Monday, 27 April 2015

Hyper(Active)Pigmentation

MooGoo Skin Care Hyperpimentation
We think freckles are cute. :)

WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION? 

Pigmentation is the natural colouring of our skin and is caused by melanin, a substance within our bodies. Hyperpigmentation is, as the name implies, crazy pigmentation. It occurs when the body is producing an excess of melanin which causes the skin to darken more than its normal colouring, for example freckles or sunspots. 


WHAT CAUSES HYPERPIGMENTATION?

Well, there's a range of things such as sun exposure, certain medications, fragrances and perfumes, genetics and ageing. Hyperpigmentation is harmless but for some, it can heavily affect self-esteem. 


Hyperpigmentation MooGoo Brightening Cream
MooGoo Brightening Cream

HOW DO I FADE HYPERPIGMENTATION?

There are many topical and laser treatments on the market that claim to help fade hyperpigmentation. But these treatments can be costly and there are always risks involved, particularly with laser treatments. Many involve bleaching agents which may not be good for the skin long term. After receiving many requests from customers for a healthy, natural alternative, we got to work. 


A few years ago, we developed a product called MooGoo Brightening Cream. This Cream has a natural, healthy moisturiser base made up of our favourite skin healing oils, such as olive oil, apricot oil and rice bran oil. Within this base, we have mixed in three powerful natural brightening ingredients that gradually lighten the skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation. These include:
MooGoo Brightening Cream Hyperpigmentation
Field Dock Plant


1) Alpha Arbutin 

This ingredient is derived from the field dock plant. It is purified to increase effectiveness and arrives to us as a white powder which we then mix into the natural moisturiser base. 





Indian Gooseberry
2) Emblica 

This is derived from Indian Gooseberry and is also used in some anti-ageing creams because as well as brightening the skin, it is also an excellent antioxidant. 






Brightening Cream MooGoo Hyperpigmentation
Super Vitamin C
3) Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (Super Vitamin C)

One of our all time favourite ingredients! Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants and brightening agents out. But vitamin C is normally soluble in water, not oil. This means if you lather vitamin C on your skin, it will just sit on top of the skin's natural oils and not actually reach the skin. So we have found an oil soluble version of vitamin C which we use in our products so it can mix with the natural oils of the skin and penetrate through to reach the skin. 


So for customers wanting to fade their hyperpigmentation without having to use expensive topical treatments or laser, we would advise using this Cream as a daily moisturiser in conjunction with our Super Vitamin C Eye Serum (pre-moisturiser). This serum is a pure, nourishing and highly concentrated serum made up of three simple ingredients: ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (vitamin C), vitamin E and olive squalene. Due to its high concentration of vitamin C, this serum is particularly good for pigmentation. 

Anyways, we thought to write this post because the other day we received an email from one of our customers Lindsay that is just too lovely not to share: 


"Just thought you would like to see the results of your Brightening Cream. I have been using it every night ... and I think the results speak for themselves. I have a lot of MooGoo products and love it!! Very happy as I was going to get laser treatment but thought I would try your cream first. Thanks again."

Hyperpigmentation Brightening Cream MooGoo
Brightening Cream Before and After

By Daniella de Azevedo

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Movember for the Moustache-less



As you might have noticed from all the guys walking around growing moustaches, it is Movember. We want to support men's health too, but being a nearly all-female office who can't grow moustaches (or don't want to admit we can :)) we came up with an idea. We're making our own moisturiser moustaches - a fun way us ladies (and kids) can get involved in the Movember craze and easy enough to slip into our morning beauty regime. 

If you can't grow a moustache but would like to support this great cause, join us by uploading a photo of your moisturiser moustache to our website, Facebook or Instagram with the tag #MOOvember. For every person to upload a moisturiser moustache photo, we will donate $1 to The Movember Foundation up to $500 until end of November. The hashtag is really important because it will help us track how many photos have been uploaded and we will also be collecting all the photos for the online gallery on our website... check it out here: www.moogoo.com.au

Thanks everyone and we look forward to seeing your moustache! ;)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Why this cream is as good for you as a glass of red wine

Anti-ageing promises seem to be becoming more far-fetched each year. Products that claim to incorporate DNA from different animal kingdoms into human anti-ageing (jellyfish DNA and apple stem cells for example... and we're not kidding!), so called topical botox creams (there is a reason why botox is usually injected) and face lifting creams? The anti-ageing industry is largely characterised by some very creative marketing. 

There are however many topical anti-ageing actives with strong peer reviewed evidence for keeping the skin youthful and healthy. They may not sound as exotic as apple stem cells or jellyfish DNA, but they do have a much stronger scientific foundation. 

Resveratrol MooGoo Anti Ageing
Red wine and grapes -
excellent sources of
resveratrol

Resveratrol 

It's been said a glass of red wine a night is the secret to a long life and may prevent cancer. This is all thanks to its antioxidants, especially one in particular - resveratrol. Resveratrol is the latest breakthrough compound found in red grape skin which gives wine its deep, rich colour and exceptional antioxidant properties. Resveratrol is the reason it has become socially acceptable, if not encouraged, to treat yourself to a glass of red a night. It's also found in peanuts, dark chocolate and blueberries. 



But resveratrol's healing benefits don't stop there. University studies have found that topically, resveratrol is an incredibly strong antioxidant that helps maintain youthful skin. In fact, topical resveratrol (i.e. applied to the skin) may be one of the best methods of gaining the therapeutic effects of this antioxidant (read more on this here). 

Dietary benefits of resveratrol include: 
  • Cancer prevention. According to this 2009 US study, resveratrol helps fight the three stages of carcinogenesis (the development of cancer). 
  • It is a cardioprotective which means it helps protect the heart, as found in this 2006 study
  • It helps prevent Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders, as discussed in this Australian study.  

Topical (and dietary) resveratrol is also excellent for anti-ageing: 
  • It helps protect against UV damage, a leading cause of ageing. You can read more here
  • It helps slow the ageing process. It has been found that resveratrol stimulates a group of enzymes called sirtuins whose job is to control several processes that cause ageing. 
  • It increases mitochondrial function (dubbed the 'powerhouse of the cell' the mitochondria is responsible for producing the cell's energy) according to this Australian study. As you can imagine, the more energy a cell has, the healthier and longer it will survive. 
  • It acts as an anti-inflammatory as explained in this 2010 study. Inflammation is the body's response to irritants, damaged cells or pathogens and can lead to ageing of the skin. 
  • It is an exceptional antioxidant as seen in this study. You know how freshly cut apples turn brown pretty quickly? That's oxidisation. The same thing happens to our skin which causes ageing. This is why it is very important to use antioxidants (both topically and in your diet) to mop up the harmful, unwanted oxygen molecules that cause skin oxidisation. 
Skin oxidisation
Apple oxidisation

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate ("Super Vitamin C")

Another great natural antioxidant is ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (a type of oil soluble vitamin C). This is the best and most expensive form of the vitamin C antioxidant available. Here's a summary on all its benefits which you can read in more detail here
Vitamin C MooGoo Anti Ageing
Dietary sources of vitamin C

  • It encourages cell growth or proliferation 
  • It promotes collagen synthesis
  • It prevents skin oxidisation 
  • It prevents skin cell damage 
  • It protects the skin from UVA and UVB damage 
  • It helps the appearance of pigmentation 



Something to keep in mind when picking anti-ageing products... To protect the skin, there is a layer of sebum (oil) that acts like a shield. It blocks most things from reaching the skin and it also prevents your body from losing too much water. Topical antioxidants won't do much good if they can't get through the skin's sebum. 

Because of the countless benefits of these two powerful antioxidants, we have used them in their full concentration in our Anti-Ageing Face Cream. Afterall, we believe moist, supple skin that is nourished with antioxidants and vitamins is much healthier than skin subjected to acids, temporary plumping agents, chemical line fillers or another animal's DNA. Our Anti-Ageing Face Cream is designed to maintain youthful skin by keeping the skin in a healthy state rather than short term miracles that might cause long-term damage.

Also look out for silicones in your creams. Silicones (you will see them on the label as Dimethicone or Cyclomethicone or similar) make a cream very smooth and slippery on the skin. However, it also forms a silicone barrier, preventing any antioxidants within the cream from reaching the skin and so these are essentially wasted. That is why we do not use silicones in any of our products (silicones also make the hair smooth and slippery, but soon build up on the scalp making the hair lank.)


Botox Creams? 
Some anti-ageing creams make claim that they will offer the same effects as a botox injection. For this to happen, the ingredients would need to reach the muscles. Hmmm, we aren't too convinced...

MooGoo Anti Ageing Skin Layers
Skin layers
The skin is designed to keep things OUT of the body. It is your body's shield. For a topical botox cream to work, it would firstly need to make it through the skin's sebum. After that it would need to travel through several skin layers and subcutaneous fat before it can reach the muscle (see diagram on the right.) 
Topical creams will usually only get to the very top later of the skin (if it contains oil soluble ingredients) but won't make it any further so don't believe the hype behind such products. This is the very reason why botox is injected into the skin, not applied topically. 


2014's Anti-Ageing Trends

We couldn't help ourselves but have a little laugh after reading some of the supposed anti-ageing beauty trends to watch out for this year. Our favourites were...
  • Jellyfish DNA which involves lathering on the DNA of a jellyfish that never ages (no matter how much jellyfish DNA used doesn't mean our human DNA will suddenly morph with it.)
  • Bee venom, dubbed the 'ultimate natural alternative to botox' which will apparently 'revive the look of mature and stressed skin'. Once again, topical creams can't reach the muscles and so we're still wondering how this works exactly. 
It is important to look a little deeper into what you're using for your skin to avoid long term damage or wasting money on false promises. We urge everyone to check the evidence behind ingredients on Google Scholar instead of basing decisions on the marketing. There is no requirement for companies to back up claims made about products so the world is really their oyster. 

Do you have any credible anti-ageing tips or know of some excellent antioxidants? What is the most far-fetched anti-ageing tip you've heard? Let us know in the comments below. :)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

To be organic or not to be?

Some of the most common questions we get asked are...

"Are you certified organic?" or 
"Are your ingredients organic?" or 
"Why aren't you certified organic?"

It seems virtually everything these days is 'Certified Organic' from apples to hair sprays, but this is a trend that we have resisted. 

To gain the Australian Certified Organic label, skin care products must follow standards set aside by the respective certifying body which ensures that a certain percentage of ingredients have been grown without toxins or other chemical inputs. 
For consumers, such a label creates the notion that the products are higher quality and healthier. 



So why is the organic logo not of interest to MooGoo?

Organic certification can be very useful when it comes to unprocessed food to ensure it is free of pesticides and not genetically modified. However, when it comes to skin care, ingredients are usually refined in order to draw out the pure oils and other cosmetic grade ingredients. Impurities and unwanted components are filtered out which means they become free of pesticides. Cosmetic grade ingredients, whether natural, organic or synthetic, need to be delivered with purity standards. 

We have instead chosen to focus on natural, edible ingredients based on how much they help the skin rather than whether or not they get the tick of approval by organic certifying bodies. Natural is almost always best in our opinion. However, just because an ingredient is natural doesn't  mean it is necessarily safe and effective. For those with eczema and other skin problems, some natural ingredients just aren't suitable in our opinion. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree for example is a wonderful antibacterial essential oil, but can be extremely sensitising for some when applied to the skin so it's not something suited to our products which are designed for those with sensitive skin. There may be some synthetic alternatives less irritating that perform the same function. Quite a few essential oils are not safe for pregnant women and of course many natural ingredients are actually quite toxic if ingested, whether they are organic or not. At MooGoo, we try and chose ingredients that are effective, not sensitising for most people and are safe when ingested. 

There are many excellent certified organic brands out there and we think it is great that there has been a shift towards the use of chemical-free cosmetics in Australia. For our particular brand which focuses on natural products for babies and adults with skin problems or very sensitive skin, organic certification would not offer any extra improvement over what we already do. For us it is much more important to focus on the ingredients themselves rather than whether or not the supplier has contributed to an organic labelling scheme. 

What do you think? Let me know below. :)

By Daniella De Azevedo 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Food allergies driving you nuts?

We were talking to a mum the other day who said that during her first pregnancy she ate plenty of eggs and her child was born with an egg allergy. Yes, may be a coincidence... but during her second pregnancy she took fish oil supplements and her baby was born with an allergy to fish. Yes, this may still be a coincidence but it did prompt lots of talk in the office about food allergies. 


"4.1 million Australasians have at least one allergic disease."

This is a frightening statistic by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) this year. An allergy is the immune system's response to a particular substance, which is mistakenly identified as toxic. This can literally be anything such as food, airborne particles, skin care products, medications or insect venom. The 2013 ASCIA report found that food allergies, particularly among children, are on the rise. Here are some other interesting facts released by the organisation: 

  • Allergy and immune diseases are 2 of the most rapidly growing chronic conditions in Australia 
  • 10% of infants in Australia have a food allergy 
  • Over the past 20 years, hospital admissions for anaphylaxis (most severe and potentially life threatening type of allergic reaction) have increased 4-fold 
  • ASCIA predicts that by 2050, the number of Australians with an allergy will increase by 70% (to 7.7 million people) as seen in the below chart


Is this rise in allergies thanks to a better healthcare system and easier methods of detecting allergies, OR is there more to it? There are so many interesting different food allergy theories floating around which I thought I'd share. 



Hygiene theory 

The base of this theory is that food allergies have come about due to a lack of microbial exposure ... in simpler terms we have become too clean for our own good. It was founded by David Strachan. 

Over the years, humans have worked to live in a sterile, clean environment and thanks to modern hygiene tools, we have done just that. Next time you walk through the detergent aisle of the supermarket, take a look at how many products say "Cleans 99% of germs." This theory suggests that by living in such an environment, we aren't exposing infants and toddlers (whose immune systems are still developing) to bad bacteria and germs. This means their immune systems aren't being taught what to attack and what is good and healthy. It then mistakes harmless things as invaders which need to be attacked and viola they are left with an allergy. 

Now this is not to say we should be living in a pig sty. But Strachan suggests we shouldn't sit in the other extreme either and allow children to 'explore' nature sometimes. Probiotics can be a way to introduce the body's immune system to a broad range of friendly bacteria. 

** Did you know? There are more bacteria cells in your body than human ones.


Lack of exposure to allergens AKA 'peanut allergy theory'

This was a theory mentioned to me by a doctor I know which suggests that allergies develop by not exposing infants to common allergens from an early age. Early consumption of peanuts in infancy is associated with a low prevalence of peanut allergy compared peanut allergies in UK Jewish children and Israeli children. In Israel, children consume peanuts from their first year of life whereas in the UK, it is recommended parents avoid giving children peanuts until later on in life as they are such a common allergen (this is also the case for North America and Australia). However, the study found that peanut allergies were actually more prevalent in Jewish children from the UK compared to Israeli children. 


Interestingly, this 2008 study looked at whether or not peanut allergies in children has anything to do with whether or not the mother consumed peanuts, or foods containing peanuts, during pregnancy or lactation. It found that a child was more likely to develop a peanut allergy if their mother consumed peanuts more than once a week throughout pregnancy compared to those whose mothers only consumed peanuts less than once a week during pregnancy. The study states "[Peanut allergy] is more likely to occur if mothers eat peanuts more frequently during pregnancy and introduce it early to the infant's diet."

This goes to show that our knowledge of what triggers allergies is still incomplete. 


The Western diet theory 

As the name implies, this theory suggests the Western diet is to blame for the rise in food allergies in first world countries. This diet, which is largely compromised of sugars, animal fats and calorie-dense foods, has resulted in less diversity of gut flora and good bacteria in the stomach. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America compared the Western diets of European children to those of children from a rural African village where the diet was very similar to that of early human settlement hundreds of years ago. They found vast differences in the gut flora and bacteria between the two groups. In European children that consumed a Western diet, where diversity of gut flora and bacteria was minimal, there was also a higher prevalence of food allergies compared to the rural African village. 


The vitamin D theory 

Research is beginning to unveil a link between a lack of vitamin D and food allergies among children. Along with strengthening our bones, vitamin D is also known for boosting the immune system too. According to a study by Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Australian infants that are vitamin D deficient were 3 times more likely to have a food allergy. The odd thing about this was it is only relevant for Australian infants. It also found that those living further from the equator had a higher chance of developing a food allergy. What makes researchers even more convinced with this theory is that over the years, Australians have become more conscious of sun protection (staying indoors, wearing sunscreen and hats, etc.) which has led to a deficiency in vitamin D. This decline in vitamin D exposure is paralleled to a rise in allergies across Australia. 


Antibiotics and allergies 

Long courses of antibiotics can kill good gut flora and allow an over proliferation of bad gut flora. These can produce toxins and make us more prone to allergies. Antibiotics are essential tools to manage disease, but must be taken with care (as advised by your doctor). Apparently, the use of antibiotics in early childhood is linked to higher chances of developing allergies or asthma (according to this 2000 study). This is partly to do with the young immune system not being given the chance to determine what to attack and what is good and healthy as the antibiotics kill off the 'invaders' as well as the good bacteria. 

There are so many food allergy theories out there and I could literally go on for ages. These are the ones that I found the most interesting but if you know of any theories, please share them in the comments below. :) 

By Daniella De Azevedo 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Allergy Sufferers Call for Sunscreen Labelling Overhaul

Allergies among children are on the rise 
With the rise of allergies across Australia, particularly among children, parents are calling out for more transparent labelling on sunscreens as found in a recent poll we conducted. 

Therapeutic Products in Australia, of which sunscreens are included, are only required to list active ingredients, creating a loophole whereby manufacturers can hide the majority of ingredients that make up products. This may be detrimental to those prone to allergic outbreaks when in contact with certain ingredients or chemicals. 

We asked Australian consumers if they would like all ingredients to be listed on sunscreen packaging in Australia. Of the 300 participants, the results showed 99% of respondents said they would like all ingredients to be listed on sunscreens. 

MooGoo founder Craig Jones said with the increase in allergies, it is no wonder parents are urging for better labelling on sunscreens, one of Australia's most commonly used class of skin care products. 

"We know that some people, especially children, are unable to tolerate a range of ingredients and that the use of certain ones may cause rashes to develop of worse; this is not to say the ingredients are dangerous but rather that someone may have an allergy to it, just as people do certain foods," Mr Jones said. 

"We have always believed that skin care products should be labelled just as food is."

A 2013 report from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) found that allergies are the most rapidly growing chronic diseases in Australia and are most commonly found in children and adolescents. Skin care products make up one of the most common allergens alongside food, airborne particles and medications. 

Victorian mother Breigh Noble said she would like to see all ingredients contained within skin care products to determine the best for her son. 

"I agree wholeheartedly that all skin care ingredients should be listed on the product so that parents can more easily work out which products to use and which to avoid," said Mrs Noble. 

"I have picked up and then put down many products that don't list ingredients as I am not willing to take a chance with my son's health." 

Sunscreens make up one of the most commonly used
class of skin care products. 

It's not just parents calling out for these changes, but medical professionals too. Dr Joel Deeth of Anew Health reiterates the importance of transparent labelling on skin care products.

"It is essential that we know what we are putting in our bodies, and sunscreen is no exception," said Dr Deeth. 

"Full disclosure of ingredients would allow us to make informed decisions in light of any known sensitivities or allergies and ultimately guide us in making healthy choices for our skin."

Changes to product labelling have already been seen in the UK and the USA where sunscreens are required to list all ingredients. It is hoped Australia will soon follow suit particularly since the number of Australians affected by allergic diseases is expected to increase by 70% by 2050, according to the ASCIA. 

By Daniella De Azevedo 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Stretching Credibility - What can Really Prevent Stretch Marks?



If you were asked to think back on your pregnancy, many wonderful memories would come flooding back, right? I can bet stretch marks would not be amongst these. Some of you may know exactly what I'm talking about; some of you may still experience it in the years to come while some lucky ones won't have to worry. Stretch marks are purplish scars that usually appear on the breasts, abdomen, thighs, hips and buttocks. Over time, the colour fades to a white/silver colour. They are scientifically known as striae gravidarum and develop when the collagen fibres in the skin's dermal layer tear (the skin's 2nd layer). This happens when the skin is overstretched. 


What causes stretch marks?

Unfortunately, stretchmarks are hereditary as highlighted in the 2004 study Risk factors associated with striae gravidarum. If your parents or grandparents have stretch marks, there is a high chance you will develop them too at some stage. Sadly for us ladies, women are two and a half times more likely to develop them than men (Body + Soul - Can you get rid of stretch marks?) They develop when the skin is overstretched, normally due to:

  • Pregnancy - most common cause. Usually begins to appear during the 3rd trimester.
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Rapid growth - i.e. during puberty or adolescence 
  • Weight lifting 
  • Medications - Cortisone for example has been found to cause stretch marks for some people as cortisone hormones weaken the elastic fibres of the skin
Examples of stretch marks

How do I prevent stretch marks from developing?

Many customers ask us if we have any products that will help prevent or fade the appearance of stretch marks. According to the Cochrane Summary Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy, there is "no high-quality evidence to support the use of any topical preparations in the prevention of stretch marks during pregnancy." In short - there is no proof showing any topical treatment will prevent stretch mark development so don't believe the hype when products claim to do so. However, Creams for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy from the Cochrane Collaboration did find that "stretch marks may be prevented in some women by daily massage but it is unclear if any particular ingredients bring special benefit." In other words, rather than a particular cream helping prevent stretch mark development, it is the warmth when massaging a cream on the skin that may help. 

Comfrey Root
My personal advice would be to try and keep the skin in the healthiest state possible and to use a natural cream that you feel comfortable applying to your skin during your pregnancy. Massage the cream often and the warmth when you are doing so will help. Stretch marks are caused when the skin is overstretched. Because of this, I would suggest using products that will promote skin elasticity and hydration and avoid drying out the skin. The more elasticated the skin, the less chances of overstretching it. Some of my personal favourites which maintain skin health include Vitamin E, Sweet Almond Oil, Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Milk Protein (Cognis research found that milk protein in a cream increased skin elasticity by about 20% compared to the same cream without). Allantoin, which comes from Comfrey Root (the funny looking plant on the right), is another great ingredient when it comes to skin health. It promotes and speeds up the healthy, natural processes of the body. 

MooGoo Full Cream
All of these ingredients (bar the Shea Butter) are part of our MooGoo Full Cream formulation which makes it our most moisturising cream. This would be what I'd recommend using as a daily moisturiser all over the areas prone to stretch marks. There is no harm as to how many times you use it a day as it is made up of all natural, edible oils and a natural preservative rather than parabens or Phenoxyethanol (and no Vitamin A). But the choice is yours - just find a moisturiser you feel comfortable applying to your skin throughout your pregnancy if you wanted to prevent stretch mark development as much as possible. 


Vitamin A - A Hazard 

Vitamin A is sometimes hailed as a great vitamin when it comes to skin elasticity. However there are plenty of studies showing this can be dangerous for pregnant mothers so I advise steering clear of this if you are pregnant. Vitamin A, Pregnancy and Oral Contraceptives found that "High Vitamin A levels may constitute a teratogenic hazard" which means it may interfere with normal embryonic development. 

What are your thoughts on stretch marks? We'd love to hear them so please pop them in the comments below. :)

By Daniella De Azevedo