This post has been updated to add another ingredient you don’t want in your personal care products – liquid plastics! Just when you think the plastic problem can’t get worse…”liquid plastics” have entered the chat.
The first ingredient in Plaine Product’s vegan shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion is aloe. Ingredients are listed by weight, so the first items on the list make up the bulk of the product. There are 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.
5 Ingredients that are NOT in Plaine Products, Plus 1 more:
1. 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. There’s some disagreement on how toxic these chemicals are.
Best case: Both are detergents, are tough on your hair, and can irritate eyes and skin. 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 to liver damage.
Good news: There are other, gentler, more natural alternatives to sulfates.
2. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives for their antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Best case: Parabens can irritate the skin. Common skin problems associated with parabens include dermatitis, rosacea, and other allergic reactions. They can also cause dry, dull, brittle hair because they can tear apart the cuticle covering the hair shaft
Worst case: They have been found in low concentrations in tumors and are believed to disrupt hormone function. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. This effect has been linked to both the development of breast cancer and the early onset of puberty in girls.
Good news: They aren’t necessary unless you need your bottle of shampoo and conditioner to last for decades.
3. Synthetic Fragrance. Seeing ‘fragrance’ listed on a label is often misleading.
The average fragrance product tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) was a cocktail of 14 secret chemicals. These ingredients don’t have to be disclosed because they are considered trade secrets. So the truth is no one knows what “fragrance” means or what effects its ingredients could be having. But you can bet if the ingredients were natural they would be listing them.
Good news: Essential oils can be used to make products smell yummy.
4. Phthalates are plasticizers and are often used to make the fragrance in shampoos and other cosmetic products linger.
Phthalates 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.
Good news: Not necessary ingredients.
5. PEGs (polyethylene glycol) are used in cosmetics as emollients, to soften the skin, and emulsifiers, which facilitate the mixing of oil- and water-based ingredients.
Best Case: PEGs can reduce the skin’s moisture levels, drying out your skin and accelerating aging. They are especially tough on broken skin.
Worst case: The Environmental Working group says polymer derivatives have been linked to cancer, reproduction and fertility, birth or developmental defects and that they could be toxic to organs. California has classified polyethylene glycol as a developmental toxicant that may interfere with human development. PEG has shown evidence of genotoxicity, and it can cause irritation and systemic toxicity if used on broken skin.
Good news: Not necessary ingredients.
6. Liquid Plastics are used to enhance the experience of using a product by thickening the formula.
Best Case: Liquid plastics can make your hair shinier and smoother, and provide moisturizing properties, but it comes at a price.
Worst case: One example of a liquid plastic is dimethicone, a silicone-based substance, that has been identified as a “CMR” (carcinogenic/mutagenic/reprotoxic) substance. Additionally, “Every year, 23,700 tonnes of soluble, semi-solid and liquid polymers enter the wastewater system due to the use of cosmetic products.” To avoid liquid plastics, stay away from products with ingredients that end in -cone or -siloxane, like dimethicone or cyclomethicone.
Ingredients in Plaine Product’s vegan shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion:
The main ingredient in our organic shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion is aloe. Its key benefits include antioxidants like beta carotene and 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 toxin-free, they are also biodegradable, which means they 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.