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Plaine Products Hand Wash in Citrus Lavender pictured with sprigs of lavender with a white subway tile background

6 Things You Don’t Want in Your Handwash

The first ingredient in Plaine Product’s vegan shampoo, conditioner, body wash, handwash and lotion is aloe. Ingredients are listed by weight, so the first items on the list make up the bulk of the product. There’s a number of ingredients most mainstream shampoos, conditioners, washes and lotions have that ours doesn’t. Check your labels, if they have chemicals with long complicated names you might want to read on. The potential dangers in our bathrooms was news to us. We decide to share our research with you in order to save you some time. A warning though, some of it is a little disturbing.

6 ingredients that are NOT in Plaine Products handwash:

  • Sulfates, either sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Both of these are used to make products lather. The bubbles are supposed to make you feel like cleaning is happening.

Best case: Both are detergents, are tough on your hair, and can irritate eyes and skin. A lot of people are sensitive to SLS and may experience skin dryness or eventually dermatitis after using products with it regularly. SLS is also hazardous to any aquatic life that it may meet after it washes down your drain.

Worst case: Both have been linked to health concerns, although the case for SLES being dangerous is stronger. It has been linked not only to cancer, but also liver damage.

Good news: There are other, gentler, more natural alternatives to sulfates.

  • Triclosan is a synthetic microbial that’s added to hair care products to reduce or prevent bacteria growth.

Worst case: It was designed to kill germs and it’s a registered pesticide. It can disrupt your endocrine system and your hormones and it’s linked to an increase risk of breast cancer. Triclosan is in just about every hand sanitizer on the market – it was originally made for hospitals and it’s gotten into a ton of products like shampoo, conditioner, soaps, body washes, toothpastes, kitchenware, toys, and even furniture and mattresses. It’s classified as a skin and eye irritant and it is toxic to aquatic life. It’s also one of the main things that’s led to the rise of “superbugs” – viruses and bacteria that are now resistant to standard antimicrobials and antibacterials.

Good news: The FDA in the US has banned the use of triclosan and other antibacterials as of 2017 but not all consumer products have taken them out of their ingredients list yet. Still, avoid hand soaps or detergents labeled “antibacterial” that include triclosan on their long ingredient list.

  • Phthalates are plasticizers and are often used to make the fragrance in shampoos and other cosmetic products linger. 

Good news: They are banned from personal products in Europe and Canada as potential carcinogens. Phthalates are strongly linked to endocrine disruption, early puberty in girls, and increased asthma in children. They are bad news. Period. And they’re not necessary ingredients.

  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT) are preservatives used to inhibit bacteria in hand soaps. Try saying those names five times fast.

Worst case: A lot of “natural” products use this as a substitute for parabens, chemicals used as preservatives (more on that in ingredients you don’t want in your shampoo or conditioner). The health risks associated with MIT and CMIT include skin irration, lung and respiratory issues and neurotoxicity.

Good news: Europe has recommended that MIT and CMIT be discontinued from use in products.

  • Formaldehyde is used in some beauty products to help kill bacteria…as well as used to embalm dead people. 

Worst case: It’s a flammable gas and it’s known to be a human carcinogen. It goes under a lot of different names and guises like DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

Good news: It’s banned in Sweden and Japan from being included in cosmetics.

  • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is a common ingredient in hand sanitizers as well as a renewable fuel for cars made from corn and other plant materials.

Bad News: Ethyl alcohol can be drying particularly when in high concentrations, if you have dry or sensitive skin you may want to look into avoiding products that contain a large amount of ethyl alcohol.

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Good news: While alcohol-based hand sanitizers are useful in hospital settings, it’s recommended only if soap and water are not available.

Ingredients in Plaine Product’s vegan shampoo, conditioner, body wash, handwash and lotion

The main ingredient in our organic shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, handwash and lotion is aloe. Its key benefits include antioxidants like beta carotene, Vitamin C and E which all can aid in reducing the appearance of damaged skin. Aloe also contains more than 75 nutrients, including minerals and essential amino acids. These provide hydration to the skin to promote a healthy and refreshed complexion.

As you read down the list of our ingredients you’ll notice that they are all natural. We have a commitment to our customers and our environment. Because of this, our products are not only chemical free, they are are also biodegradable, which means the break down safely once they go down the drain. They are also cruelty free, which means they aren’t tested on animals. We’ll feature other ingredients in another blog post, but know that we are working for you! Thank you for your continued support.


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