Are All Natural Products Safe?

The movement towards natural products is growing stronger by the day. Everyone wants to steer completely clear of toxic synthetic chemicals such as fragrances, colors, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals and phthalates at every level – from the food they eat to the products they apply on the skin.

The government has prohibited the use of only certain harmful chemicals such as chloroform, bithionol, methylene chloride and vinyl chloride, but various other chemicals find their way into our beauty and skin care products. They end up getting absorbed into the skin and can lead to numerous undesirable side effects.

This is the primary reason why ‘natural’ has become a raging buzzword as the key to avoiding allergic reactions, undesirable estrogenic activities and other adverse health effects. Coconut oil, honey, almond, aloe vera, shea butter, fuller’s earth are both desirable and useful for people wanting to go green with their skin care.

However, does this automatically mean that all types of natural products are always safe for the skin? Can we allow ourselves to be lulled into a false complacency that anything natural is always best?

Any product that is labeled natural should not automatically find its way into your shopping bag. The following are a few guidelines on choosing the best natural skin care products:

• Many companies make empty claims of being ‘natural’ as it makes for good marketing copy. Instead of just going by the claim, you should examine the labels very carefully as even ‘natural products’ may contain synthetic chemicals such as parabens or other chemical by-products.

• Do not be misled by exotic sounding ‘natural’ ingredients. You need to look out for useful and wholesome items that are truly derived from nature and will be kind to the skin. A simple tip – the ingredient names at the back should be easy to read and familiar to you. If it’s recognizable, it’s nourishing too!

• All natural or organic ingredients are not always good – some can even hurt your skin. So, while you are checking the list of ingredients, watch out for items that you may be allergic to. Items like soy, licorice, lavender, tea tree oil or ginseng can cause breakouts or allergic reactions in some people.

• Always choose fragrance-free skin care products or those with natural fragrance. Artificial fragrances contain harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation or even allergic reactions.

Therefore, while natural skin care products are definitely better than chemical-based ones, not all natural skin care companies come up with the best products. Always keep in mind that the best natural skin care products are always created by nature, defined through science. They will contain organic botanicals that are healthy and safe for the body.

In sum, while you should certainly avoid harmful chemicals and fragrances, do not be blinded by the rage for natural skin care products either. Choose your natural products wisely to get truly younger, smoother, healthier looking skin always!

Credit Card Debt Negotiation – How Debt Settlement Process Works

Credit card debt negotiation is a must for people who are struggling with credit card debt. People who have lost their jobs are barely feeding themselves and their families. They won’t be able to pay credit card bills, although they might want to, because they simply don’t have the money. If you’re one of those consumer debtors and are looking for a way out then learn how debt settlement process can help reduce your debt.

When you don’t pay your credit cards bills, the sad result is that your credit score suffer, and debt collectors start making aggressive and sometimes harassing phone calls. This only adds to your stress and your sadness. Again, you may want to pay your bills. However, in bad financial straights you simply won’t be able to pay your card bills.

In such a situation you need professional agencies that will both protect you from harassment and that will help you see your way to a financial solution for your card bills. Agencies that can help consumers are known as credit card debt negotiation or settlement companies. A debt negotiation company works with the bill collectors, and negotiates both a final debt amount owed, and a reasonable debt repayment schedule — after you enroll in their debt negotiation program.

For example, if you owe $12k in credit card debt, the debt negotiation service can call the bill collectors, and negotiate a final debt settlement of maybe $8k. This saves you $4k right from the start. Then, the debt arbitration company would plan with the bill collectors a reasonable repayment schedule based upon your income. Once the debt is paid off, you don’t have to worry about outstanding debt, and your credit score will improve in time.

While this sounds like a huge relief for some, there are concerns for others. Many consumers are worried that credit card debt negotiation may negatively impact their credit rating. They fear that their credit rating will drop while they are being handled by a debt settlement company.

Truth is your credit score will decrease because there is outstanding debt that has gone into collections and the amount of debt that will be collected on will be reduced. However, keep in mind that any drop in the credit score is temporary. The important point is to pay off your debt. Once the debts are paid off your credit score will improve.

Outstanding Presentations Start in the Mind: Five Secrets for Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

Public speaking presents such a challenge for many people. In the Book of Lists, public speaking anxiety and making a presentation constitute the number one fear; the fear of dying is number two. Like the old saying goes, “People would rather be in the grave than make a presentation.” You see people sweat, shake, and quiver while they are speaking. Sometimes, employees bypass promotions, and business owners bypass business opportunities rather than give a presentation. I saw a manager who was on the corporate fast track quickly become derailed because she couldn’t complete her presentation in front of senior management.

So what do great speakers do to prepare themselves to be great presenters? They prepare their minds to give a great presentation. That’s right; it all starts in your mind. How can you develop a great speaker’s mindset and start giving outstanding presentations? The following are five secrets for powerful public speaking:

1. Believe It So That You Can Achieve It

I am approached by people who say, “I can’t speak in public,” “I am a bad speaker,” or “I could never speak in public.” Without hearing them speak, I say, “You’re right.” Because once you make those negative statements, they become self-fulfilling prophesies. When you say, “I am a bad speaker,” your subconscious mind is thinking, “Well, he or she said it, so it must be true; so I will act like a bad speaker.” Positive speaking attitude (PSA) is one of the first things I work on during my presentation coachings. Replace the negative speaking attitude with a PSA to master your self talk and improve your presentation skills. Instead of saying, “I am a bad speaker,” say the following:

* “I am improving my public speaking abilities everyday in everyway.”

* “Every opportunity to make a presentation is an opportunity for success.”

* “I am a good public speaker today; and, with continued practice, I will be a better public speaker tomorrow.”

* “I am mastering my presentation skills everyday!”

When you make these positive affirmations, your subconscious mind hears it and says, “Yeah, I am improving,” or “Let me speak because it is an opportunity for success,” or “I am mastering my speaking skills.”

Manage your self talk for a PSA. You will feel a new confident attitude concerning public speaking.

2. Think About What You Want to Accomplish

I will ask the question, “What do you want to accomplish with your presentation?” Many times I will be on the receiving end of a blank stare or the student might say, “I just want them to listen to me.”

Take time to think about what you want to accomplish by giving your presentation. Is it that you want to entertain the audience, do you want to persuade them on an important issue, or maybe you want the audience to take action after hearing your presentation. Going into your presentation knowing what you want to accomplish creates focus and is a big confidence builder.

3. Visualize Success

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at an association conference with over five thousand people in the audience. Joy, my wife, was sitting in the audience with our friend Jim who came to hear me speak for the first time. As I was about to speak, Jim leaned over and asked Joy if I was nervous speaking in front of such a large group of people. Without blinking an eye, Joy said, “He was born for this day. He saw this day coming when he first started speaking.”

I visualized that day long before it happened. Whenever I give a presentation, I take time to visualize a successful presentation and positive outcome. The more details I include in my visualizations, the more vivid and real it becomes for me. The night before the presentation I will find a quiet place at home or, if I am on the road, a hotel room, and meditate to start the visualization process. I will visualize my drive to the event, greeting the host and audience, and how my powerful presentation will sound and look on that day. I will also visualize the audience’s positive response to the presentation.

Take time to visualize the details of giving a great presentation. Like the old saying goes, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” If you visualize you are a great speaker, you will take the steps and create opportunities for yourself to become a great speaker.

Visualize that the audience wants to hear your message and they want you to do well. Remember, it’s their time also and they want to receive value out of your speech.

4. Own the Room

Whenever I speak, I “own the room.” I mentally tell myself that for the next thirty minutes, hour, etc., I own the room. The corporation, association, or government may own the building or venue I am speaking in, but during the time I am speaking, I am the owner of the room and the audience will be my guests, my friends. That way I am always in control to give an outstanding presentation.

Think of your speaking area as your house, your home, your castle. When you invite friends into your home, aren’t you in control and want to provide a safe, entertaining environment for your guests? The same is true for your speaking audience; you want to provide a safe, entertaining, and enriching experience for them.

I always say, “Giving presentations is not about me, it’s about you (the audience).” What I mean is that if I am constantly thinking about how I sound, look, and feel while I speak, I am not thinking about what I can share with my audience. Concentrate on the value you will give to your audience members and you will never go wrong.

5. Eat the Elephant

Many times I hear the following:

“I could never speak in front of a group of people, but one-on-one I am fine.”

Well, I ask, “How do you eat the elephant?” Break the elephant into smaller pieces. It is the same when you “digest” the audience. Don’t think of the audience as a whole, think of the audience as individuals ready to hear your message. Concentrate on thinking of your audience as individuals, and your message will come across that way to the individual audience members.

Follow these five secrets for creating a positive mindset for confident public speaking. Overcoming your public speaking anxiety will improve your presentation skills and create new opportunities for you through public speaking.