Saturday, 14 August 2010

Product Awareness: Parabens and SLS

A few years ago I saw a program on TV (sorry I can’t think of it’s name or who presented it) and it was about what we put in our bodies by using beauty products. It did talk about fluoride and things like that but then went on about parabens. I had never heard of these before in my life and was very shocked at how harmful they can be.


This post is going to hopefully explain in the simplest terms possible about ‘bad’ things in beauty products so here it goes....!


Parabens.

There are many different parabens and common ones begin ‘methyl, butyl, ethyl, isobutyl, propyl’ paraben. Health risks include:

  • Cancer
  • Allergies/immunotoxicity
  • Endocrine disruption (hormones responsible for bodily functions)
  • Organ system toxicity
  • Neurotoxicity (harm to brain or nervous system)
  • Irritation (eyes, skin, lungs)
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity

By having effects on the endocrine system parabens mimic oestrogen, which is a female hormone, and there is research to indicate a link between this and breast cancer. Which product do you use near your breast everyday? Deodorant. This also has an effect on men as they shouldn’t have oestrogen in their bodies and as a result some men have been found to have a low sperm count.


But checking your products isn’t necessarily easy by looking for ‘paraben’ as they are sometimes called something different. Common names for isobutylparaben are:

  • BENZOIC ACID
  • 4-HYDROXY-
  • 2-METHYLPROPYL ESTER
  • 4-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID
  • 2-METHYLPROPYL ESTER
  • ISOBUTYL P-HYDROXYBENZOATE
  • ISOBUTYL PARAHYDROXYBENZOATE
  • PARAHYDROXYBENZOIC ACID
  • ISOBUTYL ESTER
  • 2-METHYLPROPYL ESTER BENZOIC ACID
  • 4-HYDROXY-
  • 2-METHYLPROPYL ESTER 4-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID
  • ISOBUTYL ESTER PARAHYDROXYBENZOIC ACID
  • 4-HYDROXY- 2-METHYLPROPYL ESTER BENZOIC ACID
  • SODIUM ISOBUTYLPARABEN
  • BENZOIC ACID
  • 4HYDROXY
  • 2METHYLPROPYL ESTER


But it is also important to remember that parabens also naturally occur in some food but like everything in life in moderation these are ok but when they’re in everything you use it’s not that good.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).

SLS is a detergent and is found in many beauty products as well as many cleaning products (in a much higher concentrate). It could cause:

  • Cancer
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Restrictions and warnings
  • Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs)

I had seen that this was also listed as an ingrediant on my toothpaste and when doing research for this post I found out that SLS in toothpaste can cause an increase in ulcers and sores in the mouth. Eeek!


With all this in mind Im trying to use up all my ‘old’ beauty products in the hope of finding new paraben and SLS free products. So I have a number of products which I love and am currently using so thought it would be interesting to see if these contain parabens and SLS. I’m going to do this as follows: (I (ingrediants): amount. P (parabens): amount. SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate): amount) % of ingredients which are ‘bad’ stuff. Hopefully it’ll look simpler than it sounds here!

L-R:

  • Body Shop banana shampoo (I: 24. P: 5. SLS: 1) 25%
  • L’Occitane red rice cleanser (I: 28. P: 0. SLS: 1) 3.5%
  • Avon Senses shower gel (I: 18. P: 0. SLS: 1) 5.5%
  • L’Occitane citrus verbena shower gel (I: 25. P: 0. SLS: 1) 4%
  • Body Shop seaweed toner (I: 23. P: 4. SLS: 0) 17%

L-R:

  • No7 Perfect and Protect lip cream (I: 32. P: 2. SLS: 1) 9%
  • Batiste dry shampoo (I: 8. P: 0. SLS: 0) 0%
  • Lee Stafford flat iron protection spray (I: 25. P: 5. SLS: 0) 20%
  • Lee Stafford poker straight glistening balm (I: 26. P: 5. SLS: 0) 19%
  • No7 Lift and Luminate eye cream (I: 37. P: 5. SLS: 0) 13%

So a quick summary, the product which contains the highest percentage of ‘bad’ stuff is Body Shop’s banana shampoo and the product which contains the least is Batiste dry shampoo.


Why don’t you check out what’s in your beauty products, you could be suprised!


Tomorrow I’m doing a follow up post to this so check back then!


PLEASE NOTE: THESE INGREDIENTS HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED SAFE TO USE AND THERE IS NO CAST IRON EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE. THIS POST SHOULD ONLY BE USED AS A GUIDE ABOUT WHAT YOUR PRODUCTS CONTAIN.


2 comments:

Makeup Savvy said...

Really interesting review - I am very ingredients savvy these days! and I can say I can tell a difference in my skin & hair and even cutting out SLS toothpaste (I know don't get ulcers like I use too)!

But it's really interesting to see which products have alot of nasty ingredients in and to be honest The Body Shop don't surprise me as they are similar to Lush in seeming natural but really they arent. It's just all marketing.

Great post.

Fee x

Karla said...

@MAkeup Savvy - thanks for the comment, it's good to know someone read this after the amount of time it took me to write it!

I was very surprised at the body shop having all this rubbish in their products but it does just show that you can't go by a companies name, or what image they put out there to sell products. Definitely check the ingredients!

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