Think of a week in a hot and humid place like in many parts of India, without applying shampoo and you could feel the scratching in your head. But the shampoos that are available in the markets are not shampoos but harsh ‘Chemicals’. So they can produce more side effects than eliminating dandruffs from your head. But the good thing is, as a result of Ayurvedics and all such things, now available are organic shampoos and cosmetics which are made from natural products.
The following points are applicable for an organic shampoo:
- 70%+ Organic ingredients
- No sodium laureth sulfate or other harsh chemicals
- No parabens or harsh preservatives
- No phthalates
- No synthetic fragrances or colours
The quantity of organic ingredients that the product contains determines the label that it can use. There are a few different levels, “100% Organic”; “Organic”; and “Made with Organic Ingredients”. The corresponding amounts of organic ingredients are, 100%; 95%+; 70%+. Cosmetics with less than 70% organic ingredients cannot use the word “Organic” on their packaging.
Below are some of the ingredients which is mostly used in cosmetics, shampoos, and also their harmful effects.
These are used as preservatives. No one wants to be using a shampoo that has bacterial or fungal growth going on. So in this respect, parabens, e.g. methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben are a good thing.
EFFECTS- However, in biopsies of breast cancer tumors, low concentrations of various parabens has been discovered. At this stage though, scientists have not suggested that parabenscausecancer. The Breast Cancer Fund is concerned about parabens, which are absorbed through our skin.
These are chemicals which we are exposed to in all kinds of products, from plastics to shampoo. In cosmetics they are used to prevent things like nail polish from becoming too brittle and cracking as well as acting as solvents for fragrances.
EFFECTS- In a study, the researchers state that their data supports:
The hypothesis that prenatal phthalate exposure at environmental levels can adversely affect male reproductive development in humans.
The concern surrounding phthalates is real. The issue is much wider than just shampoos and cosmetics. An important point to consider is that phthalates use in cosmetics is often hard to determine. This is because these chemicals are often used as constituent parts of other ingredients.
3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
This is a surface active agent used in things like soap and shampoo as a foaming agent. Lathering up is an important part of washing our hair, so in this respect, sodium laureth sulphate is an important ingredient.
EFFECTS- The issue, however, is that it is also an irritant. Part of the stinging sensation is due to the sodium Laureth sulphate.
Organic shampoos instead use surfactants that are derived from plants and vegetables. Due to its small molecular structure, sodium laureth sulphate can cause both dryness and itchiness.
4. Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a chemical found in many personal care products, including shampoo, toothpaste and body wash.
Allergic Reactions-Cocamidopropyl betaine can cause allergic reactions including irritated skin and rashes.
Other Skin Discomfort-Products containing Cocamidopropyl betaine can also cause serious skin reactions, including burning and itching.
Eye Irritation-As, an ingredient in shampoos for both adults and children, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, can easily get into the eyes. This may cause significant eye irritation.
Lysine has been studied for the prevention and treatment of herpes infections and cold sores.
Pregnancy/Lactation- Early data demonstrated that lysine supplementation in combination with vitamins and iron supplementation increased hemoglobin levels in pregnant women compared with control patients.
Interactions- Concomitant use of calcium supplements with lysine may be associated with increased absorption and reduced elimination of calcium. Aminoglycoside toxicity may be enhanced in patients taking lysine supplementation.
Adverse Reactions- GI adverse reactions, such as diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, have been reported with lysine ingestion.
6. Tocopheryl Acetate
Tocopheryl acetate is a form of vitamin E, a natural skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant. It is the ester of acetic acid and tocopherol and is often used as an alternative to pure
tocopherol (or undiluted vitamin E) because it is considered more stable and less acidic.
EFFECTS- Tocopheryl acetate is considered a moderate hazard, which notes concerns regarding cancer, contamination of hydroquinone(an FDA-restricted whitening compound), and organ system toxicity.
Research demonstrates strong evidence that it is a human skin toxicant, and in vitro tests on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results, linking it to cancer.
It has also been determined that tocopheryl acetate is a skin sensitizer that can instigate immune system responses such as itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin.
This chemical is found in many cosmetics and also in shampoos.
EFFECTS- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe, persistent, or worsening itching, burning, stinging, or irritation.
Methylisothiazolinone or simply called MIT is classified as a preservative. It belongs to a group of isothiazolinones which are used in many personal care products such as shampoos and soaps. These chemicals have the amazing ability to control the growth of microbes in a solution. It may also be added to products to preserve its smell.
EFFECTS- Methylisothiazolinone is found to be toxic in both animals and in humans. In many countries like Japan and Canada, this product along with its counterparts, are restricted to use. Thus, it would be best to check labels of personal care products for these chemicals along with other isothiazolinones.
If you work in an industry which uses isothiazolinones for preserving the smell of products, wear protective equipment to prevent direct contact with these chemicals.
9. Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol is found in many industrial and commercial products, including shampoos, antifreeze, liquid laundry detergent solvents and paint.
EFFECTS- Redness, Tearing, Itching, Burning, Irritation, Nausea, Coughing and Wheezing.
10. Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is safe when up to 15 grams per day are taken.
EFFECTS- It can cause some sideeffects such as intestinal gas (flatulence) and bloating. People who are exposed to xanthangum powder might experience flu-like symptoms, nose and throat irritation, and lung problems.
Therefore, think of yourself and move to organic products as much as possible.