REDUCE TOXICITY ,GO GREEN!
|Posted on March 23, 2020 at 5:50 PM||comments (290)|
To continue to serve you during these times, we would like you to know we won't be shutting down our lab as the products we sell which now includes liquid hand and bath soaps are qualified as life sustaining. As far as we know, distributors such as yourself, fall into this category as well.
We have adopted stringent disinfecting procedures for all arriving boxes, contents of every box, product handling and filling which now includes disinfecting all filled bottles and jars, packing materials and boxes before products are shipped.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine COVID19's stability is as follows:
3 HOURS IN AIR
4 HOURS ON COPPER SURFACES
24 HOURS ON CARDBOARD
2-3 DAYS ON PLASTIC AND STAINLESS STEEL.
With that in mind, since we don't know if the virus has been exposed to boxes once they leave our lab, we strongly encourage you to handle the boxes with gloves, wear a mask and allow the boxes to remain unopened for a period of a minimum of 4 days to be safe. Basically the same attitude and precautions as the health professionals are stating which is to assume you and everyone else has the virus and protect yourself and others accordingly. We also strongly encourage to pass this info along to your clients.
Stay well and good luck through these trying times.
|Posted on October 9, 2012 at 2:15 AM||comments (368)|
Best Days for Beneficial Haircutting in 2012:
March 20-21 - Spring Equinox — are the best dates to cut for spring and the ultimate dates for shaving one's head.
June 20-21 — Summer Solstice — are the best dates to cut for summer.
September 23-24 — Fall Equinox — are the best dates to cut for fall.
December 19-20-21-22 — Winter Solstice — are the best dates to cut for winter.
Lengthen: Cut or trim your hair on the days provided for lengthening to shock and excite your hair growth patterns, causing your hair to grow two to three times faster and therefore lengthening your hair.
Thicken: The dates provided for thickening promote the activation of new growth cycles in ones bulb and hair follicles.
Strengthen: Cutting or trimming one's hair on the dates provided for strengthening enables the roots, follicles, and bulbs to increase and strengthen one's growth patterns, thus producing stronger and more resilient hair to help avoid premature fall out!
Root Work: These dates work directly with the roots to shock the entire growth cycle, effectively aiding your hair and scalp in all aspects of hair growth and scalp improvement.
Beautifying: These dates are used to improve the texture and sheen of one's hair. Beautifying also works to enhance and refine the waviness of one's hair.
Acupuncture: Blunt Snip Haircutting Shock Treatment - Every lunar hair cutting date provided on our Lunar Chart is equivalent to 8-16 acupuncture treatments. See the table below to see the equivalent acupuncture benefits for various dates on the lunar chart.
Shown are the optimal days in each month for performing the 5 elements shown at the top of each column. In addition, particular days each month are considered most beneficial and are indicated in red. The Equinoxes and Solstices are bordered.
|Posted on July 10, 2010 at 8:40 PM||comments (162)|
Please pardon the pun! Many people are a little wary of the word "Surfactant" and tend to only associate it with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and all "those bad ingredients". In fact we use and sell SLSA (Sodium Lauryl Sulphoacetate) which is a much milder surfactant than SLS and is used in solid Bubble Bars and Foaming Bath Blends. However, these sorts of surfactants are not derived from natural sources, but the other ingredients you will see explained below ARE derived from Natural, Vegetable sources. We have been asked so often for a more natural alternative to SLS Shampoos, for Liquid Shampoo and Hair Conditioner recipes, and to make the following ingredients available so that you, our customers, can replicate Commerical Shampoos and other foamy products - but with less "bad stuff" in it, and using more natural ingredients.
Morgan, Earthchylde, who has a knack of being able to explain this sticky (or should we say foamy?) subject with such easy to understand clarity has written the following overview. So, make a cup of Coffee (or Chamomile Tea if you think you'll need it!) and have a read, and it will all seem much easier to understand and easy to formulate at home!
The word "surfactant" is an abbreviation of the words SURFace ACTive AgeNT
How do surfactants work?
Well in very much the same way that handmade soaps work. When we are dirty we wash with water. Some dirt particles dissolve easily in water and wash away clean, and other dirt particles, generally those combined with an oil molecule, are insoluble in water and don't rinse away. This is where soap comes in. As a surface active agent it changes the relationship between the oil and water interfaces, allowing them to form a bond. We know from basic soap making that a soap molecule has a hydrophilic (water loving) head and a lipophilic (oil loving) tail. So, in very basic terms the oil loving tail attaches itself to greasy dirt and grime, which is then pulled away by the water loving head when we rinse, leaving the washed surface clean.
Understanding surfactants is a little like being back in biology class when we had to learn the animal kingdom. In the biological world animals are divided into class and then subdivided into species. Likewise surfactants can be divided into four separate classes, each of which can then be divided into their own little sub-classes.
These classes are called Anionics, Nonionics, Cationics and Amphoterics.
Don't run away - it's relatively painless, I promise!
It's not necessary to fully understand these classes in order to use any of the starter formulas, however if you would like to begin to formulate your own shampoos and body washes from scratch, then a basic understanding will help you.
Anionic surfactants are so named because they have a negative charge to their hydrophilic (water loving) head. They are created when compounds such as fatty acids or fatty alcohols are reacted with chemicals such as sodium or potassium hydroxide or sulfuric acid.
Handmade soaps are anionic in nature and are a result of reacting animal or vegetable fats with sodium or potassium hydroxide.
Commercial surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate are formed by reacting a fatty alcohol with sulfuric acid, and similarly Sulfonated Castor Oil (commonly known as Turkey Red Oil) is created when castor oil is reacted with sulfuric acid.
In fact Turkey Red Oil was one of the earliest synthetic detergents.
Anionic surfactants have the highest foaming abilities, the highest detergency and cleansing powers and are often thought of as primary surfactants, because they are generally chosen by formulators as the backbone of most foaming cleansers.
It's not important to remember the following names, although having some familiarity with them will allow you to look at ingredient labels and other formulations online with a little more confidence. You'll see the names and know they are there as a primary, anionic surfactant.
Some of the names that you can expect to find in this category are the sulphates, either sodium or ammonium, sulfosuccinates, sarcosines and sarcosinates, isethionates and taurates.
Amphoteric surfactants are so named because they are capable of having either a positive or negative charge, depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the end product. They display cationic (conditioning) characteristics when at a lower pH and anionic (higher cleansing/foaming) characteristics at a higher pH.
Surfactants like Coco Betaine are included in the Amphoteric category, and are regarded as some of the gentlest surfactants available.
This class is often thought of as secondary surfactants, because they have lower foaming and detergency than their anionic counterparts. Because of their gentle nature and adaptability, when combined with anionics they create a milder product than an anionic alone could normally achieve.
Due to the adaptable nature of amphoterics, they can successfully be combined with every other class of surfactant.
As above, memorising the following names isn't important, it will just increase your familiarity with the ingredients found in popular products. Some of the names you can expect to find in this category are the betaines, such as Coco Betaine and Lauryl Betaine, Hydroxysultaines.
Cationic surfactants are so named because they have a positive charge to their hydrophilic head. It is their positive charge that allows them to "deposit" and adhere onto surfaces, giving them desirable qualities in applications such as hair conditioners, fabric softeners and other products where a film forming capability is required. Cationics can be combined with amphoteric and nonionic surfactants, but because they have the opposing charge to anionics those two do not combine well. Cationics surfactants are generally not found in shampoo or cleanser formulations (with the notable exception of 2 in1 formulations), however they make up the backbone of hair conditioner formulas. Remember that emulsifiers are also surfactants.
For label recognition purposes, some of the ingredients that fall into the category of cationic surfactants are Benzalkonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Centrimonium Chloride, Trimethyl Ammoniums and Methyl Sulphates.
Nonionic surfactants are so named because they have no charge to the hydrophilic head. Although they are very mild with gentle cleansing properties, they exhibit almost no foaming characteristics and for this reason are rarely used as primary surfactants. For the home formulator the nonionic group represent some of the most versatile and interesting ingredients we have available to us.
Many nonionic surfactants have been ethoxylated, that is reacted with ethylene oxide. The higher the degree of ethoxylation, the more hydrophilic (water loving) the surfactant is.
It is this property that makes products like Polysorbate 20 and sorbitan oleate act as solubilisers and allow the complete dispersal of oil in water formulas. Some nonionics can be used as superfatting agents, as counter irritants, mildness additives, emollients and foam stabilisers. Some nonionics act as all of these and can also double as co-emulsifiers in oil in water emulsions. Because they have no charge, nonionic surfactants are compatible with every other class of surfactant.
Just so you know them next time you see them, some of the ingredients that stand out as belonging to the nonionic group of surfactants are the Polysorbates, any of the ingredients prefixed with the letters PEG, Emulsifying Wax NF as well as many of the other proprietary blends sold as E-wax, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, the Ceteareth family, the Oleth family, the Sorbitan family, Polyglycose and Lauryl Glucoside.
Choosing a Surfactant
(As Aussie Soap Supplies send info sheets out with these ingredients the following is a brief overview)
How do you know which surfactant is going to work best in your chosen formula? Each surfactant has its own nuances, advantages and short comings. By knowing how the surfactant will behave, both as a solitary compound and when blended with other surfactants, you will have a better understanding of how they will perform.
The following is by no means an exhaustive list. There are literally thousands of different surfactants that commercial manufacturers have to choose from, each with their own unique properties. This is a small selection of some of the "more natural" surfactants readily available to the home crafter.
These have been chosen for their versatility both in application, performance and appeal to the formulator and end consumer.
INCI name: Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Usage Rate: 6-40%
Derived from coconut, Coco Betaine is one of the most commonly utilised surfactants in the personal care industry. It is considered to be a high foaming surfactant, with what is known as good flash foam. This means it bubbles up really quickly, but the bubbles don't last very long before dissipating. Traditionally this ingredient has only been considered as a co-surfactant. I have often heard it called a "poor cleanser" by cosmetic chemists. I would prefer to call it a "mild cleanser", which makes it an ideal candidate for the primary surfactant in systems where mildness is important (such as baby formulations) OR in formulas where foam is of the most importance and cleansing is a secondary concern (such as bubble baths).
Although considered to be quite mild already, when choosing it as a primary surfactant, I would blend it with a small amount of nonionic surfactant as routine.
For soapmakers, a good comparison can be drawn between the use of Coco Betaine in surfactant systems and the addition of palm oil in handmade soaps. On it's own palm oil is a mild additive, performs as an adequate cleanser with reasonable foaming abilities, however a bar of 100% saponified palm oil would be rather unremarkable. By adding a small amount of other oils, such as castor for a creamier lather, or shea butter for moisture we have a far more pleasing end product. I view Coco Betaine in much the same way. Whilst it can be the backbone to an excellent formulation, I don't think it is well suited to being the solitary surfactant in most formulations.
Unlike surfactants such as SLS, there is little fear or misinformation surrounding it's use, and it appears to be widely accepted by the consumer as a mild, naturally derived surfactant.
INCI name: Decyl Glucoside
Usage Rate: 4-40%
Polyglycose is considered to be part of a new generation of surfactants. In Europe, where the worlds strictest cosmetic regulations are in place under the EU Cosmetics Directive, the demand for the alkyl polyglucosides increased by 400% in the space of four years. Derived from sugar they are readily bio-degradable, low toxic, extremely mild and perform well in hard water conditions.
Several clinical skin irritancy tests show decyl glucoside to be non irritating. Even at high concentrations with an extended contact period of 24 hours, there was no observable reaction. (1) Polyglucose exhibits all of the mildness traits of nonionics, with the foam of an anionic. It is this unique characteristic that enables it to be utilised as both a primary and co-surfactant in formulations. Many companies with a natural focus to their formulations are now turning to Polyglucose as their primary, and in some cases only, surfactant. It is so mild that it doesn't require blending with any of the mildness additives.
INCI name: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
Usage Rate: 5-60%
Derived from coconuts, SCI Granules exhibit all of the rich foam you would associate with an anionic but with the mildness of a nonionic. In terms of irritation and skin compatability, it is one of the gentlest surfactants available. It contributes a rich, creamy foam leaving the skin with a soft, conditioned feel. When used as a primary surfactant in a large percentage the end product will be an opaque white and of quite a thick consistency. When used as a co- surfactant in low amounts it boosts the foam of the formulation without compromising on clarity, whilst adding some thickening ability. Thickness, coupled with the dense foam, makes it an ideal primary surfactant in shaving creams and cream soaps.
Because SCI Granules come in a dehydrated form, they have a higher percent of actives than liquid surfactants. In comparison SCI Granules only contains 15% water, Coco Betaine is around 70% water and Polyglucose approximately 50% water. Although SCI Granules don't need to be blended with any other surfactant for mildness or foaming, its high activity means that only a small amount is needed to boost the behaviour of other surfactants, making it an economical co-surfactant that will contribute a luxurious feel to the final product.
INCI name: Sodium Lauryl Sulphoacetate
Usage Rate: 5-60%
It is a little of “girls just want to have fun” with this ingredient for me – a bit like a slice of chocolate cake! SLSA is free flowing white powder that is readily soluble in water. Although relatively new to the home crafter, SLSA has been used in the personal care industry for over 30 years. It has the characteristics of anionics in that it produces a high volume, long lasting foam, however it is very mild and non-drying to the skin and is often utilised in syndet bars and other cleansing preparations for individuals with sensitivities to soap. Its use is for bubbles – and makes superb solid bubble bath formulations! You will not see it in a large proportion of commercial products due to its higher cost – SLS is much cheaper, but also a lot less mild.
Other Ingredients you"ll need to look at when making liquid shampoos, bubble baths and foamy formulas!
Although a simple mixture of surfactant and water would create an efficient cleanser, it may not be all that you had hoped it would be. The formula would be very watery and it would be lacking some of the "elegance" that we expect to find in commercial products. By knowing what ingredients to choose, and how they affect the formulation, we can get the most out of creating our own products. There are several key additives that can be incorporated into our formulations.
INCI name: Polysorbate 20
Polysorbate 20 is a nonionic surfactant traditionally used as an oil in water solubiliser to create products like body mists and room sprays. It can be used in surfactant formulations in the same manner, to disperse the scent. It can be surprisingly difficult to get essential and fragrance oils to disperse fully in surfactant formulations, and in those cases Polysorbate 20 can be used in the same manner. It also has the added benefit of acting as a counter- irritant in anionic/amphoteric solutions. The major drawback to Polysorbate 20 is that it doesn’t bring some of the advantages that similar nonionic surfactants do, and it has to be used at a fairly high percent in comparison.
INCI name: Polysorbate 80
Polysorbate 80 is an oil in water emulsifier and dispersant. A clear liquid with medium viscosity and oily texture, it has a mild characteristic odour. It is soluble in water, alcohol (including glycerine) and vegetable oils and insoluble in mineral oil.
It can also be used by itself or in conjunction with Polysorbate 20 as an Essential Oil solubiliser in aqueous solutions such as body mists & room sprays, and as a solubiliser in surfactant based systems. When combined with vegetable oils it creates a water dispersible oil which can be used as a blooming bath oil, or as an "Easy Wash" Massage Oil. Usage rate is between 1-50% depending on application. Lower usage rates indicate when Polysorbate 80 is used as a co-solubiliser, and the higher rates when it is being used as a dispersant.
INCI name: Peg 7 Glyceryl Cocoate
Glyceryl Cocoate is a nonionic surfactant derived from coconut that is used as an emulsifier and mildness additive. It behaves in a very similar manner to Polysorbate 80 but with a lot of added benefits. It is well suited for use in blooming bath oil applications, or for solubilising vegetable oils into surfactant systems.
As a stand alone surfactant it has a very low foam but exceptional mildness. In lab tests dermal application at a 50% concentration did not produce any irritation, and when injected under the skin at 10% it did not produce sensitisation, or prove to be an ocular irritant. This makes it an ideal choice for surfactants in gentle facial preparations such as make up removers where intimate application around the eye area is necessary. As a co-surfactant, Glycerol Cocoate can be added to formulations at a rate of 2-5% as an effective mildness additive, minimising the "stripping" effect some people feel when using soaps and detergents.
Glycerol Cocoate's most outstanding function is as a water soluble emollient. As a raw ingredient it has an oily texture, not that dissimilar to standard vegetable oils. When added to formulations it increases lubricity, leaving hair feeling conditioned and skin has a soft, cushioned feel. For soap makers, think of this ingredient as your superfatting agent, the ingredient that creates a milder, more moisturising product.
This nonionic surfactant is derived from almond triglycerides and is used as an emulsifier and mildness additive. It has similar characteristics to Glyceryl Cocoate except the Almond Glycerides has more emphasis on the anti-irritant qualities, whilst the Glyceryl Cocoate has more emphasis on the superfatting/emollience qualities. It retains many of the benefits of it's parent oil (almond) and when added to shampoos it will still contribute conditioning and glide to hair, as well as a conditioned feel to skin. It also acts as an anti-irritant but at one third the amount that is needed when using Polysorbate 20, making it more economical to formulate with. It can also be added as a foam stabiliser and in higher amounts as a thickener.
Shampoo Ultra Thick
What a great product Shampoo Ultra Thick! It is a high performance, vegetable derived thickener for aqueous surfactant solutions, meaning that if your formula contains water you can use Shampoo Ultra Thick to thicken it. Incredibly effective, in most cases you only need between 0.5 - 1% to create a shampoo consistency.
As well as its ability to thicken, Shampoo Ultra Thick is also a counter-irritant (for those of you with really sensitive skin), effectively lowering the irritancy potential of the surfactant system as a whole. It also acts as a foam stabiliser, encouraging longer lasting bubbles.
Shampoo Ultra Thick comes in a solid and liquid form.
Along the way, we have introduced some other ingredients to allow you to further vary the ingredients used in these products, including:
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
This mild surfactant is suitable as a direct subsitution for SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) in Shampoo and Shower formulations. Derived from Natural Ingredients, Crodasinic is a high foaming, mild conditioning surfactant. It performs best under slightly acidic conditions - a wetting, foaming, conditioning agent. We use this in facial cleansers as well as bath and shower formulations.
This mild blend of surfactants is the one used in our Shampoo Kit. Now you can buy this, as well as all the other individual ingredients in bulk to make it even more economical for you to make your own natural, mild pH balanced Shampoo.
INCI: Sucrose Cocoate
This naturally derived Sugar Ester from Coconut Oil provides effective cleansing and make-up removing, without stripping the natural oils on the surface of the skin. Sucrose Cocoate has no known toxicity and has a long history of safe use and is free of preservatives and organic solvents. It is compatible with other classes of surfactants and is totally biodegradable.
INCI: Olive Oil Peg-7 Esters
This amazingly versatile ingredient is suitable in almost any product - Conditioners, Shampoo, Scrubs and Facial Cleansers, Lotions, Serums and Creams! Oliv-Esters can be used as a solubliser and also a co-emulsifier!
This natural olive ester provides extraordinary hydrating performance and mildness and exhibits excellent film-forming properties. Compatible with all skin types, including sensitive and reactive skin, Oliv-Esters offer extra nourishment and long term moisturising effects. Oliv-Esters are extremely proficient in avoiding dry and tense skin caused by over-cleansing or exfoliating
|Posted on December 21, 2008 at 2:34 AM||comments (104)|
September 16, 2008
BLOND HIGHLIGHTING SHAMPOO
Adds Blond Highlights To All Shades. Effect Is Intensified With Continued Use.
Contains: Mullein Flower Verbascum thapsus, org/wild, Marshmallow Root Althaea officinalis, org., Rhubarb Root Rheum palmatum, Chamomile Flower (German) Matricaria recutita (M. chamomilla), org. and the essential oils of Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, wild and Lemon Citrus limon blended into a soap base of the most simple ingredients: Purified Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Vegetable Glycerin, Apple Cider Vinegar and Xanthan Gum.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN YOUR SHAMPOO?
Do you read the labels of your shampoos and soaps? If you do read the ingredient list, do you know what all those chemicals are and what they do for your skin and hair? Did you know that the surfactant, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), is not actually made from coconut oil like the label says? Sometimes we are distracted by advertising slogans depicting all kinds of "actions" the product apparently can accomplish. Reality reveals an industry producing a seemingly endless stream of copycat hair care products with the only significant differences being in their appearance, smell, packaging and marketing slogans. With an air of innocence and trust in regulating agencies like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, which knowingly allows the SLS deceit as noted above) many of us have assumed our body care products are safe and only act on our hair or greasy skin and have no other activities on the rest of our bodies inside and out. For years many of us have not thought much about the environmental effects of the manufacture of these products and the effects when we let them go down our household drains. Sometimes a product is labeled biodegradable but in reality this describes only some of the base detergent agents while the product contains preservatives and other chemicals which are not biodegradable.
Cosmetic chemists formulate products from a huge selection of synthetic chemicals that are known by doctors and the FDA to be unhealthy for human use. It is hard not to notice the intensely strong fragrance in our body care products, laundry and household cleaners. These are synthetic fragrances and are a leading cause of allergic reactions. Sometimes a product will have as many as 5 different chemical preservatives. Methyl and propyl paraben are common preservatives that are strong sensitizers and cause dermatitis. Sensitization is an insidious problem that occurs after repeated use, sometimes after years of use, and can show up as mysterious skin afflictions in places where the product may never have touched.
Surfactants, inexpensive synthetic agents that make up the base of most liquid soaps and shampoos, are harsh on the hair and skin. Many of the harsh surfactants deplete natural fats and phospholipids from the epidermis that weakens the skin allowing toxins and bacteria to invade. A great many of them have been invented, creating a huge and very profitable industry. Only after the industry flourished, flooding the market with many varieties creating a vast environmental problem, did the governments of many countries in the 1960’s ban the most harmful ones. No long-term effects of these surfactants were studied on the human skin. The first surfactants were so cruel to skin that people using them everyday developed eczema and dermatitis. The medical profession finally spoke up and the most damaging ones were taken off the market. That was possibly the largest unauthorized test on an innocent public that has ever occurred. Some think the same kind of unauthorized testing is still going on with many people suffering from various skin conditions.
I remember when I was a teenager and pHisohex, an antibacterial cleaner, was all the rage. We used it to wash our faces, bodies and as hand soap at the sink. It contained hexachlorophene, which in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s became linked to infant deaths and brain damage. This prompted warnings on products containing hexachlorophene to read "not to be used on babies". PHisohex was eventually taken off the market due to toxic reactions.
Safety is determined by exactly what percentage contained in a product will cause immediate symptoms of health problems. Less than the lowest percentage that caused an adverse reaction is not always what manufacturers are allowed to use. Sometimes they are allowed to use more. I can’t help but to imagine that could be because a company can come up with a study where a more resilient animal tolerated a higher percentage of the nasty substance. The FDA’s GRAS stands for "generally recognized as safe", is a list that seems to be more protective for the chemical companies than for your safety.
The products concocted don’t just offer a basic, gentle cleaning action but are made to have just the desired size bubble, just the right amount of foaming ability, clear color or pearl-like look and thick, smooth texture. There are several synthetic chemicals in each of these categories from which to choose to accomplish these "most important" qualities. At this point there is a need to add another host of chemical ingredients to counteract the horrid effects the base ingredients actually have on your hair and skin. Surprisingly many of these kind of ingredients for appearance aspects like texture and bubble size are still contained in shampoos found in health food stores.
Cheryl’s Herbs has read and fully understood the labels on these popular liquid soaps and shampoos. With their usual tender loving care for your skin, hair and the environment, they have formulated a truly unique, simple and more natural soap/shampoo line. You can simplify your life with these liquid cleaners because even just one of them can be used as face soap, body soap, shampoo, hand soap at your sink and even gentle detergent for hand washing delicate clothing.
This unique hair care line starts with the most simple, biodegradable soap base, manufactured by Cheryl's Herbs, containing only Purified Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Vegetable Glycerin, Apple Cider Vinegar and Xanthan Gum. The state of the art soap agent, Decyl Polyglucose, is manufactured from plentiful, renewable vegetation and is earth friendly. It is derived from corn and coconut & palm kernel oils. It can also be described as being made from corn, glucose & starch. Corn supplies the carbohydrates which are converted with fatty alcohols from native oils, such as coconut or palm kernel oil, into alkyl polyglycosides. Decyl Polyglucose is an effective, gentle, cleaner with no reported adverse effects and is fully biodegradable. The significance of its safety is appreciated when you realize that most of the cosmetic ingredients used in conventional products cause health problems.
You won't find a simpler, more natural shampoo base in any health food store across America! For each individual soap/shampoo product we add intensively prepared herbal tea formulas and Cheryl’s Herbs famous world-class quality essential oils to this wonderful base. Choose from over a dozen kinds of Cheryl’s Herbs Soap/Shampoo. The names of some of the most popular ones are Soothing, Balancing, Dry Skin, Herbal Pet and our famous Summer Soap/Shampoo which is full of insect-repellent herbs and essential oils!
The following is a small sampling of ingredients commonly found in shampoos and liquid soaps:
Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate are alkyl sulfates and are surfactants widely used in most shampoos, toothpaste, lotions and creams today. Labeling regulations allow "derived from coconut oil" which is untrue today because they are synthetically produced now from petroleum but was true in the 1940’s when originally developed. The chemical industry considers them to be some of their most gentle cleansers for the skin and hair, especially sodium laureth sulfate. In high concentrations they both are very irritant, drying to skin, hair, irritating to eyes, caused damages like cracking, severe inflammation and cause allergic reactions. They both have a lot of potential to become contaminated with nitrosamines. Sulfates are used to manufacture these synthetic surfactants and are harmful to marine life and the environment.
Alkyloamides have actions that are thickening, gelling, emulsifying, foam boosting, foam stabilizing and opacifying, which changes appearance from clear to cloudy, sometimes making white pearl-like appearance. 4 Main groups of alkyloamides are: diethanolamides (DEA), monoethanolamides (MEA), monoisopropanolamides (MIPA), ethoxylated or PEG alkanolamides. All are harmful to environment and can become contaminated with nitrosamines.
Amodimethicone is silicone fluid used to give a smooth feel which causes allergic reactions.
CA-24 (chloroacetamide) also known as acidamide is used as antimicrobial in shampoos and bath lotions at concentrations up to 0.3%. People have had allergic reactions from it using as little as 0.1% dilution. The European Economic Community requires label warnings on products containing chloroacetamide.
Cocoamide DEA is a synthetic foam stabilizer and thickener which may be contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Cocamidopropyl betaine causes eyelid dermatitis.
Sodium Myeth Sulfate is a synthetic detergent and not biodegradable.
DMDM Hydantoin is a form of formaldehyde and is used as a preservative.
Ext. D&C Color certified as safe for drugs and cosmetics, not for food. It is a synthetic, coal tar color and is toxic. Coal tar has been shown to be carcinogenic in animal tests and many people are allergic to it.
Ext. D&C Violet #2 is in the anthraquinone family of coal tars which is made from phthalic anhydride and benzene. This chemical mix causes tumors in lab rats and causes serious skin rashes. Benzene is a petrochemical solvent known to cause depression, convulsions, coma and death with prolonged exposure suspected to cause leukemia. Even inhaling the vapors can be absorbed through the skin and cause irritation.
Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and found in many preservatives including the hydantoins. It’s extremely toxic when inhaled or swallowed. Nearly half of all people exposed to it experience a toxic reaction. In the past the FDA banned formaldehyde in cosmetics but is still used in shampoos. EEC requires label disclosure if it used in a certain percentage.
Glyceryl Stearate S.E. a synthetic used for a pearlizing effect, emulsifier and opacifier (changes appearance from clear to cloudy) which can cause irritation and clogged pores.
Imidazolidinyl urea (also known as Germall and phenoxyethanol) is a synthetic preservative that can release formaldehyde at temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Irgasan DP 300 ( also named Triclosan) is phototoxic, an environmental pollutant because hydrocarbons are known to pollute the air, water and land, and a suspected carcinogen because it comes from coal tar.
Lauramide DEA is a surfactant, foam-builder, can be irritating to the skin and can be contaminated with nitrosamines.
Laureth 1-40 a synthetic surfactant and foaming agent.
Laurylmyrist-oleamidosulfo-succinate a synthetic fatty alcohol used as a dispersant and a surfactant that causes allergic reactions and damages the environment.
Linoleamidopropyl ethly dimonium ethosulfate can be contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Methylparaben a synthetic preservative.
Mineral Oil is manufactured from petroleum and causes allergic reactions with topical use and many be phototoxic.
Propylene Glycol is considered safe by the FDA and is a petrochemical used in antifreeze and brake fluid. It is a cheap synthetic humectant and emulsifier made from mineral oil. Sweet and natural vegetable glycerin would do just as well and not be harmful. It’s use as a humectant and moisturizer is questionable because it replaces and repels important components for healthy skin. Skin functions on water and propylene acts as a replacement for water but the skin can’t use it. A low concentration of it is advised in products but you will often find it near the top of the ingredient list indicating a high concentration. High level of usage is a considered a possible cause of increasing liver and kidney related health problems. In 1991 a report to the American Academy of Dermatologists showed it to cause a significant number of reactions and was a primary irritant to the skin even in low levels of concentration.
Quaternary ammonium salts including stearalkonium chloride, quaternary-15 (a fungicide) are used in the paper and fabric industries, as fabric softeners, water repellents, anti-static agents and corrosion inhibitors. They are very common in hair conditioners and crème rinses. While initially giving a soft feel to hair they eventually make the hair dry and brittle also causing skin rashes and allergic reactions and environmental harm. The agents in conditioners and crème rinses can build up and coat the hair to such an extent that it takes stronger and harsher shampoos to lift the film. Quaternary-15 has caused severe sensitivities to medical drugs.
Nitrosamines All "amines" and "amides" are capable of forming N-nitroso compounds which, in animal experiments, have been found to be quite carcinogenic. One in particular that occurs in many cosmetics is identified as NDELA N-nitrosodiethanolamine which according to a 1977 FDA report is a potent carcinogen. The chemical, TEA (triethanolamine), extensively used in cosmetics is the one primarily suspected of creating NDELA. DEA (diethanolamine) is another one capable of forming NDELA. Not much press has been given to this subject but one consumer magazine has recommended not using products containing TEA or DEA. One study reported over 40% of TEA containing products tested contained nitrosamines.
Health conscious individuals take care to avoid eating food containing nitrates but even typical use of a shampoo contaminated with NDELA can lead to even higher levels of absorption than eating it.
Nitrosamines are contaminants of chemical based cosmetic products. Contamination can occur during many stages of manufacturing including certain pH balances, water solutions and in storage and shipment from the seams in the metal drums. Because of the chemical nature of common preservatives used in these conventional products, they either do not protect from nitrosamine formation or they actually contribute to further contamination.
Examples of typical ingredients likely to be contaminated with nitrosamines: sodium lauryl sulfate, TEA-lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, TEA laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, lauroyl sarcosine, cocoyl sarcosine, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, sodium cocoyl sarcosinate, potassium coco-hydrolyzed animal protein, formaldehyde, hydrolyzed animal protein, imidazolidinyl urea, monethanolamine (MEA), quaternium-7, 15, 31, 60 etc., disodium oleamide sulfosuccinate, sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate, sodium methyl oleoyl sulfate and sodium lauryl isoethionate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, sodium nitrite, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol.
I highly recommend the following books because from the information in these books I have just barely scratched the surface here about the facts behind these cosmetic chemical ingredients. These books contain many more ingredient explanations and also contain ingredients common in conditioners, styling products, moisturizers and make-up.
Some who come across this kind of information feel unmotivated to act upon it. They may feel if we have survived so far with the presence of these chemicals, which our government allows as "OK", then it’s really no big deal and what’s all the fuss? I am one who is motivated to quietly break the chain. If I can do my small part to encourage less production of these chemicals I am happy to do it. Other than writing this article and conducting business at Cheryl’s Herbs in an ethical way, I’m not greatly motivated to take a bigger stand. We the consumer have quite a lot on influence on business and industry. Because there are more natural alternatives, it can be as easy as a simple choice when I go shopping.
Hampton, Aubrey. What’s in Your Cosmetics?. Tucson, Arizona: Odonian Press. 1995.
Smeh, Nikolaus J. Creating Your Own Cosmetics - Naturally. Garrisonville, VA: Alliance Publishing Co. 1995.