Monday, June 24, 2019

Lipstick: Is lipstick safe? Is lipstick edible? Choose a Safer Lipstick!

We love our lipsticks with all their fabulous colors and finishes. But, what's in lipstick? Is it actually safe to eat because, let's face it, we eat off our lipstick everyday. Then, we reapply it and eventually, eat it off again! 

beautycounter color intense lipstick 9 to 5
have read that a women can eat up to 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. That's a frightening thought!!! I think we all need to wipe our lipstick off before we eat! 

I have always been concerned about cosmetic ingredients and refuse to use a product that has been tested on animals. I am a label reader in the grocery stores and in the beauty stores. I try to use healthier cosmetics, but I have to admit, I get caught up in the latest trends and sometimes lose my focus on the ingredients.

I have decided that I need to use high quality clean beauty products that are guaranteed to have safer ingredients and are not tested on animals, of course.  I have a brand to recommend for you after we talk about what shouldn't be in your lipstick.

Let's have a look at some of the not so healthy chemicals that are found in many lipsticks

Parabens:  Buytl, Ethyl, Methyl, Isobutyl, Propyl
The parabens are a class a of synthetic antioxidant compounds used as preservatives used in human foods, animal foods, cosmetics and medicines. Parabens are known to cause allergic reactions and disrupt hormone function mimicing estrogen. Methylparaben may interact with UVB  when applied to the skin resulting in skin damage and skin cancer. Parabens become an environmental contaminant when they are washed off the body and enter waste water. Many, but not all, cosmetic companies are now removing parabens from their products. The European Union banned parabens in 2012. Oddly enough, I have recently read methylparaben on the ingredient list of popular brand of sunscreen.

Butylated hydroxyanisole is the cousin of BHT.  It is a synthetic antioxidant compound produced in labs used as a preservative in human foods, animal foods, cosmetics and medicines and is a possible carcinogen. It is listed as a carcinogen in California and is a hormone disruptor. "They" say the low concentration used in cosmetics and is not harmful. (not to be confused with BHA standing for beta hydroxy acid)

Butylated Hydroxytoluene is the cousin of BHA. It also is a synthetic antioxidant compound produced in labs used as a preservative in human foods, animal foods, cosmetics and medicines. It is also known as dibutylatedhydroxytoluene. It can be absorbed by the skin. It has been shown to have tumor promoting effects, have toxic effects on the lungs and kidneys plus, disrupt hormones. "They" say the low concentration used in cosmetics and food is not harmful. 

Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, aka Tert Butylhydroquinone is another synthetic antioxidant compound similar to BHA and BHT.  TBHQ actually forms when the body metabolizes BHA according to Healthline. It is mainly used as a food preservative but can be used in cosmetics as well."They" say the low concentration used in cosmetics and food is not harmful.  

Some people, especially children, have adverse reactions to BHT, BHA and TBHQ including increased ADHD symptoms, asthma, dermatitis, eye problems, headaches, joint pain, stomach problems and weight gain.

Click here to read the Food can make you ill antioxidants book

"They" say the amount of these preservatives used in a cosmetic product are so small that they are safe. "They" also say the amounts used in foods are so small that they are safe. So between the all bath, body care, facial skincare and makeup products you apply to yourself plus the food you eat, there can be a lot of paraben, BHT, BHA and TBHQ  in your life. 

Have a look at the cereal you eat for breakfast. Read the label. BHT could be in there.

food label cereal

How about some cheese and crackers for lunch? Better check the label on those crackers!

food label crackers

Popcorn is a healthy snack, right? TBHQ may be in there!
food label popcorn

Who doesn't love a Pop Tart? My kids would get mad when I wouldn't buy them. They were only allowed to have the natural brand versions with healthier ingredients. They got to eat the real thing at other peoples houses! Sorry, this label is in Spanish but you can still see the TBHQ  listed.

food label poptarts

Rice Krispies Treats are yummy but don't buy them prepared in the box. Make them yourself to avoid dangerous preservatives.

food label rice krispies treats

Those are just a few examples. Those safe small amounts of preservatives in your cosmetics and your food sure add up as you go through the day, don't they? You must read ingredient labels to avoid harmful preservatives. 

Now, preservatives are necessary in cosmetics and prepared food to keep them fresh for an extended period of time, There are safer antioxidants that can be used including tocopherols, Vitamin C and certain essential oils.

Okay, now that we talked about preservatives in your lipstick and elsewhere, let's talk about other unsafe ingredients that could be lurking in your lipstick!

Lead and other Heavy Metals
I've heard this and did a post on lead in lipstick a few years back. It's true. Lead can be in lipstick particularly in dark shades that have red in them. Browns, reds, burgundys, maroons, wines and plums. 

Lead is not added in on purpose. Lead and other heavy metals are contaminants in the pigments used in cosmetics. Iron oxides is a natural pigment commonly used in lipstick. It is mined from the earth and can have naturally occurring lead mix in it. The amounts are small in lipsticks but still, it is lead in lipstick. 

Many companies do their best to use purified pigments to reduce the lead content to a trace amount. They routinely test their products to check the lead levels.

Click here to read more about lead in lipstick

Many of you are familiar with saccharin. Sodium saccharin is an artificial sweetener used to sweeten foods, beverages and medicines. It can also be found in lipstick. Some people can be allergic to saccharin resulting in headaches, breathing problems, gastrointestinal problems and skin issues. It also may disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut.

So what's a gal to do? Ditch the lipstick? No Way! Luckily, we have choices. There are many lipstick brands using safer ingredients that are high performing and luxurious. Buy your cosmetics from these companies and you will be not have to be paranoid about what's in your products.

Beautycounter is a brand I have recently become familiar with. I have tried a few of their products and they are top quality! Their mission is "to get safer products into the hands of everyone". I like that mission! Let me tell you about the lipstick I tried.

beautycounter color intense lipstick 9 to 5
Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick Review

I recently tried Beautycounter's Color Intense Lipstick in the shade 9 to 5. It's a medium mauve with a luminous finish. It's a good color for my medium beige skin tone.
beautycounter color intense lipstick 9-5
It goes on smooth and creamy. It is moist and feels good on my lips. I love the peppermint oil it has in it! It smells divine and reminds me of the smell of the original Aveda lipstick when it first came out in the 1980s. It is a soft fresh scent of peppermint. I don't taste it.

I find it has very good coverage and lots of pigment as the name Color Intense implies. I find it wears well in fact, I still have some on after eating. 

The lipstick tube is a nice solid quality. This lipstick tube won't be cracking and falling apart like some cheap ones do. 

Watch How to Make a Lipstick Lid out of Duct Tape!

Of course, Beautycounter is known for using safer ingredients so I don't need to worry about what's in this lipstick. Here is the ingredient label:
beautycounter lipstick ingrdients

As far as lead contamination, Beautycounter has set their allowable amount of lead limits at or below the strictest international guidance on unacceptable of trace levels of heavy metal impurities in cosmetics. They screen all of their color cosmetics for heavy metals and are doing their best to reach non-detectable heavy metal levels when possible.

Beautycounter products are manufactured in the United States and Italy.

There are eight colors available in the Color Intense Lipstick line. All of them have a flattering satin finish.

Brunch- a tawny pink
Backstage- a beige pink
9 to 5- a luminous mauve
First Date- a rosey pink
Garden Party- a bright pink
Girls' Night Out- a classic red
Little Black Dress- a neutral berry
Twilight- a bright berry

They're so pretty. They are currently selling for $34.00 each. A little expensive but you know you're getting a high quality luxury lipstick.

Always avoid harmful chemicals in foods and cosmetics whenever possible. Read product labels and buy from brands that use safer ingredients.

Shop for healthier nail polish

Have a Beautiful Healthy Day! 

Licensed Esthetician, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

 I am available to help you with your special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care needs if you live in the Philadelphia, Pa. area.

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I receive a small commission that keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Wasp Sting: Reaction, Treatment, Remedy and Black Dot from a Wasp Sting

wasp in garden
Have you ever been stung by a wasp? I never have been until just the other day! Let me tell you about my experience. It may help you if you ever get stung.

The Sting
I was minding my own business on the Friday morning of Memorial Day Weekend getting ready for work in my bathroom when I felt a burning sensation on my hand. I looked down to see a black wasp stinging my hand! I swatted it to the floor and covered it with the trash can so that I could tend to my wound. I can't believe I got stung in my own house! Who knows how it got in. You can bet I'm on the lookout all the time now!

First, I washed the area with soap and cold water the remove as much wasp venom as possible. Then, I got my powdered kaolin clay mask out, mixed with water and plastered it on the stung area. Kaolin is a white clay that has strong drawing power. It's a great mask to use on acne breakouts and mosquito bites because of it's drawing properties.
powdered clay mask
By this time, that nasty wasp had crawled out from under the trash can. I used my favorite bug weapon, hairspray, to disable her. I love a good multi purpose beauty product, don't you?! A quick flush of the toilet removed any further threat. I refer to the wasp as her because apparently, only female wasps have stingers.

I went about my routine of getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup all the while worrying that my hand would be swollen and sore. I read about how bad a wasp sting can be. I had a full day scheduled at the salon with manicures, pedicures, waxings and facials and I didn't want to have to cancel anyone. My clients would be very unhappy to not look polished and hairless for the Memorial Day Weekend!

My husband asked if I was allergic to wasps. I said I didn't know, I was never stung by a wasp before. Great, another thing to worry about!

I rinsed the mask off which revealed a black dot where the wasp had stung me. Now I was worried that the stinger was still in there. I scrapped it with a plastic gift card to remove a stinger like you would do with a bee sting but the dot remained. You know you should never grab the stinger that is stuck in your skin from a bee with your fingers to remove it because squeezing it will force more venom into the skin. 

black dot from wasp sting
A quick consult with google informed me the wasps don't loose their stingers and can sting repeatedly!!! I'm really glad that hairspray was right at my fingertips! So what was that black dot? Was it a blood spot? Was it a bruise? Was it some kind a stain from the sting? I couldn't find any answers on the internet.
clay mask on wasp sting
I reapplied my clay mask to continue absorbing the toxin from the skin. I think it worked beautifully at absorbing the wasp venom from my hand because the sting pinched and burned but not very much. Plus, the swelling was very localized. A cold gel pack we keep in the freezer helped to cool the sting down.
cold gel pack
I headed to work. We use a wonderful clay mask called Yon-Ka Masque 103 during our facials.
yonka masque 103
It contains three types of clay, montmorillonite, bentonite and kaolin along with castor oil, lavender, geranium, rosemary, cypress and thyme. It's just perfect for drawing out toxins and soothing wounded skin. Masque 105 is the dry skin formula. Masque 103 is the oily skin formula.

I find the Masque 103 to be more soothing than my straight kaolin mask due to the oils it contains. I do think my powdered kaolin mask was perfect for drawing out the venom when the sting first happened, though. 

I used the Yon-Ka all day long while I worked. When it would dry, I would spray it with another magic skin care product, Lotion Yon-Ka, to re-moisten the mask and soothe the skin. The mask was on the sting consistently for about 10 hours.

Yon-Ka Masque 103 ingredients: water, montmorillonite, bentonite, kaolin, glycerin, PEG-35 castor oil, lavender oil, geranium leaf oil, rosemary leaf oil, cypress oil, thyme flower/leaf oil, orange oil, lemon peel oil, lime oil, sage oil, wild thyme extract, borneol, chlorphenesin, citric acid, limonene, linalool.

Yon-Ka Masque 105 ingredients: water, montmorillonite, bentonite, kaolin, glycerin,   lavender oil, geranium leaf oil, rosemary leaf oil, cypress oil, thyme flower/leaf oil, PEG-35 castor oil, lemon peel oil, savory extract, borneol, chlorphenesin, citric acid, limonene, linalool.

lotion yonka
Lotion Yon-Ka is called a lotion but it's a toner with antiseptic properties that comes in two formulas, one for normal to oily skin types and one for dry skin types. The norm/oily skin formula is a bit more concentrated so it is my choice for treating a skin issue such as sun burn, an insect bite or a sting.

Lotion Yon-Ka normal to oily skin toner ingredients: water, PEG-35 caster oil, lavender oil, geranium leaf oil, rosemary leaf oil, cypress oil, thyme flower/leaf oil, chlorohexidine digluconate, sodium benzoate, linalool, citronellol, geraniol, limolene, coumarin, citral.

Lotion Yon-Ka dry skin ingredients: water, glycerin, PEG-35 caster oil, lavender oil, geranium leaf oil, rosemary leaf oil, cypress oil, thyme flower/leaf oil, red 40 Cl16035, chlorohexidine digluconate, linalool, citronellol, geraniol, limolene, coumarin.

As for the black dot, my clients and co workers didn't know what it was either since wasps don't lose their stingers.
black mark from wasp sting
I made it through the day just fine without having to cancel anyone. Everyone was beautified for the weekend. My hand barely hurt and the swelling stayed minimal. Thank goodness! I read that the redness and swelling can get worse 2-3 days after the sting.

The Black Dot
All was going pretty well the next day. The black dot was still there. It looked like maybe it could be a bit of blood under the skin. Up close, it actually looked like a squiggly line. The black dot felt like a little hard, like a scab or a splinter. 
black dot from wasp sting
I decided that black dot had to go, so I used my trusty pointed tweezers to pull it out like a splinter. It came out easily but in pieces with no issue. So what was it?
pointed tweezers
Here's what I think the black spot was. After reading a bit more about wasp stings and wasp anatomy, I have concluded that the black dot was a broken piece of the stinger. The wasp was in the act of stinging me when I swatted it to the floor. Part of the stinger broke off in the swatting process. I'm very confident in this is in fact what the black dot was. Mystery solved!

There are no worries about pulling the broken piece of wasp stinger out and forcing more venom into the skin because it's just a piece of the stinger and it doesn't have a venom sac attached to it like a bee stinger left in the skin has.

Here's what the sting looked like after I pulled the broken piece of stinger out.
wasp sting

The Allergic Reaction 
About 42 hours after the sting, it got itchy and started to get a little more swollen than it had been. Still not awful, though. The cold gel pack took away some of the itch and swelling while feeling more comfortable on sore skin than a hard ice pack.

Then, the hivey rash started!!! 

reaction to wasp sting
The rash was on the top side of my hand, not at the actual sting site. The rash was itchy and red. There were hives. I was having a localized allergic reaction. Hydrocortisone cream and the cold pack reduced the inflammation. I applied the hydrocortisone 3 times a day until the rash subsided.
hydrocortisone cream
Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to a wasp sting include tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, difficulty breathing, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, extreme redness and swelling at  the site. An emergency call to 911 is in order for that type of reaction! 

The itching, hives and rash lasted about a week and stayed very localized. I was lucky! Just one itchy spot remained longer than a week. 

Over all, I think my reaction was very minimal. I attribute it to my speedy application of clay mask. It absorbed a lot of the venom out of my skin. You can see more on how my skin reaction looked in my wasp sting video.

Watch my Wasp Sting: Black Dot, Reaction and How to Treat the Sting Video!

Jill's Wasp Sting Remedy

Clean it!
Wash the sting thoroughly with soap and cold water to remove as much venom as possible from the skin.

Tweeze it!

Remove any broken piece of stinger with tweezers.

Mask it!

Cover the sting with a clay mask to absorb the venom asap. I recommend a powdered kaolin mask for it's strong drawing power for the first hour or two after the sting. Rinse it off. Then, do an application of Yon-Ka Masque 103 or 105 for it's drawing, soothing and healing power for up to 10 hours. Keep the mask on continuously for the first day.

Spray it!

Spray the stung area with Lotion Yon-Ka to keep the mask moist and aid in the healing process. Continue to use Lotion Yon-Ka as needed for the days following the initial sting.

Ice it!

Apply a cold gel pack to reduce inflammation and relieve the pain and itching as needed.

Calm it!

Use hydrocortisone cream three times a day to calm any mild allergic reaction. Use it until the rash begins to subside.

Flush it!

Drink lots of water to help the body flush out the venom.

Always call 911 immediately for a severe allergic reaction.

Contact you doctor if the sting becomes infected or continues to be a problem after 2 weeks.

It's a good idea to have all the supplies on hand in case of a sting or other insect bite. You will be able to use the toner and masks as an important part of your skin care routine while you have them in case of a sting. The powdered kaolin clay, the Yon-Ka Masque 105 and the Lotion Yon-Ka are available on Amazon.

Shop for YonKa Skin Care Products

For you who are local to Media, Pa., The Styling Point Salon carries Yon-Ka products.

It's easy to find an over the counter hydrocortisone cream and a cold comfort gel pack at your local drug store. Those items are also available from Amazon for convenient delivery right to your front door!

I have learned quite a bit about wasps and their stings from my experience. They say you learn something new every day. I hope my newly acquired knowledge helps you too!

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       Have a Beautiful Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

PS: Thanks for using my amazon & direct links💋
I receive a small commission that keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸