Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What are parabens?

Health conscious people today are starting to educate themselves more and more about beauty products that are hazardous to our health and well being.
Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetic products. However, these common yet harsh and potentially harmful additives are increasingly known as something to strongly steer clear of. Mainstream cosmetic companies still use these harsh preservatives to facilitate their production as they are cheap, mass produced and easily accessible. The most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Typically, more than one paraben is used in a product, and they are often used in combination with other types of preservatives to provide preservation against a broad range of microorganisms. Cosmetics that may contain parabens include makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products, among many others.

In the last few years, the FDA&C Act (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) has received many inquiries on the safety of parabens as used in cosmetics. As a result, a number of studies have been put into effect to assess the risks of continuous exposure to parabens. One study, in 2004 detected parabens in breast tumors. They have been shown to act in similar ways to estrogen and cause imbalances in the body.
At the present time, it has been concluded that the studies cannot prove a direct danger in consuming products containing parabens. This is mainly due to the very low levels (between 0.01% to 0.3%) that are added to the cosmetics and also, unfortunately, the studies left several questions unanswered.

Common sense can also play a strong role. Given the fact that the average women uses numerous products on a daily basis and additives like parabens are esily absorbed through the skin every day for many years, they can be accumulated in the body over time and therefore are very likely to slowly deteriorate our health. The type of lotion you put on your skin should be as important as the food you put in your belly. Both are absorbed into your body and bloodstream. Therefore, the products we choose to use on our hair and skin should be selected just as consciously as the food we choose to eat. There are alternatives!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sun Protection

Exposure to the sun has a terrible damaging effect on the skin, and the face is one of the most exposed areas of the body. In order to protect the skin, you need to use a commercially produced sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Use a waterproof sunblock, or reapply after swimming.

To soothe mild sunburn, gently spread one of the following over the affected area: mashed cucumber, plain yogurt, grated raw potato, cotton balls soaked n milk or 1 egg white beaten with 10ml witch hazel and 10ml honey, then rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Take care not to rub the skin when drying it. Gently apply rich moisturizing cream to the burnt area.

Skin Care


Cleansing should be the first step of your skincare routine. It removes the dirt, old make-up, and sweat that accumulate on the skin every day. Cleansing should be thorough, but it should also be gentle. A light formula is ideal. Warm it in the palm of your hand first, then massages it gently into the skin before wiping it off with a soft facial tissue or cotton ball. Never drag the skin.

Face Mask

This mild treatment is perfect for types of skin to cool and sooth the skin. It is often used as a treatment for itchy skin.
Steam facial to deep-clean clogged pores
A weekly steam treatment will make sure that your skin is kept free from blackheads and blemishes. It is particularly important for oily skin, but do not perform a steam treatment more than once every two weeks if you have dry skin, which tends to be more delicate.

Face scrub

Facial scrubs cleanse the skin by removing dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells. Since most scrubs are slightly abrasive, they can be irritating to very sensitive skin. As a rule, they should not be used more than two or three times per week (and even less often if your skin is dry). There are many wonderful herbal scrubs as oatmeal, apricot and tamarind. Rinse well and apply a moisturizer after the scrub.


The final step in your spa facial routine is moisturizing, which should be both rehydarate and nourish the skin to keep it soft and supple. Moisturizer keeps water locked in the skin cells by helping reinforce the thin, oily layer on the surface of the skin. This film is vital in preventing moisture from being lost through the skin, and in keeping the skin smooth, supple, and youthful. Applying moisturizer is also a good opportunity to massage the skin, which helps to stimulate blood circulation and increase muscle tone.

Protecting the skin

Most of the common skin problems are caused by the cumulative damage inflicted by UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Both kinds of UV rays stimulate the formation of free radicals, which injure both the outer and inner layers of skin. The result is not only tried, old-looking skin, but an increased risk of skin cancer. Antioxidant creams can help protect the skin from free-radical assault. They also work in synergy with vitamin E and C helping to restore collagen, the tissue that provides the scaffolding beneath the outer layer of the skin. Herbal skin-care products derived from rice bran oil, sheer butter, wheat protein and almond protein can help keep skin looking more youthful. For added antioxidant protection, look for skin products that also contain high potency vitamins C and E.

Regimen for dry skin

People with dry skin should avoid exposure to harsh soaps and detergents, which further deplete the body of its natural, protective oils. Stick to fragrance free, superfatted soaps made from natural ingredients including rice bran oil, aloe, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. Chamomile is also an excellent cleanser that will not dry our your skin. After showering or bathing, always use a moisturizer to avoid that dry, tight feeling. Aloe and rice bran oil products are good choices.

Eye care

Tired, worn-out-looking eyes can make you look old before your time. Fatigue, pollution and allergies are all possible causes of red, sore eyes. To give tried eyes a lift, place fresh cucumber slices over each eyes. Lie down in a dark room for 30 minutes. Your eyes will look and feel less sore and puffy.

Body Care Tips


Exfoliation the process of using a gentle abrasive agent on the skin - is the simplest way to cleaner, softer, smoother body. It is also the perfect way to prepare your body for most other spa treatments and relaxation therapies. Exfoliation works by removing the dead cells on the surface of the skin. This unblocks the pores, which are then able to absorb creams and oils much more efficiently.

Exfoliation is particularly good for cellulite, by boosting the circulation and for removing the hard skin that builds up on the feet, knees and elbows. Sea salt's coarse texture makes it ideal for exfoliation and for stimulating the circulation. Sea salt contains about 97 percent sodium chloride, plus important trace elements, such as calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium that can be absorbed through the skin and act as catalysts for many vital biochemical reactions.

Hand and Feet Care

People who suffer from chapped hands should wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when you wash dishes or do other household chores and always apply hand cream. If your nails are constantly peeling and chipping, or they have white spots, you need to include more calcium in your diet. If your nails are dry and splitting, a hot oil treatment can be very beneficial. Warm half cup almond oil in a small pot. Pour into a bowl and soak the fingertips of each hand for about 15 minutes. Rub remaining oil into cuticles, hands, and on the soles of the feet for a smooth, satiny feeling.
If the soles of your feet are hard, soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften the hardened skin before rubbing them with a pumice stone. Use smooth, continuous strokes.

Body Massage

The two most obvious benefits of massage are increased circulation and flexibility. From a physiological point of view, massage increases the lubrication between muscle fibers and allows the muscle to move optimally. Muscle fibers are designed to work independently of each other. Aging is largely a process of dehydration. When muscles dehydrate, the fibers stick together and the muscle becomes stiff or ridged.
As fluid is reintroduced, the muscle softens and regains its flexibility. As circulation increases between the muscle fibers, nutrients reach the cells and toxins are carried off more efficiently. Degenerative diseases like cancer and muscular sclerosis are anaerobic and can not live in an oxygenated environment. Because blood carries oxygen to the cells, circulation is necessary for optimal health. Massage increases circulation, hence, increases oxygen to the cells.
Massage gives one a feeling of comfort and relaxation. A clinical study at the University of Miami School of Medicine, shows that massage increases mental alertness and accuracy in mathematical calculations. Massage also increases beta waves in this study which shows that one is more relaxed after a series of massages. This relaxed state lasts longer as the cumulative benefits of more massage at regular intervals are experienced.

Stress Management

The stressful period in our lives often results in sheer adrenal exhaustion, lowered immunity, digestive disorders and discomfort.
The stress response, via the stimulation of adrenal hormones, affects the metabolic rate and water balance. Adrenalin stimulates the heart, increasing blood pressure and heart rate; it constricts blood pressure and increasing the blood flow to the muscles and the brain and decreasing it to the digestive tract. Adrenalin also raises blood-sugar levels and stimulates the liver to release more glucose ad cholesterol into the blood.
Increasing the intake of B group vitamins, together with vitamin C and magnesium, is crucial during periods of stress as these nutrients are all swiftly used up. Herbs such as lavender and chamomile have a wonderfully relaxing action on the nervous system and can help sooth frayed nerves.
Other important stress management techniques include meditation, or similar relaxation practices, and exercise. Many studies support the mood-enhancing effect of exercise on the mind, and intense aerobic work-outs are now used to treat depression and anxiety. In periods of stress, we need to avoid all stimulants including caffeine, sugar and cigarettes.
Breathing exercises are especially useful to control rapid, shallow breathing, which is a common symptom of anxiety; yoga would be a superb way to learn and perfect your breathing techniques.
Lastly, hands-on therapies such as massage shiatsu and reflexology are also some calming considerations to help soothe inflamed nervous system and restore a sense of equilibrium. Spending one to two hours of our time being cared by using the tactile therapies is a safe and truly delightful way to address stress management.

Concept Of Aromatherapy

Benefit of Essential Oils
Different oils elicit different physical and emotional responses. Some calm us; some excite us. Some make us happy; some make us reflective. Some enhance our spiritual side; some increase our desire for carnal pleasure.

The following is a list of commonly used essential oils and the response they are believed to evoke.

Basil: Promotes peace and happiness
Bergamot: Promotes restful sleep
Black pepper: Increases alertness
Chamomile: Promotes sleep and tranquility
Cinnamon: Increase energy and awareness
Clove: Promotes healing
Dill Sharpens the conscious mind
Eucalyptus: Promotes healing
Geranium: Promotes happiness
Ginger: Increase energy
Jasmine: Promotes love, sex, and sleep
Lavender: Counteracts insomnia
Lemon: Promotes health, healing, and energy
Lemon grass: Purifies the body
Nutmeg: Increase energy
Orange: Increase joy and energy
Peppermint: Sharpens the conscious mind
Rosemary: Promotes longevity
Sage: Improve memory
Thyme: Promote good health
Water lily: Promotes peace and happiness

Aromatherapy In Shower And Bath
Today's fast-paced living often allows little time for more than a quick shower. However, you still can enjoy aromatherapy shower by using natural soap with essential oil to clean the body but not dry out the skin. Then stand under a warm shower until you feel thoroughly relaxed. Body brush or a loofa can be used for exfoliating.

Therapeutic Spa Shower
Alternating hot and cold showers helps to stimulate the blood supply to the skin and restore lost tautness and vitality. Such spa showers are even said to help prevent premature aging of the skin and eliminate fatigue.
Take a warm shower until your skin is warm.
Switch the temperature to cold and hold the shower about 3 inches from the skin's surface. Quickly move the shower head over your whole body, directing over your face, down your arms and legs, over your torso, abdomen and back. The whole process should take no more than 30 seconds.
Repeat steps 1 and 2, then get out of the shower and pat off the excess water. Do not rub the skin, and dress warmly as soon as you are dry.
A bath helps keep body and soul together. A bath is one of the most wonderful ways to use aromatherapy. Sea salt added to bathwater helps removes toxic substances from your body. It cleanses the whole system. Minerals contained in sea salt help strengthen the immune system. Pour the mixture of sea salt and 5-10 drops of essential oils into the tub water. Stir well to allow the salt to dissolve. Enjoy your own creation of a fragrant ?sea water? for about ten minutes.

Steam Inhalation
This is an excellent way to treat throat, chest and sinus problems. Pour some boiling water into a bowl and add 10 drops of essential oil. Eucalyptus oil, in particular, is an excellent decongestant and a powerful natural antiseptic. Cover your head with a thick towel and breathe in deeply. Continue for about 10 minutes. Caution: do not use this method if you have asthma.

Foot Bath
Prepare a foot bath in a large bowl. Cold water will stimulate circulation and be refreshing on hot summer day when you feel heavy and tired, but don’t use cold water when your feet are already cold. A hot foot bath helps relax the whole body and helps soothe women with gynaecological problems, like cramps and weak or missed periods, as well as poor circulation.

Aromatherapy Massage
Basic massage methods can relax and rebalance your system. Massage is not just a treat or whimsy; it really does help you feel better. Even the most basic massage, done without any training or instruction, helps to stimulate the circulation and dilate the blood vessels. You can see this happening when the area that you massage reddens. The improved blood flow helps to reoxygenate the tissues, bringing nutrients to the site and taking away toxins. It also boosts the lymphatic system and can reduce fluid retention. The heat produced by the massage and the extra blood flow helps to relax muscular tension. Regular deep-tissue massage can be extremely helpful if you are under stress, particular if you combine it with therapeutic properties of sedative aromatherapy oils, which are readily absorbed into the skin during the massage.

Create a Room for Aromatherapy
One of the most enjoyable elements of going to a health spa is being in comfortable, sumptuous surroundings, so make sure you spend some time setting the scene at home. Turn the lights down low in the bathroom and light candles to enhance the atmosphere. Our sense of smell has a strong effect on the balance of our emotions and can be used to relieve anxiety, depression and mental fatigue. To make your bathroom and bedroom smell sweet, use an oil burner with a few drops of relaxing essential oil, such as geranium, jasmine or lavender. All you have to do then is lie back and inhale the therapeutic scent as you enjoy your spa treatments. Some important points to remember when using essential oils.

Shiso Skin Care & Body Care from THANN

Unlock the Miracle of Shiso

For over a thousand years, Asian herbalists have noticed that Shiso plants have the ability to survive the most extreme droughts and climatic conditions, as well as helping the surrounding plants to grow. As a result, Shiso has become the jewel of Japanese culinary art as well as an important ingredient in macro biotic food because of its healing powers.

Shiso essential oils provide a strong taste whose intensity might be compared to that of mint. Shiso is rich in omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid with anti-inflammatory properties and is considered to help preserve and sterilize other foods.

In Japanese culinary, Shiso is served with sashimi (sliced raw fish) or cut into thin strips in salads, spaghetti, and meat dishes. It is also prepared as a flavorful herb in a variety of dishes, including Japanese pizza (Okonomiyaki) topping.

In Korean cuisine, Shiso is prepared for Kimchi due to its strong taste in leaves’ essential oils. Fresh leaves have an aroma reminiscent of apples and mint and are served in traditional Korean salad.

In Vietnam, Shiso is used as a decoration in rice vermicelli dishes called bun. Several parts of this plant are used for various purposes, not only its leaves. For examples, in Indonesia, Shiso seeds known as Selasih are often added to drinks. In China, Shiso is traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine to stimulate interferon activity and help improve the body’s immune system.

Combining art and science, THANN’s research and development team have spent over thousand hours unlocking the miracle of Shiso. Shiso (Perilla Frutescences (L.) britton var.crispa Makino) leaf extract contains various substances including Rosemarinic acid, Linoleic acid, Glycoproteins, I-perillaldehyde and Phenol Compound with unique properties to protect and revive skin cells by providing anti-oxidant benefits that are more effective than any artificial anti-oxidant In the market

Facial Foaming Wash (with Moringa, Rose and Shiso extracts)
THANN Facial Foaming Wash thoroughly washes away dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells while caring for soft and healthy-looking skin. Moringa Seed extract is a natural emollient (a thin film protecting the skin from pollutants and moisture loss). Shiso extract provides benefits as anti-oxidant, moisturizer and anti-histamine. Rose and Jasmine extracts soothe and refresh skin. This naturally nourishing formula is soap free and non-comedogenic (will not clog pores).

Facial Cleanser (with Shiso and Green Tea extracts)
THANN Facial Cleanser with Shiso and Green Tea extracts soothes and softens sensitive skin while cleansing and retaining the skin’s natural moisture.

Astringent Toner (with Shiso and Algae extracts)
THANN Astringent Toner refines opened pores and unevenly textured skin. Shiso extract acts as anti-oxidants, moisturizers and anti-histamines. Protein and mineral rich Algae extract enhances the suppleness of the skin. Green Tea extract soothes and purifies the skin while Yeast extract normalizes oily skin.

Revitalizing Eye Gel (with Cucumber Shiso Extracts)
THANN Revitalizing Eye Gel soothes and reduces puffiness around eyes area.

Anti-aging Face Cream
THANN Anti-aging Face Cream with soy protein, Shiso and Black Tea extracts works on a comprehensive level to smooth out lines and wrinkles, gradually revealing smoother, younger looking skin. Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Soybean Protein and Black Tea promote skins ability to maintain and re-produce elastin and collagen giving firmer and more refine skin. Shiso extract nourishes and protects dry and sensitive skin from harmful pollutants, heat and UV rays.

Hair Mask (with Ceramide Protein and Shiso extract)
THANN Hair Mask with Ceramide Protein and Shiso extract repairs and strengthens hair from roots to tips.

Hand and Arm Cream SPF 15
THANN Hand Cream SPF 15 with Soy protein, Corn protein and Shiso extract nourishes and protects hands and arms from harmful environment and damaging UV rays. Hydrolyzed Soy protein increases ability of skin to hold moisture and provides a smoothing effect, minimizing roughness and wrinkles. Shiso extract riches in Linoleic acid and Glycoprotein provide benefits as anti-oxidant and moisturizer. Chamomile extract softens the skin and protects skin from irritation.

Body Butter (with Cocoa Butter, Licorice and Shiso extracts)
THANN Body Butter nourishes and protects skin from harmful pollutants, heat and UV rays, providing long-lasting moisturizer.

Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask

Reveal a healthy and radiant complexion with
Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask with Grape, Mulberry root, and Shiso extracts

Boost your skin’s health and radiance with Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask, a mask that not only moisturises your skin, but also enhances skin radiance.

Spots, wrinkles and blemishes are the main concerns of a woman. Excessive stress, a shift in hormone levels, and pollutants all contribute to spots and dull looking skin. In addition, the sun and its UV rays are also causes for concern, as prolonged exposure will invariably result in the damaging of collagen, which will in turn cause rapid aging of the skin. UV radiation also darkens and blemishes the skin by triggering the production of malasma.

Replenish and rejunevate your complexion with Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask

Made from vitamin-rich extracts of mulberry, grape and the shiso leaf, Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask restores luminosity and vitality to your complexion while reducing wrinkles, spots and lines. It firms, tones, and moisturises your skin, giving it a unique healthy radiance.

Miraculous Ingredients

The result of extensive research and tests by expert dermatologists, Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask bears ingredients chosen for their astounding beneficial qualities. The components that make up our distinct formula are the following:

The Shiso Leaf (Perilla Ocymoides) Extract protects skin from free radical that causes premature aging. In addition to smoothing the skin’s texture, the extract also protects against inflammation and various allergies.
Trehalose (Selaginella Lepidophylla) is an enzyme that allows plants of the fern family to survive long periods of desiccation. Its moisture-retaining capabilities are without comparison, and it plays a vital role in protecting the skin against dehydration and wrinkling.
The Mulberry (Morus Nigra) Extract diminishes spots resulting from an uneven build-up of melanin while balancing your skin tone.
The Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Extract improves skin radiance and balance skin tone.

Revitalize your skin through three simple steps
With Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask you can nourish your skin through three simple, effortless steps. Start by mixing together the Revitalizing Complex and Revitalizing Essence to form a smooth cream. Next, apply a 2-mm thickness to your face, then wait for ten to fifteen minutes while the cream sets to nourish your skin. Finally, proceed to thoroughly clean your face, and celebrate your skin’s newfound sense of freshness and nourishment. Facials have never been so easy!

Reveal skin that’s smooth and fresh, radiant and firm, with Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask, available at THANN

THANN Facial Sunscreen

THANN Facial Sunscreen SPF30 PA+++ with Shiso and White Tea extracts

Protect your skin from undue darkening and premature wrinkle with THANN Facial Sunscreen SPF30 PA+++, a sunscreen of exquisite smoothness designed to effectively combat UVA and UVB rays.

The Invisible Dangers of UV Rays

The fact that the majority of women do not pursue activities out under the sun’s direct glare does not mean that they are completely safe from skin damage. Whether emanating from fluorescent light bulbs or computer screens, artificial light too can have detrimental effects on the human skin, due to the concentrations of UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can penetrate the dermis and damage collagen fibres, thereby accelerating skin aging, while UVB rays on the other hand cause sunburns and spots on epidermis skin layer. Worse, both types of ultraviolet can lead to skin cancer.

Protect your Skin with Beneficial Natural Extracts
The dangers of UV rays make it extremely imperative that an appropriate sunscreen be chosen with care and consideration. Tested and guaranteed by expert dermatologists, THANN Facial Sunscreen SPF30 PA+++ with Shiso and White Tea extracts provides effective protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Extracted from the Shiso leaf are the Rosemarinic acid, Linoleic, Glycoproteins, I-perillaldehyde and Phenol Compounds; all of which are naturally anti-histamine, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory substances not just ideal for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, but also for moisturising the skin.

Originated from Japan, the Japanese Ougon grass is a natural ingredient to absorb both UVA and UVB rays, thereby averting the formation of melanin concentrations that could cause skin darkening. In addition, the polyphenol-rich white tea extract acts as an anti-oxidant to protect skin from free radical causing pre-mature aging.

Suitable for all skin types, THANN Facial Sunscreen enhances luminosity and vitality to your skin. The cream texture is astonishingly smooth and more than appropriate for everyday application.
Enrich your skin and face the great outdoors and day-to-day activities with THANN Facial Sunscreen SPF30 PA+++, available at THANN shops or

THANN Shiso Facial Serum

Discover the secret of oriental beauty with Shiso Facial Serum, a sensuous natural skincare regimen to enhance firmness and radiance of your skin – the absolute solution to your skin problems.

Because great looking skin is a reflection of your inner self, it is only natural for you to find your self-confidence diminishing as a result of the aging process. But with Shiso Facial Serum you need no longer worry about your skin getting rough and wrinkled, for this exquisite serum has been brought to you through intensive research and testing by expert skincare specialists of the highest calibre. Composed with Centella Asiatica, Banana Flower and Shiso extracts, this serum is designed to heal and nourish your skin, thereby restoring your confidence and vitality.

Miraculous Ingredients:
If you’re a connoisseur of Japanese cuisine then you’ll be familiar with the sight of the shiso, a member of the herbal mint family, decorating your favourite dishes. The shiso, or perilla, is a herbal plant perennially popular in Asia for its vitamin-rich content, an outstanding property reflected by its extensive and varied use in a wide array of different fields throughout the centuries. Originating from Central China, the Shiso Leaf has long been used for purposes outside the culinary arts, and in additional to its medicinal value the Shiso has been a main component in various skin and hair care products. Extracted from the leaf for this serum are the Rosemarinic acid, Linoleic, Glycoproteins, I-perillaldehyde and Phenol Compounds; all of which are naturally anti-histamine, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory substances not just ideal for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, but also for moisturising the skin.

Furthermore, the extract of Centella Asiatica present in the serum stimulates the production of collagens beneath the skin, thereby combating oxidants and strengthening and restructuring damaged skin networks, as well as enhancing skin elasticity. In addition, it also stimulates the production of lipids and proteins which help soothe the skin and lessen the amount of wrinkles present. As for the extract of Musa Sapientum, better known as the Banana Flower, it assumes the role of mimic hormones that stimulate the synthesis of collagen.

Visible Results, Expert-guaranteed

Mr. Fabrice Perin (Spincontrol), a well-known highly-acclaimed skin care specialist, has demonstrated that the Shiso Facial Serum and its ingredients were remarkably effective in combating the wrinkly signs of aging. Extracts of Centella and Banana Flower are able to penetrate to the skin cells in order to maximise the amounts of anti-oxidants necessary to fight off the first signs of the aging process. From the test report, mean wrinkle area decreased by 25.5% while mean skin elasticity improved by 13.4% after application of Shiso Facial Serum for 28 days.

Discover grace and vitality with Shiso Facial Serum, your new, indispensable wellness assistant, available now at HARNN & THANN OR