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Do you know which is the largest organ in your body? We care so much about our heart, liver, stomach, knee, throat- all organs but tend to ignore the largest one. Your skin! Yes skin is the largest organ of your body that can breathe, absorb, sweat, maintains your body temperature and make you look gorgeous. But how do we care for this vital organ? We cleanse it with soap daily, right? But there are different kinds of soap- it is always wise to choose ones without sulphates and parabens. What? Why? Let’s look more into it… stay with us here.
About Sulphates and Parabens
Sulphates are inexpensive chemicals used by companies to provide grease-cutting cleaning power and a bubbly lather in our shampoos and detergents. You see them show up in ingredients lists with the names “sodium lauryl sulphate” (SLS) and “sodium laureth sulphate” (SLES), among other names. So when you wash your hair with most shampoos with that lovely lather, it is important to know that the lather is produced by sodium laurel sulphate present in the shampoo. What else are these found in? Body washes and toothpastes.
Parabens, on the other hand, are chemicals used to increase the shelf life of the products and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Basically, these are preservatives for your grooming products. There can be many kinds of parabens- methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben to name a few.
While sulphates and parabens may seem like basic and simple, sweet things so far, read on more- you will know what the fuss is about.
Harmful Effects of Sulphates
- Sulphates remove all natural oil from your hair and skin- leaving them dry.
- They can also cause irritation to eyes, scalp and skin.
- SLS corrodes fat and protein of the skin leading to irritation of skin and can even cause cataract in adults.
- In addition, sulphates have been scientifically proven to cause multiple allergic reactions, organ toxicity and environmental damage.
- Prolonged use of these harsh chemicals can strip your hair of its natural oil causing irritation, drying of hair and hair loss.
- Long term use can also cause problems in lungs due to inhalation.
- Traces of SLS are mixed with ground water when they are washed away, leading to scum accumulation that is extremely harmful to underground micro-organisms. These micro-organisms are essential to balance the ecosystem with fishes and other aquatic animals- so when one is damaged, it leads to a damage to the whole ecosystem.
Fact Check: Makers of SLS recently petitioned to have SLS listed as an approved pesticide for organic farming since it is commonly used to kill weeds and insects. No wonder the application was denied because of its polluting properties and environmental damage. And we are putting this on our skin- second thoughts?
Harmful Effects of Parabens
- Parabens have been found to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen. This has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.
- Parabens have been detected in breast cancer tissue suggesting a correlation with parabens in cosmetic products.
- They have environmental toxicity as well.
- Paraben based products can affect male reproductive system by lowering sperm count and decreasing testosterone.
- Parabens have also been scientifically proven to cause immune disorders, disruptive growth, carcinogenic effects and reproductive disorders.
Irony: Parabens are supposedly good for the skin but many studies (by live-naturally.co.uk and Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan) have found that they actually increase sensitivity and damage from ultraviolet rays. This leads to death of skin cells at a much faster rate- leading to premature ageing of skin. So why are they even used?
Healthy and Chemical Free Options
Considering the harmful effects of sulphates and parabens, it is imperative that you look for healthier and chemical free options. Have you been thinking of switching to chemical free body care products for a long time but do not know where to start? How about we help you out and make that easy for you?
Most natural organic products are free of these chemicals, shortening their shelf life and causing lesser froth and lather. But these are also better and safer for you and the environment.
And if you want to be absolutely sure, the ingredients list should reveal whether the product contains any sulphate. As a general rule of thumb, if the product contains any chemical name, it is probably bad for you.
So, when are you switching??