Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nutritious Pectin Gums For Children

I am rather concerned with my boy's vegetable intake as at this age as children can be rather fussy about what they want to eat. He loves carrots, potatoes, corns, grapes, golden kiwi and bananas but that is not enough. He is quite lazy when it comes to pears and apples. He spits out the fibre after chewing them to extract the juice. Well, it is better than nothing. He has tried strawberries but will only eat them if they are really sweet, which is rather rare. He does not want anything to do with oranges no matter how hard I tried to entice him to eat them. He prefers the juice that comes from cartons from supermarkets but well, how much nutrients are left in them after all the processing and pasteurisation?
I have to cut his greens into fine bits so that he will eat them. And he will spit them out if they are too big. That's where the table warfare begins haha! I give him choy sum, buk choy, kai lan, turnip, cabbage, spinach and brocoli. I have read that fruits nowadays do not have as much goodness in them as compared to olden days. This is due to early harvesting before the fruits can ripen. It is said that ten years ago, we needed only take two peaches each day. Now, it is said that we need to take 50 a day to get the same goodness! So, I really wonder about the fruits that we eat. I would not want to eat just fibre! Of course, training my precious one to like his greens is important and so far so good! On top of that, I give him Mannabears. These are yummy pectin gums in gummi-bear shapes. Samuel shunned them in the beginning. He thought they were awful and cried. After tasting them, he now loves them and will always ask for them after dinner. We use these gummi-bears as rewards for finishing his dinner. It is better to reward with these nutritious bears than to give him lollipops or jellies. If you are wondering what good treats to offer to your kids, you can consider this product. Check out more on There are three flavours - grape, punch and lime. Only fruit and vegetable ingredients are used. These pectin gums are also formulated with nutritional goodness of 12 different dehydrated fruit and vegetables. It also contains Ambrotose Complex. Ambrotose Complex is a recipe of glyconutrients. Glyconutrients are taking the world by storm. Now they are called the missing link to human wellness. They are essentially necessary sugars which are important in cell-to-cell communication in our body. These necessary sugars are found on every surface of our cells. The ingredients to these Mannabears are : Raw sugar, tapioca syrup, water, Ambrotose® complex (contains vegetable gums [pectin, gum acacia, gum tragacanth], xylitol and aloe vera inner leaf gel powder), natural flavours, natural colour: anthocyanins, pomegranate powder, acid (citric acid) vegetable powders (Brussels sprout, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, kale, tomato, turnip), fruit powders (papaya, pineapple). Serving size: 4 bears (I only give Samuel 2 bears for his age). One bottle can last for about two months for Samuel.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate


Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a anionic surfactant which comparatively is milder than Sodium laureth Sulphate and Sodium lauryl Sulphate. It is biodegradable and is derived from the reaction of fatty acids (commonly coconut oil) and sarcosine (an amino acid). It is a detergent as with SLS and SLES and is used as a foaming and cleansing agent for shampoos, shaving foams, toothpastes and foam washes.

In one cosmetic ingredient review, tests show that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate has low toxicity in rats and is non-irritating and non-sensitizing to animal and human skin. One concern however is that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate enhances the penetration of other ingredients through the skin. Therefore, it should not be formulated with ingredients whose safety is based on their lack of absorption or where dermal absorption is a concern (e.g. HC Yellow No. 4, Disperse Yellow 3). At the same time, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate can be nitrosated to form carcinogenic compounds N-nitrosamine, so it is important that it should not be found together with N-nitroso compounds in the same product.

The toxicological properties of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate have not been fully established. Based on all available data, it is concluded that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is safe to be used in rinse-off products. It is best to avoid the use of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate in leave-on and aerosol products.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wet Wipes...A Great Invention?

One of my friends once made a comment that even though her kids are now older and do not need to constantly use wet wipes, that is one product that has since stayed with her family. Wet wipes are indeed a great invention. I wonder what parents use in olden days to clean up their kids' mess, be it on the face or bottom. They probably used the good old handkerchief. And then upgraded to tissue paper. And now, wet wipes. It cleans better than handkerchiefs or tissue paper because it is wet. It does not tear easily. And it is also disposable and comes in such handy packs. I used a lot of wet wipes on my son. It was so convenient and did a wonderful job. It was only when I hired a maid that I reduced the usage of wet wipes. That was because my maid would take my son to the bathroom to wash his bottom after his poop. When I was the sole caregiver for my son, I could not afford the time and naturally, I resorted to wet wipes. I practically used wet wipes everywhere... on my boy, on his clothes, on his toys, on the furniture, even on my dog! I would say that I have used wet wipes mindlessly, because I have never ever studied what's in them. Here are the ingredients of some common household brands : PURIFIED WATER, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, AQUA & SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE, SODIUM LACTATE, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, PEG-45 PALM KERNEL GLYCERIDES, ALOE VERA, PPG-5 CETETH-20, CETYL PYRIDINIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, MENTHOL CYCLODEXTRIN COMPLEX, LACTIC ACID, AQUA & DIMETHICONE, PHENOXYEHTANOL, METHYL-, BUTYL-, ETHYL-, PROPYL-PARABEN, FRAGRANCE. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a detergent that is considered mild. Ceteth-20 can be potentially contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane. There are five preservatives and there is artificial fragrance. PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM LACTATE, METHYLPARABEN, PEG-60 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, CETYLPYRIDINIUM CHLORIDE, ETIDRONIC ACID, TETRASODIUM ETIDRONATE, JOJOBA ALCOHOL(NATURALLY OCCURRING), PPG-8-CETETH-20, WATER. This one has phenoxyethanol, a preservative, right in the top thirds of the ingredient list. Then after that methylparaben soon after. Steer clear! WATER, MINERAL OIL, C11-13 ISOPARAFFIN, POLYSORBATE-20, PHENOXYETHANOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PEG-30 STEARATE, STEARETH-10, CITRIC ACID, CETYLPYRIDINIUM CHLORIDE, TETRASODIUM EDTA, PEG-4 LAURATE, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE, FRAGRANCE. This one has mineral oil in the top thirds which can be potentially contaminated with PAHs. And this cheap mineral oil is the petro-chemical that so-called 'moisturises' your baby's bum. And phenoxyethanol follows soon. It has artificial fragrance. After examining three popular wet wipes, I think I would use them in a conservative way now. Avoid using on the face completely. If baby's bum is wet because the 'moisture' from the wet wipes transfers there, it is good to wipe that off with tissues. It is best to wash baby's bum with water if you have the chance and time. With a maid, it certainly is easier. You will save lots of wet wipes too!


Aromababy does use phenoxyethanol as a preserving ingredient though in very small amount right at the end of the list. Beyond that, every other ingredient is fantastic. I do hope one day Aromababy will come up with totally preservative-free wet wipes. I do not have any 100% safe wet wipes to recommend. I guess all wet wipes would need some kind of preservatives but we certainly can opt for one that is the safest to use. Nowadays, I standby with me three wet square towels in small zip-log bags when I take Samuel out. I use them to wipe his face or hands if they get dirty while outdoors. They are easy to pack and I just bring them home and throw into the laundry basket for wash.

Baby Moisturising Head to Toe

There are six preservatives in this product with not a complicated list of ingredients? There is artificial fragrance and artificial emollients. Having a nice-smelling baby is awesome, but not at the expense of drying its skin further or putting a layer of cream containing so many preservatives. Our objective is to moisturise our baby's skin, isnt it?
For newborns, you may like to try Aromababy's Pure Baby Moisture Lotion. It is aroma-free and designed with Organic Rosehip Oil. Ingredients are : PURIFIED WATER, PALM WAX, COCOA BUTTER, COLD PRESSED PURE SWEET ALMOND OIL, D-ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (GMO FREE NATURAL VITAMIN E), VEGETABLE GLYCERINE, ROSEHIP OIL*, HYDROXYMETHYLGLYCINATE.
The last ingredient is actually a protein-derived preservative. It's other name is Suttocide A. As far as I am concerned, I would try to steer clear of any preservative. However, this product has only one and the concentration is obviously low enough not to cause any problem. It is readily biodegradable unlike some other synthetic preservatives. It also does not cause human skin irritation at such low amount. It is the only preservative used here compared to some baby products which uses up to five!
For children who are older such as my own, I have been using Aromababy's Natural Baby Lotion with organic avocado. It also has evening primrose, safflower, jojoba and rose hip oils working together to provide deep moisturising for for skin. It is also aroma and nut oil-free. Ingredients : PURIFIED WATER, SAFFLOWER OIL*, VEGETABLE EMULSIFYING WAX, AVOCADO OIL*, JOJOBA OIL*, EVENING PRIMROSE OIL*, MANGO BUTTER, ROSEHIP OIL*, D-ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (GMO FREE NATURAL VITAMIN E), HYDROXYMETHYLGLYCINATE. *certified organic.
Samuel once had diarrhoea for two weeks because 'smart' mummy gave him so much apple to eat (I have since learnt my lesson). Our pediatrician 'cleverly' prescribed him with Physiogel's Shower Cream as well as Physiogel's Cream (shown above) because he was concerned that he would be too dehydrated and get dry skin. Well, we did not really see the need but we just got them anyway. That proved a good decision. Physiogel seems quite good. I love the Physiogel Cream for the ingredients that are in it : Aqua (water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Cocos Nucifera, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Butyrospermum Parkii, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Squalane, Sodium Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ceramide 3.
This is not an organic product but there are several good points about it. It is free from perfumes, preservatives, dyes, conventional emulsifiers, silicone, mineral oil (Paraffin). It is made in Ireland.
Find out more from here :

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Let Your Skin Drink Good Stuff!

Serums and gels are better vehicles in transporting the good stuff in facial moisturisers through your skin layers. Well, they are certainly also more efficient in transporting bad stuff too! So, it is important to select serums/gels and moisturisers that are both effective and safe. There are a few brands which I personally love to use. They are Miessence, Jurlique and Optimal. I don't use every product in their range but I select which I feel is good and effective. Here are the ingredients of Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Gel : WATER, HERBAL EXTRACT MIXTURE FROM (ROSE, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS, LICORICE, BLACK ELDER, DAISY, VIOLA ODORATA, MARSHMALLOW, SPILANTHES ACMELLA, ECHINACEA PURPUREA, GREEN TEA, GRAPE SEED, TUMERIC), GLYCERIN, ALCOHOL, EVENING PRIMROSE OIL, XANTHAN GUM, ROSE HIP FRUIT OIL, JOJOBA SEED OIL, GLYCERYL COCOATE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAD EXTRACT, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), HYDROXYMETHYGLYCINATE, LACTIC ACID, GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E), ROSE FLOWER OIL, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA FLOWER OIL, LINALOOL, GERANIOL, CITRONELLOL.
This Herbal Recovery Gel like its name suggest comes in a pale gel form. It is light and non-greasy and smells naturally awesome. It gives a wonderful cooling sensation to the skin. This product uses organic ingredients and you can trust that it is leagues above other departmental store brands. Here are the ingredients of Optimal's Skin Serum : Water, Glycerin, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrosylate, Xanthan Gum, Trehalose,Yeast B-1,2-1,6 Glucan, Hyaluronic Acid, Aminoethanesulfinic Acid, Yeast Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Artemia Seed Extract, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Pimpinella Anisum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Polysorbate-20, Retinyl Palmitate, Cranberry Oil, Arabinogalactan, NDGA, Farnesol, Calendula Extract, Caprylyl Glycine, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Tromethamine.
This skin serum is not an organic product. It is an American product made in Japan. It does not have any preservative as water is it! Not any ordinary water but 'fire-washed' water similar to that found in Pakistan's Hunza Valley. Haru Naito, world-renowned expert on water's properties, replicated the amazing geological filtration process of Hunza Valley to produce enhanced, exceptionally pure water. This water is free of bacteria, toxins and other potentially skin-damaging substances. With its natural preserving qualities, it serves as the basis for seven luxurious products available in Optimal Skin Care System. I especially love the Skin Serum and the Cleansing Cream. Those who are interested in obtaining Optimal Skin Care System Travel Pack (shown in photo) for a trial, please email me. You may visit for more information.

One last but amazing product is Miessence's Balancing Moisturiser, my favourite for a few reasons. It is a creamy moisturiser with significant and lasting effects on skin hydration and smoothness. Formulated with plant phospholipids, organic seed butters and oils, organic herbs and flowers, it truly maintains healthy skin. This moisturisers creates a protective barrier against free radicals and moisture loss (one of the main causes of wrinkles). This product is certified organic by ACO (Australia Certified Organic). Look at the wonderful and natural ingredients :

Organic aloe vera leaf juice, purified water, organic rosehip seed oil, sunflower oil, organic shea fruit butter, organic sugar cane ethanol, non-GMO Lecithin, proprietry blend of essential oils, D-panthenol (pro-vitamin nB5, organic lavender essential oil, organic olive juice extract,natural gum, organic calendula extract, organic chamomile extract, organic marshmallow extract, organic St John's wort extract.

Why do I love this moisturiser?

  • It is certified organic.
  • It contains completely natural ingredients and zero synthetic ingredients.
  • If you do notice, many products are water-based. This moisturiser is aloe vera-based.

This balancing moisturiser is meant for normal/combination skin. For dry/mature skin, you can use the rejuvenating moisturiser. For sensitive skin, you can use the soothing moisturiser. For oily skin, you can try the purifying moisturiser.

Safer Baby Washes

AROMABABY specializes in organic baby skin care products. It is made in Australia and uses up to 99% certified organic ingredients. Its ingredients are certified by two of the most reputable authorities in Australia - Australia Certified Organic (ACO) and The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia Ltd (NAASA).

Created to be a world-first, AROMABABY® offers only the gentlest of baby skincare including aroma-free products. All AROMABABY® baby care products DO not contain:

  • petro-chemicals
  • added colourings
  • artificial fragrance
  • animal-derived ingredients
  • parabens
  • alcohols
  • talc
  • octyl methoxycinnamate (found in many baby suncare products)
  • herbal extracts obtained via toxic solvent extraction
  • synthetic Vitamin E
  • Silicone (dimethicone...)
  • mineral oil
  • vegetable oils via toxic solvent extraction
For toddlers and young children, you may like to try the Baby Bath Gel. This pure and gentle gel is sulphate-free (which means free from SLS or SLES). SLS and SLES strip the natural layer of moisture from your babies' skin. This gel contains certified organic pure essential oils of French lavender and German chamomile which help relax baby and soothe the delicate skin of your baby. It also contains certified GMO-free natural vitamin E which provides effective moisturising while you bathe your little one. It also doubles as an ideal bath or shower-gel and even hand wash for the entire family.
Ingredients :

Distilled Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Decyl Glucoside, Polysorbate (dispersant) Xanthan Gum (vegetable gum) Citric Acid, Lavender French Essential Oil,* German Chamomile Essential oil*, Hydroxymethylglycinate (protein derived preservative) * means certified organic.

Another AROMABABY product is its Pure Baby Wash (on the right). It is a superb top-to-toe wash for newborns and premature babies, also formulated without any drying sulphates. This extra-gentle cleanser is also aroma-free and formulated with pure rosehip oil to help combat dryness and protect the skin from head to toe. Research in UK has found water or aroma-free products may be best for newborns in the first few weeks of infants' life. Imagine all the 'wonderful-smelling' baby baths we have used on our little new bundle of joy! They all contain artificial fragrances! Imagine how they actually stripped the moisture off those delicate new skin! Only use natural emollients that are safe! Ingredients :

Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Xanthan Gum (Vegetable Gum), d-Alpha-Tocopherol (GMO-free Natural Vitamin E), Rosehip Oil*, Hydroxymethylglycinate (Protein Derived Preservative). * means certified organic.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Treating Nappy Rash... ...

I have tried Drapolene...that pink tube...but I would say it is good as a nappy-preventive cream. There were times when my little one got diarrhoea and Drapolene did not work. I also tried Desitin Creamy. It worked wonders in healing the rash. But now, I prefer not use any of these. I prefer to use one that is made of certified organic ingredients and no synthetic chemicals . You never know how much chemicals the skin can absorb and their effect on our precious ones.
Without any doubt, it brings healing to nappy rash very well but I am concerned with several ingredients. Mineral Oil is a very cheap raw ingredient. What is the chances of it being contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)s? There is no guarantee. PAHs are possibly linked to cancer and is found in tar,which is certainly cancer-causing. So, please dont use mothballs! They have PAHs. Some anti-danduff shampoos containing coal tar also have them. Low-temperature burning cigarettes produce PAHs too. Remember, some wise people will advise us not to take too much charcoal-grilled (BBQ) foods especially BBQ meats.
I don't promote having fragrance which is synthetic. I don't promote the use of synthetic preservatives such as methylparaben and propylparaben. The only natural ingredient I see is Aloe Barabensis leaf juice and perhaps Vitamin E. Here's the profile of another prominent brand of nappy cream : ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: ZINC OXIDE 10% INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: WATER, MINERAL OIL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DIETHYLHEXANOATE, METHYL GLUCOSE DIOLEATE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, PEG-45/DODECYL GLYCOL COPOLYMER, GLYCERIN, CERESIN, ETHYL LINOLEATE, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER) FRUIT, PEG-8, PANTHENOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, PARFUM(FRAGRANCE), MAGNESIUM SULFATE, METHYLPARABEN, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, PROPYLPARABEN, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE.
There are of course healthier and more wholesome barrier or nappy rash creams out there. They are effective and safe. Well, they are not as cheap as a tube of Drapolene. We pay a price for quality, don't we? But it is worth it.
One brand is Aromababy's Barrier Balm. These are the ingredients : COLD PRESSED PURE SWEET ALMOND OIL, BEESWAX, CETOSTERYL ALCOHOL, EVENING PRIMOSE OIL, CALENDULA OIL, CARROT OIL, D-ALPHA TOCOPHEROL (GMO FREE NATURAL VITAMIN E), ROSE ESSENTIAL OIL, NEROLI ESSENTIAL OIL, GERMAN CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL, ROMAN CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL. Healing properties from natural ingredients which are certified organic by Australia Certified Organic (ACO). And the wonderful fragrance is so awesome! I even use it on my chapped hands
This barrier balm is listed with Australia's TGA as a therapeutic product. This rich balm aids in the healing of minor skin complaints. A base of pure cold pressed sweet almond oil and natural beeswax provides a light barrier to guard against further irritation. It may also be used on sunburn, windburn, chafing and cradle cap.
Email me for further questions on the product or its availability.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Shower Wash For All

For one and half years, I have been using three of the most popular baby body & hair wash in Singapore for my first child. I have not really delved deeper into the ingredients that these products use. I have selected these based on the fact that they are the most popular. However, it does pay off to study the ingredients used on all your children's products, even yours! Now that I am more educated about the world of consumer products and the many potentially-toxic ingredients that are used in them now, I am more cautious with what I buy for my whole family. We are surrounded by potentially carcinogenic chemicals daily in our shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, nappy creams, cosmetics, powders, serums, moisturisers, cleansers, toners, masks, dish washing liquids, bathroom cleaners...
Recently, I stumbled upon an Australian company which sells organic products. They are the first in the world to have their cosmetics and body products certified organic. The company is called ONE group and the name of their range is Miessence. I have ordered some to try. My boy is using their Sunflower Body Wash. These are the ingredients : Organic aloe vera leaf juice, Coco polyglucose, Sunflower oil, Propriety blend of essential oils, Non-GMO xanthum gum, Organic sweet orange essential oil, organic lemon essential oil, organic lime essential oil, citric acid. That's all it has got! Nothing funny! No synthetic emollients! No synthetic preservatives! No synthetic fragrance!
Let's compare these ingredients with any supermarket brand of shower foam. Or raise the standard. Compare these against reputable brands of body wash for children. Just to name one from a worldwide famous popular brand : Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, TetrasodiumEDTA, Sodium Chloride, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid. You can see the difference. The lathering agent for the Sunflower Body Wash is coco polyglucose, which is one of the safest in this world. The smell of this body wash is heavenly and refreshing. Email me to find out more.
"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541