Wednesday 5 January 2011

'Big Bad I Said NO!'

This isn't actually about Stop it and Tidy up. It's nothing to do with it. It's about the ingredients in products I generally try to avoid...
There is a lot of information out there on these so if you wish to know a little more do have a dig around. I won't go into too much detail because, in all honesty, I don't actually have a chemistry degree. But it's good to have a little bit to go on...
These are almost in order according to me...

1. Parabens - these are usually listed as ethyl-, methyl-, butyl- and propyl- paraben. They are preservatives (found in food as well) and are in a majority of shampoos, moisturisers, hand washes... all sorts. The problem is they can mimic the hormone oestrogen which can upset your natural hormone levels and is also is linked to cancer too.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / Sodium Laureth Sulfate - These are both detergents which means they foam loads and make that shower gel seem all bubbly and delicious. Shortened to SLS and SLES respectively, they are both understood to irritate and dry out the skin with prolonged exposure and SLES can contains a known carcinogen 1,4 dioxane. SLS and SLES are in literally every foamy item in your bathroom. In one morning you might wash your face with it, your hands with it, shower or bath with it, clean you teeth with it. The amount of exposure to this one is high. It's even in aqueous cream intended to help alleviate eczema and dry skin conditions. Irony.

3. Petroleum Jelly/ Petrolatum / Parrafin wax / VASELINE! - This is my pet hate. I always thought Vaseline was rubbish and made my lips drier and even more reliant on it! And I was right. We're talking about mineral oils which in effect sit on you skin, clogging your pores, sapping your skins ability to moisturise itself (which it does do apparently) and actually cause chapping and dryness. How ironic. Again. Also, mineral oil is part of a massive hydrocarbon industry which is spoiling the planet. There are plant based alternatives (as always!) and boy are they nicer!

4. Polyethylene Glycol - Found in a wide range of creams and cleansers etc. These are often shortened to PEG followed by a number. There are loads of different ones. (Science tells me the number refers to its molecular weight!) As a substance it is used in a thousand and one things and maybe very usefully, but in skin care it can open your pores allowing other toxins to penetrate and teamed with a questionable level of purity, with contaminants including 1,4 dioxane (carcinogenic) again and some other nasty things, perhaps it's best avoided too. It is often advised not to use on broken or damaged skin and can upset allergic responses.

5. Propylene Glycol - Ranging from pharmaceutical grade to industrial grade this appears in many things from moisturisers to de-icer and anti-freeze, The jury seems a little confused about this one. There are conflicting studies out there as to whether it is a toxin and what effect it can have on the body. It does seem to be understood that it can exaccerabate allergies and irritate the skin. In extremely high concentrations it can also cause kidney and liver damage. Given that it is in such a wide range of products in various forms and that its in products used on the most sensitive parts of your body maybe it's best to choose PG free products - they are obviously there for a reason! But having said that- I've noticed  seemingly very natral products still contain it. So its up to you!

Phew! So there are quite a few and I'm sure there are more. But it is still an area under research and debate. The natural and organic industrries - both food and cosmetics- have grown considerably in the last however long and there have been HUGE developments in natural products. So I think it is worth exploring the alternatives and there are some gorgeous things out there which beat the hell out of Radox and Nivea.

No comments:

Post a Comment