you read the labels of your shampoos and soaps? If you do read the
list, do you know what all those chemicals are and what they do for
and hair? Did you know that the surfactant, sodium laureth sulfate
(SLS), is not
actually made from coconut oil like the label says? Sometimes we are
by advertising slogans depicting all kinds of "actions" the product
apparently can accomplish. Reality reveals an industry producing a
endless stream of copycat hair care products with the only significant
differences being in their appearance, smell, packaging and marketing
With an air of innocence and trust in regulating agencies like the FDA
Drug Administration, which knowingly allows the SLS deceit as noted
of us have assumed our body care products are safe and only act on our
greasy skin and have no other activities on the rest of our bodies
out. For years many of us have not thought much about the environmental
of the manufacture of these products and the effects when we let them
our household drains. Sometimes a product is labeled biodegradable but
reality this describes only some of the base detergent agents while the
contains preservatives and other chemicals which are not biodegradable.
chemists formulate products from a huge selection of synthetic
are known by doctors and the FDA to be unhealthy for human use. It is
to notice the intensely strong fragrance in our body care products,
household cleaners. These are synthetic fragrances and are a
leading cause of
allergic reactions. Sometimes a product will have as many as
chemical preservatives. Methyl and propyl paraben are common
are strong sensitizers and cause dermatitis. Sensitization is an
problem that occurs after repeated use, sometimes after years of use,
show up as mysterious skin afflictions in places where the product may
inexpensive synthetic agents that make up the base of most liquid soaps
shampoos, are harsh on the hair and skin. Many of the harsh surfactants
natural fats and phospholipids from the epidermis that weakens the skin
toxins and bacteria to invade. A great many of them have been invented,
a huge and very profitable industry. Only after the industry
flooding the market with many varieties creating a vast environmental
did the governments of many countries in the 1960’s ban the most
No long-term effects of these surfactants were studied on the human
first surfactants were so cruel to skin that people using them everyday
developed eczema and dermatitis. The medical profession finally spoke
up and the
most damaging ones were taken off the market. That was possibly the
unauthorized test on an innocent public that has ever occurred. Some
same kind of unauthorized testing is still going on with many people
from various skin conditions.
remember when I was a teenager and pHisohex, an antibacterial cleaner,
the rage. We used it to wash our faces, bodies and as hand soap at the
contained hexachlorophene, which in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s
linked to infant deaths and brain damage. This prompted warnings on
containing hexachlorophene to read "not to be used on babies".
PHisohex was eventually taken off the market due to toxic reactions.
is determined by exactly what percentage contained in a product will
symptoms of health problems. Less than the lowest percentage that
adverse reaction is not always what manufacturers are allowed to use.
they are allowed to use more. I can’t help but to imagine that could be
because a company can come up with a study where a more resilient
tolerated a higher percentage of the nasty substance. The FDA’s GRAS
for "generally recognized as safe", is a list that seems to be more
protective for the chemical companies than for your safety.
products concocted don’t just offer a basic, gentle cleaning action but
made to have just the desired size bubble, just the right amount of
ability, clear color or pearl-like look and thick, smooth texture.
several synthetic chemicals in each of these categories from which to
accomplish these "most important" qualities. At this point there is a
need to add another host of chemical ingredients to counteract the
effects the base ingredients actually have on your hair and skin.
many of these kind of ingredients for appearance aspects like texture
size are still contained in shampoos found in health food stores.
Herbs has read and fully understood the labels on these popular liquid
shampoos. With their usual tender loving care for your skin, hair and
environment, they have formulated a truly unique, simple and more
soap/shampoo line. You can simplify your life with these liquid
even just one of them can be used as face soap, body soap, shampoo,
hand soap at
your sink and even gentle detergent for hand washing delicate clothing.
unique hair care line starts with the most simple, biodegradable soap
manufactured by Cheryl's Herbs, containing only Purified Water, Decyl
Polyglucose, Vegetable Glycerin, Apple Cider Vinegar and Xanthan Gum.
of the art soap agent, Decyl Polyglucose, is manufactured from
renewable vegetation and is earth friendly. It is derived from corn and
& palm kernel oils. It can also be described as being made from
glucose & starch. Corn supplies the carbohydrates which are
fatty alcohols from native oils, such as coconut or palm kernel oil,
polyglycosides. Decyl Polyglucose is an effective, gentle, cleaner with
reported adverse effects and is fully biodegradable. The significance
safety is appreciated when you realize that most of the cosmetic
used in conventional products cause health problems.
won't find a simpler, more natural shampoo base in any health food
America! For each individual soap/shampoo product we add intensively
herbal tea formulas and Cheryl’s Herbs famous world-class quality
oils to this wonderful base. Choose from over a dozen kinds of Cheryl’s
Soap/Shampoo. The names of some of the most popular ones are Soothing,
Balancing, Dry Skin, Herbal Pet and our famous Summer Soap/Shampoo
which is full
of insect-repellent herbs and essential oils!
following is a small sampling of ingredients commonly found in shampoos
lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate are alkyl
sulfates and are surfactants widely used in most shampoos,
lotions and creams today. Labeling regulations allow "derived from
oil" which is untrue today because they are synthetically produced now
petroleum but was true in the 1940’s when originally developed. The
industry considers them to be some of their most gentle cleansers for
and hair, especially sodium laureth sulfate. In high concentrations
are very irritant, drying to skin, hair, irritating to eyes, caused
cracking, severe inflammation and cause allergic reactions. They both
have a lot
of potential to become contaminated with nitrosamines. Sulfates are
manufacture these synthetic surfactants and are harmful to marine life
actions that are thickening, gelling,
emulsifying, foam boosting, foam stabilizing and opacifying, which
appearance from clear to cloudy, sometimes making white pearl-like
Main groups of alkyloamides are: diethanolamides (DEA),
(MEA), monoisopropanolamides (MIPA), ethoxylated or PEG alkanolamides.
are harmful to environment and can become contaminated with
is silicone fluid used to give
a smooth feel which causes
known as acidamide is used as
antimicrobial in shampoos and bath lotions at concentrations up to
have had allergic reactions from it using as little as 0.1% dilution.
European Economic Community requires label warnings on products
DEA is a synthetic
foam stabilizer and thickener which
may be contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Myeth Sulfate is a
synthetic detergent and not
Hydantoin is a form
of formaldehyde and is used as a
certified as safe for drugs and
cosmetics, not for food. It is a synthetic, coal tar color and is
tar has been shown to be carcinogenic in animal tests and many people
allergic to it.
D&C Violet #2 is
in the anthraquinone family of
coal tars which is made from phthalic anhydride and benzene. This
causes tumors in lab rats and causes serious skin rashes. Benzene is a
petrochemical solvent known to cause depression, convulsions, coma and
with prolonged exposure suspected to cause leukemia. Even inhaling the
can be absorbed through the skin and cause irritation.
is a suspected carcinogen and
found in many preservatives
including the hydantoins. It’s extremely toxic when inhaled or
Nearly half of all people exposed to it experience a toxic reaction. In
the FDA banned formaldehyde in cosmetics but is still used in shampoos.
requires label disclosure if it used in a certain percentage.
Stearate S.E. a
synthetic used for a pearlizing
effect, emulsifier and opacifier (changes appearance from clear to
can cause irritation and clogged pores.
urea (also known as Germall and phenoxyethanol) is a
synthetic preservative that can release formaldehyde at temperatures
DP 300 ( also named Triclosan) is
environmental pollutant because hydrocarbons are known to pollute the
and land, and a suspected carcinogen because it comes from coal tar.
DEA is a
surfactant, foam-builder, can be irritating
to the skin and can be contaminated with nitrosamines.
1-40 a synthetic
surfactant and foaming agent.
a synthetic fatty alcohol used
as a dispersant and a surfactant
that causes allergic reactions and damages the environment.
ethly dimonium ethosulfate can
be contaminated with
a synthetic preservative.
Oil is manufactured
from petroleum and causes allergic
reactions with topical use and many be phototoxic.
considered safe by the FDA and is a
petrochemical used in antifreeze and brake fluid. It is a cheap
humectant and emulsifier made from mineral oil. Sweet and natural
glycerin would do just as well and not be harmful. It’s use as a
moisturizer is questionable because it replaces and repels important
for healthy skin. Skin functions on water and propylene acts as a
for water but the skin can’t use it. A low concentration of it is
products but you will often find it near the top of the ingredient list
indicating a high concentration. High level of usage is a considered a
cause of increasing liver and kidney related health problems. In 1991 a
to the American Academy of Dermatologists showed it to cause a
number of reactions and was a primary irritant to the skin even in low
ammonium salts including
quaternary-15 (a fungicide) are used in
the paper and fabric
industries, as fabric softeners, water repellents, anti-static agents
corrosion inhibitors. They are very common in hair conditioners and
rinses. While initially giving a soft feel to hair they eventually make
dry and brittle also causing skin rashes and allergic reactions and
environmental harm. The agents in conditioners and cr�me rinses can
and coat the hair to such an extent that it takes stronger and harsher
to lift the film. Quaternary-15 has caused severe sensitivities to
"amines" and "amides" are
capable of forming N-nitroso compounds which, in animal experiments,
found to be quite carcinogenic. One in particular that occurs in many
is identified as NDELA N-nitrosodiethanolamine which according to a
report is a potent carcinogen. The chemical, TEA (triethanolamine),
used in cosmetics is the one primarily suspected of creating NDELA. DEA
is another one capable of forming NDELA. Not much press has been given
subject but one consumer magazine has recommended not using products
TEA or DEA. One study reported over 40% of TEA containing products
conscious individuals take care to avoid eating food containing
even typical use of a shampoo contaminated with NDELA can lead to even
levels of absorption than eating it.
are contaminants of chemical based cosmetic products. Contamination can
during many stages of manufacturing including certain pH balances,
solutions and in storage and shipment from the seams in the metal
of the chemical nature of common preservatives used in these
products, they either do not protect from nitrosamine formation or they
contribute to further contamination.
of typical ingredients likely to be contaminated with nitrosamines: sodium
lauryl sulfate, TEA-lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium
sulfate, TEA laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, lauroyl
cocoyl sarcosine, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, sodium cocoyl
potassium coco-hydrolyzed animal protein, formaldehyde, hydrolyzed
protein, imidazolidinyl urea, monethanolamine (MEA), quaternium-7, 15,
etc., disodium oleamide sulfosuccinate, sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate,
methyl oleoyl sulfate and sodium lauryl isoethionate, sodium methyl
taurate, sodium nitrite, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol.
highly recommend the following books because from the information in
I have just barely scratched the surface here about the facts behind
cosmetic chemical ingredients. These books contain many more ingredient
explanations and also contain ingredients common in conditioners,
products, moisturizers and make-up.
who come across this kind of information feel unmotivated to act upon
may feel if we have survived so far with the presence of these
our government allows as "OK", then it’s really no big deal and
what’s all the fuss? I am one who is motivated to quietly break the
I can do my small part to encourage less production of these chemicals
happy to do it. Other than writing this article and conducting business
Herbs in an ethical way, I’m not greatly motivated to take a
We the consumer have quite a lot on influence on business and industry.
there are more natural
alternatives, it can be as easy as a simple
choice when I go shopping.