5 Benefits of Walking

Face it, we’ve all judged those who spend hours on the treadmill critically. Unbeknownst to us, walking actually provides a plethora of health benefits. Besides increasing oxygen flow within the body, walking results in increased levels of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, a cocktail of hormones that help elevate energy levels.  The plethora of health benefits led Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centres for  Disease Control and Prevention to describe walking as the “closest thing we have to a wonder drug”. 

It halves the effect of weight producing genes

Harvard researchers conducted an experiment with over 120,000 people and focused on 32 genes linked to body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height and weight used to determine obesity. Besides the obvious burning of calories, researchers found out that the effect of weight producing genes was reduced by 50% by those who walked briskly for up to an hour a day.

Chromosomes

Strengthens the heart

Walking up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is reported to be able to reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease by about 19%. The risk is reduced when the duration or distance walked per day increases. 

Eases joint pain 

Several studies found that walking reduces arthritis- related pain, as walking helps lubricate and strengthen muscles that support the joints. Studies show that walking up to five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. 

Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer 

The American Cancer Society study focused on walking found that women who walked more than seven hours a week have a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked less than three hours per week. 

Boosts immune function 

A study of over 1000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once or less than once a week. Studies reported that even if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were reported to be milder. 

How to get started 

Better Health Channel reports that at least 30 minutes of walking needs to be done most days of the week for one to feel the health benefits. However, if 30 minutes is too strenuous, feel free to break it down into smaller walks of 10 minutes a time, three times a day. 

  • Pick a scenic route and commit to taking a morning / evening stroll 
  • If you commute, get off the bus or train one stop early and walk the rest of the way 
  • Park further away from your office or grocery store to get extra steps in 
  • Consider walking to get from one place to the other 

To get started on walking, all you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Choose a walking route or daily step goal that’s appropriate for your age and level of fitness. Reevaluate your daily routine and try to figure out when you can incorporate walking. 

Takeaway 

Walking is a form of exercise that can be easily done by people of all walks of life and all fitness levels. It is a good idea to get fit and reap the plethora of health benefits.

Harmful Ingredients You Didn’t Know Were In Your Cushion Foundation Compacts

In Summer, we see women all over the globe battle against the heat and humidity to keep their make up looking perfect. Instead of using liquid foundation, most women opt to use cushion foundation compacts during this time period as it is less prone to melting and turning into a wet mess in the raging heat. Cushion foundation compacts is thin in texture, provides an effortless coating over the face, and does its job of enhancing skin radiance.

Harmful Ingredients In Cushioned Compacts

However, it is worth being careful when investing in these summer time foundation compacts as a recent study carried out by the Hong Kong Consumer Council brought to light that certain harmful ingredients were found in certain cushion foundation compacts. Long term usage of products may result in health complications.

The Consumer Council continued their research by testing 30 samples of cushion foundations ranging from 45HKD to 700HKD and their findings are summarized as followed.

Consumer Council Results:

  • Cadmium content of 3 samples exceeds German Restriction Guidelines
  • Traces of lead found in as many as 14 samples
  • Paraben preservatives found in 4 samples
  • 4 samples found to have poor antiseptic performance

Further Explanations:

  • Excessive intake of lead may harm the development of the fetus
  • Paraben preservatives were found to interfere with hormone secretion
  • Poor antiseptic performance in some models may cause the cultivation and growth of black Koji bacteria which may cause skin allergy, itching, or black koji disease.

4 Compact Foundation Powders Recommended by the Consumer Council

Here are 4 compact foundation powders that passed the no chemicals and anti- corrosion effect test by the Hong Kong Consumer Council:

It is highly recommended that consumers use ingredient testing platforms such as 1Source to analyze the contents of products to vet the safety of ingredients. If the product is not found in the 1Source database, you can contact us to enter your ingredients for testing. 

炎炎夏日,很多化妝的女生會選擇使用氣墊粉底,皆因氣墊粉底以透薄為賣點,能均勻膚色同時也可以有效修容,所以深受女生歡迎。但應如何選擇成份健康的氣墊粉底呢?消委會最近指出氣墊粉底裏面的防腐劑或干擾荷爾蒙分泌,實在讓一眾女生聞之色變。有見及此,消委會最近測試了30款氣墊粉底樣本,並推介五種氣墊粉底名單,測試中無化學物質及防腐效能,女士們可以放心使用呢。建議購買任何日用品及化妝品之前,可以瀏覽成分檢測平台1Source.com,產品一覽無遺,若然產品不在平台的數據庫之內,你也可以自行輸入成分作檢測呢。

#越接近1越低風險 #1Source #ingredientSafety #productSafety

#cushionfoundation 

See the ratings of 1Source.com of some Consumer Council’s recommended cushion foundations:

Credits:

https://topick.hket.com

https://www.consumer.org.hk/ws_chi/consumer_alerts/graph/525/cushion-foundation.html

Facial Cleansers – Lacking Information

In the hot summer days, we believe most people have the habit of using facial cleansers, especially when wearing a mask every day during the pandemic. Using facial cleansers can help remove excess oil and keep skin fresh. But do you know how to choose safe and effective cleansing products?

The Consumer Council tested 60 samples of facial cleansers to see if they met the regulations. The performance of the samples in the test items except for one met the requirements of the Mainland and the EU for cosmetics. More than half of them did not detect heavy metals, MIT or CMIT/MIT mixtures, and free for substances of concern such as formaldehyde, salicylic acid, methanol or isopropanol.

With many of the facial cleansers passing the regulations for the ingredients it contains, is it still safe to use? There is more to a product than just the ingredients. To use a product safely, we need to refer the guidelines and information given on the packaging; the ingredient label and instructions.

The Ingredient Label – Lacking Detail

Consumers can choose products according to their skin type and preferences. More favourable products are ones with clearly marked ingredients and expiration dates. One should pay attention to allergic fragrances or other chemical substances.

In the study by the Consumer Council, 19 of the products did not specify all the ingredients in detail. They stated that the samples with unlisted ingredients may also contain common allergenic fragrances, pigments and other chemical substances that can be harmful to sensitive skin.

Out of the 60 samples, 23 needed an improved expiration date. Only 14 of the products indicated the expiration after opening. In addition, 37 models had the expiration date marked clearly, but only 16 of the models marked the production date and shelf life.

Although most of the consumers generally know that they need to rinse cleansing products off using water, it should be noted that clear guidelines should be given. 5 products did not have any instructions.

Approach to Buying Facial Cleansers

The Consumer Council recommends when buying facial cleansers, consumers should pay attention to detail in the following:

  • read the ingredient labels and expiration dates thoroughly, avoid using any cleansing products containing allergenic ingredients and alcohol
  • remove makeup before applying cleansing products for a thorough clean of the skin
  • products with higher pH values generally have better degreasing and decontamination capabilities
  • apply moisturizing cream and sunscreen products before going out to protect the skin after cleansing

We recommend you use 1Source.com, a product ingredients analysing platform, before purchasing any daily products to ensure your safety when selecting the correct product for yourself. 1Source.com does the research for you.

Recommended Facial Cleansers

The following are the recommended products by the Consumer Council. Simply click the picture to direct you to the 1Source.com system findings of the product.

SK-II FACIAL TREATMENT GENTLE CLEANSER 淨肌護膚潔面乳
Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Daily Face Cleanser 茶樹潔面露
L'Occitane AQUA RÉOTIER WATER GEL CLEANSER

1Source.com has 290 facial cleansers in the system. We recommend that you try out the system to find better alternatives in terms of ingredient safety. Simply click here to view all facial cleansers in the system.

References

https://www.consumer.org.hk/ws_chi/news/press/505/facial-cleansers.html
https://topick.hket.com

Canned Fish, the Metallic Danger

Canned fish is a versatile and convenient way to add fish to your diet which are important for your overall health and wellbeing. They are rich in protein and many other essential nutrients, making it an important food source. It should be noted however that not all canned fish products are good for consumption.

The consumer watchdog in Hong Kong found samples of canned fish products with various levels of metallic contaminants. What does this actually mean? It can cause more harm than good if eaten excessively.

The Study (July 2020)

In the study, 46 samples of canned fish available on the Hong Kong market were tested. The products price range were from 7.80HKD (around $1 USD) to 149HKD (around $19 USD) per can.

  • 19 types of sardines
  • 20 types of tuna
  • 7 kinds of dace fish

Sardine Results

In 17 out of the 19 sardine samples, traces of cadmium was found. Cadmium is a pigment/dye that is added in order to change or enhance color in a product. Two of the products that originated from Thailand contained 0.11mg to 0.13mg of cardmium per kilogram, which exceeded the safe level of 0.1mg under the Food Adulteration Regulation.

There are many safety hazards and potential health concerns record for Cardmium in the 1Source system. It should be noted that the substance has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). To name a few safety hazards of Cardmium:

  • May cause respiratory irritation (H335)
  • May cause cancer (H35)
  • Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child (H361)
  • Cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (H372)

More than 70% of the sardine samples contained inorganic arsenic, a substance that has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen as well. However, the samples had below the maximum safe limit of 0.1mg/kg, containing 0.04 to 0.08mg/kg of the substance.

In the 1Source system, there are 15 safety hazards and 137 potential health concerns for inorganic arsenic. It should noted that despite the low amounts of the substance were found, consumers should be aware of the risks when consuming the product.

Tuna Results

In 18 out of the 20 tuna samples, methylmercury was found. The traces were within the 0.5mg/kg upper limit, ranging from 0.06mg/kg to 0.28mg/kg. Another ingredient that is recognised by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in the category Group 2B. Methylmercury can cause damage to organs as well through prolonged or repeated exposure. The safety hazards listed by the 1Source system are:

  • Fatal if swallowed (H300)
  • Fatal in contact with skin (H310)
  • Fatal if inhaled (H330)

The Centre for Food Safety announced on the 16th of July that a sample of prepackaged frozen fish product from New Zealand had methylmercury that was over the legal limit. A spokesman from the CFS advised people to maintain a balanced and varied diet. To avoid risks posed by excessive intake of metallic contaminants, one should avoid eating large or predatory fish.

Canned Fried Fish Fibre Case (July 2020)

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced on the 3rd of July that a canned fried fish fibre sample was found to contain a metal contaminant, mercury, at a level exceeding the legal limit. The test result showed that the product contained mercury at a level of 0.81 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the legal limit of 0.5 ppm. The vendor was informed to stop sales and remove the affected batches from shelves.

The CFS stated “Mercury may affect the nervous system, particularly the developing brain. At high levels, mercury can affect foetal brain development, and affect vision, hearing, muscle co-ordination and memory in adults.”

In the 1Source system, we have records of 10 safety hazards and 73 potential health concerns for mercury. The ingredient is banned for use in cosmetic products in Canada and the European Union. A few notable safety hazards are:

  • Fatal if swalled (H300)
  • May damage fertility or the unborn child (H360)
  • Causes damage to organs (H370)
  • Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure)

References

Are Steroid Creams Harmful to Eczema?

How useful are steroid creams? Are they essential for severe skin cases? Do they make a difference or are they detrimental to eczema?

As a long term sufferer of eczema, I know the difficulties of sourcing new and effective products when the condition of my skin is severe. As a citizen of the United Kingdom, I got prescribed creams by the NHS but found very little success with the products they provided. When my skin got severe, the answer to my problem was steroid creams, but they didn’t actually do much for the long term.

Steroid creams can gain quick results, showing improvements in skin conditionining and colouring, but what are the long term effects? For myself, steroid creams was a quick fix, but I was dependent on them. You can read my eczema struggles here.

Anita Wong’s Story

Anita Wong, a full time mother from Auckland, New Zealand, opened up on her struggles with steroid creams which left her with permanent damage to her eyes. After heavy usage for years, she developed cataracts on both of her eyes. Thereafter, she made the decision to ditch it and try and treat her skin without it.

Her decision was not an easy one. She went through a painful process called Tropical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW), which her skin reacted badly to, leaving her with cracked, flaky and painful skin. “The most difficult part was the vicious cycle of depression and insomnia brought on by the physical pain and itchiness. Some days just lying in bed breathing was physically painful” she stated.

In 2018 her skin started to look normal again, after the years of detoxing she put herself through. She went through a painful struggle, but is thoroughly enjoying her new found confidence after not having to worry about flare-ups or creams.

To view her full story with images, please click here. Warning, images show sensitive content.

What is TSW?

Red Skin Syndrome, or Tropical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) are a result of long term users of tropical steroids stopping their usage. TSW can include the following symptoms:

  • Red skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Itchiness

Tropical steroids have been used for over 50 years in treating eczema and atopic dermatitis. To this day, it still remains one of the most effective drugs in dermatology as it works directly with the natural system in the body.

It must be noted that the condition does not occur with normal use. It generally requires the application of a tropical steroid at least daily for more than a year.

Should We Use Steroid Creams?

For atopic dermatitis and severe cases of eczema, steroid creams should be used with regular use of moisturizers to achieve these goals:

  • Maintaining control of the conditioning of the skin
  • Inducing remission
  • Preventing flares

Steroid creams should NOT be used continuously for more than two to four weeks. The frequency should be tapered to twice weekly use. Any side effects from steroid creams you should consult a doctor or dermatologist immediately.

My Experience with Steroid Creams

I have used many different types of steroid creams and have had mixed results from them. The main problem I had was that my skin suffered extreme withdrawal when I stopped my usage, as I used steroid creams on a daily basis. My usage was excessive and I used more than the recommended dosage.

My skin itself came out red raw and it took a while for skin to revert back to normal. A consistent routine without steroid creams worked for me. I researched everything in regards to my diet, the ingredients in my products and my fitness to try and improve the conditioning of my skin. Lets take a look at two steroid creams that are prescribed by the NHS.

Betnovate Cream
Hydrocortisone Ointment

Using the 1Source system, we can identify the ingredient that makes the steroid cream potentially harmful. In the Betnovate Cream, it has a Potential Index Rating of 10 because of one particular ingredient, called Chlorocresol.

Chlorocresol is a fungicide/herbicide that kills or inhibits unwanted vegetation. It has a number of a safety and hazards that are concerning for eczema users.

  • Harmful if swalled (H302)
  • Harmful in contact with skin (H312)
  • May cause an allergic reaction (H317)
  • Causes serious eye damage (H318)
  • May cause repiratory irritation (H355)
  • Causes damages to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (H373)

1Source View

It is worth noting the safety and hazard H318, serious eye damage, as it was the case for Anita Wong. We advise before applying anything, make sure you know what is in the product. The more knowledgeable you are, the better decisions you can make.

How Our Choices can Change the World?

The word “sustainability” seems to be on everyone’s lips these days, but what exactly does this monster of a term mean and how can we implement it into our everyday life? According to Investopedia, sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

1Source view: One way we can create a sustainable world is to shed light on the butterfly effect stemming from supply chains and rewiring the consumer market. 

We live in a capitalist society, where the economy is propelled by the consumer’s market’s needs and demands. It is no secret that waste and pollution caused by industrial, military and commercial processes are a huge damaging force to the environment, and with the rise of social movements such as environmental consciousness, go green movement, anti cruelty movement, we’ve seen a change in consumer behaviorism.

However, there is still so much more that can be done. As consumers, we only know so much of the products from what the business chooses to market and tell us. For some products, ingredient labels are in tiny fonts and are often in obscure areas while tag lines are often colorful and bold in order to catch the attention of potential buyers. There is a systemic issue with ambiguity and marketing trends. 

1Source Potential Risk Index

But we need to go one step deeper. It is imperative we understand more than what businesses tell us. Consumers have the right to know and understand individual contents of products they purchase. 1Source was born out of the mission to advocate for complete ingredient transparency and raise awareness around consumer rights in the blur of marketing hypes and ambiguous labels. We see all sorts of daunting chemical compounds on ingredient labels and 1Source website and app can provide a summary of individual ingredients. Most importantly, it turns jargon into easily understood material. We have a database of over 160000 pages where we summarize individual ingredients and rate the Potential Risk Index of an ingredient or product. 

This way, consumers can pick and choose products that are least harmful and toxic to them and the environment, hence creating a sustainable world. This is imperative in the sustainable dialogue as if a product contains harmful ingredients, it goes through the whole supply chain and has to be cultivated, produced, packaged, in order to get to you.Take Phenoxyethanol for example, it is a compound found in 80-90% of skincare products, including one of the products in Kylie Jenner’s skin care line. Earlier this year, the International Coral Reef Initiative, composed of coastal countries decided to ban Phenoxyethanol as it is toxic to aquatic life. 

1Source: Potential Risk Index

Another ingredient worth mentioning is titanium oxide, a widely used whitening agent that acts as a physical sunscreen. It is in a lot of food and is classified as carcinogenic by the WHO. It doesn’t have too much of an adverse effect to us as a cosmetic product however, the workers in the cultivation and manufacturing process are hurt. The particles of titanium oxide is often smaller than microbeads and penetrate the skin easier to get into the blood stream. In simple terms, the dust is hazardous to health, and plays a part in damaging the lungs and causing lung cancer.

Collection of cancer cells

Even though it doesn’t affect the consumers immediately, it affects people on the upstream of the supply chain. It gets into the ocean easier as well as waste management system is inept at filtering nano particles. Nano particles end up getting eaten by fishes and into our stomachs when we consume them, creating an endless circle. 

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. ” – Anna Lappé

 If consumers were to understand individual components in their products and its toxicity, consumers will start making smart, informed decisions and choose less harmful and toxic products. The whole cycle changes.The supply chain and the environment becomes cleaner. What we need for a more Eco friendly and sustainable world is lesser marketing hypes, smarter consumer choices and a world of ingredient transparency. We talk about changing the world, and here is how you can. Use your influence wherever you are and join 1Source in focusing on one ingredient at a time. 

Skin Whitening – The Damaging Truth

One of the world’s biggest cosmetics company, L’Oreal has announced that they will remove the words ‘white’, ‘fair’ and ‘light’ from its skin products. Neutrogena and Clean & Clear brand, which is under the giant company Johnson & Johnson also announced it would stop selling skin whitening creams sold in Asia and the Middle East.

L’Oreal Backlash

L’Oreal has been accused of hypocrisy for dropping British model Munroe Begdorf from its brand in 2017 for comments she made about systemic racism. Earlier in the month on Twitter, L’Oreal posted the statement, ‘it stands in solidarity with the Black community, and injustice of any kind’, facing huge backlash.

Begdorf recently agreed to serve as a consultant on the L’Oreal’s UK Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board. Following her appointment, she received racist and trans-phobic abuse. Before her announcement, she posted a message on her social media stating:

“Excuse my language but I am SO angry. F**K YOU @lorealparis. You dropped me from a campaign in 2017 and threw me to the wolves for speaking out about racism and white supremacy. With no duty of care, without a second thought,”

Her reconciliation with L’Oreal is the latest example of the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death of George Floyd, are forcing companies to take a hard look at their policies.

Are Skin Whitening Products Safe to Use?

Skin whitening products have been highlighted as a problem due to their branding and marketing concepts recently. Although, the bigger problem lies beneath all the packaging, the ingredients. Are skin whitening products generally safe to use? Or are we putting on a cream that is potentially harmful to our skin.

In this case study we will look at the major brands in the market today, L’Oreal and Garnier, which is valued at 4 billion USD.

L’Oreal Paris White Perfect

Achieve clear, translucent and radiant skin with White Perfect. It fades dark spots and brightens skin to give you the fair, flawless complexion you desire.

The description L’Oreal provides when describing their White-Perfect skincare line. But how well does it fair with our Potential Risk Index rating? In all of the products, there are some harmful ingredients that are identifiable.

To many, just like myself, have no knowledge of what these ingredients do. Just how harmful are these ingredients? To list a few of the safety and hazards of them;

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Serious eye damage and irritation
  • May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways

Mental Effect

In South Asian culture, fairer skin can be regarded as superior. For many, it has a negative effect on them, making unhealthy comparisons. Karishma Leckraz, a free-lance make-up artist, stated “it’s so deeply rooted in our culture that if you’re lighter, you’re so much prettier.”

One of the major influences for India is Bollywood, whose stars endorse many of the skin whitening products that are on the market. Adverts have included men being more attracted to women who became lighter-skinned.

In recent weeks, Unilever dropped the word “fair” from its skin-lightening cream in India. A skin tone filter has also been removed from Asian marriage website Shaadi.com because of the uproar of George Floyd’s death.

1Source View

We should be comfortable in our own skin. Skin whitening products have harmful ingredients that can do more harm than good. Check the ingredients before making any purchase.

Phenoxyethanol for example can cause a localized toxic sensation of burning and itching through the exposure of dermal tissues. It is a controversial chemical that can be detrimental to marine lives including corals, therefore adversely affecting our environment and our lives. Pregnant women should consult their doctors before using products containing Phenoxyethanol.

1 in 2 Shower Gels are Hazardous

What is a necessity when it comes to taking a shower? Many people will respond with soap or shower gels, as it is deemed as an essential need when trying to clean your body. Do we know what is in our shower gel products? Are we causing more harm than good?

The Hong Kong Consumer Council tested 60 bath products and gathered some alarming results. Many of the products were well known brands in Hong Kong.

  • More than half of the products had the contaminant dioxane. Dioxane is irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Under normal use, it will not pose a health threat to consumers.
  • 23 models detected the sensitizing preservatives MIT and CMIT. These common preservatives are found in many liquid care products, and have been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity.
  • 7 samples detected the sensitizing free formaldehyde. Free formaldehyde can cause dermatitis if it reaches 0.02% to 0.03% in cosmetics. if the skin has a wound, a small amount may already cause a sensitive reaction on the skin.

Can we trust the products that are stocked on the shelves of markets? The short answer is that we must take our own action to become more educated on the matter and make better choices. For the benefit of your family, you can use our platform 1Source to analysis ingredients quickly and efficiently.

The following products are non-allergic shower gels that were carefully selected by the Consumer Council. Most of which are very consistent with our Potential Risk Index. Please check the ingredients of each product to determine whether your skin is compatible with it. To view a product’s ingredient list, simply click on the picture.

1Source View

There are many ingredients that the consumer needs to be aware of. The ones mentioned in the articles can be hazardous and should be avoided. Other ingredients that should be avoided:

Credits:
https://www.consumer.org.hk
https://shopsmart.org.hk/shopsmart/index.php/Mobile/Shopping/viewReport?module=1&first_cate_id=20400&product_id=118&attribute_id=3&report_id=167