Skincare products


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Hello, i am just removing my handwash after reading the label on the back. I looked at Ecover- an eco brand in the UK and these items are listed. Aqua, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Lauryl Glucoside, Cocoyl glutamate, Stearyl citrate, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (sounds quite benign), Parfum, Sodium benzoate, Citric Acid, Sodium chloride, Linalool, Limonene and Citronellol (citronella?). I will be googling all the items on the list but wondered if anyone has any other information about them. The sodium lauryl sulphate i guess must just be a sulphate. Not good to injest but is it okay to wash your hands with? :)

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I'm thinking of ditching my shampoo and conditioner for something more natural. Every morning I get in the shower and stare at the list of ingredients on the bottles that's as long as my arm that I can't pronounce and sound like made-up elements from a comic book while massaging them onto my scalp and it just feels wrong...

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I make skincare products and soaps and shampoos (and conditioners) as a hobby. The fear tactics these days are just getting ridiculous (and this is the reason I really dislike the skindeep database; I like Paula's Choice better). There's always something that's going to kill you or cause cancer. This causes people to make some really silly decisions, like make their own DIY products without any preservatives (because preservatives are the big evil), and put themselves into danger of getting infections.

 

The first three after aqua are all surfactants, which are used in products that clean. Some are more harsh than others to the skin. I'm not sure of stearyl citrate and what's it's purpose. Aloe vera juice can sound great, but in all honesty, any ingredient can cause some people reactions and I know that some people's skin doesn't appreciate aloe vera. The idea that everything that's from nature is good and anything made in a lab is bad is a silly idea. You can die from things you pick from nature, but you'll know exactly what's in the products that come out of a lab. Parfum can be all kinds of things that make the product fragrant, as the producers aren't required to reveal it (so that perfume manufacturers can have secret recipes for their fragrance). Fragrances are one of the biggest culprits at causing irritation, which is why we have unscented products for sensitive skin. Sodium benzoate is a preservative. Anything that's made with water needs a preservative, because bacteria and yeast need water to grow. Without the preservative, your product would last a week, tops. So it could never really leave the factory. Citric acid is a preservative and a pH adjuster. Sodium chloride is regular salt. The last three are constituents of essential oils. Essential oils have chemical components just like everything else on this earth. Some of the constituents can be more irritating than others, which is why it is required to list the ones that are known to be more irritating. So basically, the fragrance is made with using some essential oils, and the essential oils themselves aren't listed (because they're used for their fragrance), but only the certain constituents of those essential oils are listed.

 

Just because you can't pronounce something, doesn't mean it's evil. I consume vast amounts of dihydrogen monoxide every day, yet I'm perfectly safe. Well, I could drown in it if I fall into a lake.

 

Now, having said that, I do like to make things for myself that are less harsh. Sodium lauryl sulfate is quite harsh to the skin, so I try to avoid it for that reason. I make soap, which is fun and I use soap for cleaning my hands. The pH of a soap is very alkaline, so it causes a disruption to the skin's protective barrier (which is why I try to avoid using it on the back of my hands, and only wash the palms and under my fingernails). So using soap would be OK, but I'd try to counter that with something that restores the skin's natural pH. Also, do not wash your hair with soap, because hair's pH is even lower than the skin's, and the soap will just open the scales of the hair and leave it vulnerable for breaking. It'll make you hair seem more full for a moment, but it's not "good fullness". I don't wash my hair often and it doens't need to be washed that often (though I don't really use a lot of products in my hair). I think that the human body is quite capable of self cleansing when you let it and just use water (and soap for hands) daily, and then clean with gentle products less often. That's just my opinion. I'm also a big proponent of natural oils and essential oils, not just because they're natural, but because I think they have some amazing qualities. Avocado oil makes my skin glow and borage oil makes it soooo soft. No skin cream can come even close. Oils can also be used for cleansing, but it's a bit more of a hassle (I wouldn't do the OCM routine without adding a bit of Polysorbate-80 to the mix).

 

So my take on it is that do look for alternatives for the harsh cleansers, but don't get sucked into the "it'll kill you and your breasts will fall off" fear mongering. Be informed, but don't be hysteric.

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My conditioned contains "Quanternium - 91" which wikipedia says is a formaldehyde releaser, meaning it slowly releases formaldehyde....I really don't think that's something I want to be rubbing on my head.

 

And it's of course your right to choose something else. There are milder conditioners out there. I just got my ingredients order that included a bag of BTMS (which is Cetearyl Alcohol and Behentrimonium Methosulfate), which I can use for making conditioners. It can also be used on skin. Which brings me to one point: whether the product you're using is leave-in or wash-off.

 

Quaternium-91 is an allergen as well, so if you have a sensitive skin, I wouldn't use it for that reason. As for the formaldehyde releasing, we'll need to put things into perspective. I haven't used that quat, but quick googling says that the amount used is somewhere around 1-2% of the total product. I also read that the amount released increases if the product has higher pH, if it's stored in warm/heat and the longer it's stored. Conditioners are designed to have low pH in general, but the rest is up to us. Still, the amount released during it's usage isn't going to be a lot. Nail salon workers are exposing themselves to a lot, but people conditioning their hair really aren't (especially if they wash it off).

 

Still, there are alternatives out there, so it's easy to choose something else. Just be aware that there is no such thing as a "natural conditioner". The way conditioners work (clinging to the hair due to the difference in charges) is something man made. So if someone makes a claim that their conditioner is 100% natural, it's either not by definition a conditioner or they're lying (or uninformed). I know that BTMS is derived from coconut or palm or whatnot, but plastic is derived from nature as well if you go back far enough in the production chain :-)

 

Here's some more info on formaldehyde releasing ingredients: http://cosmeticsinfo.org/HBI/18

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By the way, if anyone else is interested in making their own cosmetics as a hobby, there's a great blog (with some of the information also turned into four e-books) by Susan Barclay-Nichols: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/

 

I've got couple of her books on lotion making and hair care products. I get my ingredients from France, but there are plenty of sources in North America (there's a list of suppliers at the blog site).

 

Making lotions with water and oil phase requires making an emulsion, but you can also make anhydrous products like body butters, balms and lotion bars, that don't require preservatives (unless you make a product that you use in the shower and you touch it with wet hands). If you love cooking and cosmetics, then you'll probably love this kind of hobby as well!

 

Soapmaking is also tons of fun. It requires handling lye, which in itself is a dangerous substance, but when you know what you're doing (dissolve lye in water, not pour water on lye, keep the room ventilated and handle the hot solution with care), then it's a piece of cake. Here's a small tutorial: http://smallnotebook.org/tutorials/beginner-soapmaking/ Here is a calculator on how much lye to use: http://www.soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp It looks intimidating at first, but when you know what you're doing, you'll understand how it's used. I took a course on soapmaking, but I'm sure it's possible to learn it from the vast amounts of free resources online as well.

 

As you can see, I'm slightly enthusiastic about this subject :-) Sorry if I come across as rant-y and spam-y :-) I just love the topic and I hate the fear surrounding it (that includes marketing tactics with fear mongering and then offering a product to save the day). Fear never leads to anything good.

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  • 2 months later...

Check out Liz Wolfe's Skintervention guide, as well as Wellness Mama's blog, for natural and/or DIY beauty and skincare solutions.  I went "no poo" a while back and love it.  Also use the oil cleansing method to clean my face and diluted ACV for a toner and my skin (which is been very acne prone since puberty hit) has never looked better.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello everyone! I'm on Day 14 of my very first Whole 30, so I'm still very new to all of this. I was washing my hair this morning and noticed that one of the ingredients they're touting as beneficial is wheat protein - isn't that what gluten is? Should I be worried about this? Is it possible that this could impact the results of my Whole 30?

 

Again - newb here, so any insight and advice is greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

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Hello everyone! I'm on Day 14 of my very first Whole 30, so I'm still very new to all of this. I was washing my hair this morning and noticed that one of the ingredients they're touting as beneficial is wheat protein - isn't that what gluten is? Should I be worried about this? Is it possible that this could impact the results of my Whole 30?

 

Again - newb here, so any insight and advice is greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

You're fine. Whole30's scope is the food and drink you ingest.

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You're fine. Whole30's scope is the food and drink you ingest.

 

Chris is absolutely correct. The whole30 doesn't have rules or even suggestions to change you skin care products.

 

That said, for lots of people, cleaning up personal products (cleaning supplies too!) is just a natural extension of the whole30. It is true, some people with gluten sensitivity will be sensitive to having it applied to their skin or hair, so, if you feel inspired to experiment with different haircare products, I would encourage you to do so.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone tried the PIP probiotic skin cleanser?  I read a review on it in Paleo magazine.  I'm curious how it works.  My husband has psoriasis.  His skin has improved greatly from changing his diet, but still has a few problem spots.


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  • 2 months later...

I started using a diluted ACV solution just over a month ago to help my skin. I've noticed such an improvement, it's amazing what natural products can do. I also try to take ACV vitamins to help get the full effect throughout my body.

 

I use one part ACV, one part bottled water, and few shakes of lavendar oil to help the smell.

 

PS if you use the ACV a lot, you may notice you smell like it at the gym...not horrible but still strange.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm surprised nobody has said they use coconut oil on their skin.  I have been using a homemade coconut oil sugar scrub to cleanse and a little bit of coconut oil as a moisturizer for almost a year now.  My skin has never been better.

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  • 2 months later...

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