I wanted to talk today about what’s in our products. What is in our food and body care has become a pretty hot topic lately. And, for good reason, we need to be aware of any unnecessary junk that can be harmful to our bodies.
There are many companies choosing to “lose the junk” and clean up their products, and a couple of those in the hair care business are REF, Purology, Aveda and Kevin Murphy. They have dedicated themselves to leaving our sulfate, parabens, artificial dyes and, in some cases keeping them gluten free and vegan.
So, what is the deal with parabens and sulfates? Well, here is a general look at the information we have on them.
Parabens are chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Sulfates are effective cleansing and foaming agents that can be found in toothpaste, shampoo, and body washes, among other products.
There’s a CHANCE they are harmful
Studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells, and while estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, parabens have been found present in breast tumors. Sulfates are concerning because they were found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on the cell membranes. Sulfates were also found to leave residue in the heart, lungs, and brain.
But, It hasn’t been proven
However, so far there is no scientific evidence to prove that parabens have any link to cancer, and The Cosmetic Ingredient Review recognizes sulfates as safe up to a maximum concentration of 50 percent if they are properly rinsed off the skin.
You could take the “better safe than sorry” approach
If you’re weary about taking a chance using products that contain these chemicals, then don’t! There’s a wide range of beauty products that are paraben- and sulfate-free.
Sulfates are bad for your hair
They can cause a number of problems for your hair including drying, irritating your scalp, fading your color, and even hair loss.
Sulfates can be easily identified
Sulfate is the ingredient that causes shampoos to lather. If your shampoo lathers, it contains sulfates. For a foolproof way to know if your product contains sulfates, you’ll see “sulfate” listed pretty high up on the ingredients label.
Parabens are a little trickier to notice
While the most common parabens also have “paraben” in their name—butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben—they can also be listed as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates.
There are alternatives
If you’re looking to steer clear of products that contain parabens, opt for ones that use ingredients such as ethylhexylglycerin (which is plant-derived) or phenoxyethanol, another alternative to parabens, a naturally derived ether alcohol.
Use in moderation
No matter what, chemicals are chemicals. Everything is best used in moderation so it’s always a good idea to switch up your beauty routine and rotate between different products.
Hope this helps clear up some confusion and answer any questions you may have had about this subject .