WHY B ORGANIC?
Many of us have experienced being kept awake by a child’s itching and scratching, and are familiar with how debilitating dermatitis and eczema can be. These are some of the reasons why more and more of you are buying B Organic Skincare for yourselves and your little ones.
You check food labels to avoid bad E numbers or deviously added sugar, so it follows that you’re attuned to what’s potentially toxic in your bathroom. At B Organic Skincare, we’re obsessed with this kind of vigilance. It’s why we produce natural and organic skin and hair care products that are free of nasty chemicals.
Our ingredients are derived from plants and are as organic as can be. We don't use chemicals to make foam or increase our products’ shelf life. We shun silicones and hate parabens, lanolin and all the others we’ve listed below. They all build up and dehydrate and degrade away, they make skin more sensitive and reactive, and people unhealthy. When you’re label checking at the pharmacy or in the supermarket, you’ll find that these chemicals are common. Behind each of them, there’s a story:
Parabens are widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are effective preservatives in many types of formulas and are often chosen for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. On normal skin, parabens can be non-irritating and non-sensitising. But for those with paraben allergies, they can cause skin and scalp irritation, dermatitis and rosacea. This is because parabens easily penetrate the skin and can interfere with hormone functions.
Lanolin is used in products such as cosmetics, lip balm and nipple cream, but the substance isn’t entirely safe for mothers or their babies. Lanolin is a waxy sebaceous gland-derived sebum that coats sheep’s wool. Once they’re shorn, sebum is left on the wool. After refinement, the resulting lanolin is added to products. Often though, because sheep are sprayed with pesticides, lanolin is contaminated. What’s worse is, during the refinement process, wool is pesticide-treated again.
Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT) are common preservatives found in many shampoos and other liquid personal care products. Put in separately, MIT and CMIT inhibit bacterial growth in products, but they are usually added in tandem. As a consequence, inhalation toxicity can be a side effect, so too are allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity. Debate continues about the levels of MIT and CMIT that trigger allergic reactions.
Phthalates are used in cosmetics and personal care products, including perfume, hairspray, soap, shampoo, nail polish and skin moisturisers. Phthalates are suspected to be endocrine disruptors; in other words, they can adversely interfere with hormones. The health effects of phthalates are not yet fully known but the Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is listed as a possible carcinogenic.
Petrochemicals are slipped into the ingredients of many bathroom products. Extracts of petroleum appear in print as propylene, ethylene, butadiene, benzene and/or xylene. All these enes are used to extend the shelf life of cosmetics and skincare products. They also ‘fill out’ these substances in their containers, and are sometimes added to efficiently disperse fragrances. Whilst there are some claims that link petrochemicals to cancer and other illnesses, petroleum-derived ingredients cause skin irritation, dry skin and clogged pores.
Propylene glycol is a colourless, viscous, nearly odourless liquid that is used as an intermediate to synthesize other chemicals. It is a plasticizer, a solvent in lacquers and varnishes, and a component of antifreezes, lubricants, household cleaners and inks. It is also mixed into cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and topical corticosteroid skin treatments. Adverse reactions to propylene glycol are skin irritations and allergic contact dermatitis.
‘Alcohols’ refers to a group of organic compounds in a variety of formations. They are used in cosmetics and skincare products. Alcohols with low molecular weights are skin drying and irritating. The ones to be most concerned about are ethanol or ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol and benzyl alcohol.
There are many types of silicones, some are water-soluble and some are not. The most common are cyclomethicone, dimethicone, methicone, amodimethicone, dimethiconol, cyclomethicone and cyclopentasiloxane. Lots of hair-care products contain silicones. They make it easier to condition, brush and straighten hair, give fullness to its style and provide slip and shine. However, applied over time, each silicone ingredient coats hair-shafts, clogs follicles and seals out moisture. Silicone build-up can cause hair to become lank and greasy or overly dry.
Sodium laureth sulfate
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) is an accepted contraction of sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). It is a cheap and effective foaming agent used in shampoos, body washes and other cleansers. As detergents go, SLS is harsh and has been linked to urinary tract, bladder and kidney infections, genital disorders, eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff-like conditions and allergic reactions.
Diethanolamine (DEA or DEOA) is a wetting agent that makes cosmetics creamy and shampoos and body-washes foamy. It can also be found in brake fluid, degreasers and antifreeze. In its factory-component state, DEA is a colourless, viscous liquid. As an ingredient, it is used to adjust pH balance, but it can cause eye irritation and dryness of the skin and hair. DEA has been linked to stomach, esophagus, kidney, liver and bladder damage.
As a single ingredient, DEA is a skin and scalp irritant, but it is more toxic when mixed with other chemicals.