Myths regarding the human body

Health MythsThe average person knows shockingly little about the human body considering that one has spent an entire life living inside one !


But many ‘facts’ regarding health, diet, sex etc continue to swirl around pop culture or via old wives tales that die hard being passed on from one generation to another.


Well let’s get started and see if any of the below are surprising, credible or just a lot of old nonsense !


We have always been led to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well apparently there is disagreement on this, as it does not jump start the metabolism any more than a meal taken later on.

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The Varying Tones of Skin

Skin TonesDSTV recently aired a program with the title “Make me whiter”

This aroused my interest and prompted me to write an article on the topic, not wishing to discriminate against any race group but more likely to focus on those who are keen to follow current trends.

Skin colour is the most noticeable physical characteristic of people and early members of the genus “homo sapiens” evolved darkly pigmented skins. 

Europeans do not look much like those folk 8000 years ago and their skin colour today may be attributed to the blending of 3 ancient populations.

The colour of our ancestors is rather obscure, and would need massive research to arrive at answers. However, we can assume that Neanderthal men and women were pretty dark skinned due to constantly being exposed to the elements which dominated their lifestyles.  Many human migrations too would have had an impact on changing skin colour.

Just to mention at this point, that unique cells in our skin produce melanin the pigment which basically determines ones colour.

Exposure to ultraviolet rays increases this production as a protective mechanism, the outcome being the development of a sun tan.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, despite the damage being done, a dark tan was most fashionable and almost became a status symbol as the common herd mimicked those of celebratory who lolled around on luxury yachts in exotic parts of the world ending up as bronzed goddesses, or so they thought !

But back to this week’s topic; skin lightening. There is no reason why being lighter should be preferable to others skin colour. In fact the darker skins age far better than their paler counterparts, have an attractive glow to the skin and far better protection from sun related skin diseases. 

However a massive industry grew to accommodate the desire to be lighter.  Hydroquinone, a dangerous skin lightening agent, permanently ruined many African skins in the past, now fortunately a banned product in many countries.

In terms of the Indian community, many feel that those being lighter are putting abnormal stress on the perception that “paler is better” which may even cause divisions in society.

There is no doubt that “colourless” models are getting the best photo opportunities in the beauty industry and that the top roles in Bollywood go to those of a lighter hue.

It is indeed a crazy world – many black people wish to be lighter and whites desire more colour. If the latter is the case, MATSIMELA has a marvellous bronzing product giving the desired natural tan, safe to use thereby avoiding the damaging effects of baking in the sun.



Interesting facts about water

Interesting Facts About WaterThe human body, in a fit state contains about 60% of water, vital to all metabolic processes.

As far as a moisturizing agent goes, water protects and moistens body tissues, eyes, mouth and nose.

Water is continually being lost through obvious functions like breathing, sweating, digestion and urinating, therefore the replenishment is most essential, for a dehydrated body is in a bad state.

Any readers who follow health and fitness trends have probably heard of the latest obsession, namely the “30 day water challenge” with requirements to replace all beverages [and alcohol, of course !] with water for 30 days. This translates to 3,8 litres per day, almost double the previously recommended 8 glasses per day !

One could gleefully sit back and wait for the benefits to roll in, such as having a moist and flawless skin, weight loss, fewer headaches, more energy and less constipation, right? Not the case, as medical research has highlighted just the opposite.

Running back and forth to the toilet may contribute to a miniscule amount of weight lost but a serious loss of water can have very damaging effects like undue stress on the kidneys.

There are more serious consequences leading to water intoxication due to drinking that much water per day, thereby diluting the salt in ones blood to balance fluid in and around the body cells. Minimizing ones salt levels is more dangerous than realized and symptoms like heat and sunstroke could arise.

An excessive intake can even stimulate a hormone, Vasopressin, which can cause the body to conserve water, even though large quantities are being drunk.

The colour of ones urine is a very basic indicator. Too high an intake of water can result in passing pale, clear urine and not sufficient, dark yellow in colour.

But, it must be said that foodstuffs and especially medications can drastically alter urine colour.

Lastly water is a vital source in the manufacture of cosmetics which must be free of toxins, pollutants and microbes.

Although approved, many toiletries, facial care products & body care ranges on our shelves are too watery. During production MATSIMELA adheres to high standards, ensuring that a high and recognized percentage of carrier and essential oils are used, thereby giving you, the client, a quality product ` second to none.



How the seasons affect our skins

How Seasons Affect Our SkinsThe skin that one sports today, is the very same outer shell with which one was born and it is mistaken to think that it is individually understood.


The relationship with one’s skin is complicated, especially when out of the blue bumps, rashes and blotches appear when struggling to achieve dermatological harmony. It has to be understood that skin interacts with the environment and with the 4 seasons particularly.


Whilst still in the throes of hot weather, living in a humid climate (though uncomfortable) does contribute to skin becoming soft and moist, but  has a potential to becoming aggravated due to excessive sebum being produced.


Activities enjoyed in swimming pools can have negative effects as chlorinated chemicals can irritate an already unbalanced skin.


Sadly, there is more bad news as heat and humidity can facilitate bacterial and fungal infections, the latter manifesting as tinea commonly known as ringworm,  a nasty and stubborn infection on various parts of the body but predominantly between the toes. The wearing of open shoes is an advantage and as one dermatologist stated  “a takkie worn in the heat is like the Hilton hotel for a fungus!”


When the heat is unbearable people crank up air conditioners which strip moisture from the skin, not an advantage to those who have delicate, dry complexions.


A vital function of skin is heat control, thus the redness and flushing in hot weather. In order to cool off this largest organ of the body a greater amount of blood flows nearer to skin surface thus distributing heat outward.


Believe it or not, there are many foodstuffs and beverages that one might like to avoid in hot weather as they contribute to excessive perspiring and some like garlic can actually cause smelly skin as it is eliminated via the sweat glands !


Coffee and chocolate containing caffeine, are stimulants as are culprits like chillies that produce heat within the body reacting as it would on a scorching hot day.

Fast foods,  because they basically contain more fat, increase ones metabolic rate to burn the extra kilojoules.


In earlier times, there was much ignorance regarding all of the above, and in addition selected toiletries and cosmetics were just not available. Women in particular were addicted to thick, heavy creams and some rather strange ways of counteracting underarm odours to be discussed in another article.


So in conclusion light and effective cosmetics should be the first consideration for use during the South African summer.

Matsimela have revamped their Aloe vera facial range to fit this requirement. Now manufactured without heavy mineral oils and petroleums, the range is kind to the skin.

The light based toner effectively reduces the flow of excess oil and naturally creates the perfect PH for optimal absorption. 



Health Snippets

Health SnippetsCoconut oil is the buzz words these days and fans are extolling some miracle cures which are in fact quite dubious such as prevention of Alzheimers disease, ageing, arthritis and diabetes to which scientists proclaim a definite NO !!


Plus/minus about 80% of calories come from saturated fats in coconut oil, whereas butter contains 63% and olive oil 14% , the latter indicating why it is still considered the healthiest oil to consume.  However coconut oil does contain anti-oxidants but a better health choice would include foods like nuts and avocado pears.

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