Are You Washing in Engine Degreaser?

We are indeed living in a fascinating time when our skin care productscan claim to ‘re-plump’, ‘fill wrinkles’ and provide ’anti-ageing’results.

Your moisturisers, eye creams and make up may seem harmless,and often helpful, but if you check out the labels on the back of thebottle, you’ll find a long list of tongue-twisting ingredients, many ofwhich could be hazardous to your health.

Each and every day millions of Australians are unknowingly exposing themselves to dangerous toxic chemicals.

Some of these chemicals are known to be cancer causing, while other chemicals have been shown to contribute to hormonal disruptions, headaches, allergies, depression, chronic fatigue, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and irritability. 

Surely whatever is causing these problems is banned, or at least infamous for its’ dangerous side-effects? The answer is no, and chances are, you have exposed yourself already this morning.

If you have ever experienced an adverse reaction to a certain body care product, you will know of the irritation it can cause. More often than not do we simply ignore the skin reaction we had after using a lotion or moisturizer, or the itchiness of our scalp after we haven’t rinsed the shampoo out properly.

Of the chemicals available for use in skin care products, 884 of them have been reported as toxic substances, and 125 have been documented as cancer-causing agents.

Research has found that many ingredients used may be linked to lung, liver, heart, brain damage, premature babies, cataracts, environmental cancers, contact dermatitis and possibly eye damage.

Of all the dangerous chemicals used in the industry, the most common, and perhaps one of the most dangerous is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, or SLS for short.

Look on the back of your shampoo bottle, and it will most likely feature near the top of the ingredients. This harmful ingredient features is around 90% of all commercial shampoos, shower gels, bubble baths and skin care products.

The reason that SLS is so common in these products is because it is a cheap additive – just a tiny amount mixed with salt produces a large amount of foam.

Put all the health side-effects aside, SLS is a highly corrosive compound. In the industrial sector, it is used as an engine degreaser, active ingredients in car wash soaps and can be utilised to clean garage floors.

SLS in its pure state is a dangerous substance to handle – strict safety instructions are issued when dealing with it.

The safety guidelines state that at all time you should avoid inhalation of SLS and avoid getting it in your eyes or on skin as irritation of the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract could occur.

Unknowingly though, we use this is in the shower everyday, lathering it in our hair, and then smearing it on our bodies in the form of lotion.

Extensive studies on the effects of SLS have been performed, and results have revealed compelling evidence indicating that it should be avoided  at all costs.


Where are these chemicals found?

SLS is not the only dangerous chemical. As you read above, there are over 800 known chemicals that are used in off the shelf products.

These include:

  • Soaps
  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Moisturising lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Bubble bath
  • Toothpaste
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Laundry detergent
  • Children’s soaps/shampoos
  • Stain remover
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Body Wash
  • Shave Cream
  • Mascara
  • Mouthwash
  • Skin cleanser

Side effects of chemical exposure range from skin irritation, hormoneimbalance, eye irritation to something as serious as cancer formation.So, knowing this, what can we do to avoid this and other dangerouschemicals?

How to avoid chemicals

  • Choose natural products. When you purchase products that are 100% natural, you can rest assured that you are not using SLS.

    Emed stocks a great range of organic skin, body, hair and home care products. Brands such as The Purist Company’s Al’chemy and A’kin, and Avalon Organics lines are certified organic, and contain no artificial chemicals or SLS.

    We stock many items including shampoo, conditioner, skin care, and even lip balms that we completely trust and use ourselves.

  • Use natural cleaning products in your home. Chemicals don’t just have to be applied to skin to be dangerous.

    B_E_E” have a large range of house-cleaning products that are 100% natural, and will leave your home as clean as regular cleaning products

  • Always read the label. If you can’t understand most of the ingredients – then avoid it. Check the label for SLES as well.
  • Avoid artificial fragrances. The natural products we stock use essential oils to add fragrance, but avoid those that use artificial fragrances as they often irritate the skin.?
  • Check for artificial colouring in the ingredient list. When it comes to protecting your skin it is best to remain chemical free.?
  • Do not use products that contain formaldehyde. This dangerous chemical causes a huge range of problems such as rashes, headaches, nausea and burning eyes.?
  • Age gracefully. Avoid excess sun exposure, and drink plenty of water.

    Remember that anything that claims to ‘plump fine lines and wrinkles’ will do exactly that – with chemicals.


Recommended Viewing

If you would like more information on the dangers of SLS, then check out the following video. It is about 9 minutes long but gives some surprising and scary detail on the problems associated with SLS.