Don’t we simply love it when our soaps and shampoos work up a good lather in the shower? Modern-day advertising makes it look ever so enticing that we’ve psychologically connected bubbles with the ability to clean.
Truth be told, we pay a price for this indulgence, because one of the key ingredients to work up all that lather is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), a foaming agent that has some not-so-desirable side effects. Found in several brands of body wash, soap, shampoo, face wash and toothpaste, it is known to cause allergic reactions, itchy eyes, and the scalp dry and dandruff-ridden, which is not so surprising since this is also a common ingredient used in pesticides and cleaning agents! The more worrying aspect though is the presence of dioxane, which is suspected of being a carcinogenic. Dioxane is said to stay in the body for longer periods of time. The best route of course is to avoid using products containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate altogether.
The big question then is this - are there natural alternatives to help get the lather back, now that we are so in love with this ritual? It’s a big yes! Natural product makers have cracked this code by replacing Sodium Laureth Sulfate by ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil and others. However, it’s best to keep expectations real. Choosing to clean with less lather rather than with lather that’s artificially created, is a much healthier for you, your family and kids, in the long run. It’s also good for the planet as Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a major pollutant of water and the environment in general.
The other great enemy of personal product wellness are phthalates, which are often used in an array of products to improve their texture and performance. For instance, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used in nail polishes to reduce the liquid from cracking. Phthalates are used in deodorants, to help the effect “stick” and aid in the lingering of the fragrance. The bad news is that the use of this phthalates is known to disrupt the natural production of testosterone in both men and women, and has been discovered to impair reproductive capacity. Is that really surprising, though? After all this very ingredient is also used in detergents, raincoats, adhesives and the making of vinyl flooring.
The good news is that there’s a consistent effort being made by natural brands, today, to replace harmful chemicals with natural ingredients, of course, using formulae that let you continue to enjoy the carefully crafted “experience” of a well-made personal care product.
However, the big question that still remains is this - given a choice between a low-lather soap that’s free from carcinogenic chemicals and one that lets you foam it up at the cost of good health, which would you choose?
Do have a think about it. We at Aroha hope you choose good health!
Have you tried Aroha’s natural skin-loving deodorants? We have three exciting variants!