Natural products do more than nourish your hair; they help your entire body. Everyone knows that a life lived on fast food or ingredients low in nutrients will not only decrease your immune system but also reduce your body’s ability to recover from exercise and fight off illness. The same is true for chemical ingredients found in hair and body care products. When perusing the aisles, there are a ton of options that claim to be natural but which of them actually are what they claim to be? The answer might be shocking – nearly none.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to protect the health of your immune system and ensure that the products you use never compromise your body’s first line of defense – your skin. As the leaders in natural hair care, we believe it is our duty to not only provide your family with chemical-free products that support immune health but to also be a resource that you can count on for information on how to protect those you love most.
In this two-part series, we will look at ingredients commonly found in hair and body products that are not only toxic but actually decrease your immune system.
The first chemical we felt it was important to discuss is PEG. There are a ton of brands that feature this chemical ingredient but very few consumers understand its dangers. PEG is an abbreviation for polyethylene glycol. This chemical is used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease as well as thicken products. Because of their strength and effectiveness, PEGs are often used in spray-on oven cleaners. PEGs are also considered penetration enhancers. These are chemicals that make it easier for other ingredients to pass through the skin. Despite their industrial-strength, they are found in many personal care products. PEGs contribute to stripping the natural moisture and nutrients from your hair and skin, leaving the immune system vulnerable. In a study of personal care products that claimed to be “natural” or “organic” (uncertified), U.S. researchers found PEG’s to be a contaminant in 46 of 100 products analyzed – nearly half! Keep that in mind the next time you find yourself in the personal care aisle.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
A confusingly similar ingredient is PG or Propylene Glycol. What do electronic cigarettes, whipped dairy products, and your favorite shampoos have in common? They all contain propylene glycol, more commonly known as “the antifreeze chemical.” It is a surfactant, or wetting agent and solvent. This ingredient is actually the active component in antifreeze. Propylene Glycol acts by lowering the freezing temperature of water. Shockingly, there is no difference between the PG used in industrial products and the PG used in personal care products.
In industrial products, It is used to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of) yet it is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, and toothpaste. It is also used in food processing. Because the evidence has shown its toxicity and the ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles when working with this substance. In fact, the material safety data sheets or guidelines on how to use this ingredient warn against any skin contact, as PG exposure has consequences like brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. Yet, consumers are not protected nor is there a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than that in most industrial applications.
How to Avoid Toxic Chemicals
It’s simple! Read your ingredients and become informed. Look for “PEG” on labels, both in the simpler form (PEG-#) and the complex form (complicated-looking ingredients containing “PEG”). Stay away from those brands that choose to compromise your health in favor of profits. Instead, choose to support all-natural alternatives like Morrocco Method, which will never compromise your family’s health in favor of cheaper ingredients.
When looking for all-natural products, reading labels helps to deepen your understanding of what you’re putting onto your body. To accompany your research, you can also look to Morrocco Method’s blog to learn more about chemicals to steer clear of. At Morrocco Method, we value the health and wellness of your family and are committed to providing your home with all-natural alternatives that protect your body. Check out our site to find out how Morrocco Method is shaking up the industry with its dedication to all-natural ingredients.
For more information tune into our weekly ingredient series on Youtube to learn more about natural hair care and ways to protect your family and home.