Monday, 14 January 2013

The Anatomy of Sweat

The anatomy of sweat is quite an interesting thing.  The body really is a miraculous thing.  Our sweat  could in fact be responsible for early man's survival,  smelling badly could make even the most hungry of predators think twice before pulling out the proverbial knife and fork.  In the time of the Pharaohs, early Egyptians actually applied cinnamon to their underarms as a basic form of deodorant.  I wonder how long after that, that cinnamon rolls where invented.  Did you know that sweat doesn't actually smell.  What makes it stink is the bacteria that lives on us and mingles with the sweat.  What we eat will invariably change the odour of our sweat, if you eat spicy food, it produces sulphur smelling gases.  Men and woman also have different smelling body odour as well, anyone who goes to a gym will know what I am talking about.  Apparently woman have an excess of sulphur compound, combine that with bacteria and we smell like onions.  Yummy.  On the other hand men have an excess of fatty acid, when combined with sweat and bacteria, they smell like cheese.  Even though men have a tendency to smell like cheese there is a chemical reaction that still seems to make us attracted to them.  Strange and weirdly fascinating.
On another note, according to my research, 8 out of 20 of these ingredients are thought to be toxic.  That is actually better than I had expected.  Mainly due to the movement of being anti perspiration  free and all of the bad publicity that aluminium has been receiving.  My partner has been experiementing with different brands of more natural anti-perspiarations.  The one he is currently trying is by Jason.  |I will leave a link for anyone who is interested.  My partner does not seem to mind this product though he warns that if you are one who is proned to sweat a lot, this product may not be the one for you.  I really enjoy the Addidas Cotton Technology deodorant.  Both of these products I will be reviewing in my bog.

Degree Body Responsive Invisible Sheer Powder Anti-Perspiration


Degree Body Responsive Invisible Sheer Powder Anti-Perspiration
Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY
Stearlyl Alcohol
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
PPG-14 Butyl Ether
Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

Hydrolyzed Corn Starch
Cellulose Gum
Sodium Starch
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil


Cyclopentasiloxane: Is another silicone and is used in cosmetics as a conditioner.  Well I have done some more research on this ingredient, it appears to be not as benign as I had originally hoped.  It appears to be considered a neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor (hormone), non-reproductive organ system toxin, and an environmental toxin (bioaccumulative and persistent).

Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY:  This ingredient is naturally occurring in our environment.  It is also the most common ingredient in anti-perspirants, and has caused a lot of controversy of late.  There are a lot of people who are against it because it blocks the body's natural ability to sweat, which is key to keeping us cool.  Though aluminium itself is pretty benign to us, it's compounds can cause us harm if too much is taken.  Some of the side effects of aluminium toxicity  include kidney and nerve damage, vitamin deficiency, and breast cancer.  Be sure to follow instructions on the labels and never use on broken skin.  Though the amount needed to incur aluminium toxicity is quite substantial, it is still possible to absorb it through the skin.

Stearlyl Alcohol:  It is considered a fatty alcohol.  It is used as an emulsifier, emollient and a thickening agent.  It is considered to be an irritant and not be be used around the eyes.  It is not considered to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or genotoxic.  There is some concern that it may be an environmental toxin, though not persistent or bioaccumulative.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate:  
It is used as a skin conditioning agent, emollient and an antimicrobial.  It is considered to be of low toxicity, and not toxic to the environment.

PPG-14 Butyl Ether: it is a reaction between polypropylene glycol and butyl alcohol, and is derived from petroleum products.  It is used as a skin conditioning agent.  |It is thought to be of low toxicity and not considered to be a hazard to our health, mainly due to the size of the molecule,  It is fairly large so it is not a threat to break through the skin barrier.

Hydrogenated Castor Oil: it is produced through the hydrogenation of caster oil through the use of ethylene oxide (a well known toxin and carcinogen).  It is used as an emollient, emulsifier, skin conditioning agent, and a surfactant.  This product should not be used on broken skin, meaning don't shave your under arms then apply this product right away.  There are concerns of this ingredient being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane (a known carcinogen and toxin)

Parfum (Fragrance):  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 if it is labelled that it is derived from natural sources. However, the fragrance industry uses up to 3000 ingredients, most of which are synthetic, some 900 of which were identified as toxic. However, the industry is not required to disclose ingredients of fragrances and perfumes on their labels due to trade secrecy considerations. So you don't know what mix of chemicals you are receiving. Some of them are headaches causing, immunosystem toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic.

Dimethicone: also known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) which is a silicone oil.  It is used in shampoos to lubricate hair and make it easier to comb and adds shine.  In creams it acts as a skin protectant and an emulsifier.  The FDA has deemed it safe to use.  However most people have heard of the horror stories with silicone breast implants leading companies to switch to saline filled implants.  Other side effects linked to PDMS include allergic reactions from mild to severe as well as a worsening in dryness.  Although the data is limited, it appears to also cause non-reproductive toxicity as well as links to environmental toxicity due to the toxins being bioaccummulative.  This means it builds up and builds up in our soils and sediments.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: is generally derived from coconut oil.  When used in skin care products it helps to moisturise dry skin.  It also reduces protein loss when used in hair care products such as shampoo/conditioner.  Its general purpose is to improve the feel and spread ability of creams.  It is also a suitable carrier for oil infusions among other things.  Although coconut oil has been deemed dangerous due to high levels of saturated fats and lauric acid which causes high blood pressure, it does not have the same reputation in personal care products.  It has been regarded as safe, even for pregnant woman to use.  However, there is a small population of people who still have reactions to this ingredient.  One worthy thing to note is this, it can be used as a personal lubricant, however it may cause damage to latex condoms.  An interesting piece of information.

Maltodextrin: it is used as a binding agent.  It is mostly derived from corn but may be produced from wheat in Europe.  It is considered to be a sugar or glucose product.  It is considered to be of low toxicity and not considered to be an environmental toxin.

Hydrolyzed Corn Starch: it is used as a binding and a bulking agent.  it may also be used as a skin and hair conditioning agent.  It is not considered to be toxic to humans or to the environment.

Gelatin: It is derived from the collagen from animal by-products.  It is considered to be of low human health risk potential.  However there are high levels of monitoring when it is being extracted for risk of mad cow disease.

Cellulose Gum: It is used as a thickening agent and viscosity agent.  It is naturally occurring and is derived from plant fibres.  It is considered to be safe, non toxic to humans or to the environment.

Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate:  It is used as a viscosity controlling agent, and an emulsion stabiliser.  It is not considered to be toxic to humans or to the environment.

Silica:  is a chemical compound that is an oxide of silicon and is most commonly found in sand.  It is used as an absorbing agent.  There is some controversy surrounding this ingredient.  It is rated as benign either of high or low toxicity, depending on the usage of it.  It is considered to be a workplace hazard, if inhaled this ingredient can cause severe respiratory issues and cancer.  It has also been linked to non reproductive organ toxicity and is considered to be an environmental toxin.

BHT:  is a fat soluble organic compound.  It is very high in antioxidants, and is effective in helping to fight the herpes virus.  However it is very controversial due to the connection with cancer and hyperactivity in children.  There have also been claims that it interferes with hormones.  According to the Environmental Working Group there is evidence that it is a carcinogen as well.  It is listed on David Suzuki's top 12 ingredients to avoid.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract: it is used as an emollient.  It is considered to be gentle and safe for use in cosmetics, you will also find it in an array of food products.  It is not considered to be toxic to humans or to the environment.


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