Are your beauty products increasing your risk of breast cancer?

Leena Al-Abbas, founder and owner of The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge in Dubai, the region’s first-ever and only organic spa says: “As a consumer, it is your responsibility to do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each beauty product or treatment.”
Updated 20 October 2017
0

Are your beauty products increasing your risk of breast cancer?

DUBAI: The beauty and personal care products industry is the fastest-growing business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). According to research conducted in 2016 by Euromonitor International, the market is valued at $25.4 billion and expected to grow at 6.4 percent a year over the next five years. The market in Saudi Arabia dominates the retail sector overall, with individual spending anticipated to grow from $168 in 2015 to $273 in 2020.
The mass production used to keep up with this demand can have significant impact on the health of the nation. Several research studies suggest a possible link between breast cancer and parabens, a key ingredient in many personal care products. One study suggests that underarm products containing parabens act like the estrogen hormone in the body, fueling certain breast cancers. Similarly, other types of parabens can be found in cosmetics, moisturizers, hair care, and shaving products. The International Agency for Research for Cancer has classified certain chemicals like ethylene oxide (used in perfumes and cosmetics) and oxybenxone (found in many sunscreens) as cariogenic with sufficient evidence of breast cancer.
Which brings us to the bigger question…at what cost are we willing to look and feel good? Leena Al-Abbas, founder and owner of The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge in Dubai, the regions first-ever and only organic spa says: “As a consumer, it is your responsibility to do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each beauty product or treatment.”
“With the amount of information and awareness available at our hands, there is really no reason not to educate yourself on the dangers of harsh chemicals. Understand the difference between chemicals and harsh chemicals, and opt for alternative treatments,” she says.
Al-Abbas’ journey started seven years ago, when she realized that beauty salon treatments were triggering adverse skin reactions like breaking out in rashes, and an itchy scalp. The organic movement had just started gaining momentum in the West and despite Abbas’ search for organic beauty treatments within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), she could not find anything that catered to her sensitive skin.
Seven years later, the salon offers toxin-free, all organic products and treatments that go back to nature — using fresh fruits, organic sugar, rose water, etc. The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge strives to increase awareness among women about the dangers of using harsh chemicals and promotes ethical, holistic beauty by offering a menu of toxic-free services.
“Customers who are dealing with fertility issues or are pregnant, and those who are recovering from breast cancer are advised to stay away from toxic chemicals,” hence, the salons clientele is mostly pregnant women, cancer survivors, and vegan customers.
The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge educates and offers safer alternatives to conventional salon services. Some of its unique treatments include:
· Non-toxic, vegan manicures and pedicures that are safe for pregnant women.
· A special waxing sugar blend that does not damage the skin and provides healing, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties.
· Organic herbal treatments that strengthen the hair, are safe for sensitive skin, free from ammonia, parabens, alcohol and gluten, 100 percent vegan and certified non-GMO.
Lastly, Al-Abbas shares some tips to help customers make better health and wellbeing choices. “It is impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to. Be sure to eat clean, avoid chemical-laden processed foods, and look for organic products.”
“It is best to educate yourself and spend some time reading ingredients. Also, a great source to research the amount of toxic chemicals that might be in your cosmetic and personal care products is to log on to the EWG Skin Deep Database and check your products,” Al-Abbas concludes.


Startup of the Week: For the love of chocolate

Joudy Delights take part in many of Jeddah’s public events. (Supplied)
Updated 11 December 2018
0

Startup of the Week: For the love of chocolate

  • The store offers additional flavors every month for a limited time

The love for chocolates transcends geographical boundaries, ideologies and cultures. Chocolates are considered a must in times of happiness and to express one’s feelings all across the world.
Saudis also share the love for sweets or chocolates with rest of the world. People in this part of the world do not mind trying different kinds of chocolates — from traditional Arab ones to their European counterparts from as far as Switzerland.
Keeping in view the huge popularity of chocolates in the Kingdom, a Saudi couple decided to launch their own business in 2017. Joudy Delights is a local, home-based specialized chocolate brand that is produced with the highest quality ingredients. The Jeddah-based store is run by 25-year-old housewife Wejdan Shaheen and 29-year-old private sector employee Rakan Nejaim.
Due to stiff competition in this business, it is necessary for an entrepreneur to come up with a novel idea so as to gain an edge over his competitors.
The couple, faced with the same dilemma, chose to introduce a delicious dessert in the market.
“Any new idea needs to go through a lot of experiments. We also had to face the situation when we decided to introduce our famous chocoballs. The finalized version of the product took some time. We had to carefully select the best combination of chocolate and suitable stuffing,” said Nejaim.
Joudy Delights offers milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate that are filled with two types of different chocolates and two types of biscuits which Shaheen calls their “secret mix.”
The store also offers additional flavors every month for a limited time.
“The milk chocolate chocoballs or what we call our original chocoballs is our most popular product,” said Shaheen.
The number of orders per week differs depending on the season, said Nejaim. “But we receive on an average 65-70 orders per week.”
Joudy Delights take part in many of Jeddah’s public events.
“Many of our clients prefer our products at family gatherings like weddings etc.,” Shaheen said.
The store is planning to expand its reach outside Jeddah, and is likely to introduce a delivery service. Joudy Delights can be found at local Saudi talent shop Crate, located in Al-Salamah district.