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Let us go back in time- Let's go natural.


Yes this post of mine is not around Healthcare Marketing, Digital Innovation or Community Health programs.

I thought to write about this particular topic after studying trends related to people's ill health and the food we eat, the cosmetics we use and the bad additives that have done enough bad to us already. I remember those times when my Grandma used to mix Glycerine with rose water and it used to be our skin care staple for winters. Dry some Indian gooseberry and heat it up with home made coconut oil to get luscious locks.

Things were simple, fresh and homemade. Now Grandma is long gone and we are buying such products off the shelf knowing little about additives like mineral oil, LLP (Light Liquid Paraffin Oil ), perfumery compounds, preservatives and what not.People who have no connect to the cosmetics and food industry know very little about such compounds and need to be educated. For them a good brand name like Bajaj, Dabur or Patanjali serves the purpose. However, it is time that we take our home shopping a bit more seriously. The question is how? How many of us read labels? Do we have the time to?

Well, we have to make time. Our kids are suffering from rashes, baldness, premature greying and severe health problems. Mineral oils used in hair oils are associated with Cancer. Most of the commercially available hair care products today use harmful, potentially carcinogenic ingredients.

I was surprised to see that almost all hair products my sister was using lately had POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PPG/PEG) and Formaldehyde (probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos) in them.

Well, labels on cosmetics and body care products are a tough code to crack. The industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products.A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is misleading. Companies are supposed to use an organic label only if all ingredients are certified-organic, but they can also say it’s “made with organic” if it contains a minimum of 70 percent certified-organic ingredients. Plus half of the chemicals are not tested, not listed and never discussed.

Hydroquinone: Asians are crazy about lightening creams-you will find this in most of these creams. Rated most toxic on several databases, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.

Phthalates: Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.

Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara that asians are again crazy about.

Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, hair oil, moisturisers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.

Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.

And this is a long list....

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/, http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/20-toxic-ingredients-avoid-when-buying-body-care-products-and-cosmetics.html
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov
http://naturalhaireverything.tumblr.com/post/3253973196/10-ingredients-to-avoid-putting-on-your-hair, http://thehairoine.com/pages/chemicals-to-avoid
http://www.livestrong.com/article/171916-ingredients-to-avoid-in-hair-products/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/
http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/31850421/study-links-toxic-chemicals-to-black-hair-care-products
Image: So Malicious

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