How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXVI

Conditioner is a focal point in just about every hair regimen.  Your aim is to find an all natural conditioner, that meets all of your hair needs.  Is this product right for you?  Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label

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The Ingredients

Deionized Water: Safe!  Deionized water has had the ions of minerals found in soil or pipes removed.

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*: Safe! Coconut oil is used for is skin conditioning and moisturizing properties. It is high in vitamins E and K.

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*:  Safe!  This ingredient is derived from the nut of the Shea Tree and is used for its moisturizing properties.

Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*: Safe! This ingredient is made from the seed of a mango and is known for its moisturizing properties.

Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil:  Safe! This oil contains Vitamin E and contains antioxidants.

African Black Soap Extract: Beware! African Black Soap is a traditionally made soap that is very common in west Africa and is made by combining plant fats with plant based caustic ash (potassium hydroxide). It is unclear what the extract is, though it is likely used to aid in cleansing and is not considered toxic, however, until further information is provided that declaration will not be made.

Behentrimonium Chloride: Beware! Also known as Docosyltrimethylammonium chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride Is a “quaternary ammonium compound” made from corn (likely GMO) or canola oil. It is used as an antistatic, detangling aid, conditioning agent, and disinfectant. This product is toxic to aquatic animals, however, the concentrations in the product are likely less than 3% and should not be harmful. This product can cause skin irritation upon prolonged or repeated exposure (via MSDS), though concentrations and exposure length is not likely enough to be harmful. In pure form Behentrimonium Chloride is also an eye irritant that can cause severe and permanent damage with prolonged exposure. In the U.S. it is used in concentrations of 0.2 – 7% by weight of the formula, depending on the product. It is banned by the European Union in concentrations over 0.1% in “ready to use” products. There is no data available regarding mutagenicity and carcinogenicity. (Author’s Note: Avoid if you are averse to GMOs, I don’t recall using this ingredient in a product so err on the side of caution.) (MSDS)

Salicylic Acid: Safe! Salicylic Acid is a monohydroxybenzoic acid. Salicylic Acid is a bacteriostatic agent, keratolytic, and comedolytic and can be used to increase epidermis cell turnover, open clogged pores, and neutralizes bacteria to allow room for cell growth. It can be a reproductive toxin in women, and can be a skin, lung, and eye irritant in pure form. (MSDS)

Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract: Beware!  This ingredient is an extract of white willow bark. It can be used as an astringent, tonic, skin conditioner and soothing agent. Willow Bark Extract is an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form, though it is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to aquatic species. (MSDS;MSDS)

Meia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil: Safe! This oil is pressed from the fruit and seed of Neem, which is a tree native to India. It is high in oleic acid and is known for its moisturizing properties. It is used for a variety of purposes in traditional Ayurveda.

Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil: Safe! This oil is made from the tea tree plant, which is native to Australia. It is believed to have antimicrobial properties. It is toxic when consumed orally but is safe to use in low concentrations in cosmetics.

Simmondsia Chinensis Seed (Jojoba) Oil: Safe! This ‘oil’ is a liquid wax and has a moderate fatty acid content.

Sorbitol Esters: Beware! This ingredient is a lipophilic (water loving) nonionic surfactant that is used as emulsifiers. It is an ester of sorbitan and stearic esters. No MSDS found.

Aloe Vera Leaf Juice: Safe!  This ingredient is used for its nutrient content and moisturizing properties.

Vitamin E: Safe! Tocopherol is a fat soluble alcohol with antioxidant properties.  This ingredient is not known to have carcinogenic or toxic effects.  It can also be used as a preservative for oils. (MSDS)

Rosemary Extract:  Safe!  It is used as an antimicrobial agent, fragrance, and skin conditioning agent and is generally regarded as safe. (MSDS)

Plantain Extract: Beware! It is unclear if this is referring to the Plantain herb or the Plantain fruit. It is likely not toxic, however, without additional information it will not be declared otherwise.

Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and):  Beware! This ingredient can be used as a fragrant and is believed to have cleansing properties, however, it is primarily used in conjunction with Japanese Honeysuckle as a preservative.  Used alone it can be in concentration of 5-10% of the formula by weight, but in this product it is used between 0.5-2% as a mixture with Japanese Honeysuckle.  It is not known to be toxic or an irritant in small quantities.  It should be noted that parabens are very similar in structure (essentially the synthetic version) to p-hydrobenzoic acid, the active ingredient in Japanese Honeysuckle extract.  It is believed to act similarly to parabens in the body.  (MSDS)

Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract:  Beware!  This ingredient is used in conjunction with Honeysuckle extract as a preservative.  It is not known to be toxic or an irritant in small quantities.  It should be noted that parabens are very similar in structure (essentially the synthetic version) to p-hydrobenzoic acid, the active ingredient in Japanese Honeysuckle extract.  It is believed to act similarly to parabens in the body.  (MSDS)

 

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  This conditioner has great ingredients.  The first 5 ingredients are either water or a plant based oil or butter.  The only questionable ingredients are the African Black Soap extract and Plantain extract, which are likely non toxic, however, lack of information and an MSDS makes me hesitant to declare them otherwise.  I would purchase this product, and it would be worthwhile for someone looking for a conditioner with a high moisturizing ability that will also promote scalp health.

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Industry Views on the EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 A Year Later

On November 30, 2009 the European Union adopted a new cosmetics regulation, Cosmetic Product Regulation No. 1223/2009, that aimed to further increase product safety.  EU Cosmetic Product Regulation No. 1223/2009 was preceded by Council Directive 76/768/EEC, which was adopted in 1976.  Cosmetic Product Regulation No. 1223/2009 has been applicable to appropriate parties since July 11, 2013, making it just over a year since the regulation has been in effect.  This regulation has been continuously referenced here, as it is one of the most significant cosmetics regulations in the world.  The ‘strict’ regulation has left many companies struggling to comply, which is why Pharma IQ surveyed various cosmetics brands to get insight into what their biggest challenges have been in the past year that the regulation has been in effect.

Copyright IQPC

Pharma IQ found that the biggest challenge faced surveyed brands was knowing what preservatives are allowable in cosmetics formulations.  This is not surprising given that a majority of commonly used preservatives are purported to have negative health impacts.  Alternatives to animal tests and understanding what qualifies as a nano material were third and fourth greatest response to the survey, respectively.  Products sold in the EU must be appropriately labeled if they contain nanoparticles.  Animal testing is a sensitive and controversial subject for many; companies must now find other means to test the safety of their cosmetic formulations.

The confusion about the above issues in the cosmetics industry only further substantiated why Nature’s Pulchritude is here.  If almost a third of survey companies did not confidently know what preservatives are allowable, how can a consumer–who is typically not trained in cosmetic science or chemistry–properly choose products that meet their Label Poise?  Preservatives are some of the most controversial cosmetic ingredients and even many of the ‘natural’ alternatives pose risks.  As companies and consumers become more knowledgeable about the products they produce and consume, respectively, the ease in trusting the products we use should only increase.

Preservatives in Natural Products: Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle Extracts

This post has been LONG in the making. Look for more regular Preservatives posts in the future!

The primary focus of Nature’s Pulchritude is to educate. This post is the seventh in a series of in depth posts that will educate you about the various preservatives in hair and skin products, as well as their potential toxicity.

PURPOSE

Preservatives are added to cosmetics, personal care products, and food to maintain a products integrity and stability by inhibiting or reducing the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus (FDA).  Most products sold via retail sit for extended periods of time during shipping, in a warehouse, and on store shelfs that allow enough time for a product to spoil or cause microbial growth which render the product unfit for use.  This is particularly true for products that contain water, such as many conditioners and moisturizers, and other active ingredients (antioxidants and emulsifiers) that would otherwise lose their effectiveness and stability over time.

Preservatives are chosen in cosmetics based on a variety of factors which include ability to inhibit growth over a broad spectrum and method of derivation (natural vs. synthetic).  Preservatives tend to be in concentrations less than 2% of the weight of the formula, however, widespread use of potentially harmful preservatives, such as parabens, has been a great cause of concern for some scientists and consumers.  The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not grant the Food & Drug Administration the authority to regulate the use of preservatives unless it is known to be “poisonous or deleterious” (FDA).

HONEYSUCKLE AND JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE EXTRACTS

Honeysuckle extract and Japanese Honeysuckle extract are made from two different species of Honeysuckle flowers, Lonicera caprifolium and Lonicera japonica, respectively.  It is typically extracted via alcohol or 100% carbon dioxide.  Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle contain a variety of phytochemicals.  Japanese Honeysuckle contains Methyl Caffeate (C10H10O4), 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, methyl 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinate, protocatechuic acid (C7H6O4), chrysin (C15H10O4) methyl chlorogenic acid, hyperoside (C21H20O12), chlorogenic acid (C16H18O9), caffeic acid (C9H8O4), and luteolin (C15H10O6) (Rahman and Kang 2009).  Many of these phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.  Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle both contain parahydroxybenzoic acid (4-Hydrobenzoic Acid), which goes through a process of esterification to produce synthetic parabens.

Molecular Stucture of parahydroxybenzoic acid

Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle are used as preservatives due to their antiviral and antibacterial phytochemicals.  Honeysuckle extract can be found independent of Japanese Honeysuckle extract, and is recommended to be used in concentrations of 5-10% of the formula. Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle are often sold as a blend, ratio uncertain, for use as a preservative, and is suggested to be used in concentrations of 0.5-2% of the formula.  Given the difference in recommended use, it is likely Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) has the higher antimicrobial content. Japanese Honeysuckle and Honeysuckle extracts have demonstrated the ability to deter microbial growth in acidic, low water environments for gram-positive and gram-negative Bacteria, though they are not as effective against mold (Papageorgiou et al. 2009). Another study done in 2009 yielded similar results, showcasing the strong antimicrobial activity of Japanese Honeysuckle (Rahman and Kang 2009).

Hazards
The primary concern surrounding Honeysuckle extract and Japanese honeysuckle extract is that the extracts contain or are ‘parabens.’ This is a misnomer. Neither extract is known to contain parabens. It is important to make the clear distinction between parahyrdoxybenzoic acid and parabens, as parabens are a synthetic chemical designed to mimic parahydroxybenzoic acid (esters). Parahydroxybenzoic acid is a phytochemical present in a variety of fruits and vegetables including blueberries, cucumbers, and olives. It is assumed that parahydroxybenzoic acid accumulates in cancerous tissues similar to parabens, however, there is no literature that supports or disproves this. The exact composition of Honeysuckle extract and Japanese Honeysuckle extract depends on the manufacture, therefore contamination with other preservatives or chemicals is a possibility. A 2012 study found Japanese Honeysuckle extract to be contaminated for formaldehyde, which resulted in the aggravation of existing allergic contact dermatitis caused by formaldehyde releasers and fragrances (Gallo et al. 2012). It is believed the Japanese Honeysuckle extract leached the formaldehyde releasers from epoxy or phenolic-based plastic packaging (Gallo et al. 2012).

CONCLUSIONS

There is presently to published literature that states that the parahydroxybenzoic acid content of Honeysuckle extract and Japanese Honeysuckle extract behaves similar to parabens (accumulating in the body, being an endocrine disruptor, mimic oestrogen), however, this is a possibility.  More research should be done on these extracts and their parahydroxybenzoic acid content to further establish their safety.  Honeysuckle extract and Japanese Honeysuckle extract both contain a vast variety of phytochemicals that are known to have anti-inflamitory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties among other benefits.  If you have concerns about Honeysuckle extract or Japanese Honeysuckle extract it is best to err on the side of caution.

Navigating the World of Natural and Organic Beauty Products

This is a tough question.  My primary challenge is finding a product with ingredients I like (or are ‘clean’) but work for my skin or hair needs.  Products with a safe preservative is a close second, especially when dealing with ‘natural’ products.

Pulchritude: Honeysuckle

Copyright Protected Lonicera sempervirens

Best known for its sweet aroma and delectable nectar, Honeysuckle flowers can be found across the Northern Hemisphere and are used for a variety of purposes. Honeysuckles belong to the Lonicera genus, which contains approximately 180 species. 100 of these species are native to China, while about 20 each are believed to belong to North America, India, and Europe. The vast majority of the species in the Lonicera genus are twining climbing vines. Many species can grow as high as 33 feet in height, with leaves that are between 3-8 centimeters in length and 2-5 centimeters in width. Petals vary in color by species and are typically red, pink, yellow, white, or orange. Hummingbirds and butterflies most commonly eat Honeysuckles, though a variety of animals enjoy their fruits and nectars. Japanese Honeysuckle is common in the United States (yellow and white petal colors) despite being invasive to the area. Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) are made into extracts for use as a more natural cosmetic preservative.

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXV

Body wash is a necessity.  There are various options on the market, all which boast different attributes that should entice you to buy.  As you already know, all body washes are not created equal-some smell better, are less drying, and have varying quality of ingredients.  It can be difficult to navigate all of body washes found in supermarkets in drug stores, especially when it come to ingredients.  Will you find a product that meets your standards?    Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label

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The Ingredients

Water:  Safe!  Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key base in many products.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate:  Beware!  Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a surfactant and foaming agent commonly found in shampoos and body washes. It is a known skin and eye irritant. SLES can also be containated with possible carcinogen 1,4-dioxane and known carcinogen ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide can be toxic to the central nervous system; 1,4-dioxane does not easily degrade in the environment (persistent. This ingredient can be extremely drying to the hair, though it is considered less harsh than sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). (MSDS, MSDS)

Acrylates Copolymer:  Beware!  This ingredient is used as a binding, film forming, and antistatic agent. It can be found in a variety of products including nail polish, hair sprays, sunscreen and mascara. It is not known to be carcinogenic or mutagenic, thought it may be a skin or eye irritant. (MSDS)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine:  Beware!  This ingredient is a mild amphoteric (reacts as a base and an acid) synthetic surfactant, and the bottle indicates this product is derived from coconut/palm. This ingredient is not believed to be an eye or skin irritant, though an additional study found it to be a skin allergen in a patch test. It is not believed to be a carcinogen, mutagen, teratogen, or reproductive toxin, though there is limited information available. (MSDS)

Sodium Chloride:  Beware!  This is common table salt. Sodium Chloride can be added to a lotion as a thickener or as a preservative. Salt can dry moisture away from the skin, however, given the likely concentration it should not be a concern.  (MSDS)

Fragrance:  Beware!  Fragrances are often synthetic. Though they are low in concentration in the product, there is still a small chance of having an allergic reaction.

DMDM Hydantoin:  Beware!/Avoid!  This product is a used as a preservative and prevents (or slows) microbial growth in personal care products. This ingredient works by releasing formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) to kill or prevent microorganisms. In concentrations over 0.2% it is suspected to be a skin, eye, and lung irritant and may cause contact dermatitis. (MSDS)

Sodium Hydroxide:  Beware!  Also known as caustic soda or lye, this ingredient is likely used to aid surfactants or increase pH. In pure form it can be dangerous, toxic to eyes, lungs, and skin, though it is typically used in low concentrations in personal care products. (MSDS)

Tetrasodium EDTA:  Beware!/Avoid!  EDTA is an abbreviation for Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. This ingredient is used as a chelating agent to sequester metal ions and causing them to lose the ability of reacting with other ingredients. It is also used as a preservative. It can also improve lather and decrease incidence of soap scum. Tetrasodium EDTA is a penetration enhancer and suspected to be toxic to the upper respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. Target organs are the kidneys and bladder. This ingredient is toxic to the environment and is a suspected persistent organic pollutant (POP) by the EU. (MSDS, MSDS)

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter):  Safe!  This ingredient is derived from the nut of the Shea Tree and is used for its moisturizing properties.  (MSDS)

Zea Mays (Corn) Oil:   Safe!/Avoid!  This ingredient is derived from the germ of corn. It is used as an emulsifying surfactant and skin conditioner. It is not known to be toxic. Corn is one of the most genetically modified crops in the U.S., if you are averse to GMOs, Avoid! this ingredient. (MSDS)

Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract:  Beware!  This ingredient is used in conjunction with Honeysuckle extract as a preservative. It is not known to be toxic or an irritant in small quantities. It should be noted that parabens are very similar in structure (essentially the synthetic version) to p-hydrobenzoic acid, the active ingredient in Japanese Honeysuckle extract. It is believed to act similarly to parabens in the body. (MSDS)

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract: Safe!/Beware! This ingredient is used as an emulsion stabilizer, viscosity controlling agent, soothing agent, and fragrant. It is “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. FDA, and is not believed to be toxic, though it can be a skin irritant in pure form. (MSDS)

Gelatin: Safe!/Avoid! Gelatin is an animal derived ingredient commonly used in powdered form to act as a film forming agent and thickener. Specifically, it is produced from the partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals such as cattle, pigs, fish, and chicken. It can be a slight irritant in pure form, though it is not known to be toxic in humans. It has been found to cause negative teratogenic effects in animals, though it is unclear if it was through ingestion or skin contact. Avoid! if you are vegan or are opposed to GMO fed animals. (MSDS; MSDS)

Acacia Senegal Gum: Safe! This ingredient is a gum derived from Senegalia senegal, a deciduous tree that is native to sub-Saharan Africa. Also known as acacia gum, it is used as an astringent. Acacia Senegal Gum is not known to be toxic though it can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form. It is considered safe to use by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review in current use amounts. (MSDS)

Mica:  Safe!  Mica is a mineral that is often ground and used for its reflective and refracting properties in various cosmetics, including moisturizing lotions. In pure form it can be a slight skin and eye irritant, as well as act as a toxin to the lungs and mucous membranes. Information on carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, and developmental toxicity are not available. (MSDS; MSDS)

Citric Acid:  Safe!  This ingredient is naturally occurring in citrus fruits, but is typically produced by feeding sucrose or glucose to mold and additional chemical treatment.  It is used in cosmetics as a pH adjuster.  It is generally considered safe, though it is a skin and eye irritant in pure form. (MSDS)

Xanthan Gum:  Safe!  This ingredient is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate consisting of sugar molecules) secreted by Xanthomonas campestris (a bacterium). It is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or cause developmental toxicity, though it can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form. There is a risk of long term biodegraded products being more toxic than pure Xanthan Gum. (MSDS)

Titanium Dioxide:  Safe!  Also known as CI 77891, this is a white pigment used for various applications. In pure form Titanium Dioxide is a potential human carcinogen when inhaled. Its health impacts are dependent on size (i.e. nanoparticles), based on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It should be fine to use in this topical product. (MSDS)

FD&C Yellow No. 6:  Beware!  This is a synthetic yellow dye (food coloring) also known as Cl 15985 or Sunset Yellow FCF. This dye in manufactured from the aromatic hydrocarbons of petroleum. It is not known to be toxic and there are low instances of allergic reaction (aspiring intolerant should avoid this ingredient). (MSDS)

 

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  This product boasts natural extracts and moisturizing properties.  From past use I found the scent to be nice, it is not too drying, and lathers well–I liked the product.  However, the ingredients in this body wash are not good in the slightest.  All of the natural extracts and ingredients are found after DMDM Hydantoin (a formaldehyde releasing preservative) and fragrance, which typically means they are in low quantities.  This product works well on a budget, but if you can spend more or find something similarly priced with better ingredients, go with the alternative.

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXIV

Microbeads have been in the news recently due to their toxicity to aquatic life and have been proposed to be banned in New York and various other states. You are looking for a facial scrub that is not only all natural but that is not toxic to aquatic life. This product totes all natural scrubbing beads and naturally derived ingredients, but does it meet your Label Poise?  Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label

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The Ingredients

Water:  Safe!  Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key base in many products.

Glycerin:  Safe!  Glycerin is a humectant that attracts moisture in the skin. Glycerine can be derived from fats and oils, or synthetically–which is not indicated here.  (MSDS)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine:  Beware!  This ingredient is a synthetic surfactant derived from coconut oil and dimethylamonipropylamine.    This ingredient can be a skin allergen and irritant and was voted Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. It is also an eye and lung irritant, though it is not known to be carcinogenic or mutagenic.  (MSDS)

Hydrogenated Castor Oil:  Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient has been hydrogenated by chemically combining Hydrogen atoms with castor oil in the presence of a nickel catalyst. Also known as castor wax, this ingredient is not known to be toxic to humans, though it may be a skin irritant (causing or aggravating dermatitis) in pure form. Hydrogenated castor oil is very toxic to aquatic animals in pure form. (MSDS; MSDS)

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine:  Beware!  This ingredient is a mild amphoteric (reacts as a base and an acid) synthetic surfactant, and the bottle indicates this product is derived from coconut/palm. This ingredient is not believed to be an eye or skin irritant, though an additional study found it to be a skin allergen in a patch test. It is not believed to be a carcinogen, mutagen, teratogen, or reproductive toxin, though there is limited information available. (MSDS)

Xantham Gum:  Safe!  This ingredient is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate consisting of sugar molecules) secreted by Xanthomonas campestris (a bacterium). It is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or cause developmental toxicity, though it can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form. There is a risk of long term biodegraded products being more toxic than pure Xanthan Gum. (MSDS)

Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract:  Beware!  This ingredient is an extract of white willow bark. It can be used as an astringent, tonic, skin conditioner and soothing agent. Willow Bark Extract is an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form, though it is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to aquatic species. (MSDS;MSDS)

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride:  Safe!  Also known as cationic guar gum, this ingredient is a quarternary ammonium (positively charged polyatomic ions) derivative of guar gum (a natural substance). It is added to shampoos for its conditioning and anti-static properties. In pure form, the dusts of this ingredient may be an irritant, however, it is not toxic to the skin and is not known to be carcinogenic. Information on mutagenicity is not available. (MSDS; MSDS)

Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil:  Safe!/Beware!  The product of hydrogenation, chemically combined with hydrogen atoms, of jojoba oil, this ingredient is a high melting point wax that is used as the exfoliating agent in this product, or jojoba beads. This ingredient can also sure as a skin conditioning agent. Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil is not known to be toxic to humans. (MSDS)

Glycol Distearate:  Avoid!  This ingredient is used as an emollient. It is the diester of ethylene glycol and stearic acid. It is typically used in concentrations of 0.5 – 4%. There is no data available about hazards, caricnogenicity, or mutagenicity. (MSDS)

Sodium Benzoate:  Beware!  This ingredient is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, which is likely synthetically derived though it is naturally occurring in some berry species.  It is widely used as a preservative in food, wine, and personal care products.  It is known to be a skin, eye, and lung irritant in pure form, though it is not generally considered to be a carcinogen, mutagen, or teratogen in humans, however, additional research suggests that is is mutagenic and genotoxic in human blood cells (in vitro).  It is typically not used in concentrations above 0.2%, so it should be fine in this product.  (MSDS)

Fragrance:  Beware!  Fragrances are often synthetic. Though they are low in concentration in the product, there is still a small chance of having an allergic reaction.

 

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  This product does make a much appreciated effort in educating its consumers as to where its ingredients are derived from.   This product contains an extract that is purportedly good for acne treatment and may be a good more ‘natural’ alternative to other commercially available products.  Or if you want to go all natural you can use an all natural  cleanser and follow with a mixture of sugar and oil to exfoliate.

Pulchritude: Apricot Tree

Best known for their fruit, Apricot trees are believed to be native to Armenia where cultivation has occurred since ancient times. The Apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca) typically grows 8 – 12 meters in height, and has a trunk that is 16 inches in diameter. Its leaves are oval shaped (ovate) and grow between 5 – 9 centimeters in length and 4 – 8 centimeters in width. The flowers of the apricot tree consist of 5 petals that are white to pinkish in color and grow 2 – 4.5 centimeters in diameter, and bloom prior to the appearance of leaves and fruit. The fruit of the tree is a drupe, which is yellow to orange in color with a diameter of 1.5 – 2.5 centimeters. The fruit of the apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca) is commonly found in grocers across the world, and is also utilized to make jams and preserves. The kernel of the apricot can be pressed to produce oil for cooking or cosmetics. Apricot seeds contain cyanogenic glyccosides and are believed to be an alternative treatment for abnormal growth of cells.

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXIII

Healthy, hydrated skin is often a priority in most beauty regiments.  Today you are looking for a product that will aid in achieving healthy, hydrated skin.  There are a lot of facial products on the market, many of which use ‘natural’ marketing to attract potential customers.  You went to the natural section and found a serum that meets your natural and safety standards–or does it?  Full instructions on Label Poise and how to approach ingredient labels can be found here, or you can find it under the Educate Yourself tab in the Menu.

The Label

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The Ingredients

Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot Kernel) Oil: Safe! Apricot Kernel Oil is high in linoleic and oleic acids, and also contains antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E. It can be used as an emollient and is easily absorbed into skin.

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil: Sweet Almond oil is high in oleic acid and is primarily used as an emollient.

Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil: Safe! Grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid and is high in beneficial antioxidants.

Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil: Safe! This oil is extracted from the Baobab Tree, which is found exclusively in Africa. This oil contains vitamins A, D, E, and F, and is high in Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids. Baobab is believed to improve skin elasticity, encourage cell regeneration, and proves moisture.

Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil: Safe! This ‘oil’ is a liquid wax and has a moderate fatty acid content.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil: Safe! Sunflower Oil is comprised of triglycerides (esters of glycerol and fatty acids) and has high Vitamin E content. It primarily acts as an emollient and assists the skin in retaining moisture.

Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Oil: Safe! Also known as corn mint or field mint, this oil can be used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial agent.

Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil: Safe! This oil is known for its soothing properties, and is believed to improve circulation, decrease skin puffiness and swelling, and aid in the healing of eczema, acne, and dermatitis.

Padina Pavonica Thallus (Algae) Extract: Beware! Padina Pavonica Thallus is a brown algae commonly found in the Mediterranean. This ingredient is used as a skin conditioning agent. Very limited information about this ingredient, only a similar MSDS found. MSDS (Jojoba/Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract)

 

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  Only ONE ingredient labeled Beware!?!  That may be a first on Nature’s Pulchritude!  This product is marketed as a firming serum and appears to be all natural oils and algae extract.  This may be an ideal product for someone looking for an all natural anti-aging product.  One concern I do have about this product is that is does not explicitly state what each ingredient is.  It only lists the scientific and common names, not whether it is an oil or extract, which makes a significant difference in the product and the potential hazards.  Labeling aside, if firming is on your skin radar this product may be work a try!