one in six products now lists SPF values higher than 50, compared to only one in eight the year before, according to EWG’s analysis of nearly 500 beach and sport sunscreens. Neutrogena, with six products labeled “SPF 100,” and Banana Boat, with four, stand out among the offenders.

4. Too little sun might be harmful, reducing the body’s vitamin D levels.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that sunshine serves a critical function in the body that sunscreen appears to inhibit — production of vitamin D. The main source of vitamin D in the body is sunshine, and the compound is enormously important to health – it strengthens bones and the immune system, reduces the risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers) and regulates at least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body. (Mead 2008) Over the last two decades, vitamin D levels in the U.S. population have been decreasing steadily, creating a “growing epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency” (Ginde 2009a). Seven of every 10 U.S. children now have low levels. Those most likely to be deficient include children who are obese or who spend more than four hours daily in front of the TV, computer or video games (Kumar 2009).

Experts disagree on the solution. The American Medical Association has recommended 10 minutes of direct sun (without sunscreen) several times a week (AMA 2008), while the American Academy of Dermatology holds that “there is no scientifically validated, safe threshold level of UV exposure from the sun that allows for maximal vitamin D synthesis without increasing skin cancer risk” (AAD 2009). Vitamin D supplements are the alternative, but there is debate over the proper amount. The Institute of Medicine has launched new research to reassess the current guidelines. In the meantime, your doctor can test your vitamin D levels and give advice on sunshine versus supplements.

5. The common sunscreen ingredient vitamin A may speed the development of cancer.

Recently available data from an FDA study indicate that a form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions (NTP 2009). This evidence is troubling because the sunscreen industry adds vitamin A to 41 percent of all sunscreens.

The industry puts vitamin A in its formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. That may be true for lotions and night creams used indoors, but FDA recently conducted a study of vitamin A’s photocarcinogenic properties, the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight. Scientists have known for some time that vitamin A can spur excess skin growth (hyperplasia), and that in sunlight it can form free radicals that damage DNA (NTP 2000).

In FDA’s one-year study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent sooner in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream (at a concentration of 0.5%) than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream. Both groups were exposed to the equivalent of just nine minutes of maximum intensity sunlight each day.

It’s an ironic twist for an industry already battling studies on whether their products protect against skin cancer. The FDA data are preliminary, but if they hold up in the final assessment, the sunscreen industry has a big problem. In the meantime, EWG recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens with vitamin A (look for “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol” on the label).

6. Free radicals and other skin-damaging byproducts of sunscreen.

Both UV radiation and many common sunscreen ingredients generate free radicals that damage DNA and skin cells, accelerate skin aging and cause skin cancer. An effective sunscreen prevents more damage than it causes, but sunscreens are far better at preventing sunburn than at limiting free radical damage. While typical SPF ratings for sunburn protection range from 15 to 50, equivalent “free radical protection factors” fall at only about 2. When consumers apply too little sunscreen or reapply it infrequently, behaviors that are more common than not, sunscreens can cause more free radical damage than UV rays on bare skin.

7. Pick your sunscreen: nanomaterials or potential hormone disruptors.

The ideal sunscreen would completely block the UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours and not form harmful ingredients when degraded by UV light. It would smell and feel pleasant so that people use it in the right amount and frequency.

Unsurprisingly, there is currently no sunscreen that meets all of these criteria. The major choice in the U.S. is between “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone systems, and “mineral” sunscreens (zinc and titanium), which often contain micronized- or nano-scale particles of those minerals.

After reviewing the evidence, EWG determined that mineral sunscreens have the best safety profile of today’s choices. They are stable in sunlight and do not appear to penetrate the skin. They offer UVA protection, which is sorely lacking in most of today’s sunscreen products. Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) is another good option, but it’s sold in very few formulations. Tinosorb S and M could be great solutions but are not yet available in the U.S. For consumers who don’t like mineral products, we recommend sunscreens with avobenzone (3 percent for the best UVA protection) and without the notorious hormone disruptors oxybenzone or 4-MBC. Scientists have called for parents to avoid using oxybenzone on children due to penetration and toxicity concerns.

8. Europe’s better sunscreens.

Sunscreen makers and users in Europe have more options than in the United States. In Europe, sunscreen makers can select from among 27 chemicals for their formulations, compared to 17 in the U.S. Companies selling in Europe can add any of seven UVA filters to their products, but have a choice of only three when they market in the U.S. European sunscreens could earn FDA’s proposed four-star top rating for UVA protection, while the best U.S. products would earn only three stars. Sunscreen chemicals approved in Europe but not by the FDA provide up to five times more UVA protection; U.S. companies have been waiting five years for FDA approval to use the same compounds. Last but not least, Europeans will find many sunscreens with strong (mandatory) UVA protection if proposed regulations in Europe are finalized. Under FDA’s current proposal, Americans will not.

9. The 33rd summer in a row without final U.S. sunscreen safety regulations.

In the United States, consumer protection has stalled because of the FDA’s 32-year effort to set enforceable guidelines for consumer protection. EWG has found a number of serious problems with existing products, including overstated claims about their perfomance and inadequate UVA protection. Many of these will be remedied when the FDA’s proposed sunscreen rule takes effect. But even after the rule is enacted, gaps will remain. FDA does not consider serious toxicity concerns such as hormone disruption when approving new sun filters, and the new rules would fail to measure sunscreen stability despite ample evidence that many products break down quickly in sunlight.

To read more, please link to EWG

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Natural and Organic Skin Care: Harmful ingredients in Sunscreens – Oxybenzone

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is highlighting a study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) alleging risks associated with the sunsceen ingredient oxybenzone.

The organisation estimates that 97 percent of Americans it tested for the study were contaminated by the ingredient, which has been linked to allergies such as hormone disruption and cell damage.

The organisation also says that a companion study published just a few days earlier also links the chemical to low birth weight in baby girls, whose mothers are exposed to the chemical during pregnancy.

Oxybenzone is a chemical compound derived from benzophenone and is used in a wide spectrum of sunscreen products as a means of absorbing potentially dangerous UVA rays.

However, concerns brought about by earlier scientific studies have led authorities in the EU to regulate that any sunscreen product containing a more than 5 percent dose of oxybenzone should be labelled accordingly.

This is because studies have shown that the oxybenzone can penetrate the skin’s dermal layer, where it can increase production of free radicals, leading to the production of photocarinogen.

Currently there are no such regulations in place in the United States.

Currently over 900 sunscreen products use the chemical

Please use this link to view the list of products containing oxybenzone.

The group actually names key sunscreen brands, including Olay, L’oreal, Hawaiin Tropical, Coopertone and Banana Boat, which all contain the chemical.

“The Food and Drug Administration has failed miserably in its duty to protect the public from toxic chemicals like oxybenzone in personal care products,” the EWG said in a statement.

The statement also accused the FDA of delaying final sunscreen safety standards for nearly thirty years because of the interests of industry lobbyists.

Organic Apoteke products are free of oxybenzone.

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Herbal Skin Care : Use an Organic Facial Cleanser after a Good Sunscreen

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

As summer grows  warmer and the sun beckons, we start heaping on the sunscreen. Wonderful all round.

Only think about your pores under the protective barrier of the sunscreen.  Sunscreen in its very essence, provides a barrier between your skin and the harmful UVA and UVB rays. This barrier in as much as it functions to protect the skin also traps oils and sebum into the pores. This is especially so when you slather on multiple layers of sunscreen when tanning.  In fact tanning is doubly disadvantageous for the pores as the sun stimulates higher levels of sebum production and the sunscreen prevents this sebum from exiting pores.  This can result in spots and breakouts. The last thing you want to ruin your beautiful summer skin.

CleanseThe secret is, to wash your face with a deep cleansing organic facial cleanser following the use of sunscreen. Use a cleanser that is designed to deep clean pores, thus removing all the trapped sebum and impurities. The Active Face Cleanse Gel is one such cleanser. However because these cleaners contain ingredients that stimulate pores to remove the impurities from deep within, they need to be followed with a great toner. Preferably one that contains healing and soothing ingredients.

Be sure to keep your flawless summer glow by cleansing with an organic facial cleanser.

Organic Facial Cleanser that deep cleans to prevent breakouts and blackheads

Organic Facial Cleanser that deep cleans to prevent breakouts and blackheads

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Herbal Skin Care : Flavonoids

Friday, May 28th, 2010

It is the constituents found in herbs or plants that give them their main actions and make herbal skin care effective. Here is a brief introduction to an important plan constituent, the flavonoids.

Flavonoids

This term refers to commonly occurring vitamin-like substances that are necessary for a wide range of functions in the body. They are present in many fruit and vegetable: lemons are a good source and give the fruit or vegetable their distinct flavor. Flavonoids are frequently found in remedies that help circulation.

Flavonoids are used in natural skincare to increase circulation for the same reasons given above. Some Flavonoids are also powerful anti-oxidants that reduce free radical damage in the skin cells.

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Herbal Skin Care : Cruelty Free & Natural Skin Care

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
say NO to animal testing

say NO to animal testing

Organic Apoteke uses Food-safe ingredients. We do not test on animals.

Our products are tested on healthy human volunteers.  We know our customers prefer this. Would you not prefer products that are tested on human skin? Or even better, products that are proven effective on human skin?

All Organic Apoteke products are certified organic by ECOCERT. We are also certified by the Vegetarian Society. Our products are not tested on animals, nor do we use ingredients from animal slaughter.

Our mission statement is “First do no Harm

  • No harm to the animals
  • No harm to the environment
  • No harm to you
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Natural Skin Care : Organic facial cleanser for men

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
A balanced, deep cleansing natural face wash is the first step in any acne treatment

A balanced, deep cleansing natural face wash is the first step in any acne treatment

After much nagging from my wife about the so called toxic dumps (blackheads) and volcano’s (open pores) on my face, which would erupt to produce ash  clouds far more disruptive than we are currently experiencing, I  finally gave Active Face Cleanse Gel a try.  And guy’s don’t tell my wife, but I just love it. I have had oily skin all my life with breakouts a common occurrence. I assumed that was how it had to be. Some guys looked like Brad Pit and some like an oil rig. Either way you just had to live with it. I have now been educated…. I have been using the Active Face Cleanse Gel before I shave, to clean out my pores and ensure my skin is fresh and tingling. And my skin looks pretty good, even if I have to say so myself.

I was once rushing and applied the Active Face Cleanse Gel and instead of rinsing off, I  shaved. What do you know, it worked really well as a shave gel. Hey PRESTO, no need for shaving gel. It gave me a fanstastic clean shave and my skin felt so fresh and oil free throughout the day.

MONEY SAVING TIP: if you get your partner to buy this product, then you can experience its benefits for free. Or if you are feeling generous, you buy it and share . It will definitely earn you brownie points.

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Age and Ageing : The Solution

Friday, May 21st, 2010

You may have observed how frequently our concept of age needs readjustment. Just found a great paper by Hayslip and Panek (1993) who categorise age in a number of different ways.

Chronological Age:

The length of time since birth which forms the basis of many peoples views on how ‘young’ or ‘old’ they are. But this can be contrasted with biological age.

Biological Age:

This is the physical age of ones body. If a healthy diet and exercise is maintained, body organs and processes may appear to be those of a much younger chronological age. The opposite also applies.

Social Age:

This is defined by the habits, behaviours, interests and attitudes of a person. People in their sixties may share the attitudes and interests of their children and identify with people with chronological ages of 20 to 30.  Ever heard the expression ‘young at heart’. Act young, be young.

Psychological Age:

This refers to our adaptive behaviours and the way we cope with situations. If you do not become fixed in your attitudes and are able to change and adapt to different situations your psychological age may be that of an adventurous twenty something.

Trying to describe age is subjective. Hence the concept of functional age has come into favour. Functional age is obtained by measuring performance on the above four  ranges.  This is a useful way of thinking about age as it defines us in our actual ability rather than how long we have been alive.

Can you calculate your functional age? The good thing with this, is you can take steps to improve it. Lets share some ideas on how to improve functional age. Using great, natural or herbal skin care products definitely fits into that plan.

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