Our Purity Promise
Have you ever looked, properly looked, at the labels on the bottles in your bathroom? You may think you need a degree in biochemistry to understand them, but we will help explain. It is vital to remember that even the chemicals we deem ‘nasty’ have safe parameters, tightly controlled by European legislation, and many of which we have come to accept. But are they actually any good for us?
From having a shower, washing hair, brushing teeth, skincare routine, make up, fixing hair and spraying perfume an average person is exposed to over 500 chemicals! Of course we are not saying that all these chemicals are nasty, but we think you will agree that 500 is rather a lot if they are not necessarily beneficial!
Do we actually know the long term effect of such common ingredients? No we don’t. This data simply is not available yet. What we do know is that some of these chemicals are already polluting the water table and this damage seems to be irreversible. Further, certain tests have concluded that some ingredients in shampoos, dyes, and other personal care products “may be playing havoc with hormones that control reproduction and development”. So why are they being used? Simply because they are cheap alternatives to natural ingredients – in brief, they allow a larger profit to the skincare companies.
So we challenge you! Before deciding to switch to Nuts Organic, please take a look at the ingredients in your skincare. We have compiled a list of ‘nasties’ and we will continue to add to this list regularly! Our Purity Promise to you is that our products DO NOT and WILL NEVER contain any of these ingredients.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a detergent found in the vast majority of skincare products. It is also found in shampoos, toothpastes & hair colourants. It bulks out the product allowing a little to go a long way and produces foam, hence why it is found in most soaps. Did you know, however, that a soap bar doesn’t have to foam to wash skin thoroughly? We have been tricked into thinking the lather helps clean the skin when in truth the lather is produced by an unnecessary chemical. It is used so often as it is cheap. SLS actually damages the protective outer layer of the skin and is a known irritant. It enhances the absorption of other chemicals and is known to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and has been proven to cause dermatitis.
SLS also has a number of slightly less unpleasant relatives, Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) is but one. However there are a growing number of these relatives being created due to SLS’s negative publicity in recent years.
Paraffinium Liquidium (Mineral Oil)
This is a mixture of refined liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. It sits on top of the skin as a shiny film and is both colourless & odourless. It can be found in cleansers, eye creams, make up, hair colourants & perhaps the most worryingly, baby products! It is used as it is cheaper than its natural alternative.
We deem it a ‘nasty’ as it traps dirt and toxicants under the skin; rumours suggest it causes photosensitivity and increases the risk of skin damage on exposure to the sun. Did you know that when heated it actually smells like petroleum?
Parabens / preservatives
Parabens are found in almost every toiletry – creams, washes, cleansers, toothpastes, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners – the list is endless! They are esters (technical term!) of parahydroxybenzoic acid and are used as preservatives. The most common names for these parabens are methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, polypropylparaben and isobutylparaben.
Whilst they are proven preservatives, a number of studies have found parabens to be oestrogenic. Basically, they are hormone disrupting (as they are skin absorbing). Certain parabens have been found intact in the breast tissue of ladies diagnosed with breast cancer.
Parabens are used to increase the shelf life of a product to more than 6 years (whereas preservatives are used to keep the product safe from mould and bacteria and to increase the product’s shelf likfe to a year or two). This, of course, allows manufacturers to bulk produce products and have them sitting in warehouses until distribution.
Nuts Organic does not believe that any product should hang around for over 6 years! Indeed, all our products are produced in small batches allowing us to only retail products using the freshest of ingredients. Although we do use preservatives in some products (essential and legislated for any product that contains water) we only use one preservative which is approved by the Soil Association and at less than 1% of the product’s volume.
Triclosan is the most common antibacterial agent found in toiletries and is often found in hand soaps & lotions.
A small amount of germs poses absolutely no threat (not even to babies & children). Indeed, germs are found everywhere. A normal healthy human body has a huge resistance to germs & bacteria.
Antibacterial agents are harsh on the skin. They are now linked to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which are a major health threat worldwide.
Triclosan is known to aggravate skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and appears to be especially harmful to cracked skin on the feet & hands, opening it up to further infections.
Collagen (also known as hydrolysed collagen)
Ageing skin loses natural collagen which results in the skin’s natural elasticity being lost. It is perceived that applying collagen to the surface of your skin can reverse & delay the aging process. In reality hydrolisation is a chemical process that breaks down the collagen, making it more usable for the manufacturer. These broken down molecules are still too large to actually penetrate the skin and so remain on the surface forming a smooth coating, thereby giving the illusion of softness and fewer wrinkles. Further, collagen is usually derived from the skin of young animals, although some is vegetable derived.
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
These are largely fruit derived acids and have become very common ingredients in skincare. Lactic acid is also an AHA. These acids are ‘at home’ chemical peels. Chemical peels are used in cosmetic surgery to remove the several outer layers of surface skin to give a ‘youthful’ appearance. Whilst these acids are used at a low dose, they do slightly burn the skin and can actually result in premature ageing and increased susceptibility to sun damage.
This is found in moisturisers, toners, shampoos, conditioners, washes, deodorants – the list goes on. This ingredient is a penetration enhancer and is able to modify the structure of the skin, allowing better absorption of chemicals, which include all of the chemicals mentioned here. It easily penetrates the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure.
A high concern is that it is an irritant to the eyes, skin and lungs and can cause brain, liver & kidney abnormalities. It is commonly used as a skin conditioning agent; however it has been associated with being an irritant and a cause of contact dermatitis.
FD&C Colour Pigments
These are synthetic colours made from coal tar. They are known to cause sensitivity and irritation. Studies have shown almost all of them are carcinogenic. These pigments are derived from animal, plant, and synthetic sources.
DMDM Hydantion is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative. People exposed to such formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy or an allergy to the ingredient itself and its decomposition products. It may cause joint pain, skin allergies, headaches and dizziness. There is strong evidence that it is a human irritant.
This is a strong alkaline substance used as a surfactant and a pH adjusting chemical. There is strong evidence that it is a human immune and respiratory toxicant/ allergen. Its relative, diethanolamine, has already been banned for use in cosmetics.
SD ALCOHOL 40B
Specially denatured (SD) alcohol is a mixture of ethanol with a denaturing agent. Ethanol is considered broadly toxic and has been linked to birth defects. It enhances skin absorption allowing the penetration of harmful chemicals into skin and may be a cause of premature skin ageing.
Fragrances mainly consist of synthetic ingredients and can consist of up to 4000 separate ingredients, some of which are toxic or carcinogenic. Fragrances may cause headaches, allergies, skin discolouration and irritation.