6 Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid | Rodale News

6 Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid | Rodale News

Excellent guide as to the ingredients to avoid in your toothpaste. After all, you put it in your mouth every single day, you should know what goes into it! –

#1. Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

SLS seems to fuel canker sores. Researchers have linked SLS to higher numbers of canker sore outbreaks. As if that’s not enough, SLS also seems to cause more frequent outbreaks that last longer, too, Straub-Bruce says. She also points out that there is a definite correlation with cold sensitivity as well. No one likes canker sores or sensitive teeth, so manufacturers must have a really good reason to justify its inclusion, right?


“All it does is foam,” explains Straub-Bruce. “There is no other viable purpose other than the experience. This doesn’t translate into better health or lower microbial load, but people associate foaming with clean.” In fact, she suggests that you get more cleaning power from the scraping action of brushing or flossing (or even just eating a carrot) than you do from SLS.

#2. Triclosan 

“About 15 years ago, triclosan came to oral care because it fights the bacteria in plaque for up to 12 hours,” says Straub-Bruce. Unfortunately, research is now showing that, much like BPA, triclosan is a hormone disruptor.

“And now that it’s been out for a long time and it’s been going down the drain, we’re starting to see the environmental impacts,” says Straub-Bruce. She points out that not only is it a hormone disruptor for people, but it’s also a food-chain disruptor because it affects algae.

#3. Blue #1 and #2

The “benefit” of these dyes is pretty obvious: They color the toothpaste. That’s it. Unfortunately, the fun color is offset by some pretty serious health concerns. “When swallowed it’s a respiratory irritant, digestive tract irritant, and there have been correlational studies between blue #1 and behavioral problems in children,” says Straub-Bruce.

Click 6 Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid | Rodale News to read the full article.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate : Toxic Lather – Feelgoodstyle.com

Helpful explanation of the concerns behind SLS and SLES – 

SLS, and its milder cousin Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), are esters of Sulphuric acid.   SLS and SLES are linked to skin and eye irritation.  We’ve all experienced the intense stinging when shampoo gets in our eyes and studies done on animals show permanent eye damage due to the regular use of SLS.  Many conventional shampoo manufacturers use chemical ingredients thought to have an anesthetizing effect, masking the true reaction the SLS is causing.

While both SLS and SLES have been dismissed as cancer-causing chemicals, they are known penetration enhancers which alter the epidermal structure, allowing other chemicals to more easily penetrate the skin.

And while it is true that SLES is milder than the harsh SLS, SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a chemical by-product linked to cancer and is thought to have longer lasting effects than SLS.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate(ALS) and Sodium Lauryl Sulphoacetate(SLSA) are similar sounding cosmetic ingredients with the same job as SLS and SLES – they are used as foaming agents.  ALS is the ammonium salt of lauryl sulfate and, though the health risks are the same as SLS, this one is said to be milder.

But SLSA is different.  This one is a plant-derived surfactant, usually from palm or coconut oils, and is very mild.  The molecular size of SLSA is much larger than the others, too large to penetrate the skin. SLSA is commonly used in natural cosmetics to produce lather and keep ingredients from separating.

The Cosmetic Trade Industry Association (CIR) says sulphates “appear to be safe in formulations designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin.”  Doesn’t sound so safe, huh?  If you have to limit your use of a product to “discontinuous” and “brief” for it to be safe, you may want to not use the product in the first place.  Germany will not allow a cosmetic product to be labeled “natural” if it contains any ingredients from the sulfate family (lauryl, laureth or ammonium).

Click feelgoodstyle.com to read the full article.


Shampoo and the planet – Green Living Tips

Wonderful post from a guy greenie on finding out what really goes into his little bottle of shampoo – 

But I took a close look at my bottle of shampoo one day and my hair stood on end before I even washed it. The front label stated “Vitamin E Moisture Rich Shampoo – Professional performance formula”, but what I read on the back made me wonder about the volume of potential poisons I’ve been washing into the environment over the last 3 decades plus, simply through washing my hair.

Having a blackwater system at the time for recycling our household waste water also made me a little more conscious about this kind of thing. If we had put chemicals down our drains that upset the good bacteria, they couldn’t do their job properly in chewing up all the nasties. Throw it out of balance, and restoring the balance can take a long while.

Here were the ingredients of my shampoo and what I discovered about them:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – used in clinical testing as a primary skin irritant. Tests on lab animals indicate material may cause mutagenic effects.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine – potential irritant and potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer,

Ammonium Chloride – Harmful if swallowed. May be harmful by inhalation. Skin, eye and respiratory irritant

Tocopheryl Acetate – Vitamin E

Camellia Sensis Leaf Extract – OK depending on extraction process

Fennel – OK depending on extraction process

Fruit Extract – Hrm.. depending on extraction process

Epilobium Angustifolium Extract – OK depending on extraction process

Sunflower Extract – OK depending on extraction process

Hazel leaf Extract – OK depending on extraction process

Sweet Almond fruit extract – OK depending on extraction process

Panthenol –  Vitamin B5

Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolized wheat protein – not sure

Quaternium-22 – May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products

Butylene Glycol – not assessed for safety by Cosmetics Ingredient Review board

Propylene Glycol –  allows other chemicals to penetrate into the skin, suspected Respiratory, Skin or sense organ, Immunotoxicity and Neurotoxicity hazards

Polyquaternium-10 – a mildly irritating toxic polymer

Sodium Chloride – common salt

Tetrasodium EDTA – allows other chemicals to penetrate into the skin

Citric Acid – OK depending on extraction process

Hexylene Glycol – neurotoxin, sensitizer and irritant

Triethanolomine – may contain residual levels of nitrosamines, a carcinogen

Methylchloroisothiazolinone -immune system toxin, lung sensitizer,

Geraniol – not assessed for safety by Cosmetics Ingredient Review board

Butylphenyl Methylpropional – not assessed for safety by Cosmetics Ingredient Review board

Linalool – not assessed for safety by Cosmetics Ingredient Review board

Hexyl Cinnamal – not assessed for safety by Cosmetics Ingredient Review board

Limonene – a hydrocarbon that poses potential risks to wildlife and the environment through water contamination. Carcinogen to some animals

Fragrance (I hate to think)

OK, so before I start sounding overly paranoid, I’m well aware that everything is made up of chemicals – even natural ingredients; and “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean non-toxic. 2 potentially nasty chemicals can also combine to make something quite safe and useful – e.g.; sodium + chloride = salt. The type and level of chemical hazard does also greatly depend on quantity and manufacturing – but the point is, they are being manufactured; in bulk – and that in itself requires huge energy inputs and poses risks for the environment. Nature may produce similar chemicals, but it’s a natural process in harmony with the planet and environment.

And here’s a real kicker – like so many other products in our modern lives, many chemicals used in shampoos have their origins as derivatives of crude oil.

Click greenlivingtips.com to read the full article.


The Science of Shampoo: What the Ingredients Mean – The Daily Beast

Most of what goes into our daily shampoo really doesn’t need to be there (foaming agents? silicones?). And many of the ingredients in there have side-effects most of us would rather stay away from (such as the preservatives listed below)! So choose a natural cleanser that’s good for the skin (after all, that’s what you’re really cleaning when you shampoo – the scalp!) – 

A 2008 study from market research firm Mintel reported that half of adults find the variety of shampoos and conditioners overwhelming. When Pantene, the shampoo category leader, offers 113 products in 14 different benefit-themed lines, it’s easy to see how the shelves have become so crowded—and confusing.

The good news? The majority of those options boil down to different packaging. “All shampoo is essentially a cleanser,” says Paula Begoun, author of Beautypedia.com. “Only the first five or six ingredients impact the formula’s effectiveness.” And if you do a quick survey of a few shampoo ingredients labels, you’ll quickly see how the top 10 list looks nearly the same on all of them.

But what are those ingredients, and what do they do? We broke down the ingredients on the back of the bottle.

1. Water. Up to 80 percent of shampoo is this basic element. Without enough of it, the lathering liquid wouldn’t pour from the bottle. 

2. Surfactant. Basically a detergent, this additive does the bulk of the work. Surfates clean by surrounding dirt and oil so water can rinse them away. Ingredients like ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate tend to be easier on sensitive scalps than sodium lauryl sulfate.  

3. Foaming agents. Ingredients like cocamide or cocamidopropyl betaine provide the satisfying suds that complete the hair-washing experience. Lather, however, is purely aesthetic. “Lather doesn’t have anything to do with how well a shampoo works,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetics chemist for Cosmetech Laboratories. “Manufacturers put lathering agents in shampoos because it’s what consumers expect.”

4. An acidic ingredient. Items like sodium citrate or citric acid on your shampoo label are added to keep shampoo at the right pH level. The acidic pH interacts with the hair’s slightly negative charge to help the cuticle, the outer layer of the hair, maintain a smooth, flat surface.

5. Silicones like dimethicone, or anything ending in ‘one.’ These are polymers that deposit a lightweight coating on the hair. They help create smoothness and add shine.

6. Polyquaternium. Much like a fabric softener, it helps make hair more manageable by depositing a fatty conditioner and fighting static. It also thickens the shampoo formula so it’s easier to pour.

7. Panthenol, fatty alcohols, and nut oils. These common additives moisturize and lock in hydration.

8. Midazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl, isothiazolinone, and sodium benzoate. “Unless you want your shampoo to grow legs and walk away, you need preservatives,” Wilson says. Since many of the other ingredients are made from organic materials, they can grow mold and bacteria. These additives keep your shampoo from turning into a science project.

“Most often, the ingredients lower down on the list aren’t present in high-enough concentrations to have any impact on the shampoo’s performance,” Begoun says. Natural extracts and other additives that manufacturers brag about on the label don’t do much for your hair, but they might make the experience more enjoyable by adding a little color or fragrance to the process. 

So if all of these ingredients are basically the same, why are some shampoos more expensive? Good question. Price rarely is an indicator of performance. “There’s no reason at all to pay more than $7 for a bottle of shampoo,” Begoun says. In fact, when Consumer Reports tested 1,700 ponytail samples by washing them in a range of shampoos, the expensive options did not produce any better results than the drugstore brands.

Click thedailybeast.com to read the full article.


Journal of Investigative Dermatology – Abstract of article: Epidermal Damage Induced by Irritants in Man: A Light and Electron Microscopic Study

More on the effects of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) on the skin – 

To gain a greater understanding of the interaction of irritants with the skin, we investigated the histopathological changes resulting from the topical application of a series of structurally unrelated irritants. Human volunteers were patch-tested with appropriate concentrations of nonanoic acid, sodium lauryl sulphate, dithranol, benzalkonium chloride, crown oil, and propylene glycol, which produced generally mild to moderate responses. Biopsy specimens were taken after 48 h and examined by light and electron microscopy. Spongiosis and the infiltration of predominantly mononuclear cells were observed in the epidermis of the majority of biopsy specimens, and were particularly pronounced and extensive in croton oil reactions. In addition, several irritants induced distinct and characteristic patterns of keratinocyte damage. Nonanoic acid and sodium lauryl sulphate caused morphologic changes indicative of disturbances in keratinocyte metabolism and differentiation, giving rise to dyskeratosis and parakeratosis respectively, while dithranol induced marked swelling of keratinocyres in the upper epidermis.

Click nature.com to read the full article.