Our skin, remarkably thin and amazingly complex, is our body’s largest organ. Like a sponge, our skin absorbs chemicals. In fact, today many medicines are administered through “patches” so they can be absorbed through the skin. Since our skin cannot discriminate between synthetic and natural, or between harmful and beneficial, it may absorb harmful chemicals in cosmetics as well as in commercial soaps, shampoos, and lotions.
The most common mistake that most people make is to judge a bath or body product by its smell and the attractiveness of packaging. This carelessness, can be costly. Take a moment, pay attention to what goes into the product, because you, are worth it J
Lathering agents: Next time you play around with the abundant lather from your soap, just remember that you are playing with a very dangerous chemical compound called Sulphates. These chemicals are used to produce lather and bubbles in soap. Some common sulfates are SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). Sulfates strip the skin of its natural oils and increase penetration of the skin’s surface. They are also irritants for people with sensitive skin or Eczema.
Anti-bacterial and disinfectants: Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps often contain Triclosan – a potential carcinogen. According to the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), manufacturers of a number of Triclosan-containing products claim that the active ingredient continues to work for as long as 12 hours after use. Consumers are, therefore, exposed to Triclosan for much longer than the 20 seconds it takes to wash their hands or face.
Fragrance: Another contributor of harmful chemical ingredients in skin care products like soaps in particular is the Fragrance. All commonly available soaps have fragrances that are synthetic and a cocktail of chemical compounds. The FDA has not made it mandatory for companies to disclose the breakdown of a fragrance composition to consumers. Constant exposure to synthetic fragrances has been shown to negatively impact the central nervous system and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma symptoms.
Preservatives: Our personal care products last months, because they include Parabens – commonly used as preservatives in personal care products. Parabens are estrogen clones—meaning that once applied to the skin, they enter the bloodstream, and the body mistakes them for estrogen. When the body thinks there is an abnormally high amount of estrogen present in the bloodstream due to the presence of these hormone disrupters, it reacts in various ways: decreasing muscle mass, increasing fat deposits, causing early onset of puberty and spurring reproductive difficulties in both men and women.
So what is the alternative?
The simplest thing to do is to replace chemical ingredients with natural alternatives with similar properties.
Lather is one of the most important factor for any bath product. And every oil has a particular property during the saponification process. Some oils helps in cleansing, some help in hardening, some to lather etc. So a perfect combination of the oils will bring about the right amount of lather, hardness and cleansing properties to the soap. Finally, to scent the bath, body products, we use aromatic essential oil or fragrance oils extracted from plants… fresh clean scents, the way mother-nature intended. Additionally at Soapworks we add common ingredients like sugar and salt to enhance lather and hardness.
Always remember that your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with, much the same as sticking something in your mouth. Chronic use of chemical laden products will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body fat or even in the brain. With enough accumulations of toxins in the body, illnesses can occur.
Not only that, the more you use these products, the more toxins end up in our environment. Every time you wash off that lather, the chemicals go down the drain with it, polluting rivers which unfortunately end up receiving most of the sewage.
The Indian market today is full of alternate options to chemical laden skin care products. Don’t poison your body. Just #readthelabel