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additives, toxins & fillers, oh my!

chemicals.jpgAt the beginning, I was puzzled as to why so many products had so large an ingredients list, most of them were additives in one form or another. To learn about additives I had to put on my research hat to find why most companies were using them. So, I went back to “school” and these are my findings to share with you.

 When reading labels on many creams, you will find mineral oils or petroleum based products (i.e. vaseline, baby oil). These type of oils clog pores and create a barrier, similar to a raincoat, on your skin so it cannot breathe or absorb vitamins and minerals. 

Each of my babies were doused in Baby Magic lotion and Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash. I wish I knew then what I know now. Their ingredients list is alarming, honestly. Check out this USA Today article... 

By virtue of definition, cosmetic creams and lotions contain water which tends to be the ingredient listed first (which means it contains the most of that substance which is also the cheapest of ingredients). Water promotes the growth of bacteria and mold, thus the need for adding a preservative; natural and not so natural. 

If water doesn’t mold, why does it promote mold? If you leave a grapefruit on the counter, it will mold in a week. If you dehydrate it it will last for a year or more. The same principal applies to water in skin care. 

 When water enters the skin, it expands the tissues, so wrinkles “fade away” and the skin looks and feels smoother, but this effect is just temporary, as soon as the water evaporates, dry less plump skin returns. A better use for water would be to drink it up; hydrate your body from the inside.

Our basic science classes in school taught us that you can’t mix oil and water. Well, you can but you will need an emulsifying wax which is a vegetable-base wax which is not just one chemical, but a cocktail of many. And these chemicals aren't required to be disclosed to the crafter or the end consumer. But I tracked down the actual ingredients that make up veggie Emulsifying wax. It is typically a blend of the following:

Cetearyl Alcohol carries a low risk for skin irritation and tumor formation when used at high doses.  Not terribly hazardous, but still a synthetically produced ingredient and if you are putting it on daily (even twice per day) a little really adds up.

Polysorbate 60 is a possible reproductive toxin and could cause tumor formation at high doses.  Again, not horrible but not natural either.

PEG-150 Stearate (short for polyethylene glycol) is an ethoxylated compound, which means that it has been processed with ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen.  When processed with ethylene oxide, the product can contain traces of this compound, along with byproducts such as 1,4-dioxane, also a known carcinogen. 

Steareth-20 is also an ethoxylated compound and can contain trace amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.  Stearyl alcohol (a naturally-ocurring fatty alcohol) is combined with ethylene oxide.  The number at the end is how many units of ethylene oxide reacted with the stearyl alcohol.  Steareth-20 has been reacted with 20 units of ethylene oxide.  There are steareths ranging from 2 on up, Steareth-20 being the highest.

So far, in the list of ingredients we have 1.water, 2.preservative, 3.natural oil, & an 4.emulsifying wax. That is 4 ingredients but only the naturals oil really helps hydrate or heal skin...only one. Hmmmm.

Other “natural” additives are Borax I choose not to test borax as most of it’s recommended uses were as cleaning agents like laundry soap, dishwashing soap, etc. and can be irritating. 

 I tried Xantham gum and found that it only made the product slightly thicker but does not  benefit the skin. Once on my skin it had to go somewhere; either absorbed or washed off at the end of the day. That can lead to dull skin.

 Lanolin is a water repellent wax (known as wool fat) extracted from the wool of sheep. Lanolin's waterproofing properties aid sheep in shedding water from their coats. Remember, the breathability of skin is vital for it’s health.

Glycerin can be irritating and does not dissolve in oils plus there is debate over whether or not glycerin softens skin only by drawing moisture from the air rather than, itself being an agent that is moisturizing. Unless a product specifically states that glycerin comes from coconut or vegetable sources, it may actually be a product of pig fat, and when combined with disterate, or stearic acid, may actually be quite caustic or irritating to the skin.

Let me say that while many ingredients found in skin care products today contain toxic chemicals, not all of the ingredients listed above are horrible for the skin, just not the best. Most of these additives actually irritate the skin adding layer upon layer of unnecessary stuff which irritates and gives a dull look. 

Bloom Naturals uses ingredients of highest and purest quality with none of these “extras.”  We are so excited to offer you safe, trusted, beautiful skin care.

Remember this rule, only put on your skin what you would put in your mouth as your skin absorbs whatever you put on it. It is good to educate yourself on what you put in and on your body!

Try ours and watch as you bloom your skin beautiful!

Click here for more information on harmful ingredients found in most personal care products.