Dr Dingle's Blog / skin

Personal care products and at risk populations

Personal care products and at risk populations

Some people are more likely to have health problems as a result of exposure to cosmetics and personal care products than others, even when the amounts of contaminants present are seemingly quite low. However, when the studies are done, the focus is on one ingredient and its exposure to a healthy animal fed a well-balanced nutritional diet. As individuals, we each have different levels of resilience and tolerance to toxic chemicals based on our genetics and our current level of health, nutrition and even lifestyle factors.

Susceptible groups include:

  • The developing foetus
  • Infants and newborns
  • Pregnant mothers
  • Asthmatics
  • People who are already sick or immune-compromised
  • Chemically sensitive individuals
  • The aged
  • Genetically susceptible individuals
  • Lower socioeconomic groups
  • Stressed individuals

… to list the obvious.

Asthmatics have particular sensitivities. Any chemicals, gases or particulates that cause irritation of the respiratory system’s mucous membranes will aggravate an asthmatic’s condition. Allergy-prone people who already show sensitivity to a substance with reactions such as sinusitis, hay fever, atopic eczema and other forms of atopic dermatitis are likely to react with heightened sensitivity to indoor air pollution. They may experience an aggravation of their allergies or develop additional sensitivities. The increasing number of people who suffer from 21st-century diseases such as chronic fatigue and multiple chemical sensitivities will also react to even very low levels of these chemicals.

Pregnant women, who may themselves enjoy robust health, are at risk because some of these contaminants pass over the placenta to the foetus. People under stress are more at risk because their immune systems are often not functioning at optimum levels. Other factors determining susceptibility include gender, genetic makeup, pre-existing health conditions and predisposition to disease, as well as lifestyle considerations such as work, diet and exercise.

There is little doubt that our kids have a greater susceptibility to toxic chemicals than we do. The younger they are, the more vulnerable they are. Every day we expose our children to hundreds of different chemicals in personal care and cosmetic products and yet remain puzzled as to why they get sick and why the rates of childhood asthma, allergies and cancer are higher than ever. Childhood leukaemia and brain tumours are leading causes of death of children in most developed countries and many studies are now showing a link between these conditions and increased toxic chemical exposure.

Read more →

Phthalates in plastics linked with eczema (and dozens of other health conditions)

Phthalates in plastics linked with eczema (and dozens of other health conditions)

Phthalates are synthetic chemicals used in food wrappings, cosmetic products and personal care products, children’s toys, cleaning products,and other consumer products because of their properties of transparency, durability, and flexibility. One of the major exposures to phthalates is through the use of personal care products and ingestion (including dietary ingestion and incidental ingestion. The ubiquitous presence of phthalates in the environment and the potential consequences of human exposure to phthalates have raised concerns, particularly in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and infants as exposure to toxic pollutants during these period can result in an increased risk of adverse health outcomes later in life.

Animal as well as epidemiological studies in infants and children have found various health effects of specific phthalates, including abnormal reproductive outcomes, children’s neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems, and asthma and allergies. They are also linked with breast and prostate cancer and hormonal and thyroid imbalances in adults.

During development in the womb, the skin of the fetus may be exposed to various products absorbed by the mothers, including phthalates given that some phthalates have been detected in amniotic fluid. Later in life, children’s dermal exposure can occur through the use of emollients, personal care products, and dermal contact with plastic products.

In a study of 604 mother son pairs and building on the research of many before them, found a strong link between mothers exposure and eczema at 5 years of age.

The best way to reduce your exposure to phthalates is reduce your exposure in personal care products. don't microwave in plastic containers and don't store food in plastic.

Dangerous Beauty. The truth about personal care products and make up. https://www.drdingle.com/collections/frontpage/products/dangerous-beauty-1

source of study



Read more →

Essential Sleep (Part 3)

Essential Sleep (Part 3)

Sleep problems

Many sleep problems but by far the biggest is sleep deprivation and poor sleep. However too much sleep can also be a problem. Over sleeping may also be a problem. In one study sleeping 10 hours or more also increased the mortality rates by one and a half times.

 Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is as important to the human body as food and water, but most of us don't get enough sleep. Dysoninia (poor sleep) related sleep disorders alone are broken into Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Circadian‑Rhythm sleep disorders including disorders such as but not limited to: "Psychophysiologic Insomnia, Sleep State Misperception Idiopathic Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Recurrent Hypersomnia, Idiopathic Hypersomnia...Restless Legs Syndrome & Intrinsic Sleep Disorder NOS" (MSM, 2001, pp. 27).

Risk factors for sleep related illness are diet, lifestyle, occupation, stress and grief, amongst many others (Helmanis, 2006 pp. 24‑25).

Almost 90 per cent of Australians suffer from some type sleep disorder at some stage of their lives. Of these, 30 per cent suffer from severe sleep disorders. Very few people regularly enjoy the amount, or quality of sleep that they need. The estimated economic costs to the country from this are between 3 and 7 billion dollars annually. There are also huge, unmeasured physical, psychological, emotional and social costs.


Causative factors for insomnia may be multifaceted but generally include some psycho physiologic hyperarousal or emotional distress. Other precursors may be pain, movement disorders, psychiatric disorders, circadium rhythm dysfunction, medication and substance abuse (Billiard and Bentley, 2004). In some cases, the risk of insomnia is subject to a genetic bias. However, specific physiologic indicators for the familial influence have not been fully identified (Parkes and Lock, 2009).

 Insomnia is the difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep or both resulting in inadequate quality or quantity of sleep (Tomoda et al, 2009). Insomnia can manifest itself by many symptoms from not being able to sleep at normal hours and low quality and quantity of sleep to sleeping but not finding it refreshing. Other symptoms may include daytime sleepiness, frequent waking, early morning waking and difficulty retuning to sleep (Cureresearch.com, 2005).

Most adults have experienced insomnia or sleeplessness at one time or another in their lives (Straker, 2008). It is estimated that insomnia effects around 30-50% of the general population with 10% experiencing chronic insomnia (Straker, 2008). It has been estimated that in the US that 70 million people suffer sleep problems, and of these, 30 million suffer chronic insomnia (Stahura and Martin, 2006). Recently a survey showed that 1046 of the 2000 adults surveyed experience at least one night of lost sleep due to insomnia symptoms; the survey also concluded that insomnia is a growing issue of concern (Goolsby, 2006).

Insomnia generally affects women more than men and the incidence rate tends to increase with age (Straker, 2008).

There is a clear correlation of age to insomnia (Curless et a!. 1993). A number of surveys have reported between 28% and 64% of post menopausal women suffer from insomnia (Hachul de Campos et al. 2006).

Insomnia can be classified into three categories transient, short-term and chronic insomnia (Tomoda et al, 2009). Transient insomnia are symptoms lasting less than one week, short term insomnia are symptoms lasting between one-three weeks and chronic insomnia are those symptoms lasting longer than three weeks (Tomoda, 2009).


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes overwhelming and severe day time sleepiness (Retsas et al, 2000). Pathologic sleepiness is characterised by the fact that it occurs at inappropriate times and places (Retsas et al, 2000). These daytime sleep attacks may occur with or without warning and can occur repeatedly in a single day (Edgar et al, 2006). People who suffer from Narcolepsy often have fragmented night time sleep with frequent brief awakenings (Edgar et al, 2006).

Narcolepsy is typically characterised by the following four symptoms:

Excessive daytime sleepiness (90%)

Cataplexy: A sudden and temporary loss of muscle tone often triggered by emotions such as laughter. (75%)

Hallucinations: Vivid dreamlike experiences that occur while falling asleep or upon wakening. (30%)

Sleep paralysis: Paralysis that occurs most often upon falling asleep or waking up. The person is unable to move for a few minutes. (25%) (Retsas et al, 2000)

Interestingly, regular night time sleep schedule and scheduled naps during the day is required for favourable outcomes (Edgar et al, 2006).

Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea affects over 12 million Americans with it being more prevalent in men than women (Sjosten et al, 2009).  Sleep apnoea not only deprives sleep from the individual but their partners too (Yip, 2001). Sleep apnoea is defined as frequent and loud snoring and breathing cessation for at least 10 second for five or more episodes per hour followed by awakening abruptly with a loud snort as the blood oxygen level drops (Sjorsten et al, 2009).   People with sleep apnoea can experience anywhere between 5 apnoeic episodes per hour to several hundred per night (Sjorsten et al, 2009).

Symptoms of sleep apnoea are:

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Morning headaches

Sore throat

Intellectual deterioration

Personality changes

Behavioural disorders


(Yip, 2001)

Obesity is the major cause of sleep apnoea often losing weight is all that is need to treat this disorder (Yip, 2001).


Part 3 and more coming

Read more →

Dangerous Beauty?

Dangerous Beauty?

For the last 50 years we have been brainwashed into thinking we need to apply more and more chemicals onto our skin and hair to make us look healthier and younger without even a second thought for what those chemicals are and they are really doing to us. In today’s technological advancements the increased use of chemicals in our homes and environment is out of control.

The majority of consumers are not concerned with the ingredients they are using, they trust the Governments who they think carefully regulate these chemicals and the manufacturers and the suppliers to provide safe products or they simply do not recognise the chemical substances written on the labels. Public awareness about the potentially harmful formulations of cosmetics is very poor

While the cosmetic industry and other funded agencies continue to justify using chemicals that potentially cause adverse health effects by stating these are at significantly low levels and do not pose a threat to human health and Consumers are led to believe the ingredients have been adequately tested and safe for use. In reality, most of the chemicals that are in these have been barely tested and the magnitude of their potential adverse effects is unknown. And this is without mentioning the increasing occurrence of asthma or our increasing affliction with twentieth-century diseases: multiple chemical sensitivity, auto-immune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and allergies. These questions will not be answered for a very long time, as the study of toxic substances is still in its infancy. It relies on the crude method of using test animals and extrapolating these results to humans. Even if we could do all the tests we needed, it would take us hundreds of years and unimaginable amounts of money just to carry out the testing we do at present, on existing chemicals.

Many of the ingredients used in these products are also industrial chemicals, solvents and petroleum by‑products which have safety warnings about their use and exposure. It is not just the chemicals of concern but we are using more and more of these products, from an earlier age and for a longer period of time. With each successive generation exposed to the media we apply more chemicals more times than ever before in human history.

Our exposure to personal care products and cosmetics continues to increase each year. According to the Environmental Working Group, woman will have around 185 chemicals on her skin daily, and a man will have around 85. A study on how much we use these products found today's usage of personal care products and cosmetics around 6 times more than in 1983 and it is likely to be even higher now. The average woman now uses around 12 cosmetics and up to 25 different products, with more than 25% of women using 15 or more a day exposing themselves to more than hundreds of different chemicals every day. While the average male uses half this. The study found for example that liquid foundation is applied daily by 68.7% ‑ 74.8% of woman and 23.4% of woman applied the product twice a day on a daily basis. 65.3% ‑ 82.9% of people use shampoo daily and 26.6% use it twice a day.

Right now, research shows that these products can be produced with lower and lower toxicity. They can also be designed to work - to have real benefits without causing harm. In fact, some manufacturers are already committed to these principles. Buy safer products or stop buying hazardous ones. This may force the big multi-nationals to respond by manufacturing with safer ingredients, gradually removing the most toxic; but only if we, the consumers, use our market pressure, and take our money elsewhere. Ironically, we hold the ultimate power. Knowledge, and positive action based on that knowledge, is the way towards creating the changes we want. I did my PhD on formaldehyde exposure in the early 1990’s. It was clear then that this chemical caused a lot of problems and caused cancer in animals and probably humans. It was not until around 2013 that most of the big manufacturers said that they were now going to remove this chemical more than 20 years too late. In large, this can be attributed to the self-regulating nature of the cosmetic industry and the inadequate government regulatory bodies to protect the welfare of consumers.

The cosmetic industry is one of the largest and most profitable enterprises around the world generating large profits. Despite economic difficulties in the world, profitability of the cosmetic industry has been steadily increasing by about 5% each year and it has been predicted that this trend will continue into the future. Cosmetics and personal care products have become an essential part of the daily grooming routine of millions of people around the world. Personal care products are a 40 billion dollar industry in the United States, and worldwide worth more than $200 billion each year and increasing. This success can be explained by the use of powerful marketing techniques to influence the general public into buying cosmetic products. The cosmetic industry has played a significant role in shaping and reinforcing societal perceptions of physical appearance and personal hygiene. As a multibillion dollar industry, companies’ fork out massive expenditures on advertising, harping on the idea that one must be image conscious, and thus continue to consume cosmetic products. The modern market for personal care products is all-inclusive from females to males, from infancy to old age. With the ubiquitous availability of products that come in an overwhelming amount of different types, indulging in cosmetics has become a necessity, or so we are led to believe by the industry.

Unfortunately, with so much money and profits at stake the cosmetic and personal care industry is not without its greed and lack of scruples. To highlight this In September 10, 1997 hearings on the FDA reform bill (HR 1411), Senator Edward M. Kennedy stated: "The cosmetic industry has borrowed a page from the playbook of the tobacco industry by putting profits ahead of public health." Consumers are generally misled by advertising campaigns and fancy packaging as to what chemicals are contained in their skin care products. Many ingredients are promoted to improve the condition of the skin whilst their harmful effects are omitted.

The regulators whose job it is to protect our health play down the actual and possible effects of cosmetics and personal care products as they have to tow the bureaucratic line. They may acknowledge that some people react to chemicals in products and that the numbers affected are probably increasing. They may also acknowledge that some of the ingredients ‘might be toxic’. The regulator’s position is that these chemicals are safe until it is proven that they are doing harm. This extraordinary position has failed people who are already seriously ill and will continue to protect the manufacturer, not the consumer.


Read more →