Another product ingredients review, by request!

Here’s another spontaneous product review by special request.

As ever, the intention is to learn, not to finger point, so we won’t give the brand. Suffice to say this is a body product by a brand that is repeatedly promoted as being natural, plant-derived and some reps even insist that it’s 100% Certified Organic. A glance of the ingredients list* reveals in an instant that it’s definitely not any of these things!

That said, this product does include water plus some obvious plant ingredients so let’s remove them first** so we can look at the main elements of the product.

It’s too hard to learn the details of a hundred thousand chemicals and it’s a pretty daunting task to get across them all. To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a set of simple tips that indicate when something is probably – or definitely, in many instances – better avoided. The following discussion is based upon the tips you’ll find in our website, blog and Facebook page.

Here are the ingredients that remain, and to keep this post relatively short, we’ll limit the discussion to those chemicals underlined, even though there are others worthy of comment:

Propanediol, Dimethylaminoethanol Tartrate, Glycerin, Steareth-21, Dimethicone, Steareth-2, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Caffeine, Phenyl Trimethicone, Olive Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Thioctic Acid, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hexylresorcinol, Ethyl Linoleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Dipalmitate, Niacinamide, Bisabolol, Adenosine, Ubiquinone, Mandelic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Bakuchiol, Benzyl Alcohol, Chlorphenesin, Salicylic Acid, Silica, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool

Tip: Avoid any ingredients with “ethicone” in their name.

In the above list, we’ve underlined Dimethicone and Phenyl Trimethicone. Another common chemical in this group is Cyclomethicone and there are several others.

These are synthetic silicone oils. Silicone oils are synthetic emollients which block pores, clog skin, and can cause allergies and dermatitis. They’re also known to accumulate on the liver and lymph nodes. Some have been linked to cancer generally and breast cancer specifically.

Tip: Avoid:
PEG (polyethylene glycol), PPG (polypropylene glycol);
– chemicals ending in ‘eth’ like ceteth, steareth, laureth, oleth etc;
– chemicals with ‘oxynol’ as part of their name;
– chemicals with ‘polysorbate’ as part of their name;
– chemicals described as emulsifying wax or vegetable wax (with few exceptions, these are ethoxylated);

In the above list, we’ve underlined Steareth-21, Steareth-2,

These are ethoxylated chemicals, which mean they’ve been put through a process with Ethylene Oxide that means the resulting compound (then used as an ingredient in your personal care products) may contain impurities of Ethylene Oxide and/or 1,4-dioxane. Even if these impurities are removed, then they end up in our landfill and waterways.

Ethylene Oxide is so toxic that if you took the lid off and sniffed the bottle, death would be imminent. If you were working with it in a lab, you’d be wearing protective clothing, glasses, gloves and a face mask to stop it getting on your skin or in your lungs. It scores 10 on a scale of 1-to-10 of hazardous chemicals because it is carcinogenic and specifically shown to induce tumours in mammary glands. It’s also linked with developmental and reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity and allergies.

1,4-dioxane is included on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer or birth defects. Readily penetrating the skin, it is a known carcinogen with evidence suggesting a possible link to breast cancer. While pregnant women, infants and teenagers are considered to be most vulnerable, it’s reasonable to suggest this is a chemical best avoided more widely.

Tip: Avoid compounds that have the following as part of their name: benzyl, butyl, isopropyl, myristyl, propyl, propylene.

In the above list, we’ve underlined Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin and Benzyl Benzoate.

Synthetic alcohols and other related chemicals are known to cause skin irritations and dermatitis, and some have been shown to promote acne. Other examples include benzyl alcohol, isopropyl palmitate, octyl palmitate, butylene glycol, propylene glycol.

Tip: Avoid or look more deeply into ingredients that have numbers.

In the above list, we’ve underlined two CL colours (Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891) and Iron Oxides (Ci 77492)) that would be worth checking out to be sure of whether or not they contain nano particles. If the product were all organic, it would be a fair bet they’re not using nano, but in a product like this, which is clearly not organic, you can’t make assumptions about their ingredient decisions. It is hard to know for sure because there is no legal requirement to disclose use of nano. Note that I’m not against nano – it’s an absolutely fascinating field of science full of amazing possibilities that will change our future. However, it’s a mistake to think that a particle, microparticle and nanoparticle of X always share the same properties. It’s not the case. In some instances the nanoparticle behaves so unpredictably, it’s like you’re dealing with a whole different thing. For example, nanoparticles of Titanium Dioxide (very commonly used in cosmetic products) have been shown to cross the placenta of pregnant mice, causing brain damage and reduced sperm production in the offspring.

This means it is prudent to do a level of testing to ensure safety before introducing it into a product that people will be applying to their skin. At the very least, there should be a requirement to disclose so that people are able to choose for themselves whether or not they are comfortable with the assumption of it being safe. Someone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, for example, might prefer to make that decision for herself, rather than be kept in the dark about potential problems.

We’ve also underlined. Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 and Polyglyceryl-10 Dipalmitate not so much because they’re a definite problem, but rather as an indication of greenwashing. If a product is being promoted as natural and/or organic, and you see chemicals like this in the list, there’s a good chance that someone’s not being straight with you.

I’ll stop there, even though there are additional ingredients worthy of comment.

We could have a big debate over whether the type and quantum of the chemicals means that the positive aspects of the product might outweigh the negative, but ultimately we would return to the same point…

Why choose such a product in the first place?

Why would you bother using a product containing so many questionable ingredients and contaminants, when you can use a genuinely healthy, Certified Organic product that is good for your skin and well being and that is good for the environment? Plus it’s Certified Cruelty Free. It makes sense for anyone who wants great skin AND to live in a more beautiful world.

Hope this addresses the query of the person who sent in the query about this product / brand, and I hope you’ve found something in here to help increase your understanding of the ingredients commonly found in skincare and haircare products.

Til soon xo

 

* You don’t need to be an expect to recognise that this is a chemical product with some essential oils and extracts added. This is the full ingredients list:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Propanediol, Dimethylaminoethanol Tartrate, Glycerin, Steareth-21, Dimethicone, Steareth-2, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Caffeine, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hippophae Rhamnoides Seed Oil, Olive Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Medicago Sativa (Alfafa) Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Jania Rubens Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Thioctic Acid, Sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hexylresorcinol, Ethyl Linoleate, Polyglyceryl-10 Dipalmitate, Niacinamide, Bisabolol, Adenosine, Ubiquinone, Mandelic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Bakuchiol, Benzyl Alcohol, Chlorphenesin, Salicylic Acid, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Silica, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool

 

** These are the products that were deleted first (water plus obvious plant ingredients):

Aqua/Water/Eau, Hippophae Rhamnoides Seed Oil, , Medicago Sativa (Alfafa) Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Jania Rubens Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil.

 

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