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Three chemicals in your personal care products you need to be aware of

Three chemicals in your personal care products you need to be aware of

Did you know that it's estimated that the average adult makes approximately 35,000 remotely conscious decisions every day? That’s a lot of decisions that you probably don’t even realise you are making!

Just this morning, you may have had to decide whether to have muesli for breakfast or avocado on toast? Or maybe you had to decide whether to take the longer road to work or leave 20 minutes earlier and skip the traffic in town?

Before even leaving for work there’s a high chance that you’d already made thousands of decisions. But, some decisions can have more significant consequences than others, like what personal care products we ingest into our precious bodies. The shampoo you washed your hair with this morning, the deodorant you sprayed under your arms or the lipstick you painted your lips with; how serious could those decisions be?

Personal care products make up a large chunk of the goodies we feature inside of our boxes, so when going through the selection process, a big part of what we do is look at the ingredients listings.

And because we know just how complex and overwhelming the world of ingredients and chemicals can be, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into three of the main chemicals inside your personal care products to steer clear of, and empower you to know what to watch out for.

So what exactly are personal care products (PCPs) and who regulates them in Australia?

Basically PCPs are any products that you may use for personal hygiene, cleaning, grooming or beautification. These can include shampoos, conditioners, skin care products, body care, sunscreen, or even perfumes. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates PCPs that are for medicines or therapeutic effects, while the Australian Government’s National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) regulates those that are not. Regulation is needed, especially as the average person is exposed to more than a hundred chemicals from these personal care products before they have even decided on their breakfast menu or driving path. With many adverse side effects of chemical exposure including reproductive issues, skin allergies and some cancers, it is important to understand what is actually in these products.

So we've delved deep into three of the main chemicals to steer clear of...

  1. Phthalates

A class of compounds known as phthalates or di(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) are used to increase the durability of plastics. DEHPs are used in PCPs to lengthen their shelf lives for the same reason that chemicals are used to preserve food. They help hair treatments stick to hair better whilst they help body lotions adhere to the skin more effectively. DEHPs are thought to be endocrine-disruptive substances, which means they could obstruct a person's ability to reproduce. DEHP is no longer allowed to be used in cosmetic goods in Australia and can’t be imported as a raw ingredient. However, it is frequently employed as a plasticiser in finished goods outside of Australia and then imported here later. 

  1. Parabens

A class of preservation compounds known as parabens are also used in PCPs. By limiting the development of fungus, bacteria, and yeast, these additives increase the shelf life (and to some extent, safety) of the PCPs. They are particularly prevalent in goods with a high water content that consumers use daily, such as shampoos and conditioners. According to some researchers, parabens have the potential to be endocrine system disruptors because they can interfere with our body's normal hormone production, specifically by mimicking oestrogen. This could result in problems with fertility, increased cancer risk in adults, and developmental problems in children. The term "paraben" is typically present on most labels; which makes it easier to spot and avoid.

  1. Aluminum Chlorohydrate

The main component of an antiperspirant deodorant is aluminium chlorohydrate, a type of aluminium salt, which is used to reduce perspiration and the accompanying odour. It works by soaking into and sealing the pores beneath the arms and stopping the sweat. Salts in the perspiration or moisture in the underarms dissolve when an antiperspirant is applied. Prior research has linked aluminium salts to oxidative stress, DNA double-strand breaks, proliferation, and interference with oestrogen function.

So with this newfound knowledge, we implore you to take a few minutes to read the labels on your personal care products. Knowing the potential dangers of phthalates, parabens and aluminium chlorohydrate can help you to make informed decisions when buying new products for you skin, body or home.

This is why we do so much research before including any products inside of our boxes, so that you can feel comfortable knowing that the products you're using are actually good for you.

We do the work so that there's less decisions for you to make in your every day.

Check out our seasonal boxes here, created so you can discover Aus & NZ wellness products, practices and rituals to help you lead a healthier and more vibrant life.


Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.


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