Sunday, April 21, 2013

Got a Secret, Can You Keep it?

It has been a while since my last blog post, but I went to a home party recently that has me in an uproar! I will not name the products, or the company, that was advertising to me (because that would be tacky) but I was SHOCKED by the "mis"-information that was being told to the audience. This company makes products ranging from vitamins, to shampoo, to soap, to household cleaners.

The beginning of the presentation was very heavy with the company's mission and ingredient usage in their products. That they were all about being "green" and using only natural ingredients. That sounded great, right? I thought so! Oh boy, read on!

I'll only tell you what I think you should know...
The first ingredient discussed that is used in most commercial cosmetics was mineral oil. Mineral oil is bad news, I agree. It is a distillate of petroleum, suffocating the skin with a barrier that is impenetrable by air. It can cause cell death and skin irritation. The rep then passed around samples of the company's lotion, which contained petrolatum, which is what mineral oil is derived from! Petrolatum has the same side effects as mineral oil, not allowing the skin to breathe, causing premature aging and cell death.

The second ingredient that was discussed was soap. I WAS EXCITED TO HEAR THIS ONE! I figured since they claimed to only use natural ingredients, that maybe they would get this one right. I was wrong. The soap was talked about in a "superior to other soaps" way, because it didn't "contain lye." I had to raise my info sheet to cover my face at this point. I was LIVID! I know lye has a bad rap, and it shouldn't, but if lye was not used to create the soap, then it isn't soap. Period. I liken it to using baking soda or eggs when baking. Baking soda and raw eggs aren't very safe ingredients by themselves, but they sure are nice when making a great batch of cookies. In the finished product,the dangers of those individual ingredients have been diminished. Same with lye. Lye is necessary to create a great batch of soap, and when the soap is made, the lye is gone, the pH is neutralized, and you have an amazing finished product. I think that the main reason lye has a bad reputation is because lye soap that was made in the early centuries was very harsh. That was because it was used in excess and not with the knowledge we have of it now with regard to how it works with oils. To turn an oil into soap, different amounts of lye are required for different oils. If too much lye is used, you have a harsh soap. Use the right amount, and you have a gentle and beneficial soap.
*In regards to this companies soap, they didn't have an ingredient listing for their soaps (RED FLAG) so I came home and looked up the company's website. Here is the soap ingredient listing: Sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, aqua (water/eau), glycerin, parfum, sodium chloride, tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, titanium dioxide, yellow 10, red 4
HERE IS WHAT THAT MEANS:
Sodium Palmate- saponified palm oil (LYE used to turn palm oil into soap)
Sodium Palm Kernelate- saponified palm kernel oil (LYE used to turn palm kernel oil into soap)
Aqua (water/eau)- purified water
Glycerin- naturally occurring when soap is made, moisturizing on all types of skin
Parfum- essential oils and synthetic scents
Sodium Chloride- salt
Tetrasodium EDTA- synthetically produced water softener and preservative: possible skin irritant
Tetrasodium Etidronate- synthetically produced water softener, included among swimming pool chemicals, possible skin irritant
Titanium Dioxide- mineral whitener
Yellow 10- a synthetic dye produced from petroleum or coal tar substances
Red 4- a synthetic dye not permitted in the US as a food additive and may only be used in externally applied drugs and cosmetics. An exception was added to allow the coloring of maraschino cherries, which are considered mainly decorative and not a foodstuff.
Scared? I was too!! And I would love to know if their palm oil is sustainably resourced......ours is!
No hidden ingredients here!!
What's in our soap? I'm glad you asked! They vary slightly in oils and scents, but our most commonly used recipe is purified water,
olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter, and sodium hydroxide (lye). We use natural colorants called micas and oxides. Those are mined from the earth and purified to be 100% safe. The above company uses FD&C colorants. Not safe and not natural. 

Next is their lotions. Here is their ingredients listing right from their website: Deionized water, glycerin USP, Petrolatum USP, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Allantoin, T36-C5 Melaleuca Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance
HERE IS WHAT THAT MEANS:
Deionized water- purified water
glycerin USP- naturally occurring when soap is made, moisturizing on all types of skin. USP means food grade
Petrolatum USP- an ‘oil rig’ by-product. Causes suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne. Mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum
Distearyldimonium Chloride- a synthetically created surfactant, common allergen
Isopropyl Palmitate- is a palm oil based emollient, moisturizer, thickening agent, and anti-static
Cetyl alcohol- Extracted from coconut oil, it is an emollient that is included in skin care products to stabilize the formulations or to alter their consistencies, or to increase their foaming capacity. Skin irritant for some
Dimethicone- silicone derived. Works as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and skin & hair conditioner
Allantoin- a chemical compound that comes from the extracts of a comfrey plant
T36-C5 Melaleuca Oil- tea tree oil. Anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial
Benzyl Alcohol- known as a “bad” alcohol, can be extremely drying and irritating to skin, may be cytotoxic (toxic to cells)
Fragrance- synthetically produced scent

What's in our lotion? Glad you asked!! Purified water, shea butter, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, stearic acid (not scary like it sounds, it is a fat from vegetables that helps the lotion be fluffy), emulsifying wax (another vegetable derived ingredient that keeps the oils and water from separating), phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol and fragrance oil. What is Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol? That is a preservative that is paraben and formaldehyde free. Why do we use a preservative in our lotion? Read that here. "Fragrance oil?" You might ask why we use that as well. Read that here. 

We have nothing to hide. We won't LIE about using LYE. See what I did there? Clever, right? For every ingredient we use, we research like crazy to make sure that it IS natural, that it IS beneficial, and that it IS necessary. Please ask questions, please be an informed consumer. Since this blog post is plenty long enough, I won't get into their household products too much, but here is how one of the products list ingredients:
Biodegradable cleaning agents (citric acid and detergents), solvent, solubilizer, water-softening agent, fragrance, and T 36-C5 Melaleuca oil
HERE IS WHAT THAT MEANS:
Biodegradable cleaning agents (citric acid and detergents)- the isn’t even definable as it doesn’t list what the ‘biodegradable’ agents are that are being used
Solvent- General health hazards associated with solvent exposure include toxicity to the nervous system, reproductive damage, liver and kidney damage, respiratory impairment, cancer, and dermatitis
Solubilizer- again, indefinable as it doesn’t say what type of solubilizer is being used. However, most solubilizers are used in cosmetics and skin care products as a surfactant, emulsifier, and fragrance ingredient
Water-softening agent- again, indefinable as it doesn’t say what agent is being ised. However, borax and sodium carbonate are two commonly used water-softening agents which are skin irritants and allergens
Fragrance- synthetically produced scent
T 36-C5 Melaleuca oil- tea tree oil. Anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial

When a company won't tell you what they use. RUN! There is a reason they won't be forthcoming with you. It isn't right to treat the consumer like that. It makes my blood boil, can you tell? ;)

I appreciate all our customers and ALL of your questions. I make these products because I think an honest company is hard to find who is not driven by solely making money, but is primarily driven by actually helping people looking for quality products for themselves and their families. Made locally and with sustainable ingredients. Looking for that kind of company? Click here!

As always, mahalo and hang loose ;)
~Jess



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