Geekspa International

February 12, 2010

Start reading cosmetics labels like food labels












Get your toothpaste or shampoo or maybe a moisturizing cream or even your deodorant, any of the personal care products you use daily. Perfect, now read ingredients and compare with the ones listed in the table below (Taken from Health Report)

Many of the products you use will be branded as “containing natural herbal extracts” or “Hypoallergenic” or “Organic”. YOU do your own exercise and see how many toxic chemicals you can find in these products that are listed below.



November 7, 2008

What Lies Beneath a “Healthy Skin” product

st_50_lotion_tHere’s another good article from, look out for:

Neutrogena Face Lotion 

Vitamins, ultraviolet light absorbers, and a soothing dab of flesh-eating acids.



Marketers prefer the less-scary-sounding “alpha-hydroxy.” It’s a corrosive acid that breaks apart the outer layer of skin, spurring new cell growth. While it may make you look younger, it can also make skin twice as vulner able to sun damage — good thing Neutrogena adds SPF 15 sunscreen. When hydroxyacetic acid is not melting faces worldwide, it can be found in bathroom tile scum removers, where it dissolves minerals left behind in your shower.

A derivative of toluene and oxygen, benzoic acid is a preservative commonly used to keep soda or fruit juice from getting moldy. In lotion, it functions as an antimicrobial.

Rub this flower-scented lotion on your skin or stick your face in a diesel’s tailpipe, where benzophenone is present in the exhaust. Either way, you get a nice sunscreen. If swallowed or inhaled, though, the substance may disrupt hormones and mess with your brain. Scientists — and probably industry lawyers — recommend against using it on kids.

This is the alcohol variant of pantothenic acid, aka vitamin B5. In a living cell, it becomes a component of coenzyme A, which helps repair the skin’s plasma membranes. Attention Chernobyl-area residents: It also protects against gamma radiation from nuclear fallout.

Nonchemists call this vitamin A, which benefits bone growth and night vision when it’s ingested. Here it fights acne and other skin disorders.

You know it as vitamin C. In lab tests, ascorbic acid generated an eightfold increase in the production of collagen, which helps prevent wrinkles. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals (highly reactive molecules that can damage the skin’s surface).

Another sunscreen ingredient, this compound absorbs light in the 280- to 320-nanometer range, the ultraviolet-B part of the spectrum. This type of blocker is a fairly recent addition to lotions — the ozone layer used to stop UVB rays.

This natural additive gets around more than Paris Hilton. It provides a smooth, pillowy texture in just about everything — from toothpaste and ice cream to rust dissolver.

The articles found on these pages are for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of professional medical care.

November 6, 2008

Beauty products that kills: What to avoid…

poisonBeauty products that kills: “Start reading cosmetics labels like food labels”

What to avoid…


Used mainly in plastic products to make them more flexible, phthalates are also added to cosmetics to help stabilise fragrance compounds. Even though three phthalates have been banned from cosmetics in the EU, the phthalate DEP (diethyl phthalate) is still widely used in deodorants, hair care, aftershave lotions, skincare, make-up and perfumes. Women aged 20-40 have been found to have the highest levels of phthalates in their bodies, which may have implications for their own fertility, as well as the reproductive ability of their offspring. Teenage boys using antiperspirants and grooming products are also putting themselves at risk. 

WHAT DO THEY DO? Various studies about phthalates have raised concerns about their links with increased incidences of asthma and allergies, as well as their impact on the body’s hormone system. 

The EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) considers DEP safe despite epidemiological evidence (although it is claimed to be inconsistent) that DEP can impair reproductive function, according to the Women’s Environmental Network. In individual products phthalates may represent a trace amount, but the cumulative effect  –  using numerous products a day  –  can amount to a substantial internal dose. 


A preservative that mixes easily with water and so is often found in water-based cosmetics, such as shampoo, shower gel and hand wash. It also has germicide, fungicide and disinfectant properties. 

WHAT DOES IT DO? It can trigger allergies and some people have reported suffering from asthma and headaches after exposure to the chemical but, more worryingly, it is also classified as a carcinogen and is banned from cosmetics in other countries, such as Sweden. 


Synthetic chemicals that are used as preservatives to inhibit the growth of bacteria, moulds and yeasts. You’ll find them in one incarnation or another (methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, benzyl paraben) in many beauty products from deodorants and moisturisers to sunscreens and they are also used as a preservative in food. 

WHAT DO THEY DO? They are known to disrupt hormone function. More than 12 studies have shown them to mimic the effect of oestrogen in animals and in tissue culture when applied topically rather than ingested. The link between oestrogen and breast cancer is already well proven, but a 2004 study by Dr Phillipa Darbre at the University of Reading found evidence of parabens in breast tumours. 


The same sort of chemicals that you’ll find in your garden shed, just in far greater concentrations. They may be used to grow and cultivate the raw ingredients used in skincare or cosmetics. 

WHAT DO THEY DO? It’s not entirely clear how much of the original pesticide is likely to be transferred to the body via a cosmetic product, but given the potentially serious effects of pesticides generally, they are still a cause for concern. Pesticides have been linked with cancer, foetal abnormalities, decreasing male fertility and Parkinson’s disease.

For more information visit

The articles found on these pages are for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of professional medical care.

November 5, 2008

Finding products without these questionable ingredients is virtually impossible


In her book “Confessions Of An Eco-Shopper” Kate Lock makes an interesting point:

It’s not just the chemicals that we should be so concerned about in a beauty product…

Multiple exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in everything from perfume to body lotion is enveloping us in a toxic cloud that’s further concentrated by the chemicals in the washing powders, and household cleaning products most of us use daily”.

Meaning, you can test one ingredient itself but it’s far more complex to evaluate how they combine with each other, and the long lasting effects, in time.

A good friend of mine that works in the Luxury/Beauty industry mentioned that The European Union has a quite strict regulation on cosmetic ingredients. However “Laws & regulations” can be easily interpreted or bent; as usual industries can decide which rules to follow and which other to disregard, there aren’t real accurate controls in place to keep them to do so. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry run a huge business with powerful lobbies ready to protect their interests if at stake.
There are people working for huge brands that are conscious of the effects their product have on their customer, as much as the Tobacco industry does; nevertheless, this does not prevent them to use ingredients such as Parabens or propylene glycol (PG). I was told that these are the ingredients used for creating “luxurious textures” and are an absolute “must” for prestige brands. Their claim is simple: “women adore to be pampered, to feel sumptuously soft and supple. “Parabens” can do that, and, as women love that effect and do not care of the implication, why should prestige brand worry?” Live the dream and keep on cashing in!

Moreover, some of these brands are blatantly taking the piss!

Kate Lock explains that one of the ingredient commonly used in stick deodorant branded as “organic” is propylene glycol (PG). You might think that by buying ‘ natural’ products but, in fact, a product can bill itself as ‘natural’  even if only 1 per cent of it contains natural ingredients. 

Did you get it right? 1% natural ingredients + 99% total shit = Organic/natural branded product. Awesome!!

So what is this propylene glycol? Once again Kate Lock shed some light for us: “While PG is considered safe by the cosmetics industry, its ability to penetrate the skin quickly, carrying other chemicals with it into the bloodstream, and the impurities that can be generated by its manufacture (including 1,4-Dioxane, a probable carcinogen) give it a less wholesome pedigree

Again, Methylparaben and propylparaben  –  two of a group of preservatives thought to effect hormone levels in the body  –  seem to be included in just about all moisturisers, even those with a ‘green’ brand image. 

In fact, finding products that don’t contain any of these questionable ingredients is virtually impossible. You might embark in a long research prior buying and find some 100% natural products, but, frankly, these products are the exception rather than the rule.
Here’s some hope! Be more aware of what you buy. Leave the poison on the shelves and companies will have to adjust. If you really want to know what you’re slapping on your body go to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ product guide, Skin Deep ( 

It allows you to check out ingredients and products, though bear in mind that as this is an American website so product formulations may differ as EU restrictions are tighter. 
I know people that went through a selection of the products in their bathroom, cross referencing with Ethical Consumer magazine resources, and in just one shampoo found no fewer than seven ingredients known to have all sorts of horrible effects, from clogging-pores and irritating skin with chemicals thought to be carcinogenic. 

Kate’s conclusion is a eye opener: “Once you start reading cosmetics labels like food labels, it opens up a whole new and, frankly, terrifying world”. 

Dying to be beautiful. Are your beauty products killing you?

article-1041224-0228ac4600000578-286_634x9423By KATE LOCK

Last updated at 4:12 PM on 05th August 2008

Beauty products are my passion. Always have been, since my mother introduced me to Quickies Cleansing Pads at 13. 

I’ve cleansed, toned and moisturised ever since, though it has come at a massive cost financially. I hate to think how much I’ve spent on beauty products since I began my twice-daily regime, but it would run into thousands. Suffice to say, they know me by name at the Clarins counter. 

I’m not alone. A 2006 survey commissioned by New Woman magazine revealed that British women spend £3,000 a year on beauty products and treatments, with 81 per cent of women wearing make-up every day. According to analysts Mintel, British women are the largest users of make-up in Europe, capping even the French. (And Clarins is cheaper there, n’est-ce pas?)

All well and good, but there’s a lie in these ointments, and it is this: the very products that are promoted as making us look younger, sexier, healthier and more attractive may ultimately be doing the opposite. 

Getting Lippy, a groundbreaking report by the Women’s Environmental Network published in 2003, claimed that cosmetics and beauty products may contain ingredients that impair fertility, increase the effects of ageing and are linked to cancer, allergies and other health problems. 

The love of lipstick: But what does it contain?

‘There is increasing evidence that we are all victims of a great big con,’ the report concluded. 

I’ll say. You expect the food you buy to be safe, and there are huge public outcries when it isn’t, yet the same stringent standards are not universally applied to cosmetics companies. 

This is especially true in the U.S., which is less regulated. However, since the implementation of the European Union’s cosmetics directive in 2006, consumers in the UK have been better protected from chemicals that are considered mutagenic (meaning they will change the genetic information of organisms), carcinogenic (cancer causing), or reproductive toxins. 

All UK cosmetics and their ingredients must be safety-tested, and there is a list of chemicals that are not permitted for use in cosmetics and maximum concentration restrictions on others. 

That’s still not enough for campaign groups, such as the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace. They say that chemicals such as parabens and phthalates, which can have an effect on the hormones in our bodies, cannot be ‘adequately controlled’. They are putting pressure on Brussels to introduce laws recognising this and to substitute them with safer alternatives. 

October 14, 2008

Safe miracles with no prescription or useless shit?

napoleon-dynamite Few months ago, having promised my Mum, I took her to Cosmoprof in Bologna, probably the biggest Trade exhibition of its kind on the planet. Mum was after some free samples, I was after some gratuitous nudity and a laugh, we both got disappointed. Hundreds of companies within the Wellness & Spa sector were showing off their innovative products and services; we spent hours looking for something actually useful on display only to realise that we had wasted our fucking time.

See, you get out from a place like that and wonder what the hell is wrong with some people, how can they really believe that those treatments and products could actually transform someone into something better? People spend shit lots of money on a promise just like in the middle age they would do in the name of salvation… a good-looking man or an annoying screaming lady would step on to a stage promising “I’m going to make you a better person” and a massive bunch of losers pick up their wallet like there’s no tomorrow… c’mon now, aren’t we better than that??

It’s beyond me!

What makes it worse (because it gets worst!) is that most of these products, creams, treatments are dispensed without any serious scrutiny or info in terms of possible medical symptoms or side effects… When buying a cream in a beauty parlour, how do we really know what is good to our skin? Do they ask you for any convincing info before helping you making an informed decision? Is the pretty lady serving you competent and well trained on what can really do you good?

Even more, would we ever know if… say Mrs Perkins the next day wakes up with, for example, redness of the eyes, itching, irritation, skin rashes… no, we wouldn’t know! And the pretty lady serving you, wouldn’t know either, and would carry on charging someone’s credit card as this is what she’s paid for.

I don’t buy it! Either someone is selling us “safe miracles with no prescription” or they’re selling us useless shit that does absolutely nothing other than emptying our pockets…

Sure, there must be something out there genuinely good for our specific needs, but how do we find out, and do we separates merciless robbers from professional expertise and competence, how can we know more about what we need, what’s available, where to find it… and expose the bastards that are simply taking the piss taking our money?

I’d love to find a way… maybe I will 😉

European Geeks and beauty products… is it all worthed?

geeks1Someting is wrong,

You live 10 years abroad, come back and find that Geeks are not even funny anymore… ??

C’mon now, young Italians have become a bunch of beautiful superficial model wannabes. Geeks are kinda outcast in places like Milan or Rome.

Everyone seems to be taking far too seriously their “look” or “the way they look” or even worse “what people might think”…

Don’t get me wrong, I like walking around in “Duomo Square” or in trendy bars downtown and being surrounded by stunners wearing expensive clothes’, perfect hair and make up… it does give me a sense of enormous well being  … but then you get to know some of these girls you realise how superficial and boring is everything else about ‘hem… they’re too busy looking good rather than making any sense as individuals.


It’s no biggy, but it gets worse… do you know how much most Italians spend in luxury goods and personal care?? According to the latest figures we’re still topping the charts in Europe, in spite of a marked economic downturn which is making us all feel poorer and poorer…

That’s what sucks! I know people that wouldn’t eat rather than giving up their weekly sessions at the beauty parlour.

Maybe it’s time to bring it down a notch, maybe it’s time to realise that when you read that in time of financial strains Italians increase their spending in beauty treatments and personal care…well, something is just not right 😉 I wonder whether the same is happening abroad? Well, let mew know…

Generally the number of new “Centri Estetici” (Beauty saloons) are on the increasing, whereas most of commercial activities in other areas are closing down (travel agencies, restaurant, bars, shops) .


Well, I’d love to find a way to get some advice…

November 7, 2008

Smoking, Can it Harm My Skin?

Filed under: Protect your skin — Tags: , , , , , , , — Geom Alfieri @ 2:57 pm


smoking3Smoking, Can it Harm My Skin?

Yes it can harm it in several ways. Here are more reasons to quit smoking now.

Skin is fed from within. The foods we eat are broken down into nutrients and waste. The nutrients are absorbed by the bloodstream which transports them around the body to the various organs, the largest of which is the skin. Oxygen is also transported and delivered in the same way. The cells absorb the oxygen and this is vital for the health of the organs and the life process itself. This whole process takes place automatically when we breathe……..

Except when we are breathing in smoke!

When we inhale the smoke from a cigarette the carbon monoxide from the smoke is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood. Carbon monoxide is a colorless odorless highly toxic gas also found in the smoke from car exhausts. The blood can absorb carbon monoxide 200 times as fast as oxygen so a lot of the oxygen is displaced by carbon monoxide. The organs including the skin are starved of life giving oxygen and slowly poisoned by the carbon monoxide.

But that’s not the end of it. Cigarette smoke also contains the following deadly cocktail of chemicals. Ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, butane, nicotine, carbolic acid, collidine, formic aldehyde, lutidine, parvoline, prussic acid, pyridine, arsenic and cadmium. This list is by no means complete.

The affect on the skin of all these is catastrophic. The liver goes into overdrive trying to expel these chemicals from the body and cannot perform its normal functions properly. The skin loses its healthy glow and takes on a yellowish-grey cast. The more cigarettes smoked, the worse your skin will look.

Smoking also causes premature aging in two ways. It uses up vitamin C in the body, about 35 mg for each cigarette. Vitamin C is an unstable vitamin and cannot be manufactured by the body. One of its functions is the preservation of the collagen in the skin, the substance that gives skin its plump and youthful appearance. The collagen beaks down causing premature wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

The physical act of smoking causes us to squint, exaggerating the wrinkles around the eyes. Every time we purse our lips we deepen the wrinkles around our mouth as well.

Do yourself a favor! Stop poisoning yourself. Qit smoking now. Save the money you spend on these toxic weeds and go out and treat yourself to a facial or a new skin cream instead.

Your skin will thank you for it!

Like to have better looking skin? will give you detailed information on all facets of skin care. The author, Wendy Owen has had a lifetime interest in general and alternative health and skin care.

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