Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Chemicals to Avoid in your products and why!

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a common ingredient found in our cosmetics and personal care products, including shampoo, soap, shower gel, toothpaste, shaving cream and bath foams. SLS is also known as a surfactant - a surfactant breaks down the surface tension of a liquid, allowing it to foam or to penetrate solids. It is widely used by manufacturers because it is cheap.  Sodium lauryl sulphate is also used as an industrial degreaser to clean the grease off garage floors and in engines.

SLS & Skin - Sodium lauryl sulphate is a known irritant and is actually used in clinical studies for that purpose - to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested. When applied to human skin it has the effect of stripping off the oil layer then irritating and eroding, leaving it dry, itchy and sometimes inflamed. It cleans by corrosion and dries the skin by stripping the protective lipids from the surface so it can not effectively regulate moisture balance.  SLS can also aggravate more serious skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.

SLS & Eyes - In experimental, acute eye tests, a solution of 10% sodium lauryl sulphate caused corneal damage to the eyes if not irrigated or irrigation was delayed. A solution of 5.1% caused mild irritation. Studies have also shown that SLS could retard the healing and keep childrens eyes from developing properly by denaturing the proteins and not allowing for proper structural formation. Children under six years old are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. It has also been said that SLS could cause cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea.

SLS & Hair - Because sodium lauryl sulphate is such a caustic detergent it can cause scalp irritations, corrode the hair follicle - impairing the ability for hair to grow, and strips moisture from the delicate hair shaft, leaving it dry and brittle. SLS & Science - Sodium lauryl sulphate has a low molecular weight of just 40, ingredients under the weight of 75 enters the body. Therefore SLS can rapidly be absorbed into the body and be retained in the eyes, brain, liver and heart, which may result in harmful long term effects.

SLS & Ethoxylation - When SLS goes through a process called ethoxylation (this is where the degreasing agent becomes less abrasive gives it enhanced foaming properties) this compound then becomes Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES). The problem here lays with the fact that ethoxylation causes residues of a compound called 1, 4-dioxane to form. 1, 4-dioxane has shown in tests to be carcinogenic in rats and mice and is absorbed through the intact skin of the animals. Furthermore, this compound has been classified as a possible carcinogen in humans. According to the European Economic Community directive on cosmetics, 1, 4-dioxane must not be present in commercial products. Consequently, the assay of this substance in marketed cosmetics is of a direct concern.

Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used in the cosmetic industry, it is reported that 99% of beauty products contain them. They are preservatives that inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungus and mould, to extend the shelf life of a product. The most commonly used parabens in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben.  Parabens may cause skin irritation, cause allergic reactions and interfere with the intestinal flora which is vital for the cleanliness of the intestines.  Recent research suggests that parabens are able to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen, so there is a link with breast cancer, although this has not been proven and further studies are needed.

Phthalates are chemicals used in many toiletries to help the fragrance last longer. It is estimated that around 90% of beauty products contain these symthetic preservatives. Animal studies on certain phthalates have shown the chemicals may cause a variety of problems, including reproductive and developmental harm, organ damage, immune suppression, endocrine disruption and cancer. The major concern is that as phthalates are so ubiquitous in our environment, no one knows for sure what the long term exposure, even in small doses, may be doing to human health, particularly developing infants.  Phthalates are so widely used that it may be nearly impossible to eliminate your exposure entirely. However, we feel just by omitting them from the cosmetics we use will make a difference.   Phthalates may be listed as: Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Diethyl phthalate (DEP), Butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP).

A recent study conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle has shown that potentially harmful phthalates (plasticisers) are absorbed through childrens skin. All of the 163 urine samples from infants up to 28 months contained at least one phthalate, and 81% had seven or more. High doses of phthalates have been known to produce unnatural hormone activity in tests.

Propylene Glycol (PG) is a colourless, nearly odourless syrupy liquid that is derived from a natural gas, that is commonly used in anti-freeze and brake fluid! It has found its way into cosmetics as a binding agent. It penetrates the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. It is considered so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when being handled. Because Propylene Glycol penetrates the skin so quickly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.

Oxybenzone (also known as benzophenone-3) is the widely used chemical in many sun products with high sun protection factors, its function is to 'filter' ultra violet light on the surface of the skin, converting it from light to heat, but it can also be absorbed through the skin. As yet there has not been any conclusive research to indicate what happens when the oxybenzone is absorbed through the skin, but UV light causing cell damage is well known and you may choose to avoid this form of sun protection. If light is converted to heat in the basal layers of the skin, damage to growing cells is very likely.

Formaldehyde is a toxic, colourless gas that is an irritant, and a carcinogen. When combined with water, formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant, fixative or preservative in deodorants, liquid soaps, nail varnish and shampoos. Also known as formalin, formal and methylaldehyde, it is a suspected human carcinogen and has caused cancer in rats. Formaldehyde can damage DNA, irritate the eyes, upper respiratory tract and mucous membrane, and may cause asthma and headaches. It is banned in Japan and Sweden.

Nitrosamines are not intentionally added to cosmetics, they are contaminants accidentally formed during either manufacture or storage if certain ingredients are combined. There are NO safe levels of these chemicals and whats even more worrying is that they are able to penetrate the skin. Products to watch out for are those containing amines or amino deerivatives, particularly di- or triethanolamine (DEA, TEA, MEA see below), which may form nitrosamines if combined with an ingredient which acts as a nitrosating agent, e.g sodium nitrate. Amines and their derivatives are mostly present in creams, cream lotions, hair shampoos and cream hair conditioners. Beware of mixing products.

Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) are hormone disrupting chemicals known to form nitrates and nitrosamines, often in conjunction with other chemicals present in a product. They are almost always present in cosmetics that foam: bubble bath, shampoo, body wash, soap. Dr, Samuel Epstein, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois, reports that repeated applications of DEA based detergents result in increases in liver and kidney cancer.



Thursday, 1 February 2018

Why are Natural Bath Products a Better Alternative?

Why are natural bath products a better alternative?
We all love to indulge in body pampering sessions at home! Don’t we?

However, we often overlook the fact that what we apply to our skin can have an impact on our overall health. Most of the bath products available today are laden with toxins and harmful chemicals. We lay a lot of emphasis on nutrition, exercise and diet. However, an essential component often ignored by us are the cosmetics we use.

Exposing the body on a daily basis to harmful chemicals and synthetic ingredients may have long-term damaging effects. Ever thought about the chemicals lurking in your daily bath products? Eager to switch to all-natural bath products for a truly delightful and nourishing experience?

Well, with the wide array of natural bath delights available, you can ensure that your skin remains healthy always. Read on to learn why natural bath products make a better alternative.

The use of preservatives in bath products:
Most companies make use of preservatives and fillers in bath products to extend shelf life and yield better profits. However, such ingredients contain traces of toxic chemicals that may wreak havoc on your body. In the long-run, the use of such products can lead to serious health issues.

We all use shampoos, lotions and bath products but what we often miss is the high content of chemicals in these products. A widely used ingredient in cosmetics is SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) which is basically an engine degreaser. It serves as an ingredient to remove oils. It causes the skin and hair to lose all its natural moisture.

In the process of shampooing, we expose the entire body to the harsh chemicals in the shampoo. This results in the skin being stripped of beneficial oils. Most of the bath products that we use today are in reality detergents. They are too harsh for the skin and are often referred to as ‘bar’ and not soap.
In this context, imagine using products that are not only devoid of chemicals but will also add essential moisture to your skin? Will it not be a delightful transformation for your skin?

With the use of pure and organic products enriched with Jojoba oil, coconut oil, Olive oil, Almond oil and other essential oils, you get to nourish your skin with natural nutrients.

The benefits of Essential oil in bath products:

Essential Oils are extracted from flowers, bark, roots or peels. Enriched with natural goodness, essential oils offer a multitude of benefits for the skin and hair. Since they are made up of natural ingredients, they are absolutely safe to be used for all skin types. With their invigorating fragrance and exceptional benefits, essential oils can indeed do wonders for your skin.

If you are eager to switch to natural bath products and wondering where to begin with, we have the right solution for you. Listed below are a few products that you can add to your skincare regime.

1    Himalayan Pink Salt Coarse Granules:

Nourishing and soothing, Himalayan Pink salt granules can do wonders to your skin. They offer a range of benefits for the entire body and are can help to relax tired muscles. Immerse yourself in this bath salt to experience incredible benefits.

2    Epsom salt:
Epsom bath salt makes the perfect natural ingredient that can be effectively used to exfoliate the skin, remove blackheads and add a healthy glow to the skin. Epsom salt can also help to remove excess oil from the skin to keep it feeling smooth and soft.

3    Bath bombs:

If you are eager for a spa-like experience at home, natural bath bombs make the best alternative. Colourful and refreshing, bath bombs offer a truly enriching experience. You can easily make your own bath bombs with the purest organic ingredients for a one-of-a-kind bathing joy.

4    Organic castille liquid soap:

Created from the purest ingredients, this bath soap is the best alternative to traditional cleansers. Packed with the goodness of essential oils, the soap can deeply cleanse your skin while retaining the natural oils.

5    Lavender essential oil:

With its floral herbaceous aroma, lavender oil is renowned for its wide array of benefits for the skin. A few drops of the oil can be added to your bath water for an exhilarating feel.

6    Sweet orange essential oil:

Stimulating and refreshing, sweet orange essential oil is indeed a great product to add to your regular bath. With its nurturing benefits and citrusy aroma, it can make your bathing experience an amazing one.

7    Witch Hazel extract:

An extremely versatile ingredient, witch hazel extract is known for its wide benefits for the skin and hair. It makes the perfect natural skin toner and can be safely used on oily and sensitive skin after a nice languishing bath

8    African Black Soap:

Enriched with Vitamin A and E, the soap is free from chemicals and offers wonderful benefits for the skin. If you are looking for an all-natural soap for smooth and supple skin, give this product a try!

9    Jojoba Oil:

Rich in Vitamin E, the oil possesses the property to deeply nourish the skin. It can be used as an after-bath moisturiser to hydrate the skin and make it appear smooth and supple.

10   Sweet Almond Oil:

Abundant in Vitamin D and proteins, sweet almond oil makes a great after-bath moisturiser. It is the ideal natural ingredient for dehydrated and dry skin. With regular use, you can enhance your complexion and add a radiant glow.

With their myriad of benefits, natural bath products indeed make the perfect alternative. Free from chemicals and harmful components, they can nurture the skin and hair with their nutrifying ability.

Are you excited about giving these natural products a try?

If you are looking for natural ingredients, N-Essentials is your one-stop destination. We bring to you a wide range of pure, natural and/or organic cosmetics and essential oils. In case you are looking for more information about natural ingredients and essential oils, feel free to call us today. Alternatively, you can also email us at info@n-essentials.com.au.

Guest post written by N-Essential