May and Might contain stuf to scare me – Beauty Edition
WARNING: THE CONTENT OF THIS POST MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT IS MEANT TO CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL THOUGHT AND COULD BE PERCEIVED AS FACTUAL. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
Ever read a label that has a bunch of funky chemicals in them that you figure, eh, probably not good for me anyway? Been reading information about phthalates, carcinogens, and other funky stuf hidden in your beauty products? Well here, I want to break down what some of those ingredients really mean and what type of benefits they have. It absolutely makes no sense to me and others to put out information that scares the sh*t out of people without properly informing them of the pros and cons.
There is a lot of misinformation floating around about the benefits of different chemicals and natural ingredients in most beauty and food products. I’m siding with science and pure common sense on this one. Does it make more sense to buy a product that is natural, more expensive, but doesn’t work well? Will certain products that have synthetic chemicals in them, but work much better than the natural counterparts, really cause cancer, high toxicity, and eventually send you rotting in hell? Lets’s find out shall we?
Titanium Dixoxide – Uh oh, this one made it to the scare me sh*tless list. I use this when making soap to give the soaps a nice white color. So why so pale?
No really, what is it?
Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring oxide of titanium. It is often used as a pigment to whiten from toothpaste, sunscreen, and food coloring. It supposedly is found to be carcinogenic and photocatalyst. However, the FDA has deemed it safe to use and is not listed with any known adverse side effects. It is recommended that Titanium dioxide be used in small amounts as fine particles.
SLA – aka Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and it’s evil twin Sodium Laureth Sulfate. this is the stuf in shampoos to clean the hair and scalp. But it is also used in drain cleaner. And who wants to use Drano on their kinky twists?
No really, what is it?
SLA is a foaming agent used in soaps and detergents. It is made from sulfates and lauric acid and gives that big fluffy lather in shamppos. An interesting article from of all places Treehugger, disputes myths and claims about certain chemicals in beauty products and states that there is no link to cancer from SLA. And that it is safe to use. And is NOT carcinogenic. Even Dr. Bronner(the guy that makes Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps sold at Target and Whole Foods) feels that SLA is scapegoated:
“We do feel that SLS has been incorrectly scapegoated, as a lightning rod for legitimate consumer concerns about cosmetic ingredient safety … the issue with SLS primarily has to do with it being irritating to skin, which can be addressed by buffering with ingredients like Coco Glucoside,”
However, SLA is shown to irritate the skin after prolonged use. I still don’t use SLA in any Green Afro Diva products, but has it irritated my skin and sent me into a carcinogenic trip with lollipops and sugar fairies?.. Nope
Mineral Oil – This is the primary ingredient in Baby Oil. It’s also in a lot of haircare products sold at your local Korean run beauty supply store.
No really, what is it?
Mineral oil is a petroleum by product made from crude oil. It is also used to treat constipation by coating the intestinal tract, blocking water absorption and making it easier for poo to slide thru. According to the Cosmetics Safety Database, it is linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies and acne. I don’t adocate the use of mineral oil simply because the oil itself just sits on top of the skin, hair and scalp and does not have any nutritional benefit. It’s just cheap to produce and cheap to sell. And not to mention the enviromental impart of making most pertroleum products..sorry, this is a no go
Essential Oils – o_O, so I can’t use essential oils now? I thought they were natural. So much for Lavender and Tea Tree Oils, they help keep my complexion clear and scalp clean, but tests have shown that boys have had breast enlargement and have an estrogen effect, creating boobies due to Lavender. Or that Tea tree oil could be banned in the UK because of rashes and allergies. So why come some of them have me breaking out into hives?
No Really, What is it?
Essential oils are the end product of the distillation process in extracting plant, spice and resin oils. They are volatile, and have a strong aroma. They differ from other oils because they are not oily to the touch and they evaporate when exposed to air. The oils themselves have molecules that can penetrate skin and enter the bloodstream. They can be found in many products on the market such as massage oils, bath salts, compresses and beauty creams. So why have these, especially my beloved Lavender an tree tree oils, gotten a bad rep lately? Because many essential oils contain trace amounts of toxins and carcinogens that irritate the skin and cause severe allergies. After all, they are all natural and things found in nature contain trace amounts of lead and toxins. Many Essential oils, such as nutmeg and cinnamon actually cause irritation to the skin and should not be applied directly to the skin and pregnant women should ask their doctor which oils are safe to use. Nor should essential oils ever be ingested. They are highly concentrated and who knows what kind of damaged they could do to your body if you decided to season you food with Black Pepper EO.
Palm Oil – Ok, really? Palm oil is on the scare me sh*tless list? I use this stuf to bake cookies,
fry chicken, and make soap. So why is it bad?
No Really, What is it?
Palm oil(Elaeis Guineensis) comes from the meat of the palm fruit tree and contains saturated and unsaturated fats. It is used for cooking and also in many beauty products such as soap making, lotions, and creams. It can also be used to create bio-diesel fuel. As far as ingesting this stuf, the healthy thing to do would be to ingest less Palm oil since it does contribute to heart disease. Countries such as Malaysia, Benin, Columbia, produce the oil, with Indonesia being the largest. But the harvesting of palm oil has contributed to deforestation and loss of habitat of the orangutan and Sumatra Tiger. Which brings me to a dilemma..I like animals a lot and I sure as heck don’t wan them on the endangered list on my behalf. But I do get my palm oil from a sustainable source..That source I won’t reveal here(It’s business folks). If you happen to be searching for palm oil and don’t want to see the images of tigers and orangutans dying, set some from a sustainable source and use less.
Aluminum- This is the stuf found in antiperspirant deodorant in the form of aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum hydroxybromide. You know, the active ingredient that’s soft enough for a man, but made for a woman.
No Really, What is it?
Aluminum drys out sweat by attaching the aluminum ions in the cells that line the sweat ducts. The cells begin to swell and blocks sweat from being released by the ducts. Aluminum also screws with out elimination of natural toxins from the body. It’s not as toxic as other heavy metals, but it is linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. I don’t care if my green card is pulled on this one. I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER use all natural deodorants. One would have to bribe me in order to use those again. The ones I’ve used made my pits smell horrendous. Like I haven’t put on any deodorant at all. And the whole time, I’m going, ‘umph,…somebody stank..*takes whiff of underarm* oh wait that’s me…*slinks back into self conscientious stank hole and hopes no one notices*’
So if you can’t pronounce it, that must mean it’s bad? WTH??? Many companies, including myself and by law have to include the INCI name on beauty products. If you’re a science geek like myself, this just means the nomenclature or it’s latin term on products. So names such as Butyrospernum Parkii is actually shea butter and Sodium Sterate is really Stearic Acid. Many of those weird sounding names are also plant derived so it’s important that you know what you’re really buying. Something that is organic simply means that it wasn’t sprayed with any chemical pesticides during the growing process. I’m sure at some point the Big Beauty industry, just like Big Oil, Big Food, and Big Drug will try to lobby some of their congress critter friends into creating laws against us small businesses that create our own natural and handmade products because of the simple fact the the public is starting to wake up and become more aware of what’s really in them(Here’s looking at U relaxer brands!) and the big industries are losing money. Then again, I’m not a big fan of special interests groups whose main concern is to get people to buy a product through propaganda that requires scaring the sh*t outta me. The air you breathe, the car you drive and certainly, the food you eat, even in it’s most natural state at some point can be toxic. And no, just because it’s natural, organic, chemical free, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily better for you. I prefer to to most natural products in the same manner that I like to wear my hair natural…Because I really don’t care for chemicals much, In some cases, it’s environmentally better, and I rather prefer the real thing.
So there’s the dilemma. Believe for hype or use your common sense. The choice is yours.