Monthly Archives: June 2009

REACH Law Protects EU Consumers

pp-smog-factoryIn June 2007, the controversial new REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) law came into effect in the European Union. Taking seven years and 1,000 pages to pass, REACH is the most complex law in EU history.

Law Ensures Consumer Protection

Aiming to protect consumers and the environment from harmful and unsafe chemicals, the law requires manufacturers to ensure that over 30,000 chemicals have been tested and reviewed by the newly created European Chemicals Agency (EChA). For 1,500 high risk substances, manufacturers will have to prove “adequate control.” The EChA will ban ingredients posing a significant threat and ensure that cosmetic and other companies use alternatives.

Alternatives to Animal Tests

The law also advocates using alternatives to animal testing, so that data on toxicity to humans is obtained using means other than experiments on vertebrate animals. Since the passage of REACH, L’Oreal has announced that it will conduct safety tests on human skin cells and tissue from animals slaughtered for food, rather than live animals, to collect the new information required by the law.

REACH replaces 40 separate chemicals laws in the EU. It also extends prior cosmetics laws that were based upon risk assessment and responds to ongoing calls from the scientific community for bans on confirmed and likely carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances in cosmetic products.

Although there was little existing safety information on 99% of the man thousands of chemicals developed in the EU before 1981, the EU had banned several dangerous chemicals that remain legal in the United States, including phthalates in cosmetics.

Tougher Controls on Toxic Chemicals

REACH is expected to put more pressure on law makers in the United States to impose tougher controls on the usage of toxic chemicals, since under the country’s Toxic Substances Control Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has little legal authority to ban or restrict chemicals in use before 1976 because it must first prove they pose “an unreasonable risk.”

It should be noted, however, that there are several shortcomings to the new European law. First, manufacturers have 11 years to register product ingredients, leaving more than a decade until all the ingredients in cosmetics products will be fully disclosed. Also, if a product was manufactured outside the EU and imported, it is not regulated under REACH.

Farewell Lunch with the Penders

I was half-awake and still snuggling up in my blanket this morning when Ms. Hong called me. She said that Paul had just decided to have a farewell lunch with Alia and I was invited. Seeing that I didn’t have much time to get prepared, I jumped out of bed right away and got ready in half an hour instead of an hour when I could take my own sweet time.

Me and Ms. Hong searched around Kuah for an ideal gift for Alia. Finally, we found a handmade purse that I thought it looked chic and that Alia would love it. Although we couldn’t find something nice to wrap the purse, we managed to find a little cute notebook for everyone to write down their wishes.

paul-aliaPaul was giving a farewell gift to Alia.

Upon arriving at Weng Fung Restaurant, everyone else was already there. It was the first time I met Dr. Gatot – an experienced and professional chemist, and Yvonne – a chemist who is replacing Alia’s position.

Paul Penders-coffeechicken

Lunch was simple but wholesome. Paul shared interesting stories during his sailing on the Aegen Sea and his previous fishing trips. We joked and talked for awhile after meal. Before we left the restaurant, Paul wished Alia all the best in her studies and be happy while in KL. He also said that Paul Penders Co. would always welcome her. It was sweet and sad at the same time.

Walking out of the door, me and Alia wished each other well. Heavy-heartedly, I gave her a warm farewell hug. Although she would be leaving Langkawi soon, we are all happy for her because she has made a decision that would surely bring her a brighter future.

Dear Alia, even though we can’t be at your side, you’ll always be surrounded by our love and support. All the best and take care! *hugs*

Introduction of New Organic Color Cosmetics

mineral-eyeshadowsOur former young chemist, Alia Ghani had successfully developed a new range of organic color cosmetics such as eyeshadows, blushers, and foundations.

We have been receiving good and positive feedback from the distributors around the globe.

Not only our new range of organic color cosmetics are being introduced in many countries, but also the new packaging that has given the Paul Penders product a whole new fresh look that helps to extend the market around the world.

One of the reviews came from Amanda, the Director of The Natural Skincare Company Ltd in UK. She wrote:

“We think that you all have done a superb job with the new product range. We know how difficult it is to get these things, not only right but with an overall feel of consistency too. Good luck! If you need anymore help or ideas, please let me know!”

With this review, Alia should be proud of herself as it wasn’t easy to bring out such a remarkable result. This is not only a good start for Paul Penders organic cosmetics, but also a great leap for Alia to be successful in her career.

Alia Goes To University

alia-ghaniI received a call from Ms. Hong yesterday afternoon. She told me that Alia, our young chemist, was leaving for KL to further her studies. It was indeed a shocking news as she had never mentioned about pursuing a degree in the near future.

Later that afternoon, Alia sent me an email breaking the news that she would be leaving Langkawi this Friday and register at a university in KL. She said that it had been a blast knowing and working with us, although it was only a short span of time. However, she assured us that this wasn’t a forever goodbye and that we could hang out again when she’s back in Langkawi. It was sad to hear about this news.

Alia took up a Diploma in Chemistry in Sabah before she worked for Paul Penders. Her knowledge had helped significantly in creating the mineral blushers, eyeshadows and foundations, which consist of certified organic ingredients. I must say that it’s a major achievement for her and I’m sure there are more to come. Although she had been doing great in this company for 5 months, she decided to pursue her degree to gear herself for the future. Despite her sudden decision to leave, we have found a good replacement.

Alia is a nice, bright and easygoing girl whom I’ve known since secondary school. She was very active in school and had good relationships with her friends and teachers. When I first knew her, I’ve always thought that she would be successful in her career as she possesses such personalities that can lead her to great achievements in life.

Well, Alia…We all wish you all the best in your studies and in your future career. We are going to miss you loads and we hope to see you soon! Take care and keep in touch. *hugs*

How Stress Affects Your Skin

Stress isn’t just an unpleasant emotion: it’s the cause of a complex set of physiological changes in the body that can result in everything from dull, lifeless skin to acne flares, premature wrinkling, dandruff and an increased risk of heart disease.

It’s The Adrenaline

The effects of stress on the skin begin with adrenaline. When confronted with a stressful situation, the body produces this “fight or flight” hormone. Adrenaline prepares the body for action in emergency situations, boosting the supply of oxygen and energy-giving glucose to the brain and muscles. At the same time, however, adrenaline re-directs blood flow away from the skin, thereby decreasing the skin’s supply of oxygen.

When this happens repeatedly, such as through the chronic stress induced by ongoing tension at home or at work, the skin doesn’t receive the nourishment it needs. This can result in dull skin tone, loss of elasticity and overactive sebaceous (oil) glands, leading to acne breakouts. Over prolonged periods, stressed skin often shows signs of early wrinkling and discoloration when internal regenerative processes break down. Stress also slows the skin’s rate of cellular turnover, so it takes longer for fresh, new skin cells to reach the skin’s surface.

Preventing Stress

Aside from eliminating the source of stress, easy ways to mitigate its effects include reducing caffeine intake, increasing consumption of antioxidants and supplementing skin care regimens.

Like stress, caffeine elevates adrenaline levels by altering the chemistry of the brain. It does this by inhibiting the action of adenosine.

Stress can also weaken the immune system and inhibit the important work of antioxidants, which slow the creation of damaging free radicals in the body. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules responsible for everything from killing harmful bacteria to increasing the risk of cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and skin problems.

Free Radical Theory of Aging

In 1956, Dr. Denham Harman proposed the free radical theory of aging, suggesting that the aging process begins at the deepest cellular level and is caused largely by free radicals. These damaged cells attack healthy cells, causing age spots, wrinkles, thinning skin, lack of firmness and dullness. This occurs as the free radicals attack collagen, a protein that gives the skin its suppleness as well as its ability to repair itself.

Antioxidants slow or prevent the creation of free radicals in the body. They include some vitamins (such as vitamins C and E), some minerals (such as selenium), and flavonoids, which are found in fruits, red wine, and some teas. Antioxidant supplements can also be purchased.

Antioxidants In Your Food

A rising number of nutrition experts, however, recommend dietary modifications instead of supplements to increase antioxidant intake. This is because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medication, so a dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on its effects.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently analyzed antioxidant levels in more than 100 different foods. It found that cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries contain the highest amounts of antioxidant among fruits; beans, artichokes, and russet potatoes lead among the vegetables while pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts have the most antioxidants in the nut category. Other good sources of antioxidants include pomegranates, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, apples, cherries and plums.