December 30, 2010
Know anything on this?

HUMAN NATURE is not really organic???

Human Nature is fake organic??

I’ve received word from a friend I trust that Human ❤ Nature is NOT really organic and they don’t list all of their real ingredients on their packaging.

Noooooo :c I’ve trusted this brand for so long… and I love the idea that they’re even tied up with GK so, I really need more info on this.

Right now I don’t have any specific information as to what these unlisted ingredients are, and what amount, and I don’t know about the accuracy of that info, so I can’t really make any judgements yet.

I know that it’s difficult to make 100% organic products so, I’m actually willing to settle for less than that, but I do want 100% full disclosure. For example, I use GIGA soaps and they disclose that they do use a small amount of BHT/EDTA in their soaps.

More information required. But I’ve just given them a very positive review and, while I won’t withdraw that yet, I also just want to give whoever’s reading this blog, full disclosure of what I know.

Will update when I have more info and asking you if you know anything too. :c

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December 29, 2010
Human Nature Mineral Makeup Review



Why I’m Reviewing This

I’ve always been a fan of Human ❤ Nature for their great ingredients, social contribution, and good prices. Most of my personal care products now are from their brand, so I trust them and I was thrilled to learn that they were finally coming out with a mineral makeup line. I’ve tried mineral makeup before, but never really warmed up to it because I’m too lazy to use loose powder regularly, and too skeptical to pay a high price for compact powder type mineral makeup.


Options, Pricing, Availability

Human Nature has three shades of foundation to choose from, from light to dark: Island Shell, Sand Dollar, Boracay Bronze; and two shades of blush: Petal Bloom and Tropical Rose.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Human Nature branch in Santana Grove, Sucat Road, and got Love Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation in Island Shell (P395), and Love Minerals Mineral Blush in Petal Bloom (P200). By the way this is a great branch to buy from (if you live in the south) because they usually have everything in stock, or can get it ordered for you quickly. And for the makeup, they’ve got testers. (Resellers usually don’t.)

Good prices for me!


My Experience

My photo above shows me wearing the foundation and blush, with some eyeliner and lip gloss (not Human Nature). I used the Human Nature toner and day moisturizer before putting on makeup. That’s it.

I don’t really wear much makeup, and I don’t have a lot of skin problems to cover up since I stopped taking most commercial dairy products (especially “fresh milk”). The foundation provides a light coverage, which I like because I don’t like the feeling of thick makeup on my skin. Both the foundation and the blush go on really nice and smooth. And they both have this particular scent, I think from the rice bran oil ingredient, which I personally like very much though I’m not sure if everyone else would like it. It’s just nice to not smell the typical synthetic or perfumed powder smell of most other foundations. Perfume-scented anything is quite suspicious anyway, because many toxic/unsafe ingredients are simply hidden by being listed under “fragrance” or “parfum”.

I’m waiting for Human Nature to update the foundation shades because Island Shell’s still a bit too dark for me; I was using a Light Beige #10 on the Neutrogena compact which was my regular powder before. Light Beige #10 is slightly fairer, and more yellow-toned, than Island Shell. While searching for other reviews of this makeup online I came across this blog entry which says they’ll have a lighter yellow-toned one coming out soon, yay.

As for the blush colour, Petal Bloom, it’s okay as it is, great for a nice subtle look, but I really prefer blush colours that tend towards red-deep-pink rather than red-beige. I’m not sure if I want to try the Tropical Rose because the powder looks a little too orange-red for my taste.

I’ve worn this makeup outside, and all day, several times, and have noticed no skin problems coming up. Also, it’s really easy to clean up afterwards. :)


Ingredients

I have listed the ingredients below (copied from the back of the product packaging) and linked each one to its page on the SKIN DEEP cosmetic ingredient information database. I note that all listed ingredients have a hazard rating of 3 and below (on a scale of 0 to 10). Except for Zinc Oxide which has a hazard rating of 0 to 5, “depending on usage”. Also, many of them have large “data gaps” (meaning, not enough research done), though this may also be owing to the lack of research information on organic ingredients. Still, I consider these ingredients to be much better than parabens, for example.

FOUNDATION: Mica, Silica, Oryza sativa (rice bran) Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate (vegetable-derived), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Lauroyl Lysine (amino acid-derived), Glyceryl Caprylate (coconut oil, palm and glycerine-derived)

BLUSH: Mica, Oryza sativa (rice bran) Oil, Silica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate (vegetable-derived), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Lauroyl Lysine (amino acid-derived), Glyceryl Caprylate (coconut oil, palm and glycerine-derived)

I went to a couple of alternative websites to further check up on ingredients I was curious about: Lauroyl Lysine, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate. Human Nature also has their own webpage listing and describing the ingredients they use, as well as a sheet of ingredients to be avoided.

I have to add that I have no idea whether they use “micronized” mineral powder or not. Updated January 4 2011: Human Nature uses micronized mineral makeup. Please read my updates about this here and here! That is a question of how large the powder particles are. Because if they’re too small, they can pose some serious problems when inhaled. Info links: Mineral Makeup & Health Risks; Questioning Mineral Makeup. I think this inhalation concern applies to all, not just the mineral type, of makeup. I’ll have to contact Human Nature and ask about this specifically. I did notice that they placed “nano particles” in their sheet of ingredients to be avoided, but they did not explicitly state anywhere whether they guarantee their mineral makeup to be free of such. Also, micro and nano are different terms; nano is worse but micro is still bad so I asked them directly anyway and will update this with the response.

All in all, due to the data gaps, I do not consider this to be a 100% safe pure organic and wholesome product, but it is still a tad better than a lot of other stuff out there, and it’s a good step towards the right direction. I guess I’d rate it at around 80% to 90%. I don’t have enough scientific knowledge to get more specific than that.


Summary

I support the direction that this brand is taking, and I’m excited to see how they develop their mineral makeup line! I would definitely recommend this makeup to anyone who wants to try something that’s better and healthier for the skin. However, I think I’ll wait for their new shades to come out before I buy again. Anyway it takes me an absurdly long time to use up my makeup :) so it’s unlikely I’ll need to replenish my supplies before they roll out some new stuff.



P.S. Product photo from Human ❤ Nature website.

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Filed under: products face review image 
December 17, 2010
Why I Say Milk Causes Pimples

For those of you who hear me say, “I don’t drink milk anymore because it causes pimples.” I want to explain why I’ve been telling this to people for the past several months.

—- —-

But first! An important disclaimer:

I am not a health professional of any sort, and have received no formal education in this field. I’m only sharing here what I’ve learned, and am learning, about what works for my own body, based on personal research and experimentation. Please remember that each body is different and what works for me may not work for you. Based on my own experiences, and those of others, I am confident in believing that the human body responds positively— enthusiastically!— to a good range of wholesome, natural foods (combined of course with proper exercise, rest, and a healthy spirit).

—- —-

Here’s my story. Most of you who know me well, know that I love milk. I love dairy in general. Anything cream, cheese, butter. Yum! So the whole “milk causes pimples” thing has been difficult for me to swallow. But, I love my skin (and my health) more, so I decided to try it. I stopped drinking fresh cow’s milk. After several months of not getting big and frequent pimples, and noticing that I do get a zit every time I eat or drink cow dairy products, I had to admit defeat. :C I did not want to believe it, but that’s what happened. So now I mostly avoid dairy. Sometimes it’s just really hard to pass up that ice cream or pizza, and I get a pimple the next day.

I must qualify that when I say “milk” and “dairy” here, I am referring in particular to processed (pasteurized and homogenized) milk products harvested from unhealthy unhappy cows (GMO corn-fed cows who are pumped full of antibiotics and RBGH). Let’s go through this one by one:

Antibiotics— Cows raised in “factory farms” are kept in dirty, crowded conditions, and they are not fed proper cow food (GMO corn is not proper cow food, they should be eating nice green grass). These cows would simply die if they weren’t injected full of antibiotics. The antibiotics keep them alive enough to keep producing milk, but not much else. Of course, this stuff gets into the cow’s milk. You know why doctors are supposed to be careful in prescribing antibiotics to humans, right? Antibiotics kill most, but not all, disease-causing organisms. The pathogens that survive become stronger and immune to those antibiotics. So stronger and stronger antibiotics are used to kill these; while stronger and stronger pathogens develop. Many farm workers, the people who are most highly exposed to these antibiotics, have already become so allergic to them that if ever they get sick in a way that needs antibiotics, they can’t be treated anymore. When you drink that milk, you expose yourself to that risk as well.

RBGH— Recombined Bovine Growth Hormone. Basically makes the cow’s udders bigger in order for them to produce unnaturally large quantities of milk. In fact, their udders grow so big that they often drag on the ground, and are constantly full of wounds, pus, bacteria, dirt, all of which goes into the milk of course! Synthetic hormones are generally risky… we just don’t really understand hormones very well yet. But we do know that a hormone-type chemical can cause big changes even in just tiny tiny doses. This totally makes sense to me - no wonder milk causes my pimples! It’s a hormone thing! Now, pimples are one thing— at least they’re external— but hormones are deeply involved in the way our bodies work; especially the reproductive system. I’ve read articles claiming that milk— processed milk from unnaturally-raised cows— has been linked to breast cancer and other problems related to the reproductive system. Again, makes sense to me after researching on RBGH.

GMO corn as cow feed— Cows are supposed to eat grass. That’s their natural food. The reason why factory farms feed them GMO corn is… kind of a long story… but basically, it’s cheap, easy, and it fattens them up real quick. But it’s no good for cows at all. It’s like fast food for humans… cheap, easy, fattens you up quick. (By the way, fast food for humans IS mostly made of GMO corn too!) It’s terrible for the health. The cows, who are already suffering from dirty and crowded conditions, are subjected to yet another factor that makes the overuse of antibiotics necessary just to keep them alive. And of course, garbage in, garbage out. The cow’s body can make milk out of that bad food, but it’s definitely bad milk.

Pasteurization and homogenization— If the cows were happy and healthy, they would produce clean and healthy milk that can be taken raw and would not need any processing for consumption. That raw milk would be a living, wonderful, healthy liquid full of good microorganisms and nutritional value! As it is, though, the milk from those unhappy unhealthy cows is just so sick and dirty and gross that you really have to process the crap out of it just to get it passable for human consumption. Any real nutritional value it could’ve had, is processed out as well of course.

—- —- —-

Don’t just take my word for it! I’ve just summarized for you the results of my personal research to explain those things above. I totally encourage you to do your own research, and to try and see if it works for you too. It is time-consuming to read up on all this, but do remember that you only get one body— you can’t replace it with a new one ever! So take good care of it and make informed decisions, because being healthy means being able to continue doing the activities you love. It’s not just for yourself. If you take good care of yourself, you’ll be able to better care for those you love, as well as set a good example. If you are a woman who plans to have children, then start being healthy as early as you can… your future baby’s health depends on your womb’s health which depends on your overall health. So I hope later you’ll check out the list I made at the bottom, giving you links and recommendations to further reading. :)

So does this mean goodbye to creamy and cheesy things forever? Nope, thank goodness there are other types of milk products available. I am talking about milk products that are non-processed (or are at least less processed), and come from happy healthy animals that are grass-fed and not injected with synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Due to the estrogen issue of soy products, I don’t want to recommend soy milk (or any unfermented soy product for that matter— breast cancer issues again— but that’s a whole other essay!) as an alternative milk. I would recommend milk products coming from goats, water buffalos (kalabaw), and almond nuts. If you can find a source for milk from happy healthy cows, that’s good too. Personally, I’ve mostly switched to kalabaw dairy because it’s so creamy, so yummy, and available so near me. Kesong puti yumyum! Goat milk’s a little harder to come by; almond milk even harder, and so expensive, but I must say it’s really yummy.

Where to get these wonderful kalabaw milk products?
I’ve made a Google Map of my sources in Metro Manila.
This Google Map is also my ongoing project for mapping sources of eco-friendly and organic goods.
If you have more sources, please do let me know about them and let’s share this info! :)
P.S. Arce Dairy ice cream (I swear I am not their official endorser I just really love their queso ice cream :P) is made from carabao milk, yay! Extra-creamy guilt-free goodness. Just check the ingredients label to make sure it really says “water buffalo” or “carabao” milk because I think some of their flavors are made from cow milk.

Where to get calcium if I choose not to drink any sort of milk at all?
I don’t really know much about this but try: malunggay (moringa), papaya, sesame seeds.

—- —- —-

Sources & Recommended Reading

Is Soda Pop or Milk Healthier?
A very comprehensive explanation of the true health value of real milk vs. that stuff that’s sold to us in cartons in supermarkets. (If you’ll be drinking that stuff, you might as well be drinking soda.)

"The Omnivore’s Dilemma" by Michael Pollan (Book)
What should I have for dinner? Where does my food come from? Who makes it, and how? What’s in it? Is it good for me?
And why does it require scientists, investigative journalists, and healthcare professionals to answer such basic questions?
This is an excellent book for exploring food, and humankind’s relationship with food. A wealth of info for the majority of us living in utter disconnect with the sources of our food— we don’t anymore see where it comes from and how it gets to us, and what things happen along the way. I learned a lot about the GMO corn and soy industry and “factory farms” here.
* Also see documentary film, "Food, Inc." narrated by this same author.

The Meatrix
“What is the meatrix? It is the story we tell ourselves about where our meat and animal products come from… a fantasy”
Fun short animated cartoon films summarizing life on the factory farm, and why this is bad for both animals and humans. Those pictures of clean farms with happy cows, on the packaging of meat and milk products? An illusion. Take the red pill and discover the truth. :)

Milk: Healthy or Not?
I think the comments here are more interesting than the post itself. :)

http://www.drlam.com/opinion/soyandestrogen.asp
http://www.naturalnews.com/022630_soy_food_products.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/026294_Silk_soy_milk.html
http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/everyone/question/soy.jsp
Basically, this is why I stopped drinking soy milk and eating tofu. I’ll have to write another piece on it, but here are a couple of links to start with.

http://www.agribusinessweek.com/carabaos-milk-the-most-complete-food/
I haven’t really find much on carabao’s milk :) help me out if you know more.

http://www.suite101.com/content/alternative-calcium-sources-a15861
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/milk-alternatives-easy-greening.html#
Alternative sources of calcium. Help me out if you know more :)

November 18, 2010
How to get rid of skin problems!

I’m pretty happy with my skin now. Pimples are small, few, and far in between. I’ve found that it’s a combination of diet, exercise, and organic skincare products. Here’s what I do, that works well for me:

DIET:
- more veggies and fruits
- more seafood than other types of meat
- avoid junk food and fast food
- avoid cow dairy * this seems to be the crucial point. I’ve stopped drinking fresh cow milk and ever since then, I stopped getting big pimples! I drink carabao milk instead. :)
- fresh buko juice and meat every day
- avoid white stuff (rice, bread, sugar); consume the brown versions instead

EXERCISE:
- I’m doing at least half an hour on the treadmill every day, plus at least ten minutes of stretching.

ORGANIC SKINCARE PRODUCTS:
- facial wash, facial scrub, facial toner, facial moisturizer all by human ❤ nature. I cannot stress how lovely the facial scrub is! It really helps clear my oily T-zone. :)
- body soap - I like to try various scents by various brands, as long as they’re organic
- Giga Tea Tree Oil - I use this *every* day on my T-zone, and dab a bit on other areas if they get pimples.
- Virgin Coconut Oil - for rashes and any other skin problems. This is a cure-all! :)
- AllOrganics natural deodorant spray - works totally well, even with gym usage! This is great because commercial deodorants carry the risk of breast cancer. =\

And of course, I avoid wearing all makeup. If I want to look a little rosy, I just put on a little blush and that’s it. Any more is reserved for special occasions / nights out.

May 24, 2010
green shop links

Ilog Maria honey products
http://ilogmaria.com/index.asp

Leyende skin products
http://www.leyende.com/

One-stop eco shops in Metro Manila (2 listed)
http://myquaintlife.com/2009/06/22/one-stop-shop-eco-friendly-stores-in-manila/

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Filed under: products market feature 
March 20, 2010
Organic Manila fresh produce!

Shop for organic produce ♥
Order online and find a pickup station near you (they don’t seem to list all pickup stations so get in touch with them to get complete info)
Bought their goods at the BF organic market today. Yumyum!

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Filed under: products food 
March 20, 2010
Market day!

Palengke
1 kilo large shrimp, 500
1 kilo small squid, 200
2 pcs dory fish fillet, 100

BF Organic Market
1 small dressed organic chicken, 150
1 small jar organic basil pesto, 200
1 small tarragon herb plant, 70
1/2 kilo organic broccoli, 90
3/4 kilo organic carrots, 53
100 grams organic wansoy, 35
400 grams organic polunchay, 48
1/2 kilo organic kamote, 50

Estimated consumption rates
Good for one month: shrimp, squid, carrots
Good for two weeks: basil pesto, broccoli, kamote
Good for a few days: dory fish, wansoy and polunchay
Good for today: chicken

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Filed under: food market products 
February 27, 2010

The organic Moringa toner I bought from Human Nature last January 19 just ran out. Bought a new one. So P100 for 100ml that lasts approximately a month. :)

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Filed under: products 
February 13, 2010
Market day

Bought at the palengke today:
1 kilo large shrimp, P500
1 kilo small squid, P200
1 kilo kamote (sweet potato), P40
4 fresh buko (coconut), P72
2 bundles kangkong, P12

Bought at the organic market:
Organic eggs, P10 each

Shrimp and squid’s good for one month. Kamote maybe 2 weeks. Coconut’s only good within the day, and kangkong within 3 days. Eggs, maybe 10 every week.

Since I’m sourcing almost all my food from the palengke and the organic market, and I’m using organic personal care products, I no longer need to buy a lot of things from the supermarket. Also, I’m no longer buying milk (both cow and soy).

Current supermarket shopping list:
Monggo beans (not available today at palengke)
Butter (I still really like regular butter for cooking eggs in)
Herbal toothpaste (so happy to find this in the supermarket)
Facial tissue paper
Toilet paper
Sanitary napkins and liners

Personal care products (not available at supermarket):
Organic soaps, shampoo & conditioner
Organic facial cleanser and toner
Organic lip balm
Virgin coconut oil as skin moisturizer, blemish remover, & underarm deodorant

This is a small step, and far from perfect, but still an improvement. So my rule is, I have to try hard to eat “greener” (organic, sustainable, local, fresh, healthy), at home. Outside home I can still eat what I like. Otherwise I might go crazy missing all the junk food I used to eat and do a fast food binge. :P