Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A little soap for thought - i.e. toxins in our "beauty" products....it's time to just say no! (part 2)

So, as a continuation to my previous blog entry, re: one of the two soaps I found in the blue bin.... while rinsing it out, and combating the quick forming headache from inhaling the scent....I decided to peer at the ingredients just for fun! 

Let’s look at the ingredient list – for those who can’t see it well in the photo (i.e. probably everyone as it's incredibly hard to read and there is glare) I will list it out…prepare yourselves….

First, they let me know that I should not put it in my eyes, but they also try to minimize the effect that that statement has by prefacing it with “as with any soap”…However I gotta be real here for a second, if I put my limited ingredient, non-sketchy toxin bar soap in my eye…it doesn’t burn, I mean it feels a little funky but all in all it’s okay…and I've had Dr.Bronners in my eyes before too, accidentally of course, and it’s been fine..so I’m not sure it’s fair to tell the consumer “as with any soap”…that’s a touch misleading don’t you think? I know of many soaps that won't cause such shenanigans. 

I digress…they go on to share with me the chemical concoction they’ve mixed (i.e. ingrediants) to create this headach inducing liquid soap…the flavour? Vanilla and brown sugar….eliciting in my mind, of course, nice vanilla bean, and some traditional brown sugar…well, that was before I knew the truth...now products like this just make me shudder, both metaphorically, and literally...and extra literally because of the weird neuro-toxins in them.....

Aqua, sodium C14-15 olefin sulfonate, lauramide DEA, sodium chloride, cocamidopropyl betaine, parfum, DMDM hydantoin, citric acid, tetrasodium EDTA, polyquaternium-7, glycerin, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, benzophenone-4, hydrolyzed silk, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, yellow-5, red 33.

The bolded ones are some of the sketchier ones that are on lists of ingredients to absolutely avoid. Among the bolded ones above, are formeldyhyde releasing preservatives (DMDM hydantoin - which got a rating of 7 on EWG and noted as a *high hazard*, and petroleum based compounds which can cause a number of issues – skin sensitivity, and also the petroleum ones (PEGs) lead to promotion of greater absorption of the product which …which it’s super sketch when we're talking about other toxic ingredients. I don't know about you but I'd rather not have those get into my body/blood stream. 

The only ingredient I feel fully comfortable with and even then I’m questioning its source, and quality (i.e. is it organic?) it is the aloe leaf juice.

First of all, I understand only one of the ingredients,  second of all, numbers in ingredients (e.g. yellow -5) always freaks me out, third I made soap before, and I have news for all…you do not need such ridiculously toxic ingredients to make your soap. Of course not all the ingredients in that soap are notoriously bad, but some are super sketch, and I think that even just one super sketch one is enough for me. Things also change drastically when we consider that we don't just use one product, once a day...we use a number of products, multiple times per day - that's a lot of exposure....and products don't necessarily get tested from an accumulation point of view. Go figure. 

Compare this to Dr. Bronners – my favourite liquid castile soap around, especially since I can re-fill it and not contribute to excessive plastic bottle waste in this world!

Aqua, cocos nucifera (coconut oil), potassium hydroxide (none actually remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerine but they are required to say it anyway), olea europaea (olive) oil, cannabis sativa (hemp seed) oil, simmondsia chinesis (jojoba) oil, menthe arvensis extract, menthe peperita (peppermint) oil, citric acid, tocopherol **all are certified fair trade, and certified organic except the last two ingrediants. 

Look at all those different oils – ever wonder why your hands are crazy dry? A lot of the toxins in the former soap (Soft soap), are ridiculously drying…hemp, jojoba, olive, coconut...all great oils for the body.

Long story short, read your ingredient list! If it sounds sketchy, it likely is. Here are some resources to use when unsure as I don't deny, it can be quite overwhelming...but definitely worth the research. 

  1.  Environmental Work Group - they have a number of consumer guides on what to choose in certain categories – i.e. cleaning products, sunscreens, they even have a mobile app! There is one specifically on cosmetics (skin deep) and you can actually search based on chemical too so that is SUPER helpful!! – a great one to check out.
  2. Goodguide  – not all products are up there, and not all information is available, but it can be helpful if the info is available. They rate products on health, environment, and society so that’s pretty cool. It takes a lot of the burden off the consumer as they’ve done a lot of testing already. For example, I looked this particular soap up, it's not the exact one as they don't have it, but in general similar soaps get a rating of  6.2 (note, too, that that would likely be lower if ingredients were included, under health it says “product has insufficient ingredient information”  - so maybe in this example this isn't the best for all products, but it’s generally a pretty good reference for most things, or high level information/comparatives.
  3. I also kept in my wallet as I was learning all this new info, super helpful when going into a shop to acquire a new products as a replacement of an old sketchy one, a print-out of Gill Deacons handy wallet size of “best brands” and “toxins to avoid” found here , as well as a few more I wrote down based on other readings – David Suzuki’s Queen of Green came out with a publication as well, to let us know more about what these toxins truly are and their effects The Dirty Dozen,
  4.  There is also the book – Slow Death by Rubber Duck which actually started this action in me the summer of 2010 after reading it. I headed straight to my bathroom and started looking at all my products and thought WOW….they ALL have sketchy stuff in them. I saw for a moment, surrounded by my million and one products catered to my perceived “specific” needs…curly, frizzy, de-frizz, gel, mouse, yadda yadda…I decided I’d cut all this out, but one at a time so it wasn’t as overwhelming (and as wasteful - though there are some products that are simply so sketch that I just recommend saying NO, immediately - e.g. air fresheners or all conventional cleaning products).  My transition ended up being a complete success and a really informative journey, making a drastic difference in my life – i.e. quality of my hair, skin, nails, is fair better…I mean it makes perfect sense too – how can we continually apply chemicals to our bodies and expect there to not be negative repercussions?
So, the next time you have a headache (as I still do now from washing out those plastic containers almost an hour later), while it may be dehydration, lack of coffee, or stress....it might just be because you're been around too many chemicals!

I certainly notice a lot more now that I've cut it out - I liken it to people who smoke, and stop and then try again - their lungs are so much more sensitive, they have lost their resistance - we've all built up a pretty big resistance to chemicals, and until you cut them out and give your body a chance to breath ....you might not notice how much harm you're doing your body.

I’d be happy to talk about this with anyone so just ask, and share too what you have transitioned in your life that you find works great! Having a support network to share in tips and tricks is super helpful when undergoing a purge.

No comments:

Post a Comment