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Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid

Customers have become much more discerning about what products they purchase and use. And since the boom in the market on cosmetics has led to ever-increasing competition between manufacturers, this has led to clever marketing and aggressive advertising campaigns that don't tell the real truth. The success of these cosmetics is due in part to the growing desire for products that are more “natural”. So you will see words like Natural, Organic Herbs, Botanicals, 'in mountain spring water and hidden on the back of the label of the same product, you will find Sodium Laureth Sulphate also used as an engine degreaser because it strips grease by corrosion, Methylparaben which is a petrochemical that can interfere with sexual development and reproduction, and Propylene Glycol, another petrochemical. What these products don't tell you is that they are doing far more harm than good.

“There are a lot of People who don't realise they are washing their hair in engine degreaser.”

These deadly ingredients can cause cancer these deadly ingredients can cause cancer if you are predisposed by heredity or have suffered previously, but very few people know about it.

Here is a list of ingredients, which you should avoid from your shampoos.

The ingredients below are in the UK's fastest selling shampoo:

Purpose:
Strips grease from the hair by corrosion and makes shampoo spread out and penetrate. It enters the skin very easily and remains in tissues (especially brain, heart and liver tissues) for a relatively long time.

Use:
Found in 90 per cent of all commercial shampoos and in many other health and beauty items, especially skin creams and toothpastes. SLS has been prohibited in bubble baths because it has an adverse affect on skin protection and causes rashes and infection. It is also found in industrial cleaners. Laboratory clinical trials use SLS as an irritant to test the effectiveness of healing agents.

Health effects:
Transported through the bloodstream, SLS/SLES will build up in the heart, liver, lungs, brain and eyes. It will be retained in tissues for a long time and could cause the following effects:

  • Cancer - SLS/SLES reacts with other chemicals to form cancer-causing nitrosamines and dioxane;
  • Endocrine (hormone) disruption - SLS/SLES can mimic the action of hormones and disrupt the associated mechanisms that control our day-to-day bodily functions; it is known to mimic oestrogen action and interfere with the reproductive system and sexual development;
  • Eye damage - SLS is especially readily absorbed into the cells of the eyes (through absorption through the roots of hair, not direct eye contact); it damages their function and development - particularly in children;
  • Hair loss - SLS is a harsh enough corrosive agent to attack the hair follicle;
  • Increased skin sensitivity - SLS damages the skin's ability to act as a barrier against harmful substances, enhancing allergic responses;
  • Dry skin - protective lipids are stripped from the skin's surface by SLS's corrosiveness, and skin becomes less able to retain moisture.

Purpose:
Parabens are petrochemicals used in almost all cosmetics because of their wide-ranging ability to kill bacteria and thus preserve the product.

Health effects:

  • Endocrine disruption: parabens can mimic oestrogen action and interfere with sexual development and reproduction.
  • Allergic reactions are common.

Purpose:
Anti-bacterial.

Health effects:

  • A formaldehyde releaser (see DMDM Hydantoin, below).
  • An eye and skin irritant.

Purpose:
A preservative and solvent.

Health effects:

  • Contains carcinogenic enzene rings and toluene, which are also thought to be hormone disrupters and to cause birth defects.
  • Irritates the respiratory tract.
  • An eye and skin irritant.

Purpose:
To give the shampoos colouring like the herbs they are said to derive from.

Use and health effects:
These are just four of hundreds of synthetic and petrochemical colourants whole certification is unknown and controversial. Most colours used in cosmetics await testing and have not had their safety proved or even studied.

Purpose:
Anti-bacterial.

Health effects:

  • Found to cause lung cancer and damage DNA in laboratory tests.
  • Contains 17.7 per cent formaldehyde, which is an irritant and carcinogen and causes a toxic reaction in 20 per cent of people exposed to it.

Purpose:
To make shampoo lather in a foam that would otherwise be impossible.

Health effects:
Causes cancer in laboratory animals. Cocamide MEA contains momoethanolamine, which reacts with SLS/SLES to produce the carcinogen nitrosamine.

Purpose:
To create the "natural, botanical" smell that is an important part of the marketed appeal of Herbal Essences but no reflection of its actual ingredients.

Use:
There are an estimated 5,000 fragrance ingredients on the market, 95 per cent of which are created in the laboratory - many from petroleum products. The actual ingredients are not listed to protect secrecy, as fragrances cannot be patented.

Health effects:

  • Petroleum-based ingredients can cause cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.
  • Perfumes are the leading cause of allergic reactions from cosmetics use.

Purpose:
To hold moisture in the shampoo and give it a "silky feel".

Use:
Propylene glycol is a petrochemical that is used as a major ingredient in brake fluid and anti-freeze as well as health and beauty products such as baby lotion and mascara.

Health effects:
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as "generally recognised as safe" it has been acknowledged as a neurotoxin and shown to cause dermatitis, liver abnormalities and kidney damage in animal studies. It may also inhibit cell growth and be irritating to the skin.

Purpose:
Facilitates cleaning by binding dirt and traces of heavy metals.

Use:
Included in detergents, agricultural chemical sprays and pharmaceutical products.

Health effects:

  • EDTA does not readily biodegrade, so one introduced into the environment it dissolves toxic heavy metals and enables them to enter the food chain. Heavy metals (about 20 exist) are toxic to human health and adversely affect behavioural, physiological and cognitive systems.
  • An eye and skin irritant.

Purpose:
To increase shampoo foaming and thickness.

Use:
Included in detergents, agricultural chemical sprays and pharmaceutical products.

Health effects:
Dermatitis, dryness and irritation of the scalp.

Purpose:
To increase viscosity and make products that would otherwise have a watery consistency look thick and "rich" instead.

So what should I buy? You may ask.

“Reacting to customer needs is all-important, and this is the reason why we only sell some of the finest natural cosmetic lines in the world. We want people to look for natural ingredients in the products they buy. Do not use cosmetics that are artificially coloured. Is the shampoo bright green or blue? Very likely it contains a coal tar colour. Does the product contain synthetic fragrances? Don't buy it. You may find that some of your allergy problems will suddenly disappear when you no longer use cosmetics formulated with petrochemicals and other synthetics.”

Our mission is to provide all-natural, safe and effective personal care and lifestyle products. We offer a choice of brands that give an authentic alternative to many of the mass produced synthetic and quasi-natural products available on the market today. We believe that great ingredients make great products and we have sourced all natural brands that meet the highest standards. These Companies use only the finest herbal, plant extracts and natural vitamins in all of their products. You will find:

  • No paraben preservatives
  • No SLS (sodium lauryl or laureth sulphate) or other sulphates
  • No petrochemicals
  • No mineral oil
  • No phthalates
  • No aluminium
  • No GM, pesticides or herbicide residues
  • No animal testing
  • No artificial colours or fragrances
  • No synthetic dyes
  • No propylene glycol
  • No EDTA
  • No triclosan
So our philosophy is very simple: "Why use something synthetic when something natural works so much better?"

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