If you're not entirely sure what I mean when I talk about these nasties, basically SLS is a cheap foaming agent that is in most, shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, laundry detergent, shower gels, bubble baths. It's originally derived from the coconut, but don't let that fool you. It's a nasty little bugger that has been seriously linked to cancer, skin irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity. Parabens are essentially preservatives with antibacterial and anti fungal properties, used to extend the life of cosmetics. However, parabens in cosmetics are absorbed almost immediately into the body and mimic the body's own hormones, such as estrogen and damaging and disrupting the entire body. They too have been found, again to be linked to breast cancer; a study showed parabens present in the breast tissue of 18 out of 20 women suffering with breast cancer.
To me it sounds terrifying that this kind of crap can be legally allowed, let alone in cosmetics and every day items like toothpaste! Since scaring myself shitless with these facts and figures I decided to make a conscious effort to switch over to more nasty-free, organic natural products. Which sounds easy enough, but as a total beauty addict you'd be surprised how many products they creep in to.
What to look out for in ingredients
They've all got hideously long names to try and confuse you but the ones I try to look out for is:
- SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate)
- SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
- ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate)
I hope I haven't scared you all too much, but when I found out I was like WHY HASN'T SOMEONE TOLD ME?! So I'm spreading the word to you lovely ladies. I am still a complete beginner at this, looking for replacements for products I used to love, especially skincare and haircare wise. So if any of you have any suggestions of products you've been loving I'd love to hear them.
If you take anything away from this post, read the ingredients on the back of your favourite products. I think you'd be surprised!