What goes in must come out

Whichever way you look at it, putting chemicals on your skin means your body has to process those chemicals.

And guess where the 'output' goes when your body's finished with it? Yep. Down the drain. Into the water systems. Into the oceans. Into the fishies. :(

Here's a list (pay attention, Aimes) of the five main Baddies.

These little suckers are chemical compounds derived from Para-Hydroxybenzoic Acid. (Say it three times.) The brothers and sisters in this posse can have other names like EthylMethyl, Propyl, Butyl and Benzylparaben. 

The main function of these guys is to make things last longer on the shelf of the supermarket. In their little plastic container that oozes plasticky chemicals. They are also supposed to act like anti-fungals.

Gals: Studies have shown that parabens are weakly estrogenic, which means they mimic the estrogens in our system. This could be a bit confusing for our natural hormonal system which is trying to, for example, keep our menstrual cycles regular. Or kick-start them, as the case may be. 

Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl urea
These guys are the most common preservatives after parabens. They are a primary cause of that itchy, scratchy, red skin condition AKA contact dermatitis, or eczema.

Germall II and Germall 115 are their street names, and both of them release formaldehyde, which can be toxic. 

They're often found in skin-softening products for feet, for example. (Personally, having soft foot-skin is not my number one priority in life. #firstworldproblems)

Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate
If you see your shampoo foaming up like there's no tomorrow, you can blame SLS (or SLES). This concoction is generally derived from petroleum, and it's very cheap, which is always going to make it a popular ingredient if you're a bread-head manufacturer. It's also a pretty harsh cleaner (detergent), and it can be absorbed into the body through the skin, like the others. 

Tetra sodium EDTA
Tetra sodium EDTA is made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide and it's also designed to make things last longer (preservative). It's also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down your skin's natural protective barrier, which means it can get into your bloodstream very quickly. 

Many companies trying to be 'natural' will use Tetra sodium EDTA instead of parabens to preserve their products. Unfortunately, it's used so often that it has emerged as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and is therefore damaging the environment and the food chain.

One word: Yuk. 

Petrolatum is also known as petroleum jelly (AKA Vaseline), and the big news is that it has absolutely no nutrient value for the hair or scalp and, what's more, it can interfere with the body's own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dryness, chapping, dandruff etc. Yes, it does exactly the opposite of what you'd expect. Nice.

Manufacturers use petrolatum (like parabens and EDTA) because it is unbelievably cheap, and they want to make a buck. Never mind the planet.

If you're looking for an alternative, try natural oils like coconut or even olive oil.

Why give your money to the multinationals? 
Why not support smaller companies from your local area?