Additives

Don't let the word "acid" fool you!  Hyaluronic Acid is not harsh or skin stripping, but a rather remarkable humectant.  Aging often leaves quite a mark on the skin.  Wrinkles, blemishes, strange spots… it often seems like the list can go on and on!  Although aging cannot be stopped, the effects of aging on the skin can be!  Hyaluronic Acid has been shown to improve skin tissue strength and flexibility and is a main component in our Simply Radiant Goat Milk Face Cream.  Hyaluronic acid is responsible for capturing water, keeping the skin hydrated, thus maintaining the plumpness and smoothness of the skin.  Our skin naturally produces Hyaluronic Acid, but research has shown that over time the hyaluronic acid content in the skin decreases.  This means that those wrinkles and spots come easier, and the strength in our skin is constantly fading over the years. This Hyaluronic Acid ingredient is the key to more moisture, and less wrinkles.  By replenishing the skin with this natural aid, your skin has the ability to remain youthful and looking refreshed and plump!

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) is another fantastic emulsifier that helps stabilize oil-in-water formulations such as a lotion.  SSL is a natural, food-grade emulsifier derived from the sodium salt of lactic acid.  Because of the sodium makeup of SSL, this additive is able to penetrate the top dead layers of skin for enhanced skin moisturizing capabilities.  SSL is part of an emulsifying system and needs to be used in conjunction with another emulsifier in order to stabilize the emulsion.  I use SSL in several of my goat-milk lotions, as well as my Simply Radiant Face Cream and just love how it feels on my skin!  EcoCert Certified.

Glyceryl Stearate is a naturally-derived emulsifier, thickener and stabilizer.  It is an ingredient that is used in order to mix oil and water.  I love this ingredient because it is the natural glyceryl ester from stearic acid (glycerin & stearic acid).  It also acts as an emollient, which helps prevent moisture loss in your skin.  I use Glyceryl Stearate as part of my goat-milk lotion and Simply Radiant Face Cream formulations because of its gentleness and effectiveness and also because it is vegetable derived.  EcoCert Certified.

When I went into this whole soap-making venture, I swore that I would have an ingredient list that was understandable. On further research, some ingredients sound intimidating and actually look similar to other ingredients generally considered to be questionable when in truth, one ingredient is actually not so bad and helps to create a better and quality end result.

What are all of these SLSs? They are surfactants or surface active agents. Alrighty then. What does that mean? In terms that you understand, surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants. So basically, they are a neccessity in order to make products that you use on your body, in your washing machine, in your dishwasher, and in dish soap to name a few. There are many such surfactants, but I am only going to be talking about the SLSs.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLES), and sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (SLSa) ingredients that sound and look similar, but are, in fact, completely different items. SLS has a small molecular structure and therefore, penetrates the skin easily. SLS, as well as its close relative SLES, are esters of sulfuric acid. Both are known skin irritants. SLES is often contaminated with dioxane, which is a known carciogen. Although SLES might be somewhat less irritating than SLS, it is unable to be metabolized by the liver, which means its effects are much more long lasting. These are generally used in dish detergent, laundry detergent, and other harsh detergents that are used on a day-to-day basis, and also on items not used on skin.

SLSa is derived from coconut and palm oils. SLSa is a safe, skin friendly cleanser that offers rich lather without the irritation potential of some of the other good foamers. Because the molecular size of this surfactant is large it doesn’t penetrate the skin or the mucuos membranes, so it does not cause the skin irritation as other sulfates, making it an excellent choice for soaks and facial cleansers and any other gentle cleansing products.

Why are these particular surfactants, namely SLS or SLES used? The simple answer is that they are cheap. In so many commercial formulations and ingredients, the bottom line is the bottom dollar. These big commercial companies, and even not so big companies are in this to make money, which leaves you, the consumer with a cheap, well-disguised and well-advertised product that is meant to entice the unknown consumer.

So be vigilent and read labels. Don’t just stop at sodium or sodium lauryl, but read on to see which of these SLSs are actually in the product as not all SLSs are created equal! Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate IS considered to be a better choice product when a surfactant is required where as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are both questionable ingredients and tend to cause more skin irritation with ingredients known to cause cancer.

Hope this clears up some confusion!

We might all agree that “oats” sounds like a pure, healthy, and natural ingredient for our skin. But then you have the word “hydrolyzed”. Sounds chemical. Sounds not-so-natural. But in fact, the word “hydrolyzed” refers to a naturally occurring chemical reaction called “hydrolysis”. The root “hydro” means water, as in “hydration”. The word “-lysis” refers to the splitting of molecules. In the case of “Hydrolyzed Oats”, we are talking about a soluble form of oats which is naturally derived from whole oats by the process of hydrolysis – splitting the oat molecules with water molecules.

Hydrolyzed oats contain protein and oligosaccharides (a fancy way of saying carbohydrates). The primary reason I use hydrolyzed oats in my goat-milk lotions in that it is a proven “humectant”. That means it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and transfers it to the skin, thereby providing deep hydration. This has been clinically proven. When skin is well hydrated, the appearance of lines and wrinkles is diminished. Also, the hydrolyzed oats impart the lotion with increased smoothness. When applied to the skin, the oat solution helps make the skin feel velvety smooth with no residual tackiness or greasy feeling.

Simply Eden lotions containing Hydrolyzed Oats give your skin a deep hydrating treatment without greasiness. I find these oats a great way to add humectant properties to my lotions using pure, natural, sustainable ingredients. Enjoy my lotions in a great variety of fun and interesting scents, using essential oils or phthalates-free fragrances, or unscented for particularly sensitive skin.

Cheers!

Huge thanks to my friend Dorothy for writing this for me!

So, it has been forever since I have blogged, and I am wracking my brain on where to start.  There are so many things, yet I am still drawing blanks.  I think I will start with phthalates, pronounced “thalates”.

One of the choices that I have made while entering into this soap-making venture  is to be consciously aware of the additives that I put into my products and what are actually in these additives.  Phthalates are widespread, and there are many types of phthalates.  They are in many products, including soft plastic toys, hairspray, lubricants, fragrance and perfume to name a few.  Phthalates are even in some prescription medications.  Unfortunately, phthalates may not even be listed in an ingredient list, as they are one of many ingredients in fragrances.  As plastic toys do not have an ingredient list, of course one is not going to know what lurks beneath.  Have you heard of people avoiding some plastic bottles?  Phthalates might the reason.  I have even read that phthalates are used in the dashboards of cars, and when the cars sit in the sun, the oily residue that emerges and condenses on the interior of our cars’ windshield is phthalates.  So as you can see, phthalates are in a lot of products that we use on a daily basis.

With this in mind, why are phthalates so bad?  Studies show that men’s reproductive system is especially sensitive to phthalates, especially when exposed to them while in utero, with some phthalates producing extreme male genital defects.  Other studies have noted a reduction in semen production as well.  Phthalates have also been known to cause other reproductive and developmental toxicity.  This is all based on women being exposed to phthalates while pregnant. Phthalates exposure has been linked to breast cancer (especially if women have a predisposition to breast cancer) and testicular cancer in men.  Phthalates exposure has also been linked to neurological and behavioral difficulties.  Other studies have linked phthalates to obesity and a diabetic risk.  As of 2009, California has banned the use of phthalates in childrens’ toys and childcare articles.  It is illegal to sell, manufacture, or distribute these items.

With all of this in mind, you can see it is very hard to avoid phthalates or even know if they are in the products you are using.  When purchasing plastics, choose plastics with the recycling codes of 1, 2, or 5.  When purchasing cosmetic-type items, since phthalates won’t be on an ingredient list, choose a company that prides itself on using phthalates-free ingredients.  These companies will most likely make a note on the product that the item is phthalates free.   Simply Eden prides itself on using phthalates free fragrances in our products where fragrances are used.

Cheers!

 

WOW!  That sounds like what I like to call methyl-ethyl bad shit!  But is it?

Hydroxyethyl Cellulose or HEC is a thickening agent that is used in cosmetics.  There are a lot of thickeners, as well as reasons to use certain thickeners.  Cetyl Alcohol is a great thickener and feels really wonderful, but some people might be sensitive to it.  Cetearyl Alcohol is a nice thickener, but might not have quite as nice of a feel to it.  Xanthan Gum, which is a food additive and also a cosmetic, can be used in place of HEC, but has some ionic incompatibility issues in certain products, which is why I alternatively use HEC in some situations.  Both Xanthan Gum and HEC are actually water stabilizers and help to create a more stable emulsion in an unstable oil-and-water environment, which is what any lotion is.  Basic chemistry states that oil and water do not mix.  When you make lotion, you must add an emulsifier, but sometimes an emulsifier alone does not create the most stabile environment and a water stabilizer is needed.  Depending on the situation, I use both HEC and Xanthan gum.

HEC is a naturally-occuring compound derived from cellulose and the most common organic compound found on earth.  Approximately 33% of all plant matter is cellulose.  Cellulose from wood pulp, cotton and other plant fibers is used in making paperboard and paper.  HEC is also used to help medications dissolve in the gastrointestinal tract.   There are no adverse side effects or warnings concerning HEC, and due to its stabilizing and thickening properties, it is a good addition to lotions and other products.

In conclusion, what sounds like ‘methyl ethyl bad shit’ in this case hydroxyethyl cellulose, is actually not what it sounds and is a very beneficial ingredient in lotions and cosmetics.  As always, I hope this clear up some confusion with ingredients that sound worse than they actually are!

 

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