One of my favorite things to do (because – let’s face it – I have no life) is to wax judge-y about the ingredients in conventional personal care products when I’m at the drugstore. While a more horrifying realization is the incredible amount of single-use plastics we consume each day, it’s nearly as disturbing to see the ingredients within products that use words like “natural,” “basic” and “simple” to describe themselves.
Whenever you see words like that, check the label! Marketing jargon covers all kinds of ingredient-label sins.
Case in point: a package of “natural” wipes that, if we’re to believe the label, are nothing but water and aloe. Not true. Check out these ingredients:
Polysorbate 20 – a surfactant that may not be dangerous, but the nature of surfactants is to strip – so they can be extremely drying.
Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate – a foaming agent derived from coconut. Probably not dangerous, but certainly an industrial by-product.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone – a preservative that has been associated with allergic reactions.
Methylisothiazolinone – a preservative that has been associated with allergic reactions.
Quatemium-15 – appears to be equivalent to Quaternium-15, an industrial ingredient with high potential for irritation. According to the Environmental Working Group, it’s a formaldehyde-releasing agent.
While not all crazy-sounding ingredients are inherently dangerous (citric acid is simply a component of Vitamin C, although it can be an irritant for some people; and Tocopherol Acetate is a component of Vitamin E, although it can be derived from genetically modified soy), I would argue that even if they won’t harm ya, they definitely won’t help in your quest for natural, non-toxic, truly basic and nourishing skincare.
Anything you can do with a “wipe,” you can usually do just as well with a spray bottle of water with a few drops of anti-bacterial essential oils (like lavender, lemongrass, or tea tree oil) and a washcloth. Bonus: less litter, and less Methylchloroisothiazolinone!
That’s it for today, folks. Check those ingredients!
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