Parabens, SLS, SLES, petrochemicals and artificial fragrances. Have you ever read the ingredients list on the packaging of skincare products? It may surprise you to hear that many cosmetic and toiletry products are simply loaded with synthetic toxins that can have damaging effects on the body. If you knew what your skincare products were made up of, would you carry on using them?
Most people aren't even aware of the hidden toxins lurking in soap and other toiletry or cosmetic products. However, if you look closely at the ingredients on the label, more often than not you'll find a long list of nasty ingredients that you can't even pronounce. These toxins are known to have harmful effects on the skin. We'll highlight a handful of these toxins here.
Parabens are a type of artificial preservative used in cosmetic and toiletry products, designed to prolong shelf life and prevent spoilage from mould. If you have unused skincare products at the back of your bathroom cupboard that have been there for a very long time, they most likely contain parabens. These toxins, under the guise of names including butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben (being the most common), enter the body through our skin when we use products on our skin that contain these chemicals. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, parabens have been linked to skin and breast cancer, and reproductive problems.
Our products are made using only natural ingredients, and are handmade fresh, in small batches. We don't use any artificial preservatives in any of our products, and never will.
Even the name sounds scary, right? Petrochemicals are chemicals derived from petroleum and natural gas, and are commonly used in skincare products - paraffin wax and mineral oils being two of the most popular used in the beauty industry.
But let's dig deeper. Other petrochemical ingredients, namely SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate), SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulphate), and DEA (diethanolamine), are used to help beauty products foam up, produce bubbles and give a thick and creamy lather. Soap and shampoo are just two such products where you'll often find SLS, SLES, and DEA.
SLS is a known skin and eye irritant, and SLES has the potential to be contaminated with a chemical called 1,4,-dioxane - a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity - during its manufacture. For this reason, it's an ingredient that isn't required to be listed on product labels. So there's no way to know for certain whether a product contains 1,4,-dioxane - unless of course, you avoid products that contain SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulphate). DEA has been found to produce cancer of the liver in female mice and affects human male reproductive health.
We use coconut oil to produce bubbles, sweet almond oil, and shea butter to give a bubbly lather, and castor oil to give a thick, creamy, and long-lasting lather. We also use skin-nourishing oils including rice bran oil and olive oil to moisturise and soften the skin. No petrochemicals here!
Fragrances are made up of a blend of chemicals which gives each fragrance its unique scent. But you won't find these chemicals listed on the label in all their glory - they're hidden under the word 'fragrance'. One such ingredient, acetaldehyde, adversely affects the kidneys and the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program, acetaldehyde is a potential carcinogenic to humans.
We only use essential oils to add scent to our products. Created by steam distilling flowers, herbs, leaves, and even tree resin, essential oils hold a range of natural health benefits, as well as intoxicating aromas. No artificial fragrances here!
As the human body's largest organ, our skin does a pretty incredible job of protecting our bodies. So surely it's only right that we do all we can to protect our skin, and body, in return? It's certainly food for thought when deciding which skincare products are best for you, and your family.