Friday, 7 September 2012

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day' Audrey Hepburn

Whenever I think of The Body Shop I think of bamboo, green blooming flora... all things earthy and natural.  They have done a fantastic job with their marketing campaign.  Though they have done a great job at adding natural and organically occurring ingredients, which are  generally listed last on the labels, I might add.  They still add a lot of the ingredients that are known to be toxins.  I long for this company in particular, to live up to its image and really try to eliminate the harsh chemicals for more gentle and earth-friendly ingredients.  I remember really loving their products, I would like to be able to love their products once again.  

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo for Normal to Dry Hair

The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo for Normal to Dry HairDisodium Cocoyl Glutamate
lauryl betaine
Laureth-5 Carboxylic Acid
PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate
Propylene Glycol
Sodium Chloride
Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate
Sodium Benzoate
Sucrose Laurate
Isopropyl Alcohol
Salicylic Acid
Aloe Barbandensis Leaf Juice
Camelina Sativa Seed Oil
Citric Acid
Olea Europaea Fruit Oil
Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil
Sodium Hydroxide

Aqua: H2O the stuff we drink, otherwise known as water.

Sucrose: is sugar.  It is used as a preservative and an antioxidant.  It is often used as a substitute for glycerin.  Sugar is naturally derived from sugar cane without the use of chemicals.

Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate: it is a disodium of salt of the coconut acid amide of glutamic acid (coconut oil and fermented sugar).  It does not appear to have been assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel.  It appears to be good for those who suffer from sensitive skin.  However it is actually synthetically created through the use of chemicals to extract it.  Therefore it could still be contaminated with chemicals such as dioxane, a known carcinogen, though there is very little information on this.  At this point, it looks like this ingredient could be relatively safe.  If further information proves substantially that it is not I will keep you all informed.

Lauryl betaine: acts as an antistatic agent, hair conditioning agent, a foam booster and cleansing agent.  It is derived from vegetables, but is considered a synthetic liquid.  It is able to carry both a negative and a positive charge which means it makes a good stabilizer.  It is considered to be safe and mild.  Look for this ingredient when reading labels.  It is a good alternative to the harsher and harmful chemicals often used.

Laureth-5 Carboxylic Acid: is used as an antistatic agent.  It is a synthetic compound of lauric acid and oxirane.  There appears to be little information on this acid and it does not appear to have been assessed by the cosmetic industry panel for safety. According to the one study I was able to locate in english, there appears to be little concern for toxicity, mutagenic, genotoxicty or ecotoxicity.

PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate: is used as a surfactant and viscosity controlling agent.  It is considered to be a skin and sense organ toxin.  It has been deemed unsafe for usage on damaged skin.   Be wary of labels claiming to be natural.  PEG-55 is made from coconuts, but it is not a healthy product .

Propylene glycol: is an organic double alcohol.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent, a fragrance, and humectant.  It is classified as a skin irritant, and can cause conjunctivitis of the eye.  It is also considered to be a mutagen, a broad systemic toxin, and an immune system toxin.

Sodium Chloride: is your everyday salt.  It is not considered to be toxic and is used as a cleansing agent as well as a thickener. 

Glycerin: is considered safe and of low toxicity.  It is used in products because it is affective at improving the smoothness of the product and is a good lubricant.  Glycerin is a by product of bio-diesel. However, all you vegans take note.  Glycerin produced from bio-diesel is very expensive, so it is more often derived from animal fats such as beef and vegetable oils such as coconut or soy beans. Therefore some products that list glycerin in their ingredients may not be vegan.

Parfum: Used to make the product smell nice.  Though it is not considered to be harmful or a toxin, it does cause some individuals to develop headaches.

Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate: is an ester of capric acid and polyglycerin-4.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent, emollient and a surfactant.  There is little information regarding safety.  It does not appear to have been assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel. 

Sodium Benzoate: this is a preservative, a bacteriostatic and fungistatic as well under acidic conditions.  In combination with ascorbic acid (citric acid, another ingredient) it forms benzene, a known carcinogen.  It has also been proven to be genotoxic, affecting the mitochondria.  Another interesting fact, parents might be interested in this... watch for this ingredient listed on food packaging along with food colouring.  the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggests that sodium benzoate along with certain artificial colours may be linked to hyperactive behavior.

Sucrose Laurate: is a combination of fatty acid ester made from table sugar and plant or animal based fatty acid.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent emollient and surfactant.   It is considered to be safe, non-toxic to humans or the environment.   

Isopropyl Alcohol: is also known as rubbing alcohol.  It is used in shampoos as a fragrance ingredient, antifoaming agent, solvent or viscosity decreasing agent.  It is a well known central nervous system depressant, developmental toxin, organ system toxin, irritant, mutagen, and occupational hazard.  It's amazing that they are still allowed to use this ingredient in products.        

Polyquarternium-6: There are a number of polyquarterniums and what they are essentially are polymers which are plastics.  They are positively charged which means they neutralize the negative charges in shampoos and allow the hair to lie flat.  It appears to be a nervous system depressant, an environmental toxin, as well as an organ toxin.  However it is deemed to be safe to use in cosmetics.

Salicylic Acid: is a momohydroxybenzoic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. It acts as a plant hormone.  It is often used in acne medication due to the ability to break down fats and lipids.  This also means that it will burn skin and damage pores.  There is also information suggesting that it is teratogenic.  There is also a link between Salicylic acid and Reye's Syndrome through Aspirin (one of the main ingredients in Aspirin is salicylic acid).  There is also limited evidence suggesting it may be a mutagen, nervous system depressant and a developmental toxin.

Aloe Barbandensis Leaf Juice: Also known as Aloe vera.  It is used for it's rejuvenating and healing/soothing properties.  Can cause diarrhea if too much is ingested.  Photoxicty and erythema have been reported through topical application.  Though that could be linked to an allergic reaction, the information surrounding this information is very limited.  Overall, aloe appears to be of low toxicity, low environmental toxicity and not carcinogenic.  

Geraniol: is a lipid and an alcohol.  It is derived from citronella oil, rose oil and palmarosa oil.  It is used in cosmetics and personal care products as a fragrance ingredient.  It is a known human immune system toxicant and is one of the EU's Banned and Restricted Fragrances.  Now as I write this I want to make it clear that the information surrounding this seems pretty limited.  The most information I have found against this ingredient is that it is an allergen for those who suffer from perfumes.  I am not sure who it was that funded the banned list and why citronella was on it.  However I will keep looking.  As far as my research has lead, it appears to be a fairly good ingredient, unlike a lot of the chemical ones that appear on most labels.  If anyone has any other thoughts, enlightenment or information on this ingredient, please leave a comment.

Camelina Sativa Seed Oil: also known as 'gold-of-pleasure,' it belongs to the Brassicaceae family which also includes: mustard, cabbage, rapeseed, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts.  It is high in antioxidants.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent and emollients (moisturizers)  It appears to be of low toxicity to humans as well as the environment.  

Citric Acid: This is in many skin care products especially in the anti-aging products as an alpha hydroxy.  It acts as a chelating agent, fragrance ingredient, a pH adjuster, buffer and masking.  It is not considered to be an environmental toxin, but there are concerns with broad systemic toxicity and skin irritation.

Olea Europaea Fruit Oil: is from the olive tree.  It is used as a fragrancing ingredient, and a skin conditioning agent.  It is of low environmental and human toxicity.  

Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil: is from a tree in the Amazon region of Pracaxi. it is considered to be safe, of low toxicity to humans and the environment.

Sodium Hydroxide: is also known as lye or caustic soda.  As the name suggests it is very caustic which means it burns.  It can cause death if swallowed and blindness if comes in contact with eyes.  In personal care products it is used as a pH balancer and a buffering agent.  It is considered to be  mutagenic, a broad systemic toxin, a respiratory toxin, and is considered to be a strong workplace/occupational hazard.

Tocopherol:  This is a series of organic compounds consisting of various methylated phenols.  It is used as skin conditioning agents, antioxidants and fragrance ingredients. It is not considered to be an environmental toxin or a human toxin.

I have found a really nice natural shampoo called Giovanni. There is a whole line of shampoos and conditioners.  I used to use this product all the time, but then decided to branch out and try some other kinds.  I find I like this one for my hair.  You might like this, or you might prefer something else, however for anyone who is interested I will leave a link so you can check it out yourself. It's found at most health food stores I think.


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